Destruction of the Jewish Temple
and Start of Christianity

As I mentioned in previous chapters many Jewish fundamentalists were quiet unhappy under Romans' rule. The Romans had changed their security arrangement and their presence had changed the fabric of their societies. Jewish fundamentalists were observing so clearly that Judaism and their whole customs and traditions were disappearing under the new situation. It was true they were secure from the foreign raids but the present situation was unbearable too. Some of the events were totally unacceptable for the Jewish fundamentalists like when King Herod built a temple for the pagan Roman Goddess, Roma, in the city of Caesarea. These mixing of the Judaism with the Pagan religious rituals were infuriating the Jewish fundamentalists. Many Jewish fundamentalists unrests happened which all were annihilated by the Jewish Kings or by the Romans legions.

Because of these unrests on 39 AD Romans' Emperor Caligula forced Jewish King Herod Antipas and his wife Herodias into exile in Gaul (France). Then, Caligula granted King Herod Antipas's territory of Galilee and Perea to King Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of King Herod "the Great", who was ruling on other part of Palestine since 37 AD. Around 39 AD Emperor Caligula announced that he was God and he wished to be worshipped throughout the Romans' territories. Emperor Caligula sent an army to place his statue inside the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This was a disastrous order which for sure would have caused uprising in Palestine. Luckily on 41 AD Emperor Caligula was assassinated before his order to be carried out.

The Jewish fundamentalists in Palestine saw how vulnerable their Judaism had become. This time they got lucky and they dodged the disaster but they were alarmed that their faith under these situations would not survive. This event added fuel to the fundamentalists' hatred against the Romans and the Jewish puppet King. King Herod Agrippa I died on 44 AD then the territory was solely ruled by the Roman procurators, Gessus Florus.

There were three major Jewish groups in Palestine; Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes who were competing with each on the affairs of the Judaism. The tense situations in Palestine gave rise to the extremists fanatics which we call them Zealots. Gradually these zealots organized themselves to various militant groups to resist and fight the occupation. One of the zealot groups in the Jewish resistance was Sicariis, which means dagger-men. They wanted to achieve their objectives through violent means. Their weapon of Choice was small dagger which they concealed under their cloak. Through assassination of the Romans and the Jews who were collaborating with the Romans they were creating reign of terror in public to destabilize the territory. They were very ruthless people who executed their victims with utmost brutality. They committed many assassinations against the authorities and against the Jewish collaborators which created havoc in Judea. This was adding to destabilization of the territory. Any attacks against the Romans were responded by harsh retaliating from the Romans against the Jewish Populations. And this instigated the cycle of the violence even farther. On 56 AD Sicariis assassinated Jonathan, the Chief Priest of the Jewish Temple.

On 66 AD the Roman Procurator Florus demanded 17 talents silver(Each talent weigh equal 100 lb)from the Jewish Temple treasury. This demand triggered a full blown revolt against the Romans in whole Judea territory. Sicariis played a major role in starting the Jewish revolt of 66 - 73 AD. Flavius Josephus (36 - 100) was a general in Jotapata who joined the revolt. Josephus was subdued by the Roman Army, Vespasian, and he changed side to assist the Romans and he wrote to some extent an accurate history of the Jewish uprising. In the beginning the Jewish resistance had some success against the Romans' military. Unfortunately because of their own extreme religions' ideologies the resistance groups could not resolve their own minor differences and present a unified front against their common powerful enemy. After the initial Romans retreat there was three-way Power Struggle within Jerusalem and these groups stupidly fought a civil war amongst themselves. Zealot leader John of Giscala eliminated his rival, Eleazar. Eleazar ben Jair who was one of the Sicariis' leaders managed to escape from Jerusalem and he continued his resistant on Masada fort. The war between the zealots weakened their strength tremendously. These are the kinds of stupid behaviors which give bad name to the hard core Believers in general. The Romans waited patiently until the groups significantly weakened each others' strength. Then, the Romans stroke down and overran the Jerusalem defenses and they conquered the city and they destroyed them all. The Romans showed no mercy and they slaughtered the fighters and they sacked Jerusalem and they burnt the Sacred Jewish Temple.

When the Jewish revolt began on 66 AD many Jesus followers moved out of Jerusalem and they settled at valley of Jordan River and at Golan Heights. They did not condone any violence uprising. Violence against the Romans was totally against their doctrine.

After many stubborn resistance Romans end up hating the Jewish zealots. Even though Jesus followers were very peaceful people and they also were so kind toward the Romans, unfortunately they were labeled as the most dangerous Jewish Zealots. The Romans considered the Jesus followers the worst of the zealots. The Romans usually were treating all minority groups fairly descent, then you wonder why the Romans were so nasty against the Christians!? Even though the Christians had not committed a single violent act against the Romans! The answer is so simple; for the past 37 years the Jewish Temple Chief Priest had managed to poison the Romans' view against the Jesus followers to the point that the Romans could not see the truth. As a result on 64 AD when Nero wanted to use a scapegoat for the fire in Rome he blamed the fire entirely on Jesus followers. This evidence shows how negative words could taint the view of entire nation for centuries without a shrewd of evidence to support the idea!

After Romans subdued the Jewish uprising on 70 AD they finally decided enough of these crazy zealots, so they ordered to push out all the Jewish population out of Judea and Galilee. At this point Jesus followers did not want to be punished for the Jewish violent activities any more. They were totally against these kinds of resistance. They did not wanted to be identified as Jews any more, so they started to call themselves Christians, which simply means the followers of Jesus Christ. This was meant to make them distinguished from the Jews. However, the Christian groups still suffered enormously from the Romans' atrocities for the next 243 years. The Christians in order to really separate themselves from the Jews they introduced few verses like:

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight-the only thing that matters is faith working through love. Acts 10:11 He saw heaven opened and an object something like a large sheet descending, being let down to earth by its four corners. 10:12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and birds of the sky. 10:13 Then a voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; slaughter and eat!"

After the destruction of the Great Temple the blame game was started. The Christians were blaming the other Jews for their wicked and their stupid activities which had brought so much death and destruction on people and the loss of the Jewish Temple. The destruction of the Jewish Temple was the validation for their charges. Christians were thinking that Jews had lost their humanity by insisting on their race heritage. That was totally against doctrine of Universal Brotherhood.

Christians started to blame Jesus crucifixion on Jews too, and in order to seal this awful deed they inspired few verses against the Jews in their scriptures. This really put Christians against the Jews, and made the Jews the mortal enemy of the Christians' spiritual beliefs. In Chapter II, I mentioned of few passages in Christianity on the subject of Jews.

Now the question arises if the Jewish race doctrine was so horrible then why Christians kept the Old Testament part of the Holy Bible? The answer is so easy; without the Old Testament Jesus would have lost all his identity!

It seems the issue of hate doctrine against the Jews reached to its ultimate fury by the Edict of the Synod of Elvira on 306 AD. Then, by issuing a total hate doctrine against the Jews the Church authorities were trying to put all the Jesus crucifixions blame on Jews' shoulders. I suspect the Church edited the gospels' passages on crucifixion too, to smooth up the relation between the Christians and the Romans. The Church seized the opportunity to buy the Romans' favor at the expense of the Jews. This action put all the blames of the Jesus crucifixion on Jews and left the Romans innocent of any evil deeds, and this paved the path toward Emperor Constantine conversion to Christianity. On 306 Emperor Constantine Converted to Christianity. On 313 AD in Edict of Milan, Constantine establishes toleration toward Christianity.

For sure Jesus would have been forgotten if his prophecy did not come true. Actually the Old Testaments are full of such prophesies for example:

Ezekiel 11:7 "Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: The corpses you have flung in the midst of the city are the meat, and this city is the cooking pot; but I will pull you out of it. 11:8 You have feared the sword, so I will bring the sword against you,' declares the Sovereign Lord. 11:9 'I will drag you out of the city and hand you over to strangers, and I will execute judgments against you.

Jesus on his sermons was prophesying similar dooms day for the Jewish Temple.

The Jewish Temple was the absolute center of the Jewish laws and Jewish faith and the foundation of the Judaism. Great Temple was the home for the invisible God which was giving direction to Judaism. Without the Temple Jews were totally disoriented. It was like as if the invisible God had become homeless. And nothing could be more disastrous than that. I can not emphasis enough the calamity of the disaster which the Jews felt by the Destruction of the Great Temple. With the destructions of the Great Temple the Jews were scrambling to figure out why God has punished them so severely and abandoned his chosen people. This disaster gave full credibility to the Jesus message, "Fighting the Romans will bring great disaster on Judaism."

Now everybody was asking; who was that man who predicted such earth shaking catastrophe? Who was the man who predicted this disaster of the biblical proportion? And the man became a great genuine prophet, the true man of God who could see and predict this unfortunate disaster with such clarity.

Now Jesus was in fashion, he was the chosen prophet of the history that had understood the God's plan and had tried to lead the people to God. Since Jesus prophecy came true he must have known the passage to salvations too. Now everybody wanted to know about Jesus and write about Jesus and talk about Jesus. All the gospels are emphasizing on the issue of the temple destruction, like:

Mathew 24:1 Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts and walking away, his disciples came to show him the temple buildings. 24:2 And he said to them, "Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!"

The first Gospel, Gospel of Mark, was written about this time. Gospel of Mathew and Luke were written about 10-25 years later. Gospel of John was written about 20-55 years latter. There were Gospels of Thomas, Philip, Truth, Mary Magdalene, and others, about twelve Gospels. Of course by then most Apostles were dead so the writers were using the Apostles' names for their writings to acquire credibility and prestige for their versions of the Gospels. As you see these people were writing Gospels according to their own understanding and their own ideas, visions, and agenda. Their writings were their own aspirations. They were writers like any other writers with no special mandate from God or from Jesus. Every one of them were righteous people (I hope) and they were trying to report the truth as they saw it, and they wanted to serve God as they saw it, and in the process promote their own agenda based on their needs. We can see the same different aspirations amongst the variety of Evangelical Churches today.

None of the gospel writers claimed that the God dictate his messages to them. All the gospel writers were writing about the stories they had heard by word of mouth or they read from the writing of the earlier writers and of course they were adding their own thoughts and stories to them. For example we know Luke and Matthew were writing some passages from the Q (German word "Quelle" meaning "source") gospel. Various evidences show around 65 AD Q Gospel was written about the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Q Gospel has not yet been found, but the evidence shows that Q Gospel was the source that some of the other Gospel writers used to write their own versions.

I guess these Gospels were competing with each other for the followers. There were heated disagreement and rivalry between the people who were promoting each of these Gospels. There were various doctrines and theologies on these early Christian churches. Thanks to Apostle Paul these Churches got the habit of writing to each other and they would send special mission to visit each other, to learn from each other or to teach to the others the new stories, successes, failures, problems, understandings, and the new doctrine about the Christianity. These Churches were trying to unify the Christianity doctrines and its theology. In 2 Timothy the following passage is written by Apostle Paul:

2 Timothy 4:7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! 4:8 Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day-and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.

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