(2) When Jesus made entry into Jerusalem, he was greeted by large crowd (John 12:12-13); then after few days, they demanded “Crucify him”. Not one voice of dissent was heard. How contradictory these stories are! What’s your reply?
If anyone is “fabricating”, it is your friend who sent this criticism, at least in my opinion.
On point #1, Does this person have definite information on this “sizeable temple police force?” What were their numbers? Where did you get this information? I suspect that this is simply being made up. Can he quote a source? What is the size of this Roman guard which was permanently stationed at the temple? What is the evidence for this? I believe, as before, that someone is simply making this up. I believe that we really have little idea what guard was or was not at the temple. It stands to reason that there was some sort of guard. I will certainly concede that point, but there was also a massive crowd. Either way, Jesus overturned the tables. Even if there were a guard, it probably only took a few seconds for Jesus to overturn the tables. The guard could have arrested Jesus if they chose, but not prevented his overturning tables. The eye-witnesses, such as John and Matthew and Peter (through Mark) report that this happened, so I believe it. It is unlikely that Mark or Matthew would create a story out of thin air in a gospel written just 25-30 years after the events, when many or even most of the eye-witnesses, including the enemies of Jesus would still have been alive. The classmate asks about the “guts” of Jesus’ followers. It was not his followers who did this. If you look at the account in John, they were a bit shocked at what Jesus had done, and I doubt very much that they would have agreed this was a good idea. It was the bold and righteous Jesus who did this on his own–and who had the “guts”, and a guard could respond to this after the fact, but would not have had time to prevent the overturning of tables, which probably happened in less than 60 seconds.
On point #2, crowds are notoriously fickle. It is easier to change the mind of a crowd, sometimes, than it is to change the mind of an individual. Besides, the crowd that greeted Jesus on his way into Jerusalem were primarily people coming to Jerusalem for the feast from outside the city. They were primarily not Jerusalemites, were relatively poor and not all that influenced by the Jewish leadership in the city. The crowd at the trial was VERY different. They included many Pharisees and teachers of the Law who were trying to kill Jesus and who were inciting the crowd. The people in this crowd had come early in the morning, at the instigation of the Jewish leaders who were trying to kill Jesus. This crowd was so different from that which greeted Jesus as he entered the city at the beginning of the festival, that the difference is hardly a surprise. It is certainly not evidence of a contradiction. In fact, that Jesus was welcomed as he came into Jerusalem is part of why they wanted to kill him. This is a spurious criticism.