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The POPE makes an interesting TECHNOLOGY prediction

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A paper from the local Vatican press office, http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino.html , L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO, has reported on a speech that Pope Francis gave last month while looking out from above Vatican Square and addressing a crowd of visitors below. Most of the speech was intended as spiritual encouragement in a changing world. I'll only attempt to quote a very small portion of the article that deals with a specific technical prediction:

  • Looking out over a crowd of persons, mostly tourists in Vatican Square, Pope Francis was no doubt responding to the sea of smartphones aimed up at him. To the delight of the crowd, his apparently unscripted speech veered into the arena of technical forecasting, and he made an astounding prediction. He began by saying that it was now hard to imagine that so many past generations lived without ever seeing the many inventions that we now take for granted. He said that the current generation has seen a lot of changes in their lifetimes, too, but that the younger generation has already grown up on iPods, iPads and iPhones, and that they take these things for granted to such an extent that they will not be surprised in the least if they find themselves getting from town to town in self-flying cars long before their own generation passes away. This is where the Pope, evidently paying some homage to the Olivet sermon, added: "But truly I tell you that this generation will not pass away before self-flying cars will be taking us from one town to another, and even from one part of town to another."

The above sermon never happened (as far as I know) which is why I put this in "controversial posts." It's fake news. I know it is fake because I just made it all up myself 2 minutes ago. 

I made it up because we just don't talk enough about the meaning of the term "this generation," as found in Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32.

I use the example because it addresses the fact that generations overlap. Even in Jesus' day, let's say that the average person lived to be 65 years old and the average person got married and had a son at age 25.  And if that son grew up the same, and his son grew up the same, etc., then any person hearing Jesus would, on average, be alive for a few years while their grandparents were still alive, and their first 40 years while their own father was still alive, and their last 40 years while their son was still alive, and their last 15 years while their grandson was still alive. For most of their life there would be 3 overlapping generations. The length of time between each new generation was about 25 years, using this example.

Yet, it's also obvious that when Jesus said "this generation" that he didn't need to be addressing only the youngest generation that was just then coming up. He was more likely addressing the entire group of all overlapping generations and treating them as if they were one group of people who would not completely die out before they saw "these things occur." (Remember that the original question was "When will these things occur?" (Referring to the destruction of Jerusalem's temple when not a stone will be left upon a stone.) It occured 37 years later, so that even a 50+ year old grandparent might live to see it, and even a 25+ year old father would very likely live to see it, and his children in the very youngest generation would almost all live to see it.

So we can easily see that Jesus was more likely referring to all these overlapping generations as contemporaries. Meaning, all these people who were then alive at the same time. So the question might come up:

Could Jesus have been addressing people who had not been born yet?

There would be people born over the next 37 years who would also see the destruction of the Temple ("these things") occur. That would be natural. But is that who Jesus was addressing, or was he addressing all the people alive (contemporaries) in the audience?

Scripture becomes very flexible when we need it to mean something that it never meant, but we are less forgiving when it comes to contemporary humans who claim they meant something when they said something else. For example, what would we think if 50 years from now, people still weren't seeing these flying cars, and supporters of the Pope starting claiming that he didn't mean his own generation, or the generation of parents, but he meant only the youngest generation of children, the ones who were just then growing up on their iPads and iPhones? That's clearly not what he meant, but we'll accept the possible interpretation as not too far off. But what if 100 years from the time of the speech, even that younger generation had died off?

Now the only possible way that the Pope could be right is for people to defend him by saying that the Pope meant that these things would be seen by people who had not yet been born at the time of the "speech." He meant that as the people died out and didn't yet see it, that they would overlap with a new group of people, born as many as 80 or 90 years after the speech, whose lives might have just barely overlapped with those who had actually heard the speech in Vatican Square. They would start to claim that this is the real meaning of the term "this generation." 

At this point we would probably think that those defenders of the Pope were just lying.

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POPE FRANCIS TRIES HIS HAND AT TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS A paper from the local Vatican press office, http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino.html , L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO, has report

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