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Thread: "An Uncensored Guide to the Christmas Stories"

  1. Top | #11
    Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Sorry to disappoint you, I never "agreed" that AIG gets it wrong. (They don't)
    And neither does the bible which is why I said...
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    If the Bible says they returned to Nazareth then that settles the matter.
    There is no contradiction and nothing physically impossible about the following (biblical) itinerary.
    Nazareth to Bethlehem
    Bethlehem to Jerusalem
    Jerusalem to Bethlehem (return to Bethlehem) True
    Bethlehem to Egypt
    Egypt to Nazareth (return to Nazareth) True
    Refering to
    http://uncensored-christmas.sky-walk...d-it/#journeys
    (as well as Matthew/Luke)

    Only Luke says they go from Nazareth to Bethlehem - in fact it says Mary goes from Nazareth to the hill country (right near Bethlehem/Jerusalem), then to Nazareth, then to Bethlehem then to Jerusalem then to Nazareth. In Matthew it seems they begin in Bethlehem (then go to another prophecized place - Egypt).

    Luke 2:39 talks about them "returning" from Jerusalem to their "own town" of Nazareth. (while in Matthew they end up in Nazareth for the first time)

    There is no mention in Luke of going to Egypt in between Jerusalem and Nazareth. Luke 2:39 strongly implies they just went from Jerusalem to Nazareth - not spending maybe a year in between in Bethlehem (waiting for the wise men) and in Egypt. So how long do you think it was between going to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth? It seems to happen in one verse.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Sorry to disappoint you, I never "agreed" that AIG gets it wrong. (They don't)
    And neither does the bible which is why I said...
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    If the Bible says they returned to Nazareth then that settles the matter.
    There is no contradiction and nothing physically impossible about the following (biblical) itinerary.
    Nazareth to Bethlehem
    Bethlehem to Jerusalem
    Jerusalem to Bethlehem (return to Bethlehem) True
    Bethlehem to Egypt
    Egypt to Nazareth (return to Nazareth) True
    In Matthew it seems[...]

    Luke 2:39 talks about[...]

    There is no mention in Luke of[...]

    Luke 2:39 strongly implies[...]

    So how long do you think it was between going to Jerusalem and[...]

    It seems to happen in one verse...
    It's OK to speculate

  3. Top | #13
    Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Lion IRC:
    So how long do you think it was between going to Jerusalem and then to Nazareth? A few weeks? A year or two?

  4. Top | #14
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    I don't know. We don't know.
    Even AIG has to speculate.
    There's a lot of 'wiggle room'.
    If the text was unambiguously clear there would only be one way to read it.
    But like I said re. the gap between Robert Menzies' 1st and 2nd term in office, the two events reported (Matt vs Luke) are not mutually exclusive.

  5. Top | #15
    Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    I don't know. We don't know.
    I didn't ask about what you "know" but what you "think".

    Even AIG has to speculate.
    They asserted "The family returned to Bethlehem—not Nazareth, as some have suggested" rather that talking about what "seems" to be the case.

    There's a lot of 'wiggle room'.
    If the text was unambiguously clear there would only be one way to read it.
    It talks about Jerusalem then a return to Nazareth. Since Bethlehem is right next to Jerusalem it is reasonable to go there on the way back but it seems a bit overboard to insist they went to Egypt as well on the way back.

    But like I said re. the gap between Robert Menzies' 1st and 2nd term in office, the two events reported (Matt vs Luke) are not mutually exclusive.
    Well if that is the case then they MUST have gone to Egypt on the way back to Nazareth and according to AiG this would have been in early 3 BC and "Ussher believed Jesus was born at the onset of 4 BC" which means that about a year passed between going from Jerusalem to Nazareth. So if you are going to assert that Matthew and Luke are compatible, you'd need to be like AiG and insist that about a year (or maybe more) passed in Luke 2:39.

    BTW in Luke it doesn't mention the flight to Egypt due to a massacre in Bethlehem, but it does mention King Herod... Luke 1:5 says "In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah". It seems odd to mention King Herod without saying how significant he was with Bethlehem and the journeys. Though I guess you'd say that technically that isn't a contradiction.

  6. Top | #16
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    *sigh*

    They didn't go to Egypt on the way back to Nazareth.

    There is no false dilemma/trilemma such that bible readers have to decide which trip Joseph and Mary actually made.

    There is nothing in the text which forces us to decide between competing options - Bethlehem, Egypt or Nazareth.

    And every facet of your alleged contradiction depends on;
    a) Argument from silence - filling in the gaps with your own speculation
    b) Argument from incredulity - you personally think it "seems a bit overboard" (Ironically, it's your own misreading of the text which leads to the imaginary scenario that you find hard to believe.)
    c) A general lack of reading comprehension/logic. If a story narrative says Frodo returned to The Shire but earlier in the book it says Frodo returned to Mordor, nobody would call that a contradiction or presume there must have been two characters named Frodo, or speculate that the author must have botched the storyline continuity.

  7. Top | #17
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    In order to accept that Joseph and family returned to Nazareth, I have to accept that they had a reason to leave Nazareth in the first place. The reason that Luke gives is because of a census decreed by Caesar Augustus. Luke states that this census occurred when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

    No such census is in the historical record, but even if it was, it wouldn't be conducted in such a fashion. Because of this census he has to make a dangerous journey with his pregnant wife in tow all the way to Bethlehem (almost 100 miles). Why? Luke says it's because Joseph is a multi-generation descendant of David, and Bethlehem is the City of David.

    This makes no sense. When Joseph (who lived in Nazareth) traveled to Bethlehem to have his nose counted, did he pass people who lived in Bethlehem but were descended from people who came from Nazareth? It would be easy to imagine that people would be required to travel to the nearest town so that census takers didn't have to tromp around every hill and valley to count every sheepherder and farmer. But why make everyone travel across barren country just because your Great-Times-15-Grandfather was born elsewhere? What if you didn't know where your Great-Times-15-Grandfather was born--where would you go then?

    It's far easier to accept Matthew's narrative, because it makes fewer assumptions. Joseph lived in Bethlehem, and Jesus was born there. To escape Herod (who died ten years before Quirinius was made governor of Syria, by the way) he fled to Egypt, but didn't feel safe returning back to his home. So "he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth."

  8. Top | #18
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    The gospel writers had to create a background for the main figure Jesus, just like any fiction.

    In today's parlance Jesus was a man of the people aligned against the Jewish elite status quo.

    Archeology says typical homes had livestock downstairs and a platform or floor above. Being in a manger would not have been noteworthy. I doubt you could wander into a small town and find a hotel or inn.

  9. Top | #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    *sigh*

    They didn't go to Egypt on the way back to Nazareth.

    There is no false dilemma/trilemma such that bible readers have to decide which trip Joseph and Mary actually made.

    There is nothing in the text which forces us to decide between competing options - Bethlehem, Egypt or Nazareth.

    And every facet of your alleged contradiction depends on;
    a) Argument from silence - filling in the gaps with your own speculation
    b) Argument from incredulity - you personally think it "seems a bit overboard" (Ironically, it's your own misreading of the text which leads to the imaginary scenario that you find hard to believe.)
    c) A general lack of reading comprehension/logic. If a story narrative says Frodo returned to The Shire but earlier in the book it says Frodo returned to Mordor, nobody would call that a contradiction or presume there must have been two characters named Frodo, or speculate that the author must have botched the storyline continuity.
    There is absolutely zero Roman or Jewish records to validate any of it. A couple or family wandering between egypt and Palestine is absurd.

  10. Top | #20
    Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    *sigh*

    They didn't go to Egypt on the way back to Nazareth.
    So you don't like me saying "on the way back to" but I thought you'd agree that they had to go to Egypt in between going to Jerusalem (before Luke 2:39) and Nazareth (in Luke 2:39). If they don't go to Egypt in Luke then it seems to me that there is a contradiction.

    ...a) Argument from silence - filling in the gaps with your own speculation
    Actually I thought it was you who is saying they went to Egypt in Luke.

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