What is the original explanation Christian Scholars gave for these Jewish prophecies not being fulfilled?

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9). cite

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    This is a good example of a question that needs an "according to whom" attached to it because it's likely to get answers from a number of different viewpoints.
    – Peter Turner
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:17
  • If you search for christianity.stackexchange.com/search?q=jesus+fulfilled you'll find a number of duplicates and questions about individual prophecies. But I think all the questions that are just "in general" have been closed as well. If you want to ask just about a single denomination you probably can edit and flag for re-opening.
    – Peter Turner
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:20
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    @Kris The question in its original format was clearly off-topic. If you want to reuse your answer, feel free to ask a question similar to it but include "according to Jehovah's Witnesses." Jan 29, 2019 at 15:36
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    Why such question at all? The answer is obvious - this all will happen in the future, before the Second coming of Christ. In fact, as I understand, then Catholics believe that those prophecies are the signs of the Second coming. Personally I believe that this is message of hope. Current 4th Industrial Revolution, artificial general intelligence (e.g. hlai-conf.org and people.idsia.ch/~juergen), robotics and all this can bring unbounded prosperity and peace to all the humanity, if only the social policies and solidarity were in place and progressives in power.
    – TomR
    Jan 29, 2019 at 17:52
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    Here is a fascinating article touching on early Church beliefs regarding the building of the third temple: preteristarchive.com/… Jan 30, 2019 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


This question of two advents or not has been raised for near 2,000 years. Here are some original thoughts from scholars of the first 200 years from Christ's first advent.

Clement of Rome likened the second coming to the necessity of a maturing fruit tree.

These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us.”Ye foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree: take [for instance] the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. Ye perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, “Speedily will He come, and will not tarry;” and, “The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look.” Clement of Rome

Justin Martyr explains it this way.

And then, they [doubters of two comings of Messiah] say, the events mentioned in this passage shall happen, just as if there was no fruit as yet from the words of the prophecy. O unreasoning men! understanding not what has been proved by all these passages, that two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which He is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonoured, and crucified; but the other, in which He shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians, Justin Martyr

And the same explained it this way.

“If the prophets had not ceased, so that there were no more in your nation, Trypho, after this John, it is evident that what I say in reference to Jesus Christ might be regarded perhaps as ambiguous. But if John came first calling on men to repent, and Christ, while [John] still sat by the river Jordan, having come, put an end to his prophesying and baptizing, and preached also Himself, saying that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and that He must suffer many things from the Scribes and Pharisees, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again, and would appear again in Jerusalem, and would again eat and drink with His disciples; and foretold that in the interval between His [first and second] advent, as I previously said, priests and false prophets would arise in His name, which things do actually appear; then how can they be ambiguous, when you may be persuaded by the facts? Moreover, He referred to the fact that there would be no longer in your nation any prophet, and to the fact that men recognised how that the New Testament, which God formerly announced [His intention of] promulgating, was then present, i.e., Christ Himself; and in the following terms: ‘The law and the prophets were until John the Baptist; from that time the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. And if you can2110 receive it, he is Elijah, who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. -ibid- chapter LI

Basically, Justin Martyr is arguing from Scripture about two advents. The first was about Messiah inglorious, suffering death, generation not declared, but the second in glory with all looking on Him who was pierced.

Then I [Justin Martyr] replied to him [Trypho], “If, sirs, it were not said by the Scriptures which I have already quoted, that His form was inglorious, and His generation not declared, and that for His death the rich would suffer death, and with His stripes we should be healed, and that He would be led away like a sheep; and if I had not explained that there would be two advents of His,—one in which He was pierced by you; a second, when you shall know Him whom you have pierced, and your tribes shall mourn, each tribe by itself, the women apart, and the men apart,—then I must have been speaking dubious and obscure things. -ibid- chapter XXXII

Lastly, Tertullian will make the same arguments from Scripture.

We [Christians] affirm that, as there are two conditions demonstrated by the prophets to belong to Christ, so these presignified the same number of advents; one, and that the first, was to be in lowliness, when He had to be led as a sheep to be slain as a victim, and to be as a lamb dumb before the shearer, not opening His mouth, and not fair to look upon. For, says (the prophet), we have announced concerning Him: “He is like a tender plant, like a root out of a thirsty ground; He hath no form nor comeliness; and we beheld Him, and He was without beauty: His form was disfigured;” “marred more than the sons of men; a man stricken with sorrows, and knowing how to bear our infirmity;” “placed by the Father as a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence;” “made by Him a little lower than the angels;” declaring Himself to be “a worm and not a man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” Now these signs of degradation quite suit His first coming, just as the tokens of His majesty do His second advent, when He shall no longer remain “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence,” but after His rejection become “the chief corner-stone,” accepted and elevated to the top place of the temple, even His church, being that very stone in Daniel, cut out of the mountain, which was to smite and crush the image of the secular kingdom. Of this advent the same prophet says: “Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days; and they brought Him before Him, and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away; and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Tertullian

There are other people who explain the two advents in the same way. The first is as the suffering servent and the second is as the King of Kings. But this should suffice to answer the OP questions.

PS The temple is believers indwelt by the Spirit (born-again).


Answer: Christian scholars and commentators believe that Jesus will fulfil these prophecies at his Second Coming.

Key to the Jewish understanding of the Messiah is that he will be human, not divine, and that all the prophecies concerning him will be fulfilled in his lifetime. There is no concept of a second coming. The Jewish Messiah will not be able to forgive sins and blood sacrifice is not an absolute requirement for the absolution of sins. Indeed, human sacrifice is utterly rejected as being abhorrent. Jews believe that the future Messiah will fight wars and bring peace. They say Jesus cannot be the Messiah for he died without bringing peace to the world. It goes without saying they also deny the resurrection of Jesus.

A popular paraphrase of Principle 12 of Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith says this:

“I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the mashiach, and though he may tarry, still I await him every day. Source: https://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/mashiach.htm

The article in the link below is copyright protected, so all I can do is give a partial quote and invite people to read the article in full. It is the testimony of Rabbi Leopold Cohn, who became a Christian and was given the title Doctor of Divinity, and who passed away on December 19, 1937:

One day, while poring over a volume of the Talmud, he came upon the following citation: "The world will stand six thousand years. There will be two thousand years of confusion, two thousand years under the law, and two thousand years of the time of the Messiah." According to the writings of Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 1040-1105), “After the second two thousand years, the Messiah will come and the wicked kingdoms will be destroyed."

According to Talmudic reckoning the Messiah should long since have come... From the twenty-fourth verse of the chapter before him [in the book of Daniel, chapter 9], he deduced without difficulty that the coming of the Messiah should have taken place 400 years after Daniel received from the divine messenger the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. Source: http://www.shalom.org.uk/library/RabbisWhoBelieved/RabbiLeopoldCohn.html

Haggai, who was in Jerusalem as the Second Temple was being built, made the messianic prediction that the “glory of this last temple is to be greater than that of the first” (2:9). Malachi confirmed it: “Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his Temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come” (3:1). Twelfth century Jewish scholar, Rabbi David Kimchi, referred to the Malachi verse, saying, “The Lord, the angel of the covenant, is the Messiah.”

Christian scholars believe that the Messiah arrived 2,000 years ago, in keeping with Daniel’s prophecy, died, was resurrected and returned to heaven from whence he came, and all during the time the Second Temple existed. The temple and the genealogical records of the tribe of Judah and the house of David were utterly destroyed in 70 C.E. That is why the Messiah will return, this time to rule the nations with a rod of iron and to restore true worship of the One God.

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