Why Jesus Cleansed the Temple — Twice

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olivet discourseWhy Jesus Cleansed the Temple Twice

(a long-standing mystery solved)EmilyCarr-Indian-Church-1929

By Dr. Joel McDurmon

A long-standing problem of New Testament studies has been why Jesus is recorded as having cleansed the temple of the moneychangers twice. John records it happening at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and the Synoptic Gospels all record it happening at the end. Which is it? Or is it both? If so, why? What sense does that make?

First, let’s read the texts. The synoptic Gospels record the account:

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

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of…

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