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Author Topic:   Did the sky really go dark as biblical inerrantists insist?
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1568 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 106 of 113 (396216)
04-19-2007 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Juraikken
04-19-2007 6:27 AM


Darkened Sky
The topic concerns the darkened sky which was only mentioned by the author of Luke.

The book of Mark is considered to have been written first. (65-80CE)

The book of Matthew (80-100CE) was possibly next and some feel it was written as a satire.

The author of Luke (80-130CE) describes himself as an investigator.

Even an investigative writer will use literary devices or creative writing to make an interesting text.

Since Mark didn't mention the shaking earth or the darkened sky, the possibility exists that these were added respectively by the authors' of Matthew and Luke to show God's displeasure or had been added as the story of Jesus was passed down through the years.

The book of John (90-120CE) is also a later writing than Mark and the author seems more concerned with prophecy fulfillment.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Juraikken, posted 04-19-2007 6:27 AM Juraikken has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Garrett, posted 04-27-2007 2:53 PM purpledawn has responded

  
Garrett
Member (Idle past 4276 days)
Posts: 111
From: Dallas, TX
Joined: 02-10-2006


Message 107 of 113 (397731)
04-27-2007 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by purpledawn
04-19-2007 7:36 AM


Re: Darkened Sky
Are you claiming that only Luke mentions the darkness or splitting vernacular hairs about the difference between "darkened sky" and "darkness over the land"?

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

If the darkness was "over" the whole land, doesn't that suggest that the sky darkened? Based on this I'd say that Mathew, Mark and Luke mentioned the darkness leaving only John as the exception that did not. Further, based on your own statement that Mark is believed to have been written first....that seems pretty good evidence that it wasn't added at a later point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by purpledawn, posted 04-19-2007 7:36 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by purpledawn, posted 04-27-2007 4:21 PM Garrett has not yet responded

  
Garrett
Member (Idle past 4276 days)
Posts: 111
From: Dallas, TX
Joined: 02-10-2006


Message 108 of 113 (397733)
04-27-2007 3:05 PM


Extrabiblical Evidence Darkness
I'm guessing you will have objections to each of these examples, but it's at the least disingenuous to say there weren't extrabiblical accounts of this event. I would suggest the possibility that records did exist but have since become extant.. Documents from that period can be hard to come by for verification...this is what made the Dead Sea Scrolls such a large discovery.

1.)Origen (3rd century) mentioned a statement by the Roman historian Phlegon, who described the darkness event (Against Celsus II.33).

2.)Tertullian also references not only the event, but the fact that it had been recorded in the records when speaking to a pagan audience he sai "you yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives" (Apology XXI). There is no record of anyone challenging that assertion.

3.)Africanus, also a 3rd century writer, also references Phlegon's account in fragment 18 of his "History". Below is an excerpt:

"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour falls on the day before the passover but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however let it carry the majority with it and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth-manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. But it was a darkness induced by God, because the Lord happened then to suffer."

4.) Philipon, a 4th century historian, also referenced these 1st century accounts:

"Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Christ Jesus Christ and no other [eclipse] it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any eclipse in previous times (De opif. mund. II 21)."

5.)Eusebius, a 4th century historian, also referenced first century accounts:

"Jesus Christ underwent his passion in the 18th year of Tiberius [32 AD]. Also at that time in another Greek compendium we find an event recorded in these words: "The sun was eclipsed, Bithynia was struck by an earthquake, and in the city of Nicaea many buildings fell." All these things happened to occur during the Lord's passion. In fact, Phlegon, too, a distinguished reckoner of Olympiads, wrote more on these events in his 13th book, saying this: "Now, in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [AD 32], a great eclipse of the sun occurred at the sixth hour [noon] that excelled every other before it, turning the day into such darkness of night that the stars could be seen in heaven, and the earth moved in Bithynia, toppling many buildings in the city of Nicaea" (Chronicle, vol II).

That's quite a bit of extrabiblical evidence.


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1568 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 109 of 113 (397758)
04-27-2007 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Garrett
04-27-2007 2:53 PM


My Bad
quote:
Are you claiming that only Luke mentions the darkness or splitting vernacular hairs about the difference between "darkened sky" and "darkness over the land"?
Actually it's called a mistake.

I was focusing on the dead people and the sun being obscured.

So I am in error. All three mentioned the darkness and only Luke stated that the sun was being obscured, which my point was when I first mentioned that was that it could have been cloud cover and not necessarily an elipse.

In spite of the error, the phrase "darkness over all the land" could still be a literary device to signify God's displeasure.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Garrett, posted 04-27-2007 2:53 PM Garrett has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1568 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 110 of 113 (398109)
04-29-2007 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Garrett
04-27-2007 3:05 PM


Re: Extrabiblical Evidence Darkness
Not sure if you're still responding to me or not, but here are my thoughts.

quote:
1.)Origen (3rd century) mentioned a statement by the Roman historian Phlegon, who described the darkness event (Against Celsus II.33).
In Contra Celsus, Book 2, Chapter 33; Origen first asks this question:

Now to this question, although we are able to show the striking and miraculous character of the events which befell Him, yet from what other source can we furnish an answer than from the Gospel narratives, which state that "there was an earthquake, and that the rocks were split asunder, and the tombs opened, and the veil of the temple rent in twain from top to bottom, and that darkness prevailed in the day-time, the sun failing to give light?"

His conclusion, though, is less than definitive:

And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles."

quote:
2.)Tertullian also references not only the event, but the fact that it had been recorded in the records when speaking to a pagan audience he sai "you yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives" (Apology XXI). There is no record of anyone challenging that assertion.
Tertullian's Apology was aimed at Roman rulers.

Rulers of the Roman Empire, if, seated for the administration of justice on your lofty tribunal, under the gaze of every eye, and occupying there all but the highest position in the state, you may not openly inquire into and sift before the world the real truth in regard to the charges made against the Christians;...

The purpose of his writings were to defend Christianity and persuade Roman authorities to stop persecuting Christians. Since the persecutions didn't stop, I would conclude that they weren't convinced.

quote:
5.)Eusebius, a 4th century historian, also referenced first century accounts:

"Jesus Christ underwent his passion in the 18th year of Tiberius [32 AD]. Also at that time in another Greek compendium we find an event recorded in these words: "The sun was eclipsed, Bithynia was struck by an earthquake, and in the city of Nicaea many buildings fell." All these things happened to occur during the Lord's passion. In fact, Phlegon, too, a distinguished reckoner of Olympiads, wrote more on these events in his 13th book, saying this: "Now, in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [AD 32], a great eclipse of the sun occurred at the sixth hour [noon] that excelled every other before it, turning the day into such darkness of night that the stars could be seen in heaven, and the earth moved in Bithynia, toppling many buildings in the city of Nicaea" (Chronicle, vol II).


Actually your clip from Eusebius (c. 275-339) counters your clips from Africanus and Philipon.

The quote from the compendium:

The sun was eclipsed, Bithynia was struck by an earthquake, and in the city of Nicaea many buildings fell.

The quote from Phlegon:

Now, in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [AD 32], a great eclipse of the sun occurred at the sixth hour [noon] that excelled every other before it, turning the day into such darkness of night that the stars could be seen in heaven, and the earth moved in Bithynia, toppling many buildings in the city of Nicaea

Africanus and Philipon seemed to have jump to conclusions concerning the evidence as opposed to the evidence making the statement.

Also if we look at the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad, I've found that the fourth year runs as follows: Jun 32AD to Jul 33AD.

As I understand it, the passover or passion would have taken place in April. So if it was April of 32AD, solar eclipse not involved. If it was April of 33 AD, the total solar eclipse for that year was in March and didn't include Jerusalem.

Supposedly the only eclipse visible in Jerusalem would have been in November of 29AD.

The extrabiblical evidence doesn't support a total solar eclipse happening during the passover of 32 or 33AD.

The comments attributed to Thallus don't specify when the events happened or that they all happened at once in the same area; and as I've shown the comments attributed to Phlegon also do not support an eclipse during the passover or that the events mentioned all happened at once in the same area.

I feel that if it wasn't a literary device, the darkness could simply have been cloud cover. Not really something worthy of recording for posterity, unless they regularly recorded daily weather.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Garrett, posted 04-27-2007 3:05 PM Garrett has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Coragyps, posted 04-29-2007 11:45 AM purpledawn has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 111 of 113 (398116)
04-29-2007 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by purpledawn
04-29-2007 11:22 AM


Re: Extrabiblical Evidence Darkness
If it was April of 33 AD, the total solar eclipse for that year was in March and didn't include Jerusalem.

From your NASA link, the April 32AD eclipse was nowhere total, and so minor in Israel as to be nearly unnoticeable. And the March 33AD event was total over Antarctica and the Indian Ocean, and wasn't an eclipse at all in the Middle East.

Do you know if the 29AD eclipse is documented as being total in Jerusalem? From the map, it looks like totality might have been a hair to the north - though it would have gotten pretty dark there with that near of a miss.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by purpledawn, posted 04-29-2007 11:22 AM purpledawn has responded

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 Message 112 by purpledawn, posted 04-29-2007 1:13 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1568 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 112 of 113 (398157)
04-29-2007 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by Coragyps
04-29-2007 11:45 AM


Re: Extrabiblical Evidence Darkness
Here is a color version. It looks pretty close.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Coragyps, posted 04-29-2007 11:45 AM Coragyps has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by PaulK, posted 04-29-2007 1:26 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14819
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 113 of 113 (398161)
04-29-2007 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by purpledawn
04-29-2007 1:13 PM


Re: Extrabiblical Evidence Darkness
Looks like it skims the northern limit of modern Lebanon and Jordan. It's not that close to Jerusalem.

The year and November date are awkward to the Biblical account, too. I suspect that most Christians would rather reject the eclipse and keep the connection with Passover.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by purpledawn, posted 04-29-2007 1:13 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

    
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