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RE: Re: [XTalk] Nazareth thingy

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... it was actually Justin of Rome and Tertullian of Carthage.
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4, 2002
      Bill Foley said:

      >>I mentioned that I thought it was Jerome and someone who mentioned this,
      it was actually Justin of Rome and Tertullian of Carthage. <<

      >>Justin, only a hundred some years later than Pilate was at Rome, but
      perhaps access was denied to the records of the Empire (or maybe not). He
      refers to it in a defense of Christianity published as an address to the
      Emperor. The Emperor is in Rome also, though it may be improbable that they
      travelled in the same circles. If we can not be certain that it reached his
      ears it was clearly written to persuade the emperor to be lenient and it
      did not work, but to invite him to a fruitless and pointless search at that
      point would put ol' Justin Martyr - ahhhh - at unnecessary risk.<<

      But why? Do you think the emperor would actually read something like that or
      have it read to him? While Justin may have publicly addressed the apology to
      the emperor, he was really directing his rhetoric toward the general
      population. I doubt that Justin ever really believed the emperor would take
      up his challenge, but it sounded good to thump his fists on his chest and
      make such a claim. Also, can anyone imagine a Christian walking into the
      imperial hall of records (or whatever they had in those days) and asking to
      get access! I doubt that they were open to the public in Rome, if a full
      report were sent there in the first place. Same goes for local records in
      Caesarea on the Sea.

      Josephus did seem to have access to official records *of the war*, but he
      was also an imperial insider assigned the task of writing an authorized
      account of the war. He had no reason, or mandate, to research anything about
      messianic activists. There is no record of anyone with or without proper
      access who claimed to have *actually* checked the archives until Maximin
      Daia claimed to have published Pilate's commentarii. BTW, Pilate was
      anything but incompetent. He was recalled for indiscriminately crucifying
      Jews who were Roman citizens of the Equestrian order, and there was
      certainly nothing like a "trial" as we think of them. The moment he got the
      notice to come back to Rome, his guilt was virtually assured and his
      official career was over. The Romans did not find graft and corruption such
      as selling appointments or receiving rewards for bestowing honors on rich
      local elites objectionable, but did find breaches of *Roman* law and order,
      such as executions of Roman citizens without trial, objectionable.

      >>Tertullian the lawyer from Carthage I don't have much of a handle on.<<

      He was like the "Mikey" of the Life Cereal TV advertisements of the 70's:
      "He hates everything!" He took himself waaaay too seriously (e.g., ripping
      into gents who dared to trim the hairs of their beards at the corners of
      their mouths), constantly making one sarcastic statement after another, and
      this was one of them. But he was essentially copying Justin in this case.


      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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