The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
15 Points

Matthew 24 addresses a 1st century Jewish audience. All its prophesies were fulfilled by AD 70.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
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Matthew 24 primarily addresses the 1st century generation Jesus came to and all its prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 with the fall of Jerusalem and the temple.

PGA - Pro

Skepticalone - Con

1st Round is the stating of the terms and for Con to accept or reject the terms of the debate.
2nd Round is our opening statement for each of us to state our positions with a maximum of four argumentation lines
3rd, and 4th Rounds are to refute the others position with the option of adding one additional line of argumentation per round.
5th Round - no new arguments. Final rebuttal and conclusion.

Shared burden of proof means that both Pro and Con will address each of the others arguments.


I accept. I look forward to Pro's arguments. Good luck, sir!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting!

24 Jesus came OUT FROM THE TEMPLE and was going away when His DISCIPLES came up to point out THE TEMPLE BUILDINGS to Him. 2 And He said to THEM, "Do you not see all THESE THINGS? Truly I say to you, NOT ONE STONE HERE will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the DISCIPLES came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will THESE THINGS HAPPEN, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
4 And Jesus answered and said to THEM, "See to it that no one misleads you. -Matthew 24:1-4

The imminent statements throughout the NT can be logically understood in light of this event and no other. There is no other significant event during the 1st century that fits the bill. To project these events into the distant future is to READ INTO THE TEXT something that defies its plain meaning. You, Skepticalone, are forced to do this.

Jesus pointed to the destruction of the temple which happened in AD 70. If any book of the NT had been written after AD 70 it is unbelievable that such a significant event has no mention as already happening, not one. The destruction of the temple signified an end to an age, an end to the Jewish worship system, their heaven and earth and their covenant relationship with God. It required animal sacrifices of atonement for sin. After AD 70 there is no longer a trace of this covenant's requirements being practiced.

Jesus said,
36 Truly I say to you, all THESE THINGS will come upon THIS GENERATION. (Matthew 23:36)

"These things" refer to the warnings of judgment to this people for killing all those sent to them as well as their "house" being left to them desolate which signified the end of that covenant, God abandoning this apostate people.

34 Truly I say to you, THIS GENERATION will not pass away until all THESE THINGS take place. (Matthew 24:34)

"These things" refer to the fulfillment of all the prophetic promises Jesus had told the disciples would happen in answer to their question in verse three of the discourse.

Problems arise when you try to separate "this generation" from its context or when you try to dismiss Jesus' references to the end of the age as having no bearing on this Old Covenant people. The context and its fulfillment clearly show it is to this Jewish people that Jesus is speaking.

POINT TWO - Audience Relevance
When one reads the NT they cannot escape the audience relevance, to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. Jesus is addressing an Old Covenant people. So are the NT writers. Through them God chose to make Himself known to the world by choosing this people and the lineage from whom the Messiah would come. Through this people He made a covenant to show mankind the problem of sin and His solution, His Son! Every NT book primarily addresses these OT people with references to the PROPHETS SENT TO THEM, their constant rejection of these prophets and the soon to be fulfillment of all unfulfilled OT prophecy concerning them included in the events of Messiah's first and second coming.

Galatians 4:4
But when the FULLNESS OF TIME came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

The Son was born under the law and sent to those under the law.

"I believe that a recognition of "audience relevance" must be applied. By that I am simply saying: When reading the Scriptures, we simply must keep in mind that the things we are reading, whether spoken by Christ or written by His inspired writers, were not spoken and/or written to "us." Good folks, I am now persuaded that one invaluable thing we must always keep in mind is that the Scriptures, even though they were written "for" us, they were, in actuality, written "to" those in that era. And for that reason, I believe it is crucial that we study and understand them in their setting and context! For I believe to do otherwise is but to set ourselves up for a distortion in our interpretation and/or understanding of God's message!" [1]

We have to read the Discourse through 1st century Jewish eyes and through an understanding of their culture and tradition to understand it because it was to such a people, tradition and culture that Jesus came to and addressed. Jesus and the inspired writers used terms, language, idioms, metaphors, symbols, figures of speech, all related to the Hebrew culture, not a Greek or modern culture. God's promises to mankind were through Israel and their fulfillment. The Jewish way of thinking was different from the Greek or our way of thinking today.

POINT THREE - Three Questions
"THESE THINGS" (and a soon fulfillment).
Do the NT writers, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, give indication that "these things" were being fulfilled? Does history? Did Jesus in the gospels give clue as to when the fulfillment would be? I believe the answer is yes to all three questions and to say otherwise, which is your unenviable position, Skepticalone. It goes against the plain teaching of Scripture and 1st century history.

False Christ's/Messiah's, wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, great tribulation, persecutions, hatred, brother betraying brother, deceptions, the gospel preached throughout the earth, are all recorded either as 1) finding their fulfillment, 2) about to find their fulfillment in the NT or, 3) recorded by Josephus as having been fulfilled. [2]

For instance, the abomination of desolation which Jesus said was spoken of through Daniel the Prophet in Matthew 24:15 applies strictly to an OT people, A PEOPLE WHO HAD PROPHETS SENT TO THEM. It applies strictly to the desecration of the temple and city of God in Jewish writings. How can this abomination be applied to anyone else?

12 "Now at THAT TIME Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of YOUR PEOPLE, will arise. And there will be a TIME OF DISTRESS SUCH AS NEVER OCCURRED since there was a nation until that time; and at that time YOUR PEOPLE, everyone who is found written in the book, will be would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon AS THEY FINISH SHATTERING THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE, ALL THESE EVENTS WILL BE COMPLETE....11 From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION is set up, there will be 1,290 days... Daniel 12

Jesus refers to the prophet Daniel, and the abomination of desolation spoken of by him to a Jewish OT people.
NOTE: Daniel 12:1 " "your people."
"A time of great distress unequaled" compared with Matthew 24:21.
With "the power of the holy people shattered" everything concerning this people is complete.
'That time', a three and one half year time span in which Jerusalem was surrounded and destroyed.

30 And then the SIGN of the Son of Man will appear in the [heavens], and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE [HEAVENS] with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30

Note, it is a sign that will appear in the heavens, not Jesus in flesh and blood on earth. At that time they will see or understand that Jesus had come into His kingdom through their judgment. Clouds in OT Hebraic writing most often depict judgment. In a conversation with the High Priest Caiaphas, before the crucifixion, Jesus told him he would see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Father.

62 The high priest stood up and said to Him,..."I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will SEE THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. -Matthew 26:62, 64

13 "I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
And was presented before Him.
14 "And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a KINGDOM..." -Daniel 7:13, 14a

He comes before the throne of the Father in heaven, NOT ON EARTH, where He is given a kingdom. This is what the High Priest would understand or see when the temple was destroyed in clouds of judgment at AD 70.

In Matthew 24:3 the DISCIPLES ask Jesus what would be the END of the age. Jesus, throughout the discourse makes mention of the end of the age in verses 13, 14, 19, 22, 50 with events that lead to its end. Those days, that day, the hour of His coming, the preaching of the gospel, all speak to this end when Jesus would establish His kingdom, the new age, by His appearance.

Matthew 24:3 speaks of the same end of the age as in Matthew 28:19-20. I contend the end refers to this 1st century people and no other in its NT usage. Skepticalone, can you show otherwise?

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to THE END OF THE AGE." Matthew 28:19

In order to undermine this event, you, Skepticalone, must underplay the significance of it and its fulfillment in AD 70. Therefore you will have to change the time frame and audience of addressed from the usual meaning this language plainly conveys to an esoteric one.

Skepticalone, to refute any one of these three arguments would still show the irrationality of your reasoning because the rest show the unreasonableness of your position. I see your task likened to the boy at the dyke. You need to pay attention to the language - who is being addressed and when these must these things happen. When you don't I will take you back to the context and point this out to you.



First, I would like to thank PGA for another debate. I immensely enjoyed our last, and hope to repeat that experience here.

The Olivet discourse, which is also recorded in Luke 21 and Mark 13, begins with the apostles pointing out the beautiful temple complex. Jesus tells the disciples, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” This brings the apostles to ask questions.
“Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen…” In other words, when will the temple be destroyed? Jesus’ answer is recorded in Luke 21:20.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.

Jerusalem was surrounded by the Romans in 70 AD. For the purposes of this debate, I do not dispute this part of the Olivet discourse has been fulfilled.

”… and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

This is the part in which Pro and I disagree, and to which I will adress my arguments. The answers to this question can be (and should be) directly compared to the seal judgments in Revelation 6. The chart below illustrates point for point how the Olivet discourse and Revelation are linked. [0]

Now that we have seen the parallels between the Olivet discourse and Revelation, let us attempt to apply them to 70AD.

1. Revelation

a. The book of Revelation and its composition date

Modern scholarship holds that the book of Revelation was written between 90-95 AD. One reason for this time frame is because of the words of Ireneaus, who claimed John wrote the book during the reign of Domitian.

We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision [John]. For that was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.[5]

Domitian’s reign was from 81-96 AD. Revelation could hardly be a prophecy of 70 AD if it was written afterwards around 90-95 AD.

Unlike disputes over other books of the New Testament, most modern scholars, date the composition of Revelation fairly consistently around 90 AD. This is illustrated in the charts below. [2][3]

b. Was Revelation fulfilled in 70AD?

As we discussed above, if the Olivet Discourse was completely fulfilled in 70 AD (including the second coming of Jesus), then we must address the fulfillment of Revelation as well. There is much I could say about Revelation alone, but I will only cover one aspect.

Revelation 11

5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

The two witnesses

The two witnesses in Revelation 11:5-6 come before the return of Jesus, and are said to have amazing abilities. If anyone should seek to harm them, the witnesses can protect themselves with “flames from their mouths”, and they would have the ability to bring about the plagues of old (just like those in Moses day). If these witnesses existed in 70 AD, they were never mentioned by Jews, Christians, or Gentiles.

2. Abomination of Desolation (AoD)

Mat 24 15

Matthew 24

15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.

a. AoD will come quickly to the temple.

The Romans besieged Jerusalem for 7 months [4], and by the time they reached the temple in 70 AD (which is where the abomination would necessarily occur), The Jews should have been well aware of the impending doom. The siege was not quick as verses 17 and 18 would lead one to believe. Pro's position contradicts the obvious meaning of this passage.

b. Flee!

According to verse 15, people will be able to flee when they see the AoD. In 70 AD, the Romans built siege walls all the way around Jerusalem during the siege [5]. When the Romans took the city, large numbers of Jerusalem’s residents were already dead or unable to flee. If Jews had applied verse 15 to the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, then they would never have had the opportunity to escape. This is another failure.

c. AoD standing in the temple

The sign to flee is when the AoD is standing in the temple. Therefore, the destruction of the temple could not be the Abomination. I believe it makes sense to view the AoD as a man or idol, but no matter your interpretation, it will need to stand in the temple to fulfill scripture.

3. Greatest Tribulation

Matthew 24

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

a. Was 70 AD the worst Tribulation?

Verse 21 tells us that no greater hardship and no greater suffering will occur before or after the great tribulation. If we apply this passage to 70 AD, it fails. In 70 AD, Josephus tells us that 1,100,000 Jews die [4]. That number may be embellished, but even if it is not, it pales in comparison to the 6,000,000 Jews who were killed in the Holocaust during the second World War.

b. Could life have been wiped out in 70 AD?

Verse 22 tells us if God had not stopped this event, then no one would have survived (he would stop this event for the sake of believers). As brutal as the siege of Jerusalem was in 70 AD, there was never a chance of all believers (much less all life) dying.

4. Missionaries to the world

Matthew 24

14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

a. Audience

First, let me address Pro’s assertion about the audience. There are three main goals the writer of Matthew hoped to achieve:

1. Demonstrate Jesus as the Messiah to Jews.

2. Help Jews to understand why Jesus did not establish his kingdom on Earth and,

3. Why the gospel was being introduced to Gentiles.

So, I would agree it is proper to say the Olivet discourse is for a Jewish audience. However, I would not agree it carries no implications for Gentiles (or the modern Church). In fact, since the kingdom is being offered to Gentiles, Matthew 24:14 should apply to the entire world and all nations, and by no means would it be limited to the Roman empire.

If we apply verse 14 to 70 AD, we have another failure of Pro’s position because the Salvation of Jesus could not have traveled to the whole ancient world in ~40 years through the primitive communication and transportation available at the time. For example, the natives of the Americas would not have heard the ‘good news’ until at least the 15 century.[6]

Thank you readers, and back to you, Pro. I look forward to addressing your arguments and seeing your rebuttals in the next round.








Debate Round No. 2


POINT FOUR - Covenants
The Bible is divided into two covenants, two testaments. Jesus came to abolish the old, legal, works related covenant of Law but not before fulfilling everything required by the Law, both blessings and curses. It was necessary that the old disappear so the new could fully take its place. This is what we are witness to in the writing of the NT, the transition between covenants.

Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB)
17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law UNTIL ALL IS ACCOMPLISHED."

Everything required of the Law was accomplished by AD 70 for the very fact that not only the smallest stokes of the Law passed then, it all did. To say otherwise Skepticalone, you would need to show that the OT system of things could still function without a temple, priesthood, animal sacrifices, genealogies, ceremonial feast days, etc. If the heaven and earth spoken of here would not pass without the smallest letter of the Law passing then all was accomplished by AD 70 for there is no trace left of it after this destruction - none.

Therefore, the heaven and earth Jesus is speaking of would have certainly passed by AD 70.

The same term, "heaven and earth" is used in the Olivet Discourse. What does the term refer to? How would the Jews understand it? A clue would be to see how it is used in the OT. Is Jesus speaking of the literal heaven and earth? You discover the literal heavens and earth, your implication, did not disappear. In Isaiah 34 the term is used to predict the fall of the Edomite kingdom. Edom fell to Babylonia in BC 583. The same can be said for the fall of Babylon by the Assyrians in Isaiah 13. Isaiah 65:17 is a judgment on covenant Israel, yet the literal heaven and earth still exist.

This point was argued in our last debate and your whole argument hangs on a disputed translation from Ireneaus.
Kenneth Gentry and others note Ireneaus was a child when he met Polycarp so he is recalling childhood events that are likely embellished about John. Ireaneaus' testimony is also ambiguous. Ireneaus' translators have commented on the difficulty of translating him.

Kenneth Gentry points out:
"The all-important question in the matter is: Did Irenaeus mean to say that Revelation was seen by John in Domitian's reign? Or did he mean that John, who saw the Revelation, was seen in Domitian's reign?" [1]

It all depends on what "that"" modifies, John or what he wrote and saw.

Iraneaus was also know to have made a number of historical errors of which Gentry notes a couple, as does Guthrie and Moffatt.[2]

The Syriac version of Revelation states:

"The Revelation, which was made by God to John the Evangelist, in the island of Patmos, to which he was banished by NERO THE EMPEROR."
Most of the Syriac translations, which are known as the "Peshito,""Curetonian," the "Philoexenian" and the "Harclean" are supposed to have been translated late in the first century or very early in the second, but the ones containing Revelation are not believed to be quite that old." [2]

This put the Ireneaus passage into further question.

Nero's original name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. [3]

Nero is known for his persecution of Christians, not Domitian. He is even called the Beast, a term used in Revelation, by historians and early church fathers.

"the clue is preserved for us, not only by Jewish Talmudists, and Pagan historians and authors, such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Dion Cassius, and Dion Chrysostom; but also by Christian fathers like St. Irenaeus, Lactantius, St. Victorinus, Sulpicius Severus, and the Sibylline books, and even by St. Jerome, and by St. Augustine. Nothing can prove more decisively than these references that for four centuries many Christians identified Nero with the Beast." [4]

Also many "modern scholars" are revising their opinion of when Revelation was written. A.T. Roberson, the noted scholar was one. [5]

NT epistles and gospels in question as to their late date answer the dating questions nicely. Why is there no mention of the fall of Jerusalem as already happening, yet always an imminent warning to flee from coming wrath?

The very passage you, Con, quote from in Revelation 11 tells John to measure the temple, but leave the outer courts for the Gentiles until their time is fulfilled. Their time frame is 42 months (vs 2). I noticed you quoted Luke 21:20 which also speaks of these Gentiles (vs. 24). It is the time in which Jerusalem was surrounded, not after, as you have already conceded in Luke, yet your second chart lists it as after, around AD 85. Which is it? Is it AD 58-60 or AD 85?

Your time line for dating the authorship of Revelation has many problems, not the least of which is that you see Revelation as being written in the 90's whereas Luke is written in 58-60 by the timeline you cite. Both contain many accounts that mirror each other, as you have noted with the Olivet Discourse and Revelation 6, and depend on there being a temple in place.

Another problem with your view of Revelation 11 is the heavenly tabernacle has no outer courts for the Gentiles. There is no temple in heaven (Revelation 21:24). So what temple does it refer to?

42 months is the timeline around the siege of Jerusalem. I have no idea where you get seven months from.

The time frame of John's writing was near, short, soon, at hand. What kind of timeline are you, Con, projecting into the NT? You seem to think that God and the inspired writers can't tell time.

In addition, if you continued reading the Revelation 11 passage you quoted on the two witnesses you would see that in two verses after the witnesses it refers to the great city, Sodom, in which the Lord was crucified.

"8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified."

This can only be 1st century Jerusalem. The theme of the "Great City" is discussed in Revelation 14, 17, 18 also and it can only refer to one city and that during the Roman Empire, the fourth beast of Daniel, therefore to the generation Jesus came to for one important fact. Jesus attributed to Jerusalem all the blood of all the saints and prophets.

Compare Revelation 18:21, 24 with Matthew 23:32-38.

21 Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer….24 And IN HER WAS FOUND THE BLOOD OF PROPHETS AND OF SAINTS and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

30 and say, "If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets." 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers...36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!"

If that is not enough to convince you read 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16.

All the blood of the prophets and saints is attributed to these OT people and city.

You quite rightly connect the Discourse with Revelation 6 but again you remove the timeline by positing a different heavenly people. But seals and trumpets are connected with God's covenant people, Israel. DANIEL is told to seal up the visions and prophecy. We see Jesus, as worthy, opening the seals. They contain the WRATH or curse provisions under the Old Covenant law, especially about avenging the blood of the martyrs (Deuteronomy 32:43) But the point I want to make about Revelation 6 is that the saints cry out, "How long, O Lord, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth [land] AND AVENGE OUR BLOOD? (Revelation 6:10) And the answer is they were told to wait a little longer. Con, you are again guilty of ignoring context and time lines. John begins the Revelation by stating things that must shortly come to pass. Revelation 6 and 7 again identifies a Jewish theme, avenging their blood and mentions 144,000 who are sealed from all the tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4). There were no more tribes of Israel after AD 70. Old Covenant Israel ceased to exist because Old Covenant Israel no longer had a covenant. (Hebrews 8:13)

Your next point, the two witnesses (vs 6) can be shown to be in the time frame of the 1st century also. They are sandwiched between the measuring of the temple (vs 1) and where the Lord was crucified (vs 8) and although there is some speculation as to who they are you can't remove them from the 1st century that easily without ignoring the context of Revelation 11. It tells you some specifics. Some commentators believe the two witnesses are Moses and Elisha who represent the Law and the Prophets. They are witnessing the fulfillment of the covenant curses. The plagues, diseases, famines of Revelation were curses in the Law of Moses - covenant curses. Read them in Deuteronomy 28-32.

You, Con, are trying to dichotomize the time frame when it is specific. The city that the Lord was crucified in was first century Jerusalem.It was completely destroyed by the Romans as predicted in Daniel 2:44; 9:24-27 and elsewhere in the OT and in the NT in the Olivet Discourse which we are debating over.

Your other points on the AoD, the Great Tribulation and World Missions will be taken up in Rounds 4-5.

[1] p.334




Pro confuses imminency for immediacy in an attempt force a 1St century fulfillment.

As I established in round 2, the Olivet Discourse should be directly compared to the 6th chapter of Revelation. If Jesus were referring to 70 AD for the entire discourse, then we should see clear fulfillment of all the prophecies mentioned in Revelation 6 and Matthew 24 (war, death, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, etc.) during the Roman siege of Jerusalem. We do not. Accordingly, there are two options we must consider:

1. Jesus was wrong, or

2. My opponent’s interpretation of “this generation” is flawed.

Futurists hold "this generation" refers to a generation which will see the tribulation, and not the generation Jesus was speaking to.

I will leave this to the reader to determine.

POINT TWO - Audience Relevance

Respectfully, I disagree with my opponent. In Matthew 25, Jesus explains a judgment will be on Jews and Gentiles alike. The parable of the virgins refers to Jews. The “wise virgins” are believing Jews, and the “foolish virgins” are unbelieving Jews. In another parable, “the sheep” refer to believing Gentiles, and the “goats” refer to unbelieving Gentiles. In both parables, the unbelievers receive judgment. It is inappropriate to limit the scope of Jesus' judgment to Jews alone while offering Salvation to Jews and Gentiles.

Matthew 25: 1-13

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Matthew 25: 31-46

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

POINT THREE - Three Questions

"THESE THINGS" (and a soon fulfillment).

My opponent asserts the prophecies of the discourse as fulfilled, yet apparently intends for me to argue with his source. Also, history does not support his assertion. The catastrophic events never occurred on Earth (or in Jerusalem) as the scope of Revelation clearly states time and again.

Revelation 6:3 …it was granted to take peace from the earth

Revelation 6:7 …Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:9 …will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?

I believe it should be clear, but to drive the point home, “the earth” is used 5 times in chapter six of Revelation alone.


Basically, Pro is arguing for a figurative meaning for the second coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:30). His understanding relies on an immediate fulfillment instead of an imminent one, as we discussed above. However, the major point a figurative return/coming of Christ overlooks is Acts 1:9-11 says Christ will return in the same method in which he ascended.

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

There is no mention of Jesus by historians, Gentiles, Jews, or Christians in or around 70 AD.


The End of the Age refers to when the Heavenly Kingdom will be established. This is to be a time when Satan's control of this sin-filled world would end. Obviously, the world in which we live, and the world since 70AD, still has evil in it. I am unable to believe Jesus reigns. Certainly, Pro is welcome to dispute this meaning, but I question how he can insist the “End of Age” can refer literally to 70 AD (Luke 21:20), while at the same time insisting the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Olivet Discourse and Revelation are figurative. I believe a consistent interpretation is preferable and more descriptive of the world in which we currently live (one which contains sin and evil), and one in which the Kingdom of Heaven has not yet come.

POINT FOUR - Covenants

Pro begins by stating Jesus came to abolish the Law, and immediately cites Matthew 5:17-18 which states, in no uncertain terms, the Law shall not pass away until Heaven and Earth pass away. Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the requirements of the Law, in that mankind no longer needed to follow the Law in order to please God. In this way, the uncircumcised (Gentile) and circumcised (Jew) were on equal ground. The Kingdom of Heaven will available to all. However, the Law still exists through Jesus until a day in which he wipes out sin and Satan, and the New Heavens and Earth can be established.

Pro mentions the eschatological language in three passages in the OT. In the interest of brevity, I will discuss Isaiah 13. Futurist maintain this prophecy of the destruction of Babylon was not fulfilled, and rightly so for three reasons.

1. The language such as “Day of the Lord” (13:6,9), and the signs in the heavens (13:10) and on the earth (13:9,11) line up with a fulfillment at the end of days.

2. Babylon will suffer a violent destruction (13:15-18), but no defeat of Babylon matches that description historically[1][2].

3. The destruction of Babylon and the restoration of Israel (Isa 14:1-2) coincide. The restoration of Israel is thought to be an end of days event.

If the prophecy has of Babylon has not been fulfilled, which appears to be the case, then Pro’s point is moot.

Back to my Argument!

4. Nero as the Antichrist?

Revelation 13:5-6

5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Dan. 9:27

Then he shall
confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

1. Nero never sat in the Temple.

2. Nero’s reign was much longer than 42 months.

2a. If this 42 month period was to refer to the period from the beginning of the attacks of Jerusalem until Nero committed suicide, then this period is too short (23 months).

2b. If this 42 month period was to refer to the period from the Great Fire of Rome/persecution of Christians to Nero's suicide, then this period would be too long (around 48 months).

3. The Antichrist is to establish a covenant with Israel and renege on it in the midst, which Nero never did.

Nero does not fit a basic description of the beast.

Back to you, Pro!


[2] (Persia captures Babylon)

Debate Round No. 3


POINT 6 – The Second Coming

The Glorious Return

29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

I see God conveying the timeline and audience of address in a number of ways. It is shown by 1) quotes and references to the OT in the content of the message, 2) by the use of parables, and 3) by the shortness of time and time references. They all address this OT people. There is also the historical details in the writing of Josephus which confirm this timeline.

1) In Luke 21:25-28, the parallel passage, it tells this people to lift up their heads because their redemption is drawing near. Con, you put this passage in the future by separating it from verses 20-24. Yet verses 20-22 say it is a time of punishment to fulfill all that was written, a wrath to this people. All that is written would include His Second coming. You admitted that the surrounding of the temple by the Romans points to an AD 70 fulfillment.

Luke 21:22-38 (NIV)

22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 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. 24 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.

The NT only speaks of two comings of the Son, one being His birth and life on earth, the other being when He returns from heaven. Hebrews 9:28 and Acts 3:19-21, 24-26 make the two comings clear. His 2nd Coming is covenant talk that speaks of Israel’s impending judgment for their bloodguilt.

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Deuteronomy 19:10

So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and bloodguiltiness be on you. [1]

Justice/judgment is signified in the imagery of the sun, moon and stars as being darkened as does His coming on the clouds if you apply the understanding of the OT to these verses.

“They” refer to OT people. Con is trying to separate the applicational fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13-4 Jesus is speaking of as something that has no bearing on the NT text or this people. Jesus’ 2nd Coming is fulfilling the curses in the covenant and in the time frame of that generation. Jesus came to avenge the martyrs, the prophets and saints. These saints were crying out for vindication, as per Revelation 6 which again Con takes out of context.

Revelation 6:10-11 (NIV)

10..."How long, Sovereign Lord,..., until you judge the inhabitants of the earth[land] and avenge our blood?11 ...they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

God has attributed all the blood of all the prophets and saints to this generation. The number of fellow servants later killed speaks of NT prophets/saints who were still to be martyred. These OT people are crying out for their blood to be avenged and are told to wait just a little longer.

John the Baptist, the forerunner, speaks of this judgment about to befall this people.

Matthew 3: 1-3, 7, 10, 12

3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“...,‘Prepare the way for the Lord,...’”

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire…12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

It is clear that John the Baptist is speaking to an OT people about the wrath to come. Did it come at the crucifixion or at Pentecost? No, blessing came at the crucifixion and Pentecost. Wrath came in AD 70.

2) Jesus used parables in speaking to this OT people concerning His coming and wrath. That is who parables were addressed directly to.

Psalm 78:2

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,

Matthew 13:35

This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

In the parable of the Wedding Banquet of the Son in Matthew 22:1-13 God “sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.

Most commentators acknowledge this parable as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the servants were the prophets God sent to Israel. Notice the wrath comes in God destroying their city and punishing the murderers. He avenges His servant’s deaths.

Luke 18:1-8 speaks of a persistent widow who keeps coming before a judge to beg his protection. Finally the judge gives in.

6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

This justice for the elect (true Israel) comes when the Son of Man comes with judgment on apostate Israel.

3) His coming is soon. The NT reveals this in a number of passages.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 (NASB)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Here is Paul, speaking to those in Thessalonica saying that ‘we’ who are alive and remain until the Lord’s coming which means that His coming is in their lifetime.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 these people received a message that the Lord had already come. They expected Him and Paul reveals to them that He will not come until the Man of Lawlessness is revealed.

Hebrews 10:37

For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.

This was written to 1st century Hebrew Christians.

James 5:8

You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.


AoD from Round 3.

The Bible views the AoD in two ways, 1) involving the cities desolation – Jerusalem, God’s holy city - where the Gentiles occupy the outer courts for 42 months and 2) involving the desecration of the temple itself.

Luke 21:20 speaks of the desolation of the city by the Romans that resulted in desolation to the temple in AD 70. The warning to flee Judea is typologically likened to Lot fleeing Sodom because of its abominations. Matthew 24:15 speaks of desolation in the Holy Place. I see three possible instances of what would be considered a desecration of the temple itself: 1) the Jewish factions within the temple walls, 2) the Romans when they entered the sanctuary in AD 70 and, 3) Israel’s desecration in her adultery, in rejecting her Messiah and the acceptable sacrifice before God.

[Cestius Gallus] “marched into Judea with a force of over 30,000 men in September 66 in an attempt to restore order at the outset of the Great Jewish Revolt… Gallus...penetrated the outer city, but was unable to take The Temple Mount. After a siege of nine days, Gallus decided to fall back to the coast. His decision appears to have been based on the loss of siege equipment by ambush and the threatened cutting of his supply lines as the October rains began.” [2]

This incident led to the war in Judea and Jerusalem with Rome. The zealots also were the first to desecrate the temple if you discount Gallus. So these disciples had warnings and time to flee before this time, times and half a time. [3]

The disciples were told:

21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.

They did flee to the mountains as also testified by Josephus. The AD 66 nine day siege gave them time to flee the siege that followed.[4]








Response to Rebuttal:

1. REVELATION was written after 70 AD

First, forgive me if my response seems to be somewhat disorganized, but this is an important issue, and I wanted to respond to as many of Pro’s assertions as possible, point by point.

- Ambiguous Ireneaus?

The links for Pro’s [1] &[2] sources lead to the main pages of the respective websites, but no specific articles. As far as the ambiguous meaning of Ireneaus’ quote, the early church fathers had no difficulty understanding exactly what was meant.

Dr.Mark Hitchcock in response to Gentry:

"How could it be "grammatically ambiguous and easily susceptible to a most reasonable re-interpretation,” as Gentry claims, if no one in the early church interpreted it that way or even raised a question about it?[…]The first person to suggest a re-interpretion of Ireneaus’ word was Johann Jakob Wettsteinin in 1752." [1]

- The Syriac version of Revelation

I believe Pro is a bit naïve about the “Syriac version of Revelation”. Versions of the Syriac Bible do date to the 2nd century, but versions with the book of Revelation date to the 6th century[2]. This is much too late to be considered a source more relevant than early church fathers.

- Nero the Beast

The only quote I found in Pro’s source [3] about Nero being a beast was Apollonius of Tyana, who was not a Jew or Christian, and he compares Nero to a wild beast, which is not to be confused with the Beast of Revelation.

- Measuring the temple

Pro suggests the temple referred to in Revelation chapter 11 is the heavenly temple, but I would point out in chapter 10 the "strong angel" descended to the Earth, and John saw the angel "coming down". Apparently, John was not in heaven, so John could only be measuring an earthly temple of God on Earth. Since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, this could only refer to a future temple.

- Time of the Gentiles

Pro claims the siege of Jerusalem took 42 months, but the siege of Jerusalem took 7 months (March 70 – September 70) [4], If Pro is referring to the time frame from the first revolt (August/September 66 AD) until the destruction of the temple (September 70) then we have a time frame of 48-49 months [5]. Even if I were to concede Pro’s definition of the Time of the Gentiles (which I do not), Pro does not have the 42 month period he believes is predicted.

- The Two Witnesses

Pro gives a figurative explanation for the Witnesses and this couples nicely with the understanding of "Sodom and Egypt" to mean Jerusalem (they are both figurative). While I prefer a literal understanding generally, I see the merit in his figurative interpretation, and I withdraw this point.

- ‘Earth’ or ‘land’?

Pro continually reads into instances where “earth” is used in Revelation to mean “land”. While doing so, he claims I am ignoring the context and insists Revelation refers to Jerusalem and not the entire Earth. However, Pro applies this definition when it suits his purpose and is not consistent. For instance, Pro quotes Matthew 5:18, but he must take Earth to mean the actual Earth in this passage since it is a reference to the New Heavens and Earth prophesied in Revelation.

Matthew 5

18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

In addition to this, he says nothing about Revelation 18:24, as ‘land’ would make little sense. We know they weren’t slain in heaven, but ‘earth’ (as in the whole Earth) would actually specify an area beyond Jerusalem (and would be accurate):

Revelation 18

24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.

If we assume Pro's definition of earth in Revelation 11:4, it leads us to believe God is limited to Israel, and this would suggest there may be gods over other lands. I don’t believe this is the intended meaning.

Revelation 11

4 They are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, and they stand before the Lord of the earth.

2. Abomination of Desolation

Mat 24 15

As we discussed earlier, the AoD can only occur in the temple. Let us examine Pro's three sugested possibilities of the AoD:

a) the Jewish factions within the temple walls, b) the Romans when they entered the sanctuary in AD 70, and c) Israel’s desecration in her adultery, in rejecting her Messiah and the acceptable sacrifice before God.


a)This is the only option that could have happened in the temple in time to be a warning, but we have no record of the Jews desecrating the temple in any way.

b) Romans in the sanctuary would have been too late to be considered a warning.

c)This is too vague and would have covered too large a period of time (presumably from the death of Jesus until 70 AD) to be considered a warning.

Essentially, Pro has provided no valid explanation for the prophecy of the AoD.

Last argument!

6. If Jesus has returned…

…then Pro has some explaining to do. The return of Jesus means we must be in one of two time frames: The Millennial Kingdom or the Everlasting Kingdom.

a) The Millennial Kingdom

The bible tells us this time period is, strangely enough, 1000 years long. Revelation tells us 6 times this period will be 1000 years, so a figurative view of the time period for the Millennial kingdom is ignoring the plain words of the Bible. This kingdom should have ended in 1070 AD according to Pro's time frame. This period of time will/would have be marked by:

i. Jesus literally ruling over the Earth from Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8

3 Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’

Zechariah 8

21 The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.” 22 So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’

ii. No more wars between humans!

Isaiah 2

4 And He will judge between the nations,

And will render decisions for many peoples;

And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not lift up sword against nation,

And never again will they learn war.

These are only two (of many)expectations for the millennial kingdom, but even in this abbreviated description, it is safe to say - we are not in it, nor have we ever been.

b) Everlasting Kingdom

The Everlasting Kingdom, otherwise known as the New Heavens and Earth or the Eternal State, comes about after the battle of *Gog and Magog:

Revelation 20

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.

*Gog and Magog is symbolic for the nations that will gather against Jerusalem.

i. The Eternal Kingdom: a new creation

Isaiah 65

17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;

And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.

2 Peter 3

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

ii. There will be no death, crying, mourning, or pain!

Revelation 21

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

These descriptions of the New Heavens and Earth clearly do not describe our current environment. These prophecies are to be fulfilled after the return of Jesus. They have not been fulfilled. Jesus has not returned.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to the final round. It's all yours, Peter.

[1] pg27-28





Debate Round No. 4


Round 2

Con parallels between the Olivet Discourse and Revelation 6 regarding the seal judgments. He misses that these seals were sanctions of Old Covenant curses for disobedience. [1]

The Great Tribulation

Con draws on Matthew 24:21 “then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” Jesus is using the language of Daniel 12:1, “there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.”

Daniel is told at that time, your people, those written in the book, will be rescued. The rest will be judged. Jesus tells these OT people that “when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Daniel is told to conceal these words, seal them until the time of the end (v 4, 9, 13). Jesus opens the seals! What end, Con? Daniel 12:13 speaks of the far future end of the age. Jesus tells these disciples when the end of the age will be, their generation (Matthew 24:3; 28:20). Daniel is told that the power of the holy people will be shattered (v 7). In AD 70 their power is shattered, their relationship with God and the requirements for it are gone. The abomination of desolation is spoken of, as well as the time, times and half times or three and one half years. These are just some of the comparisons the Holocaust is missing. This time was ending their over 1500 year covenant and relationship with God. That is most significant! It was a time like no other in Jewish history. God has abandoned apostate OT Israel for the last time, divorcing them from the covenant. Only the true Israel of God remained, the faithful Jewish remnant plus Gentile believers. The AoD is a covenant curse.

Con asked, “Could all life have been wiped out.” If God had not put an end to the tribulation no flesh in Jerusalem and land of Judea would have been spared. Con draws on Revelation 6:3, 7 and 9 to suggest that history and the Bible did not support this catastrophic 1st century fulfillment. He says the word “earth” is used five times in that chapter. The word 'earth' is synonymous with the word ‘land.’ Peace is taken from the land with the Jewish revolt and war. Authority was given the Romans to kill with the SWORD (not guns or helicopters) over ¼ of the land. The blood shed on the land (Rev. 6:9) is the blood of the prophets and saints. Saints in heaven cry out for vengeance. They are told to wait a little longer, not over twenty centuries. Twenty centuries? [2]

Con implies that ‘these things’ of Matthew 24 - war [3], death [4], famine, pestilence, earthquakes, [5] etc., were not fulfilled during the siege of Jerusalem yet Josephus and Scripture say otherwise.

Con says, “I would not agree it carries no implications for Gentiles.” That was never my argument. My argument was that it was written primarily to a Jewish audience and all the prophecies listed in it concern this OT people.

Con says, "“we” have another failure of Pro’s position because the Salvation of Jesus could not have traveled to the whole ancient world in ~40 years." He includes the America’s in the “whole ancient world” yet this is not the way Jewish listeners understood the ancient world, the Roman Empire, the fourth beast. (Daniel 2:44) Acts list the missionary journeys as the Great Commission of Matthew 28 and Mark 16 is fulfilled.

Round 3

Con says I confuse "immanency for immediacy in an attempt [to]force a 1St century fulfillment." The text forces a 1st century audience fulfillment with its time statements. THEY do not know the day or hour of Jesus' return, only when it is near (Matthew 24:32-34). Con fails to note the pronoun usage of ‘you’ ‘we’ ‘us’ and ‘they’ in reference to this 1st century address. Con reads into the text.

Con said Acts 1:9 speaks of Jesus’ Second Coming, where every eye will see Him, yet the manner in which He goes into heaven is different from every eye seeing Him. Acts 1:9 deals with the 11 men of Galilee, the disciples, not every eye. If He comes in like manner it is only to a handful of people. The passage must be understood in a spiritual sense, not literal. [6]

Con says the end of the age is when the heavenly kingdom would be established, and it was. He says Satan’s control of this world will end because evil will end. Satan was thrown into the Lake of Fire yet his influence lives on. He has been conquered! Paul makes this point in Romans 16:20. Men are evil because they live outside of the light of God.

Con misinterprets the kingdom of God. He thinks it will be a physical kingdom but Scripture says otherwise (John 4:24). [7], [8]

Con says the Law still exists until the day God wipes out sin. He has in Christ! Con fails to grasp the Jewish understanding of what the Law is, the requirements of the Old Covenant with temple and animal sacrifices?

Con said futurists hold ‘this generation’ to be the one that would see the tribulation yet Con has said he believes ‘this generation’ references to the 1st century Jews (in other dialog). Which? Con is flipping and flopping? He equates “this generation” with “that" generation whatever “that" generation is. Does Con know?

Con references ‘futurists’ with his argument on Babylon in Isaiah 13. Does he not understand that ANE language uses apocalyptic language in describing destruction of nations? God and the inspired writers can tell time. Isaiah 13:6 says the day of the LORD is near. Daniel is told to seal up prophecy for fulfillment for his OT people is far off (Daniel 12:13). In Isaiah 13:17 God said He would stir up the Medes against them. The Medes no longer exist as such, the 2nd kingdom that would arise and dismantle the 1st. Isaiah speaks of the end of the Babylonian kingdom. [9]

I pointed out to Con that the time of Jesus’ 2nd Coming was partly in response to Old Covenant sanctions. Con has not addressed this claim.

The Bible says the gospel was preached in all the earth. Con says no, not the world we know today. However, Jesus was addressing a 1st century people that saw the world differently. [10]

Round 4
Ambiguous Ireneaus

Mark Hitchcock's suggestion that the earliest interpretation occurred 16 centuries after the fact and “no one in the early church interpreted it that way” is very misleading. [11], [12]

Eg., The Muratorian Canon, Clement (AD 150-215), and Epiphanies. [13]

Mark Hitchcock and Con's argument hinge on Irenaeus. They ignore Irenaeus' credibilty issues. They ignore what Scripture says. Where is any mention of Jerusalem actually already being destroyed in the NT or Revelation? These are gaping holes in his theology. [14]

The Beast

Con’s objection to Nero being the Beast of Revelation 13:8 is that my link only supplied one quote calling him beast. Please understand that more than one beast is mentioned in Revelation.

“Most commentators agree that the Beast imagery in Revelation shifts between the generic and the specific. That is, sometimes the Beast seems to picture a kingdom, sometimes a particular, individual leader of that kingdom. Nevertheless, it should be understood that the number 666 is itself applied to a particular individual king in that kingdom (Rev.13:18).” [15]

It is significant that "all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse,...connect Nero, or some Roman emperor, with the Apocalyptic Beast ." [16]

“In Book 8 of the Christian Sibylline Oracles (A.D.175) Nero is fearfully designated a ‘great beast.’”

“Lactantius also speaks of Nero as “an execrable and pernicious tyrant” and a ‘noxious wild beast.”

“Lactantius, St Chrysostom, St Jerome, and other Christian writers accept and repeat the theory that Nero is the Antichrist to come.” [17]

Measuring the temple

Con claims that I said the temple to be measured in Revelation 11 is a heavenly temple. Not true. I said, there was no outer court in heaven (because), “There is no temple in heaven” (Revelation 21:22). 22 I saw no temple in it,...” Con says it refers to a future earthly temple. Con is reading into Scripture instead of taking out of it. Where in Scripture is a future temple found? Revelation 11 told John to measure the temple. You can’t measure something that does not exist.

Con’s 6th point

a) Con assumes a lot, that this 1000 year period is literal in length. [18]

I) Con confuses the heavenly Jerusalem from the earthly one and Mount Zion from Mount Sinai. (Hebrews 11:9-10, 13-16; 12:18-28)

ii) There are no wars in heaven.

b) Everlasting Kingdom – Gog and Magog no longer exist. Are you proposing a non-existent battle? This was fulfilled during the times when warfare still involved the sword. The new heaven and earth mean the New Covenant world. The covenant is spiritual in nature, not physical.

Under the New Covenant God removes our guilt and sin through Jesus paying the price for it. Those in Christ are a part of that kingdom even as they walk this earth.

There is no death or crying in heaven. Christ has returned to fulfill all that was written and usher in the New Covenant Age in AD 70. Show me where Christ speaks of another age after the Christian age? There are no curses in Christ or heaven (Rev. 22:3).



[3] Wars, death -

[4] Death –

[5] Famines, pestilence, earthquakes –










[15] p. 11


[17] Ibid. pp. 43-45


I thank you Skepticalone for engaging in this debate! I'm out of space.



Let us respond to Pro's rebuttal/response to rebuttal from round 5.

Round 2

The purpose of the Seal Judgments is irrelevant to evaluate whether they literally occurred in 70 AD.

The Great Tribulation

Pro does not argue 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust was worse than the 1.1 million Jews killed in 70 AD. He attempts to explain how it could not be the great Tribulation, to which I would agree. However, if 70 AD is the Great Tribulation, then the Holocaust should not be worse.

All life wiped out?

Pro uses a figurative meaning for “earth”, while using a literal meaning for “sword”. He has not responded to other instances where “earth” is used in which ‘land’ would make no sense. Con’s interpretation is inconsistent.

Plus, is it possible all life could be wiped out by a sword? I submit ‘no’.

Audience Relevance

Pro states Jews were the ‘primary’ audience, but I am not sure how he sees Gentiles as being any part of the audience if the judgment was only for Jews. This would seem to suggest Gentiles are being held to a standard without consequences while Jews must be held accountable for the same actions.

I pointed out to Con that the time of Jesus’ 2nd Coming was partly in response to Old Covenant sanctions. Con has not addressed this claim.

The parables of Matthew 25 illustrate how Gentiles and Jews will both be judged at the second coming. I covered this in round two.

Round 3

As I pointed out earlier, the proposed immediate fulfillment of the Olivet discourse in 70 AD did not happen. I have shown many ways the prophecy was not fulfilled in the time frame Pro asserts. If Pro continues to demand Jesus meant an immediate (instead of an imminent) fulfillment, then he forces Jesus to be wrong.

Signs of his coming

We know Jesus ascended to Heaven in full view of the disciples. If he were not visible, then how could a cloud obscure him from their view? Acts 1:9 says Jesus will return just as he left. Pro has provided no one who witnessed Jesus’ return in 70 AD.

End of the Age

1 John 3

8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

According to 1 John, if there is sin, the devil exists. There is still sin. The devil exists.

…and since we know the Everlasting Kingdom will only exist after Satan has been destroyed, we know we are not part of it.

The Law

It is not a matter of the sacrifice no longer being necessary. Jesus met and continues to meet the need demanded by the law, he did not abolish the law just as he stated in Matthew 5:17

Point one - AD 70

“Con said futurists hold ‘this generation’ to be the one that would see the tribulation yet Con has said he believes ‘this generation’ references to the 1st century Jews (in other dialog). Which? Con is flipping and flopping? He equates “this generation” with “that" generation whatever “that" generation is. Does Con know?”

Pro has not addressed my point in regard to ”this generation”, and has attempted to distract from the arguments presented in this debate.

Point Four – Covenants

I will not deny there is apocalyptic language in Isa 13, but apocalyptic language refers to the end times. Since the apocalypse has not come, I believe it is safe to say, this prophecy of the end times has not occurred.

Plus, some verses are clearly meant to be taken literally:

Isaiah 13

15 Anyone who is found will be thrust through,

And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.

There were many captives, and they were released by decree of Cyrus. [1] The capture of Babylon in 539BC does not fulfill Isaiah 13.

Missionaries to the world

This speaks to the omniscience of god, and not to the understanding of any audience. Pro is attempting to limit the god of the Bible in order that his interpretation may be valid.

Round 4

Ambiguous Ireneaus?

I encourage the readers to read Pro’s sources on this [2]. They assert “tyrant” must refer to “Nero”, when it could just as easily have been applied to Domitian. Domitian was known to persecute Christians just as Nero. To suggest the early church fathers were supporting Pro’s preferred interpretation of Iraneaus by conveniently and spuriously interpreting their words, is at best ad hoc, if not completely dishonest. In addition to this, Pro asserts my argument hinges on the testimony of Ireneaus, but in actuality, it makes no difference to my case when Revelation was written. The futurist interpretation is still valid even if Revelation was written much earlier. On the other hand, if Revelation was written after 70 AD (which is the accepted time frame by scholars), then Pro’s case completely and utterly self-implodes.

Nero as the AntiChrist?

I have already addressed most of this in regard to Ireneaus, but I wanted to respond to Pro’s explanation of ‘beast’. He suggests the “beast” referred to in Revelation could be “specific or generic”, but also asserts the “Earliest Christian writers connect […] some Roman Emperor with the apocalyptic Beast”. Pro is attempting to blur the definition of Beast in Revelation. The Beast (the one we have been discussing) is the AntiChrist, not a vague wild animal.

Also, as to some connecting the AntiChrist to authority figures, this still happens to this day. Nero may be one of the first, but he is part of an ever growing list of suggestions.

Measuring the temple

Pro states, “You can’t measure something that does not exist.” However, in 573 BC when Ezekiel ‘measured a temple’ one did not exist. In fact, based on the dimensions, Ezekiel’s temple has never existed, it is thought his temple is the future Millennial Temple. (Ezekiel 40-44)

If Jesus has returned…

a) "Con assumes a lot, that this 1000 year period is literal in length. [18]”

Pro questions the Millennial Kingdom should be 1000 years. We have other examples where a specific time frame was given, and the prophecy comes to fruition exactly as predicted. For instance, in Gen 15:13-14, God tells Abram his seed would be strangers in a land that was not theirs for 400 years. The seed of Abram ended their journey 430 years after they began, and the message was given to Abram 30 years after the wandering began - 400 years exactly. If we are to consider the prophecy concerning Abram to be valid, then we must consider it as an example of how God works. Therefore, I do not consider a 1000 year reign to be a figurative description since a specific time frame was given.

i) The verses I quoted from Zechariah reference the Millennial Kingdom, not a Jerusalem of the past.

ii) Pro asserts the Millennial Kingdom will be in heaven, but he provided no support from scripture as I have.

b) First, according to the Moody Biblical commentary and others sources [3], Gog and Magog are symbolic. If Pro is an acknowledged expert on Biblical Studies, I will be happy to concede the point. Otherwise, I will accept the educated opinion of experts.

i) Secondly, if the new covenant is spiritual, then why did Jesus need to literally die for the literal sins of mankind? Wouldn’t his spiritual death have been sufficient?

ii) Pro asserts the Eternal Kingdom will be in Heaven, but he has not acknowledged the verse from Rev 21 I provided, which states ‘God will dwell among men’.

What Pro left out:

Time of the Gentiles cannot be 42 months when related to 70AD

Nero’s reign was not 42 months.

Nero did not establish a covenant with Israel.

An explanation/historical account how the Abomination of Desolation occurred in the temple.

The Syriac version of Revelation rebuttal.

Earth as ‘land’ inconsistency.

Could life have been wiped out in 70 AD (with a sword)?

The Holocaust was worse than the ‘Great Tribulation’ (70 AD)?


I have shown how the Second Coming literally could not have happened in 70 AD. Pro has not provided any historical evidence to support his case. Using a common interpretation of Revelation and the Olivet Discourse, I have illustrated the presence of sin in our world excludes the possibility of the return of Jesus. Pro utilizes a vague inconsistent interpretation of the Olivet discourse, and of Revelation itself.

I would like to thank Pro for instigating this debate, and I look forward to future debates with Peter. If you (the reader) have made it this far, I thank you, and encourage you to vote.

[1]; (Persia captures Babylon)




Debate Round No. 5
62 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PGA 2 years ago
"Why are you trying to make your case from the comments of our debate? Your case should be within the debate. I am willing to discuss this in the Matthew 24 thread, and there are multiple post waiting for your comments. Anything siad here could skew voters unfairly, and I'll thank you to refrain from this in the future." -Spepticalone

You made the charge about my evidence against Mark Hitchcock and the late date. I'll add this one to the Matthew 24 post or do you want me to start a separate Post on Revelation?
Posted by annanicole 2 years ago
I meant to include this quote as relates to the name Domitianou:

"It was written in Patmos about A. D. 68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syriac version of the book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus in A. D. 175, who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou - i.e., Domitius (Nero). Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A. D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the earlier date." - Robert Young, Commentary On Revelation

So there are actually two potential problems with the one statement by Iranaeus, yet the whole argument for the late date rests upon this very statement.

Clement of Rome is sometimes cited, but he believed that all inspiration ceased during the reign of Nero, and I'd have to agree with him on that one; thus, I do not know why a statement of his would be construed as suggesting a post AD 68 date, unless we want to have Clement versus Clement.
Posted by annanicole 2 years ago
Skeptic: "Thanks for voting, Anna. I could have made a better case for Pro's interpretation of 'earth', but I completely refuted the assertion Ireneaus' statement was ambiguous since no one interpreted it differently until 1752. Pro did not refute this."

Anna: Well, you or I have pretty much no way of knowing individuals may have interpreted his statement when he wrote it, and no matter who thought what, it is a fact that the pronoun may just as well be translated "he" as "it"

"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For (it or he) was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian"s reign."

It seems to me that "he" actually fits a little better with the context.: "he" who beheld the vision could have announced the name of the antiChrist if it were necessary - and we would know about it - for "he" was seen almost in our day.

At any rate, it is indeed remarkable that .... what? ... 95% .... of the "evidence" for this late date revolves around an ambiguous statement, while the internal evidence is wholly in favor of the earlier date.

In fact, as you have implied, subsequent writers (Eusebius, Jerome, et al) wholly relied upon this statement by Iraneaus, and it looks to me more like hearsay than history.

* Also there is confusion over the name Domitian versus Dominicus. Nero's full name was Nero Claudius Dominicus Caesar Augustus Germanicus.

As far as the 1752 date, "A fair weighing of the arguments thus far adduced shows that they all (referring to early writers) excepting the statement of Irenaeus, favor the early rather than later
date. The facts appealed to indicate the times before rather than after the destruction of Jerusalem." - Terry, Biblical Apocalytpics, p. 258.
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Why are you trying to make your case from the comments of our debate? Your case should be within the debate. I am willing to discuss this in the Matthew 24 thread, and there are multiple post waiting for your comments. Anything siad here could skew voters unfairly, and I'll thank you to refrain from this in the future.
Posted by PGA 2 years ago
Another point that goes against logic is that Jesus is speaking to a 1st century people that are identified in the text, His disciples, telling them of all the things that will come upon this generation, and you want this generation to mean a totally different generation, despite what the text says. You ignore it in your tunnel vision to prove both the author and then my view wrong.
Posted by PGA 2 years ago
We know that the language of Revelation is speaking of a soon, short, near at hand coming of the Lord. The only event that fits this time line is the destruction of the temple and city in AD 70. You, as usual, ignore the time line that is key to understanding prophecy. After all, if these words have any meaning at all they have meaning to this 1st century people.
It can be demonstrated that the Epistles are addressing a 1st century people with their pronoun and timeline references.
We knon that there is no mention in the Nt of such a tremendously important event as the destruction of the temple and city as already taking place, but there is always this imminent warning to flee from the coming wrath, which you ignored completely. You also ignored my argument from the OT that required God bring judgment on an apostate people for shedding innocent blood (that of the prophets and saints sent to them, finally culminating in the Son).
You ignored the cultural relevance of the language to this 1st century people every time I brought it up.
I agree that I screwed up when I changed the format in that my source references were not able to be opened. I apologize for this. My only option was to post them again and hope you referenced them. I am going to show you that both history and the Bible support them and it is in fact you who are being highly speculative in ignoring all the factors I criticized you for in the debate.
I also supplied quotes from early church fathers that support Nero as the Beast of Revelation that answered some of your charges, but Revelation 17:10 settles the matter. John says one is (present tense), speaking of the sixth king - Nero.

I will post a solid rebuttal of your view of Matthew 24 on "Matthew 24 Again. With more space to develop the theme you will see that your arguments in the debate are very inadequate, especially when I cross-examine your position with Biblical and historical quotes.

Posted by PGA 2 years ago
"You did not provide any valid sources to dispute the words of Dr. Mark Hitchcock. Go check your sources, Peter. You made an unsupported assertion."

And you think Hitchcock's point is not based on speculation? You used him as your guru to support your adopted position as an advocate to a position that you really do not support at all. I used mine.

Kenneth Gentry points out:
"The all-important question in the matter is: Did Irenaeus mean to say that Revelation was seen by John in Domitian's reign? Or did he mean that John, who saw the Revelation, was seen in Domitian's reign?" [1]

It all depends on what "that"" modifies, John or what he wrote and saw.

Iraneaus was also know to have made a number of historical errors of which Gentry notes a couple, as does Guthrie and Moffatt.[2]

I think it is a more than valid argument since it supports the language of Revelation itself. And it was something of topic. We were discussing Matthew 24 and you brough in Revelation again.

In Revelation we see over and over again things specific to OT Israel.
We are told that John is told to measure the temple. It also ties in with the 42 months in which the Gentiles are given to trod over the city. We know from Josephus and others that Roman did surround the city and also land of Judea.
We know that the context of Revelation 11 is a context of the great city in which the Lord was slain. That is 1st century Jerusalem.
We know that it is the city guilt of shedding all the blood of all the prophets, something I'm not aware of you even addressing. Jesus identified this city and people as 1st century people (Matthew 23:32-38 with Revelation 18:21, 24.
We know from my previous debate with you that Revelation discloses the kings, one of who is. That is Nero. He was the six in the line of Emperors.
We know that Revelation 7 and 14 refers to the twelve tribes that ceased to exist after AD 70.
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
You did not provide any valid sources to dispute the words of Dr. Mark Hitchcock. Go check your sources, Peter. You made an unsupported assertion.

As far as the land as earth, I agree my point could have been expressed in a better way.
Posted by PGA 2 years ago
Sure I refuted it Skepticalone and of course I disagree that you have presented a better argument in the case of the word earth as opposed to the word land. These NT authors are referencing OT prophecy and its fulfillment and these OT passages they quote from speak of the land of Israel, not the whole earth.

Zechariah 12:10-14
10 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

The land of Israel and those in it will mourn, not the whole earth.

You want to rip the context they are referring to right out of the Bible.
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Thanks for voting, Anna. I could have made a better case for Pro's interpretation of 'earth', but I completely refuted the assertion Ireneaus' statement was ambiguous since no one interpreted it differently until 1752. Pro did not refute this. I hope you will reconsider your vote.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering lightning's unjustified other points. Con wins here because I felt like he managed to put sufficient doubt into exactly WHAT the prophesies meant, whether the audience was from 1st century, or jewish, or even whether the prophesies weren't all fulfilled by AD 70. I felt like pro had an impossible side anyways. He had to prove -addressing 1st century -Addressing jewish audience -Prophecies fulfill by AD 70 Next time, try doing only one of these, pro. Otherwise a near-impossible BoP is put on you.
Vote Placed by Lightningstar 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con really impressed me with his sound arguments good work con.
Vote Placed by annanicole 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro is hindered on a correct affirmative by his belief that the entirety of Matt 24 pertains to the Fall of Jerusalem. Con is relying on an ambiguous statement by Iranaeus as well as an insistence that "all the earth" or "the earth" means something other than what it meant in the first century.
Vote Placed by Kylar 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Superb arguments on both sides, this is an excellent topic to debate