quote: Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was hegemon (one who is in power) of Syria twice (2 BCE and 6 or 7 CE).
We have no evidence placing Quirinius as governor of Syria at either date. Josephus tells us that Quirinius was sent to Judea and held a census in 6 AD when the Romans fully annexed Judaea.
quote: Luke himself says that apographe was the first (protos), to infer that another apographe was occurred, at least. Two registrations are mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures as taking place after Judea came under subjection to Rome. The first is that reported Luke 2:1-3.
Of course there would be another census after 6 AD - but the 6 AD census appears to be the first in Judaea.
quote: This was really the second registration under Quirinius, for inscriptions discovered at and near Antioch revealed that some years earlier Quirinius had served as the emperor’s legate in Syria (The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, by W. Ramsay, 1979, pp. 285, 291).
Perhaps you can tell us how the stones discovered at this Antioch tell us that he was legate in Syria.
quote: Peg is right when cites the Lapis Tiburtinus (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, edited by H. Dessau, Berlin, 1887, Vol. 14, p. 397, No. 3613). It contains the statement that on going to Syria he became governor (or, legate) for ‘the second time.’
No, she is not. The surviving portion of the Lapis Tiburtinus does not mention a name, and there is nothing on it which indicates that it belongs to Quirinius. Nor does it 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).
quote: She is right also when mentions the Jewish Antiquities, XVI, 277, 280 [ix, 1]; XVI, 344 [x, 8] to prove the possible duality of the hegemons we discuss.
And she is wrong again since in the Jewish War (Book 1, Chapter 27), Josephus identified Volumnius as the Procurator. So there is nothing special there.
So where is the evidence of this supposed earlier census, other than a wish to deny the obvious inference that Luke referred to the census of 6 AD ?
quote: There is evidence that Quirinius served at two different times though.
No, there isn't.
quote: That puts the timing of Quirinius governership of Syria in 6 C.E. But There is further evidence of an earlier census in the BCE period in the writings of Tertullian who records the census "taken in Judea by Sentius Saturninus." and he was Legate of Syria from 9 to 6 BCE
Tertullian was a Christian apologist who converted at the end of the 2nd Century AD. His assertion may be no more than an attempt to reconcile the two Nativity stories. He does not mention Quirinius being present.
quote: There is also the Lapis Tiburtinus inscription. Although it doesnt name Quirinirus, it does say that a man victorious in war who upon going to Syria became governor (or, legate) for ‘the second time.’ Quirinius was a roman general who lead forces and was a governor, this is why many scholars agree that it can only point to him.
"Many scholars" would be nuts, in that case. Quintilius Varus, to name one famous example, contemporary with Qurinius, was Governor of Syria -and lead Roman troops. Nor does the stone clearly say that the man in question was governor of Syria twice.
Note also that Tertullian's alleged census is held under Sentius Saturnius, not Quirinius so any argument that assumes that Quirinius was governor of Syria contradicts Tertullian. You can't use both arguments at the same time.
quote: This explains why Luke calls the registration 'the first registration'. It took place when Jesus was born in the BCE period and the later registration took place when Quirinus became governor for the 2nd time 6 CE and sparked a rebellion by Judas the Galilean as mentioned in Acts.
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)
We have no record of Qurinius holding any power in Judaea prior to 6 AD
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.
What I mean is that it can be interpreted as saying that the position of governor was held twice (that is what is repeated), but in two different places. My phrasing was a possible interpretation, not an attempt at a word for word translation as you suggest.
Of course, unless the stone can be shown to refer to Quirinius the interpretation is moot.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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).
quote: their is no speculation in scripture with regard to the year of christs birth. Jesus commenced his preaching work after being baptized by John when he was 30yrs of age.
When he was "about 30". Which allows a few years either way. To say that he was 30 years old is speculation.
quote: Luke 3:1-3 says that John began his baptizing activity in the "fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,"
But he doesn't say when Jesus was baptised. Obviously it would have to happen at some point when John the Baptist was active, but that doesn't have to be in the first year of his ministry - that is more speculation.
[ADDED] The "about 30" is the age that Jesus started his ministry. Since that does not have to immediately follow his baptism we have yet another uncertainty
quote: No, to say that he was 30 years is in line with how old the bible writers said he was.
So would saying that he was 28 or 32.
quote: 1. According to the Mosaic law at Numbers 4, sacred service was forbidden for anyone under the age of 30. So Jesus would not have attempted to preach and teach publically if he was less then the prescribed age for those in priestly service.
Not true. Numbers 4 specifies that Levites from specified families will have certain duties in the tabernacle from the ages of 30 to 50. No reason is specified and there seems no good reason to assume that it applies to preaching (after all people older than 50 can still preach).
quote: 2. It is very specific "about 30" would mean he was 30 years + some months. Had he been older then 30, there was nothing stopping Luke from writing it.
No, it is quite non-specific - "about 30" includes 28 and 32. Had he been 30 + some months there is nothing stopping Luke from saying that he was 30. So if your argument means anything it suggests that Jesus was younger, since Luke might well have wanted to obscure that. (It is also possible that Luke did not know exactly which year Jesus started to preach - since we don't have an exact date for the crucifixion either).
quote: Johns activity didnt even last 1 full year. He began baptizing in the 15th year of Tiberius and he was imprisoned shortly after baptizing Jesus.
This is pure speculation We don't know how long John had been preaching before he baptised Jesus. Therefore even if we grant your claim that he was arrested soon after (which doesn't come from Luke) we still can't use that to set a duration for John's ministry.
quote: You can keep bringing up all sorts of objections, but the scriptures are in full harmony with the year of Jesus birth, the commencement of his ministry and the time of his death.
You mean that I can keep pointing out the fact that the Bible doesn't say what you want it to say - and you'll go right on ignoring it. I find it truly amazing that there are "Christians" like you who respect the Bible less than I do.
[and message 94]
quote: the accounts say that he commenced his ministry when he returned from his 40 days in the wilderness.
quote:Matt4:12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Gal′i·lee. 13 Further, after leaving Naz′a·reth, he came and took up residence in Ca·per′na·um beside the sea... 17 From that time on Jesus commenced preaching and saying: “Repent, YOU people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”
In other words the only useful information it gives is that Jesus didn't begin preaching until after John had been arrested. Which means that you MUST include the length of John's ministry in your calculations, if they are to reflect what Matthew says. And you didn't (and can't without speculating).
quote: The fact Josephus has John the Baptist being executed in 36 c.e. and Jesus starting his ministry that same year is another clue, since at that point, Jesus would have been 30, as described by the gospels.
Unfortunately we don't have good evidence that John was executed in AD 36. What we know is that the Josephus claims that the Jews blamed a military defeat in AD 36 on the execution of John. That indicates that they linked the two events, but unfortunately there is more to the link than time. (Herod Antipas' marriage to Herodias - circa 23 AD - was an issue in the war - the father of his previous wife was the enemy - and John was apparently arrested for criticising the marriage). It does suggest that the two events were reasonably close in time, but to say that they happened in the same year is pushing too far.
quote: the fact that Luke fails to mention one of the greatest catastrophies to befall the jewish inhabitants makes it highly unlikely. Lukes writings must have been complete befor the 70CE destruction took place.
Since Luke didn't write about the events of 70 AD it is entirely possible that he would not have mentioned it. The more so since Luke's version of the Olivet Discourse appears to have been changed (from that found in Mark) to better fit the actual events - evidence that Luke wrote AFTER 70 AD.
Whoever originated that version - poossibly Luke, possibly his source. But let's be clear I'm not saying that Luke's Gospel has been edited in this case. I'm saying that the Olivet Discourse has been changed between the earliest account found in Mark (and Matthew) and the version found in Luke. And the changes indicate that the originator of the new version knew what had happened in 70 AD. (Or possibly it's referring to the outcome of the Bar Kochbar revolt, which would put it even later).