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Jesus in an Historical Context

Historical Jesus

from Google images

By placing the birth of Jesus in the context of other historical figures, Luke does what no other writer of religion does. He places the main character in an historical context. Jesus is not a myth made up to accommodate a belief. Neither is he a legend that might be a part of history but is unable to be proved. Rather, ancient historians speak of Jesus: Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius, Mara Bar-Serapion, Thallus, Lucian and the Talmud. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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What About the Reigns of Herod’s Sons?

Israel Museum

from Google Images

Many scholars have used the length of the reigns of Herod’s sons, which information can be found in Josephus’ histories, to configure Herod’s death to March 13, 4 BC. However, since the eclipse that occurred at the Feast of Purim in 4 BC cannot be used to point to Herod’s death, due to the impossible time restraints involved between it and the Passover (28 to 29 days),[1] we must rethink why the reigns of Herod’s sons point to the year 4 BC, because, as I have said several times in this series, once “you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”[2] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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How Long Was Herod King?

Herod - 2

from Google Images

Josephus tells us that Herod died after reigning as King of the Jews for 37 years from the time he had been declared king by the Romans and 34 years after Mark Antony had slain Antigonus, the last of the Hasmonian dynasty that reigned at Jerusalem,[1] and I have no reason to dispute what he claims there. Furthermore, he dates the actual taking of Jerusalem to 37 BC by naming the Roman consuls, Marcus Agrippa and Caninius Galluse, saying they held that office when Jerusalem fell to Herod[2] and Socius, the Roman general assisting Herod in the war against the Jews to make him king. For this reason many scholars date Herod’s death at 4 BC, after the lunar eclipse occurring at the Feast of Purim in March, thinking this must be the one mentioned by Josephus about two weeks before Herod died.[3] Nevertheless we already know this is an impossible date for Herod’s death (see HERE), if we consider the data Josephus offers us about those times.[4] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Josephus’ Eclipse Showing Herod’s Death

Herod's Eclipse

from Google Images

On the night following the day Herod executed two distinguished rabbis and about 40 of their students there was a lunar eclipse. This is the only eclipse Josephus mentions in his works, and he says Herod died shortly afterward (about two weeks). This eclipse could not have been the one that occurred on the Feast of Purim in 4 BC for reasons stated HERE, and as I said there once “you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”[1]. Additionally, the rabbis and their students were executed according to Jewish law.[2] If Herod was careful to act according to Jewish custom, he would not have executed the rabbis contrary to Jewish law on an annual Feast Day (Purim),[3] which is necessarily so, had Herod executed the rabbis immediately before the eclipses of 4 or 5 BC. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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When Did Herod Die?

Herod

from Google Images

Herod didn’t die in 4 BC as is commonly believed, and I hope to prove that here. I hope to prove it beyond doubt with the information we have from Josephus together with ancient Jewish tradition. Josephus speaks of a lunar eclipse just before Herod’s death. A few hours before the eclipse, Herod executed two beloved rabbis and about 40 of their students for destroying the golden eagle Herod had placed over the eastern gate of the Temple. Had Herod executed these men just before the eclipse in 4 BC, he would have done so on the Feast of Purim. A riot surely would have occurred had he done so. In fact, a sizable revolt did erupt over these things just after Herod’s funeral during the Feast of the Passover, when so many of the pilgrims visiting Jerusalem were stirred up by Jewish zealots. After putting down the revolt, Archelaus left for Rome to formally receive his government from Caesar. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Why Did Joseph Go to Bethlehem?

Joseph and Mary - 1

from Google Images

Throughout the world the oath of loyalty to Caesar was taken in the Temples of Augustus at the altars, but, as Josephus often shows, exceptions were always made for the Jews who worshiped only one God. Throughout Herod’s kingdom the people would have enrolled themselves at their local synagogues in the cities in which they lived (Luke 2:3), but Joseph and all those who were “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4) were an exception to this rule. Joseph and others who might be thought of as laying claim to David’s crown had to register in Bethlehem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Quirinius, Governor of Syria

Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem

from Google Images

Luke claims that Quirinius[1] was governor (hegemoneuo – G2230) of Syria when the enrollment of all the people of the Empire took place (Luke 2:1-2). However, history shows us that either Saturninus or Quinctilius Varus was governor of Syria when Jesus was born.[2] Nevertheless, Josephus also shows us that there were at least two governors of Syria during the time when Herod suspected disloyalty among several members of his family, and when he had them tried and executed.[3] Therefore, it may be possible that Quirinius acted as a governor of some capacity of Syria during the time Jesus was born, or even under some special authority by order of the Emperor to take the census. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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