May 21, 2011

It’s not clear to me exactly what Harold Camping is predicting, but it is very, very sad. And wrong—though I wish he were right.

Mark 13 admonishes readers against attempts at constructing timetables and deciphering signs of the Parousia. Disciples are admonished to be alert and watchful (vv. 5, 9, 23, 33, 35, 37), reminded that they do not know the time of the end (vv. 33, 35), and warned not to be led astray by even the most obvious signs (vv. 5, 6, 21, 22), for the end is not yet (vv. 7, 13). No one is either encouraged or commended for attempting to be an eschatological code-cracker. That is folly, for even the Son of Man is ignorant of the End (v. 32). The premium of discipleship is placed not on predicting the future but on faithfulness in the present, especially in trials, adversity, and suffering.

James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, PNTC, (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 2002), 386.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

1 Comment

  1. Crooks on May 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Very strange. The first I heard of this was about 2 weeks ago. I was switching through the radio stations in the car and landed on Camping’s program where he was answering a caller’s question. The caller wanted to know about the significance of the number of fish caught in the net in John 21:11, “153.” Camping’s answer was very strange to me, and unfortunately I can’t remember the whole answer so I won’t try and repeat it. But I definitely remember thinking that he was reading wayyyyyy to into this numbe. And than he dropped the bomb— Jesus was coming back on May 21st so we all only have a couple weeks to get ready. I have to say the emotion I felt was sadness for the callers who were intently listening and fully believing him. Very sad.

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