My full question is; which of the New Testament books were written after AD70? Assuming there are several, why did none of them mention the ‘earth-shattering’ events of AD70? The destruction of the temple by Rome fulfilled one of Jesus’ own prophecies (Matt. 24:1-3) and its theological significance was central to Christianity. (John 2:19-22) It would have at least been alluded to, surely.
Your profile states you are Protestant. What did your pastor tell you when you asked him the question?
Its a question that not a lot of people think about. Also, I like to get a range of Christian responses, so, if my question is reasonable, then just answer it.
There’s an increasing school of thought that all of the New Testament Books had been written before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple… and that includes The Book of Revelation.
In a talk on Revelation, the Scripture scholar Scott Hahn says that he follows this line, and he mentions some lines from Revelation to show his point.
To be straightforward about it, one reason for pushing for late dates for the NT books was to cast doubts on their authenticity. If Matthew and the others were not the (inspired) authors at all, then the Books couldn’t be trusted.
In 1976, the late John AT Robinson, an Anglican bishop, and not a conservative one, published a book titled “Redating the Old Testament”.
Here’s one link: (and there are other online articles)
Hope this helps!
Here’s another one:
The Book of Revelation mention the fall of Babylon the Great in 70 AD
Babylon the Great = Babylonian Second Temple priesthood in Jerusalem
The NT books weren’t written to satisfy curiosity, or to cover every historical detail. They were written for the purpose of guiding individuals towards a holy life, and eventually, to Heaven. There were probably lots of details a historian might be interested in, that did not suit their particular purpose.
There were other ways people got information about current events, but not many other reliable sources of guidance regarding salvation, church building, living the Christian life. If God knew information about the destruction of the Temple to be important to living the Christian life, He would have inspired the Magisterium to include scriptures about this in the canon.
The vast majority of potential material was excluded from the canon! Some because it was false, some misleading, some because it was uncertain, some material likely to be true but deemed by the Magisterium as not to be appropriate for the (incredibly short) canon of scripture. But there were other “reliable” - meaning, in union with the Magisterium - sources of information and guidance besides the Bible. Confer the ECF’s, for instance.
It’s difficult to place an exact date for the composition of any of the Gospels, but scholars tend to assert that Luke is somewhat contemporary with the destruction of the temple – the best description I’ve read is that Luke had at least seen the writing on the wall for the destruction, if not already had seen them come to pass.
Following the destruction of the temple, Christians were kicked out of synagogues. John makes a reference to this kind of treatment (in an anachronistic way) when he talks about the man born blind and his parents being threatened with being kicked out of the temple for believing in Jesus. That didn’t happen during Jesus’ life… but it certainly happened to the original audience of John.
It would have at least been alluded to, surely.
In the Gospels? Not unless you want an Evangelist to have inserted an interpolation in his Gospel, stepping out of character to say “and it happened just that way, 40 years later”. There are out-of-place interpolations like this in various parts of the Gospels, but none on the destruction of the temple.
Look up when the Church “related” the calendar. It was not always that the calendar started with the year that Jesus was born.
After the Apostles came and went, we relied on the early Church fathers and they wrote copiously.
There were also tremendous wars and the various parties burned everything. Around 635AD, the Muslims started their campaign of conquest and THEY burned everything.
View this short video:
The gospels, which are NT books, mention the fall of Jerusalem in Jesus’ prophecy as you alluded to. St. Paul was martyred before it happened, and most of the NT is his writings. St. John was able to write his books at a later date because he lived longer. The book of Revelation makes allusion to the fallen state of Jerusalem where it says ‘where their Lord was crucified’. Revelation also talks about a new Jerusalem. Keep in mind that Revelation is a supernatural vision of John that can be difficult to understand and not necessarily a detailed account of the events of history.
Maybe the NT was written prior to 70 AD.
The NT is not historical to the same extent that the OT is.
Here is a piece of my conversation with another Protestant who was asking me about Revelations, the Rapture, the end of time and all that, but I think this part applies to your question. I got most of this from my research, my own thoughts and of course I plagiarized many of the great apologists speaking today.
On to the Second Coming of Jesus. How does Jesus talk about His Second Coming, not in Revelations but in the Gospels. Again, Jesus says He will come soon! He talks about wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24). Also in Matthew 24 Jesus says that the sun will be darkened and the stars will fall from the sky. Then just a couple sentences later Jesus says this generation will not pass away until these things take place. Well to double down on that, when you translate it literally, Jesus says within 40 years these things will happen. So, is Jesus wrong? I mean the sun is still shining and the stars are still in the sky…last time I checked. In fact, many people take this to mean that Jesus is wrong, and if He is wrong then He cannot be God, in fact there is a book called “Why I’m not a Christian" because of this.
So Jesus leaves the temple and says not one stone will be left standing on another. So could there be a correlation between the destruction of the temple and the falling of the stars? In practically the same breath Jesus is talking about these two events. Then in the year 70, the Romans come in and sack Jerusalem and destroy the temple. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews were killed, but how many Christians died? None, because Jesus gives us the signs, and he says when you see the desolating sacrilege, the thing that desecrates the temple, when the act that would make God leave His temple happens, run to the mountains. What happened, the Romans brought in an eagle and set it up in the temple, and all the Christians fled.
So is Matthew 24 talking about the end of the world or the destruction of the temple? It is interesting to note that Jesus always talks about these things as if there are linked. Why, well you have to understand the significance of the destruction of the temple. The temple was more than a building, the temple was a symbol of the world. Look to the Psalms, God built His sanctuary, like the high heavens and the earth. For Jews the world is one gigantic temple, because the world was created to praise and adore God. For Jews the world has three parts, the sky, the land and the sea, so did the temple. The curtains in the temple were blue and purple, for the sky. There was also a veil in the temple, and on this veil, all the stars were painted. Outside the temple was a huge pool for ritual washing, this symbolized the sea. Now if the temple is a symbol of the world, what would it mean for the temple to be destroyed? Well to an ancient Jew, it would mean the world was being destroyed. The destruction of the temple was an event of huge significance, it cannot be understated how significant this event was! So, when Jesus wants to talk about the end of the world to His Jewish disciples how does He do it, by connecting His Second Coming with the destruction of the temple. In fact, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it specifically states that the destruction of the temple marked a dawning of a new age in salvation history.
What about the falling stars? Well look at the words in the way they were meant to be read. In the ancient world, nobody had smart phones to tell the seasons. You used the sun to tell you what time it was, you used the moon to tell you the month and the stars to tell you the season. Now when the prophets wanted to talk about coming judgement what image did they use? The stars are falling from the sky, when the prophets tell the Egyptians that judgement is coming on them, like Isaiah, says that the sky will roll up and the stars will fall from heaven. What is he saying? The stars are falling from the sky, your time is done, your season has ended.
So, what is Jesus saying? He is talking about the end of time but He is also talking about the judgement, the judgement of the wicked Jerusalem. Remember all the prophets were killed in Jerusalem by the high priests and their fathers, and now they were going to kill Jesus, and the judgement would fall on that generation. See Matthew 23, right before all of this, Jesus tells the Pharisee’s this outright.
Now in Revelations you hear about a wicked city. Revelations is talking about the Second Coming but as in the Gospels it links the Second Coming with the destruction of the temple. This city is as bad as Sodom, it is as bad as Egypt, and where is this city? It is where the Lord was crucified. There is also another city mention, Babylon, this once again is a spiritual description of the wickedness of Jerusalem. Think about what the high priest said “We have no king but Caesar” here he was committing the ultimate rejection of God. There is God standing next to him and the governor, the representative, the face of Caesar next to him and he chooses Caesar.
Continuing, there is the alliance between the wicked leadership of Jerusalem and the Roman government. This alliance is described as the beast (Rome) and the false prophet (Jerusalem). It is also described as two beasts, one from the sea (Rome) and the other which comes from the land (Jerusalem). It is also described as a beast (Rome) and a whore (Jerusalem) who rides on the beast, which later turns and devours her (the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD). Remember God’s covenant with the Jews, they are supposed to be in a covenant relationship with God, and those who were not faithful were considered to be adulterous. In fact, Jeremiah describes Israel as God’s bride and God as the husband, but Israel is unfaithful and the prophets describe her as a whore. Ultimately what happens, the Romans turn on Jerusalem and they burn down the temple.
Dreams about the rapture
Yes, Babylon the great city goes up in flames, whereas the holy city Jerusalem comes down from heaven.
The holy city is a faithful bride, that has one king.
The great city is a unfaithful whore, riding on seven kings.
The great city is the city that rejected Jesus Christ, the king of Israel.
[/FONT]The Clementine Gospel Tradition [FONT=Calibri](The Authors of the Gospels)