You are looking at a rare reproduction of a lost oil painting titled
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the
Command of Titus, A.D. 70 by David Roberts, a member of Britain's
Royal Academy. This may be the first-ever publication of this beautiful
painting. The original, dating from the mid-19th century, was sold at
auction in 1961 to an Italian art dealer in London. The painting made
its way to Rome and was sold shortly thereafter, but there is no record
of the transaction.
The original lithograph from which this picture is reproduced is owned by
the Jerusalem Historical Society. Its president, author and journalist
J.S. Peeples, has
authored a book titled The Destruction of Jerusalem. He began a
search for the original painting after he saw a damaged lithographic
reproduction in Texas. The 1850 lithograph, measuring 27.5 inches by 42
inches, was taken from the original oil painting, which was an
incredible 7 by 12 feet.
David Roberts, a Scottish-born artist, rose from poverty to become
one of the most popular painters of the 19th century. He traveled
extensively in the Middle East in 1839, creating well over 250 paintings
and drawings beautifully depicting majestic and historic scenes of this
ancient land. His pictures of the Holy Land were his most famous; they
catapulted him to his first great success as an artist.
In order to ensure the greatest possible accuracy in this particular
painting, which was completed in 1849, Roberts called upon the writings
of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, an eyewitness to the Roman
siege and the destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus's account of this
turning point in Jewish history is the most extensive account of the
event in existence today.
According to history, the Jews began a revolt in A.D. 66 in response
to increasingly oppressive rule by the Romans. Titus, the son of the
emperor Vespasian and himself emperor from 79 to 81, led the Roman
forces in ending the Jewish uprising. The Jews courageously held the
much superior Roman forces at bay for about five months before the city
finally fell. On August 10, A.D. 70, the temple was taken and burned,
and one month later the upper city was captured. It was one of history's
greatest battles, the outcome of which had been prophesied more than 40
years earlier by Jesus Christ.
Many art collectors and critics consider The Siege and Destruction
of Jerusalem to be the finest work of the prolific Roberts. When it
premiered in London it won unanimous acclaim from critics. But the
painting disappeared in 1854, reappearing only briefly at the 1961 sale
at Christie's auction house.
Since Peeples began his search for the missing original, he has
located two other lithographic reproductions, which, like the one he
first stumbled across, were made by 19th-century Belgian platemaker
Louis Haghe. Haghe was considered the premier lithographer of that time.
From these well-preserved lithographs and with the help of scientists
from the Xerox Corporation's Digital Imaging Technology Center in
Rochester, New York, the Jerusalem Historical Society has launched an
effort to create a reproduction that will match as closely as possible
the original luster and color of the Haghe print.
When All Else
Fails, Use the “A” Word—Anti-Semitism!
A Response to Ed Hindson’s “The New Last Days Scoffers”—Part
you ever find yourself in trouble when you’re in a debate, there is a
sure-fire way of diverting attention from the inadequacies of your arguments
and the strengths of your opponent’s arguments. If the debate is political,
call your opponent a Nazi or a fascist. If the debate deals with anything
where race might be a factor even though it isn’t, call your opponent a
“racist.” It works every time. When you want to win a debate on eschatology
when you don’t have either the Bible or history on your side, calling
someone “antisemitic” often does the trick. This is what Ed Hindson does in
his article “The New Last Days Scoffers”
“While most preterists would insist they are not anti-Semitic, their
theology certainly leans in that direction. One of the symbols of the
current preterist movement is an artist's rendering of the smoldering ashes
of Jerusalem in AD 70, as though they are rejoicing in the destruction of
the Holy City.” There you have it. There’s no real need to discuss
individual biblical texts because it all comes down to anti-Semitism, the
Jews, and present-day Israel.
Hal Lindsey used a
similar tactic in 1989 with the publication of The Road to Holocaust,
one of the most poorly reasoned, historically inaccurate, and biblically
flawed books ever to be written by a dispensationalist, and that’s saying a
lot. As soon as this book appeared, Peter J. Leithart and I read it and
responded to it in The Legacy of Hatred Continues. Anyone who reads
The Legacy of Hatred Continues soon learns that it’s
dispensationalism that has a theological problem with the future of Israel.
As we’ll see, it’s dispensational theology that has it in for Israel.
Hindson refers to the painting “The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem Under
the Command of Titus, AD 70” by David Roberts. Roberts traveled to Jerusalem
in 1839 to paint the story of one of the greatest calamities in all
history—the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus.
Hindson claims that selling this painting is tantamount to “rejoicing in the
destruction of the Holy City.” The painting shows that the destruction of
Jerusalem is a past (preterist) event; it’s an apologetic for the preterist
position. Jesus predicted that the temple would be destroyed within a
generation. The painting by Roberts depicts the horror of Jerusalem’s
judgment. It’s a reminder that God’s Word is true and His judgments are
sure. Dr. Hindson wants to read “anti-Semitism” into making prints of this
masterpiece available. Should we cut out all the judgment sequences from the
Bible? What should we do with the Left Behind series? Tim LaHaye and Jerry
Jenkins have written twelve volumes describing the horrors of what they
believe will be years of tribulation that will result in the death of
billions of people. And as we’ll see, it’s the Jews that get the worst of
it. LaHaye has made millions of dollars from detailing what he believes is
going to be a bloodbath for Israel.