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NIV 1 Cor 10:11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.

My own thought is that he is referring to the culmination of all of the ages of humanity (as delineated in the scriptures) leading up to the end of the current age of the Sinai covenant (in 70 AD).

Is "the culmination of the ages" best understood with the terminology associated with "dispensationalism"? Or is there another more scriptural way to discuss "ages" being "culminated"?

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  • Where does the scripture say that the Sinai covenant was the beginning of a new age?
    – diego b
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:45
  • In the first few verses of Matthew 24 Jesus and the disciples discuss the End of the Age that will be accomplished through the destruction of the Temple. The temple and the sacrifices are the features of the Sinai Covenant. This is not explicit to my knowledge in terms of referencing it as an age so I'm open to other interpretations but that's the way that I view it. I believe it's a common view.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 21:27
  • So this entire doctrine of the Sinai covenant being it's own "age" is based off a question the apostles ask Christ? I will add an answer if I find some time, but I will say now that it's nonsense to call the Sinai covenant the beginning of a new age. Nowhere in the law and prophets say that. Nowhere does the NT teach this. It's all forced in by preterist Interpretation. The old world, or age, was the preflood world, now we are in another age . The world to come speaks of the new heavens and new earth. Christ said there wouldn't be marriages in the world to come, we still see them after 70ad
    – diego b
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 22:10
  • I believe Gina self-identifies as Frida rest but I do not. Preterism is the historically popular View that Augustine championed which is also called amillennialism and is coupled with replacement theology. I strongly object to replacement Theology and ammillenianism. however the thing with eschatology
    – Ruminator
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 22:37
  • But you say right now you believe we are a new age after 70 ad. How many different ages do you believe the scripture speaks of?.
    – diego b
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 22:47

4 Answers 4

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Yes, there are definite "dispensations," or "ages" in the sense that God's method of speaking and interacting with the people altered throughout time.

Heb. 1:1-3 -

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:" (KJV)

In the beginning He spoke directly to the fathers. That was one dispensation, or method and it was not limited to only one nation or tribe. He dealt that way with all of those who believed and followed after Him.

He continued to speak to those faithful of all nations (Melchizedek, Jethro, Cornelius), even while He established the congregation of Israel in the Sinai desert, fulfilling the promises to Abraham. The covenant with the children of Israel began a new method, "dispensation," or "age" during which He spoke to the tribes of Israel through Moses, and then through Joshua, and the Levitical priesthood.

The children of Israel had been "holy," that is set apart for God, as an example to all of the nations (Ex. 19:5-6). Once established in the land of Canaan, God began speaking to them through prophets and judges. The two methods or systems - the patriarchal and the Mosaic covenant - ran side by side until of the two He "hath made both one" in Christ. Eph. 2:12-17,

"12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." (KJV)

The "culmination of the ages" of 1 Cor. 10:11 is horribly translated in the KJV as "ends of the world," but is better translated in Young's as "end of the ages" The latter agrees with the Interlinear:

"these things more over [as] types happened to them were written moreover as admonition of us on whom the ends of the ages are arrived"

The ends of the ages, or the ends of the two different systems of dealing with mankind culminated in one method under the gospel of Christ during the first century AD. The destruction of the second temple and the old Mosaic sacrificial system in AD 70 was the "end" Gabriel had told Daniel would happen at the scattering of the "holy people", ie. Daniel's people.

Dan 12:6-7,

"6 and he saith to the one clothed in linen, who [is] upon the waters of the flood, `Till when [is] the end of these wonders?'

7 And I hear the one clothed in linen, who [is] upon the waters of the flood, and he doth lift up his right hand and his left unto the heavens, and sweareth by Him who is living to the age, that, `After a time, times, and a half, and at the completion of the scattering of the power of the holy people, finished are all these.'" (YLT)

Holy is Strong's Heb. 6944, "qodesh" and means separated unto God, sacred. Daniel's people had been the holy people until God made all nations one who are reconciled to Him in Christ.

The once "holy people" of the remnant of Israel were scattered at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus, the culmination of the ages, the fulfillment of all of the OT prophesy for the salvation of Israel through the Messiah! And that culmination came / arrived upon those of the first century AD, those hearing Paul's words at that church in Corinth, in that same generation in which Christ spoke to the people as stated in Heb. 1:2.

On this side of that culmination, those who are in Christ are in the last and full dispensation / age / method of the vision of Isa 2:2,

" And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, Established is the mount of Jehovah's house, Above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the heights, And flowed unto it have all the nations." (YLT)

The same vision expressed in Micah 4:1,

"And it hath come to pass, In the latter end of the days, The mount of the house of Jehovah Is established above the top of the mounts, And it hath been lifted up above the hills, And flowed unto it have peoples."

Today, all people of all nations flow into the House of God whenever and wherever they are baptized (immersed) into Christ. God only has one method or system of dealing with the people now, and that is in and through Christ.

Matt. 17:5,

"While he is yet speaking, lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, `This is My Son, -- the Beloved, in whom I did delight; hear him.'" (YLT)

John 14:6,

"...`I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one doth come unto the Father, if not through me;" (YLT)

The culmination of the ages is the gospel of Christ, which took effect in the first century AD at His crucifixion, resurrection, and the full establishment of His kingdom with power and glory in AD 70.

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  • I agree with a lot of this but disagree on the "full establishment of his kingdom" since Romans 9-11 indicates a future plan for the kingdom of Israel as well as a remnant that, though enemies of the gospel are also beloved because of their election. Quite an intricate book!
    – Ruminator
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 13:40
  • Can't read a doc written 2,000 years ago as though it was written yesterday. The future tense of the "plan" in Rom 9 was still out in front of those waiting for that kingdom. It was future to them, but it happened in their lifetime, thus the promise to them to see it. AD 70 was the glory moment.
    – Gina
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 16:59
  • I guess there are no marriages after 70 ad? Christ said In the world to come there wouldn't be marriages. We are still as the days of Noah when people are given in marriage. This 70 ad end of the age is so unbiblical.
    – diego b
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:36
  • But i won't down vote this answer because there are people who actually believe this.
    – diego b
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:37
  • @Diego, the wording is not "in the world to come" but "in the resurrection" and the answer was speaking of life in heaven, after bodily death. There is no marriage in heaven.
    – Gina
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 2:00
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The NT distinguishes between 2 ages: this age and the age to come. It’s not nearly as complicated as dispensationalists pretend. The rich, young ruler story is one of several places this terminology is employed. And the day that separates these two epochs of time is known as the day of the Lord.
When Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom had drawn near and arrived, he essentially was saying that the future blessings of the age to come were present now in his life and ministry during this age before the impending apocalypse. See G E Ladd’s book, the presence of the future and Ridderboss’s The Coming of the kingdom. The rich young ruler passage also equates eternal life with entering the kingdom. This happens immediately when we believe in Christ. It’s not something we receive after we die. Jesus first appearance inaugurated the kingdom. His second coming will mark the consummation of the kingdom when he will reign. Right now, the two ages overlap temporarily.

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    – agarza
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 3:48
  • Hi Gene, and thank you for your response. However, the problem is that Paul refers to the end of "the ages" (plural), which throws a monkey wrench into things. How might you address the plural issue?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 12:21
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In 1 Corinthians 10:11 to the end of what “ages” does Paul refer?

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NASB)

11 "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Jesus weeps as he approaches Jerusalem and makes a prophesy , concerning the destruction of the city in 70 AD by the Roman legions.

Luke 19:41-43(NASB)

41 "When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it,"

42 "Saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes."

43 "For the days will come upon you [a]when your enemies will throw up a [b]barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, "they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

The end of the ages, when did it happen?.

Many years after the death of Christ Paul wrote that Jesus "appeared" once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

Hebrews 9:26 (ESV)

26 "For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

CONCLUSION.

Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Roman armies in 70 AD under the Generalship of Titus. Historians claim that 1.1 million people were killed, and many fled to the areas around the Mediterranean. (Info from Wikipedia)

Any vestige of the Judean system ,with its priesthood, worship, and sacrifices as set out in the Law came to an end, when the Judean stronghold of MASADA was overtaken by the Romans in 73 AD.

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Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like kneading in leaven into a dough.

Mat 13:33 (LEB). He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and put into three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

If the end of the ages started with the crucifixion of Jesus, it will not reach its culmination until the very end. The concept of "the ends of the ages", is therefore a gradually appearing phenomenon, and the realization of many symbolic happenings from the Old Testament is becoming more and more relevant.

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