Questions From Readers
● Did the “last days” that Paul describes at 2 Timothy 3:1-7 have an initial fulfillment on the Jewish system of things in the first century?
The “last days” mentioned by Paul at 2 Timothy 3:1-7 refer to the time after the apostasy had had its long day under the “man of lawlessness” referred to at 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. All the matters mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 are ‘fruits’ of apostasy that are grossly apparent in our time. This does not refer to the first century, as the “man of lawlessness” was not then evident. These “last days” are therefore different from the “last hour” mentioned at 1 John 2:18, which refers to the closing period of apostolic restraint against lawlessness. This “restraint” was taken away at the death of John, the last of the apostles.—2 Thess. 2:7.
● How much was the widow’s ‘mite’?
Jesus Christ once saw a needy widow dropping two “mites” into a temple treasury chest. (Mark 12:42, Authorized Version) According to the original Greek text, each of these “mites” was a lepton, the smallest Jewish copper coin of that time. Her contribution of two lepta amounted to a mere sixty-fourth of a day’s wage. For this small sum a person might be able to buy half a sparrow, not enough for even one meal. (Matt. 10:29; the coin mentioned in this text is an assarion, the equivalent of eight lepta.) She contributed in expression of her love for the true God who was worshiped at the temple. Compared with her means, her small gift was far greater than that of those who contributed generously out of their surplus.—Mark 12:43, 44.