Clearing of the Temple: Once or Twice?

Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#1
Look at these descriptions of our Lord's clearing of the temple:

Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

Mark 11:15-18 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.

Luke 19:45-46 Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den.”

John 2:13-17 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.”

There are many things to learn from these, but for this thread, I would like us to notice some similarities and differences:

First, the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke all obviously refer to the same scripture: ("My house shall be called a house of prayer..."). There are some minor changes in words, but are easily recognizable as the same occurrence.

But, the account in John uses very different words: ("Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business"). Even the scripture cited is different ("Zeal for Your House will consume me"); and even then it is recorded as what His disciples remembered, not what our Lord said.

Now, notice when the Gospels report that this occurred:

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke they are near the end of Christs ministry before and leading up to His arrest. But, John records it at the beginning of His ministry.

There are two basic ways this is interpreted today.

One way, citing the above similarities and differences, contend that our Lord cleared the temple twice.

The other way maintains that John is recording the same event, but while the first three gospels, sometimes called synoptic gospels, are roughly chronological accounts written for different audiences (Matthew for Jews, Mark for Romans, Luke for Greek), John is developing a theme: that of God's Love for us, and the church as the bride of Christ.
The clearing of the temple is in preparation for uniting the Lord with the Church.

Those who contend that John 2:13-17 is the same event as in the other gospels point out that once our Lord cleared the temple once, the priests and temple officials would have moved against him much more vigorously earlier, and that he would not have been given a second chance.

I don't have a 'pet' interpretation regarding whether it was a single clearing, or two clearings, but I find both interesting.
 
#2
Look at these descriptions of our Lord's clearing of the temple:

Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

Mark 11:15-18 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.

Luke 19:45-46 Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den.”

John 2:13-17 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.”

There are many things to learn from these, but for this thread, I would like us to notice some similarities and differences:

First, the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke all obviously refer to the same scripture: ("My house shall be called a house of prayer..."). There are some minor changes in words, but are easily recognizable as the same occurrence.

But, the account in John uses very different words: ("Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business"). Even the scripture cited is different ("Zeal for Your House will consume me"); and even then it is recorded as what His disciples remembered, not what our Lord said.

Now, notice when the Gospels report that this occurred:

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke they are near the end of Christs ministry before and leading up to His arrest. But, John records it at the beginning of His ministry.

There are two basic ways this is interpreted today.

One way, citing the above similarities and differences, contend that our Lord cleared the temple twice.

The other way maintains that John is recording the same event, but while the first three gospels, sometimes called synoptic gospels, are roughly chronological accounts written for different audiences (Matthew for Jews, Mark for Romans, Luke for Greek), John is developing a theme: that of God's Love for us, and the church as the bride of Christ.
The clearing of the temple is in preparation for uniting the Lord with the Church.

Those who contend that John 2:13-17 is the same event as in the other gospels point out that once our Lord cleared the temple once, the priests and temple officials would have moved against him much more vigorously earlier, and that he would not have been given a second chance.

I don't have a 'pet' interpretation regarding whether it was a single clearing, or two clearings, but I find both interesting.
Oh interesting the way I read it he cleared it once. Sometimes the things mentioned in John have a different perspective of the same event obviously different eyewitnesses heard or remembered different things. This is to be expected in any eyewitness account or memoir of a person.
 
Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#3
Oh interesting the way I read it he cleared it once. Sometimes the things mentioned in John have a different perspective of the same event obviously different eyewitnesses heard or remembered different things. This is to be expected in any eyewitness account or memoir of a person.
One pastor told me that in His view, the inerrancy of scripture required John to be correct in placing his account at th beginning is Christ's ministry, which requires that the other accounts be a separate occurance.
 
Oct 10, 2017
20
19
3
59
Florida
#4
Look at these descriptions of our Lord's clearing of the temple:

Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

Mark 11:15-18 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.

Luke 19:45-46 Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den.”

John 2:13-17 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.”

There are many things to learn from these, but for this thread, I would like us to notice some similarities and differences:

First, the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke all obviously refer to the same scripture: ("My house shall be called a house of prayer..."). There are some minor changes in words, but are easily recognizable as the same occurrence.

But, the account in John uses very different words: ("Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business"). Even the scripture cited is different ("Zeal for Your House will consume me"); and even then it is recorded as what His disciples remembered, not what our Lord said.

Now, notice when the Gospels report that this occurred:

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke they are near the end of Christs ministry before and leading up to His arrest. But, John records it at the beginning of His ministry.

There are two basic ways this is interpreted today.

One way, citing the above similarities and differences, contend that our Lord cleared the temple twice.

The other way maintains that John is recording the same event, but while the first three gospels, sometimes called synoptic gospels, are roughly chronological accounts written for different audiences (Matthew for Jews, Mark for Romans, Luke for Greek), John is developing a theme: that of God's Love for us, and the church as the bride of Christ.
The clearing of the temple is in preparation for uniting the Lord with the Church.

Those who contend that John 2:13-17 is the same event as in the other gospels point out that once our Lord cleared the temple once, the priests and temple officials would have moved against him much more vigorously earlier, and that he would not have been given a second chance.

I don't have a 'pet' interpretation regarding whether it was a single clearing, or two clearings, but I find both interesting.
It is likely parts of the Gospels are not in chronological sequence, even though much of the information seems like a chronological account.
 
Amens/Likes: Fish Catcher Jim
#5
One pastor told me that in His view, the inerrancy of scripture required John to be correct in placing his account at th beginning is Christ's ministry, which requires that the other accounts be a separate occurance.
Gospel according to John isnt strictly chronological..he was writing things from the perspective of love as his theme and often would flash forward or flashback to the known event ..Jesus being the son of God, the light of the World. The other gospels were told like stories in which you didnt quite know the ending how it would turn out. John writes straight off the bat that he knows who Jesus is.