That Day and Hour

That Day and Hour

(Extract from the book, “Prophecy on Mount Olivet” by Arlen L. Chitwood, pages 103-105)

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but My Father only. (Matt.24:36) The words, “neither the Son”, are not found in the KJV, but these words are found in several of the better Greek manuscripts and is so translated in most later English versions like ASV, NASB and NIV.

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Mark 13:32)

The children of God, through the signs of the times, can know the nearness of the Lord’s return. The Lord has seen fit to supply His people with an abundance of information in this realm. But we cannot know the day or the hour. These specifics are reserved for the “Father only” (Matt.24:36; Mark 13:32).

Within this framework, some Christians have been disturbed by the words, “neither the Son” in the above two verses, because these words give us the thought that even Christ Himself did not know the day and hour of His return, which, of course, would reflect upon His deity.

Seeing this problem, some expositors have called attention to self-imposed limitations in connection with Christ’s incarnation and appearance “in the likeness of sinful flesh” on the earth (Rom.8:3; Phil.2:6, 7). Though viewing the matter after this fashion may seemingly solve the problem, the text actually teaches something quite different. Correctly translated, the text is really a direct allusion to the deity of Christ, showing to the ones being addressed that He was exactly Who He claimed to be.

The Greek words ei me, appearing in both Matt.24:36 and Mark 13:32, and translated “but” in both these passages, are the key to a correct understanding of these passages. Possibly the best comments on the matter were those given many years ago by Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886) as he was expounding on these words in Mark 13:32:

“The late Archbishop Trench, one of the greatest authorities on words, when lecturing to a London college, called attention to the fact that in the last part of this verse [‘but the Father’], the two Greek words ei me, translated ‘but’ really mean ‘if not.’ The Greek word ei equals ‘if’ and the Greek word ‘me’ equals ‘not.’ Archbishop Trench understood this verse to mean, ‘If I were not God as well as man, even I would not know the day nor the hour.’

“Mark 13:32 corrected will read thus: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son if not the Father.’ In other words, Jesus says that if He were not the Father He would not know.

We have these same two Greek words ‘ei me’ in John 9:33 and they have been correctly translated ‘if not’ ― ‘If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’

Selected writings of A. Edwin Wilson

Thus, Matt.24:36 and Mark 13:32, rather than showing self-imposed limitations of the Son, or a non-deity status of the Son (as claimed by certain cults), are two of the most straightforward verses in the New Testament bearing witness to the Son’s true identity. He is one with the Father, possessing the same attributes. If He were not God, He would not know the day and hour of His return; but He is God, and He consequently does know.

ਪਰ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਅਤੇ ਘੜੀ ਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਣਦਾ, ਨਾ ਸੁਰਗ ਦੇ ਦੂਤ ਨਾ ਪੁੱਤ੍ਰ ਪਰ ਕੇਵਲ ਪਿਤਾ (ਮੱਤੀ 24:36)

ਪਰ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਯਾ ਉਸ ਘੜੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਖੇ ਕੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਣਦਾ, ਨਾ ਸੁਰਗ ਦੇ ਦੂਤ, ਨਾ ਪੁੱਤ੍ਰ, ਪਰ ਕੇਵਲ ਪਿਤਾ (ਮਰਕੁਸ 13:32)

उस दिन और उस घड़ी के विषय में कोई नहीं जानता, न स्वर्ग के दूत और न पुत्र, परन्तु केवल पिता (मत्ती 24:36)

उस दिन या उस घड़ी के विषय में कोई नहीं जानता, न स्वर्ग के दूत और न पुत्र; परन्तु केवल पिता (मरकुस 13:32)