If it is pure fiction, then an argument starting from a premise of Festus' ignorance has a false premise and fails.Giuseppe wrote: ↑Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:38 amI mean to imply precisely the opposite in both the cases.
If Acts is pure fiction, then what is shown above proves that the author denies the usual historicist excuse (“Jesus was obscure so no wonder about Festus's ignorance about his crucifixion”) and in this sense it is still useful against historicity.
If we want to believe the story is historical, then we first need to explain what Acts is, when it was written, and what its sources were. That cries out for an understanding and an explanation. The most obvious and simplest explanation for that kind of factual detail would be that this is some sort of ancient history. The obvious question is, if it's that good about exact quotes, whether it has the fundamental narrative arc at all correct. A narrative arc that, of course, starts from Jerusalem, where that Jesus died -- according to Acts.
In which case, either the quote was invented for dramatic effect -- common even in ancient history -- or you have to find a way to reconcile the points that Jesus died in Jerusalem, that the author of Acts believe these things were not done "in a corner," and that some Roman governor, even in his assigned post, didn't learn about it by study or by fame but only incidentally, as we also know Pliny did.
Of course, these statements easily fit together so long as you don't try too hard to make it otherwise, by the same type of argument that would have us believe that governors studied up on everything and so... again, Jesus must have existed because you couldn't pull that one past such an educated gentry as the Romans had.