The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday. You can enlarge the diagram by clicking on it.
In the little apocalypse, Matthew 24, Jesus mentions the abomination of desolation. Many evangelical theologians link this reference with the Man of Lawlessness (2Thess 2) who will set himself up in the temple. But, is that the case? If you look at the biblical time line, you can see that in the long history of the bible, the window between Antiochus Epiphanes and 70CE is very small in relation to the entire time line. It is almost like a bulls eye on a target. Look at Daniel 9:27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." It is an interesting description. Notice it states that on the wings of abomination comes one who makes desolate. This could be interpreted that the abomination and desolation are not simultaneous events. This could describe a period of time beginning with the abomination and ending with the desolation.
At any rate, the seventy sevens, considered by all theologians (including Jewish) to be 490 years began when the decree went forth to rebuild Jerusalem. Using Artaxerxes decree in 457BCE as the beginning would bring the total time to 33-34CE. Interesting…the last seven year period would coincide with Jesus ministry. 27CE he was baptized and, three and one half years later he was crucified….in the middle of the last week. He was falsely accused by the Jews and then, three and one half years later (34CE) Stephen was stoned. Now then, forty years from the crucifixion the temple was desolated. John of Giscala took over the temple with a band of rebels, killed the high priest and set another as high priest. This answers the 2Thess 2 man of lawlessness.
The simple fact is that there is a way to look at the scripture that allows fulfillment in the first century. That is after all, the time when it was prophesied to be fulfilled. Jesus said that his generation would not pass until all was fulfilled. Theologians have done linguistic gymnastics with generation (genea Greek) but when you look in context with the other places that he used the word, it seems obvious to me that he meant the generation alive at his time (Matt 12:41).