Jesus and the Last Days: The Interpretation of the Olivet Discourse
Anyone wrestling with Jesus' understanding of the last days must begin by braving the tempest of controversy surrounding the interpretation of Mark 13Â—a passage on which it seems virtually every NT scholar of the last century has felt compelled to comment. From Strauss to Schniewind, Perrin to Drewermann, rabbit trails to roadways, Beasley-Murray charts the complex and sometimes confusing paths of interpretation. Obviously, any interpreter wishing to begin at ground-zero must take seriously the forces that have shaped the modern understanding of Jesus' words concerning the End.
This study culminates nearly 40 years of research, for Beasley-Murray's passion for Mark 13 began in 1954 with the release of Jesus and the Future; the present volume is a completely revised and expanded edition of the former work, whose longevity as a centerpiece in discussions on Mark 13 warranted its revision and expansion.
"George Beasley-Murray's Jesus and the Future (1954) and A Commentary on Mark 13 (1957) are among the very few biblical studies from the 1950s that have stood the test of time. The former is still a model of how the history of biblical research should be written. . . . Now after almost forty years (!) he has integrated the two works into one and updated his history of the interpretation of Mark 13 into the 1990s. For those of us who have a sense of how much has happened in biblical studies since 1954, this is a tremendous achievement. No substantial passage of the New Testament has ever been better served in a single volume. The work's new title, Jesus and the Last Days, signals the fact that it is in most respects a new work, one that will for many years be an indispensable tool for anyone working either on the Gospel of Mark, the eschatology of Jesus, or the eschatology of the New Testament. The academic community's debt to George Beasley-Murray is incalculableÂ—and mounting."
Â—J. Ramsay Michaels, Professor of Religious Studies, Southwest Missouri State University
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