According to John Loftus, “Harold Camping Step Aside, Jesus Was Wrong And Should Be Ignored Too.”
But that’s a sloppy comparison. Camping didn’t caveat his original prediction. When it didn’t materialize as stated, he added ex post facto qualifications, but that was too late to salvage his prediction. He himself admitted that his prediction didn’t turn out the way he expected. He gave himself no out at the time he issued his prediction.
The situation is very different with Biblical prophecy. For one thing, ancient Bible prophecies are often highly idiomatic. You have to master the idiomatic terminology to grasp what is being referred to.
In addition, ancient Bible prophecies are frequently reflect a chain of literary allusions. A multilayered tradition. So there’s more to the oracle than meets the eye. You need to peel back layers, retrace the unfolding trajectory as it cycles through a number of earlier writings. The latest oracle comes at the tail-end of that process.
So what an ancient Bible prophecy was pointing to isn’t something you can just skim of the surface wording. There’s a lot of subtext and idiomatic phrasing which must be taken into account. By contrast, Camping was speaking to contemporaries in a common idiom. And the only antecedents were his trail of failed predictions.
Loftus singles out Mt 24:34, but that’s deceptively simple. Case in point: