Don’t Worry, The “Great Tribulation” Was In The Past

Don’t Worry, The “Great Tribulation” Was In The Past July 29, 2014

Apocalyse in New york. Fantasy concept about apocalyptic scenario

One of the most profoundly misunderstood passages in all the Bible is the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24. Those of us who grew up in a doom-and-gloom version of Christianity probably know parts of this passage well– it’s the one that talks about “earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars”, as a sign that the “end of the world” (but first rapture and tribulation) is on the way.

The end times movement obviously relies financially on a futuristic view of calamity– it’s what keeps people buying their stuff. End time peddlers work on a basic grid: bad stuff is coming, the Bible tells us all about it, I know how to interpret this apocalyptic imagery best, and you need to buy my stuff so you don’t end up on the wrong side of disaster.

It’s actually brilliant marketing, but I digress.

On the blog we’ve already debunked the crazy idea of a “secret rapture of the church” as being something that’s not found in scripture. But what about this “great tribulation” Jesus talks about in Matthew 24? Doesn’t Jesus teach there will be a 7 year global tribulation against Christians in the future?

The short answer is yes and no. No, Jesus never teaches a global tribulation nor does he (or scripture) say anything about a tribulation that is 7 years. However, Jesus does teach a future tribulation– but not in our future.

The passage of Matthew 24 is the go-to passage people use when talking about the end times and “signs” of the end of the word. Ask any end time believer what the signs of the end will be, and they’ll start quoting Matthew 24. However, these folks make a few critical errors: ignoring the context given at the end of chapter 23/beginning of chapter 24, and ignoring the use of apocalyptic imagery that is so common with prophets in scripture.

There are a few key ways one can untangle Matthew 24 to show that it is not a prophesy of a future tribulation and it is not talking about the end of the world:

First, you ask the basic question as with any scripture: who is talking, what are they talking about, and who are they talking to?

This passage is complex because of the use of apocalyptic imagery which throughout scripture is highly symbolic and challenging to interpret. However, the easy part is the context: Jesus is talking about the destruction of the temple which would constitute the end of the age as people knew it. We know this is the context because it is plain right in the text starting at the end of chapter 23. Jesus is in the temple teaching that it will be destroyed. After leaving the temple, his disciples point out the massive structure as Jesus continues his conversation:

“Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” (v2)

Jesus’ statement that the temple would be completely demolished prompted a new question from his disciples: “when will this happen? what will be the signs?”, they ask. This is what gives us the context of the passage: Jesus is talking about the destruction of the temple, he is talking to his disciples, and he is answering their question about how to know that the destruction of the temple is close.

Unfortunately, this passage is commonly claimed to be speaking about the end of the world because of poor translation. Many English translations mistranslate the phrase from verse 3, “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Based on reading only a poorly translated English version, it’s certainly confusing and seems to point people in a futuristic direction. However, the Greek word here isn’t “world” (kosmos) at all, but the word αἰών, which means “a unit of time as a particular stage or period of history—‘age, era.” This poor translation makes it easier to ignore the context, and read into it our own relatively new ideas about the future end of the world. However, that’s not what the text is talking about.

So, here’s where the “Great Tribulation” comes into play: the foundation is from this passage where Jesus is describing the events that will lead up to the destruction of the temple in verses 15-21. Yes, Jesus does describe a horrible period of tribulation, but not in the way end-timers teach. Instead of a global tribulation in our future, Jesus warns of a localized tribulation in their future. He warns them of the signs that it’s coming, and then tells them to flee town and hide in the hills outside Judea– really bad advice if it were a global tribulation. Furthermore, Jesus goes out of his way to make sure they understand he is talking about their time, and not thousands of years later, by using the time marker of “this generation”. The original audience would have known that he was speaking of events that were to come to pass in their lifetime, not ours.

The irony of this passage is that when viewed in context, it’s not doom or gloom for us at all– but actually is really good news. In verse 21 Jesus says:

“For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again.”

If Jesus is right, and I believe he is, he’s promised that things will never be as bad as they were in the “Great Tribulation”, which was an event that occurred in the lifetime of his listeners– AD70. A passage used to cause people to fear the future and be pessimistic of the future should actually cause people to be hopeful for the future, and excited about it.

That’s what happens when we misinterpret scripture to fit our own worldviews, as the end-timers have done: it takes something beautiful and distorts it into something ugly.

Now, there’s a lot going on in Matthew 24 that I haven’t covered– this piece was just to point out that the entire context of this passage is Jesus answering the question, “how will we know the destruction of the temple is about to happen?” Everything that Jesus talks about in the Olivet Discourse must be interpreted in light of the question he is answering. Since we know Jesus was talking about the destruction of the temple, since we know this occurred in AD 70, and since Jesus himself says in verse 34 that “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened“, we know that Jesus was speaking of events that to us, are in the past.

That is the basic context of Matthew 24. If you’d like to go deeper into the rest of the stuff Jesus talks about in Matthew 24, I highly recommend this article.

So, the next time your parents start talking about the “signs of the times”, just point out the beginning of chapter 24 and show them the context of that passage.

Follow the guy who’s not worried about the tribulation:


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  • R Vogel

    Are you of the belief that Matthew 25 is a continuation of the same discussion?

  • Very good article. So many people are so confused on this.

  • It seems to me that the redirection from formerlyfundie.com doesn’t work anymore.

  • Elexa Dawson

    I was with you until you said “So, the next time your parents start talking about the “signs of the times”, just point out the beginning of chapter 24 and show them the context of that passage” No thanks! Wouldn’t touch it with a 10′ pole. hahaha

  • John A. C. Kelley

    So true! Any time I say anything about the world not ending and Israel not being God’s chosen because that’s the church now, I get my head chewed off.

  • Verse 16 roots the context geographically, and suggests that he’s talking about it being the worst ever, and forever, situation in Judea specifically. If we accept this suggestion, then Jesus was certainly telling the truth: The abomination of 70 AD wrought by Rome and by the regional Jews against themselves was unequaled before or since; the horrors described by Josephus, under which over 2 million people perished, are the worst the region has ever seen.

  • kjkjcsimps

    What is the Day of the Lord [ 2 Pet.3:10?] But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

  • Kirk Jordan

    This “fundy” (I still think of myself that way.) Is pretty much on board with you. I came these same conclusion some decades ago.. Today’s “Left Behind” theology is really the new kid on the block.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ben, you’re challenging my dispensationalist mindset, haha. I would like to get your thoughts on Matthew 25:31-46 (the judgment passage). Thanks for the blog. It forces me to think.

  • DC Rambler

    One way to look at is..The Jewish people were waiting for The Son of Man to return and reign as King and destroy the evil and bring justice and peace. Many saw Jesus as that man.He saw himself that way. That is why the first gospel Mark is so stark and so End Timey, everyone was sure the end was near. The death as a common criminal was a complete shock to the Jewish followers as the Messiah would not have met such a fate. Mathew and Luke ( none of the synoptic gospels say who wrote them..those name were added much later ) are rewrites of Mark using up to 85 % of the material. They soften it up, added to some of the stories and most importantly, added the virgin birth. This is why I think Mark is the most important of the gospels..It would make a great movie !!

  • Herro

    Benjamin Corey: Do you think that Jesus ever speaks about the actual end of the world in Matthew?

    What about Mt 25:31-32, as an example?

    >When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth hissheep from the goats:

    Is this also justspeaking of the destruction of Jerusalem? I ask because just like in Mt 24 the text talks about “the son of Man” coming in his glory with his angels punishing and rewarding people.

  • Alpha 1

    Reading Matthew 24, it looks like the destruction of Jerusalem is just a part of a larger apocalypse :

    “Immediately after the distress of those days

    ‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
    the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

    Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

    Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
    -Matthew 24 29-35

    The Jewish revolt was bad, but it didn’t cause the stars to fall from the sky. Nobody saw the son of man coming down from the heavens either. Matthew 24 really looks like a prediction by Jesus that he would return to end the world in the first century. It certainly explains parts of the epistles that talk about their present (the first century AD) as the end times.

    The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.”
    -1 Peter 4:7

    “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe”
    -Hebrews 1: 1-2

  • 33rdvapor

    so what of the abomination of desolation in ch 24:15 or the Gospel of the kingdom being proclaimed to the whole world in verse 14, or the stars falling from heaven and the moon and sun being darkened? so the Son of man has already come on the clouds of heaven?…speaking of context, did you finish chapter 25. have you read 2peter 3:10-13. the list goes on and on and 2thessalonians 2:3-4 should really quell your skepticism: Let no one deceive you in any way. for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction and exalts himself against every so called god or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be God….Nero never visited Jerusalem, let alone sit in the temple. Preterism has long been disproven and considered heretical bc the facts simply dont add up….you cant cherry pick the Bible, and i pray that God gives you correct theology and discernment if you plan on teaching any longer…God Bless

  • May Barry

    I love this type of conversation. Taking a fresh look at scriptures you wre taught all of your life is challenging, but worth it. I’m with you on this one. I think Matt 24, with an emphasis on verse 40, along with Matt 25, made growing up in many churches a scarey thing for children. Especially if you grew up in a church that had a lot of rules. If you don’t follow all the rules, BAM!, the rapture could happen, and you’ll be left behind. My church showed the horror movie ‘A Thief in the Night’ when I was a teen! Just awful! I have always stayed away from end time theology as an adult, clinging to I Thessalonians 4:18 “Therefore comfort one another with these words”, trusting that whatever the course of events, it must be a good thing in the long run. I see the reference to Jerusalem and 70 AD. With you on that. How do you combine, or separate, then Matt 25, 2 Peter 3, and 2 Thessalonians 2, which are inevitably strung together as a narrative of sorts?

  • Good thoughts here, Ben…

    On a lighter note, this video adds a bit of fun to the whole thing. :-)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuQot8mrlL8

  • DC Rambler

    Some would say..The gospel writers and Paul used the Septuagint, a 3rd century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, and some things were, as they say, lost in translation. In some cases, the whole meaning can change with the switch of a word or two. Another common literary and theological practice by the writers of the NT was to surgically remove verses out of their context, build a new foundation for them and insert them into the narrative that they are delivering. I found a great piece on the Septuagint I found on this site by Peter Enns http://tinyurl.com/mezenun

  • Larry Logan

    Does not Revelation, a book I read once and did not understand, speak about an end of the world? I think that if it does, or is at least interpreted that way, might be that by the time it was written that was the universal belief which displays the evolution of doctrines and beliefs. As a scare tactic, it does provide the church with a huge level of fear only dispelled by joining the church they said (say) by which people can avoid punishment in hell. Sell the belief in hell, offer the only escape if they join the church.

  • Don Lowery

    The bad thing is quite a few people believe this whole lie and spend much of what they make to hope it comes true. For instance…a friend of mine and his wife in Idaho spend much of their income in preparing for their tribulation by buying tons of food to stockpile for those left during their tribulation. Over half of their three bedroom home has food stacked on shelves and in boxes for those who refuse to take the “mark of the Beast”. She dresses like a nun and calls their house “The Embassy”.

    Even a worse joke is they believe God will allow a bomb to destroy the area. When I asked if this were actually going to happen…why spend all your money on items which are going to be destroyed in the destruction? Never could get an answer to this one.

    What I found out is it doesn’t matter what facts you have…their delusions are what matters and gives their lives purpose.

  • Don Lowery

    Used to be Southern Baptist when I was growing up in the 70’s and this piece of cinematic garbage scared the crap out of us teenagers at the time. I remember thinking about why even go to college at all or live your life…since Jesus was coming back during the 80’s? After allowing the reality of life show this lie for what it was…then having the Internet to see how badly that heretic John Nelson Darby misled way too many people…it was comforting to see what an education in history/science/non-fundamentalist theology allows you to see all of the BS you were fed as a kid.

  • Don Lowery

    The book of Revelation does speak about the world ending…but if you read past the part the fundamentalists never talk about because of their unwillingness to accept that Jesus called us to be peacemakers and not warriors killing everything we get our hands on…it ends on an upnote of the earth being cleansed by fire to have the New Jerusalem becoming our new home on the new earth. We’re not spending eternity in heaven…but on the new earth…especially when you consider that the earth was originally created for God and us to fellowship with one another before the Fall. As Greg Boyd and others mention…God created this world and he wants his real estate back. Revelation is the story of God reclaiming what is his…rather than some BS story started by a defrocked priest with a chip on his shoulder.

    Even though I don’t fully understand the book of Revelation…it does make sense when you consider it is the only book in the Bible where worship is the main message of every chapter…rather than hurting/killing everything believers get their hands on. When you look at it as giving hope to the first century believers and to us…the book is something to look forward to…rather than as a primer for terror.

  • Don Lowery

    THANK YOU!!! This is the funniest thing I have seen talking about the rapture.

  • Lennie

    There you go bringing in scripture, just as they were having fun bad-mouthing fundamentalists who take scripture literally unless the context demands otherwise. I think the passages you quote are future also.

  • gimpi1

    Well, at least this couple is basically nice. I mean they are stockpiling food to feed people, instead of ammo to shoot them, that’s better, I suppose.

    It’s sad that they have let this belief take over their life to that degree, however. If someone who is caring, and had that sort of drive could channel it into a positive function, they could do a ton of good. See Ben’s post on ending human trafficking.

  • Moonpoint

    speak the truth, even if your voice shakes

  • Moonpoint

    so, what is supposed to happen with this view? will Messiah’s return be soon? and when He returns, do what will the reign be like? let me tell you, i am afraid. when i think about meeting Messiah face-to-face, my heart wants to faint, you know? but im more afraid that He’ll think i’m not good enough for the Kingdom. any words of comfort?

  • Julia Shipley

    Revelation 3:10New King James Version (NKJV)
    10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

    This would be in red if seen in a Bible..so Jesus Himself is saying this people..Look up He is coming soon..be ready and waiting and looking!!

  • Larry and Don, I agree that the book of Revelation is not a scare tactic for the church, and also that it’s full of hope and worship. As a way of understanding this book, it’s good to take note of the time statements given at the beginning and ends of the book. John said that his prophecies would “take place quickly,” for “the time [was] near” (Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6, 10, 12).

    The book of Revelation contains many prophecies about the Roman-Jewish War. The great city, also known as the “harlot,” was first identified as the place where Jesus was crucified – Jerusalem (Rev. 11:8). This harlot, and great city, was also found to be full of the blood of saints, prophets, and apostles (Rev. 16:3-6, 17:1-6, 18:20-24). Jesus said that His generation and His home country would be judged for that bloodshed.

    I have a much more detailed study of all these things at this link, if you’re interested:

    http://kloposmasm.com/revelation/

  • Irv Spielberg

    Preterists claim that the “Antichrist” and the “great tribulation” were fulfilled during the 70 AD period.

    If so, why do we find that the arrival of the Antichrist was still expected by writers who lived during and after 70 AD?

    Polycarp (70-167) wrote that “He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead.”

    Justin Martyr (100-168) said that “[Antichrist] shall venture to do
    unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians….”

    Irenaeus (140-202) wrote that the ten kings (Rev. 17)”shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight.”

    It’s not true that Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) “revived” futurism
    because it was never lost during the Middle Ages or prior to that period
    of time.

    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) stated: “There remains only one
    thing – that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear.”

    Roger Bacon (1214-1274) spoke of “future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist….”

    John Wycliffe (1320-1384) referred to “the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii.”

    Martin Luther (1483-1546): “[The book of Revelation] is intended as
    a revelation of things that are to happen in the future….”

    (Google or Yahoo “Famous Rapture Watchers” to see quotes from many
    Christian leaders throughout the Church Age which prove that they
    expected a future Antichrist and a future great tribulation.)

    Preterists use Matt. 24:34 (“This generation will not pass….”) to
    try to prove a 70 AD fulfillment of “Antichrist.” Since many of them
    see “these” (Matt. 25:46) fulfilled in the future in Rev. 20, why can’t
    they apply futurism as easily to Matt. 24:34?
    After all, the word “this” is the singular form of “these”!

    Church history is fascinating, right?

  • Rod Patrick

    You mix up Great Tribulation with the Permanent Destruction of the Temple. Two different things my friend. Like others before you, you discard the writings of the apostles that do not support your own interpretation.

  • Jason O

    Which Apostles? Christ’s or the Romans?

  • Jason O

    From a Jewish standpoint, and a major reason Jews didn’t believe in Jesus’ claim is that Messiah will come as the late books of the second testament say “riding a white horse, sword in hand, to rule the nations”.

    There have been tribulations and troubles since the “fall” of mankind and they will continue because mankind allows them.

    The golden age of mankind, the millennial reign, Olam Haba, are all once the Messiah is enthroned.

    This ideology of fear – Hell, Tribulation, Rapture is a Christian doctrine and had no place in Jesus’ ministry and any apostle claiming this is a heretic.

  • Colin Smith

    Always assumed those with an eschatological bent are looking for the mother of all excuses to point the finger at the non-Christian and say “I told you so.”

    And even after 2000 years of not getting it right, the end time is always soon. No one ever says, “I’ve figured it all out: 3547 AD, that’s when we need to get worried.”

  • JenellYB

    And since what you say isn’t going to change their beliefs one iota, why put yourself through a head chewing?

  • JenellYB

    The Holy Grail of Bibles among my elders when I was a child was the Scofield Reference Bible. As the old folk died off, many an old Baptist family went through something of a family war over who was going to get dear departed Gramps’ Scofield Bible.

    I’d never had one to read, until my Mother passed away, and one that had been passed down to her, came into my hands. My Mother had fallen into demented religious fanaticism, bless her poor suffering mind, and after perusing that Scofield Bible, I think I figured out why.

    John Nelson Darby’s influence might have paled alongside Scofield’s Reference Bible. There were still some of the older generation in my family that got dewey eyed at mention of the old Scofield Bible their Gramps preached from, so I passed it along to someone that might appreciate it more than I.

  • Janice Earley

    I was raised Catholic & that’s what they taught***I not longer support that theology/doctrine..but, I do believe Jesus will destroy the current World as we know it..& create a New Heaven & a New Earth as described in Rev. We-none of us know when, or How that will happen..Maybe not in my lifetime or my Sons lifetime..I think Jesus will be fed up with the way the world is going..Crime, murder, adultery, corruption, Greed…etc., etc. He will clap his hands & say:”Sorry folks..show’s over..I’m done with your stupidity” & we all be vaporized..

  • Janice Earley

    Larry:That was a scare tactic I was taught from 5-10th Grade-raised Catholic-was a very pathetic way 2 bring people into the Church-they wanted #’s & $$$$$ to pad the pockets of many clergy..Sad, but true..I no longer hold that pathetic doctrine or “subliminal seduction” as I call it.. I no longer attend Church because of that “sick” doctrinal philosophy. I adopt my own beliefs now & talk 2 God or Jesus as my best friend..who hears, knows & sees all that I do..in every aspect of my Life..I’m grateful & blessed in my Life…in so-o-o-o-ooo-o- many ways.. My grown sons can attest 2 that fact.

  • Bones

    You got it Ben.

    The gospel of Mark backs you up.

    Mark 14
    61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and [ab]saying to Him, “Are You [ac]the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

    The chief priest will see the coming of the son of man which means it is an event which occurred at that time and not the future.

  • Bones

    You’re mix g up a whole heap of unrelated scripture.

    The Abomination of Desolation is the Imperial Roman Army entering Jerusalem in the same way that Daniel describes Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrating the temple.

    Revelation is completely unrelated to the gospels and describes the whore, Babylon, Ancient Rome and Nero, the beast.

  • Bones

    Stars can’t fall from the sky but the ancients didn’t know that.

    All of Matthew’s commentary on the Temple is based on Mark which describes the coming of the Son of Man as an account the chief priests will see (Mark 14:62)

    What did they see?

    The crucifixion.

  • Colin Smith

    “Crime, murder, adultery, corruption, [and] Greed” haven’t troubled him thus far. You write as though they are modern activities when they are all as old as man himself.

  • Rise_Up

    2 John 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

  • Ben believes in the Incarnation, so you’re good.

  • Glad to see more people are teaching this! I have also wrote an in depth study on this very topic too: https://www.thatancientfaith.uk/home/perma/1413631731/article/the-coming-of-jesus-the-olive.html

  • Salvador Torres

    Read Revelation 12, God reveals in great detail to the reader who the “moon, sun and the stars” really are… Coming in the clouds means coming in judgement as the Father came against Egypt and Babylon in the Old Testament!

  • Salvador Torres

    And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; (Revelation 12:1). Who is the “woman”; why clothed with the sun? the moon? 12 stars?

  • Salvador Torres

    AD70. Daniel 9 describes the end. A Prince from a Kingdom that was going to come was going to destroy the city and the sanctuary. Titus (son of the Roman Emperor – a “Prince”) fulfilled that prophecy. It’s finished!

  • Salvador Torres

    I am, God had to judge those under the Old Covenant. He did in Matthew 25!

  • Salvador Torres

    Great article! Luke 21 tells exactly who the abomination of desolation is. If you compare the writings of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, after quoting Daniel 9, Luke, Mark and Matthew say this: “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”

  • disqus_W8X6VR1yyA

    I would say the 20th century was far more horrid than the “great tribulation” of 1st century Judea. And the start of the 21st isn’t looking very promising either. But at least the notion of a pre-trib rapture is something most people are abandoning. Unless your a book or movie writer.

  • Roadbathonthereef, New Times,

    There is one problem with your theory as later in Mathew Jesus says soon after the tribulation……the Angels will descend and separate the sheep and goats, this is the end of the world He is talking about and not 70 AD, also many forget the GREAT Waldensian Tribulation, started 13th century till 19th century Inquisition these were Jewish Christians torn to pieces and burnt to the stake THAT IS THE GREAT TRIBULATION……..so Messiah Jesus could appear at any time but only ignorant people cannot see the tribulation now building in the world

  • Joseph Rohland

    Bible verses teaching planet Earth shall never be destroyed: Gen.8:21, Eccl.1:4, Ps.78:69, 104:5, Eph.3:21.

  • disqus_znTohz52QD

    The expression “great tribulation”, with the word “great” appears also in Acts 8:1:

    “…And at that time there was a GREAT PERSECUTION against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1)

    “Persecution” = “tribulation”. The Greek word for “persecution” is G1375 διωγμός, while the Greek word translated as “tribulation” in Matthew 24:21 is G2347 θλίψις. Both Greek words can be translated as “persecution” (Strong Greek dictionary).

    This great persecution began immediately after the stoning of Stephen, which some people consider the time when the entire 70 weeks of Daniel 9 prophecy end, considering an continuous (without gap) fulfillment of that prophecy, with Jesus.crucified in the middle of the 70th week. Dispensationalsits cut the prophecy into two parts, forcing to insert a gap of time, that is expanding from already almost 2000 years, between the 69th and the 70th weeks. They says that the pronoum “he” in Daniel 9:27 refers to the antichrist, but I don’t know from where they get this, as their are no “antichrist” spoken of in Daniel 9. Daniel 9:26 speaks of a “PEOPLE of the prince that shall come” (not the prince itself) that destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD…

    History tells us that the persecutions in the first century were extremely terrible, more terrible than the holocaust.