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Author Topic:   Would Mary Have Been In Bethlehem?
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1412
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 76 of 156 (509625)
05-23-2009 1:11 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by PaulK
05-22-2009 1:25 AM


quote:
Or perhaps he calls it the first registration because the 6 AD census was the first tax census held by the Romans. The facts are:

We have no record of any earlier tax census of Judaea. (Or even a good reason for one to be held)



Are you claiming that Judea was not taxed by Rome before 6 AD? (If it were taxed earlier, there must have been an earlier tax census.)

There is evidence of "a combined census and oath of allegiance to Augustus in 3-2 B.C., perhaps related to the bestowal of the title 'pater patriae' (father of thy country) by the senate on Feb. 5, 2 B.C." This was apparently mentioned by Caesar Augustus and by Josephus, and the fifth-century historian Orosius seems to link this to the birth of Christ:

Orosius writes:

[Augustus] ordered that a census be taken of each province everywhere and that all men be enrolled. So at that time, Christ was born and was entered on the Roman census list as soon as he was born. This is the earliest and most famous public acknowledgment which marked Caesar as the first of all men and the Romans as lords of the world ... that first and greatest census was taken, since in this one name of Caesar all the peoples of the great nations took oath, and at the same time, through the participation in the census, were made part of one society.


(Quotes taken from section 2.3 in Yet Another Eclipse for Herod)

quote:
We have no record of Qurinius holding any power in Judaea prior to 6 AD

But remember the old adage, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

quote:
We DO have information that Quirinius was responsible for the 6 AD census.

On this basis the idea that Luke meant the 6 AD census is clearly the best explanation.



Not so fast. You're making an argument mostly from lack of corroborating evidence for the biblical account, not from any evidence that the biblical account is wrong.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by PaulK, posted 05-22-2009 1:25 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by PaulK, posted 05-23-2009 2:27 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 77 of 156 (509632)
05-23-2009 2:27 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by kbertsche
05-23-2009 1:11 AM


quote:

Are you claiming that Judea was not taxed by Rome before 6 AD? (If it were taxed earlier, there must have been an earlier tax census.)

Not directly, no. As Judaea was part of a client state rather than a part of the Empire it paid tribute rather than being part of the Roman tax system.

quote:

There is evidence of "a combined census and oath of allegiance to Augustus in 3-2 B.C., perhaps related to the bestowal of the title 'pater patriae' (father of thy country) by the senate on Feb. 5, 2 B.C." This was apparently mentioned by Caesar Augustus and by Josephus, and the fifth-century historian Orosius seems to link this to the birth of Christ:

Checking out your source, and it's references:
the Res Gestae (one source) states:


"When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 B.C.E.), the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country..."

This doesn't suggest a registration of the citizens of client states.

Nor does Ovid:


Sacred Father of the Country, this title has been conferred
On you, by the senate, the people, and by us, the knights.

Jospehus refers simply to an oath of loyalty, not mentioning a census of any sort (and of course, a loyalty oath would not require one).

So we don't have any indication of a census or a loyalty oath directly connected to this event other than Orosius's claim that this is so - and Orosius could easily be assuming a census based on Luke, not on any other source.

quote:

But remember the old adage, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

That adage has limits. To be strictly correct it refers to a COMPLETE absence of evidence. For instance the fact that Josephus does not mention a prior census is not an "absence of evidence" in the strict sense of the adage. Since we would expect Josephus to mention such an event his failure to mention it is evidence that there was no census prior to 6 AD.

And of course we must include indirect evidence. Given all the other places that he could be (including more likely places like Rome) why would we expect Quirinius to be in Judaea ? The fact that we do not have a complete record of Quirinius' activity does not entitle us to assume that he was in Judaea at any particular time that is not recorded. Such an idea must be judged less likely than the idea that he was somewhere else.

quote:

Not so fast. You're making an argument mostly from lack of corroborating evidence for the biblical account, not from any evidence that the biblical account is wrong.

Even if that were entirely true (and it isn't) it is still the case that it is better to assume that Luke meant a recorded event which fits his description than one which is largely assumed without evidence.

Consider that Luke expects the event to be recognised, even though he was almost certainly writing 70 years or more after the event. And we should expect that to be reflected in Josephus, who wrote not so long after (or possibly even before Luke). To Josephus the famous census held under Quirinius is the 6 AD census.

I do, however, find it interesting that you insist that Luke must be wrong if he meant the 6 AD Census. I do not equate "Luke meant the 6 AD census" with "The Biblical account is wrong" (the more so since there is no single Biblical account of the event - we have, instead, two conflicting accounts with little in common).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by kbertsche, posted 05-23-2009 1:11 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Peg, posted 05-25-2009 5:21 AM PaulK has responded
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Michamus
Member (Idle past 2751 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 78 of 156 (509650)
05-23-2009 5:58 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by kbertsche
05-23-2009 12:27 AM


kbertsche writes:


Did you not think to perhaps check the original or some modern translations before commenting?


ROFL. So then what stage of pregnancy would you suppose Mary was in before she supposedly embarked for Bethlehem?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by kbertsche, posted 05-23-2009 12:27 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 79 of 156 (509662)
05-23-2009 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by kbertsche
05-23-2009 12:44 AM


quote:
Almost certainly between 2 BC and 7 BC. Many make a strong case for about 4 BC, which is perhaps the most likely date.

But you have no evidence. Just attempts to shoehorn stories from the bible into known historical facts. Everyone of these attempts runs into multiple inconsistencies. Most importantly you have no outside evidence. The only evidence at all are the gospel stories and these have multiple inconsistencies between them and within each. They are obviously not historical and should not be taken as historical documents


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by kbertsche, posted 05-23-2009 12:44 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1051 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 80 of 156 (509693)
05-23-2009 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by kbertsche
05-23-2009 12:27 AM


How Long Were They In Bethlehem
quote:
Perhaps you don't realize that the Gospel of Luke was written in Koine Greek, not in King James English? The King James translation of this verse is somewhat misleading. The original Greek simply uses the adjective "pregnant" (egkuos). Nearly all modern translations convey the same sense as the Greek:
But the very next line says: While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born.

Realistically how long do you think they were there before she gave birth?
There was no room in the inn (I guess there was only one in town), were they staying in the stable for several months?

If they were trying to stay at an inn, then there wasn't family to support them while they were there. How long could he afford to be away from his business and property?

What in the text leads you to believe she wasn't at least in her 9th month?


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 2523 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 81 of 156 (509800)
05-25-2009 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by PaulK
05-23-2009 2:27 AM


PaulK writes:

So we don't have any indication of a census or a loyalty oath directly connected to this event other than Orosius's claim that this is so - and Orosius could easily be assuming a census based on Luke, not on any other source.

Josephus does in fact mention a tax under Quirinius that led to a jewish revolt however Luke mentions no such revolt in his account of the registration indicating that they were writing about two different registrations.

The Jewish encylopedia says: It was then that Judas, the son of Hezekiah, the above-mentioned robber-captain, organized his forces for revolt, first, it seems, against the Herodian dynasty, and then, when Quirinus introduced the census, against submission to the rule of Rome and its taxation.

there is more information about Judas the Galilean and the revolt against Qurinius here http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/messianic_claimants04.html

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by PaulK, posted 05-23-2009 2:27 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 6:39 AM Peg has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 82 of 156 (509801)
05-25-2009 6:39 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by Peg
05-25-2009 5:21 AM


quote:

Josephus does in fact mention a tax under Quirinius that led to a jewish revolt however Luke mentions no such revolt in his account of the registration indicating that they were writing about two different registrations.

That's not a valid argument. There's no reason to assume that Luke would mention the revolt. It plays no role in his story.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Peg, posted 05-25-2009 5:21 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Peg, posted 05-25-2009 7:36 AM PaulK has responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2523 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 83 of 156 (509804)
05-25-2009 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by PaulK
05-25-2009 6:39 AM


PaulK writes:

That's not a valid argument. There's no reason to assume that Luke would mention the revolt. It plays no role in his story

Your right. The revolt played no role in the story because there was no revolt during that registration.

He does mention the revolt though. He specifically mentions it with regard to 'the first registration' (Acts 5:37)

So Luke knew of the revolt but did not write it in his gospel. The only reason he would do this is because the registration he wrote about in the Gospel, was a different registration to the one that resulted in a jewish revolt.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 6:39 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 8:13 AM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 85 by kbertsche, posted 05-25-2009 12:39 PM Peg has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 84 of 156 (509807)
05-25-2009 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Peg
05-25-2009 7:36 AM


quote:

Your right. The revolt played no role in the story because there was no revolt during that registration.

He does mention the revolt though. He specifically mentions it with regard to 'the first registration' (Acts 5:37)

So Luke knew of the revolt but did not write it in his gospel. The only reason he would do this is because the registration he wrote about in the Gospel, was a different registration to the one that resulted in a jewish revolt.

PaulK writes:

That's not a valid argument. There's no reason to assume that Luke would mention the revolt. It plays no role in his story

Your right. The revolt played no role in the story because there was no revolt during that registration.


Repeating your assumption doesn't make it any better.

quote:

He does mention the revolt though. He specifically mentions it with regard to 'the first registration' (Acts 5:37)

Or more accurately he reports someone else talking about it, in a context of failed religious leaders or would-be messiahs.

quote:

So Luke knew of the revolt but did not write it in his gospel. The only reason he would do this is because the registration he wrote about in the Gospel, was a different registration to the one that resulted in a jewish revolt.

Wrong. There is another possible reason. And I've already told you it. It just wasn't important to his story.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Peg, posted 05-25-2009 7:36 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1412
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 85 of 156 (509844)
05-25-2009 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Peg
05-25-2009 7:36 AM


quote:
He does mention the revolt though. He specifically mentions it with regard to 'the first registration' (Acts 5:37)

So Luke knew of the revolt but did not write it in his gospel. The only reason he would do this is because the registration he wrote about in the Gospel, was a different registration to the one that resulted in a jewish revolt.



A minor clarification:
The registration described in Acts 5:37 is not described by Luke as "the first," while the one in Luke 2:1 is described this way. This is suggestive (but not proof) that they are speaking of two different events.

A leading archaeologist who was a world expert on Asia Minor and on Luke's writings said this:

Again the census (Luke II 1) under Quirinius is pointedly called the first, implying that it was the first of a series of census. A census is known to have been made in Syria by Quirinius in his second government, about 6 A.D., suggesting that they were perhaps decennial. We have no other evidence as to a census in 5-4 B.C.; but when we consider how purely accidental is the evidence for the second census, the want of evidence for the first seems to constitute no argument against the trustworthiness of Luke's statement.
(Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (New York: Putnam, 1904) pp. 385-386.)

Ramsay pointed out that the evidence for the 6 AD census rests on a single inscription from Venice. This had been lost for some time after its discovery, leading skeptics to doubt both this census and the existence of Quirinius.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Peg, posted 05-25-2009 7:36 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 12:46 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 89 by Peg, posted 05-26-2009 12:00 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 86 of 156 (509848)
05-25-2009 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by kbertsche
05-25-2009 12:39 PM


quote:

Ramsay pointed out that the evidence for the 6 AD census rests on a single inscription from Venice. This had been lost for some time after its discovery, leading skeptics to doubt both this census and the existence of Quirinius.

If Ramsay said that then he had no idea what he was talking about. The 6 AD census is recorded in Josephus.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by kbertsche, posted 05-25-2009 12:39 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by kbertsche, posted 05-25-2009 5:47 PM PaulK has responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1412
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 87 of 156 (509877)
05-25-2009 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by PaulK
05-25-2009 12:46 PM


quote:
If Ramsay said that then he had no idea what he was talking about. The 6 AD census is recorded in Josephus.

Perhaps Ramsay was referring only to firsthand evidence when he called evidence for the 6 AD census "purely accidental?" Josephus' information would have been secondhand at best, since he was born after the census.

At any rate, if anyone is guilty of minimizing Josephus' testimony, it is the biblical critics more than Ramsay. As Ramsay wrote in a footnote on p. 386 regarding the "purely accidental" evidence for the 6 AD census:

An inscription found in Venice is the sole authority. As the stone was lost, the inscription was pronounced a forgery, apparently for no reason except that it mentioned Quirinius's census. Even Mommsen refused to admit it as genuine, until, fortunately, part of the stone was rediscovered.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 12:46 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by PaulK, posted 05-25-2009 6:49 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 88 of 156 (509880)
05-25-2009 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by kbertsche
05-25-2009 5:47 PM


quote:

Perhaps Ramsay was referring only to firsthand evidence when he called evidence for the 6 AD census "purely accidental?" Josephus' information would have been secondhand at best, since he was born after the census.

That seems unlikely. Besides, Ramsay is promoting ideas with considerably less support than that. It seems more likely that he is suggesting that the existence of Josephus work is "accidental" in the sense that it is unusual to have so detailed a history of events in a single province.

quote:

At any rate, if anyone is guilty of minimizing Josephus' testimony, it is the biblical critics more than Ramsay. As Ramsay wrote in a footnote on p. 386 regarding the "purely accidental" evidence for the 6 AD census:

I've looked at what Ramsay wrote elsewhere. There is no indication that it was felt to be a forgery because it mentioned the 6 AD census (which was accepted as genuine). Indeed Ramsay states that the reason for suspicion was that it might have been forged to agree with Luke's account. (A valid concern - a relic with Biblical associations might attract a higher price - something that is still a motive for forgery today). It should also be remembered that this criticism was only made when the stone itself was missing.


Absolutely the only reason for thinking it to be a forgery was that it mentioned the census of Quirinius, and therefore seemed to give some support to Luke. But as this might be the historical census of Quirinius in AD. 7, the support was very slight and indirect;

This message is a reply to:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 2523 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 89 of 156 (509897)
05-26-2009 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by kbertsche
05-25-2009 12:39 PM


Cheers for that, the gospel account is the first registration.

I just wanted to point out that the scriptures put the birth of Christ at 2bce...so if we take the scriptures chronology as superior to the ancient historians (of which there is much speculation and confusion) then Lukes account about the registration took place in 2bce rather then 5-4bce.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by kbertsche, posted 05-25-2009 12:39 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2009 1:28 AM Peg has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13313
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 90 of 156 (509906)
05-26-2009 1:28 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Peg
05-26-2009 12:00 AM


quote:

I just wanted to point out that the scriptures put the birth of Christ at 2bce...

No, they don't. That's just one speculative idea.

quote:

so if we take the scriptures chronology as superior to the ancient historians (of which there is much speculation and confusion) then Lukes account about the registration took place in 2bce rather then 5-4bce.

Since the date of Jesus' birth according to the Gospels is a prime example of "specualtion and confusion" you would be very foolish to take that chronology as superior to Josephus with regard to that period. (In fact the whole Nativity is an area of "speculation and confusion" - the two accounts are that different ).

Obviously the best supported answer is that Luke meant the 6 AD census. It's the best fit and it requires no implausible speculations (or misrepresentations of the evidence).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Peg, posted 05-26-2009 12:00 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Peg, posted 05-26-2009 4:51 AM PaulK has responded

    
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