Up until yesterday, I have accepted PT O'Brien's reading of Col. 1:24 as the least unsatisfactory one, and it has been my working theses for the verse.
O'Brien suggests that what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions denotes the apocalyptic expectation of a certain amount of suffering Christ's body will experience before his climactic return. I've always felt uneasy with that, but thought it's better than anything else I could come up with.
Unfortunately, all O'Brien's refs for this expectation are to verses that I no longer think are about his final return in judgement, but are about his parousia-judgement on Jerusalem in AD 70 (eg, Mark 13).
So, am I now to think:
1. O'Brien is half-right but the coming in view is AD70, not the big-E end?
2. O'Brien is completely right, and there are other Scriptural refs which make the point, which aren't about AD70?
3. O'Brien isn't right and I still don't understand Col. 1:24?
Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments box)