That Mishnaic reference is:John2 wrote: ↑Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:36 amBut if that doesn't work for you, I recall that there is evidence that sacrifices continued to be made in Jerusalem after 70 CE.
The people continued to bring sacrifices that were offered on a Temple Mount altar that had survived the destructive fire by the Romans. The Mishnah, a central code of Jewish law codified in the early third century C.E., states that "one may offer sacrifices [on the place where the temple used to stand] even though there is no house [i.e., temple]." Some rabbis held that the sacrificial services continued almost without interruption for sixty-five years following the temple's destruction while others suggest that sacrificial services ceased in 70 C.E. but were resumed for the 3-year period when Bar Kochba controlled Jerusalem.
This passage sounds very hypothetical, and it does not demonstrate to my satisfaction that sacrifices were offered on the Temple Mount after the Temple had fallen to Titus.
I may have found a bit of evidence for continued sacrifices, or at least for the perception (by at least some Jews) that sacrifices were still being offered after the fall of Jerusalem.
I have been meaning to look more closely into the date of the Biblical Antiquities by pseudo-Philo, and have finally done so to a certain extent. I find that there are two primary indicators to examine (there are secondary indicators, as well, but they are far less telling).
First, we have this little gem:
The 740 or 850 years from Moses to the fall of the Temple clearly indicates that the First Temple is in view; so far this is of no help for dating the text, since everybody would agree upon a date later than the fall of the First Temple. The month and day of this event, however, is of value; this text says that it happened upon the seventeenth day of the fourth month. But the Hebrew scriptures beg to differ:
So whence is the seventeenth of the fourth month to be derived? Perhaps it is a guess based on how long it might plausibly take an army to destroy a city after breaching the wall. Or perhaps it comes from a different tradition:
It is true that pseudo-Philo writes of destruction, and not merely of the first breach of the wall, but the specification that this destruction would be comparable to when God broke the Tablets is suggestive of the Jewish tradition of the five calamities:
The Tablets were apparently destroyed (according to tradition) on the same day as the wall was breached; that pseudo-Philo mentions both of these events in conjunction one with the other may not be a coincidence. So perhaps he was careless about which exact stage of the siege was being referred to. If so, then in writing allegedly about the First Temple he has let a date applying to the Second Temple slip in. Thus he wrote after 70.
Second, however, there is a separate possible indication of the date of this text:
So the burnt offerings are apparently still in full swing. If the above indicator of a date after 70 be accepted, then either (A) the author is deliberately trying to mislead his readership into believing that he was writing before 70 or (B) the author thought that sacrifices were still going on even after the fall of the Temple. Or perhaps (C) the text itself is composite; I have no specific hypotheses along these lines, however.
This argument is hardly foolproof insofar as one has to accept a bit of clumsiness on the part of the author as to whether he meant the full destruction of the Temple (or even of Jerusalem overall) or merely the breaching of the wall, and also insofar as one has to suppose that the author was being sincere in his description of the sacrifices as still being current, but the juxtaposition of the breaking of the Tablets alongside an event having to do with the Temple makes it look as if pseudo-Philo is tapping into a tradition by which both events happened on the same day of the same month. If so, then he apparently supposed that the sacrifices were still going on after 70. (This conclusion, in turn, would strongly imply a date of between the First Revolt and the Second Revolt for the composition of this text.
In any case, I am definitely interested in further arguments either to the effect that the sacrifices continued after 70 or to the effect that they ceased.