A Little History

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A Little History

#1

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:22 pm

Hey, need help. Already got...6 sources, but only 2 are somewhat in depth. But my problem is Luke vs what is known. NOW, the guy is arguing negative evidence-mainly that no evidence for what Luke says=Luke was wrong.

But, anyways, here are some features:

Census Problems:

1) There is no evidence for an empire wide census in the reign of Augustus (negative evidence).
2) 2) In a Roman census Joseph would not have been required to travel to Bethlehem, and he would not have been required to bring Mary with him.
3) A Roman census could not have been carried out in Herod's kingdom while Herod was alive.
4) Josephus refers to the census of Quirinius in AD 6/7 as something that was without precedent in the region

Now 1 and 2 are quite easy to bypass...because they're negative evidence. And #3 is pretty easy as well. It's mainly #4...help?
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

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Re: A Little History

#2

Post by Mastermind » Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:59 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:Hey, need help. Already got...6 sources, but only 2 are somewhat in depth. But my problem is Luke vs what is known. NOW, the guy is arguing negative evidence-mainly that no evidence for what Luke says=Luke was wrong.

But, anyways, here are some features:

Census Problems:

1) There is no evidence for an empire wide census in the reign of Augustus (negative evidence).
2) 2) In a Roman census Joseph would not have been required to travel to Bethlehem, and he would not have been required to bring Mary with him.
3) A Roman census could not have been carried out in Herod's kingdom while Herod was alive.
4) Josephus refers to the census of Quirinius in AD 6/7 as something that was without precedent in the region

Now 1 and 2 are quite easy to bypass...because they're negative evidence. And #3 is pretty easy as well. It's mainly #4...help?
What's the problem with 4? Btw, Josephus was a sloppy historian.
Are you threatening me Master Skeptic?

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#3

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:04 pm

Herod Great was dead by then? And Herod the Great killed 2 and under babies? But what do you have showing that Josephus was sloppy
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

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You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#4

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:23 pm

I'm taking a vote-would it be warranted to ask the professor why, if he is pitting one historian vs another (Luke vs Josephus) that Josephus, a man who wrote on a broad range of subjects, is assumed to be in the right, and with that assumption in mind, Luke is to be considered wrong?
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#5

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:24 pm

What's the reference in Josephus?

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#6

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:25 pm

Interesting article by Miller here.

Here's an excerpt:
And Luke does NOT place the 'worldwide census' at the time of the AD 6 tax...but rather puts it some time BEFORE the Syrian-based one in 7-5 BC...

But more accurately, Luke was probably not referring to a taxation census at all--simply a "registration". Registrations were normally associated with (1) taxation (above discussion); (2) military service (Jews were exempt) and (3) special government "ballots". We have conclusive evidence that an empire-wide (in decree, not necessarily execution, of course) registration occurred in the time frame described by Luke! Martin [CKC:89-90] summarizes the literary, archeological, and iconographic evidence for this:

" A sixth reason for placing the nativity of Jesus in 3 or 2 B.C. isthe coincidence of this date with the New Testament account that Jesus was born at the time when a Roman census was being conducted: "There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the IRoman] world should be registered" (Luke 2:1).

Historians have not been able to find any empire-wide census or registration in the years 7-5 B.C., but there is a reference to such a registration of all the Roman people not long before 5 February 2 B.C. written by Caesar Augustus himself: "While I was administering my thirteenth consulship [2 B.C.] the senate and the equestrian order and the entire Roman people gave me the title Father of my Country" (Res Gestae 35, italics added).

This award was given to Augustus on 5 February 2 B.C., therefore the registration of citizen approval must have taken place in 3 B.C. Orosius, in the fifth century, also said that Roman records of his time revealed that a census was indeed held when Augustus was made "the first of men"--an apt description of his award "Father of the Country"--at a time when all the great nations gave an oath of obedience to Augustus (6:22, 7:2).

Orosius dated the census to 3 B.C. And besides that, Josephus substantiates that an oath of obedience to Augustus was required in Judea not long before the death of Herod (Antiquities I7:4I-45). This agrees nicely in a chronological sense with what Luke records. But more than that, an inscription found in Paphlagonia (eastern Turkey), also dated to 3 B.C., mentions an "oath sworn by all the people in the land at the altars of Augustus in the temples of Augustus in the various districts."

And dovetailing precisely with this inscription, the early (fifth century) Armenian historian, Moses of Khoren, said the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was conducted by Roman agents in Armenia where they set up "the image of Augustus Caesar in every temple.''.

The similarity of this language is strikingly akin to the wording on the Paphlagonian inscription describing the oath taken in 3 B.C. These indications can allow us to reasonably conclude that the oath (of Josephus, the Paphlagonian inscription, and Orosius) and the census (mentioned by Luke, Orosius, and Moses of Khoren) were one and the same. All of these things happened in 3 B.C."

What this means is that we have very, very clear evidence of an empire-wide registration in the time frame required! (How much more data do you need?!)

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#7

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:27 pm

Sot of a summary here:
A couple of concluding points:

* That Augustus MIGHT HAVE issued a world-wide census decree (a record of which is only preserved in Luke's gospel) is ALTOGETHER reasonable and plausible. The data about Augustus' 'propensity' to count and tax is well known. For example, he documents, in his own records, how he counted the Roman nation some three times (Res Gestae Divi Augusti , 8--from Roman Civilization--SourceBook II: the Empire, eds. Lewis and Reinhold, p 12)., and increasingly levied detailed taxes throughout his reign--with the attendant increase in bribery and vice (see Gibbons' Rise and Fall). As vain as he was, it would not be surprising at all for this to have occurred.

* It was also customary for the Roman empire to take a census when there was a change of local government (e.g. when Archelaus was deposed in AD 6, one of Quirinius' first tasks was to liquidate his estate and hold a census to determine the tribute load.) The implication of this pattern for our discussion is that when Varus became governor of Syria in 7 BC, one of his first acts would have been to take a census (the one which would have produced the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem for Joseph/Mary.)

* We KNOW Augustus instituted a 14-year census-cycle for EGYPT in 10/9 BC...(SourceBook II, above, p. 388)...Not only does this give us more confirmation that Augustus was a "countin' sorta guy'" but it may reflect a local execution of a 'worldwide decree' of Augustus.

* To assert that Augustus did not make such a decree is an affirmative historical statement. And, "the burden of proof, for any historical assertion, always rests upon its author" (Hacket, Historians' Fallacies, Harper: 1970, p 63.).

* And to argue that Luke was wrong because there was NO worldwide decree (because we don't have a record of the specific decree) is to make a common mistake in historical method--arguing from 'slim' silence (some silence-arguments can be made to work, though). Hacket again:

"evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is a contradiction in terms--it is no evidence at all. The nonexistence of an object [read: "worldwide decree"-gmm] is established not by nonexistent evidence [read: "we can't find the decree so far"-gmm] but by affirmative evidence of the fact that it did not, or could not exist [e.g. a document that says it did not happen--gmm]" (above, p62)

* And, in spite of the above methodological and background problems, we DO HAVE CONCRETE EVIDENCE of an empire-wide Augustian registration--literary, archeological, iconographic.

* To summarize this section on the 'the missing census of 7/5 BC': I HAVE affirmative evidence and good arguments for such a census--

o Luke, a very, very, very reliable historian SAYS SO!
o Augustus was this 'type of person' with repeated, known actions along this line.
o These kinds of events occurred at major changes in ruling personnel--a situation that obtained in Palestine at the time Luke indicates.
o Parallel events occurred in other Roman-controlled areas, in roughly the same time (i.e. Egypt 10/9 BC).
o There is not a scrap of contrary data.
o Quirinius' participation is such an event (along with Varus) is not only possible, but highly likely.
o We have positive evidence of an empire-wide decree of Augustus within a year or two of the required date.

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#8

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:00 pm

I read that somewhere....how the heck do all my help look like what I"ve read? LOL
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

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You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#9

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:01 pm

Fortigurn wrote:What's the reference in Josephus?
It's asserted that Josephus said that a census took place in 6/7 AD
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#10

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:29 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:What's the reference in Josephus?
It's asserted that Josephus said that a census took place in 6/7 AD
I would like to see the quote.

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#11

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:00 pm

Not much of a quote really. It seems to be circuitios reasoning actually that got them to that conclusion. Made a nice e-mail up, all cute and fluffy and full of question marks.
Sir, I was wondering if you would be willing to comment on these four problems that alternatives to Luke being wrong fail at.

First (There is no other evidence for an empire-wide census in the reign of Augustus). Since when is negative evidence evidence? And since when has arguing from silence not been a historical fallacy?

Second (In a Roman census Joseph would not have been required to travel to Bethlehem, and he would not have been required to bring Mary with him), where does this come from? I'm not a history buff so I don't know that much, so could I please be informed (another book in the library perhaps, or readings/notes I skipped over). Also, Vivius Maximus in AD 104 demanded everyone return to their home ("It is essential for all people to return to their homes for the census")-so extra biblical sources do talk of such a thing-at least once.

Third (A Roman census could not have been carried out in Herod's kingdom while Herod was alive)-since when can someone logically come to a negative conclusion with positive premises? This can be nothing more than an assertion. Also, where do we get that this census was Roman? Could not Augustus have demanded a census, and then Herod complied and had one? Client kingdoms weren't exactly independent-they couldn't exactly say no to the emperor (without consequences most likely). Especially Judea-it was first conquered before being given, eventually, to Herod the Great. Also, since when must there be many exceptions to a rule to allow for just one exception? This would mean for one to believe in uncommon historical events, such events must, in fact, be common.

Fourth (Josephus refers to the census of Quirinius in AD 6/7 as something that was without precedent in the region). First of all, is this date assuming that the first census was not while Quirinius was in command and performing military conquests while Herod the Great was alive (as Luke's word hegemon was a general term which was applied, by other sources, to prefects, provincial, governors, and even Caesar himself). If not, and Josephus in fact wrote out the date-aren't you pitting two historians against each other? And if so, why is Josephus elected the winner? Also, what did Josephus mean by it was without precedence? Is he saying there never was one, or that there was never so much turmoil caused by it, or what exactly?

Sorry for asking so many questions, it's just that there are so many to ask. Because the way you put it, Luke could not POSSIBLY have been correct. You are saying that of some necessity, Luke MUST be wrong. And by doing so you're making a very strong claim-something that is without precedent in anything I've read about history (not that I've read that much of course). Sorry for taking up your time professor, but if you had time to respond, I'd be grateful.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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#12

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:03 pm

I'm hoping he doesn't put 2 and 1 together, get infinity, and realize I'm the guy who he yelled "HOW DARE YOU!" in class to. Also somewhat annoyed him AFTER class tooooo :wink: I made sure to leave off my signature though. This is so funny. Not IN THIS CLASS and still in it.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#13

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:55 pm

LOL...forgot to check Baker's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler...had more stuff as well...
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#14

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:25 pm

Given current scholarship in the area of the historical accuracy of the Gospels, the burden of proof is really against your professor. As R. T. France states:
  • It should be pointed out, moreover, that the same Luke whose work is criticized on account of the census problem also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, where the overlap with recorded history is far greater, and in this area Luke's accuracy in referring to the details of political institutions and appointments in Asia Minor and Greece was sufficient to cause the archeologist Sir William Ramsay to change from an inherited scepticism to a warm regard for Luke as a careful and responsible historian.
A good reference on this, as noted in the quoted paper, is I. H. Marshall's The Gospel of Luke (New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978) 99-104.

In general, I'd suggest picking up,

1. Solid commentaries on Luke-Acts,
2. Books dealing specifically with the reliability of the NT.

Have fun, and God bless
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#15

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:17 pm

BLAH
Last edited by AttentionKMartShoppers on Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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