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  • #91

    Errata for post #89

    Nor have I never read any serious work that questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate. Should read: Nor have I ever read any serious work that questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate.

    From Paul Winter citation: incorporated the letter in question in his Legatio ad Caium Should read:incorporated the letter in question in his Legatio ad Gaium

    Again who are these “scoffers” to who you regularly allude?
    Should read: Again who are these “scoffers” to whom you regularly allude?

    Nor of course does Philo [another contemporary] albeit one living at some distance from the alleged events in Judaea. Should read: Nor of course does Philo [another contemporary] albeit one living at some distance from the alleged events in Judaea and Galilee.




    [QUOTE=rogue06;n1266743] why would you expect to find any for Jesus, who would have been completely unknown outside of Galilee and Judea [/quote

    Should be:
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    why would you expect to find any for Jesus, who would have been completely unknown outside of Galilee and Judea
    [QUOTE=rogue06;n1266743] (but boy did that change)?[quote]

    Should be:

    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    (but boy did that change)?
    Last edited by Hypatia_Alexandria; 05-17-2021, 06:22 AM.
    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

    Comment


    • #92
      [QUOTE=Hypatia_Alexandria;n1266987]
      Errata for post #89

      Nor have I never read any serious work that questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate. Should read: Nor have I ever read any serious work that questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate.

      From Paul Winter citation: incorporated the letter in question in his Legatio ad Caium Should read:incorporated the letter in question in his Legatio ad Gaium

      Again who are these “scoffers” to who you regularly allude?
      Should read: Again who are these “scoffers” to whom you regularly allude?

      Nor of course does Philo [another contemporary] albeit one living at some distance from the alleged events in Judaea. Should read: Nor of course does Philo [another contemporary] albeit one living at some distance from the alleged events in Judaea and Galilee.




      [QUOTE=rogue06;n1266743] why would you expect to find any for Jesus, who would have been completely unknown outside of Galilee and Judea [/quote

      Should be:

      [QUOTE=rogue06;n1266743] (but boy did that change)?

      Should be:
      And another:

      ordinary people of Judaea. Should read: ordinary Jewish people. That was an oversight.
      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        If you were aware of these non Christian sources, I have to wonder why you made this categorical and patently erroneous statement:

        "But here we have a governor that we didn't have a scrap of documentation about outside of Christian sources." [My emphasis].


        Are you sure about that?

        Tbh, I had an ulterior motive aside from waiting for you to inevitably bring them up so that I could point out how they were summarily dismissed as inauthentic by the scoffers who need Pilate to be nothing more than a fictitious character. You know, sort of like how you like to decide for everyone which part of the Bible get the H_A seal of authenticity.

        Quite frankly I am a bit shocked that you somehow missed Tacitus.

        In any case, I was hoping to get you on record as acknowledging that the references in them are legitimate, since IIRC previously you said the ones in Josephus were later interpolations even though the consensus view is that while there was likely some tampering with the longer Testimonium Flavianum, there was a reference and that the shorter reference is indeed completely authentic. Unfortunately, for whatever reason you forgot Tacitus so I couldn't get you to comment on his reference.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        By the way who are “all of the scoffers”, “they”, and “atheists” to whom you repeatedly allude?
        Do you have any mirrors handy?

        Scoffers are disbelievers who are grimly determined to be atheists at all costs.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Why does Tacitus consider it necessary to explain to his audience the originator of this cult as well as the fate of its followers in Rome including the lurid tortures they suffered? Why does he explicitly refer to the public pity produced among the Roman populace by those cruelties? His intended readership would, one suspects, have had little interest in an insignificant oriental cult.
        Primarily to cast Nero in a bad light. He just used the Christians as a convenient club to do so. He certainly wasn't portraying them in a favorable light, given how he describes them a "class hated for their abominations" who practiced a "most mischievous superstition."

        Btw, as an aside, apparently the British Museum of Natural History is setting up an exhibit on Nero, promising to offer a "new look"

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        It is also even more questionable that he gets the nomenclature wrong regarding Pontius Pilate. Given Tacitus’ administrative background [Proconsul of Asia,112-113 CE and son in law of Cn. Julius Agricola] he would assuredly know that prior to 44 CE the governors of Judaea were designated Praefecti. After the death of Herod Agrippa I in 44 CE, when Rome once again assumed direct control of Judaea, the governors were given the title Procurator. After 71 CE, following the First Jewish War, the governor of Judaea was the commander [Legatus Legionis] of Legio X Fretensis which unit now constituted the military garrison of the province. Roman legionary legates were ex Praetors drawn from the Senatorial class, quite unlike the Praefectus Pontius Pilate who came from the equites/knights, that is [approximately] the Roman middle classes.
        While S. G. F. Brandon in his Pontius Pilate in history and legend suggests the ranks were effectively the same, with Warren Carter in his Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor arguing the difference was also largely in name what with "prefect" having a military connotation whereas "procurator" has a civilian one, several scholars have suggested that Tacitus uses procurator simply because it was far more common when he wrote. Moreover, it appears that Philo and Josephus both referred to Pilate as procurator and that Josephus refers to Cuspius Fadus both as "prefect" and "procurator" providing support for Brandon and Carter's theory.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        As for the comments in Josephus re James being the brother of the Christ, this is generally held to be genuine and not some later Christian interpolation. However, the possibility of emendation/interpolation always remains, given what we know concerning Josephus’ own hostile view of messianic claimants, wonder workers, and popular preachers; and the untold misery that their activities invariably wrought upon the ordinary people of Judaea.

        The other of the so-called Testimonia Flaviana as it has come down to us [found in extant Greek MSS of Josephus [Ambrosianus in the eleventh century, Vaticanus in the fourteenth, and Marcianus in the fifteenth] is another matter. It is quoted by Eusebius in the fourth century in his Evangelical Demonstration [3.5]; Ecclesiastical History [1.11] and the Theophany. However the Christian scholar Origen writing in the second century states of Josephus “Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ” [Commentary on Matthew X.17].
        The majority view among historians is that the so-called Testimonium Flavianum, has been modified by later writers whereas the offhand reference to him wrt to being the brother of James is largely regarded as authentic. Few scholars question its authenticity, most notably (surprise, surprise) Richard Carrier. According to Louis H. Feldman's Josephus and Modern Scholarship (1937-1980) something like only 13 of the 52 Josephus scholars he analyzed thought it was an interpolation or included one. And one of those who rejects it, Graham Twelftree, oddly enough accepts most of the Testimonium as being authentic.

        In a way it's remarkable that Jesus is even mentioned at all. Typically, for other Jewish Messianic figures, Roman troops needed to be called out to put them and their followers down. In fact the Gospels indicate that Pilate had no idea of who He even was when He was dragged before Him.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        We do know that the wife and sons of Septimus Severus accompanied him on his military campaign to Britain in 201-211 CE. Provincial governors and some senior officers may also have been accompanied by their spouses [depending on the location and nature of the posting] but why do you imagine Pilate’s wife [assuming he had one] would accompany him on a standard military/administrative exercise that would have lasted for two or possibly three weeks?
        She could very well have had her own reasons for wanting to go to Jerusalem. Pilate's HQ was in Caesarea Maritima (a.k.a., Caesarea Palaestinae), a relatively new city originally built to serve as the port for Herod’s newly built city at Sebaste (although it would later become the capital of the Province after the Romans razed Jerusalem) and she could well have accompanied him to the larger capital on a short trip.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        The first century Jew we know as Jesus of Nazareth was not a divinity.
        Naked assertion unburdened by corroboration.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        To be acclaimed as [or being suspected of claiming] Messianic status in Judaea at this period was a serious political offence and carried the death penalty.
        Not so much from the Jews who were anxiously expecting the arrival of a Messiah, but obviously from the Romans as we can see from their crucifixion of Jesus.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Nor is the Jewish Messiah a divinity. In Judaism there is only one ineffable and transcendent deity. That deity is not triune, nor is it homoousion, and neither does it possess three distinct hypostases. These theological conceptions were only formulated much later in the history of Christianity.
        That the Jews expected a military leader as Messiah is a historical fact. That they missed all the indications provided in the New Testament that this would not be the case is obvious (personally I think the earlier success of the Maccabeans colored their expectations). I can't blame them since the Gospels indicate that even Jesus' closest followers expected a military leader for a Messiah.

        This is obviously speculation but then all you have offered is personal incredulousness

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        What I do not understand is why you made a categorical statement that “we didn't have a scrap of documentation about outside of Christian sources.” And then suddenly, and after I mentioned Josephus and Philo, you are acknowledging that we actually do have “documentation” that is “outside of Christian sources”, thereby completely contradicting your initial somewhat emphatic pronouncement.
        See comments at beginning of this post. The point was you weren't supposed to understand. I just wanted you on record defending those citations as authentic (you wouldn't bring them up as evidence otherwise).

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        No he does not. He had nothing to do with Jerusalem.

        Once again you demonstrate your profound ignorance of the matter.
        Then what would you call the mention in his Embassy to Gaius wrt Pilate breaking Jewish law when he brought golden shields into Jerusalem to be placed on Herod's Palace? An action that caused the Jews to petition the Emperor, resulting in Tiberius reprimanding Pilate and ordering that the shields be removed? Haven't you repeatedly boasted that you're an historian even bagging how, "with regard to the discipline of history I know a great more than most of the contributors to these boards"? Talk about your "profound ignorance of the matter"

        As an aside, Josephus recounts a similar instance involving Pilate and imperial standards with the image of Caesar being brought into Jerusalem.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        For your information Philo of Alexandria led the Alexandrian Jewish delegation to the Roman emperor Gaius [Caligula] following the Alexandrian riots of 38 CE and the brutal attacks on Alexandrian Jews. The text of which you write is in fact from a letter written by Herod Agrippa and which Philo incorporated into his own text.
        What does his being from Alexandria have to do with anything? Are you claiming that would somehow mean he couldn't write about something that took place in Jerusalem?

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        From A Letter from Pontius Pilate, Paul Winter, Novum Testamentum, Mar., 1964, Vol 7 pp.37-43, Brill.

        Of the persons whose names are mentioned in the gospels, Pontius Pilate of one of the few about whom we are informed relatively well from independent sources. One of these so comes from Pilate's own time. It is a letter, written by Agrippa I which gives some account of Pilate's rule in Judaea and a detailed description of the prefect's character. Philo of Alexandria incorporated the letter in question in his Legatio ad Caium and thus we have a sketch of Pilate's personality from the hand of one of his contemporaries. Agrippa describes Pilate as "a man of inflexible disposition, ruthless and obstinate" (Legatio 30I) ;he mentions the procurator's proneness to corruption, his insolent demeanour, his rapine, his inveterate habit of wounding the feelings of other persons, his cruelty which resulted in numerous murders of people neither tried nor legally condemned, and of his outright inhumanity to those whom he governed. Agrippa concludes his description of Pilate by calling him "a man who at all times displayed ferocious passions".

        Of the authenticity of this letter there is no doubt. It is the earliest extant document to mention Pilate by name, and only one that comes from any of his contemporaries.
        Weren't you just making a fuss about how Philo was an Alexandrian and had nothing to do with Jerusalem and the like?

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Given that you have previously stated “we didn't have a scrap of documentation about outside of Christian sourcesI would look to your own ignorance on these matters.

        And again I must press you. Who are these “atheists” to whom you regularly refer? Your repeated references to "atheists" and "scoffers" is beginning to hint at slight paranoia.
        See above.

        Did you realize that your posts would be shorter if you didn't repeat yourself over and over?

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        I do not keep demanding” extraneous contemporary sources about the existence of Jesus. I simply point out that none exist.
        Nor should we expect any to exist for a number of reasons and yet you continue to harp on this as if it were important. That why I said you keep demanding it.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        The Jewish writer Justus of Tiberias, a contemporary of Josephus, and who lived not far from Capernaum, a small town closely associated in the gospels with Jesus and his ministry, never mentions the man. Nor of course does Philo [another contemporary] albeit one living at some distance from the alleged events in Judaea.
        Much of Justus' writings are lost to us so it is very difficult to claim exactly what he did and didn't write about. As for Philo, he never mentions Gamaliel, who he was also a contemporary of, either.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        Not necessarily. This was a relatively minor province.
        Unintended irony always tastes best.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        If the praefectus managed to keep the peace and the taxes were regularly collected there would be little apparent need for anything else to be regularly “mentioned in dispatches” And of course we have the contemporary account from Agrippa via Philo on Pilate. Something of which you seem [once again] blissfully unaware.
        One who poses as a historian lecturing someone about omitting sources who then proceeds to skip over Tacitus probably should be more careful about blissfully unaware.

        Pilate's name would be on all the reports sent and likely received. And even in a time of peace, that would be a lot. There would be also be all sorts of incidental references as well. Stuff like local records and receipts for goods sent to him.

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        What is the relevance of your question?
        An oblique reference to your sneers about how Jesus was a nobody in his lifetime (which brings up the point of why would you then expect him to be mentioned by everyone?).

        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
        What a bizarre comment. Firstly, who cares? Secondly, to whom are you apologising? Me?
        In the past you've shown a tendency to get upset when you don't get an immediate response, hysterically going on about being "pusillanimous" and "cowardly" not responding, so I wanted to assure you that wasn't the case.
        Last edited by rogue06; 05-17-2021, 11:47 AM.

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #94

          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          While S. G. F. Brandon in his Pontius Pilate in history and legend suggests the ranks were effectively the same, with Warren Carter in his Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor arguing the difference was also largely in name what with "prefect" having a military connotation whereas "procurator" has a civilian one,
          Please provide detailed citations from both Brandon and Carter.

          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          several scholars have suggested that Tacitus uses procurator simply because it was far more common when he wrote.
          With regard to these “several scholars” please provided detailed citations from their respective works, [ideally with pagination].

          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          According to Josephus and Modern Scholarship (1937-1980) something like only 13 of the 52 Josephus scholars he analyzed thought it was an interpolation or included one. And one of those who rejects it, Graham Twelftree, oddly enough accepts most of the Testimonium as being authentic.
          Please provide detailed citations from both Feldman and Twelftree in support of that remark.

          If you cannot, or will not, comply with these requests we can make no further progress.

          And finally please note:

          Caesarea Maritima was not “Pilate’s HQ”, it was the administrative capital of the province and where all governors would have been based during their term of office. Jerusalem was not the “capital” it was the cult centre of the Jewish religion.

          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          “What does his being from Alexandria have to do with anything? Are you claiming that would somehow mean he couldn't write about something that took place in Jerusalem?”
          If you had bothered to read the extract from Paul Winter you would know that Philo incorporated those comments about Pilate into his text from a letter written by Herod Agrippa I.

          While Pilate was in office in Judaea Agrippa lived in Damascus, Alexandria and Rome. However, in 37 CE after Gaius released Agrippa from prison he gave him the former tetrachies of Philip and in 39 CE his territories were augmented with Galilee and Perea. He therefore was in the region and had excellent opportunities [including contact with those who had known Pilate] for information on the former governor’s activities and personal character. He was thus able to include these in the letter that Philo incorporated into his text following the Alexandrian riots of 38 CE.

          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          Much of Justus' writings are lost to us so it is very difficult to claim exactly what he did and didn't write about.
          On the contrary all of Justus’ writings are now lost to us. However, his Chronicle of the Kings of the Jews from Moses to Agrippa II was still extant in the ninth century when the Patriarch of Constantinople Photius [c.810-895] read it. Photius recorded, in his still extant Bibliotheca, a summary of its contents. In that he writes, “suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he [Justus] does not mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by him.”



          "It ain't necessarily so
          The things that you're liable
          To read in the Bible
          It ain't necessarily so
          ."

          Sportin' Life
          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

            So?
            For what purpose did you post the article?
            "It ain't necessarily so
            The things that you're liable
            To read in the Bible
            It ain't necessarily so
            ."

            Sportin' Life
            Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

              For what purpose did you post the article?
              For what purpose did you dance around the portion of the article I actually cited and instead latch onto something wholly irrelevant?
              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
              Than a fool in the eyes of God


              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                For what purpose did you dance around the portion of the article I actually cited and instead latch onto something wholly irrelevant?
                Fair enough you do not wish to divulge your reasons.
                "It ain't necessarily so
                The things that you're liable
                To read in the Bible
                It ain't necessarily so
                ."

                Sportin' Life
                Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  Fair enough you do not wish to divulge your reasons.
                  And the dancing continues.
                  Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                  But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                  Than a fool in the eyes of God


                  From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Why can you just not accept that these four texts manifestly contradict one another? All this prattle about attorneys and judges is entirely irrelevant and a feeble attempt to suggest that the internal narratives of these four gospel accounts have some attested veracity.
                    I think the more important question here is why does it upset you so much when someone demonstrates that many of these supposed contradictions are anything but? You appear to have an awful lot invested in the examples being contradictions to the point of being unwilling to even entertain other very plausible explanations.

                    And as I've repeatedly noted that when you have different people who witnessed the same thing describing it, you are bound to have different versions including both apparent contradictions and actual ones. The latter is often due to one of the sources being privy to information that the others were not. That's why I brought up asking an attorney or judge about such testimony. And I'll say your reaction, calling such a suggestion "prattling" and "feeble" says far more about you than anything. It appeared to do more than just upset you.

                    One thing you appear to have confused is that for Christians we don't put our faith in the historical exactitude of Scripture but in the historical reality of the Resurrection which is what Paul meant in I Corinthians 15 when he wrote "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (v.14) and "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (v.17). But even so, many of your objections and "contradictions" have the solidity of vapor.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Hardly! The author alleges there was an earthquake and one angel descending from heaven.
                    Compared to the other accounts, Mathew's is short and to the point, skipping over many details that the others covered. He did appear to want to deal with the stolen body claim but then rushes along to the Great Commission.

                    And an earthquake in a region prone to seismic activity. Obviously impossible. And even more impossible to have one take place around the time of Jesus' crucifixion[1].

                    Moreover, several scholars have noted that the word σεισμος and translated as "earthquake" here actually signifying any kind of shaking, whether in the earth, air, or sea (for instance in Matthew 8:24 it is translated as meaning "tempest" or "storm." IOW, the word here might be better understood to be a large storm.

                    Finally, IMHO, Matthew described not something that was witnessed but rather inferred it from what they saw as the various translations such as the NASB make clearer by stating

                    Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                    And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it

                    © Copyright Original Source



                    [*Bolding added by rogue06*] and please note how this would also indicate that the women inferred that the angel descended from Heaven, not that they witnessed it.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    How would he know what the others "had already covered"? Did they have an meeting prior to “going to papyri” in order to decide what to include and omit from their respective narratives?
                    Did you actually bother to think this snark through before writing it? Aside from the fact that Mark was already published and that Matthew makes use of it as a framework for his own account, given that this was largely a society that heavily relied on oral accounts, it is safe to presume there were a number of those circulating as well.

                    Moreover, it is further safe to surmise that the one thing that any Christian had heard about Jesus was the resurrection account (again, I Cor. 15), since without it there is no Christianity.

                    So, yes, others had already covered it.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    More unsupported speculation.
                    Aside from the fact that one should have first cited an instance of "unsupported speculation" before whining about "more unsupported speculation," it is a reasonable explanation. After all, you are the one who wants everyone to believe that these things are unexplainable contradictions, so it is only natural to provide what you claim doesn't exist.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Why? You allege these four authors all knew one another.
                    At the very least by reputation. It was still a small community and it would be irrational to suppose otherwise. I mean, have you noticed how in Paul's letters he personally addresses various members of the community? When it came to the leaders and most prominent members, yes, they would have been familiar with one another.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Unsupported speculation.
                    Again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Might we have the names of those scholars and their respective observations?
                    Are you serious or are you finally dropping your "historian" charade? Folks wee able to determine the likely original audiences for the various Gospels centuries before either you or I were even a thought, and current scholarship has only reinforced those conclusions.

                    Google either Matthew or Mark along with "audience" and I'm sure you can get enough confirmation of this to satisfy someone even as jaded as yourself.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    The place of origin for this text is more likely to have been in Antioch, which was the capital of the Roman province of Syria, and the city where [according to Acts 11.26] Jesus’ disciples were first called Christians.
                    So... "likely a Jewish Christian one living within or close to Judea." So then what are you going on about?

                    Complaining just to hear yourself complain?

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    ...and the intended audience was possibly an enclave of urban Greek-speaking Jewish converts. [see Howard Clarke, The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers, Indiana University Press, 2003]
                    So... "likely a Jewish Christian one living within or close to Judea." So then what are you going on about?

                    Complaining just to hear yourself complain?

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Unsupported speculation given the above.
                    *Snort* An odd conclusion given that the above verified what I said.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    What makes you think that these gospels were written for primarily Jewish audiences?
                    What makes you think that I said gospels? Go back and read what I wrote again. And maybe you might actually catch where I provided brief corroboration as well.

                    You know, for someone who proclaims to be a historian -- especially one who goes around boasting of how "with regard to the discipline of history I know a great more than most of the contributors to these boards" -- you really have no clue about any of this do you? The ignorance you keep displaying, such as here, would likely result in your being snickered at by adolescents in a Sunday School class since they're likely far more familiar with the basics than you have revealed yourself to be.

                    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, this one from the noted paleontologist Per Ahlberg: "First understand, then criticize; not the other way round!" It really is good advice.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Unsupported speculation
                    Once again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Well that depends.

                    From Roger S Bagnall's Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman World, University of California Press, 2011, chapter 6, p.134.

                    That is not to say that papyrus was not used for short letters, for tax receipts and order for payment and so on. [...] Was cost a factor?...Cheap or costly is a judgment that depends on an individual’s circumstances. A roll of blank papyrus cost a bit over one-eighth of what an artaba of wheat did, according to an account written around 338-341 CE. Two centuries earlier, the situation was not a lot different, if the calculations of T.C. Skeat are to be believed. At that rate, a sheet of papyrus would cost something like a quarter to a third of the value of the food for an active adult for a day. If a sheet of paper cost you as much as a hamburger, would you choose a free alternative [here Bagnall is referencing ostraca] for short texts you (or the recipient) would surely throw away almost immediately? It all depends on how wealthy you were.
                    Please pay attention to the bolded part. So which end of the economic spectrum do you think that the overwhelming majority of these early Christians belonged to?

                    I would say that it is common knowledge that most were poor and even slaves, with leaders being fishermen (Peter), tent makers (Paul) and the like, but that would like result in your incredulously demanding a list of scholars and therefore yet again expose just how little of the elementary basics you know.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Again somewhat speculative comments.
                    Again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    Snipped for irrelevancy.
                    Very telling that you would "[snip] for irrelevancy" this, as we shall see:

                    And while John only mentions Mary Magdalene, it is clear she was not alone because she uses the term "we" when describing events. So for whatever reason John wanted the spotlight on her. And even if he wasn't specifically trying to emphasize her role, it is hardly unusual to mention only the leader of the group when they do something. for instance, it is not uncommon to talk about how Caesar conquered Gaul, or Hannibal crossed the Alps. Obviously they did not do it alone and saying it that way is not contradicting the facts that they did so at the head of armies.


                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    That depends upon how many women are being referenced. In Luke 24.10 "Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles". That sounds like quite a large party and no other gospel mentions Joanna.
                    This was all explained in detail in the post as well as the portion you proclaimed "irrelevant." And now we can see why you wanted to ignore it.

                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    The accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not mention him at all.
                    Mein Gott you really are ignorant! Then how do you explain Luke 24:12? And apparently you forgot that Mark has a rather abrupt ending so it would hardly be possible for him to be mentioned in it. Further, you conveniently omitted the Fourth Gospel, where the role of Peter is spotlighted. Was that deliberate or just more ignorance?



                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    To return to your legal comparison I can envisage any semi competent judge throwing out your “eye-witness” accounts as mutually contradictory and therefore unsound and inadmissible evidence.
                    The one you refused to discuss, hysterically dismissing it as "prattling" and "feeble"?

                    No. I think the judge will see if they are indeed contradictions or if there are reasonable, logical explanations for most of these supposed contradictions.

                    Unfortunately, being this isn't a court, there is no cross-examination that could clarify these matters. Without it we must then see if there are reasonable explanations. Things like how common it is to describe a large group by the person leading them (see the Caesar and Hannibal examples that disturbed you so much. Or how they might only mention one person by name but indicate there were others be the use of "we" in the next sentence. And just the simple fact that different people naturally recollect events they witnessed differently, such as stressing or minimizing various factors (or even omitting things that they think are irrelevant), and may be privy to something others weren't and therefore able to expand on what others saw.

                    Or you could just chuck all that out the window and declare that they simply must, Must, MUST be irreconcilable contradictions because you need them to be so in order to rationalize your position


                    I was kind of hoping you would have gotten into the men/angels "contradictions" as well because I want to delve into that one as well. If you do want to discuss them then please first at the very least read the pertinent chapters of the relevant texts so you don't keep making such silly mistakes as you repeatedly did here. Maybe they have a Bible for Dummies or an Idiot's Guide to the Bible that you could use to help you bone up.






                    1. to be clear neither I nor the study's authors say that they found evidence of Matthew's earthquake, but they certainly drive an ocean liner-sized hole through your ridiculing it.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      I think the more important question here is why does it upset you so much when someone demonstrates that many of these supposed contradictions are anything but? You appear to have an awful lot invested in the examples being contradictions to the point of being unwilling to even entertain other very plausible explanations.

                      And as I've repeatedly noted that when you have different people who witnessed the same thing describing it, you are bound to have different versions including both apparent contradictions and actual ones. The latter is often due to one of the sources being privy to information that the others were not. That's why I brought up asking an attorney or judge about such testimony. And I'll say your reaction, calling such a suggestion "prattling" and "feeble" says far more about you than anything. It appeared to do more than just upset you.

                      One thing you appear to have confused is that for Christians we don't put our faith in the historical exactitude of Scripture but in the historical reality of the Resurrection which is what Paul meant in I Corinthians 15 when he wrote "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (v.14) and "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (v.17). But even so, many of your objections and "contradictions" have the solidity of vapor.


                      Compared to the other accounts, Mathew's is short and to the point, skipping over many details that the others covered. He did appear to want to deal with the stolen body claim but then rushes along to the Great Commission.

                      And an earthquake in a region prone to seismic activity. Obviously impossible. And even more impossible to have one take place around the time of Jesus' crucifixion[1].

                      Moreover, several scholars have noted that the word σεισμος and translated as "earthquake" here actually signifying any kind of shaking, whether in the earth, air, or sea (for instance in Matthew 8:24 it is translated as meaning "tempest" or "storm." IOW, the word here might be better understood to be a large storm.

                      Finally, IMHO, Matthew described not something that was witnessed but rather inferred it from what they saw as the various translations such as the NASB make clearer by stating

                      Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                      And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it

                      © Copyright Original Source



                      [*Bolding added by rogue06*] and please note how this would also indicate that the women inferred that the angel descended from Heaven, not that they witnessed it.


                      Did you actually bother to think this snark through before writing it? Aside from the fact that Mark was already published and that Matthew makes use of it as a framework for his own account, given that this was largely a society that heavily relied on oral accounts, it is safe to presume there were a number of those circulating as well.

                      Moreover, it is further safe to surmise that the one thing that any Christian had heard about Jesus was the resurrection account (again, I Cor. 15), since without it there is no Christianity.

                      So, yes, others had already covered it.


                      Aside from the fact that one should have first cited an instance of "unsupported speculation" before whining about "more unsupported speculation," it is a reasonable explanation. After all, you are the one who wants everyone to believe that these things are unexplainable contradictions, so it is only natural to provide what you claim doesn't exist.


                      At the very least by reputation. It was still a small community and it would be irrational to suppose otherwise. I mean, have you noticed how in Paul's letters he personally addresses various members of the community? When it came to the leaders and most prominent members, yes, they would have been familiar with one another.


                      Again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.


                      Are you serious or are you finally dropping your "historian" charade? Folks wee able to determine the likely original audiences for the various Gospels centuries before either you or I were even a thought, and current scholarship has only reinforced those conclusions.

                      Google either Matthew or Mark along with "audience" and I'm sure you can get enough confirmation of this to satisfy someone even as jaded as yourself.


                      So... "likely a Jewish Christian one living within or close to Judea." So then what are you going on about?

                      Complaining just to hear yourself complain?


                      So... "likely a Jewish Christian one living within or close to Judea." So then what are you going on about?

                      Complaining just to hear yourself complain?


                      *Snort* An odd conclusion given that the above verified what I said.


                      What makes you think that I said gospels? Go back and read what I wrote again. And maybe you might actually catch where I provided brief corroboration as well.

                      You know, for someone who proclaims to be a historian -- especially one who goes around boasting of how "with regard to the discipline of history I know a great more than most of the contributors to these boards" -- you really have no clue about any of this do you? The ignorance you keep displaying, such as here, would likely result in your being snickered at by adolescents in a Sunday School class since they're likely far more familiar with the basics than you have revealed yourself to be.

                      This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, this one from the noted paleontologist Per Ahlberg: "First understand, then criticize; not the other way round!" It really is good advice.


                      Once again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.


                      Please pay attention to the bolded part. So which end of the economic spectrum do you think that the overwhelming majority of these early Christians belonged to?

                      I would say that it is common knowledge that most were poor and even slaves, with leaders being fishermen (Peter), tent makers (Paul) and the like, but that would like result in your incredulously demanding a list of scholars and therefore yet again expose just how little of the elementary basics you know.


                      Again, when someone proclaims that these are contradictions that can't be explained, all one has to do is provide a potential logical answer. Since you're the one insisting that they are contradicting each other it is incumbent on you to show why this could not be the case rather than just... dare I say, scoffing.


                      Very telling that you would "[snip] for irrelevancy" this, as we shall see:

                      And while John only mentions Mary Magdalene, it is clear she was not alone because she uses the term "we" when describing events. So for whatever reason John wanted the spotlight on her. And even if he wasn't specifically trying to emphasize her role, it is hardly unusual to mention only the leader of the group when they do something. for instance, it is not uncommon to talk about how Caesar conquered Gaul, or Hannibal crossed the Alps. Obviously they did not do it alone and saying it that way is not contradicting the facts that they did so at the head of armies.



                      This was all explained in detail in the post as well as the portion you proclaimed "irrelevant." And now we can see why you wanted to ignore it.


                      Mein Gott you really are ignorant! Then how do you explain Luke 24:12? And apparently you forgot that Mark has a rather abrupt ending so it would hardly be possible for him to be mentioned in it. Further, you conveniently omitted the Fourth Gospel, where the role of Peter is spotlighted. Was that deliberate or just more ignorance?




                      The one you refused to discuss, hysterically dismissing it as "prattling" and "feeble"?

                      No. I think the judge will see if they are indeed contradictions or if there are reasonable, logical explanations for most of these supposed contradictions.

                      Unfortunately, being this isn't a court, there is no cross-examination that could clarify these matters. Without it we must then see if there are reasonable explanations. Things like how common it is to describe a large group by the person leading them (see the Caesar and Hannibal examples that disturbed you so much. Or how they might only mention one person by name but indicate there were others be the use of "we" in the next sentence. And just the simple fact that different people naturally recollect events they witnessed differently, such as stressing or minimizing various factors (or even omitting things that they think are irrelevant), and may be privy to something others weren't and therefore able to expand on what others saw.

                      Or you could just chuck all that out the window and declare that they simply must, Must, MUST be irreconcilable contradictions because you need them to be so in order to rationalize your position


                      I was kind of hoping you would have gotten into the men/angels "contradictions" as well because I want to delve into that one as well. If you do want to discuss them then please first at the very least read the pertinent chapters of the relevant texts so you don't keep making such silly mistakes as you repeatedly did here. Maybe they have a Bible for Dummies or an Idiot's Guide to the Bible that you could use to help you bone up.






                      1. to be clear neither I nor the study's authors say that they found evidence of Matthew's earthquake, but they certainly drive an ocean liner-sized hole through your ridiculing it.
                      I am still waiting for you to provide detailed citations.
                      "It ain't necessarily so
                      The things that you're liable
                      To read in the Bible
                      It ain't necessarily so
                      ."

                      Sportin' Life
                      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                        I am still waiting for you to provide detailed citations.
                        As you've been informed, nobody is playing your little games any more.

                        The things that you demand citations for are such common knowledge, that have been repeatedly verified, that your continual insistence for citations has served to expose your abysmal understanding of yet another topic you sought to pontificate upon

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                          Please provide detailed citations...

                          With regard to these “several scholars” please provided detailed citations...

                          Please provide detailed citations from both Feldman and Twelftree...
                          You simply cannot help but falling back to your usual games whenever it starts to dawn on you that you have once again pontificated on things that you actually know very little about.

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                            What was actually experienced and seen?
                            • One angel descending and an earthquake?
                            • One young man who sat on the stone?
                            • Two men in dazzling clothes who just appeared?
                            • Two angels sitting where the body should have been in the tomb?
                            I've already covered the first one in another post which I'll elaborate on just a bit here

                            As I noted, the region is prone to seismic activity thanks to the proximity of the Dead Sea Rift Valley. In his Patterns of Seismic Sequences in the Levant -- Interpretation of Historical Seismicity Amos Salamon reveals that the area experiences tremors there on a virtually yearly basis. And many are large scale. IIRC, Josephus, in his Jewish War, even mentioned one which hit Judea resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. In fact, the late anthropologist and archaeologist Kenneth Russell examined the evidence for roughly a hundred major earthquakes in the region and reported in The Earthquake Chronology of Palestine and Northwest Arabia from the 2nd Through the Mid-8th Century A. D that 71 of them were centered in the Judea-Samaria region.

                            So the idea of an earthquake taking place is far from preposterous.

                            Further, it appears that core samples of earth near Ein Gedi, just to the west of the Dead Sea a decade ago revealed that an earthquake did indeed took place around the estimated time of Jesus' crucifixion

                            Moreover, several scholars have noted that the word σεισμος and translated as "earthquake" here actually signifying any kind of shaking, whether in the earth, air, or sea (for instance in Matthew 8:24 it is translated as meaning "tempest" or "storm.") IOW, the word here might be better understood to signify a large storm.

                            Finally, IMHO, Matthew described not something that was witnessed but rather inferred it from what they saw as the various translations such as the NASB make clearer by stating

                            Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                            And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            [*Bolding added by rogue06*]

                            Weymouth New Testament translates the passage as

                            Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                            But to their amazement there had been a great earthquake

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            Please note how this would also indicate that the women inferred that the angel descended from Heaven, not that they witnessed it.

                            It should be noted that in his Gospel Matthew appears to largely emphasize what happened and tends to group his information by theme (topical arrangement) and isn't too concerned with exact chronological order. For example, he mentioned the women coming to the tomb in the first verse, but then makes these comments as an aside -- this is what had happened prior to women arriving.


                            Now, as to whether there were men or angels there and just how many of them were there (one or two)...

                            To start, as New Testament historian Michael Licona explains in his The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach that this problem is "easily resolved when one considers that an angel was sometimes referred to as a man." In fact we can see numerous instances where in the New Testament, angels are called "men" though where, in context, they are clearly angels (Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10; Acts 10:30. See also Tobit chapter 5 where the angel is addressed as "young man").

                            And in the Luke 24:4 example he first speaks of "two men" at the tomb, and yet a mere nineteen verses later at 24:23 they are referred to as angels. And even back at v.4 when they were described as "men" they were aid to be dressed in "dazzling apparel" (or shining or radiant garments) foreshadowing their identity since such clothing is typically the mark of a heavenly visitation (Matthew 28:3; Mark 9:3; John 20:12; Acts 1:10; 10:30)[1].

                            It is also possible that the authors, particularly Mark and Luke, wanted to portray the discovery of the empty tomb from the women's immediate perspectives. In this case, the women very well may have first thought the angels were men. The Bible is full of such initial misidentifications. Jacob thought it was a man that he wrestled with. The mob that demanded that Lot turn over his guests to them surely thought they were men. In Tobit 5 (held as canonical by Catholic and Orthodox Christians), Tobias "went to look for a man; and he found Raphael, who was an angel, but Tobias did not know it."

                            As for the number present, as Licona has observed: A simple tip to remember when reading the Gospels through a historical lens is that an author’s omission does not equal rejection. IOW, an author could upon occasion and for various reasons, simply choose to omit what another chose to include -- something I have explained to you multiple times.

                            So, with that in mind, let's return to the Gospel accounts.

                            Many different theories have been posited for this including the observation that Matthew only mentions the presence of an angel outside the tomb whereas the other gospels clearly are only concerned with angels inside the tomb. Personally, I find this solution very unsatisfactory.

                            The presence of discrepancies between accounts does not justify a conclusion that of the accounts are therefore historically unreliable. For example, the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic were interviewed almost immediately after the ship's sinking they provided contradictory testimonies as to whether it went down intact or broke in two just prior to sinking. How could they have been mistaken on this point? It was the most terrifying night of their lives with the details freshly etched into their memories. So, how could so many of them make such a mistake? We'll likely never know, but one thing is certain. Absolutely nobody has ever cited these contradicting testimonies on such a basic unmistakable detail, and concluded that the Titanic didn’t sink.

                            Likewise, look at all the contradictions in the accounts concerning the burning of Rome. Suetonius, Dio Cassius and Tacitus differed over a number of details but no sane person argues that Rome didn't burn in Nero's day.

                            Or as the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, Dale C. Allison, Jr., once quipped

                            myths about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy abound, but Kennedy was in fact shot by somebody


                            Finally, as Raymond Brown once suggested, it is conceivable that the mentioning of the angels was intended primarily as literary devices meant to indicate the Gospel writer's belief that a divine activity had taken place. If this was indeed the case, then it would be the fact of the angelic presence, rather than the fine details of their presence, that the author's were specifically concerned with.

                            If this were indeed the case, such a move would be consistent with what we observe in ancient biographies like Plutarch's Lives and the such.

                            And with that note, I'll point out that we should keep in mind that the genre that the Gospels belong in is not History but rather Greco-Roman biographies[2] -- something that New Testament scholars have only come to recognize relatively recently.



                            In conclusion, GotQuestions.org hits the nail squarely on the head when they accurately observe:

                            In the battle with skeptics regarding Jesus’ resurrection, Christians are in a "no-win" situation. If the resurrection accounts harmonize perfectly, skeptics will claim that the writers of the Gospels conspired together. If the resurrection accounts have some differences, skeptics will claim that the Gospels contradict each other and therefore cannot be trusted.


                            As Licona observes in his The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach:

                            It is important to note that all of the discrepancies between the Gospels usually appear in the peripheral details rather than at the core of the stories






                            1. As the Jerome Biblical Commentary explains: "the description of their white garb and their luminous appearance is the same, and no doubt is left that celestial messengers are meant."

                            2. At this point in time there really was no such thing as a Jewish biography to be used as a role model.

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                              I've already covered the first one in another post which I'll elaborate on just a bit here

                              As I noted, the region is prone to seismic activity thanks to the proximity of the Dead Sea Rift Valley. In his Patterns of Seismic Sequences in the Levant -- Interpretation of Historical Seismicity Amos Salamon reveals that the area experiences tremors there on a virtually yearly basis. And many are large scale. IIRC, Josephus, in his Jewish War, even mentioned one which hit Judea resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. In fact, the late anthropologist and archaeologist Kenneth Russell examined the evidence for roughly a hundred major earthquakes in the region and reported in The Earthquake Chronology of Palestine and Northwest Arabia from the 2nd Through the Mid-8th Century A. D that 71 of them were centered in the Judea-Samaria region.

                              So the idea of an earthquake taking place is far from preposterous.

                              Further, it appears that core samples of earth near Ein Gedi, just to the west of the Dead Sea a decade ago revealed that an earthquake did indeed took place around the estimated time of Jesus' crucifixion

                              Moreover, several scholars have noted that the word σεισμος and translated as "earthquake" here actually signifying any kind of shaking, whether in the earth, air, or sea (for instance in Matthew 8:24 it is translated as meaning "tempest" or "storm.") IOW, the word here might be better understood to signify a large storm.

                              Finally, IMHO, Matthew described not something that was witnessed but rather inferred it from what they saw as the various translations such as the NASB make clearer by stating

                              Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                              And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it

                              © Copyright Original Source



                              [*Bolding added by rogue06*]

                              Weymouth New Testament translates the passage as

                              Scripture Verse: Matthew 28:2

                              But to their amazement there had been a great earthquake

                              © Copyright Original Source



                              Please note how this would also indicate that the women inferred that the angel descended from Heaven, not that they witnessed it.

                              It should be noted that in his Gospel Matthew appears to largely emphasize what happened and tends to group his information by theme (topical arrangement) and isn't too concerned with exact chronological order. For example, he mentioned the women coming to the tomb in the first verse, but then makes these comments as an aside -- this is what had happened prior to women arriving.


                              Now, as to whether there were men or angels there and just how many of them were there (one or two)...

                              To start, as New Testament historian Michael Licona explains in his The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach that this problem is "easily resolved when one considers that an angel was sometimes referred to as a man." In fact we can see numerous instances where in the New Testament, angels are called "men" though where, in context, they are clearly angels (Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10; Acts 10:30. See also Tobit chapter 5 where the angel is addressed as "young man").

                              And in the Luke 24:4 example he first speaks of "two men" at the tomb, and yet a mere nineteen verses later at 24:23 they are referred to as angels. And even back at v.4 when they were described as "men" they were aid to be dressed in "dazzling apparel" (or shining or radiant garments) foreshadowing their identity since such clothing is typically the mark of a heavenly visitation (Matthew 28:3; Mark 9:3; John 20:12; Acts 1:10; 10:30)[1].

                              It is also possible that the authors, particularly Mark and Luke, wanted to portray the discovery of the empty tomb from the women's immediate perspectives. In this case, the women very well may have first thought the angels were men. The Bible is full of such initial misidentifications. Jacob thought it was a man that he wrestled with. The mob that demanded that Lot turn over his guests to them surely thought they were men. In Tobit 5 (held as canonical by Catholic and Orthodox Christians), Tobias "went to look for a man; and he found Raphael, who was an angel, but Tobias did not know it."

                              As for the number present, as Licona has observed: A simple tip to remember when reading the Gospels through a historical lens is that an author’s omission does not equal rejection. IOW, an author could upon occasion and for various reasons, simply choose to omit what another chose to include -- something I have explained to you multiple times.

                              So, with that in mind, let's return to the Gospel accounts.

                              Many different theories have been posited for this including the observation that Matthew only mentions the presence of an angel outside the tomb whereas the other gospels clearly are only concerned with angels inside the tomb. Personally, I find this solution very unsatisfactory.

                              The presence of discrepancies between accounts does not justify a conclusion that of the accounts are therefore historically unreliable. For example, the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic were interviewed almost immediately after the ship's sinking they provided contradictory testimonies as to whether it went down intact or broke in two just prior to sinking. How could they have been mistaken on this point? It was the most terrifying night of their lives with the details freshly etched into their memories. So, how could so many of them make such a mistake? We'll likely never know, but one thing is certain. Absolutely nobody has ever cited these contradicting testimonies on such a basic unmistakable detail, and concluded that the Titanic didn’t sink.

                              Likewise, look at all the contradictions in the accounts concerning the burning of Rome. Suetonius, Dio Cassius and Tacitus differed over a number of details but no sane person argues that Rome didn't burn in Nero's day.

                              Or as the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, Dale C. Allison, Jr., once quipped

                              myths about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy abound, but Kennedy was in fact shot by somebody


                              Finally, as Raymond Brown once suggested, it is conceivable that the mentioning of the angels was intended primarily as literary devices meant to indicate the Gospel writer's belief that a divine activity had taken place. If this was indeed the case, then it would be the fact of the angelic presence, rather than the fine details of their presence, that the author's were specifically concerned with.

                              If this were indeed the case, such a move would be consistent with what we observe in ancient biographies like Plutarch's Lives and the such.

                              And with that note, I'll point out that we should keep in mind that the genre that the Gospels belong in is not History but rather Greco-Roman biographies[2] -- something that New Testament scholars have only come to recognize relatively recently.



                              In conclusion, GotQuestions.org hits the nail squarely on the head when they accurately observe:

                              In the battle with skeptics regarding Jesus’ resurrection, Christians are in a "no-win" situation. If the resurrection accounts harmonize perfectly, skeptics will claim that the writers of the Gospels conspired together. If the resurrection accounts have some differences, skeptics will claim that the Gospels contradict each other and therefore cannot be trusted.


                              As Licona observes in his The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach:

                              It is important to note that all of the discrepancies between the Gospels usually appear in the peripheral details rather than at the core of the stories






                              1. As the Jerome Biblical Commentary explains: "the description of their white garb and their luminous appearance is the same, and no doubt is left that celestial messengers are meant."

                              2. At this point in time there really was no such thing as a Jewish biography to be used as a role model.
                              Dangnabbit!

                              I accidentally left a portion out wrt the number of men/angels at the tomb.

                              Essentially it was an expansion on what I said about the number of women that H_A "snipped for irrelevancy," namely about spotlighting one person to the exclusion of others, and applying it here as well.

                              And while John only mentions Mary Magdalene, it is clear she was not alone because she uses the term "we" when describing events. So for whatever reason John wanted the spotlight on her. And even if he wasn't specifically trying to emphasize her role, it is hardly unusual to mention only the leader of the group when they do something. for instance, it is not uncommon to talk about how Caesar conquered Gaul, or Hannibal crossed the Alps. Obviously they did not do it alone and saying it that way is not contradicting the facts that they did so at the head of armies.


                              FWIU, this technique was utilized by Plutarch, and is in fact fairly common in ancient literature. And there are examples of it in the Gospels as well.

                              Elsewhere I noted how John only mentions Mary Magdalene as going to the tomb whereas the other Gospel writers mention others. As I noted then it was evident that John was focusing on Mary to the exclusion of others, and not suggesting that Mary went alone, because in the very next verse he records her saying "we" when talking about going to the tomb.

                              Another example can be found in Luke, where he mentions only Peter as running to the tomb after receiving the news from Mary Magdalene, while the parallel account in John says that it was both Peter and the beloved disciple who ran to the tomb.

                              Contradiction?

                              Nope. Another instance of spotlighting as we can clearly see not much later in Luke's account when in 24:24 it makes clear Peter hadn't been alone when Cleopas, one of two apostles on the road to Emmaus, is recorded as saying

                              Scripture Verse: Luke 24:24

                              Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said

                              © Copyright Original Source


                              Please note the use of the plural. Other translations read "some of our companions," and "certain of those who were with us" or a variation thereof.

                              So Luke obviously knew that Peter did not go to the tomb alone (v.12) as the later remark (v.24) makes evident. This was a clear case of Luke shining his literary spotlight on Peter in 24:12.

                              And spotlighting could very well explain why Mark and Matthew mention one angel, while Luke and John refer to two. The former may be focusing on the one who’s doing the talking -- the one who's announcing that Jesus rose from the dead. They are shining their literary spotlight on the angel making the announcement.
                              Last edited by rogue06; 05-19-2021, 06:02 PM.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                              • I don't like seeing people gang up on Hypatia.

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