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  1. #551
    aldiper aldiper is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPluribusUnum

    ...Early in the twentieth century, a papyrus was discovered which contained an edict by G. Vibius Maximus, the Roman governor of Egypt, stating:

    Since the enrollment by households is approaching, it is necessary to command all who for any reason are out of their own district to return to their own home, in order to perform the usual business of the taxation… (Cobern, C.M. 1929. The New Archeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament. New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls, p. 47; Unger, M.F. 1962. Archaeology and the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, p. 64).

    That's the response to this:

    and it was not the practice in Roman censuses to require people to return to their ancestral homes.[21]
    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??

    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
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  2. #552
    The Pleb The Pleb is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefirelog View Post
    What? Are you saying masturbation is a sin?
    Don't get too excited. You can wink away no prob once you let the priest know on Saturday before you get communion. It's all about forgiveness man.
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  3. #553
    The Pleb The Pleb is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPluribusUnum View Post
    Wikipedia is good for documented history that is well beyond dispute.
    God bless Wikipedia!
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  4. #554
    EPluribusUnum EPluribusUnum is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by aldiper View Post
    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??

    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:

    How about:

    There was moreover a certain sect of Jews who valued themselves highly for their exact knowledge of the law; and talking much of their contact with God, were greatly in favor with the women of Herod’s court. They are called Pharisees. They are men who had it in their power to control kings; extremely subtle, and ready to attempt any thing against those whom they did not like. When therefore the whole Jewish nation took an oath to be faithful to Caesar, and [to] the interests of the king, these men, to the number of above six thousand, refused to swear.

    As I related, the registration celebrating Augustus' jubiliee also required an oath of loyalty. And that it was a registration and records kept explains why Josephus could even come up with a number of the Pharisees who refused to take the oath. And you need to keep some things in mind. Returning to your own district might work for common folk, but from Rome's perspective, and Herod's perspective, you might want to have some idea of just who claimed to be in the Davidic line, since those persons might rivals to your rule. And you can see how it might work in practice, the word gets out about the registration, everyone to his home district, except for those claiming descent from David, who must register in Bethlehem. Can you see why that might work? For the folks claiming the descent, there is the bragging factor, i.e., hey, world, look at me, I'm descended from King David. For Roma and for Herod the response, yes, that is just grand that you are David's children, and now we know who you are and what you claim to be.

    Bethlehem might also have been an archival city for that very purpose. You do know, yes, that the Romans designated certain cities in their empire as archival cities, wherein records were deposited? One of the form of records pertained to Roman citizenship. There was no photography for the passport or drivers license complete with your fingerprint on it if they wanted such on the document. So if you ever had to prove your Roman citizenship, and all Roman citizens did periodically, then you went to that archival city that had the records of your Roman citizenship. I rather doubt that Bethlehem was a more complete archival city, but it may very well have been the place where the records were kept pertaining to those claiming Davidic descent. And so Joseph would go there as that's where the records pertaining to him were.

    Here:

    Every five years, each male Roman citizen had to register in Rome for the census. In this he had to declare his family, wife, children, slaves and riches. Should he fail to do this, his possessions would be confiscated and he would be sold into slavery. But registration meant freedom. A master wishing to free his slave needed only to enter him in the censor's list as a citizen (manumissio censu).
    Throughout the entire republican era, registration in the census was the only way that a Roman could ensure that his identity and status as a citizen were recognized. Fathers registered their sons, employers their freedmen. Primarily the census served to count the number of citizens and to assess the potential military strength and future tax revenue. Most important, the census transformed the city into a political and military community. But the census performed a highly symbolical function. To the Romans the census made them more than a mere crowd, or barbarian rabble. It made them a populus, a people, capable of collective action. To the Roman the census was one of the foundation stones of their civilization.

    And here:

    How could an ancient person prove his Roman citizenship

    And here, one such oath, note the date:

    The Roman Empire: Augustus to Hadrian - Google Books

    3 BC/BCE, so that the list could presented in time to Augustus in 2 BC/BCE.

    And here:

    https://romanvoices.wikispaces.com/Oath+of+allegiance

    And here is why the Pharisees refused the oath, by the way (see the first full paragraph):

    Galatians and the Imperial Cult: A Critical Analysis of the First-Century ... - Justin K. Hardin - Google Books

    The whole affair was part of the imperial cult, and so you swore your oath before a priest of the imperial cult, in the temple, next to that statue of Augustus. A little hard for the Pharisees to take an oath promising to worship Caesar. And so they refused. They'd also have a problem with simply being in the pagan temple in the first instance. And here is the one oath again, so you can note the religious aspect:

    oath to Augustus

    And note the "son of a god". The entire New Testament is a rejoinder to the propaganda of Rome. That claim specifically. And so re Augustus as "son of a god", such entirely explains the opening line of the gospel of Mark:

    The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God...

    And now for why needs to be careful in trusting Wikipedia, from that piece that you linked:

    Augustus is known to have taken a census of Roman citizens at least three times, in 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14


    What is 28 minus 8? 20? Divide 20 by 5. Equals 4. And we'll need to drop the 0, since there is no year zero, and so what is 8 BC minus 14 AD/CE? 21? So there likely was, as related, a registration or check of registration for Roman citizens every 5 years, and a census every 20. We have the one 21 years since there likely was the not the unprecedented event of a tax holiday declared for the year 2 BC/BCE, in celebration of Augustus' jubilee. And call it the reward for a populace swearing loyalty and faith in Augustus (for those not in the know, the Latin, fides, or faith, was inscribed on Roman coins). The next census after 14 AD/CE was in 34 AD/CE, 20 years after 14 AD/CE. So that's how it went, citizenship check by way of registration every 5 years for the Roman citizen, and every 20 years a census for taxation purposes. With the 3 BC/BCE event being a singular occasion owing to Augustus' upcoming jubilee and him being declared pater patriae, father of the country. And so in addition to the mere check on the registration of Roman citizens, everyone was called to register and take the oath. As Josephus reports, some number above 6,000 Pharisees refused to take the oath.

    Lastly, and again, if you were to check on the Roman citizenship of one, where would you do that? In the city that had the archives containing the documents that prove his citizenship? And so that's why you have to go to a certain place.

    Almost forgot, but why you can't trust Wikipedia here, well, here is your link again:

    Census of Quirinius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Note the section on the "21st Century". Richard Carrier. You can find him and his works at Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, Naturalism, Skepticism and Secularism. I find it hard to believe that no one over the last decade but Richard Carrier has chimed in on the matter. But he's their god, so he gets quoted in full.



    For a bonus freebie, Richard isn't that smart. Here is the one soul's rejoinder to Richard:

    Fuller Reply to Richard Carrier « Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog

    The relevant item here:

    I go on to detail what we have no record of about Pilate from Roman records: “his major accomplishments, his daily itinerary, the decrees he passed, the laws he issued, the prisoners he put on trial, the death warrants he signed, his scandals, his interview, his judicial proceedings.” In talking about Roman records, I am talking about the Roman records we are interested in: the ones related to the time and place where Jesus lived, first-century Palestine. It’s a myth that we have or that we could expect to have detailed records from Roman officials about everything that was happening there, so that if Jesus really lived, we would have some indication of it. Quite the contrary, we precisely don’t have Roman records – of much of anything – from there.

    And so that's the big lie of folks like Richard Carrier. Surely, he says, there must be records of Jesus, if he existed, since the Romans kept meticulous records. Except we have little to no such records concerning Palestine. Since they were not preserved.

    And here, one more, someone else taking Richard Carrier to task, with a catchy title as well (also takes that loon PZ Myers to task as well, he of the University of Minnesota at Nowheresville, sorry, PZ,....not):

    Mythtic Pizza and Cold-cocked Scholars « The New Oxonian

    So you get his point:

    “Atheist biblical studies” as it is represented by Carrier and company is nothing more than a conspiracy theory in search of respectability. Since that isn’t forthcoming through the normal channels of recognition—scholarship I mean—it has to rely on trivializing the settled or nearly-settled conclusions of modern scholarship itself, and if that doesn’t work, bashing the scholars. For some very strange reason, they like to quote Schweitzer. But Schweitzer famously refused to give up the historical Jesus. Prove me wrong and divide an extra hundred dollars. The likelier result is that I can prove to you that the mythtics don’t read complete verses in the texts they quote from.

    The free thought rabble have chosen Carrier as their standard bearer, without any reason to put their trust in his inane conclusions and methods—a man who has never published a significant piece of biblical scholarship, never been peer reviewed (peers?), never been vetted, and never held an academic position. His “reputation” depends on deflecting his mirror image of himself as a misunderstood, self-construed genius onto a few dozen equally maladroit followers. This billboard for poor method, we are now asked to believe by freethought’s bad boy, PZ Myers, has cold-cocked a senior New Testament scholar for saying something as reasonable as “Jesus existed.” Only in the age of instant misinformation and net-attack is this kind of idiocy possible. Only in the atheist universe where the major premise– “religion is a lie so the study of religion is a study of lying”—infects everything is this kind of lunacy possible. Unfortunately, we have Richard Dawkins to thank for the original formulation of that premise.
    ***
    The study of the gospels is often the study of the lacunae of ancient history: we know less than we would like to know to form a coherent picture of Jesus, and the sources for knowing as much as we know are not disinterested reporting but the writings of believers propagating a certain message about him. This is not new. This is not radical. This is where discussion starts.

    By the same token we know more about Jesus than we know about a great many figures that we think existed, from far fewer sources—often from faint allusions in the work of only one ancient writer. Did Diogenes exist? Cincinnatus? Outside the gospels, Pontius Pilate is virtually unknown except for a reference in Tacitus and mentions in Philo and Josephus, if we discount the so-called Pilate stone
    ***
    This little rant (and it is a rant, I acknowledge and I do not apologize for it: somebody’s got to do it) will be followed next week by three essay-length responses to Richard C. Carrier’s ideas: The first by me, the second by Professor Maurice Casey of the University of Nottingham, and the third by Stephanie Fisher a specialist in Q-studies. We will attempt to show an impetuous amateur not only where he goes wrong, but why he should buy a map before starting his journey. Other replies will follow in course, and we invite Carrier, his fans, and anyone else interested in this discussion to respond to it at any stage along the way.


    And here, another piece with a catchy title, The Freethought Ghetto:

    News from the Freethought Ghetto « The New Oxonian

    And so, yes, Richard Carrier, never held a teaching position, never wrote a peer-reviewed article but he's the guru of some, to include Wikipedia. As I said, when the history is well settled, Wikipedia will do. When it's not, there's a saying about you and the 10 foot pole. Oh, and the last line of that last piece, again, recall that I = trial attorney, and so: a bad witness talking after his lawyer has said to shut up. Indeed.

    I lied, and so some more:

    The Jesus Process: Maurice Casey « The New Oxonian

    The Jesus Process: Stephanie Louise Fisher « The New Oxonian

    The Jesus Process: A Consultation on the Historical Jesus « The New Oxonian

    Proving What? « The New Oxonian
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  5. #555
    statsman statsman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    You've somewhat missed the object of what Descartes was trying to achieve with the Cogito there, Roisin.
    He was begging the question, the I that thinks is assumed, and 'Cogito' is assumed as a characteristic of 'sum'; effectively he said 'I am, therefore I am.'
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  6. #556
    statsman statsman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Follower View Post
    Indeed!
    .... and while I might not agree with him entirely, Barryclona points out that so much of it is unintelligent comment!

    Regardless of one's point of view, posters should have at least respect for the beliefs of others.
    Those who are not practicing Christians should refrain from comment. Given that the matter is none of their business, why then should they concern themselves? It is indeed amazing!

    The fragment of papyrus is just that ... a fragment ... and should be interpreted in a wider context. Most educated Christians are aware that the New Testament is not an historical chronology of events; most acknowledge that there are other gospels but were not included in the new testament for a variety of reasons. For the majority of Christians, it is the message of the gospels (love, peace, forgiveness etc) that is important.

    Over past few months p.ie seems to have descended into the realms of petty unintelligent snipes and wasted energy in front of a PC screen by most.
    As Cato has already pointed out, your basic premiss is flawed, but even if we grant that it is true for you, you break it instantly by declaring that only those beliefs that chime with your own should be expressed. I trust you can see the flaw in this 'logic'?
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  7. #557
    Cruimh Cruimh is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by statsman View Post
    He was begging the question, the I that thinks is assumed, and 'Cogito' is assumed as a characteristic of 'sum'; effectively he said 'I am, therefore I am.'
    Dioscorea sum, ergo Dioscorea sum!

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  8. #558
    statsman statsman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruimh View Post
    Dioscorea sum, ergo Dioscorea sum!

    Descartes needed more greens in his diet.
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  9. #559
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Follower View Post
    Indeed!
    .... and while I might not agree with him entirely, Barryclona points out that so much of it is unintelligent comment!

    Regardless of one's point of view, posters should have at least respect for the beliefs of others.
    Those who are not practicing Christians should refrain from comment. Given that the matter is none of their business, why then should they concern themselves? It is indeed amazing!
    Why should I have more respect for the beliefs of Christians than the beliefs of Fianna Fáilers?

    Is there something special about religious belief which exempts it from the scepticism and mockery that political belief is subjected to?

    I'm not a practicing FFer either, but that's not going to stop me from commenting on FF related matters as and when I please.
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  10. #560
    Cato Cato is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by statsman View Post
    He was begging the question, the I that thinks is assumed, and 'Cogito' is assumed as a characteristic of 'sum'; effectively he said 'I am, therefore I am.'
    I agree but Roisin still missed the point of what he was trying to do. Formulating it in the way she did would not have achieved his purpose (not that he did either, but he evidentially thought he had).
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