Author Topic: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels  (Read 24751 times)

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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2010, 07:09:37 AM »
You're missing my point. I'm say they were Hebrews; a set-apart people, who (for the majority of them) believed in being "set-apart". In society, cultures "benefit" from one another by mixing, but the Hebrews (for the majority) DID NOT MIX. Am I saying Rome (or greek) said, "HAHA! since you will not assimilate, we'll keep razors from you"? No! That's silly. But did Hebrew men shave their faces like Roman (greek) men? No. They didn't. Look at Rabbis of today, or even normal males of Jewish laity in Jerusalem who continue the tradition.

But that's not what you said originally.  You said that people would grow their beards because they didn't have "modern grooming tools".  I then pointed out that grooming tools did exist at the time and were in common use.  (No, they weren't "modern", but really, you don't need a wet/dry electric shaver to do a decent job, as Historicity has pointed out.)  Now that I've pointed out your error, you're trying to say that they would grow their beards not due to lack of tools, but to set themselves apart instead.

Stop dodging.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2010, 09:41:33 AM »
[...]
You must remember that there weren't any modern grooming tools back then. A fella would let his beard grow. [...]Men look older than they really are when they have facial hair. So can you at least entertain the possiblilty that these Pharisees (who did not initially know Yahshua) could only - at best - assume that this man was younger than fifty?
The main illogicality is that if the age of man was guessed at by his appearance, the locals' guess would be quite accurate. They would be looking at a man who approximated to a 29 year old in their terms. Now, I grant that to us, fit and healthy and with electric razors, such a man may look 40, but not to the locals at that time - he looked like a local of 29 years.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jedweber

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2010, 10:43:33 AM »
Cyrenius (correction on the name is "Quirinius") was an officer of Syria NOT JUST ONCE, BUT TWICE. The first time he was an officer was in 3/2 BCE when he was govenor over Augustus' the census.

There's absolutely no evidence that Quirinius served two different terms as governor of Syria. This is essentially an invention of later Christian apologists trying to reconcile contradictions between Luke and Matthew's accounts. Even if it were true, it fails to reconcile other discrepancies in the accounts.

I refer you to Richard Carrier exhaustive article on this subject, which establishes practically beyond all reasonable doubt that there are irreconcilable differences between the birth narratives:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#III

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #61 on: December 19, 2010, 01:01:12 AM »
But that's not what you said originally.  You said that people would grow their beards because they didn't have "modern grooming tools".  I then pointed out that grooming tools did exist at the time and were in common use.  (No, they weren't "modern", but really, you don't need a wet/dry electric shaver to do a decent job, as Historicity has pointed out.)  Now that I've pointed out your error, you're trying to say that they would grow their beards not due to lack of tools, but to set themselves apart instead.

Stop dodging.

(sign...) The conversation did not start with your comment but with the trying to give the explanation of John 8:57 to SNagglefritz.

But the same Luke also tells us (in Luke 3:1-23) that John started baptising in 29AD, “in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,” when Jesus was “about thirty” – which means that Jesus was born in about 1BC.

The 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar was in the year 27CE...and the phrase "began to be about thirty" is ???? [Hosei], which means "reaching the point of but not yet". Yahshua was in the middle of his 29th year when he was baptised. Counting backwards 29 years this puts his birth year in 3 BCE (remembering that there is no zero year...the birth year IS the 1st year, biblically).

But when we turn to John 8:57 we discover that “The Jews said unto him (Jesus), Thou art not yet fifty years old.” It’s a fairly vague statement, but surely they’ve got to be talking about someone over forty (and probably closer to forty-five), in which case Jesus could have been born as early as 15BC.

You must remember that there weren't any modern grooming tools back then. A fella would let his beard grow. I starting growing facial hair at 16...and if one lets it grow - uncut - for 13 years, one would have a pretty long beard. Men look older than they really are when they have facial hair. So can you at least entertain the possiblilty that these Pharisees (who did not initially know Yahshua) could only - at best - assume that this man was younger than fifty?

So I ask you, @Pianowarf...Who was talking to Yahshua in John 8:57?

You see, my error was in assuming that people like you had "full" understanding of "who" was actually speaking to Yahshua. So when I said "people" in my answer the only people that mattered - in this context; in this scene of John 8:57 - was "Hebrew" people ("Jewish Orthodoxy" [rabbis] specifically, which should help even moreso explain the existence of the beards).

I'll better explain my answers next time...just for you.

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2010, 02:48:22 AM »
[...]
You must remember that there weren't any modern grooming tools back then. A fella would let his beard grow. [...]Men look older than they really are when they have facial hair. So can you at least entertain the possiblilty that these Pharisees (who did not initially know Yahshua) could only - at best - assume that this man was younger than fifty?
The main illogicality is that if the age of man was guessed at by his appearance, the locals' guess would be quite accurate. They would be looking at a man who approximated to a 29 year old in their terms. Now, I grant that to us, fit and healthy and with electric razors, such a man may look 40, but not to the locals at that time - he looked like a local of 29 years.

Ok, I see what you're getting at.  As a setup, we need to correct a few problems with the record.

1. Whenever the word "Jews" is used in the gospel record, it refers - specifically - to Jewish Orthodoxy, not (jewish) locals. And (I know) they're still part of the "locals", but it's important to be specific to understand the context. And as Yahshua gained more followers, he challenged their authority, on their territory no less. So they wanted to disprove him when they met him.

2. Guessing the age of man by appearance was as accurate back then as it is today; that is to say "ballpark estimates"; and a person's assumed age can and does change with the appearance of a several inch long beard [not the "jesus" imagery of a small beard close to the face]. Yahshua was not just a local Jew, but also a Hebrew Rabbi.

People accurately - as is the case today - knew the exact ages of their closet friends and relatives (as passages like luke 3:23 attest to), but these Rabbis did not know Yahshua at all to know his age (but I'm sure it's safe to assume that they saw he didn't have grey hair). They didn't even know of his existence until he started challenging their positions of authority by gaining followers.


---

BTW -- While not excluding the availability of "any" shaving tools, my initial point about "modern" shaving tools was brought to mind because of the lack of electric shavers and gels (that prevent against irritation and allowed for more instances of shaving without requiring days for skin to heal before another shave, where, in which case, full beards can and do grow back rendering the action "painful futility"). And for the people we were talking about [Hebrew men, specifically], these fellas let it grow, avoiding all of that.  [Pianodwarf]

---


3. The context of their statement was one of "insult", where (as also exemplified by 'some' on this forum) exaggeration is often used to make a point most noticable. Specifically, the insult was in referrence to 'Yahshua NOT being anywhere near old enough to be alive during the time of Abraham', which challenged Yahshua's previous statement.

-------

So first, Yahshua says [John 8:56] "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

But then the Rabbis asked Sarcasticly (to deride), [John 8:57] "You aren't yet fifty years old, and you've seen Abraham!?"

...By this time, Abraham was thousands of years in biblical the past, so to say a "middle-age" number was meant to drive home the point. They did not know his age but they knew he was younger than 50 (and maybe even knew he was younger than 40), but saying "50" served as the exaggeration point of their insult.

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2010, 02:56:09 AM »
Cyrenius (correction on the name is "Quirinius") was an officer of Syria NOT JUST ONCE, BUT TWICE. The first time he was an officer was in 3/2 BCE when he was govenor over Augustus' the census.

There's absolutely no evidence that Quirinius served two different terms as governor of Syria. This is essentially an invention of later Christian apologists trying to reconcile contradictions between Luke and Matthew's accounts. Even if it were true, it fails to reconcile other discrepancies in the accounts.

I refer you to Richard Carrier exhaustive article on this subject, which establishes practically beyond all reasonable doubt that there are irreconcilable differences between the birth narratives:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#III

But right now we're just trying to reconcile the claim of when Quirinius served.

Give me time to read this article, but until then, note that I said "Quirinius served two times as an officer", but only once did I say he was a Govenor.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 02:58:48 AM by Joshua »

Offline Doctor X

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2010, 04:06:19 AM »
Ok, I see what you're getting at.  As a setup, we need to correct a few problems with the record.

You mean "try to change the text to cover up errors."

Quote
1. Whenever the word "Jews" is used in the gospel record, it refers - specifically - to Jewish Orthodoxy,

No.

Quote
2. Guessing the age of man by appearance. . . .

Non sequitur: one gospel dates the birth prior to 4 BCE.  The other after 6 CE.  The earliest canonical gospel which served as a source for both those gospels has NO birth narrative, has "brothers and sisters," nor does the latest canonical gospel.


--J.D.

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Offline WorthBelieving

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #65 on: December 19, 2010, 10:14:32 AM »
I'm relatively new to this topic, so I'm not sure if this came out yet.  By what standard do you gauge the timeline of Herod and Quirinius?

Offline Doctor X

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #66 on: December 19, 2010, 12:35:23 PM »
By Smoots.

--J.D.

P.S. Welcome to the forums!  :D

P.P.S. Two drink minimum . . .  :police:

Offline Graybeard

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #67 on: December 19, 2010, 05:48:32 PM »
[...]And as Yahshua gained more followers, he challenged their authority, on their territory no less. So they wanted to disprove him when they met him.

If Jesus existed (and I do not think he did; he is rather the embodiment of an idea) then I am with you on this. I would only add that it more likely that the local Jewish theocracy wanted to discredit him as a person and thus remove his authority.

Quote
2. Guessing the age of man by appearance was as accurate back then as it is today; that is to say "ballpark estimates";

For long enough, I worked in a third world country. One of my jobs was to write down the age of the person before me - the parents and the subject were invariably illiterate. However, everyone knew their age and the age of their relatives to within a year. The births were memorised against events at the time of birth. I knew they were accurate because, in instances of doubt, their age was assessed medically (bones in the wrist was the usual method.) 

I am therefore satisfied that local estimates of age, especially of well-known characters, were reliable.

Quote
[...]They did not know his age but they knew he was younger than 50 (and maybe even knew he was younger than 40), but saying "50" served as the exaggeration point of their insult.
Whereas I appreciate your attempt at an explanation for your client, I do not think that this would have been so. It is far more likely that the statement was made at a time when Jesus was about 40-45.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 05:50:04 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline WorthBelieving

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2010, 07:14:12 PM »
By Smoots.

I appreciate humor as much as the next but this question calls for serious thought.  Most people base the timeline of Herod and the Quirinius census based upon the works of Josephus and him alone.  There has been some intriguing new research that shows that Josephus' work was accidentally altered around 1544, probably by a copyist error.  This actually kept Johannes Kepler from tracing the star that appeared over Bethlehem (which he tracked diligently) because it put the birth of Christ in the wrong years.  In fact, it shows Herod died about 1 B.C. instead of the 4 B.C. previously assumed.  Everyone assumes the Bible is incorrect, but you must be careful by what standards you choose to judge it by. 

Offline jetson

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #69 on: December 23, 2010, 05:08:42 PM »
<snip>  Everyone assumes the Bible is incorrect, but you must be careful by what standards you choose to judge it by.

Indeed, and I'll be damned if this does not work both ways.

P.S.  I'm probably damned anyway, but that's another thread :)

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2010, 11:51:12 AM »
Cyrenius (correction on the name is "Quirinius") was an officer of Syria NOT JUST ONCE, BUT TWICE. The first time he was an officer was in 3/2 BCE when he was govenor over Augustus' the census.

There's absolutely no evidence that Quirinius served two different terms as governor of Syria. This is essentially an invention of later Christian apologists trying to reconcile contradictions between Luke and Matthew's accounts. Even if it were true, it fails to reconcile other discrepancies in the accounts.

I refer you to Richard Carrier exhaustive article on this subject, which establishes practically beyond all reasonable doubt that there are irreconcilable differences between the birth narratives:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#III

Hi Jedweber,

The author of the source makes some significant errors in assumption even at the start of his research that establishes incorrect foundations, leading to wrong conclusions. I'm going to try to put the following facts in some type of order. Each one stands on its own but forgive me if they still seem out of order:

1. There is a difference between "enrollment registration (special census)" and "census for taxation (normal census)"

Luke 2:1-2 “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed(apographesthai)”.

“Forologia” (Greek) = census [for] taxation, but “Apographó/i” (Greek) = enrollment; registration. The gospel record uses a derivation of the Greek word Apographi...so this was a special census for ENROLLMENT not simply taxation (which was mistranslated in English), but an enrollment for what (please continue)?

2. Quirinius was “governor” in name only who conducted this ENROLLMENT during Luke’s account, but he was not an officially elected governor until 6CE [when he was  named “Legate of Syria” after Judea’s annexation, which would – indeed – require a new regular census be taken, which is mentioned in Acts 5:37]. Justin Martin even comments on Quirinius’s truer title as “Procurator of Syria” (before his official election as govenor) in his Apology (1.34).

3. Cambridge Ancient History (vol. X, 216) shares that “each province had its equestrian procurator who in the eyes of the provincials was almost as important as the governor himself”.

…These are the reasons why Luke says the registration at the time of the birth of Yahshua was the “first” one…while Quirinius was [“provisional”] governor of Syria (but its "actual" Procurator). So who was Syria’s actual governor in 3/2BCE? And where was he during this time?

4. Tertullian in Answer to the Jews [.8] said the census that brought Mary & Joseph to Bethlehem was during the time when Sentius Saturninus was governor of Syria. Josephus then corroborates that Sentius Saturninus was govenor in Josephus Ant. (17.89).

5. 3/2BCE was the 25th Year of the Reign of Caesar Augustus when he decreed that a declaration to name him Pater Patriae (Father of the Country) be endorsed by ALL of his subjects.

Quote
“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, and voted that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple, in the Julian senate-house, and in the forum of Augustus under the chariot which had been placed there for me by a decision of the senate. When I wrote this I was seventy-six years old. “
(Res Gestae #35; http://www.romansonline.com/Src_Frame.asp?DocID=aug_Bk01_01)

6. (back story) In 27BCE, the senate & Rome’s subjects gave their allegiance to Caesar by (1) swearing an oath and (2) REGISTERING that oath. Then at Caesar’s Silver Jubilee the people of Rome again renewed their oath of allegiance.

So when Caesar was going to receive the title Pater Patriae this oath & registration was conducted once again…and it’s important to understand that this ENROLLMENT was NOT just a normal census for Taxation (as incorrectly translated into English bibles).

7. Josephus mentions this special enrollment for Oath:

Quote
There was moreover a certain sect of Jews who valued themselves highly for their exact knowledge of the law; and talking much of their contact with God, were greatly in favor with the women of HerodÊs court. They are called Pharisees. They are men who had it in their power to control kings; extremely subtle, and ready to attempt anything against those whom they did not like. When therefore the whole Jewish nation took an OATH to be faithful to Caesar, and [to] the interests of the king, these men, to the number of above six thousand, refused to swear. The king having laid a fine upon them, PherorasÊ wife (HerodÊs sister-in-law) paid the money for them. They, in requital for her kindness (for they were supposed, by their great intimacy with God, to have attained to the gift of prophecy), prophesied that God having decreed to put an end to the government of Herod and his race, the kingdom would be transferred to her and Pheroras and their children. Salome [HerodÊs sister], who was aware of all that was being said, came and told the king of them. She also told him that many of the court [of Herod] were corrupted by them. Then the king put to death the most guilty of the Pharisees, and Bagoas the eunuch, and one Carus, the most beautiful young man about the court, and the
great instrument in the kingÊs unlawful pleasures. He [Herod] likewise slew every one in his own family, who adhered to those things which were said by the Pharisees. But Bagoas had been elevated by them and was told that he should some day be called father and benefactor of the [new] king, who was to be appointed according to their prediction, for this king would have all things in his power, and that he [the king] would give him [Bagoas] the capacity of marriage, and of having children of his own.
(Josephus, Ant. 17.41-45)

Question: how did Josephus possibly know over 6000 Pharisees refused to take the oath unless there was some tally made where this number could be counted?

8. Orosius also corroborates that Augustus ordered a census for an ENROLLMENT (tally), not taxes:

Quote
[Augustus] ordered that a census be taken of each province everywhere and that all men be enrolled... This is the earliest and most famous public acknowledgement which marked Caesar as the first of all men and the Romans as lords of the world, a published list of all men entered individually... This 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, throughout the participation in the census, were made apart of one society
(bk 6.22, 7.2).

9. Regular censuses (for taxes & the like) were checked every 5 years. And Res Gestae, [2.8] gives evidence that Augustus had official censuses in 28BCE and in 8BCE. The next 5 year period requiring a “regular” registration was in 3BCE, which also coincides with the time of the special Oath of Allegiance to Augustus.

10. Not only was 2BCE the year of the Silver Jubilee for “Augustus” but it was the 750th anniversary of the founding of Rome, where Roman officials from all over the empire attended the celebrations, this included governors. This means lesser officials were given temporary power and position as governors to conduct business while the true governors were away at the celebration.

---

To reverse engineer and provide further proof of the date of Yahshua's birth as 3/2BCE, please note the following points:

1. Luke 3:23 “And Jesus himself began to be about (osei) thirty years of age being as was supposed the son of Joseph which was the son of Heli”

The greek word for "about" is "Peripou" [about; perimeter (which can be of any size)], however the greek word used in Luke's account was "osei" [a specific mathematical construction meaning] "nearing but before the point of".

So yahshua "began to be nearing but before the point of thirty years of age"...this means he was 29 years old when his ministry began.


2. By biblical/eastern reckoning of time, the “birth year” IS “year 1”. There was no such thing as a “week(s) old”, “month(s) old”, etc.


3. Luke 3:1 “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, (2) Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. (3) And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;”

But when exactly was the 15 year of the reign of Tiberius?

4. The Jewish Temple began its reconstruction in 19 BCE (as testified by Josephus)

And John 2:20 records, "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou [speaking to yahashua] rear it up in three days?"

Math: 19BCE + 46 (accounting for "zero" year) = 27CE

26/27CE was the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius and was the same year Yahshua "began to be nearing but before the point of thirty years of age" (29 years old).

5. 26/27CE - 29 years (accounting for "zero" year) = 3/2BCE as the birth year of Yahshua, which perfectly syncronizing with the time of special Enrollment for Caesar Augustus (due to his new title), during which Quirinius conducted the special Enrollment as "provisional" govenor ("actual" Procurator) of Syria since Saturninus - the actual govenor - was attending the Silver Jubilee celebration in Rome (for the same reason).

If you'd like to discuss when Herod died (so to further syncronize), I'd be happy to provide more.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2010, 12:09:15 PM by Joshua »

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2010, 03:16:13 PM »
]...  Such as this junk:

Quote
The 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar was in the year 27CE

Tiberius took the office in 14 CE.  14+15 = 29. 

...[

And to clarify that The 15 year of Tiberius Caesar's reigned was in 26/27CE, please note that Tiberius began reigning as "co-regent" (or "co-princep") in 11 AD [11/12CE] (according to Theordor Mommsen, History of Rome) because of the declining health of the aging Caesar Augustus (his adoptive father).

Two years later - upon the death of Caesar Augustus - he became "Sole Regent", but this is insignificant to when he first began to reign.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2010, 03:27:46 PM by Joshua »

Offline jedweber

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2010, 12:32:58 PM »
We seem to be dealing with different sets of "facts" about these alleged censuses.

It is widely accepted by historians that there was probably a local census for tax purposes in Judea and Syria in 6/7 AD, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. The Romans had just assumed direct rule of Judea after removing Herod Archelaus from power and they would have needed to establish rolls for taxation, which was always a priority for them. This is the census mentioned by Josephus.

The Gospel of Luke, however, talks of a WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census which required people to return to their ancestral homes! There does not seem to be ANY external evidence for an general imperial census undertaken around this time and such a major event could hardly have passed unnoticed (particularly if it required large migrations.) Having people return to their ancestral homes makes little sense and contradicts everything that is known about Roman censuses. Historians simply do not take these claims seriously.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius

There is a much more plausible reason for the census accounts in Matthew and Luke. Jesus was apparently known in his lifetime to have been a Galilean from the Nazareth area. Later followers (such as the authors of Matthew and Luke) felt that OT scriptures called for him to come from the line of David and be born in Bethlehem The census stories may simply be a device they used (i.e. invented) to explain how this Galilean could have actually been born in Bethlehem. 
 

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2010, 03:10:40 PM »
We seem to be dealing with different sets of "facts" about these alleged censuses.

…Yeah, I see what you mean.

It is widely accepted by historians that there was probably a local census for tax purposes in Judea and Syria in 6/7 AD, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. The Romans had just assumed direct rule of Judea after removing Herod Archelaus from power and they would have needed to establish rolls for taxation, which was always a priority for them. This is the census mentioned by Josephus.

The Gospel of Luke, however, talks of a WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census which required people to return to their ancestral homes! There does not seem to be ANY external evidence for an general imperial census undertaken around this time and such a major event could hardly have passed unnoticed (particularly if it required large migrations.) Having people return to their ancestral homes makes little sense and contradicts everything that is known about Roman censuses. Historians simply do not take these claims seriously.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius

There is a much more plausible reason for the census accounts in Matthew and Luke. Jesus was apparently known in his lifetime to have been a Galilean from the Nazareth area. Later followers (such as the authors of Matthew and Luke) felt that OT scriptures called for him to come from the line of David and be born in Bethlehem The census stories may simply be a device they used (i.e. invented) to explain how this Galilean could have actually been born in Bethlehem.

I completely agree with historians’ acceptance of a local census for tax purposes in Judea and Syria in 6/7 CE, when Quirinius was OFFICIALLY governor of Syria. But The external evidence I provide shows that 6/7 CE was not the only time Quirinius held authority in Syria (as a governor): once he was “Procurator of Syria”. Secondly, there’s evidence that procurators not only held similar authority as governors but that they “could” hold the actual office of governor (though in interim) in absences of the official governor (for whatever reason).

---

Here (let’s try this)…let’s establish a foundation we can both agree on; the year of Yahshua’s Birth. Do you agree with the following points (just type “yes” or “no” next to numbers)?

1. External Source 1: Josephus testifies that the Jewish Temple began its reconstruction in 19 BCE

2. In John 2:20, The Jews stated that it took 46 years to build the Jewish Temple

3. 19BCE + 46 years (accounting for "zero" year) means John 2:20 is either during or some time after 27CE:

| 27CE ==>

4. External Source 2: Theodor Mommsen (a Roman Historian) testifies that Tiberius began reigning (as “co-regent” with Augustus) in 11AD [11/12CE]

5. In Luke 3:1, the writer details “In the 15th year of Tiberius’s Reign…”

6. 11/12CE + 15 years means Luke 3:1 is definitely DURING year 26/27CE:

|==>26/27CE<==|

7. So the 23rd verse – where the narrator details Yahshua’s age – is also during 26/27CE:

Luke 3:23 “And Jesus himself began to be about (osei) thirty years of age being as was supposed the son of Joseph which was the son of Heli”

So the next question is “how old was Yahshua during Luke 3 (during 26/27CE)?”
You agree that…

8. External Source 3: Osei (Greek) is a numerical construct meaning “before [numerals]”; “before [a measure of time]”; “nearly”; “as if”; “like” http://www.laparola.net/greco/parola.php?p=%E1%BD%A1%CF%83%CE%B5%E1%BD%B7

9. So Luke 3:23 calculates Yahshua as began to be BEFORE 30 years old in the year 26/27CE

10. We have three approximations:

"Year Greater than or Equal to 27CE"

"Year Precisely Equal to 26/27CE"

"The Man's age began [at number] before 30 years old in 26/27CE"

...correct?

11. 26/27CE – 29 years (accounting for “zero” year) means 3/2BCE was this man's birth year

---

If you agree with this foundation, we can agree that any gospel record MUST sync with 3/2BCE as Yahshua’s birth year and (historically) with any events during 3/2BCE. If you don't agree, please share your argument against any specific point(s).

If you do agree, the final question is “was there record of a ‘WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census which required people to return to their ancestral homes’ in 3/2 BCE?”


External Source 4 - From Orosius; (BK 6.22,7.2...brackets are mine):
Quote
[Augustus] ordered that a census be taken of each province everywhere and that all men be enrolled... This is the earliest and most famous public acknowledgement which marked Caesar as the first of all men [this is the title “Pater Patriae (father of the country)”] and the Romans as lords of the world, a published list of all men entered individually... This 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, throughout the participation in the census, were made apart of one society.
Ok, so a WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census occurred in Roman history when Augustus was named Pater Patriae, but when was this worldwide major enrollment event? What was the year?


External Evidence 5 - From Caesar Augustus’s very own letters (Res Gestae #35...brackets are mine; http://www.romansonline.com/Src_Frame.asp?DocID=aug_Bk01_01):
Quote
“When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 B.C.E.) [note that the date aligns perfectly with 3/2BCE], the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country [this is the title “Pater Patriae”], and voted [this is the published list of all men’s individual entry] that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple, in the Julian senate-house, and in the forum of Augustus under the chariot which had been placed there for me by a decision of the senate. When I wrote this I was seventy-six years old.“

- We’ve established that 3/2 BCE (not 6/7CE) is the year of Yahshua’s birth
- We’ve read that in 2 BCE (13th consulate) Augustus received his title & votes
- We’ve read from that same letter – and from the account of Orosius – that it required a Worldwide census for registration/enrollment/voting

Luke 2:1 “There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the [Roman] world should be (correctly rendered 'registered/enrolled')".

The gospels line up with 3/2BCE as the birth year and Roman history lines up with a MAJOR IMPERIAL Census occurring in 3/2 BCE, at a time when all official governors "would've" attend the celebration, leaving lesser officers in charge as temporary governors, which proves why Quirinius "would be" in Syria as "acting" govenor since he was the next in charge after Saturninus.

You must let go of 6/7 CE as the only possibility when Quirinius was in Syria.

Offline jedweber

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2010, 11:28:58 PM »
If you agree with this foundation, we can agree that any gospel record MUST sync with 3/2BCE as Yahshua’s birth year and (historically) with any events during 3/2BCE. If you don't agree, please share your argument against any specific point(s).

I think you've outlined one possible time line, based on dates which are far from rock solid, some of which are not substantiated at all. You do this by cherry-picking certain details of Luke to try to reach a date which can be reconciled with Matthew's. (But in fact, Matthew's account could have Jesus being born in 6 to 4 BC.)

Quote
You must let go of 6/7 CE as the only possibility when Quirinius was in Syria.

No, YOU must, because you are bent on reconciling the gospels, and Luke's gospel would clearly have Jesus being born ten years after Herod's death if you didn't find some way to explain away this messy detail. It's certainly POSSIBLE that Quirinius was in Syria in 2 or 3 BC, serving in some undocumented position as "acting governor." The problem is that there is no real evidence for this, the only reason one would insist on this is to make the gospels fit.

Since I have little interest in jumping through hoops to validate gospel details, let's take your date of 2/3 BC and move on to the second claim:   

Quote
If you do agree, the final question is “was there record of a ‘WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census which required people to return to their ancestral homes’ in 3/2 BCE?”


External Source 4 - From Orosius; (BK 6.22,7.2...brackets are mine):
Quote
[Augustus] ordered that a census be taken of each province everywhere and that all men be enrolled... This is the earliest and most famous public acknowledgement which marked Caesar as the first of all men [this is the title “Pater Patriae (father of the country)”] and the Romans as lords of the world, a published list of all men entered individually... This 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, throughout the participation in the census, were made apart of one society.
Ok, so a WORLDWIDE (i.e. empire-wide) census occurred in Roman history when Augustus was named Pater Patriae, but when was this worldwide major enrollment event? What was the year?

Orosius was a Christian theologian writing in the late 4th and early 5th centuries. He's hardly an contemporary or objective source for 1st century Roman history. He's best known for works of apologetics such as "Against the Pagans" and his histories were intended to promote Christianity. If he were in fact trying to claim here that Augustus undertook a major census in 2 BC, it would stand in contrast to the recorded history of the time and I would suspect that his motive was to provide a historical justification of the gospel accounts.

In fact, we have historical evidence for censuses carried out under Augustus in 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14 AD. If you want to claim one took place in 2 or 3 BC, where is the evidence? Can you find any objective historians who conclude that such a census took place, based on actual historical evidence, and not on wishful thinking or an effort to apologize for the gospels?

Quote
External Evidence 5 - From Caesar Augustus’s very own letters (Res Gestae #35...brackets are mine; http://www.romansonline.com/Src_Frame.asp?DocID=aug_Bk01_01):
Quote
“When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 B.C.E.) [note that the date aligns perfectly with 3/2BCE], the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country [this is the title “Pater Patriae”], and voted [this is the published list of all men’s individual entry] that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple, in the Julian senate-house, and in the forum of Augustus under the chariot which had been placed there for me by a decision of the senate. When I wrote this I was seventy-six years old.“

I see no mention of a worldwide census there, no mention of a date when such a census would have been carried out, and no mention of people returning to their ancestral homes...

In any case, I don't see why a vote of the Senate and equestrian order in Rome would require a census of the entire empire! ("Pater patriae" was only one of Augustus' many honorific titles, and far from the most important, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pater_Patriae). Are you saying they did this for every vote? There would certainly be a lot of censuses then! Even if census rolls were consulted in 2 BC, how do you know they didn't simply use data from the census that had been completed just a few years earlier? That would seem more likely than conjuring up another census out of thin air.

In sum, it seems to me your attempt to reach a satisfactory date for Jesus' birth has you bending and inventing bits of history in order to fit them with details in the gospels. (one particular reading of the gospels, no less.) I think an objective historian would approach it the other way, and see where the gospels can fit into what is known from history.

Offline skepticlogician

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #75 on: January 01, 2011, 03:45:50 PM »
Wikipedia!!!??? Not too reliable source, nontheless...

Give me an example of something inaccurate in a Wikipedia article that I can go right now and see it for myself.
It's obvious that vandalism is a real problem in an open encyclopedia like this, but the measures taken for prompt correction are superbly effective.

Even so, if you find obvious examples of vandalism in some OTHER articles, that does NOT invalidate the reference to Quirinius, unless you give me some references of your own with valid evidence to the contrary.


Quote
Cyrenius (correction on the name is "Quirinius") was an officer of Syria NOT JUST ONCE, BUT TWICE. The first time he was an officer was in 3/2 BCE when he was govenor over Augustus' the census.

Who are you correcting? I didn't make up the 'Cyrenius' name. The "inerrant" scripture of the King James version of the Bible came up with it. Don't blame me. (Check Luke 2:2, King James Version).


Quote
Yahshua was born Tishri 15, 3998...or September 26, 3BCE This date will line up perfectly with all of the other records and proofs. As well as astronomical proof (if anyone's interested, I'll share it).

Please produce these "other records and proofs". You talk about reliability? Start providing valid references to your own arguments yourself.
"Evolutionists have proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."

Offline skepticlogician

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #76 on: January 01, 2011, 04:07:29 PM »
You must remember that there weren't any modern grooming tools back then. A fella would let his beard grow. I starting growing facial hair at 16...and if one lets it grow - uncut - for 13 years, one would have a pretty long beard. Men look older than they really are when they have facial hair. So can you at least entertain the possiblilty that these Pharisees (who did not initially know Yahshua) could only - at best - assume that this man was younger than fifty?

Like someone else has already pointed out, this is utter BS.
Obviously they didn't have Gillette's Mach 4 or anything like that, nevertheless they MUST've had some really efficient tools for shaving.

Joseph shaved himself before going into Pharaoh's prescence (Genesis 41:14). The hebrews even had various ritual laws that either demanded or prohibited shaving off their hair, depending on the situation (See Leviticus). Heck, they were fine carpenters (including Jesus), they HAD to have some fine tools!

If they chose not to shave, was because of some OTHER reasons, like their traditions, ritual laws, etc., NOT because they lacked tools!

But back to lame attempt of a point you were trying to make. If all (most) of them were heavily bearded, obviously they were used to SEEING BEARDED MEN. Of course they could tell apart difference in age even through those hairy faces.
"Evolutionists have proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."

Offline Doctor X

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2011, 04:23:41 PM »
Please produce these "other records and proofs". You talk about reliability? Start providing valid references to your own arguments yourself.



--J.D.

Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2011, 03:11:12 PM »
If you agree with this foundation, we can agree that any gospel record MUST sync with 3/2BCE as Yahshua’s birth year and (historically) with any events during 3/2BCE. If you don't agree, please share your argument against any specific point(s).

I think you've outlined one possible time line, based on dates which are far from rock solid, some of which are not substantiated at all. You do this by cherry-picking certain details of Luke to try to reach a date which can be reconciled with Matthew's. (But in fact, Matthew's account could have Jesus being born in 6 to 4 BC.)

Quote
You must let go of 6/7 CE as the only possibility when Quirinius was in Syria.

No, YOU must, because you are bent on reconciling the gospels, and Luke's gospel would clearly have Jesus being born ten years after Herod's death if you didn't find some way to explain away this messy detail. It's certainly POSSIBLE that Quirinius was in Syria in 2 or 3 BC, serving in some undocumented position as "acting governor." The problem is that there is no real evidence for this, the only reason one would insist on this is to make the gospels fit.

Not substantiated? No real evidence? Cherry-picking verses (that merely reference times or dates)? Bent on? No...I thought we were making an honest attempt (you and I) to determine whether OR not they fit from Roman history, but it seems as though you'd rather have them remain contradictory...so the rest of my reply - and this conversation - is rather moot.

It's also interesting that you did not agree to go through my points one-by-one, agreeing (or disagreeing) with a "yes" or "no", so I don't really know where you stand on ANY of them, just that you don't agree.

But again I ask...
If you'd like to discuss when Herod died (so to further syncronize), I'd be happy to provide more.

Since I have little interest in jumping through hoops to validate gospel details, let's take your date of 2/3 BC and move on to the second claim:
Wow, you do me a HUGE favor in this, so thank you...really! Even though proving historical accuracy requires attention to details &). Don't do me any favors. You either agree or don't.

Orosius was a Christian theologian writing in the late 4th and early 5th centuries. He's hardly an contemporary or objective source for 1st century Roman history. He's best known for works of apologetics such as "Against the Pagans" and his histories were intended to promote Christianity. If he were in fact trying to claim here that Augustus undertook a major census in 2 BC, it would stand in contrast to the recorded history of the time and I would suspect that his motive was to provide a historical justification of the gospel accounts.

In fact, we have historical evidence for censuses carried out under Augustus in 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14 AD. If you want to claim one took place in 2 or 3 BC, where is the evidence? Can you find any objective historians who conclude that such a census took place, based on actual historical evidence, and not on wishful thinking or an effort to apologize for the gospels?

Quote
External Evidence 5 - From Caesar Augustus’s very own letters (Res Gestae #35...brackets are mine; http://www.romansonline.com/Src_Frame.asp?DocID=aug_Bk01_01):
Quote
“When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 B.C.E.) [note that the date aligns perfectly with 3/2BCE], the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country [this is the title “Pater Patriae”], and voted [this is the published list of all men’s individual entry] that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple, in the Julian senate-house, and in the forum of Augustus under the chariot which had been placed there for me by a decision of the senate. When I wrote this I was seventy-six years old.“

I see no mention of a worldwide census there, no mention of a date when such a census would have been carried out, and no mention of people returning to their ancestral homes...

In any case, I don't see why a vote of the Senate and equestrian order in Rome would require a census of the entire empire! ("Pater patriae" was only one of Augustus' many honorific titles, and far from the most important, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pater_Patriae). Are you saying they did this for every vote? There would certainly be a lot of censuses then! Even if census rolls were consulted in 2 BC, how do you know they didn't simply use data from the census that had been completed just a few years earlier? That would seem more likely than conjuring up another census out of thin air.

In sum, it seems to me your attempt to reach a satisfactory date for Jesus' birth has you bending and inventing bits of history in order to fit them with details in the gospels. (one particular reading of the gospels, no less.) I think an objective historian would approach it the other way, and see where the gospels can fit into what is known from history.

First of all, the Orosius reference was simply to prove that there was a worldwide census for enrollment coinciding with when Augustus was named "Father of the Country". Orosius doesn't give a date (year), but a special event; a specific point in time when a worldwide OATH was taken. The point of verification was in the title...but it doesn't matter, right, because now "he's (magically) not an objective historian"?

Secondly your required evidence is found in Augustus' own letters, but wait...even though Augustus himself states that "(a) the senate and (b) Equestrian order and (c) Roman people ALL called [him] father of the country and [ALL] voted", you don't see this as a mention of a worldwide census or as proof of a date, even though Augustus also provides the YEAR this all took place (which was the whole point of this).

And to your point on not seeing "why" a census was needed to take a VOTE for THE ENTIRE ROMAN WORLD, I'm convinced you don't see it because you don't want to concede...which is fine, but Augustus tells us the year and the events of when HE received THIS specific title ("Father of the Country"). Finally, your point about 'using data from a previous census' is utterly ridiculous (sorry but it is). A VOTE...A VOTE (an optinion of the people) was taken to GIVE Augustus his new title. You can't use old data for a new vote. That doesn't even makes sense! A New tally is required for every NEW VOTE, just like in our society.

C'mon man?

But again (in case you missed it)...
If you'd like to discuss when Herod died (so to further syncronize), I'd be happy to provide more.


---


]...Please produce these "other records and proofs". You talk about reliability? Start providing valid references to your own arguments yourself.

???

I guess you missed ALL of my following posts up to this point.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 03:18:52 PM by Joshua »

Offline Doctor X

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2011, 05:14:33 PM »
You certainly missed posting these "other records and proofs."

--J.D.

Offline Petey

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #80 on: January 04, 2011, 09:04:17 AM »
Joshua, put down the apologist literature for a minute and just think about this whole idea.  You honestly believe that it would have been practical, or even possible, to have an empire-wide census in which every male had to travel to his ancestral home to register?  Not only would it serve no purpose (they didn't tax people based on their ancestral homes), but it would have been a logistical nightmare.  We're talking about an event which would literally shut down the entire empire for weeks as people traveled to and from their ancestral homes by horse, donkey, camel, and possibly on foot.  I'm sorry, but not even Nero was insane enough to attempt something so ridiculous.

You can try to make dates fit all you want (though they clearly don't), but the fact remains that this census simply never happened.
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Offline jedweber

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #81 on: January 04, 2011, 11:03:43 AM »
Joshua, sorry, I was trying to be rude or confrontational. It's just that you're trying to fix a solid date of 2/3 BC for Jesus' birth, based in part on additional references from Luke (and one from John), and I don't see how we can place exact confidence in those dates, especially when Luke is one of the sources whose veracity is in question here!

The fact is that this date doesn't seem to be accepted as standard even by Christian bible scholars and apologists, let alone historians, so they evidence cannot be as simple and clear-cut as you would like it to be.

Can you find any citation from ANY modern historian asserting that Augustus' appointment as Pater Patriae required an empire-wide vote preceded by a census, or that such a census took place around 2/3 BC? I just don't see any support for that whatsoever aside from a reference hundreds of years later by the theologian/apologist Orosius.

There's no evidence that honorary titles (of which Augustus had many) were conferred that way, and quite a bit of evidence that they were not! Augustus' letter DOES NOT say the proclamation was established by "one man, one vote" across the empire - that's your interpretation. I.e. saying that "the Roman people ALL called me Pater Patriae" would more likely be a figure of speech (like Kim Jong-Il saying that "the Korean People all call me Dear Leader"), or just an expression that the Senate was speaking for the entire Roman people with its vote. If you're going to insist it refers to a full census and popular vote, then please find some evidence for this, some modern historian who believes such a thing ever happened! The field of Roman history seems to be silent on this.

Offline Jim

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #82 on: January 04, 2011, 11:41:16 AM »
Jedweber, Petey, thanks for voluntarily taking it down a notch.  This discussion will be better at a lower temperature.

Joshua, keep in mind that here, on this forum, the Bible is never considered the last word on any historical subject, even on the subject of Jesus.  Historical evidence has to be provided from other sources that can be validated by others here, if you are to be taken seriously.

Thanks
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Offline Joshua

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2011, 07:43:34 PM »
Jedweber, Petey, thanks for voluntarily taking it down a notch.  This discussion will be better at a lower temperature.

Joshua, keep in mind that here, on this forum, the Bible is never considered the last word on any historical subject, even on the subject of Jesus.  Historical evidence has to be provided from other sources that can be validated by others here, if you are to be taken seriously.

Thanks


Sorry. I thought I did...

-----To All-----

...in fact, I thought I first proved that there were many errors in the bible's English translated text (how the greek word for "census" did not mean taxes but enrollment) and that the bible text was not reliable as it currently stood, which is why it was my "first word" on the historical subject of Yahshua's birth...

...being followed by (what I thought) were more third-party references and links than just Wikipedia (citing Mommsen, Josephus, Orosius, Augustus, Tertullian, Justin Martin, Cambridge Ancient History...even a site that gives the accurate Greek definitions of the word in question), all placed directly under the quoted text (or was italicized) to be validated on one's own, with Augustus as the "last word".

Click on the quote below to see my December 24, 2010 post with ALL of these references

If this isn't what you guys mean please educate me on what you're looking for, otherwise...oh well...
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 07:45:42 PM by Joshua »

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2011, 08:52:35 PM »
When,Joshua,the bible tells you to kill certian people (people who work the sabbath an an ex.) it is not to be taken literally is it? how many if you take the Bible literally, have you killed? your GOD commands it of you!

 What do you take as literal and what is fiction?
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Offline Doctor X

Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #85 on: January 07, 2011, 07:09:32 AM »
...in fact, I thought I first proved that . . . (how the greek word for "census" did not mean taxes but enrollment)

Non sequitur since the event never happened as described and demonstrated to you.

Quote
If this isn't what you guys mean please educate me on what you're looking for, otherwise...oh well...

You are basically trying to prove that the Earth is flat.  The evidence for such would have to be extraordinary.  Since the event never happened, and as dated is irreconcilable with the other birth narrative, we are not surprised with your failure.

--J.D.

Offline jedweber

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Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2011, 10:54:49 AM »
...being followed by (what I thought) were more third-party references and links than just Wikipedia (citing Mommsen, Josephus, Orosius, Augustus, Tertullian, Justin Martin, Cambridge Ancient History...even a site that gives the accurate Greek definitions of the word in question), all placed directly under the quoted text (or was italicized) to be validated on one's own, with Augustus as the "last word".

Yes, you strung together references to oaths of the Senate, honorific titles given to Augustus, etc. But none of those references say what you are claiming they say - that an empire-wide census was taken in 2/3 B.C!  If there was ANY evidence for such a census, surely some historians today would be mentioning it. Yet the people who study Roman history for a living are strangely silent on this alleged event, while talking about many other censuses for which there is actual evidence.