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In Matthew 24:34 Our Lord says

I say unto you this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.

The Greek word translated "be fulfilled" is "ginomai", Strong's number 1096. It has a broad spectrum of meanings as can be seen in Strong's Concordance.

In Mark 4:17 we read:

And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended (Mark 4:17, KJV; see also Matthew 13:21).

In this verse (and Mt 13:21) the word ginomai is translated "ariseth".

Is there a reason why it is not translated "ariseth" in Matthew 24:34?

This would mean verse Matthew 24:34 would say:

"This generation will not pass away until all these things arise" or "begin to arise".

Our Lord would then be meaning "until the things spoken of start taking place". The generation he is talking to will see evidence of these things beginning to unfold even in their own lifetimes.

Anyone with a knowledge of Greek able to say if such a translation is possible? Thanks.

3 Answers 3

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Matthew 24:34 New International Version

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

have happened.
γένηται (genētai)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

OP: "This generation will not pass away until all these things arise" or "begin to arise".

The dictionary meaning of this word allows it to be translated as "arise". However, we need to take into account of aorist tense.

Better: This generation will not pass away until all these things have arisen.

Because of the word "until", the NIV translation is better still.

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  • And what of 'until all these things are risen' ?
    – Nigel J
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:04
  • The aorist goes better with"have" than "are" which is present tense.
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:22
  • I was being subtle with 'are risen' which uses the participle 'risen' therefore something 'has arisen' but the present state is one in which the risen thing is present and is not 'in the process of arising'.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:55
  • "are risen" stresses the routine repetition: perhaps "are risen again"; "have arisen" emphasizes the distinctive consequences of a singular event: "until all these things have arisen".
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 5, 2021 at 21:12
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Consulting Robert Young's Literal Translation, in conjunction with his Analytical Concordance, I would present these points of interest.

He literally translates Matthew 24:34 & 35 as, "Verily I say to you, this generation may not pass away till all these may come to pass. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

I've included verse 35 as it continues being consistently literal when interpreting the Greek words in question. Likewise with Mark 4:17 - "and have not root in themselves, but are temporary; afterward tribulation or persecution having come because of the word, immediately they are stumbled." Note how a shoot may arise, but turn out to be temporary, wilting? That's significant for the purpose of Mt.24:34.

In all instances, Young's translation shows that something is present. There is no hint of a process, even though what is present may continue for some time. It is evidently there and is being experienced. Something has come. Of course, that does not rule out a period of time wherein those things are present, but the phrase "all things" in Mt.24:34 indicates that it's not the start of various things arising that is the point. All things have arisen within a particular generation.

Interestingly, Jesus says that when wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes happen, and false Christs arise, "the end is not yet"; that those things are but "the beginning of sorrows" (vss.4-8). There are more things to happen within one generation than that. More spectacular things will happen later, including the proclamation of the gospel to the whole world, to all nations. Perhaps that will happen the way Revelation 15:6-7 depicts, via an angel flying in mid-heaven (not necessarily literally, but by some means ordained of God). This seems to mean that the generation Jesus speaks of, the one and only that will see his spectacular return, see all those things happen. They all come together within one generation, unlike previous generations that saw some signs, such as false Christ's arising, wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes.

That is why Jesus said, "this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled." There is finality when all those things combine. They have arisen in the past (indeed, what generation has not seen most of those signs to some degree or other?) but the one generation he identifies as witnessing his return will have witnessed more than that. They will be able to testify that they have seen fulfilled all these things, not just some of them.

That is why it had to be a future generation Jesus spoke of as being the one to see his return. The people he spoke to back then did not witness the combination of all the signs associated with Christ's return. They saw the arising of many signs, but there has to be a final, unwilting culmination of all of them, within one particular generation. For that reason, Young's literal translation seems to do justice to all the nuances involved:

"Verily I say to you, this generation may not pass away till all these may come to pass." Matthew 24:34

This answer is sorely lacking in explanations of Greek words, but given the subtle distinction our Lord made between various signs arising, and a culmination of them along with more spectacular ones (like global gospel proclamation, and his chosen being gathered together from all over the world, vss.14 & 31) 'come to pass' is clearer than 'all these things arise' because things can arise only to fade away then arise again. Not so in that unique generation.

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I think the OP has answered their own question by the significant statement,

The Greek word translated "be fulfilled" is "ginomai", Strong's number 1096. It has a broad spectrum of meanings as can be seen in Strong's Concordance.

That is true. Indeed, BDAG lists ten basic meanings of γίνομαι as follows:

  1. to come into being through the process of birth or natural production, be born, be produced, eg, John 8:58, Rom 1:3, Gal 4:4, 1 Cor 15:37, Matt 21:19, etc.
  2. to come into existence, be made, be created, be manufactured, be performed, eg, Heb 11;3, Acts 19:26, Matt 11:20, 23, Luke 10:13, Acts 8:13, etc
  3. to come into being as an event or phenomenon from a point of origin, arise, come about, develop, eg, John 12:29, Rev 8:5, 11:19, Matt 8:26, Mark 4:39, etc
  4. to occur as process or result, happen, turn out, take place, eg, Matt 1:22, 26:56, 5:18, acts 20:16, Luke 1:38, etc
  5. to experience a change in nature and so indicate entry into a new condition, become something, eg, Matt 5:45, Mark 1:17, Luke 6:16, John 1:12, 12;26, etc
  6. to make a change of location in space, move, eg, Acts 20:16, 21:17, 25:15, Luke 1:44, Gal 3:14, etc.
  7. to come into a certain state or posses certain characteristics, to be, prove to be, turn out to be, eg, Matt 10:16, 13:22, Mark 4:19, etc.
  8. to be present at a given time, be there, eg, Mark 1:4, John 1:6.
  9. to be closely related to someone or something, belong to, Luke 20:145, 33, Rom 7:3, Acts 9:19, etc
  10. to be in or at a place, be in, be there, Matt 26:6, Mark 9:33, Acts 7:38, etc.

Thus, most modern versions of Matt 24:34 give the correct sense of the verb:

  • NIV: Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

  • NLT: I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.

  • ESV: Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

  • BSB: Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.

  • BLB: Truly I say to you that this generation will not have passed away until all these things shall have taken place.

  • NASB: Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

The same is true of Mark 4:17 and Matt 13:21 - the modern versions render the sense quite well.

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