I have heard that there are events in the New Testament that the writers supposedly wrote about before the event ever happened. I believed I have heard it explained before but would like to know some good resources outside of the Bible to help explain this and other “contradictions”.
Thanks for this great question! Can you be more specific about which events you had in mind?
For instance, you may have in mind the fall of Jerusalem, in 70 A.D.?
The fall of the city marked the effective conclusion of a four-year campaign against the Jewish insurgency in Judaea. The Romans destroyed much of the city, including the Second Temple.
This event was a catastrophe for the Jewish people and it had significant implications for the early church as well.
As an article in Christianity Today explains:
The fall of Jerusalem, then, made the Christians even more distinct from the Jews and impelled the church to develop among the Gentiles.
Given the significant implications of this event, you might think that it would be mentioned in the gospels. That’s where one debate relevant to your question exists.
Some would argue that these words, in Matthew 24, are written after AD 70:
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Therefore, the gospels would be dated to the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
However, if we believed that Jesus could have accurately predicted the destruction of the Temple, then there is no objection to some or all of the gospels being written prior to AD70.
Before I go any further, please let me know if this is what you had in mind?
@Jlopez While you would need to think critically about each of his answers (as with anyone’s answers), you might find a book on Geisler’s on Bible Difficulties and how to address them a good place to start. Also, F. F. Bruce’s classic on the canon of Scripture should address some of your concerns about when things were written, though you might need a commentary for a specific book if you have questions regarding its composition. Also, if you have specific verses in mind, see if the NET Bible has any notes.
This is only a “contradiction” if one has an assumption that no one (including Jesus, God incarnate) can know the future. Jesus spoke of the future. Many explain fulfilled prophecy by assuming that the prophecies were actually written after the event and written in a tense that made it appear as if it were written before the event. This is usually an indication that the person has a strictly naturalistic view of the world and does not accept any supernatural explanation.