The Resurrection and the Heresy of Hymenaeus and Philetus

The  Resurrection of Christ, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
The Resurrection of Christ, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) | Source
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Introduction

  • 2Ti 2:17-18 KJV And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Paul condemned Hymenaeus and Philetus for teaching the false doctrine 'the resurrection is past', causing to ‘overthrow the faith of some’.

I will attempt to ascertain the nature and timeline of the resurrection, define the 1st century Church's understanding of Paul's teaching on the subject, and explain why Paul was so adamantly opposed to the false doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus.

The Timeline of the Resurrection

When Exactly Was the Resurrection to Occur According to the Scriptures?

All the New Testament writers anticipated the impending second coming of Christ and the end of the Old Covenant Age, consequently, ushering in the resurrection and the judgement. It never entered the minds of the Apostles this would take place thousands of years in the future. Since these men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit and sat at the feet of Jesus, who are we to contradict them.

The Two Ages

The Jews had two ages in their eschatological thinking, the Mosaic Age and the Messianic Age. The Mosaic Age would end with the coming of the Messiah.

  • Deu 31:29 KJV For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Prior to Moses' death and having faithfully fulfilled God's plan and purpose through the establishment of the Old Covenant Law and the Offerings, he prophesied the children of Israel would be judged for their apostasy in the 'latter days' of the Old Covenant Age.

  • Dan 9:2 KJV In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
  • Dan 9:13 KJV As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

Daniel interceded on behalf of his people, he was not seeking God regarding the end of the world. His desire was to understand the prophetic timeline of Jeremiah and Moses concerning Old Covenant Israel.

Lazarus and the End of the Age

  • Joh 11:23-24 KJV Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

We learn from Martha's discussion with Jesus that she had no doubt the resurrection would be 'at the last day'. The timeline of the resurrection was not the last day of time, but the last day of the Old Covenant Age!

Let us continue studying the resurrection timeline more closely by comparing Daniel 12 to the Gospels.

Compare Daniel 12:1-2 and Matthew 24:21

Daniel
Matthew's Gospel
Dan 12:1-2 KJV And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Mat 24:21 KJV For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Daniel among the Exiles

 Daniel among the Exiles, Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
Daniel among the Exiles, Gustave Doré (1832-1883) | Source

The Timeline of Daniel 12 was the AD 70 'Great Tribulation'

Daniel prophesied the resurrection would take place after ‘a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time’...Daniel 12:1. Jesus alluded to Daniel's prophecy in Matthew 24:21 when He predicted its fulfillment during His generation’s lifetime...Matthew 24:34.

'no, nor ever shall be' Some scholars conveniently teach the 'great tribulation' in Matthew 24:21 is a double fulfillment prophecy, claiming the AD 70 event will be repeated in our generation. Nevertheless, Jesus specifically said such great tribulation will never be seen again, 'no, nor ever shall be'! Therefore, it was a one-time fulfillment.

Compare Daniel 12:2-3 and Matthew 13:39-43

Daniel
Matthew's Gospel
Daniel 12:2-3 NIV Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise[a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
Matthew 13:39-43 NIV and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The Timeline of Daniel 12 was the AD 70 'End of the Age'

Jesus alluded to Daniel 12:2-3 during His discourse with the disciples. He described the judgement about to fall upon Old Covenant Israel...Matthew 13:39-43.

'The harvest is the end of the age' The disciples were living during the last days of the Old Covenant Age.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father' Jesus alluded to Daniel when He described the outcome of the judgement. Once again, we see the same timeline in the statements of Daniel and Jesus.

Arch of Titus Menorah

Arch of Titus Menorah, Roman Triumphal arch panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem temple.
Arch of Titus Menorah, Roman Triumphal arch panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem temple. | Source

Compare Daniel 12:11 and Matthew 24:15-16

Daniel
Matthew's Gospel
Dan 12:11 KJV And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Mat 24:15-16 KJV When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

The Timeline of Daniel 12 was the AD 70 'Abomination of Desolation'

It is interesting to note the Greek word 'erēmōsis' translated 'desolation' appears only three times in the New Testament...Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20.

Luke's timeline harmonises perfectly with Matthew and Mark, we can therefore rely on his additional insight into the meaning of the 'abomination of desolation'. This also refutes the concept that Luke wrote about a different event.

'Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains' The remnant seized the opportunity to flee from the abomination of desolation and found refuge in Pella; Jerusalem finally fell to the Roman Army in AD 70, thereby, fulfilling the words spoken by Jesus.

  • Luk 21:20 KJV And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

'Jerusalem compassed with armies' Some scholars suggest that 'armies' cannot refer to the Roman army in AD 70, because the plural 'armies' must mean a confederation from various nations. The Greek word 'stratopedon' translated 'armies', used once in the Scriptures, according to Thayer's Greek Definitions it means 'soldiers in camp, an army'.

It was not unusual for the Romans to conscript the armies of subjugated nations to fight their wars. On this occasion, the Roman army mainly consisted of the nations surrounding Old Covenant Israel; all had a vested interest in its destruction, hence the extent of the devastation.

The timeline of 'the abomination of desolation’ was commensurate with the resurrection. According to Jesus, it was 'when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies'...Daniel 12:1-2; Daniel 12:11-13.

Paul in Ephesus

Paul in Ephesus, Eustache Le Sueur (1616-1655)
Paul in Ephesus, Eustache Le Sueur (1616-1655) | Source

The Resurrection and the 1st Century Church

The Hymenaeus and Philetus heresy gives insight into the resurrection beliefs of the 1st Century Church.

The Church had many false teachers who attempted to undermine Paul’s ministry. Among them were Hymenaeus and Philetus who caused confusion by teaching the resurrection was past.

Paul did not challenge Hymenaeus and Philetus as to the nature of the resurrection, whether it was physical or spiritual. However, he did refute the timing because it was not a past event.

The Nature of the Resurrection

If the nature of the resurrection were physical, surely believers would have witnessed the extraordinary event.

If Paul taught the popular 21st century concept leading to the Day of the Lord including:

The rapture

The two stage return of Jesus

The physical resurrection of the dead with open graves

Every eye beholding the physical and visible return of Christ

The end of time or the end of the world

How was it possible for false teachers to convince believers in Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus the resurrection and the Day of the Lord were past events? If a physical rapture had taken place they would have noticed the disappearance of some believers at least? The rapture is supposed to happen seven years prior to the Day of the Lord! All they had to do was look around the graveyards and see nothing had changed!

In my opinion, it is reasonable to conclude the early Church believed the resurrection was spiritual.

Paul's Opposition to the False Teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus

Why was Paul opposed to Hymenaeus and Philetus, could he not simply have drawn them aside and corrected their error?

  • 1Ti 1:19-20 KJV Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

These men were beyond accepting instruction from Paul; they were neither genuine students of the Word of God nor were they seeking the truth. Paul had already dealt with Hymenaeus according to his 1st Epistle to Timothy.

  • Act 13:45 KJV But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Paul constantly rebuked those who contradicted the Gospel; the most prevalent false teachers were Jewish converts who refused to leave behind Judaism, as in Antioch...Acts 13. What Judaism was unable to achieve by persecution, it sought to destroy by infiltration.

The resurrection without the second coming of Christ was heresy.

  • 2Ti 4:1 KJV I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Christ's return, the resurrection, the judgement, and the establishment of the New Covenant were concurrent events.

  • Luk 24:44 KJV And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

To teach the resurrection had occurred without the other major events surrounding the Day of the Lord was contrary to prophecy and the teachings of Christ.

The Transition Period

  • Heb 9:8 KJV The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

The Hymenaeus and Philetus heresy postulated the establishment of the New Covenant while the earthly temple in Jerusalem ‘was yet standing’. Their ulterior motive was to justify the inclusion of the Law of Moses into Christianity, resulting in a mixture of Law and Grace.

The 1st century Church lived during a 'transition period', also described as the ‘already but not yet’. This period was during the passing of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New. Believers experienced some of the blessings of the New Covenant, but until the Lord had fulfilled all His promises to Old Covenant Israel, they could not enter into its fulness.

The outward manifestation of Christ's parousia was the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70, until that time the Law and the Prophets remained unfulfilled.

An Attempt to Vindicate Judaism

The false teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus undermined the authority of Christ's ministry. To falsely teach the resurrection was past without the second coming of Christ and the impending judgement on apostate Israel, was an attempt to vindicate Judaism and the hypocrisy of its religious leaders; thereby giving an acceptable credibility to the Gospel's greatest opposition.

The Resurrection and the Old Covenant Age

  • Heb 11:13 KJV These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

The resurrection of the dead was not a biological resurrection of decayed bodies; it was the raising of the faithful from Sheol.

  • Act 23:6 KJV But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

A Quote from Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Acts 23:6 '.......with great propriety, therefore, he might address the Pharisees and say, “Brethren, the doctrine which has distinguished you from the Sadducees is at stake. The doctrine which is at the foundation of all our hopes - the resurrection of the dead; the doctrine of our fathers, of the Scriptures, of our sect, is in danger. Of that doctrine I have been the advocate. I have never denied it. I have everywhere defended it, and have devoted myself to the work of putting it on an imperishable basis among the Jews and the Gentiles. For my zeal in that I have been opposed. I have excited the ridicule of the Gentile and the hatred of the Sadducee. I have thus been persecuted and arraigned; and for my zeal in urging the argument in defense of it which I have deemed most irrefragable the resurrection of the Messiah - I have been arraigned, and now cast myself on your protection against the mad zeal of the enemies of the doctrine of our fathers.” Not only, therefore, was this an act of policy and prudence in Paul, but what he affirmed was strictly true, and the effect was as he had anticipated.'

Resurrection was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel. It was the 'hope of Israel', and took place at the passing away of the Old Covenant.

The Resurrection and the New Covenant Age

Since Christians have continued to physically die over the past 2000 years, it is obvious, Christ's commission was resurrection from 'spiritual death’ not physical death.

Adam did not die physically when he chose to disobey God. His expulsion from the Garden of Eden resulted in spiritual death, his wonderful relationship with the Lord ended.

God's great plan of redemption was not only the resurrection of the faithful remnant of Old Covenant Israel, but through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, resurrection and reconciliation was offered to all nations.

  • Joh 11:25-26 KJV Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus promised all born again believers they would never die!

  • Joh 5:24 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The New Covenant is synonymous with the Kingdom of God; all born again believers are spiritually resurrected from spiritual death.

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Conclusion

  • Eph 2:5-6 KJV Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

A Quote from Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Ephesians 2:4-7 'Having shown that both Jews and Gentiles were spiritually dead, Paul now declares the spiritual resurrection of the saints. This lifting up from death to a new life is due to God, rich in mercy, and on account of the great love wherewith he loved us. The next verse affirms the fact.

Hath quickened us together with Christ. As he quickened Christ and raised him, so when we were dead in sins he gave us spiritual life by the gospel and lifted us to a new life. "We were planted in the likeness of his death and resurrection" (Rom_6:5).

By grace ye are saved. Not by works of the law, as he has shown so fully in the Galatian letter.

And hath raised us up together. Buried into the death of Christ, we are risen with Christ (Col_2:12). We are risen as new creatures to walk with the Risen Christ, with our minds on heavenly things (Col_3:1).

To sit in heavenly places. In our present state, to have our minds above (Col_3:2).

That in the ages to come. In all coming time.

The exceeding riches of his grace. In saving, purifying and blessing his children.'

By His death, resurrection, ascension, glorification and return, Jesus defeated 'the death' that separated 'man' from fellowship with God.

What do you think?

Because He Lives - John Starnes

Alexander Gibb

© 2011 Alexander Gibb

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Comments 47 comments

Lone Ranger 4 years ago

Searchinsany:

Yet another great essay!!!

Like you, my own research into the Word of God led me to believe that the resurrection of the quick and the dead, in reality, is something different than the popular teaching of our day.

I went through a period in my life when I started to question everything and to challenge everything that I had been taught. As a result of my personal inquisition into truth, many of the pillars that supported my faith collapsed, while other pillars grew stronger.

It was necessary for these weak pillars to collapse so strong ones could be erected in their place. During this time, my belief in infant baptism eroded, my belief in the resurrection of the quick and the dead changed, my understanding of the Lord's Second Coming was altered as well as my belief that the Son of God was also the Father, and so on and so forth.

I enjoy reading your Hubs; they are enlightening, logical and, as far as I see it...spot on!!!

Best wishes and be well - L.R.


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searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Lone Ranger

I too have had a similar experience, my profile will explain in more detail.

My view on Eschatology has changed dramatically, and I continue to be challenged on other doctrines previously accepted without question. Although these may also be controversial I feel duty bound to publish the results.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

"All the New Testament writers anticipated an imminent Second Coming of Christ which would consequently usher in the Resurrection and the Judgment. It never entered the minds of the Apostles that these events would take place thousands of years in the future." - Searchinsany

------------

I would have to agree with you.

On a side note, when do you think John "the beloved" passed away? It is a popular notion that he wrote the Book of Revelation in 96 A.D. If this is so, why didn't he mention the destruction of Jerusalem, or the deaths of the other apostles?

The other thing I find troubling is IF Christ came back in 70 A.D., during the fall of Jerusalem, why didn't John write about Christ's "Second Coming" and then pass on this information to his student, Polycarp, the future bishop of Smyrna? This has always troubled me.

The assumption, of course, is that, John "the beloved", was still alive around 70 A.D.

If Christ did return in or around 70 A.D., why did the first-century Christians continue to expect it as well as all subsequent generations throughout the ages? If the "Second Coming" was such a spectacle, why didn't more people see it?

I tend to endorse the tenets of "Preterism", because I think they are Biblically sound (as a whole), but that doesn't mean I don't have some reservations.


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searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

CJ

Thank you for reading my hub, you raise some very good points and I do understand your reservations.

In my opinion John died before AD 70, I attempt to support this claim in my Hub ‘The Book of Revelation: When Was it Written and Why Does it Matter?’

My understanding is that the Return of Christ was a spiritual event with the physical evidence being the Destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews. I attempt to support this view in my Hub ‘The Day of the Lord and Metaphorical Language in Scripture’ it may also be of interest to you.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Searchinsany, thank you for your reply.

You said, "In my opinion John died before AD 70".

------------

Looking at John 21:20-23 we read: (20)Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?").

(21)When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"

(22)Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

(23)Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; He only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

So, if John "the beloved" died shortly before or after A.D. 70, then who was Polycarp's mentor? Polycarp said the apostle John was his mentor. If John died on or before A.D. 70, then he could not have mentored Polycarp.

Now, if John did not die on or before A.D. 70 and did, in fact, mentor Polycarp, then why didn't John or Polycarp testify to Christ's return? Wouldn't John have known about it? This is a mystery that I would like solved.


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searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

C J

That is a ‘cracking’ question!

Joh 21:20-23 KJV Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

There was a misunderstanding among the brethren, the test being that since most scholars believe that Christ has not returned, then John must still be alive!

John 21:20-23 has been misinterpreted to justify the claim that the Apostle John lived well into old age, until AD 95 onwards. When examined closely Jesus did not specifically say that John would live to old age or live until His Return. On the contrary Jesus spoke of John’s Martyrdom!

Mar 10:37-39 KJV They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

Jesus said to James and John ‘…Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of…’ meaning martyrdom. In my opinion, it is reasonable to suggest that John died prior to AD 70.

A Quote from Robertson’s Word Pictures

‘Mark 10:38 Or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with (e? to baptisma ho ego? baptizomai baptisthe?nai). Cognate accusative with both passive verbs. Mat_20:22 has only the cup, but Mark has both the cup and the baptism, both referring to death. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane will refer to his death again as “the cup” (Mar_14:36; Mat_26:39; Luk_22:42). He had already used baptism as a figure for his death (Luk_12:50). Paul will use it several times (1Co_15:29; Rom_6:3-6; Col_2:12).’

The bottom line is, if we claim the Scriptures are our sole authority, then regardless of the doubts that may arise from extra biblical writing these must take second place.

My Hub ‘The Book of Revelation: When Was it Written and Why Does it Matter’ may be of interest.

Ps If John wrote his Gospel, Epistles and The Revelation after AD 95, why did he never mention the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem or the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70?


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Thank you, Searchinsany, I can always rely upon you to get straight to the heart of the matter with integrity and great scholarship!

Indeed. I follow what you are saying and I cannot find anything I disagree with. But, the mystery that still plagues me is how could John "the beloved" have mentored Polycarp if he died around 70 A.D.?

Sometimes it is not wrong to look at extra-Biblical sources to help solve riddles. I believe true science and true history will always augment Scripture and Biblical doctrine. Are not the laws of nature and time itself (the past, present and future)...servants of our Lord?

I have read that perhaps John "the beloved" did not write the Book of Revelation. It seems that a different writing style was employed and different Greek grammar was used in Revelation than found in the Books of John and in 1 John.

It has been speculated that a man called "John the Presbyter", may have written the Book of Revelation. No one knows for sure, but he was known to be a contemporary of John "the beloved" and is thought to be buried in the same city as John "the beloved".

It is obvious I need to research Polycarp a little better. Either John "the beloved" was not the same John that mentored Polycarp or John did mentor him, but perhaps earlier than expected?

I'll consider this my burden and will get back to you as soon as I find something meaningful. :0)


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searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

J C

Thank you for your contribution to my Hub. Here are a few more thoughts on Polycarp.

If the Apostle John was Polycarp’s ‘mentor’:

Did Polycarp write down what he learned from John?

If Polycarp did write what he was taught by John, why did none of his writing on the subject survive? Surely these would have been highly prized.

Why did Polycarp in his Epistle refer to ‘Paul and the other Apostles’ and not mention his ‘mentor’ by name?

Polycarp 9:1 I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also ye saw with your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yea and in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles;

If John wrote his Gospel c AD 95 why did he refer to the Pool of Bethesda in the present tense?

A Quote from my Hub ‘The Book of Revelation: When Was it Written and Why Does it Matter’

‘Topography: The study of the detailed mapping or charting of the features of a relatively small area, district, or locality.

Joh 5:2 KJV Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

Most theologians today assign the four writings of John to AD 90-95; academic credibility would be in question if it could be proved from the Scriptures that all were written before AD 70.

A strong argument for the ‘Pre’ AD 70 date for the Gospel of John is that of topography.

An illustration can be found in the healing of the cripple in John 5:5. John told of a pool by the sheep gate called ‘…Bethesda, having five porches.’ This is a significant statement because these porches at Bethesda were buried in the rubble when Jerusalem was levelled in AD 70!

John clearly stated, ‘…there is at Jerusalem...’ not ‘...there was at Jerusalem...’ in John 5:2. If John was writing around AD 90-95, he would not have used the present tense, therefore John must have written his Gospel prior to AD 70. See CH Dodd’s, Historical Tradition In The Fourth Gospel, for more study along this line.

A Quote from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

‘There is in Jerusalem - Hence it appears, that St. John wrote his Gospel before Jerusalem was destroyed: it is supposed about thirty years after the ascension. Having five porticos - Built for the use of the sick. Probably the basin had five sides! Bethesda signifies the house of mercy.’

The destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the dispersion of the Jews were to the Jew, the ultimate catastrophe, yet John made no mention of these calamities in His writings.

Why was this? John wrote prior to the tragedy happening.

A Quote from John AT Robinson...1919-1983

‘one of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period - the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the Temple - is never once mentioned as a past fact.’

Robinson commented further by saying, ‘...the silence is nevertheless as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark’.

Speaking more specifically of John's Gospel, Robinson wrote: ‘...there is nothing that suggests or presupposes that the Temple is already destroyed or that Jerusalem is in ruins...’

I am convinced that there is sufficient evidence in the Scriptures to prove the early date for the all John’s writing and his death. (However I would appreciate a follow up on your research into the life of Polycarp.)


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Well, Searchinsany, you are indeed remarkable. I leave you but for a moment and you waste no time digging for the truth! I think, perhaps, it is not in your character to disappoint or produce something that is less than astounding.

It looks as though we have been digging in the same hole. I, too, read that Polycarp did not say he was a student of John the Apostle. In fact, there is only one writing of Polycarp still in existence and he never referred to John's writings at all, nor did he even mention him. Hmmm.

It looks as though our friend, Irenaeus of Lyons (115-202 A.D.), who was a student of Polycarp was responsible for furnishing the world with the idea that Polycarp was mentored by John the Apostle.

Irenaeus said that he heard Polycarp state that he was mentored by John the Apostle, when Irenaeus was a youth, many years before.

As you know already, Irenaeus is also responsible for the belief that the Book of Revelation was written in or around 96 A.D. He is the one that said that he thinks he remembers Polycarp (69-155 A.D.) saying something about John being imprisoned under Domitian and freed under Nerva.

It has been said that the reason why Polycarp may not have mentioned John "the beloved" in his only surviving letter, is perhaps that John "the beloved" was not the "John" that was his mentor. It has also been theorized that the writings of John "the beloved" had not been completed by the time of Polycarp's letter, which I find hard to believe.

I have got to tell you, my friend, the plot thickens. There seems to be so much misinformation out there that one must painstakingly verify almost everything that they think they know or have learned. The truth is out there, but one must dig for it and I know no one knows this better than you.

As for me, I learned today that it is debatable whether Polycarp ever met John "the beloved", Christ's personal disciple.

And, just like that...another pillar fell. :0)


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searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

J C

Many thanks for a wonderful exchange of views.

I think you have summed it up beautifully.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Well, as they say, "Brilliant minds think alike". :0)


PAMITCHRUS 4 years ago

Hi there searchinsay.. good stuff in this hub !!!! Hey do you think this is where the common teaching that we immediately "go to Heaven" when we die got started ??

I also agree with you guys about the supposed timing of the writing of the book of revelation..

Have a good one and remember don't be decieved by the doctrines of demons and devils taught by the forked tongues of men !!! Our Father is angry with those who pervert his justice and speak evil of his name !!!


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Pamitchrus

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Hub.

That is an interesting question, what do you think happens when a believer dies?


PAMITCHRUS 4 years ago

Well according to the scriptures the dead in Christ will rise from the grave when and only when he actually returns to rule and reign ... As you know we start life with a breath from God, and we end life with that breath returning to God.Our soul decends to Sheol.. or hell as the wicked scribes translate it.. Scripture makes clear that the destination of all men upon death is the grave.. One might call it the hotel for the sleeping.. :0)... Scripture makes it clear that even the Patriarchs are still sleeping in their graves awaiting the time of their ressurection.. think king david for example.. So in short when a believer dies .. well he dies.. till resurection time.. :0).. I mean what need would there be for a ressurection if we are already risen ???

Just a few thoughts.. :0).. also I do believe that the dead dream.. some good dreams some bad dreams for there is no rest for the wicked.. for dreams are the only reality of sleep.. :0).. and when you actually go to sleep well your as good as in the next day.. be it 12 hours away or be it 1000 years away.. there is no awareness of the passage of time during sleep.. As Paul said .. to die is as good as being there.. because the next concious awareness will be actually being there.. just as we awake in the morning .. :0)...or again one can say I die daily.. cause we do each and every night. So then was Jesus serious when he equated death with sleep ??? Me thinks the answer lies there.. :0)..

We've got a wonderful God of this I can testify. :0)..


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

PAMITCHRUS

Thank you for your very interesting comment.

On the subject of death, perhaps you might read my Hub ' Salvation: Did Adam Die the Day He Ate the Fruit?


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

PAMITCHRUS wrote: "Well according to the scriptures the dead in Christ will rise from the grave when and only when he actually returns to rule and reign."

------------------

Indeed, but I believe there is enough Biblical and extra-Biblical evidence that shows this event to have already occurred.

Our friend, PAMITCHRUS, goes on to correctly note that, "Scripture makes it clear that even the Patriarchs are still sleeping in their graves awaiting the time of their ressurection".

---------------

Again, who can argue with Scripture? Having said that, I think you may agree that at some point the above referrence to Scripture will have been fulfilled, hence it will no longer be valid. I think there is enough evidence to conclude that this condition of Sheol sleep is no longer a valid condition of the "dead".

The whole issue is based on whether Christ has returned and fulfilled that which He set out to do. I personally believe He has already come and accomplished all that He set out to do. As He said, "It is finished."

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

C J

Thank you, I agree with your comment.

I referred PAMITCHRUS to my Hub 'Salvation: Did Adam Die the Day He Ate the Fruit?' which has a different view on death to his, I am looking forward to his thoughts on it.

Many thanks.


PAMITCHRUS 4 years ago

Greetings,

I will check that hub out searchinsay and thanks... and to add a thought to what cj said about Jesus fulfiling all when he said "It is finished ".. Me thinks that Jesus was only refering to his sacrifice , payment for the sins of the world, as being finished.. We know that he must yet rule and reign till all things are reconciled back to God therefore we know that he is far from finshed.. That time has not come but I have seen it and am pursuaded of it's existance.. Remember God has a two phase progam.. First the sacrifice and assencion then the return to stay and reign to fulfil the words of the prophets and restore and reconcile all things back to God..

Remember Jesus always said my kingdom is not of this world.. First trip to prove himself worthy even to the point of laying down his life .. second trip to rule and lead the nations to life.. Few the first time, an unnumerable number which no man can count after the sons of God are revealed which is course the coming kingdom under the reign of the Great One Himself .. Now that's a government that will change things !!!! This too I have seen and it will most certainly come to pass.. :0)

I will check out your hub on Adam and again thanks.. :0)..


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

PAMITCHRUS

Thank you for your comment.

I had a similar viewpoint to your own until recent years when my approach to studying the Scriptures completely changed. I attempt to explain the reason in my Hubs.

In my opinion a fundamental issue is that Jesus and the Apostles constantly taught His imminent return.

Did Jesus fail to keep His promise? Of course not.

I respect your opinion and if you have the time to read my Hubs I would be interested in your comments. A good place to begin is ‘The Last Days: Did Jesus Fail to keep His Promise?’ and then follow the link at the end of each Hub.


SearchTheScriptures 4 years ago

1 Thes 4

Dead in Christ first, alive and remain next.

I'm not in the clouds yet, so it didn't happen


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

SearchTheScriptures

Thank you for your comment.


Diligent1 4 years ago

I am a Baha'i and have been studying the Bible for many years now. I am very grateful for your insightful inroads to the meaning of the Scriptures. Your observation,

"If Paul had taught the popular 21st century concept of the events leading to the ‘Day of the Lord’ such as:

The Rapture

The two stage return of Jesus

The physical resurrection of the dead with open graves

Every eye beholding the physical and visible return of Christ with the accompanying sound of the trumpet

The end of time or the end of the world

How was it possible to convince believers in Thessalonica, Corinth and Ephesus that the Resurrection and the Day of the Lord were past events?"

is key to understanding this passage of the Epistle.

Thank you!


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Diligent1

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub. The majority of my Hubs address this subject; if you have the time I would welcome any further comments.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Well, Searchinsany, it seems Diligent1 just came into existence 30 hours ago, and you were his/her very first stop. What an honor! :0)

God's blessing to you my friend - C.J. Sledgehammer


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

C J

Thank you.

I was delighted with the visit from Diligent1. It is really encouraging to receive such a comment.


Diligent1 4 years ago

Thank you all for your hospitality. It is good to be where there is learning. To continue with the subject at hand, perhaps it would be constructive to note that many new Christian contemporaries of Apostle Paul were formerly Jewish and as such had been expecting a literal return of Elijah. This concept of return having been fulfilled in a spiritual sense by the person of John the Baptist , was accepted by these former Jews thus enabling them to also have a deeper appreciation for a more profound meaning of resurrection.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Diligent1

Thank you for your comment. Are you referring to the Hub I have written on this subject?

The Last Days: Will Elijah the Prophet Really Return?

If not you may wish to read it.


Diligent1 4 years ago

No, actually I am referring to the topic above in II Timothy regarding "resurrection is past." In a way, Elijah was resurrected in the person of John the Baptist. I will surely read the Hub "The Last Days: Will Elijah the Prophet Really Return?"


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 4 years ago from UK Author

Diligent1

Thank you, I look forward to your comment on my Elijah Hub.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Very interesting article. I will comment on what is called the old covenant... it never existed, here's why.

See the Book of JOSHUA

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son on Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses.” 1:1-3

Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city (Jericho), both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys. 6:21

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the fighting men with you, and go up now to Ai. See, I have handed over to you the king of Ai with his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its livestock you may take as booty for yourselves. Set an ambush against the city, behind it.” 8:1-2

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out the sword that is in your hand toward Ai: for I will give it into your hand.” 8:18

And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them (See 12:7-24 for a list of Kings of the “Holy Land”), for tomorrow at this time I will hand over all of them slain, to Israel; you shall hamstring their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.” 11:6

God does not make war. The God who makes war is not God at all. God does not order the death of women and children. No land is holy if it is gotten through killing people. There never was a covenant between God and the Israelites. God does not select nations to kill for him and reward them with land. Stop teaching that there was a covenant or a “Holy Land.” Do not teach the Old Testament, there is no justification for it.

The Book of Joshua (first oral tradition) was written down as a political statement used by the Rabbis to motivate their army and justify their claim to the “Holy Land” by Divine right. In reading the Bible from beginning to end, Christians must read the Jewish version of events before they even get to the story of Jesus. The Old Testament is a false claim of Divine right. Christians do not need Judaism to be Christian. Teach only the New Testament, a God of peace, not war.

God does not order a Holocaust. The Holocaust of the Jews by the Germans is documented in Holocaust museums around the world. It is time for the Jews to acknowledge the Holocaust of the Canaanites by the Jews within the Holocaust museums.

What do you think?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

J C OBrien

Thank you for your comment.

Quote ‘The Old Testament is a false claim of Divine right. Christians do not need Judaism to be Christian. Teach only the New Testament, a God of peace, not war.’

2Ti 3:16 KJV All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The New Testament is the key to understanding the Old Testament.

An estimated 300 Old Testament quotes are in the New, with over 2000 allusions. Jesus quoted from 24 Old Testament books.

It would therefore be impossible for me as a Christian who studies the Scriptures to disregard the Old Testament.

Not only does the Old Testament contain Messianic prophecies that prove the authenticity of Christ, it also reveals His attributes and aspects of His ministry through types and foreshadows, of which He is the anti-type.

To teach only the New Testament would be in defiance of the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles.


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Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

What is scripture? It is what you believe to be true. "Scripture" varies by culture. I do not accept as scripture any story in which God commands or condones violence. This is the test. If voices in your head tell you to do harm, you should know it is not to be believed, not scripture.

Follow the peaceful teachings of Jesus, not the violent OT. The OT is what Jesus came to overturn.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Jay C OBrien

I explained in my previous comment the purpose of the Scriptures.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

God did not make a covenant to kill in the Book of Joshua because He is not violent toward his children, particularly women and children. Therefore The Book of Joshua is not scripture.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Jay C OBrien

In your first comment, you wrote ‘There never was a covenant between God and the Israelites’, then in your second ‘The OT is what Jesus came to overturn’. With whom then did God have the Old Covenant?

Jesus did not come to overturn the Old Covenant; He came to fulfil it. Having fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, the Old Covenant passed away with the introduction of the New Covenant.

Jesus did not preach peace only; He also preached judgement, and an imminent return to defeat His enemies, fulfilled in AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem with over a million slain. This happened during the lifetime of Jesus’ generation.

Jesus said:

Mat 10:34-35 KJV Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

A Quote from John Wesley

Matthew 10:33-34 ‘Whosoever shall deny me before men - To which ye will be strongly tempted. For Think not that I am come - That is, think not that universal peace will be the immediate consequence of my coming. Just the contrary. Both public and private divisions will follow, wheresoever my Gospel comes with power. Ye - this is not the design, though it be the event of his coming, through the opposition of devils and men. Luk_12:51.’

Joh 14:6 KJV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

By accepting this Scripture, it brings peace to those who believe, on the other hand, anger to those it offends.

Personally, I believe God is sovereign over all; He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. By grace through faith, I put my trust in Him believing ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Let us do this one step at a time. First, what do you think God is like? Is God Peaceful, Violent or does He Vacillate?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Jay C OBrien

I have answered your questions and I don't think there is much more I can add.

There are platforms provided by HubPages such as Q & A and Forums you may wish to consider.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

Perhaps I missed it. What do you think God is like ? Is God Peaceful, Violent or does He Vacillate?


Diligent1 2 years ago

Dear Jay C OBrien,

It has been a while since I have come on this hub. In commenting on your input over the last few posts, I would like to add a few words. I have come to appreciate how in life I have had to strive very hard to make progress as life is not meant to be lived the easy way in other words. This is how the world is. If there is no pain, if there is no suffering, if there is no sacrifice, there will not be any fruits, there will not be any achievements! You can ask the seed what it had to go through to turn into a tree and that should suffice every enlightened soul how sacrifice, hardship and suffering are intertwined with our lives and the lives of every single created thing! This is how the creator has wanted it and to be honest I am glad it is the way it is as I do not enjoy anything in life that I have not striven for.

How true is this also of the Word of God. How can one possibly content oneself with a simple reading of the Word and not wonder about the hidden meanings?! The one who has created the universe and has put the creation in motion, how can he possibly exempt his Word from such criteria?! The criteria of suffering, sacrifice and strife to understand his Word. Many read the Word of God and yet fail to understand the hidden meaning. I do too! How can I possibly accept

2 Kings 2:23-24 if I only go by the literal meaning? How can I possibly accept the claim of Paul that the rock that gushed with water in the wilderness was Jesus Christ, if I only read the words without understanding? And above all, it would be meaningless for God to say, "Eyes they have, but see not! Ears they have, but they hear not.", if the Word of God is simply to be read!

The Word stands. It is our understanding that needs to change.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

The best I can make out is that you believe God Vacillates between Violent and Peaceful. I invite you to a higher level of consciousness: God is always Peaceful and non-judgmental. Jesus did not condemn/judge the woman at the well.

Jesus taught to love one another. His final command to Peter was: sheath your sword. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your enemies. All of these teachings go against fighting and killing. Jesus never strapped on a sword. Sacrifice does not remove sin, forgiveness does.

All teaching contrary to the Peaceful nature of God is a mistake by the author who had a low understanding of spiritual matters. Please raise you consciousness.


James 2 years ago

Absurd doctrines; hopefully few if any will be deceived thereby.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

James

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Hub. Could you show me from the Scriptures why my view is absurd.


Keith Graham 6 months ago

Christian greetings, and thanks for your labors in the written Word of God.

At this point I consider myself a partial preterist I think we are in agreement that there is a lot of futuristic error "out there,"especially of the dispensational kind, plaguing the church.

Here are a few points I would be interested in hearing your opinion about:

Jesus taught that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven. (Luke 22, Mark 12, Luke 20) Are present day disciples like the angels in heaven, and how should we understand the institution of marriage among disciples after Christ's coming in judgment in A.D. 70?

According to Revelation 21:4, "...God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Has this promise of God been fulfilled?

In Acts 1:11, two angels say to the disciple "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Does this refer to Jesus' coming in judgment in 70 A.D., or to something else?

In John 5:28, 29 is Christ referring to spiritual resurrection? If so, how should we understand the resurrection to damnation of those who have done evil?

In Matthew 12 and Luke 11, Jesus refers to the "queen of the south" of Solomon's time and the men of Nineveh of Jonah's time rising up in judgment with the generation of Christ's time. Is this something that has already taken place?

In Matthew 16 (cf. Luke 9) Jesus tells His disciples that He will reward each according to His works when He comes. Does this refer only to His disciples who were His contemporaries (the apostles et. al.)? Do the disciples who have lived from 70 A.D. to the present receive rewards according to their works?

1 Corinthians 15:24-26 teaches of Christ's reigning until all enemies are put under His feet, with death the final enemy destroyed "at the end" when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father. In vss. 35ff we have the apostolic description of the resurrection bodies of believers. Those bodies are spiritual, glorious, incorruptible, and powerful. How does the robustly preterist position understand this chapter?

Finally, did Scripture foretell anything that has occured between approx. 70 A.D. and the present day. Is anything revealed in Scripture about any events that are still in the future?

Thanks in advance for any answers or comments you would care to offer.

Grace and Peace to you.


Sue 2 months ago

Daniel 12:1-2 and Matthew 24:21

Daniel 12 was not talking about AD 70 as the Great Tribulation because the dead did not rise then. And it the Great Tribulation is not two fold because it is to happen once and never again Matthew 24:21 "Jesus specifically said such great tribulation will never be seen again, 'no, nor ever shall be'! Therefore, it was a one-time fulfillment."

He DID NOT predicted its fulfillment during His generation’s lifetime..., he was stating this generation a future generation will not pass until all is fulfilled. When he said this generation he was not talking about the apostles generation he was refering to a future generation that would not pass until all was fulfilled.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 months ago from UK Author

Sue

Thank you for your comment.

I didn't write the Great Tribulation is two fold, it was fulfilled by AD 70. It was not a double fulfilment prophecy to be fulfilled again thousands of years later.

I have shown scriptural comparisons for Matthew 24 being the fulfilment of Daniel 12. Could you show me from Scripture where I have gone wrong?

Daniel sought the Lord about the future of the Jewish people, not about the end of time or the end of the world, (Daniel 9). He prayed to understand when his captive nation would return to their land, and the future of Old Covenant Israel. The Jews believed in two ages, the Old Covenant Age and the Messianic Age. The Lord revealed the events leading to the end of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New.

Mat 24:3 KJV And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [aiōn] age?

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus about the end of the Age they were living in, not the end of the world. Jesus revealed the events leading to the destruction of the temple and the end of the Old Covenant. With the destruction of the temple in AD 70 sacrifices and Judaism ended.

Mat 24:34 KJV Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

It is beyond me how anyone can change the meaning of Jesus' simple statement to apply to a generation 2000 years in the future.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 months ago from UK Author

Keith Graham

My apologies, I discovered your post for the first time today. Normally I am advised of visitors comments, but this one slipped through the net. I will attempt to answer all your questions asap.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 months ago from UK Author

Keith Graham

1) Mat 22:23-24 KJV The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

The Sadducees did not believe in a physical resurrection and presented Jesus with a hypothetical question relevant to Old Covenant Israel, not New Covenant believers after AD 70. They began by quoting Moses, and asked if all the men were physically resurrected, to whom would she belong.

The purpose was to expose the error of their rivals the Pharisees who believed in the resurrection.

I recommend the following for an in depth study of the topic.

https://youtu.be/SD35oPcBZ8Y

Please let me know what you think.

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