As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.” –Matthew 27
Did Matthew the Apostle hear Jesus make this prophesy? The evidence is poor that he did. Even many evangelical Bible scholars (Richard Bauckham and NT Wright) doubt or at least question that Matthew the Apostle wrote the Gospel of Matthew, primarily because it would be odd for an eyewitness to copy so much of another author’s work (the Gospel of Mark) who was not an eyewitness (allegedly, John Mark). It is estimated that the author of Matthew incorporated over 90% of the Gospel of Mark into his Gospel, often copying Mark word for word. Why would he do such a thing if he had witnessed these events himself? That doesn’t make sense.
Bottom line, the authorship of ALL the Gospels is disputed, that is a fact. Even most Roman Catholic Bible scholars—who believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and in miracles—reject the apostolic authorship of the Gospels.
Let’s look at the first Gospel written, the first Gospel to contain the alleged prophecy in which Jesus predicts the future destruction of the Temple. The overwhelming majority of scholars date the writing of the Gospel of Mark to sometime between 65-75 CE. That means that it is possible that the prophecy about the destruction of the Temple occurred before the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. If this is the case, then it is certainly possible that Jesus did make this prophesy. But, it is also possible that this prophecy was simply a lucky guess, either by Jesus or by the author of Mark. The author of Mark, if writing in 65-69 CE, knew that trouble was brewing between the Jews and the Romans as the Jewish-Roman Wars started at about that time, and predicting a Roman triumph, knew that the destruction of the Temple, the last place where Jewish authority had been allowed under Roman rule, would be the probable outcome of a failed Jewish revolt. If the Romans won the Jewish-Roman War, everyone knew the Temple was doomed.
So this “prophecy” has four possible explanations:
–Jesus did have fortune-telling powers
–Jesus made a lucky guess
–Jesus never said this, the author of Mark made a lucky guess and invented Jesus making a prophecy about the Temple before the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.
–the author of Mark, writing after 70 CE and knowing all about the destruction of the Temple, invented the prophecy to make it look like Jesus had fortune-telling powers.
If we were talking about a prophesy from any another religion, I will bet that most Christians would assume that the correct answer is 2, 3, or 4. So why do they assume the answer is 1 for their religion? The chances are very high, based on the evidence, that this prophecy was an invention of the author of Mark.
I suggest the answer is: They have a bias; Christians WANT the prophecy to be real. You are not using good critical thinking skills, my Christian friends.
End of post.