Following the notorious COVID19 and the several 'weird' things happening around the world these days, it is not too uncommon to once again hear Christians come across with their usual 'Jesus is just around the corner' message. You will be forgiven if you think that the bible has a coherent teaching about how the world will end. In the famous olivet surmon such as the one recorded in Matthew 24, we see Jesus makes it clear that the temple will one day be destroyed. Then the writer takes it as though it is obvious to the reader that such an end of the temple will also mark the end of the world. Consequently, he misleads Christians into thinking that Jesus was talking of the signs of the end of the world. In fact Jesus was talking of the signs that would indicate that Jerusalem is about to be destroyed. If we no longer think that Jesus would come 'immediately' after the destruction of the temple, then there is no longer any reason to think that the signs talked about in Olivet sermon are signs of the 'end of the world'.
But why did Jesus and his disciples think that the world would end immediately after the fall of Jerusalem? The answer is that both prophets Zechariah and Daniel said so. These, especially Zechariah chapter 14 also debunks the common idea that since the Gospels saw the 70th ad destruction of Jerusalem so clearly, these must have been vaticinium ex eventu. Zechariah also foresaw the ultimate destruction of Jerusalem in a clear and remarkable way! It isn't helpful and fair to say 'the bible is just a novel' and that 'it doesn't make any true predictions'. At the opposite end of the pendulum, it isn't fair to say 'the bible doesn't make false predictions'. The bible consistently makes the false prediction about what immediately comes before the end of the world. It does so in Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Mathew, Thessalonians, revelation etc.
The bible seem to be a work of neither a perfect, omniscient being nor of blatant propagandists, nor of novelists etc. It is a work of psychicaly gifted but erring humans. Let us see more closely the problems with the above ideas of what the bible is the work of
Work Of Novelists
Some parts of books in the bible, e.g. Daniel, does read like a novel. However, some parts don't. There are details that makes no sense to include if you are merely writing a novel. Details tend to be boring unless they fit nicely into the overall story. If you are writing a novel, and then you want to say you went from
Tehran, you wont talk of everything that someone might encounter along the road from Jerusalem to Tehran, of course. So what is the criteria for chossing to say 'I saw the Dog?' The answer is that if this event contributes to what your whole story is in general. A novelist wont include it if he wont need to riferr to the events latter on in the story. That is when we know why he saw a dog and not a cat! But if we read Daniel as a novel, we for instance, don't get an answer as to why he saw a vision 'in the first year of King Darius' and not 'in the second year', nor why the exact dates matter at all for the story to flow and/or entertain.
Another even more daunting problem is how Jews could be such childish as to mistake blatant fictions for infallible words of God. To patronize the ancient Jews, the 'novel' explanation is forced to say that the original Jews understood the wirks as fictions. But when will we find the works of Shakespeare being part of the bible? What will we have all smoked overnight?
The Works Of Blattant Propagandists
This suffers the same problem of requiring the ancient Jews to be fools. What the scholars are telling us is that all it takes to fool a Jew is for a king or a priest to tell him 'the earth rest on a tortoise'. But the story of Jesus Of Nazareth shows that the common Jew never bowed to the beliefs of the elites. The 'most educated' rejected Jesus but the simple minded ones accepted him! Ergo Jews just did not fall into the propaganda of the whatever authority, e.g. King Josiah decided.
Supposing you one day wake up and start preaching that someone has resurrected. What will you realize? All right you will realize that you cannot fool any one except some few retards .Try it and you will know what I mean! Yet we are supposed to believe that people like Paul ended up being the worst victims of their own propaganda for most of them ended up being tortured and killed while maintaining their stands!
The Works Of Genuine But Fallible Psychics
This is the best explanation! Sometimes miracles happen. Living things are miracles.Miracles happened in middle East that made people there pious.But we don't need an omnipotent or omniscient being to explain this. This is where middle eagerness made error. Had they their ability to see into the future as some unknown but still limited ability, explicable by some not yet well understood science rather than a contact with omniscience, they would not have made the many errors they have made.
We can understand 'time' (strictly events) as 'fourth dimension'. Therefore events of the future coexist with the events of the present. Supposing you are seeing upwards into the distant sky? Then you can say I see the tree, then the bird, then the helicopter, then plane, then the clouds. But immediately after the clouds, there the moon is! I make the wrong conclusion that there is no space in between the clouds and the moon since I think that just because I get the right sequence up to some point, then my ability to tell the whole sky is unlimited as it were, revelation by an omniscient being!
Such is essentially the errors that these Jewish psychics made when they 'saw into the future' they were just interested with the events that were relevant to temple based Judaism, which ended in 70th ad. It is akin to being interested with only birds up there in the sky, which are not there above the clouds. Should we know that there is a whole body of plasma up there, we will realize that there is a space between the clouds and the moon that is far bigger than the space between the earth and the clouds contrary to the superficial appearance.