“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-24)
“Verily I say unto you: This generation shall not pass, until all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:34)
This is something Ive been wanting to write on for a while. Jesus, supposed literal son of a god, stated pretty explicitly that the world as we know it would come to an end. Along with this explicit claim, he also made statements on when it would occur and what it would look like. The second quote above is from the gospel of Matthew; where Jesus pretty clearly states that the end times would happen during the lives of his followers. He was giving a warning to his closest friends on what to beware of. The only problem with this is that about 2 thousand years have passed since his followers died and we apparently skipped armageddon.
The first quote above clearly describes an event that would happen around Jerusalem. However, once again he is wrong. These events he supposedly described prophetically actually did occur; about 40 years after his supposed death. This is when the Jews once again rebelled against Rome and Rome’s future emperors, Vespasian and Titus, moved in to crush the rebellion. As the Roman armies closed in, of course people fled from the city. Once Jerusalem was besieged, Rome’s armies did not allow anyone into or out of the city. Wars do in fact create distress and wrath did occur against the Jews; not that extraordinary. Romans did in fact use swords and would have killed people with the sword, and the Jews were in fact forced out of Jerusalem and some areas of Judea as punishment for their continual revolts. Jerusalem was even renames Aelia Capitolina as a result of Titus’ successful revolt-crushing. So in fact, it appears Jesus predicted the future, unless it was just the gospel’s author writing 70 years later fully knowing about Rome’s treatment of Judea.
What are we left to conclude about this? If the gospels do in fact precisely, or at least closely, relate what the real man Jesus said then the man was wrong; completely off the mark. Sure if he actually predicted the destruction of Jerusalem then he predicted the future, but this was supposed to herald the end time, which it obviously did not since we would not still be here. The end times did not occur in the apostles’ lifetimes as Jesus supposedly prophesied, nor has it occurred in any other generation regardless of how many fear-mongering priests and preachers have predicted it based on evidence that was so clear to them.
So how does one trust that the words of the bible are in fact the words of a literal, physical man named Jesus of Nazareth? If we can show clearly that the words were wrong and that the gospel was written after the predicted events had taken place then I see no way that we can attribute any sort of trustworthiness to the gospels of the New Testament.