2 TIMOTHY 2:17-18
"Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth.
They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some."
7 fatal flaws of the 70 AD position
In this final part of our series, I'll plan to notice only 7 of a potentially long list of fatal
quandaries of the 70 AD view.
Again, this is a short list and by no means comprehensive.
Flaw #1: All those in the graves did not come out in 70 AD
In John 5:28-29, Jesus said this:
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."
Jesus could not have made the obvious falseness of the 70 AD theory more clear. This simply did not happen
in 70 AD.
Flaw #2: Every faithful Christian on earth did not disappear from earth around 70 AD
In 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Paul wrote:
"According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the
coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself
will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the
trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still
alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Here, the Bible plainly indicates that faithful Christians still living on earth when the Lord returns will
be "caught up together" with those who had already died.
(1 Thess 4:15-17)
For the 70 AD doctrine to be true, no true Christian would have been left on earth—either
dead or alive—after 70 AD.
Flaw #3: Paul's teachings on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 reveal more fatal flaws
1 Corinthians 15 adds to the carnage of the 70 AD position. Consider the following words of Paul:
"[Speaking about the resurrection]: But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him [supposedly they will be resurrected]. Then the end will come [supposedly at the DOJ], when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power [again, supposedly around 70 AD]. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death [death was not destroyed at 70 AD; arguably; indeed, a lot more people have died AFTER 70 AD than BEFORE 70 AD]. For he "has put everything under his feet" [Of course, this did not occur at the DOJ, but will occur when Christ actually returns, according to the Bible]."
You can likely see the following glaring difficulties:
(1 Cor 15)
These points plainly destroy the 70 AD doctrine. But Paul wasn't finished:
- As mentioned, everyone on the earth was not resurrected at or
near the time of the DOJ. The actual resurrection described here HAS YET to take place, and will take place
exactly when and as the Holy Spirit described in 1 Cor 15. Also, please don't confuse 1 Cor 15 with Daniel 12, where
the Holy Spirit speaks of "many" rather than "all in the graves," "awakening" rather than "being resurrected (apparently
as all who die "awake" to a new realm [see rich man and Lazarus of Luke 16]). Certainly, at the DOJ, many people
died and awoke to a new realm). And please note also:
this is "literal prophecy" in play here; nothing indicates that symbolic prophecy is being used.
For examples of literal prophecy versus figurative (or symbolic) prophecy,
please read "Tips on proper Bible interpretation."
- Death DID NOT end at 70 AD. In fact, it seems as though a lot more people have died
after 70 AD than did before 70 AD.
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an
eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For
the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been
clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:
'Death has been swallowed up in victory—Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'"
From this reading, we note:
(1 Cor 15)
- Death is the last enemy to be destroyed.
After death is destroyed it will no longer have a sting.
- Death still stings (would you rather go by lethal injection or the
cross—which "stings" the most?).
- Not everyone will be dead when Christ returns, but all of God's true people
will be changed (to inhabit SPIRITUAL bodies, please read verses 35-44: bodies will be both spiritual and imperishable).
Survivors of the DOJ did not receive imperishable, spiritual bodies on earth, or somehow disappear into the heavens en
Finally, "the sting of death is sin" (v 55-56). For there to be no sting would mean sin is no longer possible.
Flaw #4: Marriage did not end in 70 AD
Remember, 70 ADers believe the resurrection spoken of in the NT happened at the DOJ at around 70 AD—along with the second coming of Christ and even the Judgment Day.
With that in mind, consider what Jesus said in Luke 20:34-37:
"The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking
part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they
can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the
resurrection. But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the
Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' [These were obviously physically
dead Jewish forefathers]. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
Please note again what Jesus said: "They [people of the resurrection] can no longer die [like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob]..."
Of course, Jesus is speaking here of the resurrection that will occur when He returns to earth.
But since He supposedly "had His second coming at the DOJ" (per the 70 AD position), that means the resurrection had to have happened then too.
Well, let's keep this short: People these days still need to get married, and still seeming to be dying.
Thus, the 70 AD theory is false.
Flaw #5: Peter's "End of the World" prophecies clearly relate to events long after the DOJ
In 2 Peter 3, Peter starts off talking about the world's last global catastrophe—the flood—an
event that claimed the lives of all the people of earth excepting Noah and his family. No event of recorded
history has neared equaling the all-encompassing nature of this horrific—albeit entirely
Here's how Peter described that event...and another one that lurks in our own future:
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be
destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed
in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward
to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and
the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a
new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every
effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."
That said, let's make a few quick obvious points:
(2 Peter 3:12-14)
By the way, Barnabas, companion of Paul,
apparently believed the end of the world, final Judgment, etc, would literally come after 6,000 years,
probably around 2030 AD. He clearly did not subscribe to the 70 AD theory.
- Peter compares the physical flood with the physical final end of the world.
- In the same context, Peter seems to call for great patience (consistent with a distant end of the world—v 8-9).
He seems to be speaking of great lengths of time, and is encouraging his readers to think like God
does (i.e., 1 day = 1000 years to God). In other words, to be patient, because it might be a
long time before it occurs (not an event only 4-6 years away, as 70 ADers would suggest).
- Peter is prophesying in "literal prophecy" mode, not "symbolic prophecy" mode.
He is telling his readers literally and directly that "the complete and final end of the world was coming,"
but they needed to have great patience and wait for it.
But Bible prophets (such as Peter) spoke at times both literally and figuratively.
It's generally extremely easy to determine when they are not employing literal language (for examples of this,
please read "Tips on proper Bible interpretation.")
By the way, the spiritual realm is a literal realm, for those who confuse spiritual with non-literal.
- A new heaven and new earth will exist. Again, this is in contrast to the symbolic language more common of
OT prophets and Revelation. (Please note that spiritual
bodies will be given to the faithful after the resurrection—per 1 Cor 15).
Also note that it's a new earth, not a refurbished one, as 70 ADers suggest.
No reputable translation to my knowledge states there would be a "refurbished heaven and a refurbished earth."
70 ADers try to argue
that there was a "refurbished spiritual order," and this was actually what the Holy Spirit was referring to.
- The Bible indicates the entire world will be destroyed by fire, similar to the flood—except that
water was the mode of destruction.
Obviously, the world was not destroyed by fire in 70 AD.
Remember, this is LITERAL prophetic language in use. The 70 AD view claims that the "burning up" of the entire
world was symbolic only.
- 70 ADers try to connect this passage with 1 Peter 4:7 as "parallel accounts."
The Holy Spirit makes no such connection.
Flaw #6: Jesus clearly made prophecies about events that would happen on earth long after the DOJ
Remember what our Lord said regarding the DOJ, just before His crucifixion?
In Luke 21:24, Jesus said this:
"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."
Again, the 70 AD viewpoint suggests that NO prophecy was MADE or even FULFILLED BEYOND 70 AD.
They were supposedly all "sealed up" and fulfilled at the DOJ (see again Daniel 9:24).
However, Jesus clearly gave at least 2 easily provable prophecies regarding events to be fulfilled WELL AFTER the DOJ. They were:
As you can see, it's clear Jesus was referring in Luke 21:24 to events LONG AFTER the DOJ, and BEFORE the end of the world.
- The Jews that survived the DOJ were to be scattered to "all the nations." Clearly, it's a prophecy for events AFTER the DOJ. Jews undoubtedly began to be scattered right away, and that scattering continued well beyond the DOJ (it's now called the Diaspora). This was a phenomenal, historically undeniable prophecy made by Jesus Christ.
- AFTER the DOJ (emphasis again on the word AFTER), and AFTER the scattering, Jerusalem would continue to be trampled on by the Gentiles (occupied). Again, it's historically incontrovertible that the Jews did not reassemble as a nation to Israel (and Jerusalem) until after the Nazi holocaust of the 1940's—again, a truly extraordinary prophecy of Christ.
All Bible prophecy was not completed by 70 AD. Therefore the 70 AD theory is false.
Flaw #7: Prophecies about the Kingdom of Christ and God extended far beyond 70 AD
Again, it's easy to prove that other Bible prophecies also extended beyond 70 AD—for example,
prophecies about the Kingdom of Christ.
Consider the following, provable by 1 Corinthians 15:
Additionally, remember that Daniel (in chapter 2) prophesied that Christ's Kingdom was to
last WELL BEYOND the 4th kingdom, which was the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:44).
The Roman Empire didn't end until around AD 476—4 centuries AFTER the DOJ. The Kingdom of Christ was to outlast
this earthly empire.
- The Bible plainly states that the Kingdom of Christ would be transferred to God after the "last enemy"—death,
was destroyed (see 1 Cor 15:24).
- Death has not yet been destroyed.
- Therefore, Christ's Kingdom still has not been transferred to God; it's an event of our future, just as is
normally and rightly believed among almost all in the Christian religious world.
- Therefore, the 70 AD theory is false.
Therefore, Daniel's prophecy is clearly about events well
BEYOND 70 AD, in violation of 70 AD theory.
Many other troubling questions remain...
Some of you are probably thinking that many other points could also have been made, and I'm sure you
are right. It would probably take volumes of writing to point out all the deficiencies and misuse of
Scripture that this theory entails.
Many other questions could be posed, such as:
How do you explain how that not a single promise in the Bible is provably left for the vast majority
of Christians who ever lived? (All of us who lived after the DOJ, including the apostles who lived beyond the DOJ.)
How do you explain that not a single command in the Bible is provably applicable to anyone except those
who lived before the DOJ? Technically, the 70 AD doctrine renders the Bible as nothing but "interesting reading"
for anyone who lives beyond the DOJ. Ask a 70 ADer to PROVE otherwise using his theory. It is not possible.
Certainly, communion cannot be proved to be necessary in any form for anyone living beyond the DOJ. Why?
Because Paul stated that its purpose was to "show forth [Christ's] death until He comes again." Since
Christ "came" in 70 AD, communion is therefore no longer necessary.
The writings of other religions can now be arguably be considered valid,
since none of the Bible can provably apply to any of us today. This fits very well with modern themes of
Early Christian writers clearly disagreed with the 70 AD viewpoint. Examples: Barnabas, companion of Paul; and
Irenaeus. Meanwhile, no early Christian writer (prior to about 300 AD) has been presented as
external evidence to support the 70 AD theory.
The reckless use of the "day for a year" principle of prophecy cannot be justified.
70 ADers use the 1 day = 1 year principle for Daniel's "70 weeks" since it is so obvious—but
abandon it for Daniel's later prophecy of 2300 days (8:14), since 2300 years would bring us well past
the DOJ. This is inconsistent.
The key event emphasized by the Holy Spirit in the Bible was not the
Destruction of Jerusalem, but the death of our Savior.
"False teachers often fancy themselves as moving toward a greater truth;
therefore, they ignore lesser truths along the way. 70 AD advocates do this repeatedly.
They begin to believe a lie, and then become invested in it."
Should the '70 AD' theory be considered 'false doctrine?'
As you can hopefully see, the 70 AD doctrine
easily qualifies as false teaching.
It teaches, among many other errors, that the resurrection has already occurred, the 2nd coming of Christ
is a thing of the distant past, the "final" judgment is completed (with no Biblical indication of another),
the Kingdom of Christ has been transferred to God already, etc, etc, etc.
Many, many basic teachings
are distorted. These are extremely "strange teachings," condemned by the Holy Spirit in Heb 13:9. A few of
the many fatal flaws of this doctrine were noticed above.
Additionally, such a doctrine will almost certainly, if unchecked, lead to division.
However, please understand
that it does not have to lead to division to be considered false teaching,
as has been noted previously.