FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-03-2001, 09:19 AM   #11
Boro Nut
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Middlesbrough, England
Posts: 3,909
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Muad'dib:
<STRONG>Does anyone know something about these claims of Quirinius' multiple reigns and frequent censuses?</STRONG>
As far as I know the romans had the same census as we do. I think there were five. Smell, Taste, Talking, Hungry and Football I think.

Boro Nut
Boro Nut is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 02:52 PM   #12
Toto
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Boro Nut makes more sense than Nomad.

Once again, when I track down Nomad’s references, I find litle or no support for what he says. Now I see why Nomad is running a small business in Calgary instead of studying history at a major University where he would have to defend his research against real standards.

Nomad (one of the two Christians on this thread with language difficulties) still doesn’t understand what Richard meant by "indisputable". Can’t help him there.

In other cases, Nomad still shows no evidence of having read what Carrier wrote.

Quote:
Nomad: For example, had Carrier merely continued to read Luke, he would have seen in Luke 3:1, 23 that Jesus was about 30 years of age in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius (c.27-28AD). This places the dating of Jesus' birth at 3 BC or earlier.

Carrier: And had you actually read my essay you would know I did notice these passages and discuss them at length. Luke does not in fact link those two events.

Nomad: This is where things really break down for you. One need not do much math to work backwards from when Tiberius reigned in his 15th year, then determine when Luke dates the birth of Jesus. That you could not even point this out is a strange omission, except that it blows apart your entire thesis, as well as your assertion.
(emphasis added)

From Carrier’s article:

Quote:
The Date of John the Baptist's Ministry

Luke gives us another precise date when he sets the beginning of John's ministry to 28 A.D. (3.1), and this has caused some confusion, though for no good reason. John later says that when Jesus began his own ministry he was "about thirty years old" (3.23), and it is often supposed that this was the same year that John began his ministry. That would make Jesus born around 2 B.C. and maybe as early as 4 B.C. This is so attractive to those who want to reconcile Luke and Matthew that its implausibility is overlooked. Such an interpretation does not solve the many problems created by 2:2 anyway--for it essentially trades a contradiction between Luke and Matthew for a contradiction within Luke. And it is more likely that Luke had in mind the passing of some years between the two inaugurations.
First, it seems unlikely that Jesus should start his ministry in the same year as John: surely John was preaching some years before, preparing the way. It is hard to imagine how he could otherwise have won such widespread and lasting repute (even Josephus sings his praises in Antiquities of the Jews 18.116-19). And we are told Jesus began his own ministry only after John was arrested: Mark 1:14; Matthew 4:12; Luke 3:20; Luke 3:21-2 refers back in time (John contradicts all the others by having Jesus start preaching before John is imprisoned). Josephus allows that this may have happened as late as 32 or 33 A.D. Moreover, all the descriptions of John's ministry imply an extended period, and since we are not told how long John ministered before he baptised Jesus, we cannot assume it happened in the same year.
There's no omission here. If Nomad disagrees with the analysis, he needs to point out what is wrong.

Quote:
Nomad: Further, Carrier compounds his own error when he states: “The bottom line is that there is no evidence of a Herodian census, and no reason to believe there ever was one.” Again, this is simply false. Josephus (Ant. 17.42) does mention that Herod required all his subjects to take an oath of allegiance to Augustus in 7B.C., something which client kings or provincial governors occasionally did to impress the emperor with their loyalty.

Carrier: Again, something I devote a whole subsection to. Read the essay for a change.

Nomad: Again, I did. And you did not admit (and still do not admit) that the registration of Herod is viewed as a census, including by scholars. Had you admitted this much, then I would not have had a problem with your statements. Very often it is your omissions that are most telling when you present your arguments.
Also:

Quote:
Nomad: Everyone had to appear before local magistrates, register, and take the oath.

Carrier: Where is your evidence that oath-takers had to “register”? All evidence shows, at best, that oath takers were given diplomas--no evidence shows any use of registers or records at all.

Nomad: I am going to assume that you did not read what Josephus told us about this event. He records that 6,000 men did not swear their oath of loyalty, and the way that this would be known is because they would have registered when giving their oath. If there were no records at all, then we would have no way of knowing who did, and who did not swear the oath. BTW, do not counter my arguments with additional assertions. If you think that people recorded an oath of loyalty every single year, then perhaps you can tell us why Josephus only mentions it once, and in this context.
An assertion by Josephus that a nice round number of men did not swear an oath is not evidence that Josephus derived that number from counting registration documents.

Carrier’s article:

Quote:
2) Finegan's response to the second conundrum is that Luke was referring to some sort of other 'counting' by Herod the Great himself. This could not be a census (see Was it a Census Conducted by Herod the Great? above). Finegan argues that it was when "the people of Rome" proclaimed Augustus Pater Patriae (§ 525), but he has badly erred here: this is a reference to a vote by Roman citizens, which would have nothing whatever to do with Judaeans. By confusing a vote with an oath-taking, he conjures the false claim that Luke is referring to the registration of oaths of loyalty. Of course, this is already shot down by the fact that Herod was not alive in 2 B.C., as we've seen. And we have no record of such an oath in Judaea in that year or any year near it, despite the fact that Josephus usually records them: the last such oaths commanded by Herod were in 20 B.C.[17.4] and in 8 or 7 B.C.[17.5] Worse, this thesis is inherently implausible: Luke does not use the vocabulary of oath-swearing, nor does he describe such a process. For example, Joseph would not travel to Bethlehem if all he had to do was swear an oath of allegiance--that had to be done where he lived.[17.6] The travel only makes sense in the context of a census, where family land could require his presence (see second part of Luke's Description of the Census above). Likewise, "that all that was inhabited be recorded," using apographô as the verb, repeated again as the noun apographê, can only refer to a census: a register made for taxing. Indeed, the word does not even mean "count," but a detailed record-making, and this term is never used in reference to registering oaths. Rather, some form of eunoeô is the correct word (AJ 17.42; e.g. epi eunoiai, AJ 18.124; enômoton tên eunoian, AJ 15.368). Indeed, typically, oaths were not registered at all: one swore before a magistrate and received a diploma attesting to the fact that you swore, which you could present if anyone challenged the fact, as is shown in detail in the martyrologies of those who refused to swear for Decius in 249 A.D. (and in accounts of Christians avoiding martyrdom by buying forged diplomas). Certainly the burden is on those who claim otherwise to present evidence, and I have never seen any.
Carrier's essay states:

Quote:
Even if some other nations held their own censuses, the Jews had been thoroughly hostile to the very idea of a census since the time of David and by all accounts no census was ever taken again by any Jewish ruler.

[footnote 16.1] 2 Samuel 24:10; 1 Chronicles 21:17. After David, Solomon only counted foreigners: 2 Chronicles 2:17.
To refute this, Nomad quotes from census's order in Numbers and Exodus (pre-Davidic) and cites the same Solomonic census Carrier did!

Nomad does find a reference to a census in Joash's time (at least in one translation.) Perhaps there is a point there, or perhaps, like Solomon, this was a census of foreigners; if not, Carrier has indicated he will revise his essay.

Enough for now. The rest of Nomad's post is similarly full of invective and lacking in substance.

[ October 04, 2001: Message edited by: Toto ]
Toto is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 03:20 PM   #13
Nomad
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 410
Thumbs down

Hello Toto

Your willingness to defend Carrier's presentation is quite noble, but still misguided. I have asked him direct and specific questions, and his failure to address them is not corrected by your additional failure to do so.

Now, how old was John the Baptist when Jesus was born? Use Richard's essay if you wish, but I would like to know what you think his position is. He appears to be of two minds on this issue.

Second, the Jews recorded that they could and did take census'. You cannot back away from Richard's view that the OT was largely authored in the post-Exile period (IOW, AFTER David was king) and believe that these rules did not apply to the Jews. Such a view is internally inconsistent. David was specifically prohibitted from conducting a single census. No where else in Scripture can you find a commandment against all future census' for all time.

As I have said, your rush to defend your hero is noble, but misguided. If Carrier has changed his mind, then that is fine, but he should then also change his essay. In the meantime, his continued insistence that his views are certain, beyond dispute, true, beyond question ect. is laughable.

For now I would be content to see if any other scholar defends them. We can start with when Luke dates the birth of Jesus, then go from there to how old was John the Baptist, were all census' forbidden for all time...

Final question, you do know that Joash was king after both Solomon and David right? Reread 2 Kings 12:4. It would help to actually read my posts, then address my points, rather than waving your hands quite so much.

Thanks again Toto.

Nomad
Nomad is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 03:34 PM   #14
Toto
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>. . .
Final question, you do know that Joash was king after both Solomon and David right? Reread 2 Kings 12:4. It would help to actually read my posts, then address my points, rather than waving your hands quite so much.

</STRONG>
You continue to prove your inability to read. I specifically mentioned that you might have a point with Joash. I assumed you could infer from that that I knew he was after Solomon.

In order to read your post, I had to copy it to a text editor and delete the content-free insults, to extract any possible substantive points. I don't know if Carrier will have the same time or patience. He might actually have a life.

I am not prepared to speculate right now on how old John was when Jesus was born. I think it most likely that the author of Luke was writing legendary fiction, and I would not expect him or her to be internally consistant with such things.
Toto is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 03:51 PM   #15
Nomad
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 410
Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
Alright, so you do not have a lot of time. No problem. However, I am puzzled by something, so please indulge me.

When I asked who, besides Carrier, had argued that John the Baptist was 12 at the time of Jesus' birth he said:

See Schwarz, “On Quirinius...” Revue de Qumran 13 (1998), pp. 635-46, for argument and bibliography; also, Brown acknowledges that Sherwin-White makes a similar argument (p. 548, i.e. App. VII, text, w. n. 3). The reason so few have proposed it is that so few are willing to admit one author is wrong. Instead, everyone almost to a man tries to reconcile Matthew and Luke, which means forcing Luke into a 4 BC date (since Matthew cannot be forced into a 6 AD date).

Now, I do not have Scwhartz's work, so I cannot verify that Carrier is telling us the truth here. But I do have Brown's Birth of the Messiah, and I looked up Richard's reference and posted it. Here it is again:

One ingenius suggestion, however, is that Luke did not mean Herod the Great but Archelaus, who is occassionally called Herod(Note 2) and who ruled as king of Judea from 4BC to AD 6. One could theorize that the annunciation of JBapt's birth took place toward the end of Archelaus' reign (AD 5-6) and that Jesus was born after Archelaus had been deposed and the newly installed Quirinius began the census (AD 6-7).

Note 2: This is the thesis of Sherwin-White, Roman Society, 167, who thinks that Luke is correcting Matthew's tradition. Rather, the generally accepted independence of the two infancy narratives and the apparent lack of any Lucan knowledge of Matthew makes their mutual reference to Herod the Great persuasive in the dating of Jesus' birth.
(R. Brown, Birth of the Messiah, [Doubleday:New York, 1993], pg. 548, n. 2)


As you can see, Sherwin-White made no such argument at all. In my view, an unreferenced source is a small faux pas, but when that source does not actually say what you claim, then it becomes at least an error, and in the case of a scholar, actual dishonesty. On what basis did you clip my pointing this out as being mere invective on my part?

Quite frankly, once a person demonstrates that they will not quote a source accurately, and are willing to misrepresent what was said, then their entire presentation becomes suspect.

Given that Richard is wrong about Sherwin-White, and also wrong about Joash, why are you still willing to accept what he has to say on this subject at all?

Nomad
Nomad is offline  
Old 10-04-2001, 04:22 PM   #16
Toto
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Nomad:

Carrier says that Sherwin-White makes a "similar" argument. I don't know what that argument is, or how similar, but you are assuming a lot to say so definitively that Carrier is wrong.

If Richard Carrier thinks it worthwhile, he can expound on the point.

Remember that Biblical quote about the mote and the beam? How did that go?
Toto is offline  
Old 10-05-2001, 09:48 AM   #17
Boro Nut
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Middlesbrough, England
Posts: 3,909
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>Boro Nut makes more sense than Nomad.
</STRONG>
Everyone knows that, Silly.
Boro Nut is offline  
Old 10-12-2001, 02:57 PM   #18
Richard Carrier
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California, USA
Posts: 338
Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>You know, this must be one of the most curious posts you have ever offered Richard. .... </STRONG>
My thoughts exactly about your following reply. There is nothing there that isn't obviously a mistaken reading of what I said above, or in my essay, or that isn't already adequately addressed in that essay, or that isn't false, e.g. you claim to present evidence that Augustus conducted a census until 4 B.C. but the quote you cite contains no proof whatever of that claim. So I will not argue with you. I can't see what there is to gain by it. Every objective reader who cares to actually read what I have writtem will know who is right here, and that is all any sane author can hope for anyway. And until someone presents me with new facts I see no reason to write any more than I already have.

Be well.
Richard Carrier is offline  
Old 10-13-2001, 03:40 PM   #19
Richard Carrier
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California, USA
Posts: 338
Arrow

Just to clear up some issues:

Why do I see no reason to argue with Nomad? Because he never reads what I write, or when he does he fails to grasp what I meant. For example, he says “I am going to assume that you did not read what Josephus told us about this event. He records that 6,000 men did not swear their oath of loyalty,” yet I had already dedicated an entire footnote to this fact, thus clearly I did read it--hence Nomad’s false “assumption” is proof that he did not read my essay in any respectful detail. Many, many more examples like this, or of him ignoring a qualifying word in a sentence of mine and thus claiming I said something I did not, or of him ignoring how people normally speak English (and indeed fixating on a ridiculous verbal quibble as if it were at all relevant to what I actually argue), and so on, could be found, but there is no point.

He also makes no effort at any scholarship. For instance, he allows himself to be deceived by a faulty translation in regard to Joash:

2 Kings 12:4, King James Translation:

"And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth [the account], the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD."

The context is clear: he describes three kinds of cash sent to the temple. The money paid by those who pass by, the money men paid that is fixed for them individually, and the money people just give out of charity. There is no reference here to a census.

Vulgate

dixitque Ioas ad sacerdotes omnem pecuniam sanctorum quae inlata fuerit in templum Domini a praetereuntibus quae offertur pro pretio animae et quam sponte et arbitrio cordis sui inferunt
in templum Domini

Lit.

"And Joash said to the priests, All the money of the sacred things which has been brought into the temple of the Lord by those who pass by, [and] which is paid for the price of a soul, and which from a spontaneous and free judgement of the heart they have brought into the temple of the Lord of their own accord.”

Septuagint:

kai eipen iwas pros tous iereis pan to argurion twn agiwn to eisodiazomenon en tw oikw kuriou argurion suntimhsews anhr argurion labwn suntimhsews pan argurion o ean anabh epi kardian andros enegkein en oikw kuriou

Lit.

“And Joash said to the priests, All the silver of the holy things coming into the house of the lord: the silver of valuation a man [brings], the silver of the valuation of what was set, [and] all the silver that enters the heart of a man to bring into the house of the lord.”

Tanakh (simplified):

(Yhowash) (amar) (kohen) (keceph) (qodesh) (bow) (bayith) (Yhovah) (keceph) (iysh) (abar) (keceph) (nephesh) (erek) (keceph) (alah) (iysh) (leb) (bow) (bayith) (Yhovah)

Lit.

“Joash said to the priests, The silver of the sanctuary brought to the house of Jehova, the silver of men passing by, the silver of the price of a soul, the silver that comes into a man’s heart to bring to the house of Jehova.”

The Mishnah also lists all the sorts of money that came into the temple in the Second Temple period: Sheqalim 6.5-7.1--they include, altogether:

(1) the annual shekel every adult paid to the upkeep of the temple (i.e. that which was redirected to Jupiter by Vespasian after the Jewish War), a religious duty originally associated with a census in Exodus, but no longer after Davidic times (probably the “price of life” in 2 Ki 12:4).

(2) the goods and money that had to be paid for atonement for various sins (guilt and sin offerings). This is the money of “those that passeth,” since that verb in Hebrew also means to “transgress” a commandment (Nu 14:41, 1Sa 2:24, 2Ch 24:20, Ps 17:3, Jer 2:20), and the Septuagint’s “money of a valuation a man brings” refers to the valuation of something, which in typical Koine Judaism could be the valuation of a man’s sin or guilt (i.e. as a gneric term for anything assigned a value, even land, suntimesis would logically encompass both, since there was no other suitable collective word; note that the priests explain that they did not use some of the money they were told to in 2 ki 12:4 because it was theirs, not the lord’s, and the money they refer to is sin and guilt offerings: 2 Ki 12:16, which can only mean the “money of valuation a man” brings).

(3) free will offerings (which includes money from vows, i.e. Le 27), i.e. the third kind of money mentioned in 2 Ki 12:4.

No mention of a census.

In fact, since most Jews were in a diaspora in the Second Temple period, a census was impossible, since all Jews were obliged to pay the shekel lest they sin, and a census of Judaea would not help at all in enforcing that law. It thus became like any other commandment: if no one witnessed you breaking a rule and you did not confess it, you got away with it. But ever since the episode in David’s reign, a census of Jews was regarded a sin (hence Solomon only took a census of non-Jews). That is no doubt why Josephus never once mentions Herod or any king since David taking a census of Jews.
Richard Carrier is offline  
Old 10-16-2001, 02:04 PM   #20
Nomad
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 410
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Carrier:

There is nothing there that isn't obviously a mistaken reading of what I said above, or in my essay, or that isn't already adequately addressed in that essay, or that isn't false,
Before we get to your example Richard, let's look once again at my own.

I specifically asked you who has argued that John the Baptist was 12 when Jesus was born. You answered that two sources did exactly this. I do not have the first, so can neither verify, nor confirm that the author made this argument, but I do have Raymond Brown's Death of the Messiah, and I actually posted what he wrote. In it we see that Sherwin-White did not make the argument that John the Baptist was 12 when Jesus was born. He argued that both were born on or about 6AD, but that John was no more than 1 at the time of Jesus' birth. I would have thought that you would at least have the decency to retract your erroneous claim. Instead, you wish to tar me with additional insults. Such is your right, of course, but do not pretend that you have not simply dodged your responsibility to present facts and evidence for your beliefs, and when you are in error, to withdraw your statements.

Quote:
e.g. you claim to present evidence that Augustus conducted a census until 4 B.C. but the quote you cite contains no proof whatever of that claim.
I have now quoted from three respected scholars that all say the same thing. This is not a fallacious appeal to authority, but rather, a legitimate use of sources. Albert Ball, M. Scully, and H.H. Scullard are among the formost scholars on ancient Rome. I gave you the sources for what they wrote, and from what I can see, their view is not even controversial. You may disagree with them, but your opinion hardly matters here. I would like to see your evidence that refutes them.

Quote:
So I will not argue with you.
Thus far you have not argued Richard. You have piled one misrepresentation upon another, and made bold assertions that I have shown to be false. Further, you refuse to retract your errors, and admit that you made a mistake. If or when you elect to get your facts straight, then we can actually have a discussion. For now, I will have to content myself with simply pointing out your errors, and cautioning readers to take your writings with a very large grain of salt.

Once again you have an opportunity to do the right thing Richard. I hope that you will avail yourself of this opportunity.

Nomad
Nomad is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:43 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.