Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Nobody knows the day or the hour..." - Matthew

The fun bit with Matthew is that that passage is added *BECAUSE* they failed. Early Christian preaching was apocalyptic to some degree from the start. You can see early on the authors pushing the dates back further and further from this generation, to a day is like a thousand years, to you can't predict when it will come. You can pretty much date texts by looking at when they claim the Judgement day will be and subtracting like a decade. If they say it'll be before the Second Temple falls, then they may well be before the second temple fell. If they say that the temple doesn't matter, they are likely writing afterwards.

The line in Matthew is specifically because this sort of stuff was the origin of Christianity. Really, as far as failed apocalyptic preachers go Harold Camping is pretty much on par with Jesus. So all the little "thief in the night" and "nobody can really know" stuff got added after they failed their asses off from the first to third centuries missing every benchmark they set.

The end of the world, "soon", for the last two thousand years. Heck the Jewish doomsayers were wrong so often they gave rise to Christianity. The end of the world is the failiest prediction ever.

So yeah, there's apologetics for why all the doomsayers failed, because starting with Jesus they were always dead wrong. Unless you think that somebody from Jesus' time is still alive, and that generation hasn't known death. And apologetics for the failures got added the the Christian corpus, but Camping is only as wrong as Jesus, with regard to the end of the world. So that's not too bad.

1 comment:

Vahram G. Diehl said...

I remember reading that Christ's disciples thought he would return within their lifetimes. Yeah, guess that didn't turn out so well.