DOES JESUS KNOW THE DAY OF HIS RETURN?
My Answer by Keith Hunt
If you have studied from some of my personal studies on this
Website, you will have come to know there are times I really like
to roll up my sleeves, and do some in-depth technical study. This
is one of those times.
A religious publication I receive monthly, on the subject of does
Christ know THE day of His return we read this:
Nevertheless, many in the past have been dissuaded from
investigating the subject of prophecy, particularly its
marvellous timing, by the alleged words of our Lord as they are
given in the King James Version: "But of that day and that hour
knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither
the Son, but the Father." (Mark 13:32).
Many a would-be Bible researcher has been discouraged at the very
outset, believing that if Jesus, with all His wisdom, did not
possess such vital information, to spend time in the study of
such a subject would be futile and its problems would lead to no
It has been brought to light, however, that the above quoted
statement attributed to our Lord has been in adequately
translated. The following exegesis in the this text is
presented here in the hope that a better comprehension of Jesus'
words will dispel and stimulate a keener interest in the
prophecies of men of God who spoke as the Spirit of the Lord gave
them utterance. In his book, "The Scripture of Truth" Mr.Sidney
Collett draws attention to the importance of a correct
understanding of what Jesus actually said:
"There is abroad among the critics a blasphemous suggestion that
our Lord's testimony on this subject is invalidated because, they
dare say, He partook of the ignorance and shared in the
prejudices of His day. To support their theory they refer to Mark
13:32.... It ought, however, to be more widely known that the
Greek, translated "but," consists of two words, the simple
English of which is "if not" - thus, 'ei' equals "if" and 'me'
equals "not." The late Archbishop Trench, one of the greatest
authorities on words, when lecturing to a London college, called
attention to this about fifty years ago, and it can be seen by
anyone on reference to a good Greek lexicon. So that the clause
should read, "neither the Son if not the Father." In other words,
[Jesus said] "If I were not God as well as man, even I should not
know." We have exactly the same thought in John 9: 33, where
these two Greek words are rightly translated "if not"; vis., "if
(ei) this man were not (me) of God, He could do nothing."
This treatise confirms the accuracy of the above argument, for we
who are watching are not in ignorance concerning "that day" (I
Thess.5: 1-5), the rapid approach of which is heralded by
event-signs, confirmed by Divine timing, which mark this as the
generation upon whom the end of the age has come......
We are led to believe you must understand the phrase "neither the
Son if not the Father" should be "If I were not God as well as
man, even I should not know."
I first submit that this is a large leap to understand the phrase
that way. Jesus often spoke to the Father; the Father was a
separate person from Himself. All through the Gospel of John this
is made very clear; the Father was in heaven; the Father had sent
Jesus; the Father was the Father, and Jesus was NOT the Father;
the Father was the One Jesus spoke to and prayed to. The Greek
word for "Father" is number 3962 in Strong's Concordance of the
Bible, and it is given as meaning: 'pat-ayr' - a prim. word; a
"father" (lit. or fig., near or remote):- father, parent.
Now the Greek word used hundreds of times in the NT for "God" is
number 2316 in Strong's Con. It is "thehos" and of course it refers to
God the Father in many many passages and to Jesus in passages
like John 10:33; 20:28. So within a context Jesus can be known as
"God" - can be called "God" and is so, in some passages of the
NT. But here in Mark 13:32 Jesus does not use the word "thehos"
(God) but uses "patayr" - meaning Father. And the Father is not
Jesus and Jesus is not the Father, they are TWO separate spirit beings,
being in the Godhead, yes, but one is not the other. The argument
given above is that we should understand Jesus as saying "If I
were not God as well as man, even I should not know." The major
problem is that Jesus did not use the Greek "thehos" (God) but
the direct word "patayr" meaning "father". IF Jesus had used
"patayr" and not "thehos" it would literally mean, as the argument
above wants us to go wih - "If I were not Father as well as man,
even I should not know."
Such an understanding as this would be contrary to all the basic
truth, time after time in the NT; that truth being Jesus was not the
Father, and the Father was not Jesus. While BOTH of them can be
called God, the one is not the other.
Sure some "Trinitarians" have such a foggy and blurry teaching of
the trinity Godhead, they would argue the Godhead is One entity
that can manifest into either Father or Son, or Holy Spirit,
anytime, and I guess all three at any given time. Such dizzy and
mind-bending ideas as this kind of trinity for God is truly from
planet Pluto. I suppose that is why they tell you it is
impossible to understand God, or as they would say, the trinity God.
On the other hand the Bible makes it clear, especially the NT,
that God the Father is NOT God the Son, and visa versa.
So what other technicalities like the above argument about,
'ei' equals "if" and 'me' equals "not" has little bearing on the
basic truth of the whole sentence. Words must often be taken in
the CONTEXT. As Jesus was using the Greek "patayr" - the Father,
and as He well knew HE was NOT the Father, He could not have been
saying, "If I was not the Father as well as man, even I should
You can look up in just about every Bible, every translation of
the NT and you will find they have translated it as given in the
KJV. Not that that proves anything per se. But I think there is
a very valid reason why all translations thus give it as in the
Green's Greek/English Interlinear gives it as in the KJV.
Berry's Greek/English Interlinear gives it as in the KJV.
I've just looked in:
The Amplified Bible; Fenton's Bible; The Complete Jewish Bible;
The Good News Bible; The NIV; New American Standard; The everyday
Bible; New Living Translation; The Lamsa Bible, from ancient
Not one of them come CLOSE to translating the idea given above;
they all translate the Greek as in the KJV or wording it a little
different but meaning the same as the KJV.
The Greek "ei" as given in The Analytical Greek Lexicon (1977)
ei conj, "if," Mat.4:3,6; 12.7; Ac.27.39, et al. freq.; "since,"
Ac.4:9, et al. "whether," Mar.9.23; Ac.17:11, et al., "that," in
certain expressions, Ac.26.8,23; He.7:15; by a suppression of the
apodotence, of a sentence, ei serves to express a wish; "O if!"
"O that!" Lu.19.42; 22.42; also a strong negation, Mar.8.12;
He.3.11; 4.3; ei kai, "if even," "though," "although," Lu.18.4,
et al.; ei un, "unless," "except," Mat.11.27, et al.; also
equivalent to alla, "but," Mat.12.4; Mar.13.32; Lu.4.26.27; ei
unri, "unless perhaps," "unless it be" Lu.9.13, ei ris, ei ri,
pr. "if any one;" "whoever," "whatsoever," Mat.18.28, et al. The
syntax of this particle must be learnt from the grammars. As an
interrogative particle, "whether," Ac.17.11, et al.; in N.T. as a
mere note of interrogation, Lu.22.49, et al.
For the Greek "me" the same Lexicon above states:
a particle of negation, "not," for the particulars of its usage,
especially as distinguished from that of ou, see grammars; as a
conjunction, "lest," "that not," Mat.5.29,30; 18.10; 24.6;
Mar.13.36; prefixed to an interogative clause, is a mark of tone,
since it expresses an intimation either of the reality of the
matters respecting which the question is asked, Mat.12.23, et
al.; or the contrary, Jn.4.12, et al.
You may be thoroughly lost with the explanations above. But all
the Greek scholars that have looked at the translation of what
Jesus said in Mark 13:32 is as the KJV translators rendered it.
Here is the reason why.
I've often said that God writes His word in ways to explain one
verse or phrase in one passage, with a phrase dealing with the
same issue and point being made, where it is put in slightly
different words, which cannot be missed as the truth of the
matter. It is one of the keys to correct Bible understanding -
all verses on any subject MUST be taken into account. If you do
NOT, then you can be easily led into a false idea, and so it goes
as some Bible critics say, "Well you can prove anything with the
Turn to Matthew 24. We will start in verse 36. This is how Green in
his Greek/English Interlinear translated the Greek:
"But day that and the hour no one knows, neither the angels of
the heaven, ei un o (1508 Strong's #) except the Father of me
Notice the wording is slightly different from Mark. The words
"nor the Son" are NOT in Matthew.
There can be NO WAY AROUND IT! Jesus in Matthew, says NO ONE
KNOWS, not even the angels in heaven. The last part of the
sentence is different in Matthew, than Mark. If we take 'ei me'
as "if not" it would still read: But day that and the hour no one
knows, neither the angels of the heaven, if not the except the
Father of me only..."
Jesus does not mention Himself here but only that the Father was
of Him, in other words the Father was the Father of Jesus. And in
this sentence it is clear that the Father was the ONLY ONE person
to know the day and hour of Christ's return to earth, to
establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
Berry in his Greek/English Interlinear translated the Greek here
in Matthew as:
"But concerning the day that and the hour no one knows, not even
the angels of the heaven, BUT (ei me - if not) my Father only."
Jesus does not use Himself in Matthew as in Mark. Jesus is saying
the same thing both in Matthew and Mark. Putting the two verses
together, gives you the truth. It is ONLY the Father that knows
the day and hour Jesus will be sent back to this earth.
That may shock some "trinitarians" but the truth of the Bible is
in stark contrast to many "Christian theologians" and what they
believe and teach about God and the Bible. There is a Godhead!
Did you know that? The NT says so. And further to that did you
know that the Father is head of Christ, just as Christ is head of
man, and man is head of the woman. Get out your Bible....MARK it
in red....it is in 1 Cor.11:3. Clear as a cloudless day in the
Now it is written, "is there anything impossible for God." I
guess there is not! He can do what He likes, when He likes, how
He likes, with whom He likes. If He has ordered, set, that ONLY
He can know the day and hour of Christ's return; what's that to you?
He's the boss you know. Just be thankful that there is a day and
hour when Jesus will come again to earth.
Yes, Jesus DOES NOT KNOW the day when the Father will send Him back
to earth! Do you think Jesus is all upset over it, getting His nose
out of joint as we say. Do you think he's sulking around? Do you think
He's complaining? If you think anything like that you'd better go and
read the gospel of John and discover or re-discover the relationship
Jesus has with the Father....it was whatever was the Father's WILL,
that was good enough for Him.
Jesus sits at the RIGHT HAND of God the Father. He does not sit
on top of, or inside of, the Father. He sits at the right hand of the
throne that the Father sits on in heaven. Read the book of Revelation.
God the Father is the head of Christ, so it is written.
Jesus does not HAVE to know the day and hour when the Father will
say it's time to return to earth. Jesus is very happy thank you,
in knowing THERE WILL BE a day when He is to return and save the
world from blasting itself to bits and killing every person upon
Oh, that verse given above in the fellow's argument - 1 Thes.5:4.
Well it ain't talking about that day that Jesus will return. The
context is the coming of the "day of the Lord" and its about some
saying peace, then "sudden destruction" coming. The prophetic day
of the Lord is a day for a year in prophecy; it is the last year
of this age, when the 7th seal of the book of Revelation is
opened. And we certainly need not be in darkness, we sure will be
able to see the signs which have already taken place on earth,
leading us up to that day of the Lord. You can be in the light,
for I have expounded to you in detail the prophecies of your
Bible in many studies on this Website.
You just have to not fall asleep, as do others; but watch
and be sober (verse 6).
Then in so doing you will be ready no matter what day and what
hour the Lord Jesus Christ comes in power and glory.
Keith Hunt (February 2010)