A Harmony of the Gospel Accounts of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21)

A Parallel Presentation of All the Gospel Accounts of the Olivet Discourse

In the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24 Jesus discussed two questions posed by the apostles:

    • When will the destruction of the temple be?
    • What is the sign of thy coming and the end of the world?

Understanding the timeline of Matthew 24 is difficult unless you realize “this generation” in verse 34 refers to the parable of the fig tree (Mt 24:32).  The fig tree is the nation of Israel (Joel 1:7).  The nation of Israel “budded” after a long dormancy in 1948.  One or more in the generation alive in 1948 will live to see the coming of Christ.  With that understanding, the various texts can be harmonized.

The reader should note that Matthew 24 does not even specifically discuss the AD 70 Destruction of Jerusalem (DOJ), yet there are many that try to force all of Matthew 24 into a figurative description of the DOJ.  It doesn’t work, because of the flawed hermeneutic these expositors use.  They declare a text to be symbolic because the literal meaning does not agree with their theology, and they then use arbitrary word association to contrive a supposed meaning for the text.  That is not a valid approach to Bible study and must be shunned by those that would understand God’s word.

The following charts chronologically align the texts of the various passages having to do with the Olivet Discourse plus some other relevant passages such as Luke 17.  By arranging the texts in a chronological layout many of the difficulties that arise from reading just one of the Olivet Discourse accounts are clarified.






This link provides a download of the harmonized scriptures in single document.


About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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