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Did Jesus Clear The Temple Once Or Twice? | The End Of The Argument

Jesus Cleared the Temple

The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke record a scene where Jesus enters the temple in Jerusalem and drove out the money changers and merchants who were conducting business inside the temple. This event is commonly referred to as the “cleansing of the temple.” However, there is some debate among scholars about whether this event happened once or twice.

The majority of scholars believe that Jesus cleared the temple once, during the final week of his life. This event is recorded in all three Synoptic Gospels, which are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. According to these accounts, Jesus entered the temple and found that it had become a marketplace, with merchants selling animals for sacrifice and money changers exchanging foreign currency for the Jewish shekel, which was the only currency accepted for temple taxes. Jesus was angered by this commercial activity in the temple, which he saw as a violation of its sacred purpose. He overturned the tables of all those who were changing money as well as the seats of those who were selling doves, and declared, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:13).

The Gospel of John also records an incident where Jesus cleared the temple, but this event is placed at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, rather than during the final week of his life. In this account, Jesus travelled to Jerusalem for the Passover and found the temple filled with merchants and money changers. He made a whip out of cords and drove out the animals and merchants, saying, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade” (John 2:16). This event is often seen as a parallel to the Synoptic accounts of the cleansing of the temple, but some scholars believe that it may be a separate event.

There are a few reasons why some scholars argue that Jesus cleared the temple twice. One argument is based on the differences between the accounts in the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. The Synoptic Gospels place the cleansing of the temple during the final week of Jesus’ life, while John places it at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Some scholars argue that it is unlikely that Jesus would have waited until the end of his ministry to take action against the commercial activity in the temple, and that it makes more sense for this event to have happened earlier in his ministry as well.

Another argument is based on the language used in the Gospel of John. In John’s account, Jesus used the phrase “My Father’s house” when he drove out the merchants. This phrase is not used in the Synoptic accounts of the cleansing of the temple. Some scholars argue that this indicates that the event in John is a separate incident from the one in the Synoptic Gospels.

However, there are several reasons why the majority of scholars believe that Jesus cleared the temple only once. One reason is that the Synoptic accounts provide a detailed and coherent narrative of events leading up to the crucifixion, while the Gospel of John contains more loosely connected episodes. This suggests that the Synoptic accounts are more historically reliable and provide a more accurate chronology of Jesus’ life.

Another reason is that the differences between the Synoptic accounts and the Gospel of John can be explained by the fact that each Gospel was written for a different audience and with a different purpose. The Synoptic Gospels were written primarily for Jewish Christians, while the Gospel of John was written for a broader audience of Gentile Christians. This may explain why John places the cleansing of the temple earlier in Jesus’ ministry, as Gentile Christians may not have been as familiar with the events of the final week of Jesus’ life.

How Many Times Did Jesus Clear The Temple, Once or Twice?

Jesus cleared the temple twice. He did at the beginning of his ministry and towards the end of his ministry, respectively. The accounts of the Gospel of John and that of the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are not contradictory because the Bible does not contain contradictions.

ADDITIONAL READING

Two High Priests: Were Both Caiaphas And Annas High Priests?

Who Is Melchizedek In Genesis 14, Psalm 110 And Hebrews 5, 6 And 7?

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