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Main Discussion Zone => Biblical Contradictions => Topic started by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 06:27:53 PM

Title: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 06:27:53 PM
I know you all know that there are tons of contradictions one can find in the Bible.
But I'm particularly curious about what theists have to say about this one (SmartNoodles, this one is for you too :)).
So, here it is:

Was Jesus born before 4 BCE, as it can be deduced from Matthew 2:1, or was Jesus born after 6 CE, as Luke suggests in Luke 2:1??

Here are the quotes:

Matthew 2:1
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem..."

You just need to go find in history when did King Herod live. Although I'm sure you can find it elsewhere, Wikipedia is a very reliable source, so if you look it up, you can find that Herod the Great died in 4 BCE (although other sources point to 1 BCE, but this shouldn't make a big difference since Jesus was born when Herod was still alive, which means his birth happened before 4 BCE). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great


Luke 2:1-2
"1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)"


And we all know that this Census was the reason for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. So, let's apply the same criteria here and go to history to figure out when this Census happened. And Luke clearly gives hints about this by mentioning that this happened "when Cyrenius was governor of Syria". So, let's go to Wikipedia one more time, and we can find that this census happened in the year 6 or 7 CE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius


So, clearly these two gospels are contradicting each other.
Theists, SmartNoodles, what are your answers to this?

Edit: typo
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 06:32:57 PM
I am waiting impatiently for the replies from the theists. The NT didn't start off on the right foot if they wanted to keep the books consistent.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jetson on April 20, 2010, 07:00:12 PM
Don't hold your breath.  Excuses forthcoming...wait for it...wait for it...
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 07:05:48 PM
It's true. I have found the Christian "answer" and it's nothing but excuses. This one is interesting because there is history to back up the circumstances surrounding his supposed birth (not to back up his birth, but to back up both Herod's death in 4BCE, and the census in 6CE.) And well, you can only be born once. Maybe this is what they mean by being 'born again'. Jesus was born again.  :shrug IDK.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: JesusHChrist on April 20, 2010, 07:08:54 PM
Possible explanations:

It's a metaphor!
You need to read the original language!
You're taking it out of context!
Pray to the Holy Ghosty for Ghost-guidance!
The devil has blinded you to the Truth!
Oh, look! A butterfly!
At least I'm goin' to heaven, you dirty heathen.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 08:21:59 PM
Possible explanations:

It's a metaphor!
You need to read the original language!
You're taking it out of context!
Pray to the Holy Ghosty for Ghost-guidance!
The devil has blinded you to the Truth!
Oh, look! A butterfly!
At least I'm goin' to heaven, you dirty heathen.


I'm a little more distracted by cookies than butterflies, nice try though.

The answer is...one of them is wrong. As to which one, I have no clue.
The wiki artcle presents that Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of jesus...sounds plausible to me, and fits in with my first assertion that either Luke or Mark is wrong on their dates.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 08:38:24 PM
Wait, what? The bible is wrong?!?  I'll buy that.
:)


The answer is...one of them is wrong. As to which one, I have no clue.
The wiki artcle presents that Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of jesus...sounds plausible to me, and fits in with my first assertion that either Luke or Mark is wrong on their dates.

If Luke wasn''t concerned with historical accuracy then why is he concerned with the "accuracy" of Jesus' birth? Why write about it at all?!?  Why did he include the census in the book? Clearly someone is wrong, if Jesus was born at all.

Also, if the author of Luke wasn't concerned with the accuracy, why did he write this in the first chapter;

1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

 2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

 3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,


I think he'd take every measure to make sure there is no doubt the book of Luke is accurate, that includes Jesus's birth.



Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 08:54:03 PM
Wait, what? The bible is wrong?!?  I'll buy that.
:)


The answer is...one of them is wrong. As to which one, I have no clue.
The wiki artcle presents that Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of jesus...sounds plausible to me, and fits in with my first assertion that either Luke or Mark is wrong on their dates.

If Luke wasn''t concerned with historical accuracy then why is he concerned with the "accuracy" of Jesus' birth? Why write about it at all?!?  Why did he include the census in the book? Clearly someone is wrong, if Jesus was born at all.



So you've never told or read a fairy tale? Aesop's Fables? None of that? Not that I'm saying that the bible is a fairy tale (though it does contain some) or that jesus never existed, my only contention is that the bible included a book written by someone more concerned with other aspects of jesus than the date of his birth. Think of it like the stories we hear about Guns N' Roses and all of their backstage debauchery, some of it seems a little far fetched to believe, but that doesn't mean that it never happened or that the band never existed.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 09:02:58 PM
\ my only contention is that the bible included a book written by someone more concerned with other aspects of jesus than the date of his birth.

And my (and the OP's contention) is that that book includes something that happened historically[1]. Two somethings actually: Heroid's death and the census by the Romans which happened ten year apart. Did you know that Mark and John don't include the birth of Jesus, but discuss his other aspects?!? Does that add to your contention? I still don't understand why Luke wrote about it at all?!?  :shrug
 1. I use historically losely
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 09:20:09 PM
\ my only contention is that the bible included a book written by someone more concerned with other aspects of jesus than the date of his birth.

And my (and the OP's contention) is that that book includes something that happened historically[1]. Two somethings actually: Heroid's death and the census by the Romans which happened ten year apart. Did you know that Mark and John don't include the birth of Jesus, but discuss his other aspects?!? Does that add to your contention? I still don't understand why Luke wrote about it at all?!?  :shrug
 1. I use historically losely

sounds like we're in agreement. Either Luke or Matthew is wrong about their times in which Jesus was born. I don't know what compelled Luke to write about it. Mark and John don't do anything for my contention since I was only referring to Luke.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jetson on April 20, 2010, 09:25:51 PM
Actually, The Bible is much closer to a fairy tale than one might think.  Unless something truly miraculous is discovered, it is fairly safe to say that large chunks of stories in The Bible are NOT backed up by modern archaeology and Biblical scholars (even theologians.)

It's truly time to abandon any hope of connecting Biblical bullshit to real life, as there are far too many time related discrepancies, historical failures, unknown characters, and bizarre mythology to consider any of it as useful.  It's like using greek mythology as an anchor to true history and knowledge!  Too funny...
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 09:39:40 PM


sounds like we're in agreement. Either Luke or Matthew is wrong about their times in which Jesus was born. I

I am so confused right now. From reading the two narrative accounts it will lead to confusion (as shown) And even god supposedly said this;

1 Corinthians 14:33 (King James Version)
 33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints

And I also don;t believe any scripture should be wrong, if it were from God. That's based on this passage;

2 Timothy 3:15-17 (King James Version)


 15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Why would the bible include a wrong scripture, if all scripture is inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine... [well, you read it]
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 09:44:56 PM
Actually, The Bible is much closer to a fairy tale than one might think.  Unless something truly miraculous is discovered, it is fairly safe to say that large chunks of stories in The Bible are NOT backed up by modern archaeology and Biblical scholars (even theologians.)

It's truly time to abandon any hope of connecting Biblical bullshit to real life, as there are far too many time related discrepancies, historical failures, unknown characters, and bizarre mythology to consider any of it as useful.  It's like using greek mythology as an anchor to true history and knowledge!  Too funny...

For the longest time many scholars believed that Troy never existed and was the stuff of fairy tales...until we found it. But there were those who believed it existed before rediscovering it, did that make them wrong that whole time?

I don't view the bible as being the literal word of god as is if god possesed a human's body and wrote the scripture's that way. I believe that some of the bible is clearly inspired by god but written by man and I believe that man is fallable and therefore the bible is fallable. I don't believe the bible should be taken literally especially because there is no emperical evidence. Hell, I'll be the first person to admit that my beliefs are not based on emperical evidence but rather on personal experience. I can't convey that to anyone and because of that I could never expect to convert anyone so I don't try. Ultimately I use the bible as a guideline for moral behaviour.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: JesusHChrist on April 20, 2010, 09:49:32 PM
Ultimately I use the bible as a guideline for moral behaviour.

Uh oh.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 09:50:51 PM
The answer is...one of them is wrong. As to which one, I have no clue.
The wiki artcle presents that Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of jesus...sounds plausible to me, and fits in with my first assertion that either Luke or Mark is wrong on their dates.

Bingo! Exactly my point (and rather obvious, for that matter).
The thing is that you guys hold the Bible as inerrant, perfect, inspired, but with this little example you can easily disprove all those qualifications you attribute to the Bible. And this is NOT the only issue or contradiction you can find in the Bible (I will be posting other interesting ones soon. But don't wait for me, just look at the other ones that have been posted on different threads already).
If ANY of the Bible is erroneous (as I've clearly demonstrated), how can you tell what's correct and what's erroneous, ANYWHERE in the Bible? This should NOT be the situation for a book that is supposed to be GOD's WORD, because that was about the only special left as an excuse for theists to hold the Bible in such a high position!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 09:56:29 PM
I don't view the bible as being the literal word of god as is if god possessed a human's body and wrote the scripture's that way. I believe that some of the bible is clearly inspired by god but written by man and I believe that man is fallable and therefore the bible is fallable. I don't believe the bible should be taken literally especially because there is no emperical evidence.

In the light of what you just said, I can't believe that you don't see the HUGE problem with that.
The Bible is full of errors, as any OTHER book can be. Then what's so special about it?
You say that God inspired it... what god? The god the Bible talks about? Why would you believe what the Bible says if you yourself admit is full of inaccuracies??
Can you see the fallacious CIRCLE?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Emily on April 20, 2010, 09:58:57 PM
y. I believe that some of the bible is clearly inspired by god but written by man and I believe that man is fallable and therefore the bible is fallable.
Some books of the bible do state they were inspired by god.

Quote
I don't believe the bible should be taken literally especially because there is no emperical evidence.

Then why believe it?

Quote
Hell, I'll be the first person to admit that my beliefs are not based on emperical evidence but rather on personal experience.

And personal experience means nothing unless there is empirical evidence to support the position.

Quote
Ultimately I use the bible as a guideline for moral behaviour.

What moral behavior do you take from the bible?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 11:03:39 PM
I don't view the bible as being the literal word of god as is if god possessed a human's body and wrote the scripture's that way. I believe that some of the bible is clearly inspired by god but written by man and I believe that man is fallable and therefore the bible is fallable. I don't believe the bible should be taken literally especially because there is no emperical evidence.

In the light of what you just said, I can't believe that you don't see the HUGE problem with that.
The Bible is full of errors, as any OTHER book can be. Then what's so special about it?
You say that God inspired it... what god? The god the Bible talks about? Why would you believe what the Bible says if you yourself admit is full of inaccuracies??
Can you see the fallacious CIRCLE?
I do see the huge problem with that I do I see the fallacious circle. Through personal experience I believe that the god mentioned in the bible is real.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 11:17:31 PM
Quote
Then why believe it?

I've talked to god.

Quote
And personal experience means nothing unless there is empirical evidence to support the position.

I pretty much agree, but there are several things from the human experience which lack emperical evidence, namely the belief in love, but people will still believe in it.

Quote
What moral behavior do you take from the bible?

Being humble (i try at least), confidence that I can accomplish anything, general kindness towards others, don't have sex with animals...all basic stuff explained in the bible. I also generally take anything that aligns with the witches rede as well. I believe these (amongst others) to be fairly universal.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 11:22:31 PM
I do see the huge problem with that I do I see the fallacious circle. Through personal experience I believe that the god mentioned in the bible is real.

Ahhhh... OK. So your belief in god is exclusively based on your personal experience.
So, you DO admit that the Bible is a rather common book, nothing special about it, so we can discard it as evidence for god, coming from your point of view, right?

To be honest this is truly original, as I don't remember anything like this before. Tell us more about this experience you have with god. What's in it that tells you that God is real?
By the way, many of us claimed to have this special experience with god in the past, when we were Christians. That's why I wonder if there's more to it... :)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 20, 2010, 11:33:32 PM
I've talked to god.

YOU talked to God? All Christians claim to do this through prayer and stuff, nothing to it.
But, has God talked back to you, as in physically audible? THIS would really be something! Please share it with us! :)


Quote
I pretty much agree, but there are several things from the human experience which lack emperical evidence, namely the belief in love, but people will still believe in it.

A rather loose comparison, as love is not a person (as you claim God is).


Quote
Being humble (i try at least), confidence that I can accomplish anything, general kindness towards others, don't have sex with animals...all basic stuff explained in the bible.

You DO realize that all these 'moral qualities' are not original from the Bible, right? You can forget about the Bible and still be able to find them in other philosophies.


Quote
I also generally take anything that aligns with the witches rede as well. I believe these (amongst others) to be fairly universal.

A Wiccan too???
Now I'm really confused!!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 20, 2010, 11:56:47 PM
1. Shouldn't everyone's belief in god be based on their personal experiences? I see no reason for anyone to use my experience with god (as it is entirely unique and only pertains to me), I therefore would not be able to use someone else's experience with god as justification for his existence.
2. I've conversed with god. I can't say it was physically audible as I was the only one around and I didn't exactly take a recorder to me lol. I talked to him/her, he/she talked back. I guess I read "talked to" as conversed with as opposed to "talked at." I can talk at a wall, I can't talk to. But I'll try to stick with conversed to avoid confusion.
3. I didn't think I claimed god to be a person, if I did then I retract those statements. God to me is not a person.
4. Yes, pretty much all of my moral qualities that I take are found in multiple religions, most of my moral qualities are universal. The ONLY reason that I believe in the bible or the christian god (my version of it at least) is because of my conversations with god. My morals have not changed much from days as a wiccan (I am a former wiccan, I chose wicca as a creed because the witches' rede made the most sense). I believe that most christian morality is generally universal.

5. I do personally see the bible as a special book...but not much more special than my other favorite book, Gene Simmons' Sex, Money and KISS
6. At no point in time can a book simply be read to use as justification of anything. Dinosaurs would not exist without fossils, I could read stories from ancient greece about terrifiying thunder lizards, but at no point could I accept that as being proof of their existence. Now if i ran into one and was the only one I knew to do so, that would be different. But without experiencing something, and the only record being written in books, this lack of evidence leads no other choice than to concede that something doesn't exist. Similar to Atlantis.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Petey on April 21, 2010, 07:33:07 AM
Either Luke or Matthew is wrong about their times in which Jesus was born. I don't know what compelled Luke to write about it. Mark and John don't do anything for my contention since I was only referring to Luke.

Or they were both wrong.

You mentioned earlier that "Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of Jesus".  This does not bode well for supporting the idea that either account is correct.  The author of Luke is typically regarded as the most "historian-like" of all the gospel authors.  Certainly much more so than the author of Matthew, who constantly misquotes and misinterprets old testament writings in order to make them "prophetically" fit his Jesus character.  So if one argues that the account in Luke was not historically accurate, then the odds are pretty good that this holds for both accounts.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: kardula on April 21, 2010, 08:49:06 AM
Either Luke or Matthew is wrong about their times in which Jesus was born. I don't know what compelled Luke to write about it. Mark and John don't do anything for my contention since I was only referring to Luke.

Or they were both wrong.

You mentioned earlier that "Luke wasn't really concerned with historical accuracy as much as he was a narrative of the birth of Jesus".  This does not bode well for supporting the idea that either account is correct.  The author of Luke is typically regarded as the most "historian-like" of all the gospel authors.  Certainly much more so than the author of Matthew, who constantly misquotes and misinterprets old testament writings in order to make them "prophetically" fit his Jesus character.  So if one argues that the account in Luke was not historically accurate, then the odds are pretty good that this holds for both accounts.

So because the one that's generally regarded as the history oriented one is also generally regarded as being wrong by theologians in regards to the date of jesus' birth we must therefore deduce that both of them are wrong? I agree that it's possible neither one of them is correct, but I doubt the probability that both are wrong based on your assertion.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Gimpy on April 21, 2010, 08:53:45 AM
Clearly kardula is having you on.

Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on April 21, 2010, 09:17:37 AM
1. Shouldn't everyone's belief in god be based on their personal experiences? I see no reason for anyone to use my experience with god (as it is entirely unique and only pertains to me), I therefore would not be able to use someone else's experience with god as justification for his existence.
I suppose if everyone has their very own god.


Quote
2. I've conversed with god. I can't say it was physically audible as I was the only one around and I didn't exactly take a recorder to me lol. I talked to him/her, he/she talked back. I guess I read "talked to" as conversed with as opposed to "talked at." I can talk at a wall, I can't talk to. But I'll try to stick with conversed to avoid confusion.

as has been claimed by every theists who has ever existed.  They have "special" conversations with their god.
Quote
3. I didn't think I claimed god to be a person, if I did then I retract those statements. God to me is not a person.
but god is an entity correct?  The one in the Bible or have you decided that you know better?
Quote
4. Yes, pretty much all of my moral qualities that I take are found in multiple religions, most of my moral qualities are universal. The ONLY reason that I believe in the bible or the christian god (my version of it at least) is because of my conversations with god. My morals have not changed much from days as a wiccan (I am a former wiccan, I chose wicca as a creed because the witches' rede made the most sense). I believe that most christian morality is generally universal.
Which makes it not "Christian" morality at all.  I suppose it does make one feel important to be one of those that god deigns to talk with. 
Quote
5. I do personally see the bible as a special book...but not much more special than my other favorite book, Gene Simmons' Sex, Money and KISS
ah, one of those, eh?  You pick and choose what you want to believe in and create god in your image.
[/quote]6. At no point in time can a book simply be read to use as justification of anything. Dinosaurs would not exist without fossils, I could read stories from ancient greece about terrifiying thunder lizards, but at no point could I accept that as being proof of their existence. Now if i ran into one and was the only one I knew to do so, that would be different. But without experiencing something, and the only record being written in books, this lack of evidence leads no other choice than to concede that something doesn't exist. Similar to Atlantis.
[/quote]
sure they would.  We just wouldn't know about them.  And just like having one book or one version of one person's god, there is little reason to believe any of the nonsense theists claim.  You seem to acknoweldge that the bible can be wrong.  And it only seems that you have your own magic decoder ring to tell you adn only you waht is "right" in it.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Petey on April 21, 2010, 09:34:21 AM
So because the one that's generally regarded as the history oriented one is also generally regarded as being wrong by theologians in regards to the date of jesus' birth we must therefore deduce that both of them are wrong? I agree that it's possible neither one of them is correct, but I doubt the probability that both are wrong based on your assertion.

I'm not asserting that we must deduce that they are both wrong.  I'm simply saying that it's a possibility that wasn't discussed previously, and in my opinion is the most likely scenario.

This is not based solely on the "historicity" of Luke vs. Matthew.  I just focused on that point since it was the original topic of the thread.  It is also based on multiple inaccuracies, contradictions, self-contradictions, and blatant lies throughout all of the gospels, the dates these works were written, and the complete lack of outside corroborating writings or evidence.  I simply see no reason to trust these authors any more than other authors of mythology.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on April 21, 2010, 10:01:41 AM
Or they were both wrong.

I think that's the most likely conclusion. The birth narratives were probably legendary elements that arose later from a need to fill in Jesus' backstory and give him a miraculous pedigree. That's supported by the fact that the earliest sources (such as Paul and Mark) show no knowledge of these stories whatsoever.

This kind of contradiction isn't really a problem for Christians who aren't literalists, they accept that the gospels contain embellishments and legendary elements. It's a problem for fundies, but if it bothers them, they'll probably just go and find some apologetic that makes excuses, and consider the case closed.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: SmartNoodles on April 21, 2010, 07:25:26 PM
Luke 2:1-2
"1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)"


Let me say up front that I am not a Greek language scholar and this verse was originally written in that language.  According to some Greek scholars however, a very strong case can be made that the verse should have been rendered:

2 (This taxing became most prominent when Quirinius was governing Syria.)

The reason it makes sense, having been added in parenthesis the way it was, is that this AD 6 event was very onerous to the Jews and became a large factor leading to the war that occurred years later.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on April 21, 2010, 08:15:40 PM
Let me say up front that I am not a Greek language scholar and this verse was originally written in that language.  According to some Greek scholars however, a very strong case can be made that the verse should have been rendered:

2 (This taxing became most prominent when Quirinius was governing Syria.)

The reason it makes sense, having been added in parenthesis the way it was, is that this AD 6 event was very onerous to the Jews and became a large factor leading to the war that occurred years later.

Thanks SN, for taking the time to respond. But it would be really great if you could share with us the links or references in which you are basing this explanation.
Thanks!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: alihaymeg on April 21, 2010, 08:53:35 PM
Quote
Let me say up front that I am not a Greek language scholar and this verse was originally written in that language.  According to some Greek scholars however, a very strong case can be made that the verse should have been rendered:

I am quite familiar with Greek, and you are correct that the rendering could have been translated that way. It wasn't though. Never in Greek, Latin, German, English.........well, you get the picture. It is a stretch to say that it should have been. Don't get me wrong, the Bible is replete with mistranslated passages and later additions that were not in the earliest and best manuscripts.

You can disappoint the "snake handlers" by pointing out that Mark 16:9-18 are missing from the earliest and best manuscripts. Sorry guys!

You can shoot down the Catholics by showing that the earliest and best manuscripts do not contain  1 John 5:7, otherwise known as the "Comma Johanneum" ("For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.") This is an obvious later edition and has been proven to be so.

The reason for the incredibly creative ways in which the authors place the family in Bethlehem for the birth even though they lived in Nazareth is simple. They both wanted to make it appear that an OT prophecy concerning the Messiah could be connected with Jesus. They both do it in very different ways though, and both stories cannot be relegated with one another. It is impossible for them to have been where they say they were and when. Mathew and Luke both used Mark (the oldest) as a source among other sources in common. Mark is not concerned with the birth narrative because it had not been developed yet. It wasn’t part of his message or beliefs.
 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Wootah on April 24, 2010, 11:37:09 AM
At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jetson on April 24, 2010, 04:26:05 PM
At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug

It's not, it's just a bright light on the lies Christians want the whole world to believe, in order to sustain their fantasy about an after-life.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on April 26, 2010, 10:09:30 AM
At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug
what else in the bible could be simply wrong then if this is?  This is supposedly some great book of "truths".  How do you tell which to believe in?  Your magic decoder ring that allows you to accept whatever you personally like?  That seems to be about it.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on April 26, 2010, 10:51:35 AM
At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug
what else in the bible could be simply wrong then if this is?  This is supposedly some great book of "truths".  How do you tell which to believe in?  Your magic decoder ring that allows you to accept whatever you personally like?  That seems to be about it.


That just seems like the "all or nothing" argument of a fundie coming from an atheist perspective. But many Christians don't approach the Bible that way in the first place - they don't assume that it's "truth" should necessarily extend to historical details in a literal way. This kind of argument won't touch them, unless you could show that the basic core message of salvation through Christ is a lie.


Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on April 26, 2010, 11:19:21 AM
That just seems like the "all or nothing" argument of a fundie coming from an atheist perspective. But many Christians don't approach the Bible that way in the first place - they don't assume that it's "truth" should necessarily extend to historical details in a literal way. This kind of argument won't touch them, unless you could show that the basic core message of salvation through Christ is a lie.

I don't agree but I can see how you see that.  If the book is coming from God in anyway shape or form, then at least some of it supposedly is what God "meant".  If one of the parts is suspect, that throws all of it in question since even liberal Christians claim a divine origin for it.  Let's take the basic core of salvation through Christ.  If historical parts aren't correct, what evidence is there to believe that Christ existed? If he didnt' exist, then he can't be sacrificed and thus there is no salvation.  Salvation doesn't come from just belief, there are actual events that must occur, a long line of them in fact.   
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: JesusHChrist on April 26, 2010, 01:27:02 PM
If one of the parts is suspect, that throws all of it in question since even liberal Christians claim a divine origin for it.  Let's take the basic core of salvation through Christ.  If historical parts aren't correct, what evidence is there to believe that Christ existed?

Well, except THAT bit. That bit is certainly divinely inspired.  &)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: CutePuppy on May 05, 2010, 10:51:16 AM
At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug

I dunno, since Christianity is about Christ, seeing his supposed birth date contradict sounds like a significant issue to me.

But I don't think this is a contradiction at all. We're forgetting that we're talking about:
--- The one and only, magnificent Jeeee "ReBorn" Suuuus! ---

The man is known for being reborn for crying out loud. Why couldn't he have been born, then magically re-enter Mary to be (re)born again? Jesus is the son of God. He can do anything.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Woland on May 09, 2010, 12:52:22 AM
Hi Wootah

At worst it just doesn't seem like a game breaking contradiction to me. :shrug

I thought that you were one of those whose faith would be shattered if it was demonstrated to you that the Bible had errors and contradictions in it, because obviously this implies that it's unlikely an omnimax deity had anything to do with it (even if modern religionists deal with this in different ways).

Do you or do you not hold the Bible to be the inerrant word of God?

If you do, should it be demonstrated to you that this (or anything else really) is a real contradiction and not a mistranslation or whatnot (and I must say that although I am not a language scholar, there are contradictions in the Bible that are undeniable), would you admit that at least some of the rest of the Bible could be flawed and made-up?

If you are not afraid of the implications of this potential contradiction proving to be true, why do you blindly believe that Noah's Ark and all that nonsense is historically factual and recent, as Adam and Eve etc without any evidence at all whatsoever when all the mountains of evidence at hand consistently point towards those events being false and made-up (Young Earth etc.) and given most Christians aren't Young-Earthers and have no problem with the age of the Earth and making up "symbolics" excuses to "harmonize" reality with the Bible? I don't mean to side-track the conversation, so if you just want to answer this question properly I'll leave it at that.

Woland
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on May 12, 2010, 11:33:12 AM
I'm curious if Wootah will respond.  We've had many Christians on here making all sorts of claims and promises and they nearly all renege on them.  Promises of deconversion if a contradiction is found, promises of "evidence" of their claims of miracles.  Considering the number of these instances, I find that Christians are often some of the most dishonest people I have ever met and it does seem that the religion causes this. 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on September 27, 2010, 09:20:21 PM
A nice explanation of the difficulties bible-inerrant xians have to deal with on this Quirinius-Jesus birth matter.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmRd6OKwcR4[/youtube]

And the second part:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMTLaCIakrw[/youtube]

Enjoy!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Snagglefritz on November 09, 2010, 08:38:48 AM
No matter what bible text a Christian may use to calculate the year of Christ's birth, you can instantly find three other biblical texts that contradict it:

Matthew (2:1) says Jesus was born while Herod was King of Judea and, since Herod ruled from 37BC to 4BC, it is clear that the Nativity occurred during this period. The experts who accept Matthew's story have guessed that perhaps Jesus was born in 6BC.

In Luke (2:2), however, we are told that Jesus was born at the time of the census when Quirinius was Governor of Syria - and the historical record shows that this occurred in 6AD.

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.

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.


[I have posted this same item in several places during the last couple of years - just letting you know in case you come across it and wonder what is going on.]
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 16, 2010, 07:23:56 PM
I know you all know that there are tons of contradictions one can find in the Bible.
But I'm particularly curious about what theists have to say about this one (SmartNoodles, this one is for you too :)).
So, here it is:

Was Jesus born before 4 BCE, as it can be deduced from Matthew 2:1, or was Jesus born after 6 CE, as Luke suggests in Luke 2:1??

Here are the quotes:

Matthew 2:1
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem..."

You just need to go find in history when did King Herod live. Although I'm sure you can find it elsewhere, Wikipedia is a very reliable source, so if you look it up, you can find that Herod the Great died in 4 BCE (although other sources point to 1 BCE, but this shouldn't make a big difference since Jesus was born when Herod was still alive, which means his birth happened before 4 BCE). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great)


Luke 2:1-2
"1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)"


And we all know that this Census was the reason for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. So, let's apply the same criteria here and go to history to figure out when this Census happened. And Luke clearly gives hints about this by mentioning that this happened "when Cyrenius was governor of Syria". So, let's go to Wikipedia one more time, and we can find that this census happened in the year 6 or 7 CE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius)


So, clearly these two gospels are contradicting each other.
Theists, SmartNoodles, what are your answers to this?

Edit: typo

Wikipedia!!!??? Not too reliable source, nontheless...

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.

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).
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 16, 2010, 07:44:41 PM
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?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: naemhni on December 16, 2010, 07:53:33 PM
You must remember that there weren't any modern grooming tools back then. A fella would let his beard grow.

Excuse me, but this is beyond crap.  The first razors were invented during the time when copper tools were first developed, which was about five thousand years ago.  During Jesus' time, and for quite some time before that, in fact, shaving was common.

Try again.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Historicity on December 16, 2010, 08:26:17 PM
Excuse me, but this is beyond crap.  The first razors were invented during the time when copper tools were first developed, which was about five thousand years ago.  During Jesus' time, and for quite some time before that, in fact, shaving was common.
Right.

My mother passed on a quote 3rd hand from one of her history professors from some Roman poet who said his barber had cut him so often that he looked like an old gladiator.

Greeks and Jews had beards.  Romans were clean shaven.  An exception among the Greeks was Alexander, whom you can see on any of his coins, was clean shaven.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Historicity on December 16, 2010, 08:41:28 PM
Ultimately I use the bible as a guideline for moral behaviour.

Uh oh.
What's wrong with that.  Just this week I was wondering if I should kill a Philistine with the edge of a bronze sword.  I read the Bible and the answer was yes.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: naemhni on December 16, 2010, 08:47:40 PM
Ultimately I use the bible as a guideline for moral behaviour.

Uh oh.
What's wrong with that.  Just this week I was wondering if I should kill a Philistine with the edge of a bronze sword.  I read the Bible and the answer was yes.

I'm not seeing a problem here, either.  Several months ago, I met a woman who was gorgeous and smart and funny and all that, and I decided I wanted to marry her.  She turned down all my advances, so I raped her and paid a fine to her father, and she became my wife anyway.  What a bargain!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 16, 2010, 08:49:12 PM
You must remember that there weren't any (1) 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?

We're talking about Hebrews right? Not Greeks or Romans...Hebrews; ancestors of jewish orthodoxy.

Hebrews. Those who were under the thumb of Rome, who didn't assimilate (though they were allowed to continue in their own culture).

You make the mistake of mixing Hebrew culture and Roman (& greek). Hebrew men (a) allowed their beards to grow [out of culture/belief] and (b) didn't get the benefits of modern shaving tools; they would NOT assimilate into Rome.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: naemhni on December 16, 2010, 08:58:23 PM
You make the mistake of mixing Hebrew culture and Roman (& greek). Hebrew men (a) allowed their beards to grow [out of culture/belief] and (b) didn't get the benefits of modern shaving tools; they would NOT assimilate into Rome.

Are you seriously trying to say that shaving, which was invented somewhere around the year 3,000 BCE, was unknown to the Jews because the Greek and Roman civilizations, which didn't even exist until millennia after shaving was invented, prevented them from knowing about it?  In the immortal words of Zaphod Beeblebrox, "Put your analyst on danger money, baby."

The things you're saying here are so mind-bogglingly stupid that I'm beginning to wonder whether you really believe them, or whether you're trolling.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 16, 2010, 09:14:57 PM
You make the mistake of mixing Hebrew culture and Roman (& greek). Hebrew men (a) allowed their beards to grow [out of culture/belief] and (b) didn't get the benefits of modern shaving tools; they would NOT assimilate into Rome.

Are you seriously trying to say that shaving, which was invented somewhere around the year 3,000 BCE, was unknown to the Jews because the Greek and Roman civilizations, which didn't even exist until millennia after shaving was invented, prevented them from knowing about it?  In the immortal words of Zaphod Beeblebrox, "Put your analyst on danger money, baby."

The things you're saying here are so mind-bogglingly stupid that I'm beginning to wonder whether you really believe them, or whether you're trolling.

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.

In a way (and this is my personal assumption), a man's beard almost signifies "glory" (being a man), in that culture. At least it seems that way to me from all the research.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Historicity on December 16, 2010, 09:18:57 PM

Wikipedia!!!??? Not too reliable source, nontheless...

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.

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).

This is a classic example of the pseudointellectual's old friend:  The Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam.  It works this way.

Your source of information is in some way defective.
I give no source at all for my information.
Therefore my information must be true.

You state speculations as "proofs" and your opinions as facts.  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. 

I checked some websites.  Some said that it had to be 10 CE because Dio Cassius said there was an eclipse before it.  But Dio Cassius was writing around 200 CE and there were earlier historians.  Roman historians gave dates of events by stating who were the consuls for that year.  We have a complete list of the consuls.  1st century historians were contemporary with the era.  Dio Cassius mistake about an eclipse is not proof.

You made the absurd statement that razors did not exist.  I pointed out that anyone can think of ancient coins with clean shaven men.  When that was proven false you did not admit your error but pretended you had not said it.

You claim detailed knowledge which no one else has and say if we beg you, you'll be kind enough to tell us where you got it.

You don't impress me.  I don't think you know much about this.  You sound phony.


Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 16, 2010, 09:32:03 PM

Wikipedia!!!??? Not too reliable source, nontheless...

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.

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).

This is a classic example of the pseudointellectual's old friend:  The Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam.  It works this way.

Your source of information is in some way defective.
I give no source at all for my information.
Therefore my information must be true.

You state speculations as "proofs" and your opinions as facts.  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. 

I checked some websites.  Some said that it had to be 10 CE because Dio Cassius said there was an eclipse before it.  But Dio Cassius was writing around 200 CE and there were earlier historians.  Roman historians gave dates of events by stating who were the consuls for that year.  We have a complete list of the consuls.  1st century historians were contemporary with the era.  Dio Cassius mistake about an eclipse is not proof.

You made the absurd statement that razors did not exist.  I pointed out that anyone can think of ancient coins with clean shaven men.  When that was proven false you did not admit your error but pretended you had not said it.

You claim detailed knowledge which no one else has and say if we beg you, you'll be kind enough to tell us where you got it.

You don't impress me.  I don't think you know much about this.  You sound phony.

Did you know that ANYONE can edit wikipedia's entries? Isn't Wikipedia defective?

And then  you quote "some websites", doing exactly the same thing I did.

Then I said "modern" shaving tools didn't exist (and they didn't)...I didn't say "saving tools didn't exist". Please be accurate and read exactly what I wrote.

...but if I sound phony that's fine.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Historicity on December 16, 2010, 09:43:46 PM
@OP:  Tertullian, one of the early church fathers said that Jesus was born when Saturninus was in charge of the area.  He said it in the essay, Against Marcion:

http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf03/anf03-31.htm#19_10 (http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf03/anf03-31.htm#19_10)
Quote
But there is historical proof  that at this very time a census had been taken in Judaea by Sentius Saturninus, which might have satisfied their inquiry respecting the family and descent of Christ.

Tertullian lived about 200 AD.  Tertullian's writing sounds like a Roman lawyer.  Some have interpreted the quote above to mean he had access to records now destroyed. Of course he could have been misinformed or just guessing.

Here's a site that cites its evidence:

http://www.christianthinktank.com/quirinius.html (http://www.christianthinktank.com/quirinius.html)
Quote
The first option is defended by Ernest Martin in CKC:90[1]:

    " A Latin inscription found in 1764 about one-half mile south of the ancient villa of Quintilius Varus (at Tivoli, 20 miles east of Rome) states that the subject of the inscription had twice been governor of Syria. This can only refer to Quintilius Varus, who was Syrian governor at two different times. Numismatic evidence shows he ruled Syria from 6 to 4 B.C., and other historical evidence indicates that Varus was again governor from 2 B.C. to A.D. I. Between his two governorships was Sentius Saturninus, whose tenure lasted from 4 to 2 B.C. Significantly, Tertullian (third century) said the imperial records showed that censuses were conducted in Judea during the time of Sentius Saturninus. (Against Marcion 4:7). Tertullian also placed the birth of Jesus in 3 or 2 B.C. This is precisely when Saturninus would have been governor according to my new interpretation. That the Gospel of Luke says Quirinius was governor of Syria when the census was taken is resolved by Justin Martyr's statement (second century) that Quirinius was only a procurator (not governor) of the province (Apology 1:34). In other words, he was simply an assistant to Saturninus, who was the actual governor as Tertullian stated."
 1. Chronos, Kairos, Christos: Nativity and Chronological Studies Presented to Jack Finegan, Jerry Vardaman and Edwin Yamauchi, eds. Eisenbrauns:1989.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X on December 16, 2010, 10:45:56 PM
Did you know that ANYONE can edit wikipedia's entries? Isn't Wikipedia defective?

Non sequitur et argumentum ad veritatem obfuscandam et Poisoning the Well: a triumph of fallacies!  My compliments!  Unfortunately, while "Wiki" is not, itself, an authority, the information summarized in quote from skeptilogician is accurate.  You should address it . . . if you can.

And learn to quote.



And get yourself a REAL guitar. . . .

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua on December 17, 2010, 12:13:33 AM
And learn to quote.

Jab. lol (and tie your shoes...)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X on December 17, 2010, 12:21:07 AM
Your inability to reply with substance noted.

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Operator_019 on December 17, 2010, 01:35:39 AM
All,

I'd like to request not quoting the entire nested conversation, especially if you aren't going to address anything contained in the quotes.  If anyone needs help learning to separate the quoted material, go here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?board=75.0). 

Thanks.

019
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: naemhni 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Graybeard 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber 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 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#III)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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 (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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X 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.
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u264/DoctorX_photos/Inuyasha/Blade/Fail.jpg)

--J.D.

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: WorthBelieving 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?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X 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:
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Graybeard 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: WorthBelieving 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. 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jetson 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 :)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber 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 (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. 
 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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 (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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber 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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X 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.

(http://www.freethought-forum.com/forum/images/smilies/Please_hold____by_brokenboulevard.gif)

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X on January 03, 2011, 05:14:33 PM
You certainly missed posting these "other records and proofs."

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Petey 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Jim 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
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Joshua 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...
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: 12 Monkeys 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?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber 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.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Doctor X on January 07, 2011, 05:32:05 PM
And you would think SOME of them would have complained about having to travel to the place of their "birth" a thousand years in the past for this "census."

--J.D.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on January 10, 2011, 12:56:37 PM
-----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...
  I see Josh has been active today so, again where is the evidence of any large scale movement of people for this "enrollment"?  There is none and why would the Romans require such a disruption in an occupied land?  What purpose would there be for such economic chaos which would probably last months as people walked all over Palestine going to their supposed birthplaces? 

Quote
...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".
We need contemporary evidence adn not just claims.  People can claim that there were indeed Christians but that does nothing to demonstrate any god/man walked the earth.  If it were, then the existence of believers of anythign would be considered proof that this "anything" exists.  Are you okay with Odin, Zeus, Legba, etc being considered just as valid as your god?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 22, 2011, 09:34:57 AM
http://books.google.com/books?id=NC9VAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA275&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on July 22, 2011, 11:13:42 AM
flew, rather than just posting links to books, and hopeing they solve your problems, tell us *why* yuo think this solves your problems.  Why does a book written in 1915 have bearing on this issue?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 22, 2011, 12:01:11 PM
Because this book written 100 years ago answers the question being posed in the thread.  This topic is not a new topic, and has been excellently addressed and evaluated by Ramsay.  The only thing I "hope" is that whoever began this thread will read the relevant portion of the book in the link provided to understand how this is not a contradiction.  In fact, it is a great example of the furthering of archeological research on a topic by corroborating evidence and reasoning.

As I have already stated, I will not be as active of a poster on these baords because I don't find them necessarily helpful in the furtherment of discussion.  However, as I do visit and read through various topics, I will post information I feel is pertinent to the discussion.

Regards, Flew
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on July 22, 2011, 01:11:24 PM
I read it and honestly couldn’t make much of it.  How does it answer the question, Flew?  Which is the relevant portion? There’s a whole book there. 

Unfortunately, you seem to be doing a common theist tactic which is throwing shit at a wall and hoping something sticks.  I am not convinced you’ve read this book at all, but found it on a website where someone else “said” it answers the questions posed here.  But you have no idea if it does or not.  So you expect someone else to do the work, and hoping that they don’t find anything questionable about it.  All I see in it are men trying to prove the existence of their supposed “savior” by trying to force those mythic events into some bit of actual history.  They randomly ignore what they don’t like about the gospels and are each sure that they are the only right ones.  As you’ll see in the wiki entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius ,there is no consensus or agreement with your book.  There is no evidence of it at all. Nothing about how people had to return to their places of birth. Your book is full of baseless assumptions, like so many other books of Christian apologetics. 




Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 22, 2011, 02:17:00 PM
First, before you say the book is full of baseless assumptions, read the section i have presented on Quirinius, and you will find excellent arguementation and evidence for the proposed view.  Second, I have read the aforementioned section on Quirinius, and gave it as evidence for the traditional view.  Third, if you do not wish to read the entire section, at least see pages 284-295 specifically.  Ramsay's reasoning is academic and sound, and his evidences (textual, historical, and archeological) are excellent.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on July 22, 2011, 02:58:02 PM
First, before you say the book is full of baseless assumptions, read the section i have presented on Quirinius, and you will find excellent arguementation and evidence for the proposed view.  Second, I have read the aforementioned section on Quirinius, and gave it as evidence for the traditional view.  Third, if you do not wish to read the entire section, at least see pages 284-295 specifically.  Ramsay's reasoning is academic and sound, and his evidences (textual, historical, and archeological) are excellent.

I did, Flew.  It is not excellent argumentation and evidence, I find that assumptions made against all we know about Roman society to be suspect and rather worthless. It assumes a second holding of the position of governor based on a carving about a nameless governor who served as governor two times, and there is nothing that says it was twice in Syria. So we have two assumptions here by Ramsay. Is there anything else to support him?  I would actually ask you to show me what you think are so excellent about it.  You make a lot of claims on how great this guy is but I have yet to see you demonstrate you understand any of it.

And I read the wiki entry and how it showed how your book came to these conclusions and how they are very questionable. Did you do me the favor of reading what I posted?  Do you understand the problems with citing something old and not paying attention to new evidence?  Creationists do this all of the time and they often get bit in the butt because of it.  You should also read this article too: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/11/01/once-more-quiriniuss-census.aspx

It’s another bit of apologetics who are quite sure that they know better.  now, if this is such a special book, the bible, why can’t it even get dates right or who is in what position right?  Why do we have no idea when JC supposedly existed except for attempts to stuff it into times where bible apologists think that some thing similar may have happened?  Why is this so hard to figure out if there were supposed prophecies and everyone was so impressed with this man/god?  We get reports of thousands of people meeting in an occupied land and but no one notices him officially?  There is no record of this character anywhere. 

And there is still no evidence of any census that made everyone return to their birthplace at any time.  So when it supposedly happened or who made it happen makes little sense if it cannot be shown that it ever happened.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on July 23, 2011, 08:54:48 AM
The claim that Quirinius served two terms is basically a far-fetched invention by apologists who are desperate to have history agree with the Bible. It is simply not supported by objective scholarship.

Here's an excellent article on the many historical problems associated with Luke and Matthew's nativity accounts, and the fundamental (and apparently irresolvable) contradictions between them:

Quote
The Date of the Nativity in Luke (6th ed., 2011)
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html

There's a section devoted to the extremely dubious claims about Quirinius, in particular:

Quote
II. Was Quirinius Twice Governor?
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#II

Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: globalvalue on July 23, 2011, 11:25:23 AM
The real Jesus must have been born in Galilee. But the Gospel writers wanted to invent a way to have Jesus born in Bethlehem to create a ficticious fulfillment of prophecy.
Micah 5:2
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

The gospel writers had to invent a way to have Jesus born in Bethlehem but still be from Galilee.
Matthew invents the ficticious slaughter of the innocents, the trip to Egypt and the return to Nazareth.

Luke creates an even more ridiculous story that only an idiot would believe.
Luke 2:1-3
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
Luke would have his readers believe that everyone in the Roman Empire had to return to the city of their birth for a census.
What confusion would have developed if everyone were traveling to the city of their birth at the same time.
Today we have lighted highways, automobiles, trains and planes, and motels and restaurants and it would be ridiculous if we all went back to the city of our birth for a census. Imagine a time with unlighted dirt roads, and few inns and food sources, traveling on foot or on a horse or donkey. If Jesus were born in December, this is when we have the least number of hours of daylight and it gets cold in December, especially if you are outdoors for long periods of time. The Romans ruled the civilized world. I can't believe they would have been dumb enough to have attempted such an outrageous event.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on July 23, 2011, 12:33:28 PM
The gospel writers had to invent a way to have Jesus born in Bethlehem but still be from Galilee.

Yeah, I think that's basically it. The nativity accounts appear to be stories created for theological purposes, to have Jesus in the right place at the right time, with the right mom and Dad (and stepdad), etc. So it gets kind of silly to debate the "historical" details...

The other sources, Mark and John (and Paul) didn't see fit to tell us anything about Jesus' human birth, it just wasn't significant to them. Since Mark and Paul are earlier sources than Lk and Mt, that's consistent with these birth narratives being later inventions...
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: globalvalue on July 23, 2011, 01:22:39 PM
The gospel writers had to invent a way to have Jesus born in Bethlehem but still be from Galilee.

Yeah, I think that's basically it. The nativity accounts appear to be stories created for theological purposes, to have Jesus in the right place at the right time, with the right mom and Dad (and stepdad), etc. So it gets kind of silly to debate the "historical" details...

The other sources, Mark and John (and Paul) didn't see fit to tell us anything about Jesus' human birth, it just wasn't significant to them. Since Mark and Paul are earlier sources than Lk and Mt, that's consistent with these birth narratives being later inventions...

There is no question that the gospels were edited at a later time.
Luke's gospel tells a virgin birth story but Acts makes the following contradictory statement.

Acts 2:30
30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

If Jesus were God's son by a virgin birth he couldn't be David's ancestor by "that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh,"

BTW Jesus never sat on David's throne and is not likely to do so in the future since Israel is a Democracy.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: globalvalue on July 23, 2011, 01:43:33 PM
Born of a Woman

The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus died, was buried, that he was raised on the third day, and was seen by over 500 brethren. Beyond that, Paul tells us nothing personal about Jesus, the man. This seems reasonable since the Apostle Paul did not know Jesus, the man, and only believed in Jesus, the Spirit.

But the Apostle Paul does reveal one thing about Jesus of a somewhat personal nature. Paul says Jesus was “”born of a woman””.

Quote:
Galatians 4:4 (New American Standard Bible)
4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
“”born of a woman””……that’s an interesting statement! I can say with 100% assurance, that every human being, with the exception of Adam and Eve, was “”born of a woman””. [ I may have to amend this statement soon, since Science seems at the brink of raising children in Petri Dishes rather than in a woman’s womb]
It really seems dumb to say Jesus was “”born of a woman””, since everyone is “”born of a woman.””
So what did the Apostle Paul mean by “”born of a woman””?

I did a little research in the Greek Dictionaries and Lexicons and discovered that the word translated as “”woman””, in Galatians 4:4, is Strong’s #1135, and one of its major meanings is ““wife””

Think about it…..“”born of a woman”” makes no sense since everyone is born of a woman.
But “”born of a wife”” makes all the sense in the world if you want to say that Jesus was born in the natural way to a married couple, a husband and wife, Joseph and Mary.

In my opinion, Paul was saying that Jesus was born as a normal human being, and not according to Pagan Legends of a superman born to a virgin impregnated by a God.

Paul makes a statement in Romans which supports the idea that Jesus was born in the normal way, to a husband and wife……
Quote:
Romans 1:3-4 (New American Standard Bible)
3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Jesus was “”born of a descendant of David according to the flesh””, through his father, Joseph, and he was ONLY declared to be “”the Son of God””, upon his supposed “”resurrection from the dead.”” according to the Apostle Paul.

Now my point is that Paul had no way of knowing if Jesus rose from the dead, since he did not even know Jesus, the man. Paul also was not aware of, or did not believe in any virgin birth stories. Paul’s theology was that Jesus only became the son of God after his supposed resurrection. And Paul adopted the resurrection story from word of mouth tales that spawned the Gospels many years later.


Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: mram on July 23, 2011, 02:25:27 PM
Jesus was born in 1984.. I asked him last week when he was next door during one of those hoopty Spanish cookouts they have every month.. He has a really cool low rider with a really loud speaker with that heavy bass that makes my bed shake sometimes..
I know..it pisses off the Xtians that Jesus is just a house painter with an attitude, huh?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: globalvalue on July 23, 2011, 02:33:19 PM
Jesus was born in 1984.. I asked him last week when he was next door during one of those hoopty Spanish cookouts they have every month.. He has a really cool low rider with a really loud speaker with that heavy bass that makes my bed shake sometimes..
I know..it pisses off the Xtians that Jesus is just a house painter with an attitude, huh?

I saw Jesus a few years ago.
I was at the motor vehicle licence bureau waiting for my turn. The clerk shouted "Jesus Christ" and an Hispanic looking guy got up and walked into the office.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 28, 2011, 02:49:06 PM
A better question might be, did Luke really say Quirinius was a governor?

http://www.askelm.com/star/star014.htm
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on July 29, 2011, 08:55:02 AM
^ We know that Quirinius was governor of Syria in 6 A.D. and that a local census of the province (including Judea) was conducted at that time. (There were no empire-wide censuses until 74 A.D., under Vespasian. And there were no Roman censuses of Judea before 6 A.D., since it was ruled by a client king and not directly by Rome.) 

But your source (Ernest L. Martin) needs to have both an earlier term of office for Quirinius AND an earlier census, presumably so he can make Luke's account agree with Matthew's, which has Jesus born when Herod the Great was still alive.  Apologists have proposed various "solutions" for this problem - i.e. claiming that Quirinius was governor twice; that he was a co-governor; that Herod conducted the census, etc.  Martin is aware of the historical problems with these claims, so his answer is to 1) re-date Herod's death from the generally-accepted 4 B.C. to around 1 B.C., 2) claim that the "census" was really a registration for a loyalty oath connected to Augustus' proclamation as Pater Patriae in 3 B.C., and 3) have Quirinius serving as "procurator" at that time to administer it. He then dates Jesus' birth to September 11, 3 B.C.

Needless to say, there is no concrete evidence for ANY of these claims, while all of them must be correct for the theory to work. So it's a house of cards, an ad hoc theory based on a chain of dubious hypothetical propositions.

Moreover, these hypotheses fly in the face of what we do know from history. For example, procurators were always men of equestrian rank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_governor#Equestrian_procurator), while Quirinius was a Senator who achieved consular rank by 12 A.D., so his status was too high for that position.

Most historians date Herod's death to 4 B.C., based on several lines of evidence. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great#Death). This alone would sink Martin's theory.

Finally, there's no record of any loyalty oath in Judea around 3 B.C. (even though we know of other oaths demanded by Herod in 20 BC and 8 BC.) Judeans were not Roman citizens, they would have nothing to do with voting on a new title for Emperor Augustus. Luke does not  hint at any process of oath-swearing, and there's no reason why Judeans would have had to return to their birthplaces to take an oath. ( http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#lastditch )

Martin's ideas seem to be very similar to those of another apologist, Jack Finegan, and other problems with this theory can be found in the article linked above, wherever Finegan is mentioned by name.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 29, 2011, 10:29:16 AM
First I would ask, couldn't men of that level ever receive such a title?  Justin Martyr seemed to think so in his Apology, specifically I.34.  He called Quirinius the "procurator in Judaea".

Secondly, you are basing Herod's death of a transcription error in Josephus; every Josephus transcript before 1544 says that Herod died in 1 B.C., see:

http://books.google.com/books?id=mWnYvI5RdLMC&lpg=PR1&ots=OY86IXw-CX&dq=%22chronological%20nativity%20and%20religious%20studies%20in%20memory%20of%20ray%20summers%22&pg=PA85#v=onepage&q=%22chronological%20nativity%20and%20religious%20studies%20in%20memory%20of%20ray%20summers%22&f=false

Thirdly, concerning the oath, see Josephus' Antiquities, specifically XVII.41–45:

"“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 Herod’s court. They are called Pharisees. They are men who had it in their power to control kings; extremely subtle, and ready to attempt any thing 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, Pheroras’ wife [Herod’s 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 [Herod’s 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 king’s unlawful pleasures. He [Herod] likewise slew every one in his own family, who adhered to those things which were said by the Pharisee. 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.”
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 29, 2011, 11:19:25 AM
Velkyn, see point (2) on pages 293-294:

http://books.google.com/books?id=NC9VAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA275&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Graybeard on July 29, 2011, 11:41:25 AM
As an aside:
Aristobulus IV and Alexander Herod The Great’s sons by Mariamne I were both executed in ~7BC for the treachery that Josephus described. There is no argument that Herod The Great reigned from 37 – 4BC and was remarkably bloodthirsty. The Jewish Encyclopedia confirms this. And ends with the words,

“The connection of Herod with the alleged massacre of the Innocents as related in the New Testament is now generally admitted by independent Christian thinkers to be legendary.”

The gospel writers stuck this bit of fiction on to Herod as it was “the sort of thing he would do.”

Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=630&letter=H&search=Herod%20the%20Great#ixzz1TVpw79jU

QUIRINIUS, P. SULPICIUS:   Roman governor of Syria about 6 C.E., with whose name are associated events and problems of great importance. After the banishment of Archelaus in the year 6, a date confirmed by Dio Cassius (lv. 27), Judea came under the direct administration of the Romans, and was incorporated with the province of Syria. It thus becomes clear why the emperor Augustus should have ordered the ex-consul Quirinius to Syria to levy an assessment (Josephus, "Ant." xvii. 13, § 5). At the same time Coponius was sent as procurator of Judea; but Quirinius went thither also, since the levying of the tax on the entire province was his special duty (ib. xviii. 1, § 1).

   
Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=9&letter=Q&search=Quirinius#ixzz1TVsCRev3
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on July 29, 2011, 12:19:54 PM
Velkyn, see point (2) on pages 293-294:

http://books.google.com/books?id=NC9VAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA275&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
wow, that's all you have?  that "well, it could be"? Again, we have assumptions built on even more assertions with no evidence to back them up.  I'm guessing that you didn't even bother to read the analysis of these claims that Jed gave.

again, where is the evidence that this census ever took place, flew?  We can get hung up on Quirinius but until you can answer the following, asked before, it's rather moot:
Quote
now, if this is such a special book, the bible, why can’t it even get dates right or who is in what position right?  Why do we have no idea when JC supposedly existed except for attempts to stuff it into times where bible apologists think that some thing similar may have happened?  Why is this so hard to figure out if there were supposed prophecies and everyone was so impressed with this man/god?  We get reports of thousands of people meeting in an occupied land and but no one notices him officially?  There is no record of this character anywhere. 

Of course, I find your citing of a forgery in Josephus quite ironic.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on July 29, 2011, 12:52:10 PM
First, yes, I read Jed and responded to each of his major criticisms.

Second, you comment "Again, we have assumptions built on even more assertions with no evidence to back them up." is lazy and is not giving any justice to the passage I presented from the book (as you requested, I am giving you specific passages now instead of throwing whole chapters at you).  A reasonable hypothesis was presented with reasonable evidence cited.  I'm not sure what you're driving at with this...

Third, there is a wealth of works on the subjects you have addressed in your quote, that is, if you care to look.  Summerizing the content would take more time then I have, but if the subjects truely interest you, I highly highly recommend any book by Sir William Mitchell Ramsay.  He presents a lucid and well reasoned approach for from an archeological and anthropological standpoint.  As far as Jesus himself, the best book I have ever read on the topic was The Jesus Legend by Greg Boyd.

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Legend-Historical-Reliability-Tradition/dp/0801031141

He summarizes the prevailing views and gives an excellent subsequent critique.  Heck, send me your address and I'll mail you my copy.

Lastly, I never claimed that this was a forgery, simply a transcription error.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on July 29, 2011, 03:34:57 PM
First, yes, I read Jed and responded to each of his major criticisms.
Second, you comment "Again, we have assumptions built on even more assertions with no evidence to back them up." is lazy and is not giving any justice to the passage I presented from the book (as you requested, I am giving you specific passages now instead of throwing whole chapters at you).  A reasonable hypothesis was presented with reasonable evidence cited.  I'm not sure what you're driving at with this...
No, it is not lazy at all.  I read the passage and unless you want me to quote it here verbatim that is exactly what I got out of it.  No, a reasonable hypothesis was not presented nor with reasonable evidence.  Where is there any evidence that there were two legati in Syria?  Yes, it may have happened other places but why assume that here when there is NO evidence of this?  As I have mentioned before, we have claims that this writing about someone serving twice as legate is nameless and does not show anything that your source claims.  We can see that also in the rebuttal that Jed showed. So, as I said before I shall say again, more assumptions built on even more assertions with no evidence to back them up.  We also have no evidence that any census was taken, no massacre of the innocents, no “wise men”, nothing.     
Quote
Third, there is a wealth of works on the subjects you have addressed in your quote, that is, if you care to look.  Summerizing the content would take more time then I have, but if the subjects truely interest you, I highly highly recommend any book by Sir William Mitchell Ramsay.  He presents a lucid and well reasoned approach for from an archeological and anthropological standpoint.  As far as Jesus himself, the best book I have ever read on the topic was The Jesus Legend by Greg Boyd.
  I have cared to look.  I have looked and there is nothing to support your claims.  I’m sure you would recommend any book by the same guy you’ve used before.  And no he does not present a “lucid well-reasoned approach”.  I’ve read some of his stuff, and, gee, quite recently, and no matter how many times you want to claim that, it isn’t true.  So much of it has been superseded by modern research that it’s doesn’t surprise me that, like creationists, you have to run back to old books to have anything that supports the claims that support your “faith”.   I have not read the Jesus Legend by Boyd but I did find his website with essays.  His one argument is “look the bible says it’s true so it is”.  He wants to use the accounts in the bible as independent witnesses.  Which is hysterical considering how badly they diverge.  You know, like the problem of what you claim to have happened in Matthew and what is in John?  All in all, there’s not a scrap in Boy’s book that I haven’t seen in another’s. So thanks for the offer, but there is no reason.  I’ve read a *lot* of apologetics.
Quote
Lastly, I never claimed that this was a forgery, simply a transcription error.
  Oh, so it’s a “transcription error” &)  My mistake.  We do know that there are forgeries in Josephus, most especially that one bit that Christians run to as “proof” that their savior existed. 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on July 30, 2011, 08:56:34 AM
First I would ask, couldn't men of that level ever receive such a title?  Justin Martyr seemed to think so in his Apology, specifically I.34.  He called Quirinius the "procurator in Judaea".


Let's look at the entire passage:

Quote
"Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registries of the taxing under Quirinius your first procurator in Judea." (First Apology, 34)

Justin Martyr is referring to a registration for tax purposes. But your source, Ernest Martin, is quite clear that his hypothetical "census" of 3 B.C. was related to a loyalty oath, and NOT taxation, so this passage already contradicts his theory!

Martin, like everyone else, acknowledges that taxation was the purpose of the 6 A.D. census. So what is more likely, that Justin is referring to this known event occurring during Quirinius' documented term as governor of Syria, or a hypothetical event in an undocumented (imaginary?) term? The first reading would actually leave Justin in close agreement with Josephus:
Quote

Quirinius, a Roman senator who had proceeded through all the magistracies to the consulship and a man who was extremely distinguished in other respects, arrived in Syria, dispatched by Caesar to be governor of the nation and to make an assessment of their property. Coponius, a man of equestrian rank, was sent along with him to rule over the Jews with full authority. Quirinius also visited Judaea, which had been annexed to Syria, in order to make an assessment of the property of the Jews and to liquidate the estate of Archelaus.
(Josephus, Antiquities 18.1-4)

Justin may have simply used the title of procurator in error, or perhaps he meant to convey that Quirinius, while governor of Syria, was also performing a procurator's function in raising taxes from the Jews in Judea. In any case, there's absolutely nothing in Justin Martyr's words to suggest that Quirinius held two different positions in Judea ten years apart.

Quote
Secondly, you are basing Herod's death of a transcription error in Josephus; every Josephus transcript before 1544 says that Herod died in 1 B.C., see:

 Beyer article (http://books.google.com/books?id=mWnYvI5RdLMC&lpg=PR1&ots=OY86IXw-CX&dq=%22chronological%20nativity%20and%20religious%20studies%20in%20memory%20of%20ray%20summers%22&pg=PA85#v=onepage&=%22chronological%20nativity%20and%20religious%20studies%20in%
20memory%20of%20ray%20summers%22&f=false)


To be correct, NO texts state that Herod "died in 1 B.C."!!!! The apologists are extrapolating that date from ONE dubious reference (in some variant texts) to the reign of ONE of Herod's THREE successors. They cherry-pick this passage and cite it because it fits their claims, while ignoring all the numerous other internal and external references and circumstantial evidence which support the standard dating.

It's simply not true that every old manuscript supports this reading, not even Beyer claims this! He says that the older manuscripts in the two batches he examined contain this textual variant. But older and better manuscripts exist elsewhere which do not, which is why ALL critical scholarly editions of Josephus contain the standard text, and NONE go with Beyer's variant.

Quote
All Finegan (and Beyer) does is "count manuscripts" and argue that older manuscripts are the most reliable. But neither is true, as any palaeographer knows. We have no way of knowing which of the manuscripts Beyer counted were copies of other extant manuscripts (and thus completely irrelevant to the question), and we have no idea whether the manuscripts he looked at are known to be reliable or unreliable or to what degree or in what ways. Older manuscripts can sometimes be poorer than new manuscripts, since newer ones can be based on even older but more reliable archetypes..., and older ones may stem from especially faulty textual traditions.

...Beyer examined only manuscripts in the British Museum and the Library of Congress--yet the best manuscripts are in France and Italy--one of which is the oldest, Codex Ambrosianae F 128, inscribed in the 11th century (the oldest manuscript Beyer examined was 12th century); and another is the most reliable: Codex Vaticanus Graecus 984, transcribed in 1354; both confirming a reading of "twentieth," and thus invalidating all his conclusions from the start.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#date

The apologist arguments involving the dating of Philip's reign are full of problems and contradictions and are refuted at length in the article above, if you scroll down to the sections titled "Was Philip made king in 2 B.C.?"

Quote
Thirdly, concerning the oath, see Josephus' Antiquities, specifically XVII.41–45:
...
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...
. ...


Yes, we know that Roman emperors (and King Herod) sometimes demanded loyalty oaths. Josephus tells us of two such oaths which are usually dated to 20 B.C. and 8 B.C. Does this quote tell us that another such oath took place around 3 B.C. and was connected to Augustus' proclamation as Pater Patriae? Does it tell us that a registration took place, requiring people to return to their home towns? In fact, it doesn't support any of the key apologist claims at all.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on July 30, 2011, 09:59:24 AM
Flew, I'm noticing a pattern here, that you tend to disregard mainstream scholarship by professional historians, or even serious Christian bible scholars, in favor of citing outdated and/or kooky fundamentalist apologists.

While it's a given that your apologists are often at odds with historians and more objective bible scholars, are you aware that the apologists you cite often DISAGREE WITH EACH OTHER and have mutually-exclusive theories and chronologies?

For example, Martin (and Finegan and presumably Beyer) absolutely depend on a "census" taking place in 3/2 BC, Herod living until 1 B.C., and Quirinius holding some office in Judea at the time. (All allowing Martin to pinpoint Jesus' birthday on September 11, 3 B.C.!) But Sir William Ramsey, who you also cite, says this: 

Quote
For Herod's enrollment, then, there is open only the late summer of 7 or 6 BC...the enrollment can hardly be brought down so late as 5 BC. ...Luke, however, gives additional information about the Savior's life, which affords reasonable confidence that 6 BC. was the year of Christ's birth.
http://christianbookshelf.org/ramsay/was_christ_born_in_bethlehem/chapter_9_king_herods_enrollment.htm

Meanwhile, I noticed that Beyer's article was in a book compiled by Jerry Vardaman. This man has a completely different chronology of events (placing Jesus' birth in 12 BC,and his crucifixion in 21 A.D.), based on microscopic inscriptions he claims to have discovered on ancient coins!

Quote
Pseudohistory in Jerry Vardaman's magic coins: the nonsense of micro graphic letters.
http://business.highbeam.com/5799/article-1G1-83585959/pseudohistory-jerry-vardaman-magic-coins-nonsense-micro

These are not just minor discrepancies which can be reconciled. The apologists' theories are  based on chains of specific claims, hypotheses and assumptions, and removing or challenging any one link will often cause the entire argument to collapse. These theories are thus incompatible even with similar theories that differ on a single date or data point. 

If I have to choose between the consensus of professional historians and scholars who objectively study a period, and the pet theories of fundamentalist apologists whose mission is to rationalize apparent contradictions in the bible texts, I think it's obvious which is more likely to be reliable. Apologists are not free to follow evidence where it leads, they begin with pre-determined conclusions, and are forced to go through contortions to defend them.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on August 01, 2011, 09:18:55 AM
Flew,  to cut to the chase a bit, can you explain why there is a practical "industry" where apologists have to spend years trying to explain this supposed magic book from your god?  And why do they disagree on what answers they get?   
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on August 03, 2011, 12:55:53 PM
Jed,

I will first attest that I am not an expert in the field in which I am posting, and I am relying heavily on sources of men who are considered experts in their field.  Being thus, I can only attest to the information I have gathered by reading their books and/or articles on the subject at hand.  I’m not sure where you personally stand as far as expertise, but I will assume your credentials and sources impeccable for the sake of the discussion.  Ultimately, my goal here is to submit evidence from Luke’s side of the issue, and subsequently show that there is varied scholarship on the subject, otherwise the thread itself would run the risk of being decidedly one-sided on the issue.  At any rate, I would respond to your posting. 

Looking at your initial comments on Quirinius and his procurator title, you bring up the valid point that as Martyr identifies Quirinius as procurator, he also refers to the taxation, which Martin makes argument didn’t actually occur during his identified oath of loyalty.  So who’s right?  Based on the fact that Martyr is probably using Luke for the premise of his statement (unless some registries existed in his time that we simply don’t have access to today), both scholars could technically be correct if we understand Luke’s approach to the registration (3/2 BC) and subsequent taxation (AD 6) as associated events.  This opinion can be reviewed here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DTErAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA631&lpg=PA631&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false

Luke mentions the second census in Acts 5:37, and correctly places it as correlating with the revolt led by Judas of Galilee (Josephus mentions this in Book 18, chapter 1 of Antiquities).  However, though Luke had an obvious working knowledge of the latter event, we see no distinction in the writings between that and the former.  Therefore, it could be understood that in as much as the registration was, by first regard, a call to an oath of loyalty, so too could the subsequent, and even greater, purpose be taxation of  subjects, which came to fruition in (AD 6).

We see further example of this connection between oath-taking and census in Orosius:

“[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 acknowledgment 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, through the participation in the census, were made apart of one society.” (Orosius, VI.22 and VII.2.)

This “enrollment”, or as Luke puts it, “registration” is placed in conjunction with the “oath of loyalty” taken 3/2 BC. 

So why would Luke mention Quirinius?  Possibly because he was charged with administering and overseeing the registration of allegiance in that region of the world.  Why is this information important?  For the explicit reason that, according to Martin “most Roman census declarations required an oath of allegiance to the emperor.”  Therefore, to a Roman citizen reading Luke’s gospel (Luke wrote his gospel for a Roman audience), to simply say that Caesar Augustus issued a degree that all the world be registered might be a vague statement, but pinpointing Quirinius as administrator would point them to the exact registration Luke was referring to, namely, the “oath of loyalty.”  This is simply how I understand the issue, you are welcome to disagree.

Moving on to Herod’s death, I recognize that based on the Beyer article, I could have phrased my response better, again being that the evidence Beyer has amassed concerning Herod’s death in relation to his son Philip.  I have never seen the information you mentioned from Codex Ambrosianae or the Codex Vaticanus Graecus (can you send me a link with your source?), but if you are correct, then it would seem that either Beyer is wrong, or that there is an issue with the manuscripts not agreeing, the latter case putting a bleak light on the trustworthy nature of the manuscripts.

However, even if Beyer is wrong, there is still strong evidence for Herod’s death occurring in 1 BC.  See Andrew Steinmann on the issue:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/not/2009/00000051/00000001/art00001

(click to view the PDF)

Furthermore, Martin makes further arguments concerning the problems with dating Herod’s death at 4 BC, with the best, in my opinion, being the problem of the eclipse mentioned by Josephus occurring in 4 BC.  I find his argumentation well reasoned and highly plausible. (http://www.askelm.com/star/star012.htm)

Furthermore, Beyer also gives reasoning for the claims that the eclipse Josephus refers to was probably not the 4 BC eclipse.  He states that the eclipse in 4 BC was a comparatively weak eclipse of very weak magnitude, and without modern optics, not to be considered a memorable event.  Though Josephus may have used this eclipse as his reference, it would seem that the higher likelihood would be the 1 BC eclipse, which was a total eclipse, apparently lasting over 200 minutes (this is rare and something to take note of).

Ultimately, I find both Martin and Beyer’s hypothesis on the eclipse well reasoned and sound.

Lastly, to comment on the fact that some of the sources I have procured not agreeing, I think it’s appropriate to point out that, with your specific example, Ramsey did not have proper access to the breadth of new archeological records and advanced astronomical data we now possess.  This is just a simple fact of archeology and advancement in technology.  It shouldn’t surprise you in as much as it does not surprise me.  The point is this:  what new information and evidence has been presented should always be taken into account, but the old should not be neglected simply because it’s old, but simply corrected and/or built upon to obtain a better working knowledge of the truth of the situation.  Ultimately, as we review the matter, the best possible option would be to invent a time machine to got back in time to get hard facts (if this ever happens, I will get us two of the first tickets, and we’ll go back to January of 1 BC to see what really transpired), but being that this is not possible, I am content to say that we must take what we are given, and use what reasoning and rationale we possess to arrive at well-reasoned positions on the matter.  That is how I view the situation.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on August 03, 2011, 01:20:55 PM
Quote
He states that the eclipse in 4 BC was a comparatively weak eclipse of very weak magnitude, and without modern optics, not to be considered a memorable event.

Being quite familiar with astronomy and such things, I've never seen an eclipse described as "weak" or of a "weak magnitude".  Can you explain what is meant here?

Quote
Though Josephus may have used this eclipse as his reference, it would seem that the higher likelihood would be the 1 BC eclipse, which was a total eclipse, apparently lasting over 200 minutes (this is rare and something to take note of).
  200 minutes?  That certainly would be a strange thing since eclipses do not last that long ever. 

Quote
The longest total solar eclipse during the 8,000 year period from 3000 BC to 5000 AD will occur on July 16, 2186, when totality will last 7 min 29 s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on August 03, 2011, 01:46:01 PM
Velkyn,

Again, as I am not as knowledgeable on this topic as I would like to be, I'll quote Beyer directly:

"At this point I would like to turn to related chronological issues.  Number 1: the Lunar Eclipse.  Out of the hundreds of eclipses visible in Palestine during the years covered in his histories, Josephus referred to only one.  Now the lunar eclipse of 9-10 January 1 B.C. was total, whereas the March 4 B.C. lunar eclipse was partial with a magnitude of only 0.37.  Astronamers John Mosley of the Griffith Observatory and Craig Chester of the Monterey Institutes for Research in Astronamy indicate it would have been difficult to observe this eclipse, even under ideal circumstances....[the] lunar eclipse [of January 9-10 1 B.C.] was total, lasting three and one-half hours.  It dramatically dominated the evening sky, visible to everyone throughout the Middle East." (Chronos, Kairos, Christos II p. 88)

As noted, it was a lunar eclipse, not a solar eclipse.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on August 03, 2011, 02:00:11 PM
ah, that makes vastly more sense.  Howevever, if lunar eclipses are so easy to be predicted, then why does he go into such detail on hard it would have been to see?  A magnitude 0.37would have been actually fairly easy to see, being 1 being total.

I do find it curious that your sources claims this
Quote
It also allows the historical statements of the New Testament concerning the nativity of Jesus to take on a new credibility.

when the claims of the nativity of Jesus aren't born out by much of anything. No massacre of the innocents, no "star",  no evidence of people dragging their entire families across Palestine, no need for a manger "bed", Joseph and Mary getting a windfall in gold, frankinsense and myrrh, no "flight to egypt", etc.  We have acrobatics over an eclipse, claims of someone serving twice based on a carving with no name,
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on August 03, 2011, 04:17:57 PM
Lunar eclipses are indeed easy to predicte now, with sophisticated astronomical data and and littel thing called the laws of planetary motion (see Kepler and Newton), but during Herod's timeperiod, the calibur of prediction was limited if nil (the Chinese were actually probably the best ancient astronamers).  Yes, a lunar eclipse with a magnitude of 0.37 would still be viewable, but as formerly pointed out, "Astronamers John Mosley of the Griffith Observatory and Craig Chester of the Monterey Institutes for Research in Astronamy indicate it would have been difficult to observe this eclipse, even under ideal circumstances..."  Again, the major case stands that as Josephus could have indeed meant the 4 B.C. eclipse, it is more likely the case that he would have referred to an eclipse that "...dramatically dominated the evening sky, visible to everyone throughout the Middle East" as his reference point, that is, the eclipse from 1 B.C.  See also: http://www.askelm.com/star/star011.htm

Moving on, your statement "We have acrobatics over an eclipse, claims of someone serving twice based on a carving with no name..." gives an immensly poor show of the data I have presented, and in fact underminds it.  As I stated previously, "Ultimately, my goal here is to submit evidence from Luke’s side of the issue, and subsequently show that there is varied scholarship on the subject, otherwise the thread itself would run the risk of being decidedly one-sided on the issue."  That was the post of the data presented in relation to the thread; valid information applicable to the topic at hand.  I take it you now wish me to comment on "No massacre of the innocents, no "star",  no evidence of people dragging their entire families across Palestine, no need for a manger "bed", Joseph and Mary getting a windfall in gold, frankinsense and myrrh, no "flight to egypt", etc."  You need to start a new thread; the information I am presenting doesn't cover these topics.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on August 03, 2011, 04:30:56 PM
Jed,

I will first attest that I am not an expert in the field in which I am posting, and I am relying heavily on sources of men who are considered experts in their field.  Being thus, I can only attest to the information I have gathered by reading their books and/or articles on the subject at hand.  I’m not sure where you personally stand as far as expertise, but I will assume your credentials and sources impeccable for the sake of the discussion.  Ultimately, my goal here is to submit evidence from Luke’s side of the issue, and subsequently show that there is varied scholarship on the subject, otherwise the thread itself would run the risk of being decidedly one-sided on the issue.  At any rate, I would respond to your posting. 

Looking at your initial comments on Quirinius and his procurator title, you bring up the valid point that as Martyr identifies Quirinius as procurator, he also refers to the taxation, which Martin makes argument didn’t actually occur during his identified oath of loyalty.  So who’s right?  Based on the fact that Martyr is probably using Luke for the premise of his statement (unless some registries existed in his time that we simply don’t have access to today), both scholars could technically be correct if we understand Luke’s approach to the registration (3/2 BC) and subsequent taxation (AD 6) as associated events.  This opinion can be reviewed here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DTErAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA631&lpg=PA631&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false

Luke mentions the second census in Acts 5:37, and correctly places it as correlating with the revolt led by Judas of Galilee (Josephus mentions this in Book 18, chapter 1 of Antiquities).  However, though Luke had an obvious working knowledge of the latter event, we see no distinction in the writings between that and the former.  Therefore, it could be understood that in as much as the registration was, by first regard, a call to an oath of loyalty, so too could the subsequent, and even greater, purpose be taxation of  subjects, which came to fruition in (AD 6).

We see further example of this connection between oath-taking and census in Orosius:

“[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 acknowledgment 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, through the participation in the census, were made apart of one society.” (Orosius, VI.22 and VII.2.)

This “enrollment”, or as Luke puts it, “registration” is placed in conjunction with the “oath of loyalty” taken 3/2 BC. 

So why would Luke mention Quirinius?  Possibly because he was charged with administering and overseeing the registration of allegiance in that region of the world.  Why is this information important?  For the explicit reason that, according to Martin “most Roman census declarations required an oath of allegiance to the emperor.”  Therefore, to a Roman citizen reading Luke’s gospel (Luke wrote his gospel for a Roman audience), to simply say that Caesar Augustus issued a degree that all the world be registered might be a vague statement, but pinpointing Quirinius as administrator would point them to the exact registration Luke was referring to, namely, the “oath of loyalty.”  This is simply how I understand the issue, you are welcome to disagree.

Moving on to Herod’s death, I recognize that based on the Beyer article, I could have phrased my response better, again being that the evidence Beyer has amassed concerning Herod’s death in relation to his son Philip.  I have never seen the information you mentioned from Codex Ambrosianae or the Codex Vaticanus Graecus (can you send me a link with your source?), but if you are correct, then it would seem that either Beyer is wrong, or that there is an issue with the manuscripts not agreeing, the latter case putting a bleak light on the trustworthy nature of the manuscripts.

However, even if Beyer is wrong, there is still strong evidence for Herod’s death occurring in 1 BC.  See Andrew Steinmann on the issue:

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/not/2009/00000051/00000001/art00001

(click to view the PDF)

Furthermore, Martin makes further arguments concerning the problems with dating Herod’s death at 4 BC, with the best, in my opinion, being the problem of the eclipse mentioned by Josephus occurring in 4 BC.  I find his argumentation well reasoned and highly plausible. (http://www.askelm.com/star/star012.htm)

Furthermore, Beyer also gives reasoning for the claims that the eclipse Josephus refers to was probably not the 4 BC eclipse.  He states that the eclipse in 4 BC was a comparatively weak eclipse of very weak magnitude, and without modern optics, not to be considered a memorable event.  Though Josephus may have used this eclipse as his reference, it would seem that the higher likelihood would be the 1 BC eclipse, which was a total eclipse, apparently lasting over 200 minutes (this is rare and something to take note of).

Ultimately, I find both Martin and Beyer’s hypothesis on the eclipse well reasoned and sound.

Lastly, to comment on the fact that some of the sources I have procured not agreeing, I think it’s appropriate to point out that, with your specific example, Ramsey did not have proper access to the breadth of new archeological records and advanced astronomical data we now possess.  This is just a simple fact of archeology and advancement in technology.  It shouldn’t surprise you in as much as it does not surprise me.  The point is this:  what new information and evidence has been presented should always be taken into account, but the old should not be neglected simply because it’s old, but simply corrected and/or built upon to obtain a better working knowledge of the truth of the situation.  Ultimately, as we review the matter, the best possible option would be to invent a time machine to got back in time to get hard facts (if this ever happens, I will get us two of the first tickets, and we’ll go back to January of 1 BC to see what really transpired), but being that this is not possible, I am content to say that we must take what we are given, and use what reasoning and rationale we possess to arrive at well-reasoned positions on the matter.  That is how I view the situation.

The link I provided was not correct,

http://www.askelm.com/star/star012.htm

should be

http://www.askelm.com/star/star011.htm

Thanks.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Omen on August 03, 2011, 04:31:36 PM
As I stated previously, "Ultimately, my goal here is to submit evidence from Luke’s side of the issue, and subsequently show that there is varied scholarship on the subject"

You can find people on the fringe of any subject, their existence is not justification of their position alone.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on August 03, 2011, 06:03:59 PM
Lunar eclipses are indeed easy to predicte now, with sophisticated astronomical data and and littel thing called the laws of planetary motion (see Kepler and Newton), but during Herod's timeperiod, the calibur of prediction was limited if nil (the Chinese were actually probably the best ancient astronamers).
which is not what your source has claimed.  And which is also simply not true http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saros_(astronomy)
Quote
  Yes, a lunar eclipse with a magnitude of 0.37 would still be viewable, but as formerly pointed out, "Astronamers John Mosley of the Griffith Observatory and Craig Chester of the Monterey Institutes for Research in Astronamy indicate it would have been difficult to observe this eclipse, even under ideal circumstances..."
I don’t give a damn what these guys said.  It simply isn’t true.  And you don’t seem to think it’s true either. Is it viewable or not?  From this, the moon would have been almost 40% in the shadow of the earth?  Do you think a 40% coverage is noticeable or not? And please don’t run back to your source, think for yourself for once.  They have made a claim that is ridiculous. Do you believe them only because they support your claims?
Quote
Again, the major case stands that as Josephus could have indeed meant the 4 B.C. eclipse, it is more likely the case that he would have referred to an eclipse that "...dramatically dominated the evening sky, visible to everyone throughout the Middle East" as his reference point, that is, the eclipse from 1 B.C.  See also: http://www.askelm.com/star/star011.htm
But since the assumptions and claims of your source are wrong, there is little reason to think that Josephus meant the 4 BC eclipse.  There is no reason to assume that it needs to be a “dramatic” eclipse.  [qutoe]Moving on, your statement "We have acrobatics over an eclipse, claims of someone serving twice based on a carving with no name..." gives an immensly poor show of the data I have presented, and in fact underminds it.  As I stated previously, "Ultimately, my goal here is to submit evidence from Luke’s side of the issue, and subsequently show that there is varied scholarship on the subject, otherwise the thread itself would run the risk of being decidedly one-sided on the issue." [/quote] And you’ve failed since you only have poor assumptions and baseless claims. 
Quote
That was the post of the data presented in relation to the thread; valid information applicable to the topic at hand.  I take it you now wish me to comment on "No massacre of the innocents, no "star",  no evidence of people dragging their entire families across Palestine, no need for a manger "bed", Joseph and Mary getting a windfall in gold, frankinsense and myrrh, no "flight to egypt", etc."  You need to start a new thread; the information I am presenting doesn't cover these topics.
As we have seen, there is no valid information applicable, only assumptions. These are those acrobatics I see. I would like you to address why you think there has to be an entire industry on explaining your supposedly divinely inspired book and why those people trying to explain it get different different explanations.  Why isn’t it clear?  And yes, seeing that the Op was about JC’s place of birth, and seeing that we have no evidence of this, I would like you to address the other baseless claims of the other supposed events in the bible, especially those surrounding the supposed “birth”.  And I want *your* comments, not huge amounts of cut and pastes or entire book.  I know the information you are presenting doesn’t cover these topics.  We just have problem after problem, and more confusion on where your supposed savior was born, when and what happened. 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: theFLEW on August 04, 2011, 09:43:07 AM
I had never heard of the saros, or that method of predicting eclipses, and thus it would seem that the ancient Babylonians did have a rather good method in place.  I wasn't aware that there was a good system in place before the laws of planetary motion were discovered.  As previously stated, I am not well verses in this subject, and just as much as I apprieciate being better informed, thanks for thie link.

Now, I am not hinging this arguement, nor the overall arguement, on the predictive capabilities of certain scholars of astronamy from that timeperiod.  The point I am making, hopefully in conjunction with the book, was that to an author writing to a major audience, it seems more likely Josephus is referring to the total lunar eclipse of 1 B.C.  Furthermore, the magnitude of the eclipse, though valid point, is by no means a linchpin arguement, and to treat it as such is a strawman (not saying your doing this, just making the point clear).  As you will see from the link I provided: http://www.askelm.com/star/star011.htm , there are more pressing issues with the date.  I'm not attempting to patronize you, but just to be clear, you state in your most recent post "there is little reason to think that Josephus meant the 4 BC eclipse".  Now, I agree with this, and being that we are seeming to be on opposite sides of the issue, I am assuming this is not what you meant to say.

If you so strongly desire my reply to the subsequent questions, know that I can only answer within my own capabilities.  I am not an astronamer, nor am I a biblical scholar. (I wish I were both) Therefore, before I answer the questions, I would like to do two things.  First, I am not assured that this topic is ready to move on to different facets surrounding the birth of Christ.  Again, if you would like to pursue this, we would need permission from the active posters in this thread, being that neither of us own this thread.  Second, I would leave it up to the other, hopefully more versed, posters to be the first to answer your questions, being that hopefully you will find good answers to your questions from those with a better working knowledge of topic.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on August 04, 2011, 10:57:05 AM
I had never heard of the saros, or that method of predicting eclipses, and thus it would seem that the ancient Babylonians did have a rather good method in place.  I wasn't aware that there was a good system in place before the laws of planetary motion were discovered.  As previously stated, I am not well verses in this subject, and just as much as I apprieciate being better informed, thanks for thie link.
  Flew, I know you aren’t very versed in many subjects. However, this is little excuse for blindly accepting the assumptions of others just because they support your desires.  You keep trying to make claims and if you just did a little research rather than accepting some “authority” you’d actually know things like this.
Quote
Now, I am not hinging this arguement, nor the overall arguement, on the predictive capabilities of certain scholars of astronamy from that timeperiod.
That is such nonsense.  You make the claim that the assumptions made by your sources are valid and then when shown that they aren’t, you back away from it and now claim that you aren’t “hinging” the argument on it.  IF you aren’t, why bring it up?
Quote
The point I am making, hopefully in conjunction with the book, was that to an author writing to a major audience, it seems more likely Josephus is referring to the total lunar eclipse of 1 B.C.
Major audience?
Quote
  Furthermore, the magnitude of the eclipse, though valid point, is by no means a linchpin arguement, and to treat it as such is a strawman (not saying your doing this, just making the point clear).
I don’t think you know what a strawman argument is.  Your source is wrong in saying that it would be “it would have been difficult to observe this eclipse, even under ideal circumstances...".  That certainly seems to be quite a “linchpin” since they are *wrong* and they base their decision about the eclipses on this, as well as other mistaken claims. 
Quote
As you will see from the link I provided: http://www.askelm.com/star/star011.htm , there are more pressing issues with the date.  I'm not attempting to patronize you, but just to be clear, you state in your most recent post "there is little reason to think that Josephus meant the 4 BC eclipse".  Now, I agree with this, and being that we are seeming to be on opposite sides of the issue, I am assuming this is not what you meant to say.
You are correct.  I don’t see anything to support the 1 BC eclipse as being anything better or more appropriate than the 4 BC one. 
Quote
If you so strongly desire my reply to the subsequent questions, know that I can only answer within my own capabilities.  I am not an astronamer, nor am I a biblical scholar. (I wish I were both) Therefore, before I answer the questions, I would like to do two things.  First, I am not assured that this topic is ready to move on to different facets surrounding the birth of Christ.  Again, if you would like to pursue this, we would need permission from the active posters in this thread, being that neither of us own this thread.  Second, I would leave it up to the other, hopefully more versed, posters to be the first to answer your questions, being that hopefully you will find good answers to your questions from those with a better working knowledge of topic.
You claim not to be an expert and only replying within your own capabilities.  You blindly accept the faulty assertions of others.  And this is supposedly based on your religion that will supposedly save your “soul”.  I am not impressed with someone who relies so much on willful ignorance to support their faith. You can be much more educated with some simple effort.  I have not seen any from you other than repeating things others have said with no thought to how valid they are in light of facts.   
Since you are so “concerned”, I’ll open up another thread all about the other baseless claims of the events surrounding of the supposed nativity.   Here it is: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19717.new.html#new 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on August 04, 2011, 11:16:57 PM
I hate to point to the same source again, but the Richard Carrier article specifically addresses the eclipse claims.  He cites his sources in his refutations, so there's no need to simply take his word for it. Here's another link to it:

http://www.harrington-sites.com/Carrier.htm

But it really is laborious to go through all the claims of these various apologists to find where they make speculative leaps, cherry-pick references, contradict well-established historical data, etc. Let's look at the bigger picture here: We have a wealth of converging data from various sources, some direct, some indirect, some circumstantial, which all point to things like Herod dying by 4 B.C., Quirinius being governor of Syria in 6 AD, and a local census for tax purposes being carried out in Judea at that time. 

The apologist, however, wants to place Luke's events around 4 (or 3 or 2) B.C., because their purpose is to make Luke agree with Matthew, (and they CAN'T place Matthew's events in 6 A.D.), So they say, well, maybe Herod lived until 1 B.C., AND Quirinius had an earlier term in Judea, AND a census was carried out in 3 BC for a loyalty oath, etc.

The problem is that there is NO EVIDENCE in the record for ANY of these events. So apologists go digging through the sources to mine tiny bits of information that could be consistent with their ad hoc theories, like somebody in the 2nd century calling Quirinius a "procurator," or Josephus' alleged confusion over ONE date for ONE of Herod's successors. The ancient sources are far from perfect - one can always find discrepancies, apparent errors, points of confusion, stray bits of information that don't agree with others, etc.  But these don't outweigh the much greater and more consistent body of evidence that support the mainstream historical accounts, and they don't begin to establish that the events imagined by apologists actually took place.

It's not possible to definitively disprove every speculative theory that apologists can come up with. But shouldn't the burden be on them to prove them? Flew, I would ask you: Can you find any reputable historians or even mainstream bible scholars WHO ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE APOLOGISTS who support these claims? If the apologists have compelling evidence, why aren't these claims accepted by historians?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on August 05, 2011, 12:15:04 AM
If the apologists have compelling evidence, why aren't these claims accepted by historians?

Easy, historians have a secular agenda. They are all part of a global conspiracy to over throw the free thinking conservative christian point of view and replace it with a godless socialist paradigm...or something like that  :P
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Truth OT on December 08, 2011, 06:06:27 PM
Does anyone mind chopping this up for me?

http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.org/books/secrets/Chapter9.cfm
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: velkyn on December 09, 2011, 09:05:33 AM
tot, I'd suggest making a new thread, this one is old.  and that site is such pure crap, it'll give us lots to discuss  ;D
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: jedweber on December 11, 2011, 12:32:03 PM
Does anyone mind chopping this up for me?

http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.org/books/secrets/Chapter9.cfm

Their proposed timeline hinges entirely on this claim:

Quote
Finally on February 5, 2 B.C., the Roman Senate awarded Augustus the title of Pater Patriae, "Father of the Country." Augustus Caesar himself wrote about this in his book, Res Getae, paragraph 35, which is quoted on page 19 of the book, Roman Civilization, by Lewis and Reinhold. The Emperor Augustus wrote,

"When I held my thirteenth consulship, the senate, the equestrian order, and the entire Roman people gave me the title of "Father of the Country."

            When the Roman Senate passed this bill, they issued a decree throughout the entire Roman Empire that everyone under the authority of Rome should register their approval of this bill and swear an oath of allegiance to Augustus. This is the enrollment, or registration, mentioned in Luke 2:1, which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

Far as I can tell, there is absolutely NO historical evidence that conferring an honorific title on Augustus required any kind of census or mass "registration" in 2 B.C., let alone that Luke was referring to such an event. It seems to be pure speculation, created by apologists grasping for any type of event they can fit into a nativity timeline. 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Brakeman on December 11, 2011, 02:30:24 PM
Maybe there is an alternate explanation, I think since Mary, Jesus' mother was a virgin and thus still had a hymen, maybe it took jesus a few years to get out? Maybe he was 4 years old before it broke?
Maybe Mary was part Kangaroo and jesus kept slipping in there for security... that'd be bad for poor Joseph though! 
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on December 11, 2011, 04:46:40 PM
Come on guys, stop playing around. You know He was born in a manger in a little town called Bethlehem on December 25th just a little under 2,012 years ago. All this hubub is just serving Satan's plan. Knock it off.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Ice Monkey on April 03, 2012, 05:33:45 PM
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?

Actually, you've touched upon another contradictory view within the NT.  Was Jesus baptised?  Why or why not?   
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: changeling on April 04, 2012, 05:32:44 AM
Of course Jesus was baptized by John.
But since Jesus never sinned Christians had to come up with
a long convoluted reason for his baptism.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Ice Monkey on April 04, 2012, 04:15:56 PM
Of course Jesus was baptized by John.
But since Jesus never sinned Christians had to come up with
a long convoluted reason for his baptism.

Actually, all 4 gospel writers do have very different takes on his baptism.
Mark says that it isn't until the baptism that Jesus becomes God's son.  God's declaration is to Jesus.  Matthew disagrees.  God announces his son to the onlookers, but not Jesus, as Jesus wouldn't need to be told who he is.  Luke isn't much happier with Mark's take, and actually uses God's baptism delaration in his ressurection myth.  In John, Jesus, being Jesus, doesn't need to be baptised, and instead of a baptism, the scene is turned into a speech of The Baptist.

Four Gospels.  Four different stories.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: freakygin on May 11, 2012, 10:24:43 PM
Four Gospels.  Four different stories.


I did tried to argue about this with my christian friends.
And the answer i got is this


"No, it's the same story.
Let me put it this way.
Try to gather 4 people, and tell them to write everything you said and done for a day.
Let's start by something simple.
What you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner.
What bus did you take to work. etc
And then, at the end of the day, compare it to each other.
You'll se that none of them will write the same thing.
But the key point will still the same."
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Graybeard on May 14, 2012, 08:37:25 AM
The difficulty is that 4 people seeing one event are not "inspired by God" - apparently those who wrote the Gospels were.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Korelan on May 17, 2013, 10:55:53 AM
Seems this port is a bit old, but I'd like to help clarify these things for you guys!
First, I am an atheist, but I have studied much of the history of the bible, Quran, Hudith, Sunnah, and a various other books from religions.
Now, to the point:
When you claim the bible contradicts itself here, you are doing what I personally call surface-level research.  You left no room for doubt after your original findings, to further investigate, and that can become a problem.  The truth is, the passage of Matthew is not linked to your Wikipedia article Harod.  This man, whom died in 4bc had I believe 3 sons, two of whom continued to use the name Harod as a sort of dynasty to their father.  By using your wiki link I found the correct Harod listed under, "successors" here:  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Archelaus

I hope I did not spoil anybody's fun with this, but I felt it necessary to provide correct information.  I doubt you will find many people who know this fact, and I hope you use the information!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: screwtape on May 17, 2013, 11:29:00 AM
The truth is, the passage of Matthew is not linked to your Wikipedia article Harod. 

How do you know that's the one they're talking about?  Pretty much everyone, xians included, think the bible is talking about harod the great.  Convince me it is Archelaus.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: neopagan on May 17, 2013, 07:42:30 PM
Ok, admittedly new here but as a recovering theist (of 36 years) I can honestly say I either NEVER heard of any of these contradictions in a sermon - or if I had questions, I just skipped over them.  Over the last 6 months or so as I've dug into issues like these, I get a sick feeling thinking how little I engaged my brain about biblegod...  Literally, I was a skeptic about everything except my religion... it's like a magic drug you are raised on and never bother to question.  It's sad really!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Nick on May 17, 2013, 07:54:52 PM
I look at it like wearing blinders and not realizing it until you take them off.  If you ever try to put them back on it just drives you nuts.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: neopagan on May 17, 2013, 08:03:33 PM
I guess you could say I was "healed" - the scales fell off and that genie ain't going back in the bottle. 

The challenge is not to laugh out loud when I hear the nonsense.  It's tough, since my closeted status means I still drag myself to church with the family... whenever I cannot get out of it.  I seem to be sick a lot more on Sundays :)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Nick on May 17, 2013, 08:05:49 PM
Watch out with that.  They will put you on a prayer call list. ;)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: neopagan on May 17, 2013, 08:35:48 PM
Good point, Nick

Other than a goofy grin, any suggestions from the folks here when someone tells you "they'll pray for you"?  Thanks hardly cuts it...

I have a hard enough time coming up with prayers with the kids at night now... mainly stuff like "I hope kid #1 has a restful sleep, her body recovers and energizes during this rest and she has a good day tomorrow."  How non-commital to a deity is that! :)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: screwtape on May 18, 2013, 04:14:52 PM
Literally, I was a skeptic about everything except my religion... it's like a magic drug you are raised on and never bother to question. 

years after I realized I was an atheist, I dug deeper into why I didn't believe.  That rigorous skepticism and inwardly focused critical thought made me realize that I wasn't all that rational about other things in my life either.  You will probably find you have a lot of old beliefs that are not related to religion but are bullshit nevertheless.  It's not just about gods, but magical thinking in every aspect of your life.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Korelan on May 19, 2013, 03:33:50 PM
The truth is, the passage of Matthew is not linked to your Wikipedia article Harod. 

How do you know that's the one they're talking about?  Pretty much everyone, xians included, think the bible is talking about harod the great.  Convince me it is Archelaus.

By using geography, this is actually easier than you may suspect.  Here is a basic map of Nazareth's location:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Nazareth_Israel_Map.png
There are other maps if you need them for reference, but you can see Nazareth is in this general location.  Now examine the territory Archelaus controlled here:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Palestine_after_Herod.png/525px-Palestine_after_Herod.png

You can see similarity in the two. And although I do not have time right now to find the verse, but in the bible verse, Mary flees the location of "Harod the King," for a better land because he was going to persecute jesus.  Let me know if that is enough information for you, I apologize for the Wikipedia sources, but I'm not terrific with website sources, as I'm an old man now.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Korelan on May 19, 2013, 03:41:32 PM
http://mobile.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%202:13-2:23&version=NIV
Here are the verses I refered to earlier.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: screwtape on May 20, 2013, 10:42:25 AM
By using geography, this is actually easier than you may suspect.  Here is a basic map of Nazareth's location: 

I agree that makes sense, but that would be a retcon.  Yes, if jesus H were real, and if he was born in 1CE[1], then your solution makes some sense.  But that is presumptuous.  For one, it assumes the date is correct.  It might not be.  If we are trying to date when a possible actual jesus H, who was just a loud mouthed trouble maker, existed, maybe he was around during Herod the Horrible's reign. 

Or, if jesus H is a legend based on stories of various loud-mouthed trouble makers, and the legend was assembled later, by multiple sources, then the discrepancy makes sense.

Plus Many (most?) xians think it was Herod the Great.  Why?  And why is he called Herod and not Archie? 

I may be missing something, but I don't think it is as simple as you've made it out to be. 

Let me know if that is enough information for you, I apologize for the Wikipedia sources, but I'm not terrific with website sources, as I'm an old man now.

wiki is mostly reliable.  Thanks for the info.
 1. most scholars don't think that, as I recall
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on July 03, 2013, 02:06:42 AM
Now, to the point:
When you claim the bible contradicts itself here, you are doing what I personally call surface-level research.  You left no room for doubt after your original findings, to further investigate, and that can become a problem.  The truth is, the passage of Matthew is not linked to your Wikipedia article Harod.  This man, whom died in 4bc had I believe 3 sons, two of whom continued to use the name Harod as a sort of dynasty to their father.  By using your wiki link I found the correct Harod listed under, "successors" here:  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Archelaus

Uh... Am I missing something here? I believe you yourself quoted Matthew 2:13-23 in your very last post, didn't you? ...  :?

Did you overlook what is said in Matthew 2:19?
"After Herod died,..."
Is there a way to claim this is not Herod the Great?

... or did you also overlook what is said in Matthew 2:22?
"But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee..."

The OP contends that Jesus was born while Herod the Great was still alive (he gave the order to kill all the babies, remember? That's why they escaped to Egypt?)... And since Herod the Great died around 4BC, then according to Matthew's account Jesus must've been born 'just' before 4BC, which contradicts Luke and the 'Cyrenius' account.

In other words, according to Matthew:
1. Jesus is born.
2. Herod the Great knows about it and orders to kill all babies two years old or under.
3. Joseph, Mary and Jesus escape to Egypt.
4. The angel tells Joseph that the King Herod has died.
5. They return but they are afraid to go back to Bethlehem because they learn that Archelaus is reigning instead of his father Herod.

Quote
I hope I did not spoil anybody's fun with this, but I felt it necessary to provide correct information.  I doubt you will find many people who know this fact, and I hope you use the information!

I don't think anybody's fun has been spoiled. And indeed, the Bible itself mentions both Herods, Herod the Great and Herod Archelaus... I can't quite understand why this would be a not very known fact!  :o
Unless I'm clearly misreading something from your posts, the Biblical contradiction I originally posted still stands.

I'm not sure what the map links you provided later are supposed to prove.  :?
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: SkyWriting on July 04, 2013, 01:54:50 AM
Literally, I was a skeptic about everything except my religion... it's like a magic drug you are raised on and never bother to question. 

years after I realized I was an atheist, I dug deeper into why I didn't believe.  That rigorous skepticism and inwardly focused critical thought made me realize that I wasn't all that rational about other things in my life either.  You will probably find you have a lot of old beliefs that are not related to religion but are bullshit nevertheless.  It's not just about gods, but magical thinking in every aspect of your life.

You are the man.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: lux et veritas on July 04, 2013, 01:49:17 PM
Both gospel accounts are correct .The birth of Jesus took place when Quiriinius was in office . The Magi arrived approximately 2 years after his birth ..   This is the reason Herod decreed that all males 2 years  and under be slaughtered.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Graybeard on July 04, 2013, 08:15:40 PM
Except there was no "Massacre of the Innocents." The nearest is either Herod the Great killing his own sons or Herod Archelaus killing 3,000 in the Temple.

From Wiki: [wiki]Quirinius[/wiki]

Quote
After the banishment of the ethnarch Herod Archelaus in 6 AD, Iudaea (the conglomeration of Samaria, Judea and Idumea) came under direct Roman administration with Coponius as prefect; at the same time Quirinius was appointed Legate of Syria, with instructions to assess Iudea Province for taxation purposes.[8] One of his first duties was to carry out a census as part of this.

We see that the census was after the reigns of both Herod the Great and Herod Archelaus (the former died 4BC and the latter was removed in 6AD.)[1] So that puts the census after any rule of any Herod.

Quote
The Gospel of Luke links the birth of Jesus to a "world-wide" census ordered by Augustus carried out while Quirinius was governor of Syria. This is thought to be a reference to the census of Judea in 6/7 AD; however, Luke also, like the Gospel of Matthew, dates the birth to the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC, ten years before the census of 6 or 7 AD. According to Raymond E. Brown, most modern historians suggest that Luke's account is mistaken.[12] Scholars trying to reconcile the Biblical accounts have speculated about alternative explanations, such as a different census before Quirinius was governor.[13] The majority view, however, among modern scholars[14] is that there was only one census, in 6, and the author of the Gospel of Luke deviated from history in connecting it with the birth of Jesus.
 1.  ^ Erich S. Gruen, "The Expansion of the Empire under Augustus" in The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume X: The Augustan Empire, 43 BC – AD 69, (Cambridge University Press, 1996) pages 157
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on July 05, 2013, 10:16:18 AM
Both gospel accounts are correct .The birth of Jesus took place when Quiriinius was in office . The Magi arrived approximately 2 years after his birth ..   This is the reason Herod decreed that all males 2 years  and under be slaughtered.

I assume you read the initial post in this thread?

As Graybeard and many others in this discussion have pointed out, the death of Herod the Great and the start of Quirinius "administration" are at least 10 years apart historically, yet Matthew claims that Jesus was born while Herod the Great was alive and Luke claims that Jesus was born during the time a supposed Census happened while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Would you care to explain how can 'both gospel accounts be correct'?  ;)
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: Spinner198 on January 11, 2014, 08:49:37 PM
This article seems to provide a substantial response to the question posed.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/03/16/feedback-conservative-journalist-attacks-genesis-birth-of-christ

Yes, it's AIG, so some of you might have to hold your breath before taking the link.
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: skepticlogician on March 11, 2014, 11:39:25 PM
Answers in Genesis... come on...

Just for fun I started to read with the idea to choose a substantial claim and see what evidence or references they provided... so I found a good candidate. After a few paragraphs they say this:

"First, the Romans at the time conducted a census roughly every 14 years, and they often took years to complete. (3)"

That number between parenthesis is a reference to a book called "When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties" by Norman L. Geisler and Thomas A. Howe...

So I searched for that book and found a pdf version online (http://endtimedeception.org/books/when_critics_ask-a-popular-handbook-on-bible-difficulties.pdf). And sure enough, the book (on page 326 in the pdf version) says this:
"Second, periodic registrations of this sort took place on a regular basis every 14
years. According to the very papers that recorded the censuses, (see W.M. Ramsay,
Was Christ Born in Bethlehem? 1898),..."


... So I went ahead and searched for that other book... and found it online! (https://archive.org/details/waschristbornatb00rams). This book in turn has a lot of mentions about a "Fourteen Year Cycle" thing in various places but I couldn't find a place where this book itself references these claims... Maybe it's there somewhere, but I don't have the time to read the whole book...

My point is, why is AIG so lazy as to not give you the primary reference for this whole idea of 14 year cycles?? Their approach is just a variation of what people do when they say: "A friend of a cousin was told that a brother of their uncle said..."

Come on...

I don't know, there might be a real reference somewhere, but if so, why not provide that in the first place!??
Puhleeease!!
Title: Re: When was Jesus born? - Contradiction between gospels
Post by: thinkernotdoubter1997 on November 27, 2014, 10:41:45 PM
I know you all know that there are tons of contradictions one can find in the Bible.
But I'm particularly curious about what theists have to say about this one (SmartNoodles, this one is for you too :)).
So, here it is:

Was Jesus born before 4 BCE, as it can be deduced from Matthew 2:1, or was Jesus born after 6 CE, as Luke suggests in Luke 2:1??

Here are the quotes:

Matthew 2:1
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem..."

You just need to go find in history when did King Herod live. Although I'm sure you can find it elsewhere, Wikipedia is a very reliable source, so if you look it up, you can find that Herod the Great died in 4 BCE (although other sources point to 1 BCE, but this shouldn't make a big difference since Jesus was born when Herod was still alive, which means his birth happened before 4 BCE). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great


Luke 2:1-2
"1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)"


And we all know that this Census was the reason for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. So, let's apply the same criteria here and go to history to figure out when this Census happened. And Luke clearly gives hints about this by mentioning that this happened "when Cyrenius was governor of Syria". So, let's go to Wikipedia one more time, and we can find that this census happened in the year 6 or 7 CE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius


So, clearly these two gospels are contradicting each other.
Theists, SmartNoodles, what are your answers to this?

Edit: typo

Answer: TODAY!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)