The Temple Destroyed: Jesus Becomes the Meeting Place Between God and Sinners
GARY WILLS is the author of this description. Wills, a “New York Times” bestselling author and respected scholar, examines the significance of Jesus’ teachings as the religious rhetoric of the culture wars intensifies. People on the political right and the political left both claim that Jesus endorses their respective political positions in what are referred to as “culture wars.” However, Garry Wills argues in this New York Times #1 classic that Jesus was not a member of any political party. He was a lot more extreme than that, in reality.
Because of dodges and evasions, people are misrepresenting what Jesus clearly had to say about power, the affluent, and religion itself in his own words.
What Jesus Meant is a wonderful addition to our national discussion on religion, providing an informative analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike.
Wills is a Pulitzer Prize winner and professor emeritus at Northwestern University.
Currently, he resides in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.
What was the significance of the temple veil being torn in two when Jesus died?
QuestionAnswer During the period of Jesus’ life, the holy temple in Jerusalem served as the focal point of Jewish religious activity. The temple was the location where animal sacrifices were performed and where worship according to the Law of Moses was conducted in strict accordance with the law. According to Hebrews 9:1-9, a veil divided the Holy of Holies, which was the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence, from the remainder of the temple, which was where humanity lived. This indicated that man had been separated from God as a result of his wrongdoing (Isaiah 59:1-2).
- (Leviticus 16).
- Although the exact dimension of a cubit is not known, it is fair to infer that this curtain stood somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 feet in height at the time.
- According to the book of Exodus, this thick veil was made of blue, purple, and scarlet cloth, as well as exquisite twisted linen, and it was worn by Moses.
- “And when Jesus cried out in a loud voice for the third time, he surrendered his spirit.
- So, what are our thoughts on this?
- More than anything else, the tearing of the curtain at the moment of Jesus’ crucifixion served as a dramatic reminder that His sacrifice, which consisted in the bleeding of His own blood, was sufficient to atone for sins.
- As soon as Jesus died, the curtain was ripped, and God was forced to leave that location, never again to live in a temple constructed by human hands (Acts 17:24).
During the time that the temple stood, it represented the continuity of the Ancient Covenant.
In a manner, the curtain represented Christ himself as the sole route to reach the Father through the cross (John 14:6).
Christ has now taken on the role of our superior High Priest, and as believers in His accomplished work, we are able to partake in His higher priesthood.
“We have faith to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus via a new and live way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,” the Bible says in Hebrews 10:19-20.
Throughout the book of Hebrews, the tremendous importance of the rend of the veil is revealed in exquisite detail.
He was the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the world, and by His death, the faithful now enjoy unhindered access to God.
The fact that the sin offering was presented once a year, along with a plethora of other sacrifices that were repeated on a daily basis, demonstrated clearly that sin could not be really atoned for or erased by animal sacrifice alone.
Go back to the page with all of the Bible questions. The temple curtain was split in two when Jesus died, and what was the significance of this event?
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QuestionAnswer The holy temple in Jerusalem served as the focal point of Jewish religious life throughout the period of Jesus. Temple worship included animal sacrifices, as well as religious observances that were consistent with the teachings of the Law of Moses. A curtain divided the Holy of Holies, which was the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence, from the remainder of the temple, which was where mortals lived, according to the book of Hebrews (9:1-9). That man had been separated from God as a result of sin was symbolized by this symbol: (Isaiah 59:1-2).
- According to the records of Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high (1 Kings 6:2), but Herod had increased the height to 40 cubits by the time he died.
- The Bible does not corroborate the thickness of the veil, which according to early Jewish custom was around four inches thick.
- The breadth and thickness of the curtain heighten the significance of the events that transpired at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross.
- ” The temple’s curtain was split in half from top to bottom at that same time (Matthew 27:50-51a).
- For us now, what meaning does this shattered curtain hold?
- All persons, both Jews and Gentiles, would be able to enter the Holy of Holies at any time in the future, as a result of this change.
- According to Jesus’ prophecy in Luke 13:35, God was through with that temple and its religious system, and both the temple and Jerusalem were left “desolate” (destroyed by the Romans) by the year 70 AD.
The passage in Hebrews 9:8-9 alludes to the era that was passing away at the same time that the new covenant was being forged (Hebrews 8:13).
The fact that the high priest had to pass through the veil to access the Holy of Holies serves as an indication of this truth.
As a result of His sacrifice, we have gained access to the Most Holy of Holies.
Here we see the image of Jesus’ flesh being torn for us, just as He tore the veil for us in the first reading.
In the temple, we saw images of things to come, and they all pointed to Jesus Christ as the final fulfillment of those images.
The curtain in the temple served as a continual reminder that sin makes humans unsuitable to be in God’s presence.
We may now approach God with confidence and bravery because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, which has erased all barriers between God and man (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Return to: Miscellaneous Bible Questions and Answers. The temple veil was split in two when Jesus died, and what was the meaning of this act?
Did Early Christians Mourn the Destruction of the Temple? – TheTorah.com
During the summer of 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews were deprived of their religious and political center. However, in practice, this had no negative impact on Jesus’ disciples, who continued to expand and prosper during this time period. But how did they react to the Temple’s desecration and destruction? Many New Testament manuscripts, including the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, were written between 70 and 100 C.E., immediately following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Despite this, it is widely thought that these early Christ followers did not express sorrow at the destruction of the Temple.
Jesus Predicts the Temple Will Fall: Synoptic Gospels
The Jewish people suffered a religious and political loss when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, during the summer of that year. However, in practice, this had no negative impact on Jesus’ disciples, who continued to expand and prosper during this time period. And their reactions to the Temple’s desecration were interesting to observe. Between the years 70 and 100 C.E., a large number of New Testament manuscripts, including Matthew, Luke, and John’s gospel, were written immediately following the fall of the Temple.
Despite this, it is widely thought that these early Christ followers did not express sorrow at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus Replaces the Temple
An further reason why many people believe that early Christ believers did not grieve the destruction of the Temple is that, according to many New Testament authors, Jesus stood in place of the Temple or the sacrifice cult. 2:21 refers to “the Temple of his flesh” (implying that Jesus’ body is the new Temple), and argues that worship “in Spirit and truth” takes the place of ceremonial worship in the Old Testament (4:23). Christ is shown as the high priest in the Letter to the Hebrews, who atones for sins in the heavenly Temple by shedding his own blood.
- In reality, the early Christ followers remained fascinated with the Temple and the sacrifice system for a considerable period of time after the Temple had been destroyed.
- According to Clement’s letter, Jesus Christ is referred to as “the high priest of our offerings” (v v v; 36:1).
- At the same time, Clement claims that the priests and Levites who serve at God’s altar are among God’s greatest gifts, along with Jesus, the kings of Judah, and other notable individuals.
- 1 Clement 40:2He has commanded that sacrifices |be made to Him, and that service be rendered |to Him, and that this be done not haphazardly or irregularly, but at the established times and hours.
- 40:5For the high priest is entrusted with his own particular services, and the priests are entrusted with their own fitting station, and the Levites are entrusted with their own particular ministrations.
- 41:2Not in every location, brethren, are the daily sacrifices presented, nor are the peace offerings, nor are the sin offerings and trespass offerings offered, but only in the city of Jerusalem.
- 41.3Those, then, who go beyond what is in accordance with His will are subject to death as a result of their actions.
As a result of his Christological beliefs, Clement of Rome did not see any conflict between his respect of the priests and his notion that they were still giving sacrifices on the altar!
Remembering Jesus in the Temple: The Gospel of John
However, despite John’s distinctive “high Christology (understanding of Christ),” according to which Jesus is more than a mere human being, John, like all of the Gospels, describes Jesus’ actions while on earth. Notably, in addition to what is mentioned in the synoptic gospels, John has Jesus come and teach at the Temple on a number of occasions, including:
- Jesus’ exact location is revealed by John in two instances: in the treasure house (8:20), which is most likely within the Temple courts, and in Solomon’s portico (10:23). Jesus teaches at the Temple, according to the Gospel of John, which reports this four times. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus makes three Temple visits during (or soon before) three Jewish festivals: Passover (6:51-71), Tabernacles (Sukkot, 7:37-39), and “Dedication” (Hanukkah, 10:22-11:53).
Jesus is specifically mentioned by John in two places: in the treasure house (8:20), which is most likely within the Temple courts, and in Solomon’s porch (10:23). Jesus teaches at the Temple, according to the Gospel of John, which says so in four places. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus makes three Temple visits during (or soon before) three Jewish festivals: Passover (6:51-71), Tabernacles (Sukkot, 7:37-39), and “Dedication” (Hanukkah, 10:22-11:53);
Temple Heritage after 70? Matthew’s Half-Shekel Payment
The account of the Temple tax in Matthew’s gospel is one that openly addresses the question of what the relationship between Jesus’ disciples and the Temple should be. Matthew 17:24 (KJV) When they arrived at Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax (didrachma) approached Peter and asked, “Does your teacher not pay the Temple tax?” Peter replied, “No, your teacher does not pay the Temple tax.” 17:25He said affirmatively, “He does.” And when he returned home, Jesus was the first to speak about it, asking, “What do you think, Simon?” Who is it that the monarchs of the earth exact toll or tribute from?
“Do they want it from their children or from others?” 17:26 Jesus responded to Peter’s statement, “from others,” by saying, “Then the children are free.” 17:27 Go to the lake, throw your hook, and grab the first fish that comes up; when you open its mouth, you will discover a coin (startra), which is worth two didrachmas; take this coin and present it to them on our behalf.” The reader should keep in mind while reading the narrative that the practical dilemma of whether or not to pay the Temple tax is no longer relevant for Matthew; Matthew is believed to have lived in the 80s CE, and the Temple tax was abolished after the temple was destroyed in 70 CE.
It appears from this chapter that Jesus wishes to have it both ways: he agrees to the payment but with misgivings, and he wishes to have Peter pay the tax without having to spend his own money by executing a miracle to accomplish this.
What Bothers Matthew about the Temple Tax?
The bottom line, according to Matthew, is that the Temple tribute must be paid. In fact, at the very beginning of the narrative, Peter responds to the tax collectors by stating that Jesus has paid the fine. So, what exactly is it about the tax that disturbs Jesus? Several hypotheses have been put forward by academics. Matthew may be willing to accept the widely held belief that priests, who are typically associated with the Temple religion, are free from payment. A perspective akin to that of the Sadducees and the Qumran Scrolls would lead him to reject the Temple tax as an unjustified invention.
The widely accepted interpretation of the parable, according to which the children are not compelled to pay their father, implies that the connection between Jews and Christ believers to the Temple reflects their relationship with God, according to the story.
Because of this, the (illegitimate?) economic obligation is problematic, as it serves to remove God’s children from the Temple cult in some way.
So Why Pay? Unity with Fellow Jews
According to Jesus (17:27), the tax should be paid “in order that we do not cause offense to them.” The pronoun “them” refers to Jews who do not believe in Jesus and are thus opposed to him. He appears to be concerned about offending these Jews or alienating possible followers who support the Temple tax, so he consents to the payment of the tax. It is Matthew’s willingness to pay the half shekel despite his religious reservations (even if his decision is purely hypothetical) that demonstrates his alignment with the Temple: Matthew is willing to put aside his religious reasons for not paying the tax in order to demonstrate that he is a member of the sacrificial cult.
Matthew tells his readers that, if the Temple had existed in his day, they would have had to surrender their particular ideas in order to share the cult with both other Jews and with the rest of the world, as Matthew explains.
Why Emphasize the Temple Tax Now?
Given the fact that the half-shekel Temple payment was no longer being paid after 70 C.E., it is puzzling why Matthew bothers to address the subject at all. Rather than using religious memory to transmit his message, I believe Matthew is more concerned with using religious memory to shape one’s sense of self. The Temple tax custom serves as an indicator of the nature of the connection between Matthew’s disciples and the rest of the Jewish people. According to the author, it is meant to demonstrate that Christians are found in Israel at any time in history, and that they ought to have a more conciliatory rather than a hostile stance toward Christians who do not believe in Christ.
Early Christ Believers and the Temple
Overall, early Christ followers who lived one or two generations after the collapse of the Temple did not believe that their links to the Temple and to the sacrifice cult had been severed from their religious traditions. Instead, among these Jewish followers of Jesus, the memory of the Temple and its significance in spiritual life were preserved in their hearts. This website is operated by TheTorah.com, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The support of readers like you is essential to our success.
Jerusalem History: The First and Second Temples
It’s impossible to visit Jerusalem without hearing allusions to the First Temple and the Second Temple, which relate to historical times in which two distinct large Jewish temples existed approximately where Al Aqsa Mosque presently stands. Both temples were demolished, and the only thing that remains is the outside western wall of the Second Temple courtyard, where pilgrims come from all over the globe to worship and commemorate the destruction (known as the Wailing Wall, the Kotel, or the Western Wall).
- Des Runyan’s photograph is used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
- Tisha B’av, the Jewish day of sorrow, commemorates the loss of the Jewish people on this day every year.
- Although the Western Wall is not directly connected to the demolition of the temples, every Tisha B’av, the plaza surrounding the Western Wall is swarmed with thousands of mourners who come to pay their respects (in August).
- When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, seized Jerusalem in 586 BC, he demolished the Temple and the surrounding area.
- The Burnt House and the House of the Bullae both include artifacts that bear witness to the city’s conquest and subsequent destruction.
- Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Broad Wall, both of which are located in the Jewish Quarter, are among the remaining structures.
- In accordance with an order given by Cyrus the Great, they were permitted to return to their homeland.
- It is possible to split the chronological span of the Second Temple into three distinct periods: the Persian period (586-332 BC), the Hellenistic period (332-63 BC), and the Roman period (63 BC-AD 324).
- The Second Temple, as well as the city of Jerusalem, was destroyed by Titus’ army during the Roman era, in AD 70, during the Roman Empire.
- Approximately 40 years before the city was destroyed, he was crucified on the cross.
The abbreviations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) are widely used in Israel, and they are numerically comparable to the centuries BC and AD, respectively.
Moon Israelthe West Bank
Destroy This Temple, and in Three Days I Will Raise It Up
John Is on Task
As a result, we can observe that John is focused on his assignment. The reason he wrote this Gospel is revealed in John 20:31: “These are written in order for you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” This is the reason he wrote this Gospel. Consequently, in 2:11 and 2:22, he makes it clear that this is the effect that the events had when they occurred, and that this is the effect he prays that they will have when he relates them—and when I preach them.
The same thing is going to happen today.
Setting the Stage
The events of verses 13–14 create the scenario for Jesus’ intervention. “The Jews’ Passover celebration was approaching, and Jesus traveled to Jerusalem. He discovered people who were selling oxen, lambs, and pigeons in the temple, as well as the money-changers who were sitting there.” The result was that inside the temple court, which was supposed to be a place for prayer and other religious activities, there were herds of oxen and sheep, as well as pigeon cages, with sellers sitting around them waiting to make a transaction, and others who were prepared to exchange a pilgrim’s money into the appropriate currency so that they could make a purchase.
Many worshipers would have traveled a considerable distance and would not have had the opportunity to bring their sacrifice with them, therefore this arrangement was most likely made to appear as though the law demanded oxen, sheep, and pigeons to be offered.
You may claim that it was the loving thing to do on their part.
What was Jesus’ reaction when he realized what had happened? 15th and 16th verses: In the end, he drove them all out of the temple with a whip made of cords, along with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and threw them to the ground, knocking them over.
Then Jesus commanded those who were selling the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not turn my Father’s home into a place of business.” Jesus was clearly dissatisfied with what he had witnessed. What’s the harm in trying? What exactly was the issue?
A Different Event
Take your time and don’t move to the other Gospels too soon. According to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus does something similar, he says, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers’ (Matthew 21:13). John did not mention either of those two items as being the source of the problem in this instance. “It’s a place of prayer,” he doesn’t remark, for example. He also did not refer to them as “robbers.” Is John even reporting the same occurrence as you are?
In the Gospel of John, he is performing it at the start of his ministry.
However, there is no compelling reason to believe that this is not a whole separate occurrence from what occurred three years after the first incident.
And the outcome in Jerusalem is not the same as it is in other parts of the world.
What Jesus Says
Keep from jumping to the other Gospels too rapidly. According to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus does something similar, he adds, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a place of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13). Both of those factors are not mentioned as being an issue by John in this situation. “It’s a place of prayer,” he doesn’t say out loud. They aren’t described as “robbers” by him either. John is claiming to have witnessed the same occurrence as you.
In the Gospel of John, he is doing it from the outset of his ministry to the people.
However, there is no compelling reason to believe that this is not a whole separate occurrence from what occurred three years after the first incident occurred.
And the outcome in Jerusalem is not the same as it is in other parts of the country.
What Made Jesus So Angry?
So what was it that made Jesus so enraged? Specifically, he made the distinction between “my Father’s house” and a commercial establishment. This house is about knowing, loving, and treasuring a person, my Father, which is why it is called “My Father’s house.” My Father is the most important person in this temple. He is the most valuable asset in this place. “A day in your courts is preferable than a thousand elsewhere,” says the judge (Psalm 84:11). “Who else do I have in paradise but you?” And there is nothing else on this planet that I desire more than you” (Psalms 73:25).
And there is no mention of the individuals who were in need of the animals—the pilgrims who were purchasing the sheep and pigeons—in this passage.
All of the rage is focused at individuals who were involved in the sale and handling of the cash. Jesus was able to see right through the surface of religious helpfulness to the heart of the matter. “He himself understood what was in man,” John adds in verse 25, referring to God (John 2:25).
Hypocrisy and Love of Money
What exactly did he see? He realized that this market, this emporium, was not helping him to get closer to his heavenly Father in any way. It was not coming from a place of love for the Lord. It was a result of a strong desire for money. The fact that religious ceremony and much-touted helpfulness were being used as a cover for greed made matters worse—oh, the entanglements of greed and religion in our city and in our day, how they were entangled! Another case about a large church-based Ponzi scam with a preacher who defrauded his congregation of $100 million recently surfaced this week!
Religion is being exploited as a cover for greed.
When Jesus perceives formal religion as a front for personal benefit, he becomes enraged (see 1 Timothy 6:5).
Underneath Pharisaical Legalism
Jesus made it quite evident that, underneath the religious legalism of the Pharisees, he recognized a deep-seated desire for wealth. “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other,” Jesus stated to the scribes and Pharisees in Luke 16:13. “You cannot serve God and money at the same time.” Then Luke adds, “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were made aware of all of this, and they mocked him” (Luke 16:14).
You may save yourself by making fun of yourself.
You, on the other hand, are motivated by a desire for financial gain rather than a desire for God.
Jesus’ Exposé of Religious Greed-Covering
Despite the religious legalism of the Pharisees, Jesus made it obvious that they were motivated by a desire for financial gain. “No servant can serve two masters,” Jesus declared to the scribes and Pharisees in Luke 16:13, “for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. ” The two things are incompatible: serving God and serving money. Afterwards, Luke adds, “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were aware of all of this, and they mocked him” (Luke 16:14).
With mockery, you can get out of a tight spot!
Nevertheless, you are motivated by a desire for financial gain rather than a desire for God’s will for you.
In Response to Jesus’ Fury
Was their response to Jesus’ wrath predictable? “So the Jews questioned him, ‘What sign do you give us that you are doing these things?'” says verse 18. Unfortunately, that is hardly an encouraging reaction. What’s the harm in trying? Because it validates what they are trying to keep hidden. There was another occasion when they required him to provide a sign as proof of his identity. Take a look at what transpired. This is the passage from Matthew 12:38–39: “When he asked for a sign, several of the scribes and Pharisees said, ‘Teacher, we desire to see one from you.’ ‘An wicked and unfaithful age is seeking a sign,’ he responded.
- What is the source of their sin?
- It’s a ruse, a ruse, a ruse.
- They want hearts that are passionate about what they believe to be true.
- If we can shift the focus away from ourselves and onto his authority, the spotlight will be less focused on our own covetousness.
Jesus’ Double-Layered Answer
As a result, Jesus accepts their query and responds with a two-layered response. “Can you provide us an indication that you are doing these things?” they inquire. They were given the following response in verse 19: “Destroy this temple, and I will build it up in three days.” Then they protested in verse 20, saying, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you want us to raise it in three days?” And in verse 21, John adds, “However, he was referring about the temple of his body.” Was Jesus referring to himself or something else when he stated, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up”?
What Does Jesus Mean?
Consequently, Jesus answers their query with a two-layered response. “Can you provide us an indication that you’re doing these things?” they inquire of you. They were given the following response in verse 19: “Destroy this temple, and I will build it up in three days. Then they protested in verse 20, saying, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you want us to erect it in three days?” And in verse 21, John adds, “However, he was referring to the temple that is his own body.” Was Jesus referring to a physical structure when he stated, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up”?
“In Three Days I Will Raise It Up”
And what does Jesus mean when he says, “And I will raise it up in three days”? What does he mean by that? The first and second levels are the same. After three days, I will bring my body to life again in the resurrection. What did he say in John 10:17–18 come to mind? “I lay down my life in order to be able to pick it up again.” No one can take it away from me, but I choose to put it down of my own free will. My authority to lay it down and my authority to pick it up again are both in my hands.
He picks it up once more.
However, there is another degree of significance to consider.
In Matthew 12:6, Jesus stated, “I assure you, something greater than the temple is here.” And he was referring to himself.
Jesus: The New Temple
And keep in mind what Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:21–23: “Woman, trust me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. The hour is coming, and it is now here, when genuine worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. In other words, real worship will no longer be associated with the city of Jerusalem (or any other place). It will take place in the spirit and in the truth. It has a connection to Jesus. “I am the new temple,” says the narrator.
There will be no pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the near future.
Nothing but the shift of the heart away from money and toward Christ will occur.
A Christmas Quiz
Please allow me to conclude with a short quiz that puts a Christmas spin on this message. When someone asks you: Does having a Bethlehem Bookstore in the church building conflict with this scripture, what would you say in response? What is the reason for this or why is it not? It is my belief that this edifice does not represent the temple of God.” Jesus is the one. After dying for us and rising from the dead, Jesus took the place of the temple and made it his own. “He is the universal Immanuel, God with us,” as the saying goes.
Santa’s Sack of Substitute Treasures
Please allow me to conclude with a little quiz that adds a festive flavor to this sermon: When someone asks you: Does having a Bethlehem Bookstore in the church building conflict with this scripture, what would you say to them? How do you feel about it, and why do you feel that way? “This church edifice is not the temple of God,” I would declare. Jesus is the only one who can save you. After dying for us and rising from the dead, Jesus took the place of the temple and made it his own home. “He is the global Immanuel, God with us,” as the Bible says.
The Jesus Way of Connecting With God
Alternatively, you might use the Jesus method of interacting with God, which is the Jesus temple. In the name of the sheep, I lay down my life. and I have power to pick it up again” (John 10:15, 18). “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it back to its former glory” (John 2:19). I am the new location where God and I may meet. “No one who comes to me will ever be turned away” (John 6:37). That’s encouraging news. That is the most wonderful Christmas present someone could ever give you.
The Temple, Destroyed and Raised
Another option is to connect with God through Jesus’ method, which he calls “the Jesus temple.” In the name of the sheep, I lay down my life. and I have permission to pick it up again” (John 10:15, 18). In three days, I shall resurrect this temple, which you should demolish (John 2:19). I am the new location for God’s meetings with his children and grandchildren. “I will never turn away anybody who comes to me” (John 6:37). Good news, to be sure. The most wonderful Christmas present somebody could ever give you.
Who really destroyed Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem?
As has been well-documented for millennia, the army of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylonia, dealt a fatal blow to the tiny and rebellious Kingdom of Judah in either 587 or 586 B.C.E., according to historical records. They removed it off the map, exiled substantial sections of its inhabitants, and demolished its holiest structure, the Temple of Solomon. Alternatively, you may say “no.” The author of the best-selling book “Who Wrote the Bible?” Richard Elliott Friedman, a prominent biblical scholar who teaches at the University of Georgia and is also the author of “Who Wrote the Bible?” believes that this may have been a case of mistaken identification.
According to him, the Edomites, a minor kingdom in southern Transjordan, were the perpetrators of the massacre.
At first look, this appears to be improbable.
Friedman, on the other hand, contends that these reports are most likely incorrect.
Jerusalem is built up in layers. Photograph courtesy of Ariel David How could the Babylonians have destroyed the Temple if it was still intact and accepting gifts at the time of their attack?
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Friedman points out that, while it is true that the Babylonians demolished the Temple after seizing the city, a fourth version of these events does not specify that the Temple was destroyed while detailing the conquest of Jerusalem, as stated in the passages above. The Babylonians “burned the king’s house, as well as the dwellings of the people, with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem,” according to this fourth narrative, which was either included into or used as the basis for the other three reports (Jeremiah 39:8; KJV).
- To be sure, the fact that the Temple was destroyed is an undeniable historical truth that cannot be argued with.
- Even though the Babylonians destroyed most of Jerusalem during their occupation, Friedman believes the Temple survived and may still serve as a pilgrimage site for those who were unlucky enough to be killed by Ishmael son of Nethaniah.
- Edom’s descendants are referred to as According to Friedman, the evidence for the Edomite raid on the Temple is found in three verses.
- Investigating the origins of Jerusalem Photograph courtesy of Ariel David The events have been reconstructed in a fresh and exciting manner, but is this reconstruction accurate?
In his book, Friedman acknowledges that each of the three textual “problems” on which he bases his arguments – namely, the absence of mention of the Temple in Jeremiah 39, the pilgrimage to the supposedly already destroyed Temple in Jeremiah 41, and the mysterious anger toward the Edomites in Obadiah, Psalm 137, and 1 Esdras 4 – has alternative solutions.
- However, he believes that his method is preferable since it addresses all three problems at the same time, rather than coming up with a new solution for each problem: There are three mysteries with a slew of offered answers, or there is a single explanation for all of them.
- Perhaps we can accept the Babylonians’ claim that they demolished the palace and the people’s homes but left the Temple standing.
- Are we to believe that he was expressing this by simply mentioning what buildings they had destroyed without explicitly stating that the Temple had been left standing?
- It seems more plausible that the phrase originally did refer to the destruction of the Temple, and that the wording was merely distorted during one of the countless copies that were made of it over the years.
For example, “burned the house of the king and the houses of the people with fire, and tore down the walls of Jerusalem” might be a repeated word in this sentence: “burned the house of the king, and the houses of the people with fire, and tore down the walls of Jerusalem.” In the original Hebrew, this inaccuracy would have resulted in the loss of only seven characters due to the transcription error.
Babylon, Iraq, will host the World Cup in March 2021.
And suppose that the Babylonians did indeed leave the Temple standing, despite the fact that the author of Jeremiah 39 did not clearly state that this was the case, and that the Temple was subsequently destroyed: Were we to believe that the Author of II Kings 25 would have made a mistake in attributing the destruction of the Temple to the Babylonian Nebuzaradan, despite the fact that he must have lived only a short time after the events, considering that the last event he mentions in his history is the release of King Jeconiah from captivity (2 Kings 25:27-30) and not, for example, the death of Nebuchadnezzar II’s son and heir in 560 Moreover, even if the author of this narrative in 2 Kings did, for whatever reason, absolve the Edomites of their responsibility for destroying the temple, why does this fact not appear anywhere else in the Hebrew Scriptures?
We are told about it only in 1 Esdras, which is a very late and historically dubious book.
And, if Obadiah was excoriating the Edomites for destroying the Temple, why didn’t he specify that they were the ones who destroyed it, instead accusing them of siding with the “strangers” and “foreigners” who “carried away prisoner his army” instead?
as one of them” rejoicing “over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction” (1:11), entering “into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity” (1:12), looking “on their affliction in the day of their calamity,” laying “hands on their substance in the day of their calamity,” standing “in the crossway to cut off those of his that did escape” (1:13), and standing “in the crossway to cut If the Edomites did, in fact, demolish the Temple, these accusations appear to be extremely trivial.
No, the Edomites are not being accused of invading Jerusalem and destroying the Temple; rather, they are being accused of taking part in the devastation of Jerusalem as auxiliary to the Babylonian army, rather than standing by and supporting their “brothers” in the Babylonian cause.
Photograph courtesy of Markus Schreiber/Associated Press The House of the Lord is a place of worship.
It is also certain that the Judeans would have been extremely enraged by this betrayal.
There is nothing in this narrative that supports its historical accuracy, and as it stands, it appears to have been written only with the intent of further tarnish the character of Gedaliah’s assassin.
Who knows what will happen?
Perhaps people continued to offer sacrifices at the site of the destroyed Temple even after it was destroyed?
This is according to the discovery of a new temple in Motza, just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Jerusalem, by archaeologists in 2013.
If you asked Friedman what he thought about these difficulties, he graciously responded in great detail.
As he explained, poets and prophets write using “image and allusion” rather than spelling out the specifics of what they are writing about in the same manner as writers of fiction do.
He speculates that the author of this book may have drawn on ancient and historically accurate sources that have not yet been passed down to us.
Excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem Photograph courtesy of Ariel David