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Old 09-25-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
Decypher
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Default Jesus' prediction of the destruction of the temple

I'm interested in Jesus' (reported) prediction of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.

Quote:
Matthew 24

[1] And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
[2] And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Quote:
Luke 19

[41] And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
[42] Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
[43] For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
[44] And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Can anyone quote/reference scholars that comment on the historicity of these predictions? Do they really go back to Jesus?

Also, I'm interested in non-supernatural explanations for the reported predictions. (e.g. they were created after the event actually happened.)


Quote:

Bart D. Ehrman wrote: “We know with relative certainty that Jesus predicted that the Temple was soon to be destroyed by God. Predictions of this sort are contextually credible given what we have learned about other prophets in the days of Jesus. Jesus’ own predictions are independently attested in a wide range of sources (cf. Mark 13:1, 14:58; John 2:19; Acts 6:14). Moreover, it is virtually certain that some days before his death Jesus entered the Temple, overturned some of the tables that were set up inside, and generally caused a disturbance. The account is multiply attested (Mark 11 and John 2) and it is consistent with the predictions scattered throughout the tradition about the coming destruction of the Temple”

http://www.preventingtruthdecay.org/19jp.shtml
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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A couple quick thoughts. Of the 4 gospels, only Mark is consistently said to have been written before the destruction of the temple by most scholars. Some conservative scholars/theologians try to place Luke and Matthew before the temple destruction, but there certainly is no general agreement at this point. The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV), states that both of these Gospels were written after 70AD.

And even Mark is only "thought" to be written prior to 70AD per the New Oxford Annotated Bible. And the author isn't even known for sure. The oldest significant portion of Mark is p45, usually dated to around 250AD, and still doesn't have Chapter 13, with the temple prediction. And which ending does one even pick for Mark? Yeah, lots of choices to make...

Unless one considers the Christian Bible(s) to be God-breathed or such, it seems more likely that the writers embellished their stories with things already known and projected predictions into the past. Even if you are Christian and believe that this was a real prediction, it still requires faith, as there is no archeological/textual evidence either way. The oldest known substantial copies of any of the books of the NT are from the late 2nd century, many generations after the purported Jesus saga. We have no extant records from the time in which Jesus lived that support his supernatural tales. Mark is about as close as it gets, and it was supposedly written around 65AD, still 30 plus years after Jesus’ purported death. Paul is said to have written earlier, but he never met the physical Jesus. So his claims rely upon the same kind of supernatural explanation as does Joseph Smith, but with an extra 1800 years of foggy history. The "supernatural" explanations is the version that needs explaining...
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funinspace View Post
A couple quick thoughts. Of the 4 gospels, only Mark is consistently said to have been written before the destruction of the temple by most scholars.
There's a verse in Mark 13 where Jesus says the destruction is worse than anything from creation "until this time" (i.e. "now" rather than "then") pretty much admitting that it was written after AD 70 and not a prediction.

The way Mark implies Jesus return will follow the destruction also proved embarrassing; John 20 tries to rectify this by having Jesus return within a week of his resurrection.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by funinspace View Post
A couple quick thoughts. Of the 4 gospels, only Mark is consistently said to have been written before the destruction of the temple by most scholars.
There's a verse in Mark 13 where Jesus says the destruction is worse than anything from creation "until this time" (i.e. "now" rather than "then") pretty much admitting that it was written after AD 70 and not a prediction.

The way Mark implies Jesus return will follow the destruction also proved embarrassing; John 20 tries to rectify this by having Jesus return within a week of his resurrection.
I see I was adding my new 2nd paragraph as you replied, pointing out that Mark also has a poor history. Personally, I wouldn't quibble so much about the tenses used...
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Bart D. Ehrman wrote: “We know with relative certainty that Jesus predicted that the Temple was soon to be destroyed by God. Predictions of this sort are contextually credible given what we have learned about other prophets in the days of Jesus. Jesus’ own predictions are independently attested in a wide range of sources (cf. Mark 13:1, 14:58; John 2:19; Acts 6:14). Moreover, it is virtually certain that some days before his death Jesus entered the Temple, overturned some of the tables that were set up inside, and generally caused a disturbance. The account is multiply attested (Mark 11 and John 2) and it is consistent with the predictions scattered throughout the tradition about the coming destruction of the Temple”
Just because the New Testament claims something doesn't make it "relatively certain". As surviving manuscripts of the New Testament all post-date the destruction of the Temple we can't be sure that these prophecies weren't put into Jesus's mouth by the evangelists long after the events in question. Even so, if there were lots of prophets running around predicting the fall of the Temple then Jesus's alleged prophecies in this regard don't look special or unique any more. (I can't help thinking of the scene in Life of Brian where half a dozen prophets are standing next to each other in the street ranting away.)

Far from being "independently/multiply attested in a wide range of sources" we only have the gospels, at least three of which (Mt, Mk, Lk) are not independent of each other. And although the Synoptics say that Jesus upset the apple-carts in the Temple "some days before his death", John places this story near the beginning of Jesus's ministry, which supposedly lasted three years.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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Topic better suited for HAR. Moved from GRD.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Anyone in the times would have seen a likely bad end for Israel. Jewish nationalism, temple collusion with Rome, and Roman intolerance for resistance of any kind.

It would have been self evident with nothing mystical about such a prophecy. No more mystical than considering an attack on Syria today could ignite a regional Mid East meltdown.

As I understand it the temple of the times was akin to our modern Christian industry, big profits and a wealthy religious elite.

The JC of the stories was not at odds with Rome, he was at odds with the Jewish religious elite establishment.


From another thread the prophesy may have been added as part of the embellishment of the gospels for latter day reasons. The character needed a mystical foundation, and Jewish prophets had a long tradition.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Before the Jesus story was fabricated it was already known or believed by Jews that the book of Daniel predicted the destruction of the Temple and the Holy City by the Romans.

Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 10.11.
Quote:
In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them....
In fact, after the fall of the Temple, Josephus wrote nothing of the predictions of Jesus of Nazareth but of the predictions of Jesus son of Ananus.

Wars of the Jews 6.5.3
Quote:
....there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (23) began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!"
There was no character known to Jews as Jesus of Nazareth the Messianic ruler and Son of God who made predictions about the Fall of the Temple in the 1st century.

Josephus works were finally composed some time around the end of the 1st century.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
outhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_bnk View Post
Anyone in the times would have seen a likely bad end for Israel. Jewish nationalism, temple collusion with Rome, and Roman intolerance for resistance of any kind.

It would have been self evident with nothing mystical about such a prophecy. No more mystical than considering an attack on Syria today could ignite a regional Mid East meltdown.

As I understand it the temple of the times was akin to our modern Christian industry, big profits and a wealthy religious elite.

The JC of the stories was not at odds with Rome, he was at odds with the Jewish religious elite establishment.


From another thread the prophesy may have been added as part of the embellishment of the gospels for latter day reasons. The character needed a mystical foundation, and Jewish prophets had a long tradition.

I agree.

Its been one of my positions for a long time.

Might even be a parallel to the "coming kingdom of god" God was coming at any minute for traditional Jews. If any Jew could have been called that in the first century.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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I agree especially with the paragraph before last. If Josephus had known the Baby Apocalypse of Mk 13, let alone Mt 24 and Lk 21, he certainly would have made mention of it in his Jewish Wars like he did with Jesus Ben Ananias. Heck, if he knew anything about the character, so long as he got crucified by Pilate... as was allegedly done, of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aa5874 View Post
Before the Jesus story was fabricated it was already known or believed by Jews that the book of Daniel predicted the destruction of the Temple and the Holy City by the Romans.

Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 10.11.
Quote:
In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them....
In fact, after the fall of the Temple, Josephus wrote nothing of the predictions of Jesus of Nazareth but of the predictions of Jesus son of Ananus.

Wars of the Jews 6.5.3
Quote:
....there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (23) began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!"
There was no character known to Jews as Jesus of Nazareth the Messianic ruler and Son of God who made predictions about the Fall of the Temple in the 1st century.

Josephus works were finally composed some time around the end of the 1st century.
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