Category Archives: AD 70

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (3)

PMW 2018-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third and final article in a brief series showing how the destruction of the temple in AD 70 pointed to and even symbolized the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment.

In the last article I noted that the Jews believed the temple was permanent, existing as long as the world would last. Thus, many scholars comment on this religious perspective in Judaism regarding the temple’s relevance to the world order.

The temple’s relation to the world

Lee I. Levine (2002: 246) notes that the temple “was where God dwelled, this was the cosmic center of the universe (axis mundi), the navel (omphalos) of the world that both nurtured it and bound together heaven and earth.” Continue reading

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TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-081 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a three-part study of the temple’s AD 70 destruction as an historical judgment on Israel that pointed to the Final Judgment on the nations.  The last article set up this and the next article by pointing out: (1) the two-schema structure of history (Heb. 1:1–2) and (2) the nature of the Final Judgment (in Matt. 24:31–46). Having laid this groundwork, we can now start looking at the temple to begin considering how its destruction speaks of the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment

The Olivet Discourse can flow quite easily and most naturally from the destruction of the temple in AD 70 to the destruction of the world at the Final Judgment. Continue reading

TEMPLE DESTRUCTION AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The destruction of the temple in AD 70 not only points to the judgment of God on Israel, but also pictures the judgment of God on the world at the Last Day. We can see this in many ways, one of which is by understanding the temple structure itself — and how it’s meaning pictures the future end of the world.

As noted in previous articles on this site, I am currently working on a commentary on Matt. 21–25 (see conclusion of article below). This section forms a discrete literary unit in Matthew’s Gospel in which we find the Olivet Discourse as its climax. In this commentary I will be demonstrating that the Discourse opens with a prophecy of judgment against the Temple in AD 70, which ends the old covenant era, but then shifts to the Final Judgment of the world, which ends the new covenant era (and history itself). Those who limit all prophecy-fulfillment to AD 70 effectively promote a Jesus who is a Jewish sage, not realizing the fullness of his ministry and the significance of the Olivet Discourse. [1]

In this three-article series I will very briefly offer an interesting insight into the fact that the temple’s judgment not only serves as a judgment on Israel, but also pictures the final judgment upon all nations. But before I do that, I must note the biblical structure of redemptive-history. Continue reading

MATTHEW 24:28 “EAGLES” OR “VULTURES”?

PMW 2018-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In the opening section of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25), Jesus deals initially and significantly with the approaching AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem by Roman imperial forces (vv. 4–34). We may easily surmise this from the local context. After all, the Discourse is introduced by Jesus’ prophesying the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), then linking his prophecy to the temple locale (“the holy place,” v. 15), warning the local residents to flee from the area (Jerusalem is in Judea, v. 16), and informing them generally when it will occur (in “this generation,” v. 34). [1]

The Roman eagle

Matt. 24:28 is an interesting verse embedded in this context. But its frequent mistranslation dulls the cutting edge of Jesus’ warning about the Roman invasion. Continue reading

MATTHEW’S OUTLINE; JESUS’ IDENTITY

PMW 2018-070 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am currently working on a commentary on Matthew 21–25. In this commentary I will be focusing on the Olivet Discourse in its contextual setting. I will be demonstrating this fifth and final major discourse of Jesus (Matt. 5–7; 10; 13; 18; 24–25) not only prophesies the destruction of the temple and God’s judgment on Israel in AD 70, but also the Final Judgment upon all the nations at the end of history.

Jesus’ teaching in this section dramatically declares his universal lordship over both Israel (e.g., Matt. 24:2, 16, 34) and all men and nations (Matt. 25:31–46). Earlier (and uniquely!) in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus specifically limited his mission to Israel (Matt. 10:5–6; 15:24). But now as the narrative of his life unfolds to its climax, he expands his mission to “all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). Thus, in this section he will begin repeatedly emphasizing the inclusion of the Gentiles in his program (e.g., Matt. 21:43; 22:8–10; 24:14, 31; 31–46). Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my preceding article I began a brief study of Matthew 16:27 and 28. I am providing evidence that Jesus speaks of the “coming of the Son of Man” as applying to his Second Coming at the Final Judgment to end history. Upon declaring this, he adds a note about his near-term coming, which demonstrates his authority at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. This article will conclude the argument by providing my fourth point, following upon the preceding three.

So now we must note not only the wording of the passage, but its flow, setting, and purpose.

In v. 28 Jesus inserts the “truly I say to you” formula (v. 28), which he often uses. He always uses this formula as a bold underscoring of something he has said. So? How does it function here? This will explain his rationale in the setting of his current instruction. Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the more remarkable brief aside statements by Jesus, which impacts eschatology, is found in Matthew 16:27–28. Jesus’ declaration reads:

[v. 27] For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. [v. 28] Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

As an orthodox preterist, I hold that this passage brings together the AD 70 judgment and the Final Judgment. [1] As orthodox preterists argue (following most conservative, evangelical theologians in general), the AD 70 destruction of the temple is a dramatic judgment of God in itself. But it is also a typological foretaste of the universal Final Judgment, which it pictures through the local judgment on Israel. [2] (This is much like the Israel’s Old Testament exodus event being an important act in itself, while serving as a type of coming redemption through Christ.) Continue reading