There have been many articles written that delve into the early evidences for the Scriptures. Many folks, for or against the Bible, contend that the events in the New Testament where recorded after the events took place. The debate is often about how long after. I may have missed it, but I have never seen one that drew attention to the fact that the Scriptures themselves may have addressed this issue.
In both Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 Jesus ends by basically saying: whoever reads let him understand. Now, most folks have taken this to be a reference to the prophecy in the Book of Daniel he was discussing. There are a couple of problems with this interpretation to me.
First, in every other instance that Jesus references a formerly written document, he begins by basically saying: haven’t you ever read. Second, he never follows it by saying: let him understand. Third, consider two things. The audience he was speaking to and the average life expectancy at that time. If Jesus was talking to folks there with Him that were already old enough to be able to have read the Book of Daniel, how many could have been expected to be alive when what He was referring to took place. This if He was referring to the coming destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. – forty years later. It hardly seems likely that many would be around. One of the few people believed to have lived that long is the author of Revelation; and he definitely, in Revelation 1:3, makes it clear that he expects people to read what he is saying.
Jesus was not one to waste words; and, this issue is recorded twice, by two different authors. My understanding has always been that the more times an issue is mentioned in the Bible the more emphasis is placed on it. We also know that there were literate men among His disciples.
Most of the “famous” commentaries were written before the modern trend to question the origin of the Bible, so perhaps they did not see these passages in the same light as I do. I know we have some pretty knowledgeable folks here, so before I go out on a limb writing about this elsewhere, I am putting it out here for your thoughts.
In Brotherly Love,
PS – I am aware that many would still reject my hypothesis as internal evidence.