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Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts?

April 23, 2011

The Claim

It has been claimed that Luke used the writings of Josephus (specifically ‘Antiquities of the Jews’).[1] [2] Since Josephus wrote in 93 CE, this would date Acts no earlier than this time.[3] The following passages are claimed as examples of Luke’s dependence on Josephus.

*  Luke 3:1: Josephus and Luke record the census of Quirinius, but Luke’s differs from that of Josephus and cannot be verified independently; both Luke and Josephus refer to Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene

*  Luke 13:1: Luke’s description of the murder of the Galileans is similar to Josephus’ description of an assault on Samaritans[4]

*  Acts 5:36-37: Luke mentions Theudas and Judas the Galilean, but reverses the order in which Josephus listed them, dates Theudas 15 years before the date Josephus gives[5]

*  Acts 11:28-9: Luke and Josephus both record famine during Claudius’ reign[6]

*  Acts 12:21-3: Luke describes Agrippa I’s death in a manner similar to Josephus, but with certain differences[7]

*  Acts 21:38: Luke describes ‘the Egyptian’ rebel leading sicarii into the wilderness but Josephus’s reference to sicarii in the wilderness is separate from his reference to ‘the Egyptian’[8]

*  Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30: Like Josephus, Luke implies that Agrippa II and Berenice are married, or consorts[9]

*  Acts 24:24-6: Like Josephus, Luke shows he is aware Drusilla (the wife of Felix), is a Jew

Scholarly Commentary

The claim is so insubstantial that most scholars consider it highly debatable at best,[10] rejecting it on a range of grounds and arguing Luke and Josephus used common traditions and historical sources. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

This consensus is even acknowledged by those who argue for Luke’s dependence on Josephus, or the other way around.[24]


[1] ‘This theory was maintained by F. C. Burkitt (The Gospel History and its Transmission, 1911, pp. 105–110), following the arguments of Krenkel’s Josephus und Lucas (1894).’, Guthrie, ‘New Testament Introduction’, p. 363 (4th rev. ed. 1996).

[2] Two recent examples are Richard Pervo’s ‘Dating Acts’ (2006), and ‘Acts: A Commentary’ in the series ‘Hermeneia: a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible’ (2008), and Steve Mason’s ‘Josephus and the New Testament’ (1992); Pervo’s is considered an academic argument worthy of response (though it has failed to convince most scholars), whereas Mason’s is rarely referred to in the relevant scholarly literature.

[3] ‘If Acts is dependent on Josephus for information, it cannot be earlier than 93. But such dependence is not proved and is highly unlikely.’, in Douglas & Tenney, ’New International Bible Dictionary’, p, 13 (1987).

[4] ‘A number of events to which allusion is possibly being made are discussed by J. Blinzler*, 32–37. These include: 1. the affair of the ensigns in Jos. Bel. 2:169–174; Ant. 18:55–59, but this took place in Caesarea in AD 26; 2. the tumults associated with the building of an aqueduct (Jos. Bel. 2:175–177; Ant. 18:60–62), but this incident involved the murder of Judaeans with cudgels outside the temple; 3. an attack on some Samaritans (Jos. Ant. 18:85–87), but this took place in AD 36; 4. the slaughter of about 3,000 Jews offering Passover sacrifices by Archelaus in 4 BC (Jos. Bel. 2:8–13; Ant. 17:213–218). This incident, however, took place some thirty years earlier and was committed by a different ruler; moreover, the murder of 3,000 men would not bear comparison with an accident to 18. It is wisest to conclude that the event is not attested from secular sources. This, however, is no argument against its historicity, since Josephus’ account of Pilate’s career is very incomplete (cf. Philo, Leg. 299-305). Pilate would have been in Jerusalem at Passover time, and the Galileans had a reputation for rebelliousness. The suggestion that Zealots were involved (O. Cullmann, The State in the NT, London, 1957, 14) lacks proof.’, Marshall, ‘The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text’, New International Greek Testament Commentary, p. 553 (1978).

[5] ‘There are two problems: (1) Since Gamaliel was speaking well before AD 44 (the year in which Herod Agrippa I died, 12:20-23), a reference to the Theudas mentioned in Josephus would be anachronistic on his lips. (2). Gamaliel goes on to describe the rising of Judas after this; but the rising of Judas took place in AD 6 before the Theudas incident in Josephus. So, it is argued, Luke makes Gamaliel commit an anachronism and put the two stories in reverse chronological order. It has been argued that Luke was led to this error by misreading Josephus who goes on after the Theudas story to mention the sons of Judas and then to explain parenthetically who this Judas was and how he had led a revolt against Rome. But this supposition is highly unlikely, since Josephus’ works were not published till c. AD 93, and since Luke cannot possibly have got the details of his story (the 400 men) from him. No plausible explanation of Luke’s alleged error has been offered. There is, therefore, much to be said for the suggestions either that Josephus got his dating wrong or (more probably) that Gamaliel is referring to another, otherwise unknown Theudas. Since there were innumerable uprisings when Herod the Great died, and since ‘Josephus describes four men bearing the name of Simon within forty years and three that of Judas within ten years, all of whom were instigators of rebellion’ (cited by Knowling, p. 158), this suggestion should not be rejected out of hand.’, Marshall, ‘Acts: An Introduction And Commentary’, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, volume 5, pp. 122-123 (1980).

[6] ‘Famines are mentioned in various parts of the empire during the time of Claudius. Josephus tells of a famine in Palestine during the governorship of Tiberius Alexander (46/48 C.E.):’, Conzelmann, Epp, & Matthews, ‘Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles’, Hermeneia, p. 90 (1987).

[7]The details of Herod’s death are recorded slightly differently by Josephus, but the accounts are complementary. …Luke’s description of Herod as being eaten by worms is probably directly related to the abdominal pains referred to in Josephus’ account.’, Carson, ‘New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition’ (4th ed. 1994).

[8]According to Josephus (Bel. 2:261–263) there had been an Egyptian false prophet who had led 30,000 men to the Mount of Olives in order to take Jerusalem; he promised that they would see the walls of the city fall down. The governor, Felix, killed or captured his followers, while the prophet himself managed to escape. Clearly the tribune thought that this person had reappeared; the discrepancy between the number of his followers in Acts and in Josephus reflects the latter’s well-known tendency to exaggeration, and the tribune’s estimate will have been nearer the mark.’, Marshall, ‘Acts: An Introduction And Commentary’, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, volume 5, p. 371 (1980).

[9] ‘There was gossip about the relationship between the brother and sister (Josephus Ant. 20.145; Juvenal Sat. 6.156–60). ‘,Conzelmann, Epp, & Matthews, ‘Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles’, Hermeneia, p. 206 (1987).

[10] ‘The use of the LXX is not debatable, but the influence of Josephus and Paul has been and is subjected to considerable debate.’, Tyson, ‘Marcion and Luke-Acts: a defining struggle’, p. 14 (2006).

[11] ‘Arguments for the dependence of passages in Acts on Josephus (especially the reference to Theudas in Acts v. 37) are equally unconvincing. The fact is, as Schurer has said: “Either Luke had not read Josephus, or he had forgotten all about what he had read”‘, Geldenhuys, ‘Commentary on the Gospel of Luke’, p. 31 (1950).

[12] ‘But it is hardly logical to hold that Luke depends on Josephus and yet be obliged to admit that Luke shows wide divergence from him in relating events that are supposedly the same.’, Harrison, ‘Introduction to the New Testament’, p. 240 (1971).

[13] ‘The argument that Luke used the historian, Josephus (ad 93), was never fully convincing (HJ Cadbury, BC 11, 357). Today it is seldom pressed.’, Ellis, ‘The Gospel of Luke’, p. 55 (1977).

[14] ‘Sterling concludes that, while it is impossible to establish a literary dependence of Luke-Acts on the writings of Josephus, it is reasonable to affirm that both authors not only had access to similar historical traditions but also shared the same historiographical techniques and perspectives.’, Verheyden, ‘The Unity of Luke-Acts’, p. 678 (1990).

[15] ‘After examining the texts myself, I must conclude with the majority of scholars that it is impossible to establish the dependence of Luke-Acts on the Antiquitates. What is clear is that Luke-Acts and Josephos shared some common traditions about the recent history of Palestine.’, Sterling, ‘Historiography and Self-Definition: Josephos, Luke-Acts, and Apologetic Historiography’, Supplements to Novum Testamentum, pp. 365-366 (1992).

[16]It seems probable that Luke and Josephus wrote independently of one another; for each could certainly have had access to sources and information, which he then employed according to his own perspectives. A characteristic conglomerate of details, which in part agree, in part reflect great similarity, but also in part, appear dissimilar and to stem from different provenances, accords with this analysis.’, Schreckenberg & Schubert, ‘Jewish Historiography and Iconography in Early and Medieval Christian Literature’, Compendia Rerum Iudicarum Ad Novum Testamentum, volume 2, p. 51 (1992).

[17] ‘A. T. Robinson, Redating, p. 88, regards the Josephus line of approach as almost totally abandoned.’, Guthrie, ‘New Testament Introduction’, p. 364 (4th rev. ed. 1996).

[18] ‘From Krenkel’s remarks it can be seen that this proof can be offered only with very powerful mental contortions. See Hemer, Acts (n.37), 95: ‘the theory of Lukan dependence on Josephus has had in its day a certain vogue, and has been used as a major argument for the late dating of Luke-Acts’; cf. also Sterling, Historiography (n.37),365f. n.281.’, Hengel & Schwemer, Paul between Damascus and Antioch: the unknown years’, p. 325 (1997).

[19] ‘Nevertheless, direct literary dependence on Josephus by Luke is consistently dismissed for various reasons.’, Denova, ‘The Things Accomplished Among Us: prophetic tradition in the structural pattern of Luke-Acts’, p. 207 (1997).

[20] ‘The relationship between Luke and Josephus has produced an abundant literature, which has attempted to show the literary dependence of one on the other. I do not believe that any such dependence can be proved.’, Marguerat, ‘The First Christian Historian: writing the “Acts of the Apostles”‘, p. 79 (2002).

[21]Most scholars today deny any dependence one way or the other, and we think this judgment is correct.’, Heyler, ‘Exploring Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period: A Guide for New Testament Students’, p. 362  (2002).

[22] ‘When we consider both the differences and the agreement in many details of the information in the two accounts, [of the death of Herod Agrippa I] it is surely better to suppose the existence of a common source on which Luke and Josephus independently drew.’, Klauck & McNeil, ‘Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity: the world of the Acts of the Apostles’, p. 43 (2003).

[23] ‘Some attempt to argue a literary dependence on Josephus, and date Luke-Acts after 93CE. But, without a doubt, Luke’s theology is of an earlier type than Justin.’, Hear, ‘Simon Magus: the first gnostic?’, p. 71 (2003).

[24]Neither position has much of a following today, because of the significant differences between the two works in their accounts of the same events.’, Mason, ‘Josephus and the New Testament’, p. 185 (1992).

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73 comments

  1. Your page is incomplete. No mention of ‘Sergius Paulus’???

    Here’s a clue for you all
    wondering what name to call
    when Paulus meets Saul
    and Saul becomes Paul

    Acts was written after 93 CE, or the name Sergius Paulus is forged.

    Acts 13
    6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
    7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
    8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
    9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

    He was the first of six successive Senators named Lucius Sergius Paullus, of Antioch, Pisidia, including one Consul Suffect in 94 and another Consul in 168, the last of whom was Lucius Sergius Paullus, Senator, father of Sergia Paulla, who married Quintus Anicius Faustus, Legate of Numidia and Consul in 198, and had Quintus Anicius Faustus Paulinus, Legate of Moesia Inferior between 229 and 230 or c. 230 to 232.[1]

    ~Anthony Wagner, Pedigree and Progress, Essays in the Genealogical Interpretation of History, London, Philmore, 1975. Rutgers Alex CS4.W33., p. 59


  2. Nice one

    Here’s a clue for you

    A boundary stone of Claudius mentioning Sergius was discovered at Rome in 1887. It records the appointment (AD 47) of the Curators of the banks and the channel of the river Tiber, one of who was Sergius. Since Paul’s journey to Cyprus is usually dated to the first half of the 40s (and some scholars would date his visit even earlier), it is thought Sergius first served his three years as Proconsul at Cyprus, then returned to Rome, where he was appointed curator. As he is not greeted in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, it is possible he died before it was written.


  3. Nice one

    Here’s a clue for you

    A boundary stone of Claudius mentioning Sergius was discovered at Rome in 1887. It records the appointment (AD 47) of the Curators of the banks and the channel of the river Tiber, one of who was Sergius. Since Paul’s journey to Cyprus is usually dated to the first half of the 40s (and some scholars would date his visit even earlier), it is thought Sergius first served his three years as Proconsul at Cyprus, then returned to Rome, where he was appointed curator. As he is not greeted in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, it is possible he died before it was written.

    There were six of them. So they were clearly referring to an the 1st one in 47 AD


  4. I didn’t mention Sergius Paulus in this article because he does’t belong in this article. The purpose of this article is to examine the claim that Luke used Josephus as a source, and no commentaries I have read claim that Luke took his reference to Sergius Paulus from Josephus.

    There are several inscriptions with the name (and at least one one of which the restoration is uncertain), so there’s no need to identify Luke’s with the Sergius Paulus of 93 CE.

    Reading through the relevant scholarly literature, it’s clear that there’s no consensus as yet on whether or not any of the specific inscriptions are a reference to Luke’s Sergius Paulus, but it’s significant that even those commentators who believe Acts is a second century literary work (such as Conzelmann and Pervo), don’t point to Sergius Paulus as evidence.


  5. > but it’s significant that even those commentators who believe Acts is a second century literary work (such as Conzelmann and Pervo), don’t point to Sergius Paulus as evidence.
    > Reading through the relevant scholarly literature, it’s clear that there’s no consensus as yet on whether or not any of the specific inscriptions are a reference to Luke’s Sergius Paulus.
    As you suggest their work is not complete without any mention of Sergius Paulus. Dating the book of Acts is very useful in determining if the author used Josephus as a source. So I’ll move on. . . .

    Against Apion 1
    I SUPPOSE that by my books of the Antiquity of the Jews, most excellent Epaphroditus, have made it evident to those who peruse them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also, I have therein declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live.

    Luke 1
    1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
    2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
    3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
    4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

    Acts 1
    1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

    Pretty much the same words, and from my working knowledge of Greek it looks like the same style.


  6. Paul is unaware of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in his epistles. He speaks of crucifixion in a generic way, Paul says he is also crucified. Paul’s uses the word crucifixion separately from resurrection. Paul speaks of resurrection in terms of the resurrection(s) in the Old Testament. Paul never used the passion story to support himself when on trial. Paul is unaware of Mary the mother of Jesus in his letters. Paul claims he was given the Eucharist directly from the Lord (Paul invented it). Paul loves the Romans.

    Philippians 4:22
    All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

    YET the character in the book of Acts is aware of the passion of Christ and his mother Mary. Paul’s letters were commissioned by Nero according to Josephus.

    Antiquities XX,8,
    9. Now when Porcius Festus was sent as successor to Felix by Nero, the principal of the Jewish inhabitants of Cesarea went up to Rome to accuse Felix; and he had certainly been brought to punishment, unless Nero had yielded to the importunate solicitations of his brother “Pallas”, who was at that time had in the greatest honor by him. Two of the principal Syrians in Cesarea persuaded Burrhus, who was Nero’s tutor, and secretary for his “Greek epistles”, by giving him a great sum of money, to disannul that equality of the Jewish privileges of citizens which they hitherto enjoyed. So Burrhus, by his solicitations, obtained leave of the emperor that an epistle should be written to that purpose. This epistle became the occasion of the following miseries that befell our nation; for when the Jews of Cesarea were informed of the contents of this epistle to the Syrians, they were more disorderly than before, till a war was kindled.

    The basic crucifixion and resurrection story is told by Josephus, there were crucifixions in Galilee (Judas of Galilee) but no recorded crucifixions in Jerusalem until the time of General Titus.

    Life;
    75. And when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealins, and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician’s hands, while the third recovered.

    Titus – Pilate
    Josephus – Joseph of Arimathaea
    Jesus – the survivor

    Those crucified with Jesus where probably two of his disciples as written in the gospel of John. So not only does the book of Acts use Josephus, but all four gospels build on the resurrection story in Josephus, ‘Life’.

    Christianity was invented by Nero (probably his wife Poppaea). It was spread through the letters of Paul. Its premise of ‘faith’ (pistis) was disputed by James from Ceasera who was a ‘believer’ (pistos).

    After the fire in Rome Nero turned on Christianity. After the destruction of Jerusalem and Massada the gospel of John was written (the first gospel) for the Jews in Ephesus declaring Jesus as the Lamb of God killed with the Passover lamb. The Jews in Alexandra wrote their own gospel of Mark. It declared Jesus eating the lamb at the Passover meal and establishing the Eucharist (not in John’s gospel).

    Historically there were two men crucified that make the crucifixion and resurrection in the gospels. Judas of Galilee in Galilee the 40’s, and the survivor that Josephus took from the cross in Jerusalem in the late 60’s.

    Philo had no knowledge of Christ or Paul or even Christianity and he died in 50 CE.


  7. No I’m not suggesting Pervo and Conzelmman’s work is not complete without any mention of Sergius Paulus. Both of them mention Sergius Paulus. However, neither of them claim that the reference to Sergius Paulus in Acts is evidence that the book was written in the 2nd century.

    To you it may seem that the respective introductions of Acts and Josephus are ‘Pretty much the same words’ and ‘the same style’, but this is not the scholarly consensus.

    If you have anything new to add to the question of whether or not Acts is dependent on Josephus, I suggest you have it published in a peer reviewed scholarly journal. I’m staying with the scholarly consensus.


  8. Your second post is well outside the scholarly consensus, and is simply a rehash of Reuchlin’s ‘The true authorship of the New Testament’ (1979). This theory is not taken seriously by any standard scholarship.


  9. Well Fortigurn, it’s a cop out to say many scholars or all scholars believe . . . . and not cite specific sources. The vast majority of scholars don’t believe the Bible or even take it seriously. For example what are your sources that the introductions (in the Greek) are not similar in style? I’m giving you historical text and comparing it directly with the writing in Luke/Acts.

    You didn’t read the second post or you never would have compared it to “The True Authorship of the New Testament “. That scholar (whom you aparently think agrees with me 😉 believes the New Testament is a forgery by a specific family. So you should actually read my post before you judge it. I actually love the Bible and study it daily. I believe the Bible is mostly historically accurate. Wow imagine that. I also believe the Church and Church tradition is baloney.

    My personal feeling is that you have never really studied the book of Acts in the Bible, but rely on commentaries by so-called scholars (hey I could be wrong). Please don’t forget that this page is titled, “Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts?” Not what do scholars think about Luke using Josephus? Anybody can cop out and say, most scholars disagree with you and many scholars agree with me. But without specific points to answer the questions raised, your words become ineffective (like Onan in Genesis 38:9).

    The answers to these questions below are on topic and establish the credibility or lack thereof in Luke/Acts.

    Why spicifically are the introductions dissimilar?

    What were the Greek epistles that Nero commissioned in Antiquities that inflamed the Jews in Ceasera?

    Why does James say not to believe in the ‘faith’ (pistis) of Jesus Christ (2:1)? Yet James is a believer and servant of Jesus Christ (1:1).

    Why does Peter say that following Paul can lead to the error of the wicked?

    Who was the only person in the Bible who claims Jesus came to the Earth not in the flesh? Yep Saul/Paul in Acts 9

    2 John 1
    7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    You want scholars, OK fine, this scholar below has published that most scholars have to publish what the publishers will print. And that ALL of these questions are continually raised in the seminary classes in the Universities. Why raise these questions in seminary if they are all known? He’s an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Ph.D. Princeton Theological Seminary (magna cum laude), 1985
    M.Div. Princeton Theological Seminary, 1981
    B.A. Wheaton College, Illinois (magna cum laude), 1978

    http://www.bartdehrman.com/curriculum.htm

    After becoming fluent in Hebrew and Greek he lost his faith, he’s agnostic (doesn’t know). He still believes in a historical Jesus but he also believes that most of the New Testament is forged. OK he uses the word ‘forged’ to sell books.

    Still not a jot of evidence for a Sergius Pallas until 93 CE, we’re just clinging to the idea that there’s nothing to prove he didn’t exist. A partial name of Sergius found at a river in Italy is no evidence of a Sergius Pallas in Cyprus (Isle of Paphos).

    And I don’t agree with him, but I could use his work to shatter the book of Acts and the gospel of Luke. Still that’s not my deal, my purpose is only to reconcile the Bible with the historical record. The problem is that in doing so I crucify the Church.

    peace,
    Rose


  10. * It’s not a copout to refer to the scholarly consensus; that’s the first place to start

    * In my article I cite a long list of specific sources demonstrating that the scholarly consensus rejects the literary dependence of Acts on Josephus; please read footnotes [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

    * I did read your second post; as I said, it sounds like a rehash of Reuchlin’s work , since like him you’re claiming a literary conspiracy in which Christianity was an invention of a Roman family (Nero in your case, the Pisos in Reuchlin’s case)

    * Yes I have studied Acts, but since I am not an authority on the subject it is necessary for me to cite the relevant scholarship (as any good scholar will do), identify the scholarly consensus (as any good scholar will do), and explain why the scholarly consensus has arrived at its conclusion (as any good scholar will do); that is how to answer the question ‘Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts?’, that is the standard academic method

    * Specific points were given; please read them

    * I don’t see how any of your questions are remotely relevant to the authorship of Acts, or its literary dependence on Josephus, and one of your claims is wrong; Paul did not deny Jesus came to the earth in the flesh

    * I am well aware of Ehrman’s work thank you; he’s very good on some subjects, not so good on others, and on certain subjects he steps not only well outside the scholarly consensus but outside his own area of expertise

    * You may be unconvinced by the inscriptional evidence, but the fact is that there is plenty of evidence for Segius Paulus prior to 93 CE; several inscriptions bearing the name have been found, dating back to at least 47 CE (unlike you, classical scholars typically believe the inscription in Rome to be the most likely reference to the Sergius Paulus in Acts)


  11. Luke 2
    1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
    2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
    3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
    4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

    We know from The “Deeds of the Divine Agustus”, (written by Augustus himself) that Augustus only decreed three cesnus’ 28 BCE, 8 BCE, and 14 CE. Cyrenius was appointed Roman Council in 12 BCE. There was no higher post than council, other than emperor. Many of the so-called sources on this use the Bible as a source. Since the purpose is to reconcile the Bible, it can’t be used as a source to reconcile itself. Many so-called scholars use the Bible as their historical source too. However those references are useless as it just compares the Bible with itself.

    So Augustus says he only decreed the lustrum three times. There was no decree of a census in 6 CE by Augustus, Augustus says this himself. There is no evidence of any kind (other than this passage) that the Jews had to go to their cities to be counted, that never happened historically. It’s probably put there to make it appear that Jesus was Galilean, Bethlehemenian, and Nazorean. A very necessary motive for the author of Luke’s gospel.

    Deeds of the Divine Augustus;
    8. When I was consul the fifth time (29 B.C.E.), I increased the number of patricians by order of the people and senate. I read the roll of the senate three times, and in my sixth consulate (28 B.C.E.) I made a census of the people with Marcus Agrippa as my colleague. I conducted a lustrum, after a forty-one year gap, in which lustrum were counted 4,063,000 heads of Roman citizens. Then again, with consular imperium I conducted a lustrum alone when Gaius Censorinus and Gaius Asinius were consuls (8 B.C.E.), in which lustrum were counted 4,233,000 heads of Roman citizens. And the third time, with consular imperium, I conducted a lustrum with my son Tiberius Caesar as colleague, when Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius were consuls (14 A.C.E.), in which lustrum were counted 4,937,000 of the heads of Roman citizens. By new laws passed with my sponsorship, I restored many traditions of the ancestors, which were falling into disuse in our age, and myself I handed on precedents of many things to be imitated in later generations.

    According to Josephus ‘Wars’ it was Coponius who had the power of life and death in Syria in 6 CE. It was under the administration of Coponius that the tax revolt happened.

    Wars, II, 8
    1. AND now Archelaus’s part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as a procurator, having the power of [life and] death put into his hands by Caesar. Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt, and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and would after God submit to mortal men as their lords. This man was a teacher of a peculiar sect of his own, and was not at all like the rest of those their leaders.

    Antiquities XVIII, 1
    1. NOW Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus’s money;

    NO DECREE FROM AUGUSTUS IN 6 CE
    Jesus could only have been born in 8 BCE according to Luke’s gospel. There doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room on this unless we trash Luke 2:1. If Luke were accurate he wouldn’t have tied the taxation issue in Judah with the decree of Augustus.

    It appears as if Luke got the information about the Taxing from Josephus, because Luke’s error is the result of Josephus not writing all the necessary details. Luke missed the mark.

    Luke 19
    27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

    Wonder if Luke actually heard Jesus speak these words, or if he just made it up?

    ~Rose


  12. > one of your claims is wrong; Paul did not deny Jesus came to the earth in the flesh

    He most certainly did say that ‘the Lord’ I’m assuming Jesus came to Earth in the form of spirit light and a voice. No flesh. That’s all the statement from the Elder says. It doesn’t say he came once in the flesh and a few times as light and voice. It simply says if they claim he came not in the flesh they are the antichrist.

    Which is exactly the scenario in Antiquities XX,8. Greek Epistles are written and sent to Syria that more or less demote the Jews. To determine if Luke/Acts borrowed from Josephus we have to establish a time frame.

    It seems from the historical record that Paul’s journey really begins after he takes the name of Sergius Pallas. It seems from the text in Act’s that this is when Christianity is first established. The events in the first parts of Acts probably happened after the destruction in Jerusalem. The ole’ switcheroo. Although some scholars like Robert Eisenman believe the story of Stephen was contemporary with the teacher of righteousness in the Habakkuk Pesher (50 BCE or so). While I believe Luke/Acts borrows from Josephus it’s main source is the gospel of Mark, and the gospel of Mark doesn’t seem to be aware of Josephus.

    That’s actually evidence. Mark’s gospel has the same basic story in the same place and time along with the same characters, but it is in a completely different style than Josephus.

    We could put Luke and Mark side by side in an Excel file and remove all 16 chapters of Mark’s gospel from Luke’s. It would be interesting to see what’s left and how it correlates with Josephus.

    peace,
    Rose

    Acts 9
    3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
    4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
    5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
    6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
    7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
    8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.


  13. Rose;

    Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

    It doesn’t sound to me like Paul was denying that Jesus came in the flesh.


    • Mark,

      That verse doesn’t nullify Acts chapter 9. Although technically it was Saul who said Christ came not in the flesh.

      If you say, “Christ and me are great pals, I just stuck my finger in his nail holes”, and then say, “he also comes to me in a spirit form and talks to me”. Then you would be saying that Christ came or comes to you (at times) not in the flesh. That is the definition of the Anti Christ.

      James says we are to reject Paul’s doctrine of ‘faith’ [pistis]. Peter says following the epistles of his beloved brothar Paul will lead to the error of the wicked.

      James 2 KJV
      1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

      James 2 ESV
      1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

      2 Peter 3
      15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
      16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
      17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

      ~Rose


      • In this passage Peter is in full agreement with Paul and just states that people who misunderstand Paul also misunderstand and twist the rest of scripture as well.


  14. Fortigurn > To you it may seem that the respective introductions of Acts and Josephus are ‘Pretty much the same words’ and ‘the same style’, but this is not the scholarly consensus.

    I disagree. This is intellectually dishonest. We would have to poll a lot of scholars to get the scholarly consensus. Just because everybody and their brother has written a book to defend Christianity doesn’t make it a scholarly consensus. Luke is not historically accurate, name a serious scholar who claims Herod the Great was alive in 6CE. Very few Christian scholars ever point to the, “Deeds of the Divine Augustus”, however that document alone invalidates Luke 2:1. We could say the same things about the Quran or Muhammad, surely we can find more sources confirming the Quran and Muhammad then we can find sources condemning the Quran or Muhammad. (wonder why geee whiz) To say it’s a, “Scholarly Consensus”, may work for some of the ignorant among us, but you wouldn’t confirm the Quran based on the same ‘rules’ applied to the term, “scholarly consensus”.

    Fortigurn > I don’t see how any of your questions are remotely relevant to the authorship of Acts, or its literary dependence on Josephus

    Yes you do, you know full well that establishing a date for the writing of Luke/Acts establishes prior knowledge of a source. You’re only willing to acknowledge a very narrow set of questions that have very little to do with what is actually written by Josephus and Luke, but rely almost entirely on Christian commentaries. In that case I would agree with you that most modern Christian authors favor Luke.

    But what does Luke say about it?

    Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
    It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
    Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

    Luke says many have written about this before him. Is Luke correct? Who were these writers? Does Josephus say many have written these things before him?

    Was Luke an eye witness?
    How about Josephus was he an eyewitness?
    Do you think Luke actually witnessed the quotes he wrote from Mary and Zacharias in the Temple at the conception of John the Baptist? fact or fantasy?

    Does Josephus quote dialogues of people before his time?

    Luke says that he ‘also’ will write some stuff because he has perfect understanding (like nis knowledge of Herod the Great being King in 6CE)

    What does Josephus say about it?

    I SUPPOSE that by my books of the Antiquity of the Jews, most excellent Epaphroditus, have made it evident to those who peruse them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also, I have therein declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live. Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue.

    For openers they both use the same Greek word to address the recipient of their book, κράτιστε. Josephus says that he was the original translator of the history of the Jews, and Josephus doesn’t claim, “many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration”.
    It’s obvious that the so-called scholars that claim Luke wasn’t dependent on previous authors have their own agenda if for no other reason than Luke says explicitly that he is repeating what others before him wrote, “Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses”.

    Does any scholar of merit claim that Luke didn’t incorporate all 16 chapters of Mark’s gospel in his work? Does Luke say he copied Mark’s gospel? Why not? Luke plagiarized Mark’s gospel. If he were your student, you would reject his work.

    Josephus copies a lot of other authors, but the difference is that Josephus tells us who he’s copying.

    How about Acts?

    The introduction in Acts
    The former treatise have I made O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach

    Against Apion II
    IN the former book, most honored Epaphroditus, I have demonstrated our antiquity,

    OK fine Josephus is writing about the history of the Jews, and Luke is writing about the history of the Christians.

    Luke just dithers everything in such a way as to establish the Essenes spoken of by Josephus as the Christians. Luke also blends the tax revolt of Judas of Galilee into the mix 6CE as being the ‘birth of Jesus’ when in actuality it was the birth of Christianity.

    Luke has an agenda, and Luke’s Jesus Christ was Essene in every respect.

    Luke 14
    25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
    26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    he cannot be my disciple.
    he cannot be my disciple.
    he cannot be my disciple.

    ~Rose


  15. I followed the lead of Evan Powell in his book “The Unfinished Gospel”. Anybody can see this for themselves by placing the Gospel of Luke and Mark side by side in a program like MS Excel. You can then match the verses from all 16 chapters of Mark to the corresponding verses in Luke. It is clear that Luke corrects Mark and goes to great extremes to reword the text of Mark even when not warranted. Luke edits Mark and deletes passages that Mark duplicates (feeding of the 4000 for example). Luke says he is writing what others who were eyewitnesses before him had written. Matthew on the other hand copies Luke and Mark mostly word for word, although sometimes Matthew chooses Mark’s rendering of the story over Luke’s (old wine for example). Now you’re asking, “but what does that have to do with Luke copying Josephus?

    Remove all the text from Luke that correlates to Mark’s gospel. Some of Luke comes from the Didache (blessed be and why love those who love you), but most of what is left is almost entirely based on the works of Josephus. Luke’s introduction is the introduction from Against Apion I. Luke’s story of Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham is a story based directly on the doctrine in Josephus, “Hades”, where the bosom of Abraham is defined in detail. Luke points to 6 CE as being the Census in which Christianity took root, however Luke based this on the writing of Josephus exclusively because Luke falsely assumes it was under the decree of Augustus, as Josephus left this out. Augustus himself wrote (obviously unknown to Luke) that the only census was 28 BCE, 8 BCE and 14 CE. Also Herod died in 4 BCE so Matthew had to correct this.

    Luke bases his genealogy on the genealogy in Josephus, “Life” notice the term “son of” isn’t in the Greek text of Luke’s genealogy. And Heli??? Who was Heli? It means God Jesus calls out Eli from the cross remember? Heli is also the Greek word for Sun, which is also funny since the words “son of” aren’t there in any Greek text.

    Want more? Luke also copies John’s gospel. John wrote the first of the four gospels. John doesn’t know the New Christian words (Greek of course) like gospel, repent, hell, faith, apostle, church, parable, fellowship, heal, and many more. John doesn’t have the last supper and Eucharist.

    John addresses a story in Josephus, “Wars”. It’s the first historical mention of the Greek or Latin name ‘Mary’. It’s the story of the House of Hyssop that sparked the gospels. Mary was a rich woman of a priestly family called Elazar. This is the basis of Lazarus (another name that doesn’t appear in history). L-azar and El-azar are the same name, the -ous is a Greek suffix denoting a foreign name.

    The gospel of John was written as a direct apology and justification for the House of Hyssop in Josephus, ‘Wars’. Jesus says for the first time in John that we must eat his flesh to enter the kingdom of God. A doctrine that nobody understands. People who claim they understand it are ignorant because nobody understood it, not even the 12 (John 6:66), so to claim understanding would mean understanding beyond any of the 12, and that would simply be ignorant now wouldn’t it?.

    Luke then takes this to the next level by having Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom and the rich man in torment. John never mentions Mary as the Mother of Jesus, (nor does Paul, Peter, James or Jude for that matter). Luke makes Mary into the virgin who gave birth to the savior.

    People believed the House of Hyssop story as even Vespasian addresses it. He says he tried to give the Jews every chance, they refused, he tried again, they refused, so he washed his hands of what Mary did. This is mimicked in John’s gospel in the telling of Jesus on trial with Pilate.

    The crucifixion and resurrection is also told at the end of Josephus, “Life”.

    So for sure the author borrowed from Josephus to create the gospel of Luke. The gospel of Luke cannot stand on it’s own, it needs a lot of support, but Josephus stands alone and needs no support, in fact, Josephus is the backbone.

    And you thought this was all about the book of Acts.

    ~Rose

    John 6
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
    67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
    68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? . . . .

    Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, . . . .


  16. Berenice was the author of the New Testament. She was the great granddaughter of Herod the Great. The massacre of the Innocents included her own relatives. Her motive was to put an end to animal sacrifice at the Jewish Passover. She was born in AD28 the only year mentioned in the New Testament, see Luke chapter 3. She obtained most of her facts but emphatically not the dates from her distant cousin Josephus. The names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the titles not the authors of the Gospels.


    • I believe someone like David Icke would be interested in an idea like that.


  17. > Berenice was the author of the New Testament.

    Which books, the NT is 27 books total? The letters of Paul? the synoptic gospels? the gospel of John? the epistle of James? The book of Revelation? II Peter? The epistle to the Hebrews?

    Why did she have Jesus crucified on the day of the Passover in John’s gospel, and had Jesus crucified the day after the Passover in the Synoptics?

    It seems we disagree on some things, but we seem to agree that Josephus was the source of the gospels (and the book of Acts)

    ~Rose

    ~Rose


  18. The titles of the Gospels indicate early references to Matthan, Mercury, Lucifer and Janus the Roman God of beginnings. For this and other reasons I think Berenice wrote John’s Gospel first. One major innovation of the other Gospels and of the Acts is a description of the Last Supper which was in my opinion an important historic event which occurred in Rome in AD71 not Jerusalem. The participants are all referred to in Acts 1, and include a father and son which are almost certainly Vespasian (son of Alphaeus = Flavius) and Titus. St Paul’s Epistle to Philemon is almost certainly a description of the break-up of Berenice’s marriage to Polemon. The later chapters of the Revelation of John referring to the activities of the whore are almost certainly autobiographical.


  19. * Lucifer was not a Roman god (the name was not coined until the 4th-5th century), and the Greek name Loukas is a perfectly normal Greek name

    * There is no historical or lexical evidence supporting your claim, which is why it is not even mentioned in the standard academic literature; like Rose’s claims, it’s wholly without foundation


  20. > like Rose’s claims, it’s wholly without foundation

    Not true. Evan Powell has published most of this. Nobody can dispute the correlation of the texts.

    Anybody can verify my claim. Simply paste Luke’s Gospel and Mark’s gospel side by side in any spread sheet program. Align the common verses and remove them from Luke’s gospel. The remaining text of Luke’s gospel can be found in Josephus, the Didache and the gospel of John. Anybody can do this experiment and will have the same result.

    Nobody claims Luke’s gospel was original; it contains all 16 chapters of Mark’s gospel within its text, although not every verse.

    Anybody can say, “your wrong”, or “I don’t believe it”. The facts about the organization of Luke’s writings (presumably Luke wrote Acts and the gospel of Luke), and his style of copying other text while painstakingly changing the words, and still retaining the same sentence structure and meaning, outweigh the speculation on this page. This is published by Evan Powell in his book, The Myth of the Lost Gospel (2006).

    Luke only uses Josephus in the book of Acts in chapter 13 to the end. Historically the events in the book of Acts chapters 1-12 (the story of Saul) could only have happened at a time when Christians were persecuted. ‘Christians’ were not persecuted until the fire in Rome about 64CE. Chapters 1-12 happened after chapters 13-28.
    😉


    • Rose you are not providing any evidence for your claims. The correlations between Luke and Josephus are not word for word as you imply, and the differences between their descriptions of the accounts they both record have convinced the majority of scholars that they were writing independently. You have failed to address any of the points in the article I posted.

      Powell’s work is useless to your argument since it does not provide any evidence that Luke copied Josephus. Furthermore, Powell’s argument has not been accepted by the scholarly consensus; you can find critical reviews here and here.

      As you said, any one can say ‘you’re wrong’ or ‘I don’t believe it’. The problem is that others (such as those quoted in the article), actually provide evidence for their claims and address various objections, whereas you do neither.


  21. If Fortigurn cares to consult Lewis & Short’s Latin Dictionary, he will find under the entry for Lucifer meaning the Morning Star or the Planet Venus that this word has been used by Terentius Varro , Cicero, Tibullus, Ovid and Propertius all of whom died before AD17. Luke’s Gospel ch1 verses 76-78 are a clear reference to Lucifer inspiring the title to Luke’s Gospel.


  22. Peter, you’re not helping yourself. You claimed ‘Lucifer’ was the name of a Roman god’. It wasn’t. The usage to which you speak is simply a non-name description of, as you say, the planet Venus, which was known as ‘the light bringer’. The actual Latin name for the planet Venus was, unsurprisingly, ‘Venus’.


  23. If Fortigurn carefully reads my comments of 21 June 2011, he will observe that it is Janus who is described as a Roman God, not Lucifer.


  24. I stand corrected. If you consult my comments of 23 June 2011, you will observe that the usage to which you speak is simply a non-name description of, as you say, the planet Venus, which was known as ‘the light bringer’. The actual Latin name for the planet Venus was, unsurprisingly, ‘Venus’. You have provided no evidence that ‘Luke’ is actually the name ‘Lucifer’.


  25. In investigating the authorship of the New Testament, we are playing a game whose rules were devised by the original author who leaves numerous clues one of which is approximations of the true name of the person being described. Examples are Alphaeus and Paulus for Flavius, Philemon for Polemon, Andrew for Tiberius Alexander, Philip for Philip (that is easy), Judas for Josephus, Bartholomew for Berenice (this requires greater discussion), Thomas for Antonius Felix, Simon Peter for Simon son of Gioras etc. The conspicuous failure of two thousand years of biblical study to understand these rules largely accounts for the unsolved mysteries of the New Testament. This does mean that we are looking for approximations not exactness, so that the name Luke as an approximation of the morning star Lucifer is all that matters.


  26. What you are talking about is interpreting the New Testament according to rules you have made up. There is no actual evidence for what you claim. In what possible way is Alphaeus related to Flavius, or Andrew to Tiberius Alexander? Bartholomew for Berenice? Resting your case on ‘approximations’ just means you can make it up as you go along.

    Until your case has evidence, and can demonstrate principles of falsifiability, it’s meaningless.


  27. Actually Fortigurn your just throwing out a bone. The purpose of Powells book was to show that there is no reason for a lost gospel of “Q” to exist. This isn’t about “Q”, I’m just pointing out that Powell’s method of comparing the Greek texts of the gospels side by side reveals gospel patterns. Neither of the reviews you posted give any solid data to refute Powells claim that Matthew used Luke and Mark as his sources.

    After reading Evan Powells first book “The Unfinished Gospel”, I directed some questions to Professor Mark Goodacre directly. It was Professor Goodacre in the flesh who told me about Evan Powells second book, “The Myth of the Lost Gospel”.

    Both reviews cite Professor Goodacre, Jim West says Professor Goodacre doesn’t accept the Q theory, which puts him in agreement with Powell’s work. Sarah Rollens says Professor Goodacre sees Luke as a better form of literature then Matthew’s gospel, which actually supports a later Matthew. Because Matthew copies Luke many places word for word, in some places Matthew copies Mark word for word. The simple fact that Luke is a superior literary work than Matthew differientatees the two. Since parts of Lukes writing appears in Matthews gospel it can only be that Matthew was dependant on Luke.

    So far there isn’t any evidence or data that shows Matthew wrote first, only Church tradition.

    Simply put if experts can derive that Luke has a superior literary command than Matthew, and big passages of text from Luke’s gospel appear in Matthews gospel, then the one who was the inferior author must have copied from the superior author. The argument isn’t who was the betrer author, the argument is who copied whom.

    ~Rose

    Jim West

    He notes, “Mark, Luke and Matthew … are snapshots in time in the latter third of the first century that reveal trajectories of evolving kerygma as the Pauline Jesus movement struggled to survive in a Roman world, and as a new world religion took its institutional form”. Fair enough. Indeed, perhaps even correct.

    Although this reviewer is unconvinced by Powell’s line of thinking, others may very well find the book instructive and convincing. Do read it. Whether you agree or disagree, you will enjoy the experience.

    Sarah E. Rollens

    At the same time, this study is worth consideration, lest the 2DH or other Synoptic solutions achieve an unquestioned, hegemonic status in the study of early Christianity. Powell’s theory is valuable in its ability to account for some particularly vexing Synoptic problems such as the minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark and the alternating primitivity in the double tradition.

    If nothing else, Powell’s book reminds us that the SP is just that, a problem with a number of nagging difficulties that still elude the
    explanatory power of any one solution.


  28. As compared with the works of Josephus, the Acts of the Apostles is written in reverse of chronological order with the Last Supper first and the shipwreck last. This has a bearing on the decision of Berenice and Agrippa to send Paul to see Nero in Greece in Acts ch 22. At first sight it seems that Paul never meets Nero until we recognise that Gallio in Acts ch 18 is probably Nero who decides to send the Roman army under the command of Vespasian and Titus to Judaea probably accompanied by Paul who has the task of appeasing the Jewish communities on the way with his speeches and epistles. This could be controversial.


    • Until you have some actual evidence for your claims, they’re not worth discussing.


    • Who were Burrhus and Felix’s brother Pallas? What were this Greek Epistle sanctioned by Nero to inflame the Jews at Cesarea?

      Antiquities XX, 8, 9
      Now when Porcius Festus was sent as successor to Felix by Nero, the principal of the Jewish inhabitants of Cesarea went up to Rome to accuse Felix; and he had certainly been brought to punishment, unless Nero had yielded to the importunate solicitations of his brother Pallas, who was at that time had in the greatest honor by him. Two of the principal Syrians in Cesarea persuaded Burrhus, who was Nero’s tutor, and secretary for his Greek epistles, by giving him a great sum of money, to disannul that equality of the Jewish privileges of citizens which they hitherto enjoyed. So Burrhus, by his solicitations, obtained leave of the emperor that an epistle should be written to that purpose. This epistle became the occasion of the following miseries that befell our nation; for when the Jews of Cesarea were informed of the contents of this epistle to the Syrians, they were more disorderly than before, till a war was kindled.

      Romans 3:27
      Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

      James 2:1
      My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

      Romans 16
      22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
      23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.

      Philippians 4
      22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.


  29. Rose,

    * I’m aware of the aim of Powell’s book, and I addressed that directly, here, however, it was cited for a completely different purpose

    * You say ‘So far there isn’t any evidence or data that shows Matthew wrote first, only Church tradition’, but so what; the scholarly consensus is *against* the idea that Matthew wrote first

    * You haven’t addressed anything in the reviews which critique’s Powell’s work


  30. The reason for citing Powell’s work here is to show that the author of Luke (and presumably Acts) was not an original writer. The critics in both articles have nothing negative to say about Powell’s method of comparing the gospels side by side. The critics only question Powell’s conclusions about the ‘historical Jesus’ at the end of his book, which has nothing to do with this discussion. In fact both critics recognize Powell’s logic and reason for prioritizing the Synoptic Gospels as valid. Not necessarily 100% fact, however the path of least resistance by far.

    The part of Powell’s work that is applicable to this discussion isn’t disputed by the critics.

    “Powell is able to offer reasonable explanations for how Matthew’s created his Gospel from Mark’s and Luke’s.” ~Sarah E. Rollens

    “When Powell finally draws conclusions to his exegesis, the results are quite intriguing. For instance, toward the end of chapter 6 he writes,

    The Q era in New Testament scholarship began in 1838. But from the outset, Weisse’s speculation concerning a lost sayings source lacked an adequate logical foundation. Matthean posteriority, though long ignored, will in time be recognized as a more comprehensive theory that surpasses the 2 DH in its ability to resolve the data. It is as elegant in its simplicity as it is thorough in its resolving power. Thus, an appeal to the logic of Ockham’s Razor will ultimately favor Matthean posteriority as the true solution to the Synoptic Problem.”
    ~ Jim West

    Glossery:
    Matthean posteriority = Matthew’s Gospel written last.

    2 DH = Two Document Hypothesis that Luke and Matthew used Mark and “Q” as their source.

    Ockham’s Razor = when two theories for the same problem exist and neither can be proven wrong, the simplist theory is superior because it is easier to prove wrong. Therefore if the simpler theory can’t be shown in error it is the superior of the two theories. Not necessarily 100% fact, but the superior of the two.

    My point is that anybody anywhere in the world with a PC and some basic software and see this for themselves. It’s simple to do although it may take 3 or 4 hours. Just put Luke and Mark side by side in a spreadsheet program and remove the correlating verses from Luke’s gospel. What’s left can be found in Josephus, the Didache and John’s gospel.

    Below is a story that only appears in Luke’s gospel. Josephus had written all about the Bosom of Abraham. A subterranean retreat for the righteous in the right hand and the unrighteous in the left hand. Notice those from the right hand can see those from the left hand, and visa versa, but neither can cross over the chasm. This would also crystallize the idea that the “Father” in Heaven is not God, but Abraham.

    Luke 16
    22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

    Josephus “Hades”
    3. . . . but the just are guided to the right hand. . . . . the just, which they see, always smiles them, while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed this region. This place we call The Bosom of Abraham.

    4. But as to the unjust, they are dragged by force to the left hand . . . . hereby are they punished; for a chaos deep and large is fixed between them; insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted, nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it.


    • Rose,

      * If ‘The reason for citing Powell’s work here is to show that the author of Luke (and presumably Acts) was not an original writer’, then it was a waste of time; no one is arguing that he was an original author, and modern scholarship says no such thing

      * The critics in both articles have nothing negative to say about Powell’s method of comparing the gospels side by side because it is *not disputed* that the synoptics involve material which was borrowed by one (or both), from the other; this is another waste of time

      * Both critics specifically critique the key argument Powell makes, that Q did not exist; this is the argument for which you cited Powell originally, and you have not yet addressed the criticism of this argument

      * The part of Powell’s work that isn’t disputed by the critics does not prove anything about the argument you are making

      * When you say ‘What’s left can be found in Josephus, the Didache and John’s gospel’, all you have to do is prove it, and then provide the evidence that this is actually of any significance whatsoever

      * You are clearly completely unaware that the ‘bosom of Abraham’ story does not appear in Josephus at all; it was added to Josephus’ work much later, and isn’t attributed to him before the ninth century, so you are appealing to a forgery which never existed in Josephus


  31. The idea of reassuring Jewish communities along the route of the Roman Army from Corinth to Judaea is I think reasonable. I am glad that Rose is able to quote Josephus’s Antiquities in some support. However it looks as if it did not work in the case of Cesarea.


  32. Fortigurn> If ‘The reason for citing Powell’s work here is to show that the author of Luke (and presumably Acts) was not an original writer’, then it was a waste of time; no one is arguing that he was an original author, and modern scholarship says no such thing.

    The critics in both articles have nothing negative to say about Powell’s method of comparing the gospels side by side because it is *not disputed* that the synoptics involve material which was borrowed by one (or both), from the other; this is another waste of time.

    Rose> According to you we have established that Luke was not an original writer. We can also establish that Josephus was an original writer. His stories fit his timeline and his timeline correlates with other historical timelines from different cultures. Luke’s timeline deviates from all historical records, Luke used the same characters in Josephus out of sequence.

    Historians such as Tacitus, (The Annals Xii, 54 – Xii, 20) also tell the story of Nero, Pallas, Felix and Burrhus. However there are some differences, for example Tacitus has Felix and Cumanus co-ruling Judea. Both are on trial and according to Tacitus it’s Cumanus who is condemned for the crimes of both. It was Quadratus, governor of Syria who exercised authority over Judea.

    Josephus has Felix condemned but his brother Pallas (loved by Nero) interceded on behalf of Felix and Felix is not sent to prison, but Festus takes over Judah.

    Luke has Felix free Paul from prison, and Festus takes control of Judea. Only Josephus and Luke mention the name Festus, Tacitus never mentioned Festus.

    Since we all admit Luke was not original, then it’s clear his source was Josephus.

    Fortigurn> Both critics specifically critique the key argument Powell makes, that Q did not exist; this is the argument for which you cited Powell originally, and you have not yet addressed the criticism of this argument

    Rose> So what does “Q” have to do with this discussion???

    Fortigurn> The part of Powell’s work that isn’t disputed by the critics does not prove anything about the argument you are making

    Rose> Sure it does, you yourself had to admit that Luke’s work was not original. That means Luke copied something. So if Luke didn’t copy Josephus, who did he copy? That’s the only part of Powell’s work I was referring to, his correlation of the Greek words of the gospels, and which Greek text(s) were the source(s).

    Fortigurn> When you say ‘What’s left can be found in Josephus, the Didache and John’s gospel’, all you have to do is prove it, and then provide the evidence that this is actually of any significance whatsoever.

    Rose> Well since we all agree that Luke wasn’t original. And we remove all of Mark, from Luke’s gospel, then remove all of the Didache from Luke’s gospel, then remove all of John’s gospel from Luke’s gospel, and finally remove all of the stories in Josephus from Luke’s gospel, there is nothing left. It proves (at least beyond any reasonable doubt) that Luke copied Mark, John, the Didache and . . . .yep Josephus. Find any part of Luke that isn’t based on previous text.

    Put it this way if Luke, John, Mark, Josephus and the author of the Didache were your students, you would have no choice but to give Mark, John, Josephus and the author of the Didache high grades for originality. You would have to fail Luke for plagiarism.

    Fortigurn> You are clearly completely unaware that the ‘bosom of Abraham’ story does not appear in Josephus at all; it was added to Josephus’ work much later, and isn’t attributed to him before the ninth century, so you are appealing to a forgery which never existed in Josephus.

    Rose> Nobody claims that the Discourse on Hades is a forgery. The text doesn’t claim any authorship, hence it wasn’t a forgery. Most claim the text was ancient, although some claim it wasn’t from Josephus. It was cited about 210 CE or so by Hippolytus of Rome. What evidence or facts do we have that this wasn’t written by Josephus, it seems like speculation without facts.

    Either way, Luke gleaned the name ‘Festus’ from Josephus Antiquities.

    ~Rose


  33. This forums ‘scholars’ suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect? Why erase the post? Because ones peers can’t address it so they don’t like it?

    Josephus clearly says a false history was written at the time of the book of Acts. No serious scholars dispute that Josephus was accurate in his data (some dispute his opinions). In the end, without the historical reference of Josephus, the book of Acts has no historical reference. How can anyone dispute that?

    Shalom,
    Rose


  34. “This forums ‘scholars’ suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect?”

    No. This forum relies on the relevant peer-reviewed scholarly literature. Your posts do not; you simply make things up.

    “Why erase the post? Because ones peers can’t address it so they don’t like it?”

    No. Because the post is more than one A4 page’s worth of spam; a lengthy quotation from Josephus accompanied by nothing but personal speculation, without any corroborating evidence and contradicted by the overwhelming consensus of the relevant peer-reviewed scholarly literature.

    As can be seen in this series of comments, I have debunked your claims time and time again. Your posts are not evidence-based, and they are not remotely scholarly. They are junk and I am going to treat them as such.


  35. Rose was quoting Josephus which is a valid source.  Peer review Isn’t applicable to Josephus,


    • I did not object to Rose quoting Josephus. Please read my post.


  36. Isn’t Rose’s claim that a false history was written and not published until after the Roman Emperor Titus was dead? That’s not speculation, it’s documented in “Vita”.


  37. Rose’s claim is that the New Testament is a false history written by Roman aristocrats, and that this is the ‘false history’ to which Josephus refers. Not only is this utterly false, this is simply a rehash of Reuchlin’s ludicrous work ‘The true authorship of the New Testament’ (1979); see here for details.

    This idea isn’t even speculation, it’s just complete fabrication. No professional historian takes it seriously, because there simply isn’t any evidence for it.


  38. Further to my previous comments, I would like to refer to Philo Judaeus who died in AD50 and who was the uncle of Berenice’s first husband Marcus. Philo tried to link the Jewish ideas of God and human origins with the Greek ideas particularly those of Plato. Philo’s conclusions are evident in parts of the New Testament in particular the opening words of St John’s Gospel, In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. It could well be that in her teens Berenice received an intensive Jewish Greek education from the works of Philo her first husband’s uncle.


  39. The opening of John’s gospel has clear roots in Jewish thought from the Old Testament. There’s no need to import Philo’s ideas, especially given the unlikelihood of the author of John’s gospel learning anything from Philo.


    • Rose only claimed the book of Acts fit the false history mentioned by Josephus. The book of Acts is a false history in the eyes of Josephus, it can’t be reconciled with Antiquities, although the people, places and times are the same.

      Fortigurn said, “No professional historian takes it seriously”.

      The forgers who wrote a half-dozen epistles and the Book of Acts, along with scores of other documents that never made it into the New Testament, acted with deliberate forethought,

      Bart Ehrman


      • “Rose only claimed the book of Acts fit the false history mentioned by Josephus.”

        Rose claimed a lot more than that. She holds the same view as Reuchlin, claiming a literary conspiracy in which Christianity was an invention of a Roman family (Nero in Rose’s case, the Pisos in Reuchlin’s case), and that the gospels and Acts were written by Romans, largely borrowed from Josephus.

        Bart Ehrman does not believe that the book of Acts is the false history mentioned by Josephus. You are misrepresenting what Bart Ehrman wrote.


  40. Never the less Bart Ehrman does believe the book of Acts is a forgery. He never rules it out as being the false history mentioned by Josephus.

    And the leading authority of forgery in modern times, the Austrian scholar Wolfgang Speyer, indicates plainly at the very beginning of his massive study of the phenomenon: “Every kind of forgery misrepresents the facts of the case, and to that extent forgery belongs in the realm of lying and deception.”
    Ehrman, Forged pg. 140

    The other reason the differences between Paul and Acts matter is because Acts claims to be written by someone who was a companion of Paul. But given the numerous discrepancies between Paul’s letters and the book of Acts, that looks highly unlikely. The author of Acts never names himself, and to that extent he is writing anonymously. But church tradition, starting about a century after the book was written, attributed the book to someone named Luke. And why Luke?
    Ehrman, Forged pg. 229


    • You are misrepresenting Ehrman again. Ehrman says Acts is a forgery in that it claims to be written by a companion of Paul. He does not claim all the events in Acts are false and it contains no genuine history.

      “He never rules it out as being the false history mentioned by Josephus.”

      Irrelevant; he never rules it out as being written by aliens. You are not only changing the subject, you are continuing to misrepresent Ehrman and behaving with intellectual dishonesty. If this continues I will simply spam your future posts.

      When you make a comment on this blog, you need to do so citing the relevant peer reviewed scholarly literature, and you need to do so honestly.


  41. Jonathan said, “He does not claim all the events in Acts are false and it contains no genuine history”.
    Bart Ehrman explicitly says the Book of Acts is one of the books in the New Testament that purports to present historical events, but presents invented stories. How am I misrepresenting or being dishonest about anything? Wouldn’t you agree that ‘false history’ and ‘invented stories’ are the same? And beyond that, how would Josephus have viewed historical accuracy in the book of Acts as compared to his history?
    We could go to great lengths to talk about New Testament narratives that purport to present historical events, but are in fact invented stories. Such narratives can be found among the stories about Jesus’s birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection as well as in stories about his followers, such as Peter and Paul, after his death in the book of Acts.
    Forged, Ehrman, pg. 265
    You can spam me if you want, it won’t change reality.

    Daniel


    • You are now drifting even further from your original argument. You first raised Ehrman in response to my statement that no professional historian believes in Rose’s theory that Acts was the false history referred to by Josephus. You quoted a small section of Ehrman’s work, and gave the impression that he supported Rose’s argument, whereas he does not.

      When I pointed this out, you then changed your argument to ‘Never the less Bart Ehrman does believe the book of Acts is a forgery’, and said ‘He never rules it out as being the false history mentioned by Josephus’, as if Ehrman isn’t prepared to deny that theory. This misrepresents Ehrman because his description of Acts as ‘forgery’ has to do with its alleged authorship, not because he believes it’s a completely forged history, and he does’t even mention (let alone treat as credible), the idea that Acts is the false history of Josephus.

      So you have twice misrepresented Ehrman, with blatant intellectual dishonesty, first giving the impression that he agreed with Rose’s theory, and then giving the impression that he was aware of it but at least didn’t deny it.

      Yes, ‘Bart Ehrman explicitly says the Book of Acts is one of the books in the New Testament that purports to present historical events, but presents invented stories’, but this does not support the theory you are trying to substantiate, the theory in defense of which you quoted Ehrman in the first place.

      No I wouldn’t agree that ‘false history’ and ‘invented stories’ are the same; fairy tales are ‘invented stories’, but they aren’t ‘false history’. You are simply attempting to equivocate.

      Josephus’ views on the history of Acts are utterly irrelevant; unless you can show he was aware of the book and denounced it as ‘false history’, your argument has absolutely no worth at all. Speculating on what Josephus would or would not have thought, is useless.

      The reality is that you have little or no understanding of this topic, you fail to cite any relevant peer reviewed scholarly literature in support of your argument, and you commit gross misrepresentation of Ehrman virtually every time you cite him. This is typical of intellectually dishonest and incompetent conspiracy theorists. That is the reality.


  42. Jonathan wrote, “Yes, ‘Bart Ehrman explicitly says the Book of Acts is one of the books in the New Testament that purports to present historical events, but presents invented stories’ ….

    No I wouldn’t agree that ‘false history’ and ‘invented stories’ are the same; fairy tales are ‘invented stories’, but they aren’t ‘false history’.”

    No equivocation on my part, I’ve quoted Bart Ehrman directly.
    At the very least we agree that Ehrman says the book of Acts claims to be historical but presents invented stories.
    We agree that invented stories means fairy tales.
    What’s different than saying the book of Acts claims to tell historical events but presents fairy tales?

    Who misrepresents Bart Ehrman Mr. Burke?

    And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.

    😉
    checkmate


    • “No equivocation on my part, I’ve quoted Bart Ehrman directly.”

      I did not say you hadn’t quoted Ehrman directly. As I have already demonstrated, when you quoted him you misrepresented him. You quoted him to give the appearance that he supports an argument he does not support. You did this twice, which was intellectually dishonest.

      You also used the word ‘forgery’ in his book as if it had the same referent as ‘forgery’ in Rose’s argument. That was equivocation, and was also intellectually dishonest.

      “At the very least we agree that Ehrman says the book of Acts claims to be historical but presents invented stories.”

      But what we don’t agree is that Ehrman believes the whole of Acts is invented stories, or that the whole of Acts is unhistorical. He does’t believe that.

      “We agree that invented stories means fairy tales.”

      No we don’t. Fairy tales are invented stories, but not all invented stories are fairy tales.

      “What’s different than saying the book of Acts claims to tell historical events but presents fairy tales?”

      Because invented stories are not necessarily fairy tales, and Ehrman does not say Acts claims to be historical events but only presents fairy tales. Nor does he say it only presents invented stories. Ehrman knows that there is much valuable and accurate historical information in Acts.

      “Who misrepresents Bart Ehrman Mr. Burke?”

      You have, twice. I wasn’t the one who quoted him, you were. I wasn’t the one who appealed to him to support an argument, you were. I simply pointed out that when you did so, you did so dishonestly.

      And now you are lying about it, so future comments from you will be spammed.


  43. How do you know what Arguments Bart Ehrman supports or doesn’t support?

    You also gave the appearance that no scholar would discredit any part of the book of Acts. Yet you were wrong.

    We can email Bsrt Ehrman directly, he does respond. If he says there’s no possible way the book of Acts was the false history mentioned by Josephus (or contains at least 50% of the false history) I’ll donate $1,000 to this website.

    After all it was you who said I quoted him directly. And it was you who claims to know what arguments he does and doesn’t support. You have nothing to loose, just pride.

    Daniel


  44. “How do you know what Arguments Bart Ehrman supports or doesn’t support?”

    Because unlike you, I have read what Ehrman wrote. I have also corresponded with Ehrman personally.

    “You also gave the appearance that no scholar would discredit any part of the book of Acts.”

    That is a lie. I never said any such thing, nor did I give any such appearance. I simply said no professional historian supports Rose’s claim that a literary conspiracy in which Christianity was an invention of a Roman family, and that the gospels and Acts were written by Romans, largely borrowed from Josephus.

    “We can email Bsrt Ehrman directly, he does respond. If he says there’s no possible way the book of Acts was the false history mentioned by Josephus (or contains at least 50% of the false history) I’ll donate $1,000 to this website.”

    Please go ahead. Do you realise that claiming Acts was borrowed from Josephus means that Acts had to be written after Josephus, so claiming Josephus was referring to a book which hadn’t even been written, makes no sense at all?

    What you should be asking Ehrman, if you want to actually be honest, is whether he believes Christianity was an invention of a Roman family, and that the gospels and Acts were written by Romans, largely borrowed from Josephus. That’s the argument you’re trying to support.

    “After all it was you who said I quoted him directly.”

    Actually it was you who said you quoted him directly; I just agreed with you, and pointed out that despite quoting him directly you had also deliberately misrepresented what he meant.


    • >that the gospels and Acts were written by Romans, largely borrowed from Josephus.

      Could it have been Josephus who borrowed from Luke?


      • I am less interested in an exegesis of Ehrman and Rose than in a comparison of specific items in Luke-Acts and Josephus.


      • Well, first of all we have to know which work of Josephus, Luke supposedly copied from. I tried a wee bit this morning and realised that since the works of Josephus were on totally different topics than Luke’s Gospel, then it is highly unlikely that Luke borrowed anything from Josephus.


      • My replies have been lost several times by Google. The Luke-Acts/Josephus links are thoroughly examined on various websites.

        I shall just try here to summarize my previous longer reply to Mr Burke, which did not appear. See Hugh J. Schonfield, “Passover Plot” (2004 reprint $0.01 from Amazon). In Latin “ab aromatis” would suggest that J “of A” was an embalmer.


      • >My replies have been lost several times by Google.

        I can believe that! Sometimes the web is a real PAIN!

        >The Luke-Acts/Josephus links are thoroughly examined on various websites.

        If you can’t post the links here, you can email me (dconklin58 AT yahoo DOT com)


      • BTW, one does not do an exegesis to determine if copying has occurred. Two completely different subjects.


  45. “It says Cestius Gallus was the President of Syria which dates the false history of Justus to about 65/66 CE.”

    In other words, long before the date of Acts. So the ‘false history’ cannot be Acts, contrary to Rose’s claim.

    “It doesn’t say Justus copied Josephus, it says he wrote a false history about the people and places that are mentioned in both the book of Acts and the works of Josephus.”

    But Rose claims the ‘false history’ copies Josephus. You are now changing your argument yet again, to the extent that it is now irrelevant to the article I wrote, on which you originally commented.

    “The onus is on you to verify that Bart Ehrman completely rejects the book of Acts (or at least 50% of it) as being the false history written by Justus.”

    That’s easy. Ehrman says Acts was written between 85 and 90 CE, which means it cannot be the false history written by Justus.[1] Ehrman also says that in the book of Acts ‘much of the basic information is probably reliable, but a lot of the details managed to get changed’.[2] That again shows he does not believe it’s the false history written by Justus.

    If you believe otherwise you can email Ehrman yourself, but be aware he does not answer cranks and conspiracy theorists, he does not answer questions to settle bets, he does not answer questions to settle arguments between other people, and sometimes he does not answer questions at all; I’ve asked him a couple which he never answered.
    _________
    [1] ‘Most critical scholars think Acts was written sometime after
    the Gospel of Luke, possibly around 85 or 90 CE—about twenty or
    twenty-five years after Paul died.’, Ehrman, ‘Jesus, Interrupted’, p. 54 (2009).

    [2] ‘Acts is about as accurate for Paul as Luke’s first volume, the Gospel of Luke, is for Jesus: much of the basic information is probably reliable, but a lot of the details managed to get changed.’, Ehrman, ‘Jesus, Interrupted’, p. 54 (2009).


  46. […] believe Luke was familiar with Josephus even before this Atwill brought up his theory.. See: Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts? | Bible Apologetics But anyway if Christianity was concocted as way to divert Jews from the Zealots or rebellion […]


  47. One of the accepted errors concerning the New Testament is that it was originally written in Aramaic not Greek. This is supposed to be demonstrated by Jesus’s words on the cross, eloi, eloi, lama, sabachtani. These words are in fact part of the original Hebrew of Psalm 22.


  48. Was it Luke or Bishop Marcion who completely rewrote Luke that included the description of Jesus?
    Marcion has one strike against him, he did not llike the Jews.


  49. Comments please on (1) the story in Josephus of a man other than Jesus whom he new to have survived crucifixion alongside other criminals, and (2) the suggestion by Schonfield that “Joseph of Arimathea” was an imaginary figure whose name was concocted from that of Josephus.


    • 1. I fail to see the relevance.
      2. Did he provide any evidence for this suggestion?


  50. My point re “exegesis” was that I am not interested in what Ehrman &c did or did not mean. Only comparisons between Luke & Josephus.


    • As I noted before, one does not do an exegesis to determine plagiarism (a field in which I have 15 years experience).


      • I agree with your last sentence. You have missed the point I made.

        I am too busy to Google the websites for you.


      • Those who make the claims have the burden of rpoof. That which is not proven can just as readily dismissed. No one asked you to do my homework. Withput your help I hjave found some sources. From what little I have seen it doesn’t look promising. It seems that a few have ASSUMED that any and all literary similairity is PROOF of copying. That need not be and it certainly doesn’t tell us who copied from whom.

        A point from my study. One needs 16-18 words in a continuous string to claim that something was DEPENDENT (not necessarily copied) from a previous source (back to which came first: the chicken or the egg?). Another way of saying it is 100 continuous characters (letters and spaces) means 100% probability. In the works I was dealing with we were down around 6-8 words on the HIGH side. Some 2 dozen web pages that I had seen that made the claim, came down when they saw my work on the subject.



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