Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

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Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Chris » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:45 pm

In the Gospel of John 2: 13-17, Jesus throws out the money changers at the beginning of His ministry. In Matthew (21:12-13); Mark (11: 15-19); Luke (19: 45-48), Jesus throws out the money changers at the end of His ministry (soon after entrance into Jerusalem). Since the Gospel of John was written long after the other three, I attribute this to John having a bad memory. Today, a member of my church, who visited a Pentecostal church, Saturday night, told me that the preacher he heard taught them that Jesus cleansed the Temple twice. I'd like to get the opinions of member of this forum. Personally, I think that if Jesus had thrown out the moneychangers in 30 A.D.; and they saw Him walk in in 33 A.D., they would have scattered before giving Him the opportunity to humiliate them again.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:56 pm

I believe that the Fourth Gospel has a theological purpose for placing the cleansing at the first of Jesus' ministry rather than at the more likely position of the synoptics. Theologically, the writer places it at the beginning to show that the entire ministry of Jesus is ultimately a passion narrative. Gospel writers are not biographers, in the modern sense, but are writing to reflect a theological purpose. That's the reason I would give for such an explanation.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:06 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:I believe that the Fourth Gospel has a theological purpose for placing the cleansing at the first of Jesus' ministry rather than at the more likely position of the synoptics. Theologically, the writer places it at the beginning to show that the entire ministry of Jesus is ultimately a passion narrative. Gospel writers are not biographers, in the modern sense, but are writing to reflect a theological purpose. That's the reason I would give for such an explanation.


I agree with Dave. Chronology isn't as important to Biblical writers has getting their message across.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Chris » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:24 pm

The question that is still unanswered: Did Jesus do this once or twice?
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby KeithE » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:52 pm

Chris wrote:The question that is still unanswered: Did Jesus do this once or twice?

Implied answer from the Revs Roberts and Bonney is once (I think).
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:17 pm

Chris wrote:The question that is still unanswered: Did Jesus do this once or twice?


Personal opinion, once.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:19 pm

0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important. The event (and its place in the overall narrative) has symbolic significance. But it's not history. It's like asking, why keep the Sabbath? Is it because God rested on the seventh day (go thou therefore and do likewise)? Or is it because our ancestors were slaves in Egypt?
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:35 am

Haruo wrote:0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important. The event (and its place in the overall narrative) has symbolic significance. But it's not history. It's like asking, why keep the Sabbath? Is it because God rested on the seventh day (go thou therefore and do likewise)? Or is it because our ancestors were slaves in Egypt?


At some point if Jesus was regularly going into the temple multiple times pushing around merchants it would start to matter. :wink: Jesus would start to look like a bully. But, how many times he did it isn’t provable one way or another.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jim » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:26 am

There can be little doubt that Jesus “cleansed” the temple at least twice, the documented occurrences about three years apart. The first occasion (John account) came on the heels of the performing of his first miracle at Cana, after which he and followers went to Capernaum for a few days, according to the scripture/time-line (27 A.D.), and then to Jerusalem, where John made certain to record the fact that Jesus fashioned the lash himself and used it extensively, a violent act. He and followers then left the city and carried out his ministry throughout the countryside. The second recorded occurrence came during the last week of his earthly life (30 A.D., Matthew, Mark), though the whip was not mentioned, just that Jesus threw the scoundrels out into the street. He didn't need the whip then because at least some of the gang surely knew about the first time and probably gave no resistance. The Bible is very clear on this. Jesus was no wimp and was obviously capable of both physical and verbal violence, once even referring to Peter as Satan and the church oligarchs as stinking tombs full of dead men's bones. This reflects the justifiable wrath of God as referenced over and over in the OT. While the scripture records at least once that Jesus wept, it does not mention that he ever laughed, though he probably did heartily at times, such as when Peter started sinking on his trek over water. He also told the disciples at the Last Supper to arm themselves and explained later that the weapons were for defense, not aggression. The mod/lib approach is that Jesus was a warm-fuzzy, hugs-all-around type, who would never harm a flea, not even for cause, like sanitation. He was a man's man hunted throughout his ministry and probably only one step ahead of assassination for most if not all of it.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby KeithE » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:31 am

Haruo wrote:0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important. The event (and its place in the overall narrative) has symbolic significance. But it's not history. It's like asking, why keep the Sabbath? Is it because God rested on the seventh day (go thou therefore and do likewise)? Or is it because our ancestors were slaves in Egypt?

I’m about 90% that Jesus actually cleansed the temple. I seldom go 100% on any historical biblical matter. I learned on my trip that Egyptoloigists have no proof there ever were Hebrews working in Egypt. But gospels stories are on firmer ground.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Sandy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:39 am

Chris wrote:The question that is still unanswered: Did Jesus do this once or twice?


Once.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:51 am

Jim wrote:There can be little doubt....


Any paragraph that starts with "There can be little doubt" or "It is certainly clear" or "No one can deny" needs to be seriously doubted. :wink:
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby JE Pettibone » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:14 am

Haruo wrote:0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important. The event (and its place in the overall narrative) has symbolic significance. But it's not history. It's like asking, why keep the Sabbath? Is it because God rested on the seventh day (go thou therefore and do likewise)? Or is it because our ancestors were slaves in Egypt?


ED: I would almost go with Hauro when he says "0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important." But I am uncomfortable with his "0".
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:19 am

JE Pettibone wrote:
ED: I would almost go with Hauro when he says "0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important." But I am uncomfortable with his "0".


Agreed with all the above.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:59 am

I would stick to one.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:13 am

Dave Roberts wrote:I would stick to one.


If I were a betting man, I'd say that likely this is one event.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:59 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
JE Pettibone wrote:
ED: I would almost go with Hauro when he says "0 times, 1 time, 2 times. many times, it's entirely unclear. And not important." But I am uncomfortable with his "0".


Agreed with all the above.

It is conceivable that the event is itself purely symbolic. I would agree that one is most likely. The main problem with 2 or more is that when he got anywhere near the temple the second time, one would expect fight or flight or the summoning of the gendarmerie.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:53 pm

Haruo wrote:It is conceivable that the event is itself purely symbolic.


True, though I don't see a lot reason to create such an event if there wasn't a matching event in the life of Jesus.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Haruo » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:25 pm

True, but sometimes the reasons for things are lost like the psalm tunes in the mists of time. I'm not saying it's likely, just that we don't know and as far as I know don't need to know.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:20 pm

Haruo wrote:True, but sometimes the reasons for things are lost like the psalm tunes in the mists of time. I'm not saying it's likely, just that we don't know and as far as I know don't need to know.


I tend to agree that I don’t need to know. Though I think the plan of the gospels is to use events from Jesus life to get across the gospel message, not to create events that didn’t happen. I can’t prove that either. But that is my feel for what the gospel writers are doing. Gospels that seemed too mythological didn’t make the canon. So while the chronologies and exact events are often re-arranged to make a point, I don’t believe the gospel writers just made stuff up.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Chris wrote:Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?
Twice, based on accepting the Gospel accounts as historically accurate.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:41 am

That Christ cleaned the Temple should not be up for debate - but then bl.com is a place built on debate.

Why Jesus cleansed the Temple is what we really need to discover.

I am in for 1 and it was on the Monday of Holy Week.

There is a great lesson in the daily events recorded during Holy Week built upon the previous days' event.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:55 am

Rvaughn wrote:
Chris wrote:Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?
Twice, based on accepting the Gospel accounts as historically accurate.


Historically accurate by western standards and historically accurate by the methods of writing of the day aren't necessarily the same thing. We care about things being in chronological order. They didn't. We often care about putting every event in a narrative whereas the Biblical writers put in the material they thought was important to the message they were getting across.
The didn't.

There is no reason to assume that one gospel writer would put events in the same order as another. For us that might seem inaccurate. But those are western rules, not first century rules for writing narratives.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:58 am

Jon Estes wrote:That Christ cleaned the Temple should not be up for debate - but then bl.com is a place built on debate.

Why Jesus cleansed the Temple is what we really need to discover.

I am in for 1 and it was on the Monday of Holy Week.

There is a great lesson in the daily events recorded during Holy Week built upon the previous days' event.


Jon, I don't see anything wrong with debating anything and everything theological. But, I have no doubt that Jesus cleansed the temple. It is a well attested event in the Bible.
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Re: Cleansing the temple -- once or twice?

Postby Jon Estes » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:24 am

Tim Bonney wrote:
Jon Estes wrote:That Christ cleaned the Temple should not be up for debate - but then bl.com is a place built on debate.

Why Jesus cleansed the Temple is what we really need to discover.

I am in for 1 and it was on the Monday of Holy Week.

There is a great lesson in the daily events recorded during Holy Week built upon the previous days' event.


Jon, I don't see anything wrong with debating anything and everything theological. But, I have no doubt that Jesus cleansed the temple. It is a well attested event in the Bible.


Because the event is so well attested in scripture is why it need to not be debated.
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