Chapter

Scripture Intersecting History: Mark's Eschatology

Marie Noonan Sabin

in Reopening the Word

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143591
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834600 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195143590.003.0003
Scripture Intersecting History: Mark's Eschatology

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Sabin challenges the idea that the eschatology of Mark 13 warrants calling it “The Little Apocalypse,” showing how its outer frame begins with Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the Temple, but ends with two parables that indicate its restoration. She sees Jesus’ Parable of the Returning Householder as a scriptural reference to God's return to his dwelling, and the Parable of the Fig Tree in bloom as a scriptural sign of God's kingdom. She also shows how the inner frame of Mark 13 begins with the disciples asking a question about the End Time typical of apocalyptic writing, but concludes with Jesus’ nonapocalyptic response of not knowing. She argues that while Jesus’ central discourse is filled with apocalyptic conventions warning about the End, they are immediately defused by Jesus’ reassurances. She notes that at the center of his discourse, Jesus describes the core evil not as Satan, but as “the desolating sacrilege,” a reference to the destructive acts of Antiochus IV as type or symbol of Rome's corruption of Temple worship.

Keywords: Antiochus IV; apocalyptic; desolating sacrilege; eschatology; little apocalypse; Parable of the Fig Tree; Parable of the Returning Householder; Rome; Scripture and history; Temple

Chapter.  9958 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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