Prophets and the Law … until John

Matthew 11:13-14 (ESV)
13  For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John,
14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

Luke 16:16 (ESV)  “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.

Why do the majority of translations say “until John“? (The Message did not use “until John” but then it isn’t a translation and worthless for Bible Study in my opinion.)

Until, to me, implies something that proceeds and then stops at certain point.

NT:2193  Until –

(A)  Until, used as a prep. meaning unto, as long as, marking the continuance of an action up to the time of another action …

(B) By implication, meaning as long as, while, during the continuance of another action until it ends …

The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament © 1992 by AMG International, Inc. Revised Edition, 1993

So what does “until John” mean?


8 thoughts on “Prophets and the Law … until John

  1. Good question. I have heard some say that it is because with the “baptism of John” the age of the Law and prophets was ending and the age of the Kingdom was beginning.

    Also, the church is called the Bride of Christ and John calls himself the “friend of the Bridegroom” (John 3:29) He doesn’t see himself as part of the bride, perhaps denoting a distinction as well that there has been a change in program.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I would think that the “kingdom of God” is very important to the explanation of “until John” because of how the verse includes “since then“. Interesting thought about the difference between the bride and being a friend of the bridegroom.

    Still studying this, hard to find much sound information on this particular verse.

    Berean Wife

    Ma Reply:

    It is hard. I have just been reading a book on prophetic events from a reasonable dispensational mindset. It really cleared this up for me.

    Here is an excerpt if you ever want to research it further :

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Haven’t had a chance to even open the link, yet. I’m sure you can understand busy and children. 🙂

    Berean Wife

    Ma Reply:

    I can’t imagine:P

    I re-read it myself last night, and it didn’t make as much sense as I remembered…
    But there is something to it, I just don’t have all the details worked out;)

  2. Interesting nugget for us to chew on. What is your opinion on this? Does this mean that the prophets stopped at John? Does this also mean that prophecy stopped at John? Then why does Paul tell us to prophesy? Very interesting…

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I haven’t arrived at an opinion yet. However, I am contemplating more definite ideas of what it cannot mean, such as what you suggested about prophecy. So far I haven’t gotten very far. 🙁

    Berean Wife

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