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Author Topic:   Would Mary Have Been In Bethlehem?
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2750 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 121 of 156 (510093)
05-27-2009 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by Peg
05-27-2009 7:41 AM


Peg writes:


a researcher who admits there is no data for the ancient culture he's writing about


Would you please read the whole article already? You are making yourself appear very silly now.

The author makes it very clear that there is limited data... not NO DATA. The author makes the correct observation in that contemporary data is unavailable for the time period.

Peg writes:


I dont care what you think about my ego, but there seems to be something very odd about using modern data to come up with figures of an ancient culture


ROFL! I highly doubt you caught the irony of this statement.

The author makes an excellent argument, then again, if you had actually read the article, you would have known this.

quote:

Link
While comparing data of illiteracy from all over the world, as well as from different periods, it becomes evident that there is a direct correlation between literacy and other aspects of life in a society under study. This correlation helps because it moves the scholar from the twilight zone of speculation into a clearer field of research.


The author then goes on to demonstrate these correlations, and why they are relevant.

Peg writes:


you dont find that even remotely unlikely???


Do yourself a favor, and actually read what this individual (who is quite more qualified on the subject) has to say. Then, go to a Library, and do some research on the subject.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by Peg, posted 05-27-2009 7:41 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2522 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 122 of 156 (510142)
05-28-2009 5:03 AM


LOL@Michamus
Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by Michamus, posted 05-29-2009 9:24 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 2522 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 123 of 156 (510143)
05-28-2009 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by deerbreh
05-27-2009 10:50 AM


deerbreh writes:

"About 30" does not mean "exactly 30". If Luke had meant to be specific he would have said, "Jesus was 30 years of age when he began his ministry." It doesn't say that. You are pretending that it does. That isn't respecting the word, it is reading your bias into it. No respect is shown when you do that. The intellectual dishonesty is yours.

I know it does not mean exactly 30. As i said above, 'it would mean 30 plus up to 12 months'

but if Jesus was 31 or 32 or 33 etc, there was nothing stopping Luke from writing it that way...if he could write '30' he could just as easily have written '31' or '32' or '33'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by deerbreh, posted 05-27-2009 10:50 AM deerbreh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 5:21 AM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 139 by deerbreh, posted 06-01-2009 4:56 PM Peg has not yet responded

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


Message 124 of 156 (510145)
05-28-2009 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by Peg
05-28-2009 5:09 AM


quote:

I know it does not mean exactly 30. As i said above, 'it would mean 30 plus up to 12 months'

but if Jesus was 31 or 32 or 33 etc, there was nothing stopping Luke from writing it that way...if he could write '30' he could just as easily have written '31' or '32' or '33'


And if he meant "30 and some months" he could have just as easily written "30"

But there are other reasons why Luke might have written "about 30" that you don't acknowledge.

1) Luke didn't know Jesus' exact age at the start of his ministry "About 30" is an estimate. (Remember we DON'T have solid dates for the crucifixion either).

2) Luke didn't feel that the exact age was important so he wrote it to the nearest 10 years, qualified with "about" (or maybe the nearest 5).

3) Jesus was a few years short of 30 and Luke preferred to say "about 30", because he thought it sounded better.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Peg, posted 05-28-2009 5:09 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
Asteragros
Member (Idle past 992 days)
Posts: 40
From: Modena, Italy
Joined: 01-11-2002


Message 125 of 156 (510176)
05-28-2009 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by PaulK
05-22-2009 3:50 AM


You said once: “Nor does it (the lapis) unambiguously state that the person it refers to was twice governor of Syria (it appears more likely to mean governor of Asia and governor of Syria).”
I’m happy that you now acknowledge that the Latin term iterum in the lapis implies a repetition of the politic office it refers. Even, you even present us, now, the new possibility that the person the lapis refers was twice hegemon in both places: Syria and Asia! Thanks so much. But we are speaking about Joe that ate a pizza in two different occasions. If he, secondly, ate eat twice also a hot-dog, that’s all very well for him, but, in every case, this other interpretation confirms that what Luke refers is both reasonable and plausible.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by PaulK, posted 05-22-2009 3:50 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 11:13 AM Asteragros has responded

    
Asteragros
Member (Idle past 992 days)
Posts: 40
From: Modena, Italy
Joined: 01-11-2002


Message 126 of 156 (510177)
05-28-2009 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Michamus
05-27-2009 7:23 AM


Reading history to understand what happened in the past is in itself an act of trust toward the ancient writers.
Obviously, there are many ancient essays that are figment of the writers’ imagination (poems, fables, allegories, et cetera). For these works – you probably could agree with me - isn’t important establish their historical reliability.
We are dissertating, instead, about a text that presents itself as a description of ancient happenings. So, also if we, for many reasons, are inclined to exclude the events that are beyond our common human experience (what we called miracles), we are bound to consider as occurred all the events that are plausible.
This isn’t a dogmatic stance but is the only manner to know what occurred in the past.

Very often it happens that an ancient writer (A) asserts that in an any given moment of history, in an any given place, a certain character made this or that action.

Now, if:
- no-one other ancient writer (B+) cites the same event;
- no-one other ancient writer contradicts (B+) the A event description (on sound basis, obviously);
- the event is in itself plausible
we are bound to accept that event as a historical fact.

Moreover, consider texts like Iliad, Odissey, The Argonauts’ Travel, et similia.
Even if we decided to exclude the so-called mythological sections of them, they could be considered – after due consideration – dependable historical sources, for one reason or another. Maybe about geography, social structure, costumes and traditions, war expertise, et cetera, in relation to the people that such works reported to.

It’s also illogic we consider an ancient writer so untrustworthy to believe what he said only if exists another independent confirmation to every statements of him. It would be more logic to remove totally this author from the ancient witness list. But, doing so, we have to be coherent in this matter and so we have to delete all the ancient writers that are included into this narrow requirement.
Do you intend act in this manner?

By saying this I’m not going to assert that all the ancient writers have the same degree of reliability, or that we have to believe an author in toto or, on the contrary, we have to refuse an author in toto. But, isn’t correct we exclude from the trusted sources list an ancient author that reports some events that are unusual (from our viewpoint). So, you cannot conclude Luke is untrustworthy only because he mentions an event that from your viewpoint is unusual, inside the Roman Empire historical environment. The historical data show that these events occurred, also if they weren’t the norm (from your viewpoint).
If you insist to exclude Luke from the trusted historical source list you have to delete from that list – even more so – all the ancient writers that declared events not simply unusual but clearly false (do you exclude Herodotus from this list in view of his assertion that there weren’t vineyards in Egypt?)

Your blunder is a blunder of choice.

Next time you should choose a different Bible example. If you will be able to find an event described in the Bible where all the ancient writers (or, the majority of them) contradict it, we can start to discuss.

Moreover, I encourage you to answer to these questions (also before this international WEB audience):
1) Do you exclude Luke (from the ancient trusted writers’ list) if he (or an any so-and-so) had reported - what we now find in Luke 2 - in a purely chronachistic area, that is, with no relation with any prophecy? If you answer “Yes”, why this would be different?

2) If all the testimonies of the ancient historians would confirm the Luke’s statements about the apographe, do you really believe the prophecy (of Micah 5:2) was fulfilled? Sincerely, don’t you advance other pretexts to reassert what you seem to believe –a priori – that is, it is impossible that a real prophecy exists?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Michamus, posted 05-27-2009 7:23 AM Michamus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 11:40 AM Asteragros has not yet responded
 Message 132 by Perdition, posted 05-28-2009 12:30 PM Asteragros has responded
 Message 135 by Michamus, posted 05-29-2009 9:26 AM Asteragros has responded

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


Message 127 of 156 (510178)
05-28-2009 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 125 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 10:49 AM


quote:

...but, in every case, this other interpretation confirms that what Luke refers is both reasonable and plausible.

Of course it's not the plausibility of what Luke said that's in question here. It's the assertion that Luke was referring to a census prior to the known 6 AD census - a census which is a close match for his description.

And just as you put words into Lukes mouth , so you try to put them into mine.

quote:

I’m happy that you now acknowledge that the Latin term iterum in the lapis implies a repetition of the politic office it refers.

Since my position on this is completely unchanged, there is no cause for happiness on your part here.

quote:

Even, you even present us, now, the new possibility that the person the lapis refers was twice hegemon in both places: Syria and Asia! Thanks so much.

No, I don't. As you know I was simply explaining how the stone can be read as referring to the holding of ONE governorship in Asia and ONE governorship in Syria. Which was my original point.

And if you're feeling happy because I didn't mention all the other points I've made that you have yet to address. Don't be. I haven't forgotten.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 10:49 AM Asteragros has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 11:40 AM PaulK has responded

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


Message 128 of 156 (510179)
05-28-2009 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 11:00 AM


You present a very simplistic view of dealing with ancient writers. One tailored to apologetic use, rather than true historical investigation.

quote:

Very often it happens that an ancient writer (A) asserts that in an any given moment of history, in an any given place, a certain character made this or that action.

Now, if:
- no-one other ancient writer (B+) cites the same event;
- no-one other ancient writer contradicts (B+) the A event description (on sound basis, obviously);
- the event is in itself plausible
we are bound to accept that event as a historical fact.


What if some other ancient writer WOULD be expected to mention the same event - but did not ?

What criteria do you accept for "contradiction" ? Because on the face of it Matthew's nativity story clearly contradicts Luke's. Is this not a reason to regard both as suspect ?

Where do the sources, motives and biases of ancient writers come into your analysis ?

quote:

1) Do you exclude Luke (from the ancient trusted writers’ list) if he (or an any so-and-so) had reported - what we now find in Luke 2 - in a purely chronachistic area, that is, with no relation with any prophecy? If you answer “Yes”, why this would be different?

When assessing the works of ancient writers it is necessary to consider what we know of their sources and motives - and we should be prepared to judge portions of their work differently to others. The nativity account is clearly one of the less trustworthy parts of Luke.

It is entirely possible that Luke's story was concocted about the known 6 AD census, on the belief that Micah predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. That Matthew provides a very different account lends some weight to this hypothesis - since it is implausible that both are accurate.

quote:

2) If all the testimonies of the ancient historians would confirm the Luke’s statements about the apographe, do you really believe the prophecy (of Micah 5:2) was fulfilled? Sincerely, don’t you advance other pretexts to reassert what you seem to believe –a priori – that is, it is impossible that a real prophecy exists?

If Jesus was NOT born in Bethlehem that would negate the idea that he fulfilled that interpretation of Micah 5 - but it would not show that he fulfilled it. Many people have been born in Bethlehem. So your argument here is irrational. Showing that Luke's account is true would not show that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 11:00 AM Asteragros has not yet responded

    
Asteragros
Member (Idle past 992 days)
Posts: 40
From: Modena, Italy
Joined: 01-11-2002


Message 129 of 156 (510180)
05-28-2009 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by PaulK
05-28-2009 11:13 AM


You said: “Of course it's not the plausibility of what Luke said that's in question here.”.

This is false.

The plausibility of Luke’s account is a pivotal argument in this topic.

If you consider plausible the Luke’s account then you have to consider him an integrative historical source. In this case, isn’t difficult harmonize him with the other historycal data we possess.

If you consider not plausible the Luke’s account you have to delete, together with Luke, all the ancient writers that cited events not directly confirmed by other ancient writers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 11:13 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 11:48 AM Asteragros has responded

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


Message 130 of 156 (510182)
05-28-2009 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 11:40 AM


quote:

You said: “Of course it's not the plausibility of what Luke said that's in question here.”.
This is false.

The plausibility of Luke’s account is a pivotal argument in this topic.


In this topic as a whole, perhaps. In this particular part of the discussion it isn't - because we are discussing a claim that Luke DID NOT MAKE.

quote:

If you consider plausible the Luke’s account then you have to consider him an integrative historical source. In this case, isn’t difficult harmonize him with the other historycal data we possess.

In that case you should support the idea that Luke was referring to the 6 AD census.

quote:

If you consider not plausible the Luke’s account you have to delete, together with Luke, all the ancient writers that cited events not directly confirmed by other ancient writers.

Wrong. I am not limited to such simplistic judgements.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 11:40 AM Asteragros has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 12:15 PM PaulK has responded

    
Asteragros
Member (Idle past 992 days)
Posts: 40
From: Modena, Italy
Joined: 01-11-2002


Message 131 of 156 (510183)
05-28-2009 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by PaulK
05-28-2009 11:48 AM


First of all, my message (“this particular part of the discussion”) was addressed to Michamus and not to you.
I should continue to discuss to him along a particular thread of conversation. So, if you consider not important the argument of the plausibility of Luke’s account, what’s the problem? It’s enough for you don’t reply a post you not agree the thread of conversation.

Secondly, your definition (“simplistic judgements”) about mine historical data assessment’s criteria is an your personal viewpoint (for what it’s worth).
Me, also, I might say that your historical data assessment’s criteria are over-complicated and without reasonable limits.
But so we will go nowhere.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 11:48 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by PaulK, posted 05-28-2009 12:33 PM Asteragros has not yet responded

    
Perdition
Member (Idle past 831 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 132 of 156 (510184)
05-28-2009 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 11:00 AM


Now, if:
- no-one other ancient writer (B+) cites the same event;
- no-one other ancient writer contradicts (B+) the A event description (on sound basis, obviously);
- the event is in itself plausible
we are bound to accept that event as a historical fact.

We are bound, only, to accept that the event is plausible. We have no reason to accept it as "TRUE" merely because it could have happened and no one said it didn't. I have many works of historical fiction that are very plausible, and I don't know of any other works that explicity contradict them. Am I, in the absence of the author telling me they're fiction, to regard them as true?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 11:00 AM Asteragros has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by Asteragros, posted 06-01-2009 3:24 PM Perdition has responded

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


Message 133 of 156 (510185)
05-28-2009 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 12:15 PM


quote:

First of all, my message (“this particular part of the discussion”) was addressed to Michamus and not to you.

Wrong. You're mixing up two different discussions.
Your quote comes from my Message 127 which is a reply to your Message 125, which is a reply to my Message 73.

quote:

So, if you consider not important the argument of the plausibility of Luke’s account, what’s the problem?

I didn't say that it wasn't important. Just that it wasn't important to that particular discussion. And it wasn't important because the point under discussion did not come from Luke.

quote:

Secondly, your definition (“simplistic judgements”) about mine historical data assessment’s criteria is an your personal viewpoint (for what it’s worth).

Nevertheless it is a fact that your criteria omits clearly relevant factors. If you want my personal judgement your "criteria" are designed only to "justify" uncritical acceptance of Luke (and would be quickly dropped or modified if they lead to any conclusions that you didn't like).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 12:15 PM Asteragros has not yet responded

    
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2750 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 134 of 156 (510246)
05-29-2009 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by Peg
05-28-2009 5:03 AM


Peg writes:


LOL@Michamus


Resignation accepted.

Hopefully my words have given you the inkling of a desire to learn facts, rather than continuing to stick your head in the sands of your own preconceptions.

Edit-
I just now realized that the response you made was an independent one. I find it very telling of your level of intellectual honesty that you would attempt to hide such a remark, through intentionally circumventing a direct reply to my message.

Yes, very telling indeed.

Edited by Michamus, : Edit-


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Peg, posted 05-28-2009 5:03 AM Peg has not yet responded

    
Michamus
Member (Idle past 2750 days)
Posts: 230
From: Ft Hood, TX
Joined: 03-16-2009


Message 135 of 156 (510248)
05-29-2009 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Asteragros
05-28-2009 11:00 AM


Asteragros writes:


- no-one other ancient writer contradicts (B+) the A event description (on sound basis, obviously);


Premise not met, thus your argument is void.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Asteragros, posted 05-28-2009 11:00 AM Asteragros has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by Asteragros, posted 06-01-2009 4:30 PM Michamus has not yet responded

    
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