I've recently been doing some N.T. study relating to the chronological order in which the books where written. I decided to read the books that Biblical scholars agree are the earliest written books, figuring that the earliest writtings would most accurately represent what those of the period thought had occured and what it meant. These books are Mark (written 15-25 years after Jesus crucification) and 7 of Pauls letters (universally agreed to be authentic Paul and the earliest writings, Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galations, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon).
I slowly and deliberately took my time reading through these books. One thing that stuck out to me was that they present a perspective that the end of the word was soon, within a generation, 30-60 years. Mark 9:1, Mark 13, versus 30, 33,35,36,37 key within the chapter, Roman 16:20, 1 Thess. 4:13,15,17, and 5:4, 1 Corinth 7, verse 29 key, 15:51-52. Paul seems quite convinced that he will be alive to see the end. Jesus, tells his disciples that some of them will be alive to see the end.
Has anyone read these books from the perspective of who the authors where addressing and the time period they where addressing them? What do you make of this? Maybe I'm reading them wrong. Take a look and tell me what you think.