Responding to Gary DeMar’s Critique of My Article (Pt. 3)

DeMar is fired up, writing yet another article on July 14th, 2022. To see his article, please follow this link: “‘This Generation’ = Only the Generation of Jesus’ Day” This will be my response to his critique.

Blazing into the discussion, DeMar asserts that his two previous articles are “enough to refute Hicks’ claims that “this generation” refers to “trans-historical people” that “includes (past generations) tied to Cain, through to the contemporaries of Jesus, and will extend down until the return of Christ.” Hardly Gary. The two articles that DeMar has already posted have had two counter-rebuttals that have lacked any sort of in-depth response, see Responding to Gary DeMar’s Critique of My Article (Pt. 1) and Responding to Gary DeMar’s Critique of My Article (Pt. 2). Supposedly, ignoring my counter-arguments and not addressing anything that I wrote in my 26-page article is enough to cry “victory” for a postmillennialist.

DeMar in writing the third response is still addressing things that I wrote at the beginning, which means he has hardly addressed anything that I have actually said up until this point, as he concedes here: “Early in his 26-page article.” We haven’t moved through the articulation of my arguments yet, we will only begin to see that here, in Part 3.

DeMar asserts that “Every person dealing with the meaning of “this generation” places “an incredible amount of weight on its meaning,” otherwise why has Hicks written 26 pages to defend his interpretation of the meaning of “this generation”?” and then claims that my entire “futuristic system depends on an idiosyncratic interpretation of the meaning and application of Jesus’ use of “this generation.” His system stands or falls on it.” This line of argumentation is simply incorrect. DeMar, like anyone, should know the weight that is placed on “this generation” applies specifically within his camp. It is evident in the plethora of articles he and others have written on this subject. As I quoted in my 26-page article, Gentry uses Mt. 24:34 as a means to counteract any challenges he faces in Matthew 24. He simply reads everything through the lens of a singular verse, and so does DeMar, as I will show below. Let’s look at DeMar’s website posts written on the subject:


And trust me, there are many more on this topic and the topic of eschatology that overlaps! DeMar is obsessed with the term “this generation.” It isn’t a minor point of contention for him, he knows that if his interpretation is wrong, his position is wrong. That is why he seeks so adamantly to defend it. I have written one article in defence of my position and two counter-articles responding to Gary, my position hardly requires the effort. Add to this fact that DeMar asserts that my entire system depends on my interpretation of the text, which is pure fantasy. There are a plethora of other futuristic interpretations that are certainly used, meaning my position isn’t only hinged on this argument, whereas there is only one possible/viable interpretation for the preterist. If anything else is proposed as a viable solution based upon the evidence, preterism must be tossed. As Mayhue states, “At least seven plausible views have arisen regarding Matthew 24:34. 1. Christ was mistaken. 2. Christ was speaking of the human race in general. 3. Christ was referring to A.D. 70. This is held by preterists and non-preterists. 4. Christ spoke of faithful Christians in general. 5. Christ referred to the Jewish race generically (futurist view). 6. Christ referred to a future evil generation. 7. Christ was indicating the generation which would be alive at His future parousia.” [Richard L. Mayhue, Jesus: A Preterist or a Futurist, TMSJ 14/1 (Spring 2003) 21.] A futuristic interpretation could easily appeal to points 3, 5, 6, and 7 in Mayhue’s scheme. I even hold a variation of (Pt. 6) as I believe that it includes, but is not limited to the contemporaries. There is no requirement for a futurist to hold my view, I just believe that my view (as I have argued) better encompasses the biblical data.

DeMar then claims that I misread what he said, but in reality, I didn’t. DeMar clearly concedes that the people of his day (i.e. the contemporaries) are part of a present perverted generation. If DeMar understood his own assertion, he would know that we are making essentially the same argument. The present-day contemporaries were a part of a wicked/perverted generation, the same type/class of wicked men that have existed since Abel.

DeMar then erroneously changes the terminology of Matthew 24:34 in stating, “The point is, Jesus was specific that the events and circumstances He listed in His Olivet Discourse would take place before their generation passed away.” Notice what he has done? He has read his presuppositions into the text and changed the words to ‘their generation’ not ‘this generation’. DeMar complains about people changing the text to read “that” but then feels he can change it to “their”? His addition is a big grammatical change to the text and for DeMar, he should know that he is simply (again) begging the question by assuming his position refers exclusively to the generation spoken to. We can’t assume our position is the default correct position in a discussion/debate.

DeMar then, overconfidently states, “there won’t be a rebuilt temple to be destroyed again, another abomination of desolation, escape of Jews to the mountains after abandoning their cloaks and flat-roofed houses to fulfill some end-time prophecy because it was that generation alone that was guilty of crucifying the “Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8).” These are assertions, not valid arguments. I can say the opposite and it can be equally true. He hasn’t demonstrated that there won’t be a rebuilt temple, he hasn’t demonstrated that there won’t be another abomination (or that there frankly even was one), or that Jews won’t flee to the mountains (or that there was even a flight), he simply asserts (with no proof) that his arguments are correct.

DeMar states, “It’s not the first place I start. Anyone who has read my books Last Days Madness, Is Jesus Coming Soon?, and Wars and Rumors of Wars can see that the preterist case is built before one gets to Matthew 24:34.” Let’s test that claim, shall we?

In Is Jesus Coming Soon? we see an overwhelming trend:

The first-century preterist coming of Christ is a coming in judgment that led to the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem before that first-century generation passed away (Matt 24:34; 16:27-28).” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), vii.]

Why doesn’t soon mean soon when Jesus promised to return before that first-century generation passed away nearly 2000 years ago (Matt. 24:34).[Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 2.]

Jesus prophesied that a series of devastating events would take place before that first-century generation passed away (Matt. 24:34).” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 2.]

Jesus said there would be famines before the generation to whom He was speaking would pass away.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 3.]

Jesus’ statement that before that first-century generation passed away…” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 5.]

Is there any evidence that those who walked with Jesus applied the fulfillment of these passages to their generation?” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 5.]

He would return in judgment before that first-century generation passed away. [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 16.]

A simple examination of the way Bible commentators have interpreted Matthew 24 throughout church history will show that for centuries the phrase “this generation” in Matthew 23:36 and 24:34 was interpreted as the generation of Jesus’ day.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 17-18.]

In addition, these commentators understood that all the events prior to Matthew 24:34 referred to events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 18.]

It is critical that we allow the time texts of Matthew 23:26 [sic] and Matthew 24:34 to be our interpretive guide.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 20.]

The time text of “this generation” found in Matthew 23:36 and 24:34 is critical to the proper understanding of this prophecy.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 22.]

“…Jesus’ judgment-coming on Jerusalem that would take place before that first-century generation passed away.” [Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon, (American Vision Inc., Powdered Springs, Georgia, 2006), 23.]

Because it became obsessive, I started counting in a 68-page book to see how many times DeMar mentioned the word “generation” and do you know approximately how many times he mentioned it? 58 times. On almost every page of Is Jesus Coming Soon? DeMar makes some passing remark regarding the word “generation.” He admits “It is critical that we allow the time texts of Matthew 23:26 [sic] and Matthew 24:34 to be our interpretive guide,” and that was precisely my argument. Preterists use the time texts as an interpretive guide. It is the means by which we read through the Olivet Discourse. If the interpretive guide is challenged so is the preterists understanding of Matthew 24. That is why DeMar and other preterists don’t want you to mess with or challenge their understanding of Matthew 24:34. DeMar asserts that “verse 34 is nearly the last verse I deal with.” Which is simply false. It is one of the first verses he brings up in almost every discussion.

Let’s take a look at his analysis of Genesis 7:1 firstly,

DeMar states, “A look at Genesis 7:1 will show that “this generation” refers to Noah’s generation alone: “The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.’” The Lord is not describing the generation before him or after him. He is describing Noah’s generation. It was a single generation that endured the flood that no other generation will ever endure (9:11). “This generation” was their generation.” DeMar in arguing that “this generation” is limited to a singular generation reads his Matthean understanding back into Genesis 7:1. This is him begging the question again and evidence of his NT priority presupposition. Moses is depicting that within “this generation” (a type of wicked and evil people) he found one that was righteous, and that was Noah. How do we know that his generation carried the same wickedness as those at the time of the contemporaries? Genesis 6:9 tells us that he was blameless in his generation, why mention the blamelessness of Noah? Because the contrast makes it clear that it was about righteousness vs. unrighteousness. Noah was righteous (seed of the woman) and the generation around him was wicked (Genesis 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually). This present generation, depicted here is also used in Matthew 24:37 right after the Matthew 24:34 proof text. The contrast is between the days of Noah (where Noah was the righteous one) and this generation (where the evil and wicked types of people are in view). Again, this same contrast is made in Matthew 24:45-50 where two slaves are seen (good slave – evil slave), and again in Matthew 25:1-2 (5 foolish virgins, 5 prudent virgins), and again in Matthew 25:14-30 (faithful slave – worthless slave), and lastly at the judgment in Matthew 25:34-33 (sheep – goats). The theme is absolutely paramount and as we will see in the Deuteronomic usages (remember that Moses is the author of Genesis and Deuteronomy) and we will see the same theme again drawn out by Moses in his Song (i.e. Deut 32). Genesis 6-7 proved that there was one righteous in the midst of the evil and wicked generation.

“Matthew seems to have deliberately juxtaposed the phrase “this generation” with his account of the days of Noah in 24:37-39 in order to echo the notorious generation of the flood (Gen 7:1 LXX). The flood generation is a type of “this generation” that sees the end signs, just as the flood itself typifies the judgment that will occur at the parousia. “This generation” in 24:34 represents a long line of unbelieving, unresponsive people from the time of Noah to the end of the age.” [Neil D. Nelson, Jr. “This Generation” in Matt 24:34: A Literary Critical Perspective, JETS 38/3 (September 1996), 383-384.]

In moving to Deuteronomy 32, again DeMar concedes that we have another evil and wicked generation here. Now, the Israelites have been lumped into that evil and wicked generation. Brock Hollett, notes the technical usage here that Jesus will eventually build upon in the Gospels,

[Brock M. Hollett, Debunking Preterism: How Over-Realized Eschatology Misses the “Not Yet” of Bible Prophecy, Location 1650, Kindle]

And this is exactly where DeMar makes his mistake! Because he is so used to arguing that there is ONLY a quantitative meaning behind the text, he misses the qualitative meaning (this evil generation), which extends from Abel downwards, the entire point of Matthew 23:31-36. Had DeMar understood that there is a clear “thematic weaving,” as Hollett puts it, he wouldn’t have simply limited the text to a singular generation, “The use of “generation” in the singular is specific in its meaning and identifies a particular generation.” DeMar requires that in order to extend this beyond the present Israelites in Deuteronomy, generations must be used, but this again misunderstands the argument set forth. A limited “generation” can have qualitative attributes that extend throughout time (which is why Jesus brings up Abel, and through inference Cain). Cain is a part of this evil and wicked generation and is part of “this generation” that shares the same attributes that have come after the fall. The nation of Israel as a corporate offspring (tied to the seed of the serpent) is exactly the argument made by Jesus in John 8:39-47, “(John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as a result of sexual immorality; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from God and am here; for I have not even come on My own, but [o]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I say the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 The one who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”)

Should we limit this to only the contemporaries? Were only the contemporaries of their father the devil, or was there a perpetual corporate issue of idolatry? Clearly, the Pharisees tried to lump themselves with Abraham as his sons, but Jesus halts them because they are not of the righteous ones, the seed of the woman (Gal 3:29) but of the seed of the serpent, which has been since Genesis and is tied to Cain. DeMar misses this completely in glossing over Deut. 32:5, 20.

DeMar then wrongly asserts (Each generation is judged on its own merits or the lack thereof), which is not what Matthew 23:32 says [Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers]. Again, how is it that DeMar missed that here? He agrees that the full measure of guilt FROM THEIR FATHERS will fall upon them but then just said that each generation is judged on its own merits or the lack thereof. Which is it, DeMar? Are the contemporaries judged by “the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.” Or are they only responsible for the death of the Messiah? Which is it? The only way to solve this dilemma is to appeal to the qualitative aspect of the text because they were not present for all righteous bloodshed on the earth. They were not there for the bloodshed of Abel down to Zechariah, the prophet (as demonstrated in Part. 2 of my responses). These wicked and evil men were sons of hell (Matt 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.) The contemporaries were just like their fathers, evil and wicked. Paul affirms this reality in Philippians 2:15 (contrasting the children of God vs. the crooked and twisted generation). DeMar has completely missed the qualitative nature of the text and the technical usage that Jesus is drawing on.

DeMar, then apparently confused, states the following question “How is it possible and just (following Hicks’ view) that the guilt of turning Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified should be accounted to a yet future “this generation” of Jews who had no part in the death of Jesus?” yet this question shows that he has a.) no answer to my question “How could it be possible that the guilt of righteous bloodshed on earth be accounted to this tiny group of religious leaders at the time of Jesus?” and b.) he again doesn’t understand the position I am arguing. I will, unlike DeMar, actually answer the question. DeMar’s view holds that all bloodshed and unrighteous deeds from Abel down to Zechariah will fall on the contemporaries, who apparently never committed any of these acts (unless Zechariah was a contemporary – which is an argument from silence). DeMar is forced to believe that despite all their actions and wickedness they are responsible for all of these sins, yet where is John the Baptist, Jesus, or any other messengers mentioned within the period of AD 27-70? I personally don’t believe that the payment is yet future, the contemporaries were punished for their sins and wickedness. The contemporaries of Jesus were judged and cut off from the olive tree, the kingdom handed over to the church, and it was determined they were of the devil and sentenced to eternal hellfire, just as going forward (after the judgment in AD 70) and its eternal consequence, the evil slave is sentenced to hell (Matthew 24:51 and he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth), the worthless slave is sentenced to hell (Matthew 25:30 And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.) and the goats are sentenced to hell (Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”). All of these wicked and evil people will be consigned to the lake of fire, including the contemporaries because they are of their father the devil, and do not do the works of Abraham. That is the judgment that faces them. Stripping Israel of its importance and cutting them from the Abrahamic blessing was part of the judgment that they faced in murdering the Messiah, but the larger theme here is the (seed of the serpent vs. the seed of the woman). The future generation is not responsible for the death of Jesus, all those within their own generation are responsible for their own sins, however, all those within the type/class of wickedness face the consequence of eternal damnation. This notion of dueling seeds carries on until the Lord returns and all these things (Mt. 24:4-31) are fulfilled.

DeMar, then quickly moves away from this discussion to discuss the grammar of “genea” something that should have been done in his Part 1. The fallback argument for DeMar is that even though we see a qualitative aspect tied to genea, what matters is the near demonstrative. This is where presuppositions cloud a brother into seeing what they want to see, not what is actually there. DeMar, quickly ignored the pejorative connotation, the same connotation used by Moses in Deut. 32:5, 20. This mentality doesn’t allow him to see the technical usage of genea. The fixing of adjectives like “faithless, twisted, evil, adulterous, sinful, crooked” allow us to see where Jesus is drawing His material from. He isn’t just coming up with a new term that is restrictive to a singular generation. It does allow for that but it doesn’t limit that.

In response to Thayer’s usage, DeMar has missed the point. Thayer chooses to lump together two texts with Matthew 24:34, while purposefully separating off other texts that use genea to speak of the Jewish race living at one and the same period (DeMar’s position). Thayer uses Matthew 24:34 flexibly when it comes to genea, DeMar uses it rigidly. This was merely an observation.

Notice, that when we get to Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich [BDAG], DeMar purposefully leaves out information, here is his quote “[γενεά]: the sum total of those born at the same time, expanded to include all those living at a given time and freq[uently] defined in terms of specific characteristics, generation, contemporaries… Jesus looks upon the whole contemp[orary] generation of Israel as a uniform mass confronting him (cp. Gen 7:1;[2] Ps 11:8) Mt 11:16; 12:41f; 23:36**; 24:34; Mk 13:30;** Lk 7:31; 11:29-32, 50f; 17:25; **21:32** … the time of a generation, _age _(as a rule of thumb, the time between birth of parents and the birth of their children).” The information that is pertinent to my argument is completely ignored by DeMar, why? Because of presuppositions. Let’s see what was missing in his quotation:

“This generation is characterized as ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη Mt 17:17; Mk 9:19; D. Lk. 9:41; ἄπιστος Mk 9:19; πονηρᾷ Mt 12:45, 16:4; μοιχαλίδι καὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ Mk 8:38.” [Walter Bauer, Frederick William Danker, W.F. Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature [BDAG], 2nd ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), 154.]

As Snow, says “In addition to denoting time of birth, “generation” in Hebrew and Greek can also refer more generally to “common characteristics” (cites BDAG in f.n. 2), or, we might say, it can have more of a qualitative meaning that allows it to be applied in a “transhistorical” way to a group of people living across thousands of years.” [Travis M. Snow, The 70 Week Jubilee: Israel, The Messiah, and the End of the Age in Daniel 9:24-27, (Shiloh Media, Dallas, Texas, 2021, 347.]

In leveraging BDAG, DeMar has chosen to wrongfully and I would argue deceptively leave out the part that speaks to the “characterization” that accompanies the term, thereby cherry-picking the lexical data. The lexical data contrary to DeMar’s assertion of “not some distant unnamed generation or a certain type of generational behavior,” is erroneous. BDAG clearly states that there is a qualitative aspect of genea.

Lastly, DeMar goes after Colin Brown in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology where again, he cherry-picks the information. Notice what DeMar quotes, Brown’s section as it relates to Morganthaler, not his statements re: “genea”. Let’s look at what Brown says about Matthew 24:34:

“2. Almost all the remaining NT genea-passages speak of “this generation” (he genea haute). This construction in Greek, with the demonstrative regularly following its noun, is clearly the equivalent of haddor hazzeh. It is interesting that the OT does not know this stereotyped phrase in its NT sense, though Ps. 12:7 comes very close to it (cf. Gen. 7:1; Exod. 1:6; Deut. 1:35). In these passages the demonstrative has a pejorative character, i.e. the reference is to a class of people who in this world stand over against the children of light and are further described as faithless (Mk. 9:19), faithless and perverse (Matt. 17:17), adulterous (Mk. 8: 38), evil and adulterous (Matt. 12:39), evil (Lk. 11:29), crooked (Acts 2:40), crooked and perverse (Phil. 2:15). The Song of Moses in Deut. 32 (vv. 5 and 20) seems here to have had a certain influence on the wording. In these passages the temporal, “genealogical” element is completely absent. The emphasis lies entirely on the sinfulness of this class, this type of people. 3. In Jesus’ discourse about the future the phrase clearly bears this second meaning: Mk. 13:30; Matt. 24:34; Lk. 21:32. Indeed, in every other NT passage where haute forms part of this phrase, it has the same pejorative character. But since the discourse refers to this genea “passing away”, the temporal, genealogical element is also present, though of secondary importance. By using this phrase, Jesus appears to set a time limit for certain events, and the question then is: Which events are they? There are various conflicting views.” [Colin Brown, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol. 2 (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976), 36.]

DeMar, in again cherry-picking the evidence, has completely and utterly ignored all counter-evidence that stands in his way. Brown, states that the demonstrative has a pejorative character, referring to a class of people who would stand against the children of light, and as I have stated the Song of Moses has clearly had an influence on the wording used by Jesus. Brown states that the temporal aspect (genealogical element) is of secondary importance. The main theme as Brown points out is the pejorative nature and connotation of the wording. Brown, here completely refutes DeMar and again, this is why DeMar has chosen not to cite this portion.  

DeMar, in attempting to respond to the qualitative position has merely dug himself a deeper grave. He has ignored my argument re: how generation is used across the NT, he has failed to sufficiently argue that his understanding of Zechariah in Matthew 23:35 is correct, he has not been able to answer my question re: Ezekiel 18, nor my contention of how could it be possible that the guilt of righteous bloodshed on earth be accounted to this tiny group of religious leaders at the time of Jesus, or my arguments from Genesis 3:15, 1 John 3:12, John 8:44, Hebrews 3:10, Matthew 25. Much has been left untouched, yet DeMar cries victory. Much of what I have seen here is a complete denial to look at all the evidence fairly and without bias. I have tried to corroborate the evidence fairly across both OT and NT and DeMar continues to fixate himself on a “wooden” literalism that doesn’t allow for flexibility. As I have shown, my position better encompasses all the data.


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