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Old 05-31-2001, 11:24 AM   #1
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Post the Census and other matters

Now this time please read all the words.

Tutornm says the census in Luke 2 didn't take place. In fact there is a ludicrous page on the infidels site that also asserts this. This is real 19th century stuff. It was way back in the 19th century that people tired to pick on Luke's historicity, in fact so long ago that even the 19th century Scholar Von Harnnack said it was shameful.


First quote is from New Advent Catholic Encylopidia:


1) Luke has been gernally vidicated in most of his assertions.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09420a.htm

Cathloic Encyclopedia

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Very few writers have ever had their accuracy put to such a severe test as St. Luke, on account of the wide field covered by his writings, and the consequent liability (humanly speaking) of making mistakes; and on account of the fierce attacks to which he has been subjected. It was the fashion, during the nineteenth century, with German rationalists and their imitators, to ridicule the "blunders" of Luke, but that is all being rapidly changed by the recent progress of archæological research. Harnack does not hesitate to say that these attacks were shameful, and calculated to bring discredit, not on the Evangelist, but upon his critics, and Ramsay is but voicing the opinion of the best modern scholars when he calls St. Luke a great and accurate historian. Very few have done so much as this latter writer, in his numerous works and in his articles in "The Expositor", to vindicate the extreme accuracy of St. Luke. Wherever archæology has afforded the means of testing St. Luke's statements, they have been found to be correct; and this gives confidence that he is equally reliable where no such corroboration is as yet available. For some of the details see ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, where a very full bibliography is given.</font>


2) The Census is pretty well proven: and Quirinius as gov. of Syria must also be addresed.

New Advent:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
IX. THE CENSUS OF QUIRINIUS


No portion of the New Testament has been so fiercely attacked as Luke, ii, 1-5. Schürer has brought together, under six heads, a formidable array of all the objections that can he urged against it. There is not space to refute them here; but Ramsay in his "Was Christ born in Bethlehem?" has shown that they all fall to the ground:-- (1) St. Luke does not assert that a census took place all over the Roman Empire before the death of Herod, but that a decision emanated from Augustus that regular census were to be made.


Whether they were carried out in general, or not, was no concern of St. Luke's. If history does not prove the existence of such a decree it certainly proves nothing against it. It was thought for a long time that the system of Indictions was inaugurated under the early Roman emperors, it is now known that they owe their origin to Constantine the Great (the first taking place fifteen years after his victory of 312), and this in spite of the fact that history knew nothing of the matter. Kenyon holds that it is very probable that Pope Damasus ordered the Vulgate to be regarded as the only authoritative edition of the Latin Bible; but it would be difficult to Prove it historically. If "history knows nothing" of the census in Palestine before 4 B.C. neither did it know anything of the fact that under the Romans in Egypt regular personal census were held every fourteen years, at least from A.D. 20 till the time of Constantine. Many of these census papers have been discovered, and they were called apograthai, the name used by St. Luke. They were made without any reference to property or taxation. The head of the household gave his name and age, the name and age of his wife, children, and slaves. He mentioned how many were included in the previous census, and how many born since that time. Valuation returns were made every year. The fourteen years' cycle did not originate in Egypt (they had a different system before 19 B.C.), but most probably owed its origin to Augustus, 8 B.C., the fourteenth year of his tribunitia potestas, which was a great year in Rome, and is called the year I in some inscriptions.


Apart from St. Luke and Josephus, history is equally ignorant of the second enrolling in Palestine, A.D. 6. So many discoveries about ancient times, concerning which history has been silent, have been made during the last thirty years that it is surprising modern authors should brush aside a statement of St. Luke's, a respectable first-century writer, with a mere appeal to the silence of history on the matter. (2) The first census in Palestine, as described by St. Luke, was not made according to Roman, but Jewish, methods. St. Luke, who travelled so much, could not be ignorant of the Roman system, and his description deliberately excludes it. The Romans did not run counter to the feelings of provincials more than they could help. Jews, who were proud of being able to prove their descent, would have no objection to the enrolling described in Luke, ii. Schürer's arguments are vitiated throughout by the supposition that the census mentioned by St. Luke could be made only for taxation purposes. His discussion of imperial taxation learned but beside the mark (cf. the practice in Egypt). It was to the advantage of Augustus to know the number of possible enemies in Palestine, in case of revolt. (3) King Herod was not as independent as he is described for controversial purposes. A few years before Herod's death Augustus wrote to him. Josephus, "Ant.", XVI, ix., 3, has: "Cæsar [Augustus] . . . grew very angry, and wrote to Herod sharply. The sum of his epistle was this, that whereas of old he used him as a friend, he should now use him as his subject." It was after this that Herod was asked to number his people. That some such enrolling took place we gather from a passing remark of Josephus, "Ant.", XVII, ii, 4, "Accordingly, when all the people of the Jews gave assurance of their good will to Cæsar [Augustus], and to the king's [Herod's] government, these very men [the Pharisees] did not swear, being above six thousand." The best scholars think they were asked to swear allegiance to Augustus. (4)

It is said there was no room for Quirinius, in Syria, before the death of Herod in 4 B.C. C. Sentius Saturninus was governor there from 9-6 B.C.; and Quintilius Varus, from 6 B.C. till after the death of Herod. But in turbulent provinces there were sometimes times two Roman officials of equal standing. In the time of Caligula the administration of Africa was divided in such a way that the military power, with the foreign policy, was under the control of the lieutenant of the emperor, who could be called a hegemon (as in St. Luke), while the internal affairs were under the ordinary proconsul.


The same position was held by Vespasian when he conducted the war in Palestine, which belonged to the province of Syria--a province governed by an officer of equal rank. Josephus speaks of Volumnius as being Kaisaros hegemon, together with C. Sentius Saturninus, in Syria (9-6 B.C.): "There was a hearing before Saturninus and Volumnius, who were then the presidents of Syria" (Ant., XVI, ix, 1). He is called procurator in "Bel. Jud.", I, xxvii, 1, 2. Corbulo commanded the armies of Syria against the Parthians, while Quadratus and Gallus were successively governors of Syria. Though Josephus speaks of Gallus, he knows nothing of Corbulo; but he was there nevertheless (Mommsen, "Röm. Gesch.", V, 382). A similar position to that of Corbulo must have been held by Quirinius for a few years between 7 and 4 B.C. The best treatment of the subject is that by Ramsay "Was Christ Born in Bethlehem?" See also the valuable essays of two Catholic writers: Marucchi in "Il Bessarione" (Rome, 1897); Bour, "L'lnscription de Quirinius et le Recensement de S. Luc" (Rome, 1897). Vigouroux, "Le N. T. et les Découvertes Modernes" (Paris, 1890), has a good deal of useful information. It has been suggested that Quirinius is a copyist's error for Quintilius (Varus). </font>

This next section is form my website so some of the material is redudant, and there are other matters, exmaples of Luke's accuracy.




One of the great archeaologits of the 19th century and early 20th, Sir William Ramsay, who spent 15 years attempting to undermine Luke's credentials as a historian, and to refute the reliability of the New Testament, finally concluded: "Luke is a historian of the first rank . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. "

[most of these quotations are from Bruce's book The New Testament Documents, Are They Reliable?.]

The Infant Narratives
Luke and Matthew share much of the material of the infant narrative, but Luke sheds more historical light on the subject. Many skeptics are always quite to argue that there is no histiorcal record of the Census which brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. But actually there is. "Sir William Ramsay showed that, based upon the word used in Luke, Cesar Agustus laid down the requirements for an on going census not one massive poll taking. That the machinery for such an undertaking was in opporation at the time is found in the Works of Clement of Alexadria (155-220)." (Harrison P22) Evidence from Egypt shows an on going census at the time of Christ's birth whith 14 year intervals for enrollment. Birth records from the early second cnetury in Egypt indicate that the census was still in opporation and it gives us a look at the method used for organization of the census. [R.K. Harrison, Archeaology of the New Testament New York: Association Press, 1964, 23]quotes on CensusHarrison, p23



Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
"That the machinery for such an administrative percedure was in fact opprative seems clearly indicated in the writtings of Clement of Alexandria (155-202) who recorded that it commenced with the census that was in progress at the time when Christ was born. Documentary evidence form Egypt consisting of actual census reports for enrolements in AD 90, 104, 118, 132, and suceeding years is now to hand, and it is an accredited fact that in the latter empire there was a 14 year interval between enrolments." [Harrison, p.23]</font>
3) Quarinius Govenor of Syria

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
"Earlier scholars objected that a census held by Qurinias could not have occurred in the time of Herod, since Quritinias had not them become govenor of Syria. However it is clear from contemporary inscriptions that Quarinias exercised some kind of executive power on two distinct occasions in Syria. One of these source found at Antioch in Pisidia spoke of P. Sulpicius Qurarinias dummvir waging a campaign in Syria about 10 BC.* in his capacity of Chief Magistrate, while a second inscritiption attested to his prominence in the imperial army in 6 BC.* It should be noticed that Luke does not say that Quarinius held the census himself, but only that it was conducted at the time that he was Legate...ON this basis W.M. Calder concluded that Quarinius had held two govenorships in Syria. F.F. Burch followed Ramsay in maintianing a date for the first of these between 10 and 7 BC and commented:

"There is evidence that Quarinias held such a post at an earlier time,proabably between 10 BC and 7 BC when as extradinary imperial legate in the provience of Syrio-Cilicia for military purposes, he commanded an explidition against the Homanadenses, a Moutin Tribe of Asia Minor."
*[See also A Robertson Luke the Historian in the Light of Research p.128 BRD p285, and William Ramsay Journal of Roman Sutidies, (1917) VII p.271 {Harrison,Archaeology and The New Testament, p.25]</font>
Officals and titlesStephen Neil makes the point that Luke get's all of the titles correct in Acts, all the minor officials in every little localities, even titles which were thought previously to have been wrong archaeology has proven Luke right. He also is right about the invidividuals who inhabited offices during the time of the book of Acts.

Just to give a few examples.


1) The pool of Bethseda


in Luke where the angle "troubled the waters" for healing, and Jesus healed the lame man and told him to take up his bed and walk, has been discovered beneath the Church of ST. Anne. There is a pool at the bottom of a flight of stairs and an ancient fresco with a picture of an angel troubling the waters. (Bruce, 94).


2)In Romans 16:23 Paul sends greetings from Erastus the city treasurer.


IN Corinth an inscription has been found which mentions Erastus (ibid. 95) Harnack and others attest to Lukes accuracy in terms of the ship wreck on Malta, the flavor and historicity of the cities he speaks of the, the time period and all other verifiable elements of this nature.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
"Sir William Ramsay who devoted many fruitful years to the Archaeology of Asia Minor testifies to Lukes intimate and accurate acquaintance and the Greek East at the time with which his writings deal." (Bruce 90). Ramsay began as a Tubingen liberal, believing Luke to be a second century production with no validity. By the end of his life he was so persuaded of the truth and validity of Luke that he gave up scholarship and became an Evangelist and apologist using arguments based upon the discoveries he had made. (Ibid). It cannot be claimed that he was not an "objective" scholar, as he is one of the greats of the field. Dr. Henry J.Cadbury delivered the Lowell lectures in 1953 and produced a work on the Book of Acts in which he hailed Luke as a first rate historian (Ibid.).</font>

4) Luke gets titels exact


Stephen Neil [Interp of NT 1964] thinks that one of the most impressive aspects of Luke as an historian is that he always gets the titles write. Many of the titles of local offcials which Luke provides us with were not validated until modern times.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
"The writter of Acts knew the correct titles and used them with varying percision. In the words of Ramsey: 'the officials with whom Paul and his compainions were brought into contact are those who would be there. Every person is found just where he ought to be; procounsuls in senatorial provences, asiarchs in Ephesus, strategoi in Philippi, politarchs in Thessolonica, magicians and soothsayers everywhere.' The Most remarkable of these titles is Politarch the ruler of the city used in Acts 17:6...previously this word had been completely unknown except for this passage in Acts. It has now been found in 19 inscriptions dating from he second century..." (Stephen Neil, The Interpriation of the New Testament:1861-1961, London: Oxford Univesity press, 1964, p.143).</font>

Neil argues that titles are the hardest things to get right, modern Frnech writters never get English titles right, and this is something that would easily and surely betray an anacrinism (147).Historians of the modern day judge Luke a superb historian. It is true that Luke could have made up the events of Jesus' ministry and just used factual information to write the narrative. But it is obsurd to think that Luke would trapse all over Palestine to learn the little obscure titles of minor officials, because he is right about the exact people in authority at the time and the exact titles they held. This is clearly the work of an eye witness not merely a ficutional writter.


all of this was settaled way back a century ago. it's only the backward looking 19th century oriented Sec Web that dredges up this BS from the old days to fool unsuspecting kids of today who don't know the history of scholarship.


Now I don't know if I'll bother responding to critics. Most of you are not concerned wtih the facts. Most of you just want to labels Chrsitians so you can ignore the option of Christianity and curse at people who disagree with you. Instead of doing that if you will deal with the issues and with the documentation I will respond.

For those of you who think that I'm just mangeling quotes I defy you to put up or shut up and show how I am taking these quotations out of context or anything else.

Just to review:

1) There are no other versions of the basic Jesus story, no mytholgoical development offering other accounts of his death, burriel or ressrurrection, nothing that places it in a different time or place.

2) the General form of NT wirtting lacks the major ear marks of mythology, it cliams for itself that it is historical

3) and in general it checks out with archaeology (as seen above)

4) We know that the people, the major players of the Gospel drama really lived and knew each other.

5) We have the writtings of those who knew them and spoke of their testimony

6) The gospels claims for themselves to be historical and the major characters in them, the communities and those who knew them certainly understand them as such.

all of this documented in the other threads I've put on the board.

So there is no basis for the calim that they were writing myth and no reason to think that Jesus wasn't an historical figure who really claimed to be Messiah, was crucified and his tomb found empty and followers claimed he rose from the dead. Of course the rest has to be faith. That is not proof of the truth claims, but the basic conditions are met such that the truth claims could be ture and so one must make a leap of faith.


 
Old 05-31-2001, 12:03 PM   #2
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I did a search for this "great" archeologist Sir William Ramsay, and come up with interesting results.

I got dozens, even hundreds, of hits for a Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish Chemist. But using multiple web searches, including the major encyclopedias, the ONLY hit I got on a Sir William Ramsay as an archeologist was on BIBLE APOLOGETIC web sites!

Those sites called this guy "world renouned" and "famous" and "one of the greatest archeologists of the 19th century" and so forth, but I couldn't find a single non-apologetic site that even mentioned this name associated with anything about archeology.

Britannica, MSN Encarta, and the rest of the whole web apart from the few apologetic sites don't even appear to know who this guy is. If this guy was a "great" archeologist, someone forget to tell everybody else.

There's something very wrong with this picture!!

 
Old 05-31-2001, 12:26 PM   #3
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Nice long empty post, a rich feast of non-points. It says "there is no evidence that there was not a census." There is no evidence that there was.

Do you know of any census in which people were required to return to their home villages?

Can you come up with something better than might-have-beens and could-possiblys, buttressed by the opinions of 19th century archaeologists?

In any case, it is not that big a deal. I am happy to concede that Luke dated Jesus' birth to a historical event involving a census in the first ten years of the century, of whose date and particulars he was fuzzy on.

Michael

 
Old 05-31-2001, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:

I did a search for this "great" archeologist Sir William Ramsay, and come up with interesting results.

I got dozens, even hundreds, of hits for a Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish Chemist. But using multiple web searches, including the major encyclopedias, the ONLY hit I got on a Sir William Ramsay as an archeologist was on BIBLE APOLOGETIC web sites!</font>
Are you talking about Webminister.com where you can read about William Mitchell Ramsay? If so, what is the problem?

His qualifications are listed for all to see:

In 1879 Ramsay contributed about one hundred articles on classical subjects to the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica

In 1885 Ramsay became the first Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at Oxford

In 1886 named Regius Professor of Humanity, as the Latin professorship is called, at his alma mater, the University of Aberdeen (served to 1911)

In 1893 he was awarded the gold medal of Pope Leo XIII

In 1906 the Victoria medal of the Royal Geographical Society

Knighted in 1906 on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of the University of Aberdeen for his distinguished service to the scholarly world

Three honorary fellowships of Oxford colleges (Exeter, 1898, Lincoln, 1899, and St. John's, 1912)

Nine honorary degrees from Oxford, St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Cambridge, Edinburgh, New York, Bordeaux, and Marburg

An original fellow of the British Academy

According to his obituary notice in The Times (London) April 22, 1939,
Ramsay's abiding fame will rest first on his comprehensive exploration of Asia Minor; ... and secondly, on the new method which he developed and taught to students of ancient geography. On account of both he received worldwide recognition.

Interestingly, there is an author by the name of William M. Ramsay from England (Westminster to be exact) who has written extensively on the Bible. I suppose it is possible that he was named in honour of the great Sir William M. Ramsay.

I do wish you Americans would not be so perochial, and assume that if you have never heard of him (or if he lived a long time ago), he must be a nobody.

Now, do you have any comments on any of Ramsay's conclusions? Do you have any criticisms of his actual work? What is wrong with his credentials in your view (outside of the obvious fact that you have personally never heard of him)?

I am curious.

Nomad
 
Old 05-31-2001, 01:15 PM   #5
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Nomad beat me to the punch on the Sir William Ramsay. A quick internet search doesn't always tell you what you need to know, madmax.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Turtonm:
Do you know of any census in which people were required to return to their home villages?</font>
Yes. Here is a census translated on K.C. Hanson's website.

So no one has to follow the link, here is the translation of the greek edict by Hanson:

"Gaius Vibius Maximus, the Prefect of Egypt, declares:

The census by household having begun, it is essential that all those who are away from their nomes [a province in ancient Egypt] be summoned to return to their own hearths so that they may perform the customary business of registration and apply themselves to the cultivation which concerns them. Knowing, however, that some of the people from the countryside are required by our city, I desire all those who think they have a satisfactory reason for remaining here to register themselves before . . . Festus, the Cavalry Commander, whom I have appointed for this purpose, from whom those who have shown their presence to be necessary shall receive signed permits in accordance with this edict up to the 30th of the present month E . . ."
(my emphasis and definition of "nomes")

Meta and Nomad are right on track. Please look at all the data before declaring it bogus.

Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited May 31, 2001).]
 
Old 05-31-2001, 02:39 PM   #6
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I'm sorry Meta, but what how do all of those quotes support your assertion?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(1) St. Luke does not assert that a census took place all over the Roman Empire before the death of Herod, but that a decision emanated from Augustus that regular census were to be made.
Whether they were carried out in general, or not, was no concern of St. Luke's. If history does not prove the existence of such a decree it certainly proves nothing against it.</font>
So Luke asserted that the Emperor ordered a census, but there is no independent evidence of this?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> One of these source found at Antioch in Pisidia spoke of P. Sulpicius Qurarinias dummvir waging a campaign in Syria about 10
BC.* in his capacity of Chief Magistrate, while a second inscritiption attested to his prominence in the imperial army in 6 BC.*</font>
So Quirinius might not have been governor when Jesus was born, as Luke asserted, but he was a chief magistrate in 10BC, and a really important guy in the army in 6BC?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">1) Luke has been gernally vidicated in most of his assertions.</font>
'generally'? 'most'?

Then you quote Neil, who apparently likes to have it both ways. He argues: 1) Luke is an impressive historian because he always gets local officials' titles right and 2) Its absurd to think that Luke would go through the trouble of getting every little official's title right.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">all of this was settaled way back a century ago.</font>
What did I miss? Was something settled? There might have been an order for a census during the reign of Herod and when Quirinius was a prominent person in the imperial army? Luke was generally right in most of his historical claims? Is that what's settled? Is there some sort of point buried in that massive post? Would you care to share it?
 
Old 05-31-2001, 03:08 PM   #7
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Er Nomad, perhaps you didn't read very carefully. I said I didn't get any hits EXCEPT for bible related apologetic sites. Its quite interesting how this site has "Go Ye" and "Preach" in the upper corners and a bible verse at the bottom.

I also find it curious that such a "great", "world renouned", archeologist would appear only on apologetic related web sites.(Thats all I could find anyhow) Britannica doesn't mention him in spite of those hundred articles. I even searched some archeology sites/databases - nothing.

Knighted in 1906 on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of the University of Aberdeen for his distinguished service to the scholarly world

According to his obituary notice in The Times (London) April 22, 1939,
Ramsay's abiding fame will rest first on his comprehensive exploration of Asia Minor; ... and secondly, on the new method which he developed and taught to students of ancient geography. On account of both he received worldwide recognition


The "world" seems to have completely forgotten about him even though biblical apologists apparently haven't.

I do wish you Americans would not be so perochial, and assume that if you have never heard of him (or if he lived a long time ago), he must be a nobody.

Perhaps you could point out a reference where someone other than an apologetic site thinks he was a real "great" somebody. (But I did notice the "nobody" strawman )

Now, do you have any comments on any of Ramsay's conclusions? Do you have any criticisms of his actual work? What is wrong with his credentials in your view (outside of the obvious fact that you have personally never heard of him)?

My personal "hearing of him" would be irrelevant. I'm not a historian. What is relevant is why I can't find anyone other than biblical apologists thinking he's all that great. Can you honestly tell me that its not strange to you? No encyclopedia references, no historical sites, (put aside bias just for a moment)

Since the people here seem to think that appeals to authority are strong arguments, how many other historians agree with this Ramsay's conclusions that Luke is a "first rate" historian? Or is his the professional opinion of one or just a few?

(But I'm going to keep looking regardless. Such a great archeologist must have left his mark somewhere other than just in Christian apologist databases. )




 
Old 05-31-2001, 05:20 PM   #8
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Here is an excerpt from Richard Carrier;


The Date of the Nativity in Luke (2000)

Richard Carrier

It is indisputable that Luke dates the birth of Jesus to 6 A.D.
It is also indisputable that Matthew dates the birth of Jesus to
6 B.C. (or some year before 4 B.C.). This is an irreconcilable
contradiction.


I wonder where Carrier got this date?

thanks, offa
 
Old 05-31-2001, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:
I did a search for this "great" archeologist Sir William Ramsay, and come up with interesting results.

I got dozens, even hundreds, of hits for a Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish Chemist. But using multiple web searches, including the major encyclopedias, the ONLY hit I got on a Sir William Ramsay as an archeologist was on BIBLE APOLOGETIC web sites!

Those sites called this guy "world renouned" and "famous" and "one of the greatest archeologists of the 19th century" and so forth, but I couldn't find a single non-apologetic site that even mentioned this name associated with anything about archeology.

Britannica, MSN Encarta, and the rest of the whole web apart from the few apologetic sites don't even appear to know who this guy is. If this guy was a "great" archeologist, someone forget to tell everybody else.

There's something very wrong with this picture!!

</font>
ahahahahaha, so you think they just made that up hu? Man, what dishonesty! You have major people saying theses things about him; F.F. Bruce, Stephen Neil, ect, than obviously its true. The reason you can't find him on the internet, I hate to break to you, but the real knolwledge is still in books! Yea, sorry. Those funny paper things that people put their faces in. YOu know those buildings they call, what is that word, Ooo, Library. Yea go to a library and look for books on Biblical archaeology.

You can also look up some of his books. The Cities of St. Paul is one of his major works. Look for that one.

He was one of the greats at a time when the school of academic archaeology was still in its infancy. He retired at the begining of the 20th century so naturally there isn't a big project to put his stuff on the net. His evidence is old, but it hasn't been disproven.

And this is doging the issue.

BTW it really shows how little you know about it that you have not heard of him.
 
Old 05-31-2001, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Nice long empty post, a rich feast of non-points. It says "there is no evidence that there was not a census." There is no evidence that there was. </font>
Meta =&gt;And to think I ask you actually read the words this time. Those would be those funny sqiggely things that appear when you press the buttons on your key board. It does not say there is a lack of evidence agaisnt it! I'm begining to think you can't read. It says Ramsey found definate proof of an on going census. It was not a one time poll but a regular duty that one had to fulfill every 14 years and it was still in effect in the time of Chruch fahters. That's positive evidence.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Do you know of any census in which people were required to return to their home villages?</font>
The evidence above shows that they were requried to do so in this 14 year census.

Can you come up with something better than might-have-beens and could-possiblys, buttressed by the opinions of 19th century archaeologists?

That's such an absurd response, as though its' my burden of proof to prove why we should not appraoch the text with suspeician. No, this is good reason to beleive the veracity of the text you must show why it is not!

In any case, it is not that big a deal. I am happy to concede that Luke dated Jesus' birth to a historical event involving a census in the first ten years of the century, of whose date and particulars he was fuzzy on.


Yea, why would he do that if it was "just mythology?" That' s not a ear mark of mythology anyway. No mythological time. Grounded in concete place and time, so we have reason to understand it as histoircal writting.
 
 

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