Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away:

KJV Verse: 

Mark 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The universe and the earth will be surpassed but my words will not be surpassed.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ defines the universe and our world as the will of God coming into existence. I have written elsewhere that Christ's use of the term "heaven" does not conform at all to our modern idea of a Christian heaven. Rather it is a way of expressing the idea of existence outside the boundaries of our world. Both our world and the rest of what exists in an expression of God's will.

The line from the Lord's prayer translated as "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." is written from our modern Christian idea of "heaven." The Greek translated as "Your will is coming into existence as in the heaven and earth.' Heaven and earth are understood to encompass all of creation, which is why I prefer to translated as "the universe and our world."

As the universe and our world continue to change, the fullness of God's design is unfolded over time. This is understood to be the tangible result of God's will acting in the material world.

The phrase "pass away" is from a verb that means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), and "pass over". The form is the future tense. The sense here could be "pass by", "surpass", but the sense of "pass away" as in "die" is not at all clear. The word means to pass the time and can refer to times past, but it also means to "outwit" and "elude" and "be superior". It also means to "pass by" a place or to "arrive" at a place. In the Latin Vulgate, this verb was translated as "transient" which is the future, plural, active form of the word that means "to cross". In Greek, the form is neither active nor passive, but the middle form which means that the subjects are acting on themselves.

Here, Christ is saying that both the universe and our world continue to surpass themselves. It is their nature. The will of God is expressed over time. For God, the moment of creation is all time. When he pronounced the creation good, he was taking about its completeness over time. His perspective is not our perspective because we can only witness a small slice of that creation taking place during our lifetimes.

Here, however, Christ says that there is a different between the development of reality over time and the nature of his words. His words are timeless. They are not surpassed or improved upon over time. What changes over time is our perspective and understanding of his words.

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐρανοῦ "Heaven" is from ouranos (ouranos), which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

γῆ "Earth" is from (ge), which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land," "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky.

παρελεύσονται (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall...pass away" is from parerchomai, which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass (time)", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard", "pass unnoticed," "escape notice", and "pass without heeding."

δὲ "But" is from δὲ de (de), which means "but." It is the particle that joins sentences and an adversarial way.

λόγοι "Words" is from logos (logos), which means "word", "computation", "reckoning," and "value."

μου "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

οὐ μὴ "Not" is from (me), which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." It is modified by the preceding word: οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

παρελεύσονται  (verb 3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall...pass away" is from parerchomai, which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass (time)", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard", "pass unnoticed," "escape notice", and "pass without heeding."

 

Wordplay: 

The statement can be taken to mean that the abstract as expressed in words surpasses the concrete as expressed in the world and the universe.

Related Verses: