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"...there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Baptist Believer, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Yesterday, I was teaching in Luke 21 and we were looking at Jesus' prophecy that the Temple would be utterly destroyed. I referenced the account of the Roman siege on Jerusalem, and the torches that the soldiers threw into the Temple, which caused its destruction.

    I was asked how the stones came to be displaced and destroyed, and I repeated what an old Bible professor told us about the incident, and what I have heard a few times since, that the fire in the Temple melted the enormous quantities of gold that adorned the structure, and the gold melted onto and into the stone walls and foundation stones. After order was restored, Roman soldiers spent their off duty time separating and pulverizing the Temple stones to retrieve the gold to supplement their pay. Over the course of a few years, the Temple remains were nothing but pulverized rubble.

    Now that makes sense and it has the ring of truth, but is it true? I haven't been able to find any documentation or contemporary sources, and I don't want to teach anything that is not true, even if I heard it from reliable people.

    Has anyone else looked into this?
     
    #1 Baptist Believer, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    I've heard that also but Josephus never mentioned it.
     
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  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    "Two recent apologists told the story, apparently independently, of molten gold seeping between the temple`s foundation stones during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Both implied the source was Josephus, but neither provided references. Unfortunately, both had theological motivations for adding these details to their stories despite the lack of support.

    On investigation, while much of their accounts of the destruction of the temple came from Josephus’ historyJewish Wars 6.5.2, 6.6.1, 7.1.1, and 7.5.2 being particularly relevant – it seems the melted gold story did not. It’s possible, however, the Christian apologists were duped by a medieval forgery into thinking it did...."
    What is the source of the story about the melted gold in the destroyed temple in 70 AD
     
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  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I distributed a handout with a narrative from Josephus describing the burning of the Temple, but could not find a reference to gold melting into the stones.
     
  5. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    Josephus said that Titus ordered the temple and city to be destroyed and the foundations of the temple to be dug up. The stones of the temple were very large, 25 cubits by 12 as I remember,
     
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  6. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    It's not in Josephus, although he mentioned that "Yet was there no small quantity of the riches that had been in that city still found among its ruins, a great deal of which the Romans dug up; but the greatest part was discovered by those who were captives, and so they carried it away; I mean the gold and the silver, and the rest of that most precious furniture which the Jews had, and which the owners had treasured up under ground, against the uncertain fortunes of war."

    Again, Josephus reports that "NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple ... This (western) wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited."

    If you look at the Arch of Titus, you will see the spoils of the plunder of Jerusalem being displayed prominently, still intact but soon to be melted down to pay for the building of the Colosseum.

    Arch of Titus - Wikipedia

    It's possible that some of the plunderers thought that gold may have melted into the stones and dug up the temple grounds in search of it.

    The melting point of gold is almost 2,000 degrees, far above what would be expected from even a conflagration of a building (without modern materials).

    That the Romans tore apart the temple grounds looking for gold seems to be a fact. That the gold had melted and run into the stones seems to be a "preacher's story" without documentary support. IMO.
     
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  7. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    I also remember looking for this account and not seeing it in Josephus. It makes a good story, but perhaps it misses entirely the point Christ may have been making.

    Very often our Lord's pronouncements were taken too literally and were thus misunderstood. Consider what He said concerning the Temple and the One to supercede it:
    “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

    Couple this with the "no stone upon stone" prophecies (Matt 24:2; Luke 19:44; 21:6)

    and the later references on the same overarching spiritual theme, Eph. 2:20 and especially 1 Peter 2:4 -8:

    "4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:

    “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”


    7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

    “The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”


    8 and

    “A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”


    They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do."

    I think the case can be made that Christ was speaking entirely spiritually when He said there would no longer be any stone upon stone.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    The biggest problem with this view is that it actually - literally - happened, just as Jesus said it would. Moreover, Jesus promised that we could trust His words about the final judgment based on seeing His words literally fulfilled in the judgment upon Jerusalem in 70 AD.
     
  9. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    The point is not whether it happened or not. The point is what Jesus meant by the verse you referenced in your OP. And I showed by Scripture - and can show by other instances - that, more often than not, Jesus' words had a misunderstood spiritual application.
     
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  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Is 'undiscerned' a word? 'Unrecognized'?
     
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  11. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    Good Scrabble words, both. : )
     
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  12. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    Since the wailing wall is still standing, as the reference of Jesus and later writers that the temple would and was gone, the temple is not was where is currently thought.
    Some now think it was nearer the Brook of Gihon, in order to have water to clean the blood. Down the hill , in the city of David
     
  13. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    The Western Wall (aka "Wailing Wall") is NOT part of the Temple. It is a remnant of the retaining wall that was constructed for the Temple Mount as part of the expansion of the Second Temple by Herod the Great.

    Therefore, the existence of the wall has no bearing on the prophecy of Jesus.
     
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  14. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    I does not matter, hundreds of years later writers still documented it was gone.

    Which temple was Jesuds referring to?
    .
    Some say the wall was much later, Roman.

    The water is necessary to clean after thousands of sacrificres, There is no water on the Temple Mount. Only much lower It rins into the Pool of Siloam.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    If you believe the scriptures, it was the Second Temple that was in the midst of an 83-year long rebuilding and expansion program. The disciples were in awe of the size of the stones that were used or being used in the project. That led to Jesus telling them that the stones would be destroyed within their lifetimes.
    .
    Work done under Herod the Great was done during the Roman period. I'm not terribly interested in arguing for or against the authenticity of the Western Wall. It is irrelevant to God's work.

    Water can easily be transported. The Romans were quite good at moving water around with aqueducts and plumbing. Moreover, good old-fashioned manual effort can move a lot of water. That's hardly a good reason to make claims against the traditional site of the Temple. Moreover, the Temple is irrelevant in Christ.
     
  16. loDebar

    loDebar Well-Known Member

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    no, it is not irrelevant according to Revelation,

    The Jews would require water in the Temple about 1000 years before Rome.

    I found this:

    In New Testament times the Haram esh-Sharif (Temple Mount) was the site of a Roman fort and a military camp called Fort Antonia. Ancient witnesses reveal that the Haram was indeed the Roman fort, and it was a large enclosed military camp -- some 36 acres in area. It was a miniature Roman city with its own administration, living quarters and temple structures to accommodate some 6,000 soldiers of the 10th Legion.

    The Jewish Temple itself was built above the Gihon Spring in the City of David so that the water could be drawn up for purification purposes. The Temple was to the north of David's city on a mound called Ophel. David's city itself was called the Citadel (Akra) -- a mound to the south, also called Mt. Zion.
     
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