Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 107 (8806 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-17-2017 10:24 PM
346 online now:
Faith, LamarkNewAge, Minnemooseus (Adminnemooseus), NoNukes (4 members, 342 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Post Volume:
Total: 824,527 Year: 29,133/21,208 Month: 1,199/1,847 Week: 122/452 Day: 122/115 Hour: 4/3

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
11NextFF
Author Topic:   Would Mary Have Been In Bethlehem?
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 1 of 156 (507791)
05-08-2009 3:04 AM


This topic is mainly a discussion on whether Mary could have realistically been present in Bethlehem for the big occasion Christianity requires.

1) Luke 2:1
Luke 2:1 claims a census was decreed by Caesar. This is not entirely unusual, in that the Romans held a census every 5 years.

The issue comes however with the Book of Luke's unfounded further claim, of every man having to return to their place of birth. This is a HIGHLY unusual requirement with a Roman Census.

This single decree would create a massive drain on the Empire's economy in several forms:


  • Spent resources on travel
  • Lost work time on travel
  • Possibility of death to travelers (which was a real hazard in long journeys)

It is obvious that the reason Luke would create this stipulation within the census is to have Mary in Bethlehem at the time of the Saviors birth.

Not to mention Joseph, being a descendant of David (we are told this, at least), went from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to a city called Bethlehem.

The problem of the town lies in the author telling us Joseph's ancestry and because of his ancestry he had to leave his home town and travel to Bethlehem in Judea.

The above tells us, and rather plainly, that this tax involved the individuals ancestry and where they were registered.

2) Would Mary have traveled?
Assuming the Census did occur as Luke describes, for Joseph to have brought his wife on such a journey would have been highly unusual. Women were considered property are the time, as such they were incapable of owning property. This fact would have made Mary as necessary for presence as all the rest of Joseph's property, including his land. If such a journey was required, Joseph would have had a local tax collector endorse his property statements as authentic, and merely provided the "paperwork" to the Bethlehem authorities.

3) Mary's Pregnancy
Assuming the Census occurred as stipulated in Luke, and that Joseph wanted to bring Mary along for whatever reason his heart desired, we are still left with two other major issues.

a. Mary being "heavy with child" would have most certainly meant losing her child on such a massive journey. Even if she had rode, the rough roads, and constant jarring would have caused hemorrhaging within her Uterus, as a result of the child being constantly rubbed against it's walls. Also, the child would be enduring traumatic injury with each violent jar.

b. Even if by some miracle, Mary made it to Bethlehem with pregnancy in tact, she would still have the difficulty of the return journey, having just given birth, which would drastically increase her chance of mortality. Not to mention the opportunity it would present the child to expire through sheer exposure, and once again enduring the traumatic episodes of jarring due to rough roads.

These points make it quite clear that the required placement for the claimed birth of Jesus cannot be met with the real conditions that existed at the time. It also cannot be met historically, as not even the Christian champion Josephus mentions a census having occurred.

Are there any other thoughts on this subject? Perhaps any rebuttals?

Edited by Michamus, : minor formatting, no textual changes


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by ochaye, posted 05-08-2009 9:08 AM Michamus has responded
 Message 6 by Peepul, posted 05-08-2009 12:04 PM Michamus has responded
 Message 11 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 05-08-2009 3:28 PM Michamus has not yet responded
 Message 14 by Peg, posted 05-09-2009 9:42 AM Michamus has responded
 Message 62 by kbertsche, posted 05-21-2009 1:01 PM Michamus has responded

    
Admin
Director
Posts: 12536
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 2 of 156 (507814)
05-08-2009 9:01 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
ochaye
Member (Idle past 2856 days)
Posts: 307
Joined: 03-08-2009


Message 3 of 156 (507817)
05-08-2009 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Michamus
05-08-2009 3:04 AM


Why did nobody say any of this at the time?

.

Edited by ochaye, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 3:04 AM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Theodoric, posted 05-08-2009 9:31 AM ochaye has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Huntard, posted 05-08-2009 10:17 AM ochaye has not yet responded
 Message 9 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 1:24 PM ochaye has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.6


Message 4 of 156 (507822)
05-08-2009 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by ochaye
05-08-2009 9:08 AM


quote:
Why did nobody say any of this at the time?

At what time?
The time of it supposedly happening? The time of the writing?

I am not sure what you are asking.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by ochaye, posted 05-08-2009 9:08 AM ochaye has not yet responded

    
Huntard
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 5 of 156 (507827)
05-08-2009 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by ochaye
05-08-2009 9:08 AM


ochaye writes:

Why did nobody say any of this at the time?


Like Theodoric I'd like to ask what time?

But, I'm going to pick some times you could possibly talking about and try to explain it.

At the time it supposedly happened: Nobody said anything because it didn't happen.

Between the time of it supposedly happening and the writing of Luke: Nobody knew it happened, since it didn't.

After the writnig of Luke: It's now at least 3 generations ago, most people can't even read, so they'll have to take the author's "word" for it.

After people knew it couldn't have happened: Don't doubt the word of god or you'll go to hell!

Does that answer your question?


I hunt for the truth
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by ochaye, posted 05-08-2009 9:08 AM ochaye has not yet responded

    
Peepul
Member (Idle past 2635 days)
Posts: 206
Joined: 03-13-2009


Message 6 of 156 (507837)
05-08-2009 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Michamus
05-08-2009 3:04 AM


I think that although your points about Mary's pregnancy are reasonable they cannot be proved.

The only line of enquiry that might lead somewhere, in my view, is to look into what historical sources say about Roman censuses

- is this kind of Roman census referenced anywhere in contemporary historical sources?
- if so, did a census of this kind take place in the right place at the right time?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 3:04 AM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 1:14 PM Peepul has responded

    
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 7 of 156 (507849)
05-08-2009 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Peepul
05-08-2009 12:04 PM


Peepul writes:


I think that although your points about Mary's pregnancy are reasonable they cannot be proved.


What do you mean they cannot be proved? Is a 99.9% chance of fetal demise not a good enough probability to simply conclude that it would have occurred?

Peepul writes:


is this kind of Roman census referenced anywhere in contemporary historical sources?


No. The type of census stipulated in Luke is not found in any historical references of any kind. An excellent review on what a Roman census was can be found here. It is quite clear that a Roman census does not require one to return to their home town.

Peepul writes:


if so, did a census of this kind take place in the right place at the right time?


No. There were three censuses during the reign of Caesar Augustus 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14 AD. Quirinius did not take up Governorship until 6-7AD.

This would obviously mean that the first Roman census to occur with Quirinius as Governor of Syria would have been 14AD. This is at least 8 years too late for the supposed birth of Jesus.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Peepul, posted 05-08-2009 12:04 PM Peepul has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Peepul, posted 05-08-2009 1:23 PM Michamus has responded
 Message 65 by kbertsche, posted 05-21-2009 9:58 PM Michamus has not yet responded

    
Peepul
Member (Idle past 2635 days)
Posts: 206
Joined: 03-13-2009


Message 8 of 156 (507852)
05-08-2009 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Michamus
05-08-2009 1:14 PM


I don't accept the 99.9% figure - what evidence do you have for it?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 1:14 PM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 1:51 PM Peepul has responded

    
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 9 of 156 (507853)
05-08-2009 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by ochaye
05-08-2009 9:08 AM


This has actually been a subject mentioned many times. Modern Christian authorities simply brush it under the rug by making serious logical leaps.

I kid you not, I actually had one individual try and tell me that when Luke said first census of Quirinius as Governor, what it really meant was the census prior to Quirinius becoming Governor. :eek:

What also must be taken into account, that the general population was illiterate, and historical documents were very rare, and expensive. They didn't have the capabilities we do today of simply going to a library, or looking these things up on the web.

You must also take into consideration that statements like the ones I have made would have been punished with death and censorship up until the last couple centuries.

I am not the first to make these arguments though. These arguments (with the exception of the high probability of fetal demise) have existed since the late 1700s.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by ochaye, posted 05-08-2009 9:08 AM ochaye has not yet responded

    
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 10 of 156 (507855)
05-08-2009 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Peepul
05-08-2009 1:23 PM


Peepul writes:


I don't accept the 99.9% figure - what evidence do you have for it?


Are you serious? How about my credibility as a medical professional? How about the fact that woman slipping and falling 2 feet (distance from hips to ground) can cause fetal demise? That's not even taking into consideration the amount of jostling she would experience on an 80 mile journey. This would take 2 weeks of horseback travel.

Even if fetal demise did not occur, it is almost certain horseback riding would certainly induce labor*.
*Riding horses during pregnancy

If you really want/need references stating that horseback riding is not recommended while pregnant:
Can I go horse riding while Iím pregnant?
Horse Riding During Pregnancy

Of course, a simple google search would have yielded similar results.

You must also take into consideration the frequent restroom breaks, decrease in cleanliness making her more prone to infection. Also, her general lethargic state that most women experience late 3rd trimester.

If Joseph did make Mary come along with him (which has already been determined completely unnecessary) in her stage of pregnancy, then he was a garbage husband and father.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Peepul, posted 05-08-2009 1:23 PM Peepul has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 05-08-2009 3:32 PM Michamus has responded
 Message 27 by Peepul, posted 05-11-2009 12:30 PM Michamus has not yet responded

    
AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 489
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 11 of 156 (507874)
05-08-2009 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Michamus
05-08-2009 3:04 AM


No census conducted that way!
The paramount purpose of the Roman census was for raising taxes. (There was also the secondary purpose of identifying and locating able bodied young men who could be impressed into armies and labor forces for large construction projects as needed.) There were two types of taxes levied in those times: Hearth taxes, similar to our property taxes, levied on a household which might be calculated based on the number men, women, and children occupying the household: and a "business" tax that was usually paid in kind as a percentage of ones crops or shop production, or in the case of a carpenter like Joseph, a certain amount of labor contributed to the state, but that also could be paid in coin it the taxee could afford to do so.

The point is that for the purpose of taxation (and also of locating able bodied personnel), the census had to count people at their places of residence and work! The taxing authorities wound not care about the taxee's ancestry or place of birth and certainly would not want or allow people to leave their current home towns until the census was completed. This idea of Joseph and Mary being required to travel to their (or his) birthplace for a census is totally bogus and nonsense. Even if the taxing authority, for some ridiculous reason, wanted to tally people by their place of origin, there would be no need to make them journey to that place; they would just ask them where the hell they were born. The significance of this information to the census would be miniscule anyway since only a tiny fraction of the population in those days ever spent any time away form there place of birth.

The census story only serves to combine some individual born in Bethlehem with another individual who came from Galilee, i. e., it lends credence to the theory that the Jesus of the new testament is a composite mythical invention based on the lives of two or several self-proclaimed prophets/messiahs of that time. Remember that prophesy and salvation were the MTV of those times and the streets were full of their practitioners (I wonder if they had a union and demanded coffee breaks).

Edited by AnswersInGenitals, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 3:04 AM Michamus has not yet responded

  
AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 489
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 12 of 156 (507875)
05-08-2009 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Michamus
05-08-2009 1:51 PM


No way to treat a lady!
How about the fact that woman slipping and falling 2 feet (distance from hips to ground) can cause fetal demise? That's not even taking into consideration the amount of jostling she would experience on an 80 mile journey. This would take 2 weeks of horseback travel.

Even if fetal demise did not occur, it is almost certain horseback riding would certainly induce labor*.
*Riding horses during pregnancy

If you really want/need references stating that horseback riding is not recommended while pregnant

But you are ignoring the fact that the fetal Jesus was of divine origin and would be immune to such problems.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 1:51 PM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 3:38 PM AnswersInGenitals has not yet responded

  
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 13 of 156 (507878)
05-08-2009 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by AnswersInGenitals
05-08-2009 3:32 PM


Re: No way to treat a lady!
AnswersInGenitals writes:


But you are ignoring the fact that the fetal Jesus was of divine origin and would be immune to such problems.


Jesus was not stated to be immune to harm or even death, for obvious reasons. (SPOILER ALERT: He dies)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by AnswersInGenitals, posted 05-08-2009 3:32 PM AnswersInGenitals has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2546 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 14 of 156 (507966)
05-09-2009 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Michamus
05-08-2009 3:04 AM


Michimus writes:

Would Mary have traveled?
Assuming the Census did occur as Luke describes, for Joseph to have brought his wife on such a journey would have been highly unusual. Women were considered property are the time, as such they were incapable of owning property. This fact would have made Mary as necessary for presence as all the rest of Joseph's property, including his land. If such a journey was required, Joseph would have had a local tax collector endorse his property statements as authentic, and merely provided the "paperwork" to the Bethlehem authorities.

Are you assuming that the Romans did not require married women to be registered along with their husbands? If the census required all 'families' to be registered, then why is it unusual that a man and his wife would go to register as a family?

Michimus writes:

Mary's Pregnancy
Assuming the Census occurred as stipulated in Luke, and that Joseph wanted to bring Mary along for whatever reason his heart desired, we are still left with two other major issues.

a. Mary being "heavy with child" would have most certainly meant losing her child on such a massive journey. Even if she had rode, the rough roads, and constant jarring would have caused hemorrhaging within her Uterus, as a result of the child being constantly rubbed against it's walls. Also, the child would be enduring traumatic injury with each violent jar.

This is really far fetched. Her uterus would not have hemorrahaged on such a trip. The journey is said to be 3 days.Thats not really a massive trip.
It would have been a slow walking pace, which would most likely be a nice smooth ride...like being on a rocking horse. Heavily pregnant women are out plowing fields in some 3rd world countries and they manage quite well. At the worst Mary would have been uncomfortable but not in any pain and certainly not in great danger.

Michamus writes:

Even if by some miracle, Mary made it to Bethlehem with pregnancy in tact, she would still have the difficulty of the return journey, having just given birth, which would drastically increase her chance of mortality. Not to mention the opportunity it would present the child to expire through sheer exposure, and once again enduring the traumatic episodes of jarring due to rough roads.

The return journey was not made immediately following the birth.
They first went to the temple in Jerusalem ( 5.5 mile journey ) in obedience to the Mosaic Law, to make an offering of purification. This is a requirement of law at the 40th day. So they were in Bethlehem all that time until they went to Jerusalem.

There is also the incident of herod attempting to kill all infant boys up to the age of 2 which indicates that Herod has some idea of the age of the child born to mary.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Michamus, posted 05-08-2009 3:04 AM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Huntard, posted 05-09-2009 9:56 AM Peg has responded
 Message 16 by bluescat48, posted 05-09-2009 9:56 AM Peg has responded
 Message 17 by Michamus, posted 05-09-2009 11:08 AM Peg has responded

    
Huntard
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 15 of 156 (507972)
05-09-2009 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Peg
05-09-2009 9:42 AM


Peg writes:

There is also the incident of herod attempting to kill all infant boys up to the age of 2 which indicates that Herod has some idea of the age of the child born to mary.


An incident, by the way, for which there is absolutely no evidence of it ever having happened.


I hunt for the truth
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Peg, posted 05-09-2009 9:42 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Peg, posted 05-10-2009 5:45 AM Huntard has not yet responded

    
1
23456
...
11NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017