Census of Quirinius
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17-12-2013, 09:23 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 11:37 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
Census of Quirinius
The first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke indicate the birth of Jesus took place at the time of the census:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. (Luke 2:1–7—NRSV)

The passage describes how Jesus' parents, Joseph and Mary, travel from their home in Nazareth, in Galilee, to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born. This explains how Jesus, a Galilean, could have been born in Bethlehem in Judea, the city of King David. However, this passage has long been considered problematic by Biblical scholars, since it places the birth of Jesus around the time of the census in 6/7, whereas both this Gospel and the Gospel of Matthew, which makes no mention of the census, indicate a birth in the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BCE, at least ten years earlier. In addition, no historical sources mention a census of the Roman world which would cover the entire population. Those of Augustus covered Roman citizens only, and it was not the practice in Roman censuses to require people to return to their ancestral homes.

James Dunn wrote: "the idea of a census requiring individuals to move to the native town of long dead ancestors is hard to credit". E. P. Sanders points out that it would have been the practice for the census-takers, not the taxed, to travel, and that Joseph, resident in Galilee, would not have been covered by a census in Judaea.

Traditionally, biblical scholars tried to suggest ways of reconciling the two accounts, many of which involve making assumptions about the historical evidence: that Josephus was incorrect, or the text had been corrupted, and the census was actually conducted by one of the governors of Herod's time, such as Gaius Sentius Saturninus or Publius Quinctilius Varus; that there were two separate events, either a decree followed by a census ten years later, or a census followed by an imposition of tax ten years later; that the words of Luke could be interpreted to mean that the census had been carried out before Quirinius was governor; or that he had carried out an earlier census, either as governor or in a subordinate role.

In 1886, however, the theologian Emil Schürer, in his monumental study, Geschichte des judischen Volks im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ), closely criticised the traditional view. He raised five points which showed, he believed, that the Luke account could not be historically accurate:

1) nothing is known in history of a general census by Augustus.
2) in a Roman census Joseph would not have had to travel to Bethlehem, and Mary would not have had to travel at all.
3) no Roman census would have been made in Judea during the reign of Herod.
4) Josephus records no such census, and it would have been a notable innovation. 5) Quirinius was not governor of Syria until long after the reign of Herod. The suggested alternative translations have been described as "implausible" and "almost impossible".

Most modern scholars explain the disparity as an error on the part of the author of the Gospel, concluding that he was more concerned with creating a symbolic narrative than a historical account, (isn't that the whole of the bible anyway...a huge allegory?) and was either unaware of, or indifferent to, the chronological difficulty.

In The Birth of the Messiah (1977), a detailed study of the infancy narratives of Jesus, the American scholar Raymond E. Brown concluded that "this information is dubious on almost every score, despite the elaborate attempts by scholars to defend Lucan accuracy."

W. D. Davies and E. P. Sanders ascribe this to simple error: “on many points, especially about Jesus’ early life, the evangelists were ignorant … they simply did not know, and, guided by rumour, hope or supposition, did the best they could”. (sounds like the whole of the bible again, heresay led by rumor and hope) Fergus Millar suggests that Luke's narrative was a construct designed to connect Jesus with the house of David.

Seems like Luke took quite the creative licence, not unlike the majority of the biblical authors.

Thoughts?

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


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17-12-2013, 11:23 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
First thought is that you should credit Wikipedia and provide a link for this C&P job.
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17-12-2013, 11:35 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
Quirinius's census, (if it even happened), was 10 years after Herod the Great died.
Big deal. The gospels were invented. It's just one of many "problematic" episodes.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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17-12-2013, 11:36 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Traditionally, biblical scholars tried to suggest ways of reconciling the two accounts, many of which involve making assumptions about the historical evidence: that Josephus was incorrect, or the text had been corrupted...

If something Josephus says contradicts their narrative, it must be wrong; however, if two little snippets (one of which is widely thought to be a forgery) make a really vague mention of Jesus, suddenly it's indisputable, authoritative, secular proof of the historicity of Jesus.

I hate that level of intellectual dishonesty. It'd be one thing if they had a reason to doubt Josephus other than "Nuh uh! Luke said so and we all know Luke is true!", but they don't.


(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Seems like Luke took quite the creative licence, not unlike the majority of the biblical authors.

Which I find funny. I thought one of the driving forces of Luke was to correct some pretty bad errors in history that Mark made (which is, by and large, a good thing). I guess he also felt the need to "fulfill" a few prophesies while he was at it, too.
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17-12-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:23 AM)alpha male Wrote:  First thought is that you should credit Wikipedia and provide a link for this C&P job.

Sure, done. I didn't posit it as my theory or research.
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17-12-2013, 11:38 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:23 AM)alpha male Wrote:  First thought is that you should credit Wikipedia and provide a link for this C&P job.

Yeah, aside from honesty, it would also be helpful for anyone who also wanted to follow any of the hyperlinks.
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17-12-2013, 11:39 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:35 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Quirinius's census, (if it even happened), was 10 years after Herod the Great died.
Big deal. The gospels were invented. It's just one of many "problematic" episodes.

I agree, it was all invented. I was merely bringing it up as not everyone knows this little tidbit. I have been debating theology for years and hadnt heard of it until the other day.
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17-12-2013, 11:42 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Traditionally, biblical scholars tried to suggest ways of reconciling the two accounts, many of which involve making assumptions about the historical evidence: that Josephus was incorrect, or the text had been corrupted...

If something Josephus says contradicts their narrative, it must be wrong; however, if two little snippets (one of which is widely thought to be a forgery) make a really vague mention of Jesus, suddenly it's indisputable, authoritative, secular proof of the historicity of Jesus.

I hate that level of intellectual dishonesty. It'd be one thing if they had a reason to doubt Josephus other than "Nuh uh! Luke said so and we all know Luke is true!", but they don't.


(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Seems like Luke took quite the creative licence, not unlike the majority of the biblical authors.

Which I find funny. I thought one of the driving forces of Luke was to correct some pretty bad errors in history that Mark made (which is, by and large, a good thing). I guess he also felt the need to "fulfill" a few prophesies while he was at it, too.

Exactly the reason I found it hilarious myself. "oh luke such and such..." like that makes ANYTHING valid. It is all secondhand, wishful thinking about a story based on heresay retold and posited as truth. Only the blind believe it at face value.
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17-12-2013, 11:53 AM
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:42 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Exactly the reason I found it hilarious myself. "oh luke such and such..." like that makes ANYTHING valid. It is all secondhand, wishful thinking about a story based on heresay retold and posited as truth. Only the blind believe it at face value.

In Luke's case, it's likely at least thirdhand. Given the amount of errors in Mark's account, we have no reason to believe he was writing based on firsthand knowledge. If he did, he waited something like 40 years to put it on paper (and we know how good human memory is!). We know that Luke used Mark as one of his sources, so if Mark was already secondhand, Luke would be thirdhand.
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17-12-2013, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 12:12 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Census of Quirinius
(17-12-2013 11:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Traditionally, biblical scholars tried to suggest ways of reconciling the two accounts, many of which involve making assumptions about the historical evidence: that Josephus was incorrect, or the text had been corrupted...

If something Josephus says contradicts their narrative, it must be wrong; however, if two little snippets (one of which is widely thought to be a forgery) make a really vague mention of Jesus, suddenly it's indisputable, authoritative, secular proof of the historicity of Jesus.

I hate that level of intellectual dishonesty. It'd be one thing if they had a reason to doubt Josephus other than "Nuh uh! Luke said so and we all know Luke is true!", but they don't.


(17-12-2013 09:23 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Seems like Luke took quite the creative licence, not unlike the majority of the biblical authors.

Which I find funny. I thought one of the driving forces of Luke was to correct some pretty bad errors in history that Mark made (which is, by and large, a good thing). I guess he also felt the need to "fulfill" a few prophesies while he was at it, too.

Josephus was in no way an "objective" observer or writer. He bought into all the ancient myths concerning Hebrew history and origins, and he was a paid client of Vespasian, (the Roman emperor). The REASON he wrote the "Antiquities of the Jews" was to demonstrate that his patron (the emperor) was actually the messiah, and to debunk the other claimants. Hardly "objective", that. (It's also perfectly obvious he NEVER would have written the "interpolated" paragraph in Chapter 18, saying what it does, if the purpose of the work was to claim otherwise .. it's SO obvious). The earliest extant manuscript in in a Museum in Milan, and even THAT late the interpolated text is STILL in different ink, and different hand writing. How dumb did they think people were ?

As Carrier points out, Philo of Alexandria (a JEW) was, BEFORE Jebus' time, preaching about a suspiciously similar Jesus, (died for sins, rose in 3 days etc etc). With NO records of any kind, how could they possibly tell the difference even 10-20 years later ? In his "The Trouble with Resurrection", Dr. B.B. Scott (a professor in a seminary in Oklahoma) points out many of the things which are also VERY suspicious concerning origins which originate with Paul (Saul) of Tarsus).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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