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Re: The Mini-Synoptic

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  • Chris Weimer
    ... Carlson s arguments, but they are not yet ready for publication. I will hold off on a discussion of Goldberg s piece for the moment, other than to point
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 15, 2006
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      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Olson" <kenolson101@h...> wrote:
      > I've been working on full-length responses to Goldberg's and
      Carlson's arguments, but they are not yet ready for "publication." I
      will hold off on a discussion of Goldberg's piece for the moment,
      other than to point out (1) there is a huge amount of subjectivity in
      how he determines what to use in his sample and how he counts the hits
      and misses when comparing the different accounts of Jesus and (2) the
      six "conclusions" that Goldberg draws on his page seven assume a lot
      of things that he has not established in the course of his argument,
      even if we were to grant the validity of his statistical anlysis. I
      hope to have more to say on that in the reasonably near future.


      Ken, I can barely wait to see this done. Note that I wasn't agreeing
      with Goldberg, but I did find convincing that Luke's Emmaus report
      seemed to have used a form of the TF.

      > (2) Tacitus shows himself to be woefully ignorant of Jewish accounts
      of Jewish history in the accounts he gives of the origins of the Jews
      in the beginning of book five of his Histories. This is one of the
      major reasons that the vast majority of scholars think that Tacitus
      did not know the Antiquities (see, e.g., G. E. F. Chilver, A
      Historical Commentary on Tacitus' Histories IV and V, p. 90). If
      Tacitus did bother to cut his way through the twenty books of
      Josephus' Antiquities, the brief notice on Christus in Annales 15.44
      would appear to be the only place he took any advantage of the
      knowledge he gained from it. I think it is more likely he was not
      familiar with the Antiquities.


      I had not thought of this before. This certainly absolves his use of
      the TF. But then the question remains on where Tacitus received this
      information, and why it happens to line up nicely with the TF.

      > The other close parallel is that Tacitus bothers to remark that
      Christians are named for Christ. However, as Carlson himself points
      out, Tacitus is probably correcting a common misconception. What he is
      actually saying is that "Chrestians" the term used by "the vulgar" or
      the "crowd," actually comes from "Christus" (i.e., not "Chrestus").


      I'm not so sure on this one, though I would disagree with Carlson as
      well. How likely is it that Tacitus originally had Chrestus there? I
      hate thinking forgery into any more than what is necessary, but this
      passage has always seemed to claw at me as tampered with.

      > The other parallels Carlson finds between the TF and Annales 15.44
      are much more strained. I think anyone who wished to could find more
      and closer parallels in Luke-Acts (Pilate as governor in Lk. 3.1,
      20.20, the group coming to be called Christians in Acts 11.26, and
      even coming to Rome and enjoying a certain vogue there in Acts 28). I
      do not mean to suggest that Tacitus had read Luke-Acts, and I grant
      that Luke-Acts is a much longer work than the TF, but the point I wish
      to make is that there certainly are other ways the information could
      have come to Tacitus. Personally, I favor the theory that Tacitus came
      into contact with Christians when he was proconsular governor of Asia
      c. 112-113, but other explanations are possible.


      Did you see the third link I sent in a separate post? Here it is in
      case you missed it.


      I don't know, Ken, I find the parallels to be more visible than you
      give credit for. There's a real problem, at least for me, with
      reconciling the almost impossibility of this having happened and the
      probability that the three texts give off. Does that even make any sense?

      Either way, I can't wait to see how you treated the issue in your paper.

      best regards,

      Chris Weimer
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