January 8th 2005, 01:27 AM #1
Did Jesus threaten to destroy the Temple?
According to Jewish turncoat Flavius Josephus, an "Egyptian false prophet" led 30 thousand followers from the desert to the Mount of Olives (!). Claiming that the walls of Jerusalem would fall at his command, he planned to overcome the Roman garrison.
In Acts 21:38, a Roman mistakes Paul/Saul of Tarsus for the Egyptian, who here is credited with 4000 followers and is called a leader of the revolutionary terrorists known as the Sicarii.
How interesting, don't you think so? Why would a Roman officer confuse Paul with a rebel leader who had promised his followers to destroy the walls of the Holy City?
Could it be that Paul's alleged Master, who had also spent some time in Egypt if we are to believe Matthew's Gospel, had made similar pledges?
During his nightly trial, Jesus was repeatedly accused of planning the destruction of the Temple, a charge he never denied. Of course, the Synoptic Gospels want us to believe that these accusations were mere slander and that the people who made them were just venal false witnesses paid by the Sanhedrin. But were they?
We have seen already that Jesus forbade people to pay taxes to Caesar (the land of Israel and its riches obviously don't belong to Cesar, but to God!). But when this particular point arises in the Gospel narratives, it is presented as a false, groundless accusation.
We therefore have good reasons to be extremely cautious before we take what the Evangelists say about Jesus at face value. Obviously, for Pauline Christians of the second century, when the Gospels were compiled and began to circulate, to find that Jesus had been a radical tax protester would have been a huge embarrassment. Hadn't Paul claimed that paying taxes was an act of charity? And that all authority, including secular authority, was of God?
Now a Jesus promising he would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days would have been an even greater embarrassment. The fact is it din't happen that way.
But in my mind this may have been what Jesus said. John preserves this tradition in his own Gospel, albeit in a slightly modified version: unsurprisingly for an archantisemite like "John", the demolishing is now attributed to the Jews themselves, while Jesus blithely presents himself as the one who is going to do the rebuilding. Lest the reader should misinterpret Jesus' saying and see him as a predecessor of Josephus' Egyptian rebel or Theudas, "John" hastens to explain that he was speaking of the temple of his body. Of course, how could it have been otherwise, dear John ?
So there appears to have been some confusion between Jesus' body and the Temple. The two are somehow related but it is not clear how. There are conflicting reports and interpretations. In Matthew's Gospel we read that the Sanhedrin was aware that Jesus had predicted that "After three days I will rise again". But during the trial, the witnesses reported that he had declared that "I am able to destroy the Temple and to build it in three days." Note how close the false witnesses come to John's version: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
Now Jesus said something that in my mind confirms the thesis that he planned to destroy the Temple himself-something he announced symbolically by overturning a few tables and whipping two or three dove sellers in the Court of the Gentiles.
Jesus predicted that the Temple would be utterly destroyed: not even one stone would be left intact.
Considering the huge dimensions of the Temple and the Temple stones, it is hard to believe that human beings could have done this. In fact, part of the Wall of the Herodian Temple remains to this day, a true witness to Jesus' false prediction. If the Temple was to be demolished to that implausible degree, making its destruction similar to an atomic disintegration, this could only happen if God was to do the job. God would blow up the Temple (on Jesus' request, of course) and God would rebuild it, pure and unstained by corrupt priests and Gentile tyrants, after the symbolical three days.
When and because that didn't happen, Jesus' bold prophecy became the Resurrection story. Now it was the atoms of Jesus' own body which had been destroyed and rebuilt by God into a new celestial temple.
Last edited by Magdalenbrother; January 8th 2005 at 01:36 AM.
January 8th 2005, 02:18 AM #2
Re: Did Jesus threaten to destroy the Temple?Originally posted by Magdalenbrother
I claim victory for my argument against you on the grounds of the Statue of Limitations!
Your whole argument seems to hinge upon a temple being re-built.
(The wailing wall, which the Jews only assume/believe/hope represents an archeological proof, a marker of the actual truth in the existence of the previous temple location, would be evidence of a physical temple once present, but never physically replaced.)
Now, giving the Christians the sake of argument, that the physical temple has disappeared now @ 2000 years, and that in its steed, is their claim of Christ.
This speaks volumes, that He is the temple... a spiritual temple. It supports that this is what he meant, a figurative "temple,"if what he later added is also true!
The matter will be settled if the Jews succeed in rebuilding their temple, ...
Or, Jesus is confirmed. Christ wins his case. We see clearly he meant He, himself would be the temple of God.
The proof is in his promise, in his prophecy, seemingly true for two millennia already.
Only eternity to go...
The odds are on the devil's side, if not the Power, in that eternity is a very long time.
But, I am betting against the devil with this:
Rev. 21:22 And I SAW NO TEMPLE therein: for the (theistic, transcendent) Lord God Almighty and (the immanent God,) the Lamb (within the mind of men) are the temple of it.
January 8th 2005, 11:07 AM #3
Re: Did Jesus threaten to destroy the Temple?
Hey Magdelen...if you were to believe Matthew's gospel concerning Christ's trek to Egypt...what..in that case...prevents you from believing the rest of the gospels and what they have to say???
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