Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Maybe Josephus Got His Story Wrong on the Date of Quirinius' Census

Luke the historian is often criticized as being inaccurate when it comes to the dating of his birth narrative relative to Quirinius' census. Of course, there seems to be an anti-Christian bias when the biblical data differs from other historical sources. In this case, Luke has forever been charged as wrong when measured to Josephus. Unfortunately, no one has used all the critical tools to assess Josephus. But recently, someone put some of these advanced critical tools to use on Josephus, and demonstrates how he got the facts wrong.

John H. Rhoads writes, "This study will argue on the basis of source criticism that the most plausible history underlying Josephus’ narrative and the sources on which he relies do not actually fit the sequence of events as construed by the consensus of scholars. Without reference to Luke or other Christian sources, this study will advance source-critical argumentes similar to those made a century ago by Theodor Zahn, W. Lodder, Friedrich Spitta, and W. Weber....

"This study...will argue that the account which Josephus tells of the census conducted by Quirinius, and the corresponding revolt by Judas the Galilean, is actually a mistaken duplication, broadly speaking, of events which occurred much earlier"


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