My good man, felt you deserved some sort of response, based solely on the length of your post, not of the strength of your argument! I call your attention to the bolded words. You are not comparing like-with-like. Returning to your home, say if you were a migrant worker in an ancient city (which the census/registration of Vibius seems to have concerned itself with), is a very different proposition to returning to your ancestral home. This is especially true for the purposes of assessing tax liability...how many Jews in the ancient world be required to travel to Bethlehem, with their houses on their back, a thousand years after David??Originally Posted by EPluribusUnum
So, on the contrary, your use of the Egyptian papyrus is not a response to this statement:
and it was not the practice in Roman censuses to require people to return to their ancestral homes
Which ancestors? Grand-parents? Great-great-great-grandparents????
Joseph was, allegedly, of the house of David, a man who supposedly lived 1000 years before Joseph; do you know where your ancestors lived 100 years ago? 500? How would the Romans, or whoever, organize a census that required a return to an ancestral home? How could they verify a person's claims? This crap about ancestral home of Bethlehem was to tick the ''Descended from David'' box of the Jewish Messiah checklist, nothing more.
So your argument falls at the first hurdle with an obvious blunder; if I had time, I'm sure I'd find many more errors in that block of text.
BTW, an alternative translation of the Vibius text, placed beside the original can be found here:
Since the enrollment by households is approaching, it is necessary to command all who for any reason are out of their homes to return to their own hearths, that they may complete also the customary arrangement of registration and apply themselves to the husbandry which befits them. Knowing, however, that our city has need of some people from the country, I wish all who think they have a sensible reason to remain here to register themselves before Boul