The dreaded 'J' word ? (part 8)

Then who else ?

OK, you may again accuse me of manipulating scriptures to fit my conclusions, but there are two facts of history that no-one could have manipulated.

The first is connected to a prophecy in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 9, verses 25 to 26. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing."

It probably looks garbled to you but it is, in fact, a countdown, a countdown to the appearance of the Anointed One, the Messiah.

What is interesting is that one of the events mentioned in this passage is an actual verifiable historical fact.

The "issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" is the decree of Artaxerxes I to rebuild Jerusalem's walls (in March/April 445BC), which is mentioned in Nehemiah 2.

Taking the prophecy literally as years, we have one period of 7 X 7=49 years, involved with the rebuilding of the walls, then a period of 62 X 7=434 years up to the point of this Anointed One being 'cut off', we arrive at a date at around 38AD for this event.

This indicates that the Messiah would have to die (be 'cut off') at about this date.

The other fact of history is signalled not so much by scripture as by common sense. As said earlier, perhaps the most important test of anyone's Messianic claims was his lineage. He had to be a Jew of the line descended from King David and this had to be verifiable.

No problem here as detailed records were kept of the Jewish population and stored in the Temple in Jerusalem. This was where Matthew and Luke went to, to check up on Jesus's credentials. In fact any prospective Messiah could have be tested in this way in 30AD, 40 AD, 50AD, 60AD, 69AD.

But ...... in 70AD .... the Temple and its records were destroyed by the Romans. That means that if anyone declared himself Messiah after that date .... who was to know?

But the Jewish leaders were methodical and analytical and they would never have been satisfied unless they could check up on the prospective candidate inside out.

These two facts should be sufficient for you to reach the conclusion that the Messiah had to come at some point before 70AD, and ideally around the beginning of that century. Someone who fulfilled these criteria did appear at that time.

Let's look at his life.