By The Holy Spirit's Disciple, Raymond Laginess
~ NO MAN KNOWETH THAT DAY ~
A huge stumbling block is encountered when one attempts to pinpoint the time of the Messiah's return. In studies and discussions of this sort, one is quickly faced with a universal objection based on Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32. Matthew 24:36 states, "but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Mark 13:32 states, "but of that day and that hour knoweth no man, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." These statements naturally support objections to setting a date and time for the return of Jesus. The meanings, however, may not be exactly what they are presumed to mean. One viewpoint is that the verses do not say that "that day and time" cannot or will not be known. In essence, they are similar to saying that no man knows when the next hurricane will strike Pensacola even though the city will know 2-5 days in advance. Since these verses in Matthew and Mark are commonly used to terminate all thoughts and discussions about setting a date for His return, they are examined somewhat in detail below.
THE WORD "KNOWETH"
To better understand what Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 when He used the word "knoweth", referenced to the Greek language is helpful. Unlike the English language where a single word can have several meanings, the Greek language has a different word for each meaning. In English a word must be used in a sentence in order to determine its meaning. In Greek the meaning of a word can be determined without knowing the context of a sentence; each meaning of a given word is indicated by different spellings. Take for example the word "love". In the English language, it must be used in separate sentences to convey the feeling of unselfish love, tender affectionate love, kindness love, or romantic sexual love. In the Greek language the word "agape" is used to describe unselfish love, "phileo" for tender affectionate love, "philanthropia" for kindness love, and "eros" for romantic sexual love.
The Greeks had eight words to express the various uses of the verb "to know". Two of these forms, "ginosko" and "oida", are used by Jesus in Matthew 24, 25, Mark 13 and throughout the New Testament. The word "ginosko" (Strong's Concordance, #1097 - The Companion Bible, appendix 132) means to understand, to be sure, to be aware of, and to have unconditional and objective knowledge. The negative use of this form of the verb means that it cannot be obtained and understood; you cannot have complete knowledge. In essence, the information or knowledge is either available and understandable or it is not. Had Jesus used this form, there would be no doubt that no one could know "of that time, not even the angels, or Jesus". Jesus did not use "ginosko". He used "oida".
The word "oida" (spelled "eido" in Strong's Concordance, #1492; "oida" in The Companion Bible, appendix 132; and Young's Analytical Concordance) is similar to "ginosko" in that it means to understand, to have knowledge, etc., but only when used in certain past tenses. When used in other tenses, as done by Jesus in Matthew 24,25 and Mark 13, its meaning is obtained from "optomai". This word (Strong's Concordance, #3700) means to understand instinctively. It is knowledge obtained without effort. Usage of "oida" in other than certain past tenses refers only to how the knowledge is obtained, not the degree of understanding as with "ginosko". The positive use of "oida", "to know", means that the information or knowledge is understood intuitively; it is obvious to the observer. The negative use of "oida", "cannot know", means that the information or knowledge is not obvious, easily seen, or understood intuitively. The negative use of "oida" in no way implies that the information or knowledge is unknowable or unattainable; it means that it takes an effort, an investigation, or study to uncover and understand it; it is there to obtain.
Keep in mind, nowhere in the world, is the time of day the same, even to days being different, as the sun rotates and the earth revolves around it. We can't know the day or hour because it changes, however, we can know the season and Jesus said many times there shall be many signs in that season. He has not kept us in darkness. The Book of Revelation is a whole book of signs of the end of times as we know them on earth, but not the end of the world yet. That comes at the end of the book of Revelation. Then the Book of Life takes over, a new period of time told to us. We do have a calendar of events, times if you will, but we shall know the last days.
All scripture based on the King James Authorized Version or 1611 Bible, New Testament only, otherwise known as THE WORD. All Old Testament scriptural references used in this article is Jewish History, not canonical, and is used as additional references.