Did Jesus lie about his generation?

by Anony Mous 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    We all know the scripture where Jesus says 'this generation will by no means pass away before the end will come'. The JW interpret this as the destruction of the Jewish state in Jerusalem by the Romans and the dispersal of the Jewish people. However, while researching the history of Judea, I come across various facts about the region.

    So Jesus died about 30CE and his disciples were likewise well in their thirties or older, the 'generation' by definition would've lasted until ~50CE (the time during which children are born and raised to have children of their own). According to tradition, none of the apostles were present during the first Roman-Judean war, all of them are presumed dead before 73CE when Jerusalem fell. So we're talking about 40 years of a difference between the "prophecy", almost 2 generations and very few people that Jesus ever heard speak would still be alive (given life expectancy wasn't very high back then).

    But that's not all, according to actual archeology, Jews were not dispersed which is what the WTBTS and most Christian tradition speaks about when they explain the prophecy. The Romans did damage and destroyed portions of the temple, but they left the population in Judea and the city of Jerusalem largely intact. It would take 100 years after Jesus spoke those words for the Jews to be taken captive at large during the 132–136 CE Bar Kokhba revolt. Jerusalem had continued to exist for all those years, the temple was destroyed but Jews still worshiped there. Only after Romans suffered severe losses in the third revolt did they finally force (aka genocide) the Jews nearly (but not fully) extinct in the region. At that time, they did wipe Judea from the map, quite literally, by changing the names on maps.

    This later date also conforms with the actual Orthodox Jewish tradition of when 'they' accept that the Jews were finally dispersed and the prophecy was fulfilled.

  • john.prestor

    Probably the prophecy appears to have come true because it was written after the fact, after the Jewish war. You're also assuming Jesus and his apostles existed.

  • mickbobcat

    My first question is can you prove Jesus existed and if so can you prove he did miracles or is the son of god. Its rhetorical because no one can. This is why faith is needed. Faith believing in something without evidence.

  • Rocketman123

    The men who wrote the story of Jesus decades after he died lied.

    Jesus Christ was the greatest god that mankind ever invented .........Period !

  • WTWizard

    Jesus lied? Of course, because jesus is a lie.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    But that's not all, according to actual archeology, Jews were not dispersed which is what the WTBTS and most Christian tradition speaks about when they explain the prophecy. The Romans did damage and destroyed portions of the temple, but they left the population in Judea and the city of Jerusalem largely intact.

    Just 38 years after the Cross (with much of Jesus' generation still alive), Josephus says 1 million Jews were killed in the sieges and nearly 100,000 taken captive. The temple was totally demolished...stone by stone in 70 AD. The walls were levelled down to the foundation stones. Just like Jesus (and Daniel) predicted:

    When He came near, He beheld the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had known even today what things would bring you peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you and surround you, and press you in on every side. 44 They will dash you, and your children within you, to the ground. They will not leave one stone upon another within you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

    Daniel 9:26

    26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.... desolations are determined.

  • Phizzy

    As has been stated, we know the Gospel accounts are very late, so all we can say for sure is that these words of Jesus were put in to his mouth by the writers of the Gospels, which are works of Fiction.

    It is interesting that later N.T Bible Books were written to explain away the fact that this "prophecy" failed.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    They are not 'late" sources. They were written within the lifespan of the eyewitnesses. The quantity of information from diverse sources concerning Jesus is unprecedented in ancient literature.

    But, even if we never had a Bible, and just relied on Josephus, Tacitus, Mara bar Serapion, and Pliny the Younger we would still know that:

    1. Jesus was a famed Jewish teacher of some kind, who had a reputation for ‘baffling deeds’—in other words, healings—and who,

    2. Despite being executed by Pontius Pilate, was declared the ‘Christ’

    3. Was worshipped in song by the earliest Christians.

    4. We would also know Jesus had a brother named James, who led the Christian movement and suffered martyrdom under the high priest Ananus in about AD 62.

    There cannot be any reasonable doubt about the broad narrative of Jesus’ life. These sources are so diverse—Jewish, Roman, and Syriac—it is most improbable that an invented story would make it into unconnected writings.

    Pre-Pauline material (creeds, hymns, formulations) (c. A.D. 30-35).

    Scholars, nearly universally, agree that Paul records and reports ancient creeds (statements of faith), hymns, and formulations (oral traditions reporting events) that takes us back to months or even weeks of the Resurrection of Christ. In a world where a small minority, perhaps less than 10 percent could read and write, this was how things were done.

    One of the most important of these formulations includes 1 Corinthians 15:3-7. Others include 1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 2:22-36; Romans 4:25; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 2:6; and 1 Peter 3:18.

    The majority of scholars (including skeptic) on the subject will concede the following a minimum set of facts:

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion.
    2. He was buried.
    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
    4. The tomb was empty .
    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus
    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.
    7. The resurrection was the central message.
    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.
    9. The Church was born and grew.
    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.
    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).
    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

  • john.prestor

    Oh boy, here we go again. No, the gospels were not written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses. That's an empty assertion. Prove that statement or stop making it.

  • Phizzy

    So much is wrong with Sea Breeze's Post just above that I will have to return when I have time to answer all of it. The 12 points at the end are only vaguely correct, and much of what they say is disputed by Scholars, not agreed broadly at all.

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