Does The Holocaust Contradict Jesus?

(More Bible Studies Available @

It is written:

Matthew 24:21-For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Those who are critical of the Bible will sometimes look at these words by Jesus and claim that He was contradicting what would be history: for the tribulation that Jesus here discusses (as horrible as it was) in man ways pales in comparison to other terrible atrocities (such as the Jewish Holocaust).

What shall we say to this?

Let’s study.

First, in Matthew 24:4-34, Jesus is answering His disciples questions that applied to the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1-3). Between Matthew 24:4-34, Jesus provides many signs that the disciples could watch for which would herald the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that He is discussing a first century event with these words:

Matthew 24:34-Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

The phrase “this generation” used throughout the Gospels had direct reference to the first century world.

Amazingly, between AD 67-70, the Romans fulfilled all of these prophecies and destroyed the city of Jerusalem. It was a terrible period of suffering for the Jewish people, as they were then spread throughout the entire world without a homeland until the year 1948 A.D. It is during this period that Jesus warns that His followers will suffer this “great tribulation.”

Second, the wording that Jesus uses here was commonly used throughout the Old Testament as a reminder of great devastation upon a nation but which was not understood completely literally. It was hyperbole.

For example:

Exodus 10:14-And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them.

Notice the graphic description of the plague of locusts, and then compare this with the locust plague described throughout the Book of Joel.


Exodus 11:6-Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.

Do you notice the way that the graphic language is being used to describe national calamity? It isn’t being taken as a literal statement that this would be the worst and most severe crying that a people could or would ever endure.

Ezekiel 5:9-And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations.

Here, we see the same promise of God: a graphic description is portrayed of judgment which was intended to frighten the people and hopefully cause them to repent as they saw the serious consequences of sin.

Notice how the same language is used in another way:

2 Kings 18:5-He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.

This is spoken of king Hezekiah, yet look at what the writer says later of king Josiah:

2 Kings 23:25-Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.

These statements all show us that the language of Jesus in Matthew 24:21 was hyperbole, and well established in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Finally, Jesus Himself makes it clear in this text that there will be great calamity and judgment later in the world at the time of His Return.

Matthew 24:37-39-But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39  and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Jesus clearly understood that His Return would bring the Day of Judgment that would far surpass the destruction of Jerusalem. For all these reasons, the criticisms of the Bible critic are again shown to be null and void.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: