Dating Acts

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Charles Wilson
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by Charles Wilson »

John T wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:50 amYet, strangely, Josephus tells us about the death of Jesus and his brother James but not Paul who lived in Rome under house arrest? :scratch: Granted it is an argument from silence...
Tacitus, Histories, Book 5 (Thayer trans.,http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/histories.5.v.html)

I fought the same battle in Germany, as did Mucianus in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in Pannonia."

[At this point the Histories break off. We do not know what happened to Civilis. The Batavians seem to have received favorable treatment.] "

Smith, Dictionary..., 1848, https://archive.org/details/dictionaryo ... 8/mode/2up , p. 1118:

" When Vespasian was on his way to Italy, Mucianus went to Brendisium to meet him, accompanied by the principal Roman nobles. The services of Mucianus had been so great, that Vespasian continued to show him his favour, although his patience was not a little tried by the arrogance of his subject. The last circumstance recorded of Mucianus is that he persuaded Vespasian to banish the philosophers from Rome. He seems to have died in the reign of Vespasian, as his name does not occur either under Titus or Domitian.

So, the dog didn't bark. I have Mucianus as the Template for Paul. Beyond what else you read about Paul, it is probable that Mucianus was a eunuch and in the background of the Paulines, Paul as a eunuch makes sense.

The argument from silence doesn't go very far here but as far as coincidences go, it is a bit enlightening.

CW
Steven Avery
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by Steven Avery »

ABuddhist wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:50 am
Steven Avery wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:39 am Theophilus had been the "most excellent" high priest in 40-41 AD when the Gospel of Luke was written.

His son Matthias was high priest around 61 AD, Theophilus was alive, and that would be a sensible date for Acts.
1. Why should we assume that GLuke was written in 41 CE?

2. Why should we assume that the Theophilus to whom GLuke/Acts were addressed was that specific Theophilus rather than another Theophilus or that Theophilus - meaning "lover of god" - was not a pseudonym or literary construct so that GLuke's author could address any male reader, who could fairly be described as a "lover of god"?
There is no need to "assume" anything. The archaeology fits, the connections with the individuals in the New Testament fits. You just study out the writings that support the high priest Theophilus and it helps you come to your own conclusion.
John2
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by John2 »

John T wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:50 am
John2 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:38 am
Or maybe Epaphroditus and Josephus didn't know exactly how and when Paul died. Did anyone know for sure?


Epaphroditus (secretary to Nero) would have certainly known. Epaphroditus did not die until 95 CE, that is, 26 years after he helped Nero commit suicide.



I don't know if Epaphroditus would have known exactly how and when Paul died, but the idea that he didn't is in keeping with no one else in antiquity seeming to know for sure, and it is only one of the options I mentioned.


But how could Epaphroditus stay silent as Josephus wrote about Christians knowing Epaphroditus was an eye witness to Paul's imprisonment in Rome?



I don't know if Epaphroditus was an eyewitness to Paul's imprisonment in Rome, but I do think Josephus writes about Paul (as Saul) and Peter (as Simon), and if he knew how and when Peter died (from Epaphroditus or whoever), he doesn't say, and I figure the same could be the case for Paul's death. Maybe in Josephus' scheme of things their deaths weren't notable.

Paul writes that all had abandoned him in prison except for Luke. 2 Timothy 4:11 Meaning, Epaphroditus went back to church of Philippi as directed by Paul. Thus supporting the argument that it was Luke that wrote the Book of Acts.

While I don't think 2 Timothy was written by Paul, I do think Luke could be an option for writing Acts, in the scenario I mentioned above:

Another possibility is that Epaphroditus sponsored whoever wrote Acts the same way he had sponsored Josephus (thus making him Theophilus). This could push my dating to later than c. 95 CE.
schillingklaus
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by schillingklaus »

Josephus is full of malicious forgery and fraud, only believed genuine by apologistic right-wingers. The same goes for all the other fictional people in the NT, such as Paul. Hilarious are the vain attempts of apologists who try to read them into the collected works of FJ, by the same name or any other.
ABuddhist
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by ABuddhist »

Steven Avery wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:23 am
ABuddhist wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:50 am
Steven Avery wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:39 am Theophilus had been the "most excellent" high priest in 40-41 AD when the Gospel of Luke was written.

His son Matthias was high priest around 61 AD, Theophilus was alive, and that would be a sensible date for Acts.
1. Why should we assume that GLuke was written in 41 CE?

2. Why should we assume that the Theophilus to whom GLuke/Acts were addressed was that specific Theophilus rather than another Theophilus or that Theophilus - meaning "lover of god" - was not a pseudonym or literary construct so that GLuke's author could address any male reader, who could fairly be described as a "lover of god"?
There is no need to "assume" anything. The archaeology fits, the connections with the individuals in the New Testament fits. You just study out the writings that support the high priest Theophilus and it helps you come to your own conclusion.
If that be so, then why does mainstream biblical scholarship date GLuke to decades later than 41-43 CE?
Charles Wilson
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by Charles Wilson »

schillingklaus wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:43 pm Josephus is full of malicious forgery and fraud, only believed genuine by apologistic right-wingers.
Do we have to put up with this bovine ofal?
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John T
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by John T »

John2 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:41 am While I don't think 2 Timothy was written by Paul, I do think Luke could be an option for writing Acts, in the scenario I mentioned above:
Pardon the tangent. You say you don't think Paul wrote 2Timothy. Just what do you mean by that? Are you saying that Paul did not personally put ink to paper? That he dictated to Luke who actually wrote the letter? Or are you saying 2 Timothy was fake from the get go? :scratch:
schillingklaus
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by schillingklaus »

All epistles in the NT are forgeries from the outset, and outside the NT it is not much different.
John2
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by John2 »

John T wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:26 am
Pardon the tangent. You say you don't think Paul wrote 2Timothy. Just what do you mean by that? Are you saying that Paul did not personally put ink to paper? That he dictated to Luke who actually wrote the letter? Or are you saying 2 Timothy was fake from the get go?

While I don't think Paul personally had anything to do with the creation of 2 Timothy, the last time I looked into 1 and 2 Timothy I came away with the impression that perhaps they were written by Timothy, and in that respect I suppose Paul's influence had something to do with them indirectly, since Timothy was his follower and co-wrote some of his letters. And I imagine it would have been fairly easy for Timothy to say (presumably after Paul's death), "Hey everyone, check out these letters Paul sent me."
Last edited by John2 on Sat Aug 06, 2022 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John T
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Re: Dating Acts

Post by John T »

John2 wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:32 pm ...I imagine it would have been fairly easy for Timothy to say (presumably after Paul's death), "Hey everyone, check out these letters Paul sent me."
I take it then you do not believe Paul wrote any pastoral letters? 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, all were fake letters written by a church leader who wanted to impress his congregation that he was a big shot in Paul's eye. Is that it?

Or could it be simply that a pastoral letter was a personal letter and not intended to be considered scripture?
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