Re: [asa] A theology question (imminent return of Christ)

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Thu Oct 16 2008 - 00:08:02 EDT

Following the lead on dating issues you raise, my sense is that when one
embarks on a discussion along lines like this that one should always
have in plain sight a timeline with the estimates of (ranges of) dates
of authorship of the NT writings inscribed thereupon, along with key
milestones like the temple destruction. It is instructive (in my view
anyhow) to note what was important (and not) at the times of the various
writings, and in particular what new emphases or ideas were introduced
in the later writings. In any case, at a minimum, it would help avoid a
problem like the one observed here.

JimA [Friend of ASA]

Murray Hogg wrote:
> Hi David,
> Sorry to be contrary, but I'd like to make a correction to your dating
> of the destruction of the temple and to pick up on the importance of
> same.
> The temple was destroyed in 70AD and from then to about circa. 132AD
> Jerusalem was largely uninhabited. 135AD marks the date of the Second
> (or third depending on how one counts it) Jewish War after which the
> pagan Roman city of Aelia Capitolina was established on the site, with
> a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus (hence the second part of the city
> name) was established on the site of the old temple (all these dates
> are from memory and are probably out by a couple of years - but the
> rough chronology is pretty much on, I believe).
> All of this is, actually, quite relevant to the discussion on early
> Christian eschatology in a BIG way.
> Generally, it's taken that Christ's prediction of the destruction of
> the temple dates the Gospels as POST 70 AD on the basis that a
> predictive prophecy of that sort is impossible.
> Curiously, however, Ed needs to put the Gospels PRIOR to that date in
> order to make the claim that Christ erred in (supposedly) predicting
> his return at about the time of the temple destruction.
> Ironically, then, Ed's position requires that Christ SUCCESSFULLY
> prophesied the destruction of the temple in 70 AD as a basis for the
> claim that he INCORRECTLY prophesied his return at about the same
> time. But I don't think Ed really wants to defend the former claim!
> It all goes to show that even the nicest theories sometimes carry
> within them the seeds of their own undoing. At the very least, Ed's
> reading of the data requires a bit more work!
> Blessings,
> MH
> David Campbell wrote:
>> Many commentators see two distinct events envisoned in the primary
>> apocalyptic section of the gospels (Mt. 24 and parallels). There is
>> the coming destruction of Jerusalem (cf. 24:2, though it was not until
>> the AD 135 Jewish revolt that the Temple was destroyed) and then
>> ultimate end time. A number of specific pointers are associated with
>> the former, and in fact the Jerusalem church seems to have taken them
>> to heart and fled before the final siege. Conversely, the latter is
>> associated with reiterated emphases on not knowing the time, not being
>> quick to think "Here it is!".
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Received on Thu Oct 16 00:08:47 2008

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