Jewish Rabbi Comments on the Christian Claim that Jesus Predicted the Destruction of the Temple

3 thoughts on “Jewish Rabbi Comments on the Christian Claim that Jesus Predicted the Destruction of the Temple

  1. Off topic:

    Someone posted this on the Catholicism Reddit:

    I thought this is interesting because he understands that the Resurrection is the important issue, not philosophy.

    Atheist considering coming back to Catholicism

    The philosophy and theology of Catholicism just seem to be spot on at solving various philosophical problems. However I still Have some serious problems. The first is the historicity of Jesus’ resurrecting and actually thinking of himself as God and the son of God. In my estimation it seems like he did not as Bart Erhman has argued. The second serious problem I have is that historical Christian thinkers used their theology to justify things that seem abominable. Like Aquinas saying that heretics must be killed. Or that those in heaven will enjoy it more by seeing those condemned to hell.

    So my main tension is that on a philosophical level Christianity seems to make sense but on a historical level I see the marks of contingency and an evolving human idea over time. Of course I have many more thoughts but regardless I hope to hear what you all have to think.

    […]

    Christian philosophy can be as salient to the mind as possible, but at the end of the day does that make me believe someone was birthed from a virgin mother and rose from the dead… not really.

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  2. Rabbi Singer resorts to the same lame argument I’ve heard before (right here in this blog, in fact) — Jesus’ prediction of the Temple didn’t happen, because, contrary to what the prophecy says, the was still “one stone left standing upon another”, because the Western Wall still exists.

    But, the Western Wall is *not* part of the Temple structure at all. It’s a *retaining* wall, largely built *after* the completion of the Temple.

    Rabbi Singers argument is like saying that a particular (destroyed) statue wasn’t *really* destroyed because the pedestal it stood on is still there — *as if* the statue (which was created by an individual artist) and the pedestal (which was created by craftsmen, *after* the creation of the statue) were somehow “one and the same”.

    It’s a lame argument.

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    1. I agree. If we could confirm that Jesus predicted in circa 30 CE that the Temple would be destroyed and not one stone left on top of another, I don’t think the western (supporting) wall would count as “the temple”.

      What is more important, and the rabbi points this out in the video, is that we do not know when the Gospels were written! If the the first gospel, the Gospel of Mark had been written in the 30’s or 40’s, I would agree that this prediction would be impressive. But if the Gospel of Mark was written in the mid 60’s, the “writing was already on the wall” for the fate of the Temple: The Jews and Rome were heading toward a major confrontation, and the Jews would likely be the losers. And what was the most precious symbol of Judaism to any Jew? Answer: the Temple. So if this prediction was invented and put into the mouth of Jesus in the 60’s, I still wouldn’t be impressed, just because the Temple had not yet been destroyed. The probable destruction of the Temple was a foregone conclusion.

      But what is worse for Christians is that it is entirely possible that the first gospel written, the Gospel of Mark, was not written until after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE! Therefore, it is entirely possible that this “prophesy” was not a prophesy, but an act of fraud!

      Bottom line: No one knows when the Gospels were written and since even Christians would poo poo any claimed prophesy in another religion which was written down after the fact, why should non-Christians take this alleged prophesy by Jesus seriously when it is very possible (and probable) that it was written (and invented) after the fact?

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