Friday, June 6, 2008
In this post I would like to promote another blog which I have just been reading. It is called Debunking Christianity (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/) and it seems to be high quality posts. Here is the authors (there are several different contributors) own description of their blog:
"This Blog has been created for the purpose of debunking Evangelical Christianity. We are ex-Christians, ex-ministers, and even ex-apologists for the Christian faith. We are now freethinkers, skeptics, agnostics, and atheists. With the diversity of our combined strengths we seek to debunk Christianity."
The reason I stumpled upon this blog was that I was investigating the birth date of Jesus Christ. In a lecture I listened to recently I heard that historical records indeed confirms that there was a census in Bethlelem. However, the census was not in year 0, but in 8BC, and it was only for Romans. And I thought that Jesus was born in year 0?
Apparently this is not the only problematic detail concerning the birth of Jesus, I qoute again from debunking christianity. The authors deserves alot of credit for the fact that they have extensive references to other texts, including the bible.
"Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, if Luke is taken literally, according to E. P. Sanders [The Historical Figure of Jesus (Penguin Press, 1993, pp. 84-91)]. What husband would take a nine-month pregnant woman on such a trek from Nazareth at that time when only heads of households were obligated to register for a census when the census would’ve been stretched out over a period of weeks or even months? But if he did, why did he not take better precautions for the birth? Why not take Mary to her relative Elizabeth’s home just a few miles away from Bethlehem for the birth of her baby? According to Luke’s own genealogy (3:23-38) David had lived 42 generations earlier. Why should everyone have had to register for a census in the town of one of his ancestors forty-two generations earlier? There would be millions of ancestors by that time, and the whole empire would have been uprooted. Why 42 generations and not 35, or 16? If it was just required of the lineage of King David to register for the census, what was Augustus thinking when he ordered it? He had a King, Herod. “Under no circumstances could the reason for Joseph’s journey be, as Luke says, that he was ‘of the house and lineage of David,’ because that was of no interest to the Romans in this context.” [Uta Ranke-Heinemann, Putting Away Childish Things, (p.10)]. The fact is, even if there was a worldwide Roman census that included Galilee at this specific time, there is evidence that Census takers taxed people based upon the land they owned, so they traveled to where people lived."