One of them most important and powerful arguments for the correct interpretation of the Olivet Discourse and in fact much of the Bible is an understanding of the word aion. In Matt. 24:3 the disciples only ask one question with three interrelated parts:
Their question is: kai suntelaiS tou aiwnoS.
kai - and suntelaiS - completion, consummation, fulfilling, end tou - the, this, that, these, etc. aiwnoS - a unit of time (not space), age, period
There is nothing in the context of the Olivet discourse that the end of the universe (kosmos), time (chronos), or even the planet earth (ge) is in the minds of the disciples.
Read in context, they were wanting to know when Christ was coming to end the age of the Jews, end the age of the Temple and the priesthood, and the Sanhedrin, and the Pharisees, and all the things that he had just been speaking about. In Luke and Mark, there is no mention of the "end of the aion". Yet Mark records their question concerning the fulfillment (sunteleo). Within the context of those parallel passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21 we have a mixing together of your destruction of Jerusalem statements and end of time statements and it all gets confusing. The only way that those parallels make sense with that interspersion is if the disciples question had nothing to do with the end of the kosmos and everything to do with the fulfillment of the [Jewish] age (suntelaiS tou aiwnoS).
Paul writes of this in 1 Cor. 10:11:
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
His audience for that letter and he were those upon whom the end of the age (aion) had come.
The Hebrew writer also expresses this, I believe in an inescapable statement in Heb. 9:26:
For then must he [Christ] often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Christ is not going to come back at the end of time and die to put away sin again. Yet the writer says that NOW, ONCE in the end of the aion (age) Christ hath appeared (past tense) to put away sin.
Heb. 8:13 says that the Jewish covenant, the OT way of things was "waxing old and is ready to vanish away". Hebrews was written after the cross so why did the Hebrew writer state that the Old Covenant is waxing old and ready to vanish away" rather than "waxed old and is already vanished away"? Because the OT age, the Jewish age, had not ended yet. There were still OT prophecies left to fulfill, promises made under that contract He needed to keep. Namely, "if you disobey me I will destroy you" type promises.
If we understand the question(s) properly, knowing that all of Matt 24-25 and the parallels in Mark and Luke are about the destruction of Jerusalem means that Jesus did not leave any question unanswered.
I firmly believe that the disciples asked one question with two parts:
Part 1: When? Part 2: What are the signs?
Part 2 has two sections in it...
Section 1: What are the signs of they coming? Section 2: What are the signs of the fulfillment of the age?
Jesus answered all of this and it had nothing to do with the end of the kosmos.
This specific point concerning the word aion must either be acknowledged or answered before one can make any kind of case against what I have given in posts before on the Olivet Discourse.
In Truth and Love.