The Destruction of the Second Temple: Harmonizing the Gospels and insights from Philip Mauro

A Bible study

Matthew 23:36-38


36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

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!

Mark 13:1,2

1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70, by David Roberts (1850)

Recently, Crissy of KNOWING THE TIME, because what’s coming matters quoted Gerald Stanton in a comment at Christian’s blog, Showing Ourselves Approved. The Stanton quote is the part of Crissy’s comment that I want to address. You can read all of her comment at the link below, labled: “Crissy says: August 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm.” 

Let’s Have a Real Conversation About the RAPTURE

Gerald Stanton:

[copied and pasted]

“The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the “time of the Church’s trouble,” but the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.).

It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiah,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of the children of Israel,” the “son of Moses,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation” of the temple ritual. These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.). Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church.

A foundation for understanding

All of the Bible is for all believers, Jews and Gentiles. Certainly it is crucial to know who is being addressed in a given passage, but if we keep believing and stating that “this is for the Jews” we will only add to the confusion and discouragement in the Church today. I pray that my post will not add to the confusion.

The testimony of Scripture

In studying the End Times, I’ve had many questions about how to understand Jesus’ prophecies in Matthew 24. Some Christians believe that all of these prophecies remain to be fulfilled. However in harmonizing Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we find that Jesus gave us an important key to understanding which was recorded by Luke: the timeframe, “but before all these things.” 

The Lord declared that but before all these things” the Temple would be razed. This happened when Titus and the armies of Rome left not “a stone standing.” Jesus even gave instructions to His disciples concerning what to do when they saw Rome’s armies surrounding Jerusalem. I believe that the disciples took the Lord’s warning to heart, as many have seen. About the safety of Christians during this period Albert Barnes (1832) wrote:

It is said that there is reason to believe that not one Christian perished in the destruction of that city, God having in various ways secured their escape, so that they fled to Pella, where they dwelt when the city was destroyed. The Christian Flight to Pella

And Paul Maier wrote this in Christian History magazine:

Josephus, our major source for all this information, does not name a single Christian victim in connection with great Jewish War. Why not? With immense luck—or blessing—the earliest Christians largely escaped all this horror for two reasons: (1) Only four years before the war’s outbreak, James the Just of Jerusalem (the first Christian bishop according to both Acts 15 and Eusebius) was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin, which must certainly have led the struggling Jewish-Christian community to think about leaving. (2) Eusebius, ‘the father of church history,’ also tells us that Christians were warned by an oracle to flee the city some time before war’s outbreak. In fact, they evacuated to Pella and other cities north of Jerusalem, and so escaped the Roman siege and conquest.  Not One Stone Left Upon Another

Another of the Lord’s prophesied events was the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). This too was fulfilled when the armies of Rome brought Imperial standards (graven images) into the sacred precincts:

54. Romans occupy Temple [70 CE]
316 Now that the rebels had fled the city, and the temple itself and every thing around was burning, the Romans brought their standards into the sacred spot. And, setting them up facing the eastern gate, they sacrificed to them. And with the greatest acclaim they proclaimed Titus emperor.
JosephusJewish War 6.316

At least two prophecies then have been fulfilled. Let us rejoice for this confirms the words of the Saviour! What He said to His disciples about these matters was fulfilled to the letter.

Returning to the timeframe key in Jesus’ prophecy, please see how Luke 21 helps us to more clearly understand His words in Matthew 24:

Luke 21:10-24

10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 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. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days;for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Who was Philip Mauro? 

Philip was “a famous lawyer, supreme court lawyer, [and] prepared briefs for [the] Scopes Trial.” He left Dispensationalism for a more historically Protestant view. Sadly, he failed to see (that I know of) that Israel would be reborn as a nation. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss his insights about 70 A.D.

Philip Mauro in 1926“It is greatly to be regretted that those who, in our day, give themselves to the study and exposition of prophecy, seem not to be aware of the immense significance of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence, and the dispersion of the Jewish people among all the nations. The failure to recognize the significance of that event, and the vast amount of prophecy which it fulfilled, has been the cause of great confusion, for the necessary consequence of missing the past fulfillment of predicted events is to leave on our hands a mass of prophecies for which we must needs contrive fulfillments in the future. The harmful results are two fold; for first, we are thus deprived of the evidential value, and the support to the faith, of those remarkable fulfillments of prophecy which are so clearly presented to us in authentic contemporary histories; and second, our vision of things to come is greatly obscured and confused by the transference to the future of predicted events which, in fact, have already happened, and whereof complete records have been preserved for our information.”

Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation

“No matter what view of eschatology we embrace, we must take seriously the redemptive-historical importance of Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D.70.”

R.C. Sproul

27 thoughts on “The Destruction of the Second Temple: Harmonizing the Gospels and insights from Philip Mauro

  1. Maria, I love your approach here. There is no doubt that what has happened has in my mind partially fulfilled some of these prophesied events. But there is also no doubt that Jesus is also speaking to end of the age events. The very question itself from the deciples requires that to be so. Paul in Romans 11 certainly implies a future salvation for Israel. The reality of this issue is most likely somewhere in the middle, and I don’t mean mid-Trib. The historic understanding that Israel is replaced by the church is a misunderstanding, as is the insistence by Dispensationalists that Israel and the church are completely separated. The truth seems to reside in the fact that the Gentiles are added into Israel, made one with her. And will inherit as adopted sons of God all that she was promised. But she is yet to be saved and added back to her own promises. She is today back in the land to fulfill all of Daniels prophecy leading to the end of the age. This seems the most logical conclusion to me when considering truth from both sides, and of course also attempting to eliminate error on both sides.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence”

    They haven’t lost their national existence. There’s been no extinction. That’s old theology by the evidence at the time without understanding of future prophecies. This is Replacement Theology in a nutshell and this also calls God a liar when there are unfulfilled promises that have not yet been fully realized for the nation of Israel. Even Spurgeon knew that there would be a revival of national Israel in their physical state. May 14th 1948 was a game-changer for the Replacement Theology believers. The nation has been restored, fulfilling Isaiah 66:8. Speaking the Hebrew language again fulfills Zephaniah 3:9. The aliyah of Ezekiel 20:34 is being fulfilled today for the first time in their history. There are 12 prophecies fulfilled since Israel became a nation again and Jerusalem came into Jewish hands in 1967, Zechariah 8:7-8. The complete culmination of these prophecies will be fully fulfilled after the end of the 70th week in the Millenial Reign. And I can read this literally and not do like those who read Nostradamus’ predictions by making them spiritual and symbolic of other things. Its so right there plain to read and historically to see.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherry, let me address one part of your comment now:

      Philip Mauro said, “the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence, and the dispersion of the Jewish people among all the nations.” There is nothing wrong with acknowledging these facts as long as we also affirm that that wasn’t the end of Israel’s story, that the Lord is not done with her until she turns to Him. Please remember how I introduced the Mauro quote:

      “Sadly, he failed to see (that I know of) that Israel would be reconstituted as a nation. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss his insights about 70 A.D.”

      “Reborn” would have been better than “reconstituted” – ick, a cold word.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sherry, can’t God give us a picture, a symbolic picture, that He will fulfill in a more perfect way? He doesn’t need a thousand years in which to fulfill His promises to Israel but is preparing the New Jerusalem for her and all who are grafted into her cultivated olive tree; and, He is going to create a new heavens and new earth in which to fulfill His promises forever.

      Christians who believe as I do for the most part aren’t making things up and saying this is interpretation. There are bad apples in every interpretive camp and this doesn’t discredit a particular point of view. Did I rightly divide Luke 21 in that part of my post which deals with the destruction of the Second Temple and the Christians’ flight from Jerusalem? Perhaps you don’t believe I did rightly divide it but that’s hard to understand when I was so careful to stay with the Word.

      2 Corinthians 1:19-21
      19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

      Galatians 6:14:16
      14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
      16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.


      • Did I say you didn’t rightly interpret Luke 21? I believe as you do on it! I only pointed out the fallacy that God was done with the nation of Israel, as per the man quoted.. May 14, 1948 proves that out. Do you interpret things from the pov that all prophecies have been fulfilled for Israel as of 70 AD?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sister, I don’t believe that all prophecies are fulfilled for the Jewish people as of 70 A.D. FOR CERTAIN because of the clear teaching of Romans, first of all. I believe that these will be fulfilled when the fulness of the Gentiles comes in and the Lord returns in power and glory, rescuing the Jewish people so that they will believe (Romans 9-11). His promises will continue to be fulfilled in the new heavens, the new earth, the New Jerusalem. These promises of redemption and restoration are for the Jew first and also the Greek.


  3. Amen-Amein Sweet Sister in Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua Maria!! God Bless you Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Marcia and Your Family members and Friends!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Christ Jesus-Yeshua, because HE LOVED 💕💜 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You said, …”but if we keep believing and stating that ‘this is for the Jews’ we will only add to the confusion and discouragement in the Church today. I pray that my post will not add to the confusion.”

    Funny, I believe saying that there’s a distinction it clears up the confusion!

    Liked by 1 person

      • One people of God is the spiritual Israel which is not a nation. Then there is the nation of Israel. That’s the distinction. There are promises to the nation of Israel, the wife of God, that do not belong to the Bride of Christ. The land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has never been given them throughout their history but it will be theirs at the time of the literal 1,000 year reign where Jesus will be seated upon David’s throne, another promise from the Davidic covenant for the nation of Israel yet to be fulfilled.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherry, Jesus is already enthroned, waiting until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. It is a throne forever.

          Hebrews 1:1-4; 8-9
          1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 [a]in these last days has spoken to us [b]in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the [c]world. 3 [d]And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and [e]upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
          . . .
          8 But of the Son He says,
          “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
          And the righteous scepter is the scepter of [h]His kingdom.
          9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
          Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
          With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”

          I know the land is a promise. But wasn’t it fulfilled during the United Kingdom in the reign of Solomon who had a wide realm? This would be a good study.

          God has not made His promises to the unrepentant rebellious nation of Israel, but to the believing beloved remnant of Israel. Those promises are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ Who will sit forever on David’s throne. How can forever be one thousand years?

          Isaiah 9:7
          7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
          On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
          To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
          From then on and forevermore.
          The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

          Luke 1:30-33
          30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

          God’s Wife is Israel and Jesus’ Bride is the Body of Christ? But believing Jews are part of the Body, the Bride of Christ.

          Hebrews 12:18-29
          18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of [h]angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
          25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, [i]much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us [j]show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.


  5. FTA: In terms of historical evidence, there is little to make a definitive case one way or the other. The events of AD 70 can be made to fit certain prophetic claims, depending on one’s perspective. Of course, if one is willing to apply a high enough degree of symbolic interpretation, any prophecy can be made to conform to almost any event. It should be noted, however, that most non-dispensational interpretations require the book of Revelation to have been written prior to AD 70, something that general scholarship does not support.

    The most serious difficulties in claiming all the prophecies were fulfilled in AD 70 are theological. In particular, preterism requires scriptural passages to be interpreted with a chaotic blend of extremely literal and extremely figurative language. One would have to interpret words, verses, and phrases that appear in the same discourse, or even the same paragraph, with a different literal-figurative assumption.

    The most reasonable interpretation is that the genocide and destruction of the temple were prophecies fulfilled in AD 70, and that the other events described in Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation are yet to occur. They are truly end-times predictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jesus’ disciples fled from the encroaching Roman armies. I believe this portion of Luke 21 has been fulfilled:

      20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 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. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days;for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

      Also, although it’s not clear to me YET (because I haven’t studied this except minimally) when John wrote down Revelation, that this Book doesn’t address the destruction of the Second Temple in any way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it has been fulfilled and will be fulfilled again when the Jews flee to Petra in the Great Tribulation. Notice it says “armies” and not army?
        “For I (God) will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled (ransacked and robbed), and the woman ravished (raped); and half of the city shall go forth into captivity (exile), and the residue (the remaining portion) of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zech. 14: 1)

        Why would Revelation address the destruction of Jerusalem? Does it have to? Revelation was written around year 95 as per what most scholars say.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Where is Petra spoken of in God’s Word?

          Zechariah 14 seems to be speaking of the End Times and not of Zechariah’s immediate future, yes. I will study it.

          You wrote, “Notice it says ‘armies’ and not army?” I’m not sure what you mean. Of the three Gospels that record the Lord’s prophecy on the Mount of Olives only Luke speaks of armies. Luke 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.” What do you mean?

          What I really want to do is to find a really good harmony of the Gospels on this passage. Here is what I found on a quick search:


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