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Apologetics

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22 Oct 2020
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

On the Nazareth Inscription:

Either Pilate removed the body, or he didn't. If he didn't, then the whole inscription story is unrelated. If he did, there are again two possibilities. First, he mentioned it in his Acts. Then later prosecutors had an easy job dismissing Christian claims (as you observed yourself). This never occurred, so, Second, Pilate did not mention it. That means the story was, at least officially, not known. Then the Inscription in Nazareth has nothing to do with the Jesus case.

The logical argument should finish the whole story. Apart of this, putting an inscription in Nazareth for an unknown grave desecration in Jerusalem, is a HUGE mistake by the "famous" Roman bureaucracy. And if the desecration story HAD been known, this would have dismissed all Christian claims of resurrection. Make your choice.

12:49:51
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip If Pilate did not remove the body, then the Roman authorities will have presumed someone else did - and given the trouble the empty tomb gave, they issued the decree. That seems to me by far the most plausible scenario. (In fact, the Jews were actively spreading the story that the disciples had stolen the body, so that presumption was almost certain. The Jew Trypho still claims it to Justin - chapter 108).
If he did, and didn't mention it, the same thing might have happened. But that is an exceedingly implausible scenario to begin with, given the precarious nature of Pilate's position. Given how common Jesus-type people were (Acts 5:35 - it was after all the very time predicted by Daniel for the Messiah to show up) he was not placed in an unexpected situation. He would simply have refused the request of Joseph of Arimathea, secure in his knowledge that the other Jewish leaders would back him up. Or he could have called them to take care of the corpse themselves - they were accessible, because they came to him later ("the next day" in Matthew 27:65 means "after sundown", Jewish days starting at sundown). Adding another exceedingly improbable element to the explanation makes the whole only even less likely.
13:34:22
@biep:nltrix.netM BipIf the inscription were indeed related to the exhumation at Kos, that would mean the edict preceded the crucifixion - and removing the body would be punishable by death (I am not sure what the punishment would have been before the edict). That means Pilate would literally have been playing with his life, and putting that life in the hands of his co-conspirators. Any of them could later, out of a grudge against Pilate, or in order to ingratiate himself with the regime, reveal what had happened (and place himself in a good light - and as he would only have been executing orders, he would not have been punishable anyway, the Romans believing in "Befehl ist Behehl") and bring Pilate himself to execution (by beheading or strangulation - crucifixion was not for Roman citizens).15:00:35
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * If Pilate did not remove the body, then the Roman authorities will have presumed someone else did - and given the trouble the empty tomb gave, they issued the decree. That seems to me by far the most plausible scenario. (In fact, the Jews were actively spreading the story that the disciples had stolen the body, so that presumption almost certain. The Jew Trypho still claims it to Justin - chapter 108).
If he did, and didn't mention it, the same thing might have happened. But that is an exceedingly implausible scenario to begin with, given the precarious nature of Pilate's position. Given how common Jesus-type people were (Acts 5:35 - it was after all the very time predicted by Daniel for the Messiah to show up) he was not placed in an unexpected situation. He would simply have refused the request of Joseph of Arimathea, secure in his knowledge that the other Jewish leaders would back him up. Or he could have called them to take care of the corpse themselves - they were accessible, because they came to him later ("the next day" in Matthew 27:65 means "after sundown", Jewish days starting at sundown). Adding another exceedingly improbable element to the explanation makes the whole only even less likely.
16:25:38
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

On the Nazareth Inscription:

Either Pilate removed the body, or he didn't. If he didn't, then the whole inscription story is unrelated. If he did, there are again two possibilities. First, he mentioned it in his Acts. Then later prosecutors had an easy job dismissing Christian claims (as you observed yourself). This never occurred, so, Second, Pilate did not mention it. That means the story was, at least officially, not known. Then the Inscription in Nazareth has nothing to do with the Jesus case.

The logical argument should finish the whole story. Apart of this, putting an inscription in Nazareth for a grave desecration in Jerusalem, would be a HUGE mistake by the "famous" Roman bureaucracy, even more so if the story was not known officially. And if the desecration story HAD been known, this would have dismissed all Christian claims of resurrection. Make your choice.

16:37:08
@biep:nltrix.netM BipThe Roman government would have heard the official Jewish version - which was even promulgated by them in Rome, Tertullian mentioning that the Jews were still telling this in his time. Given that the whole issue of Christianity hinged on this, it would make perfect sense to issue an edict preventing that kind of thing from happening again. On the other hand, Pilate risking his relationship with the Jews, his already dangling acceptance by the imperial government, and his life by doing in secret what he could to great effect have done in public (cremating the body - abhorrent to any Jew, so the ideal deterrent - and throwing the ashes in the sea, for instance, or having them eaten by pigs) is improbable to the extreme, and in combination with other required hypotheses (including something like a mass hallucination convincing enough to have the disciples willing to give their lives for it, and so on) simply becomes undefensible.22:06:51
23 Oct 2020
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * If the inscription were indeed related to the exhumation at Kos, that would mean the edict preceded the crucifixion - and removing the body would be punishable by death (I am not sure what the punishment would have been before the edict). That means Pilate would literally have been playing with his life, and putting that life in the hands of his co-conspirators. Any of them could later, out of a grudge against Pilate, or in order to ingratiate himself with the regime, reveal what had happened (and place himself in a good light - and as he would only have been executing orders, he would not have been punishable anyway, the Romans believing in "Befehl ist Behehl") and bring Pilate himself to execution (by beheading - crucifixion was not for Roman citizens).09:47:45
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip

As to Lennox, he used a nice argument that someone must have started the laws of physics to become "running" and be "valid". I always had a comparable experience when doing mathematics. It is completely passive matter unless and until a mathematician does something with it.

That reminded me of a book I read in 1999. I don't remember much of it, but at the time it struck me fabourably.

19:34:56
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * If the inscription were indeed related to the exhumation at Kos, that would mean the edict preceded the crucifixion - and removing the body would be punishable by death (I am not sure what the punishment would have been before the edict). That means Pilate would literally have been playing with his life, and putting that life in the hands of his co-conspirators. Any of them could later, out of a grudge against Pilate, or in order to ingratiate himself with the regime, reveal what had happened (and place himself in a good light - and as he would only have been executing orders, he would not have been punishable anyway, the Romans believing in "Befehl ist Behehl") and bring Pilate himself to execution (by beheading or strangulation - crucifixion was not for Roman citizens).19:36:42
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip *

As to Lennox, he used a nice argument that someone must have started the laws of physics to become "running" and be "valid". I always had a comparable experience when doing mathematics. It is completely passive matter unless and until a mathematician does something with it.

That reminded me of a book I read in 1999. I don't remember much of it, but at the time it struck me fabourably.

19:39:15
@biep:nltrix.netM BipDownload The Fire in the Equations Science, Religion, and the Search for God.pdf19:39:29
24 Oct 2020
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * I think you underestimate the influence of first Alexander, and then the Roman empire. Here is an article on that influence (not the best, but one I happen to have handy).21:24:04
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip

In my mind there is simply no room for a natural world which is partly driven by unreliable supernatural principles and rules.

With remarks like these you keep losing me. I of course fully agree (not in my mind lacking the ability to believe it given good grounds for it, but in not actually believing in such a world), and so (presumably) does Behe - so what are you trying to establish? Merely out of the blue underlining the obvious again - that the "God of the gaps" is not a serious option for anyone?

21:26:00
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip *

In my mind there is simply no room for a natural world which is partly driven by unreliable supernatural principles and rules.

Again you are losing me. I fully agree, and so (presumably) does Behe - so what are you referring to? Merely out of the blue underlining the obvious again - that the "God of the gaps" is not a serious option for anyone?

21:26:28
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip *

In my mind there is simply no room for a natural world which is partly driven by unreliable supernatural principles and rules.

Again you are losing me. I of course fully agree, and so (presumably) does Behe - so what are you referring to? Merely out of the blue underlining the obvious again - that the "God of the gaps" is not a serious option for anyone?

21:26:50
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * The Roman government would have heard the official Jewish version - which was even promulgated by them in Rome, Tertullian mentioning that the Jews were still telling this in his time. Given that the whole issue of Christianity hinged on this, it would make perfect sense to issue an edict preventing that kind of thing from happening again. On the other hand, Pilate risking his relationship with the Jews, his already dangling acceptance by the imperial government, and his life by doing in secret what he could to great effect have done in public (cremating the body - abhorrent to any Jew, so the ideal deterrent - and throwing the ashes in the sea, for instance, or having them eaten by pigs) is improbable to the extreme, and in combination with other required hypotheses (including something like a mass hallucination convincing enough to have the disciples willing to give their lives for it, and so on) simply becomes undefensible.21:29:22
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip *

In my mind there is simply no room for a natural world which is partly driven by unreliable supernatural principles and rules.

With remarks like these you keep losing me. I of course fully agree, and so (presumably) does Behe - so what are you trying to establish? Merely out of the blue underlining the obvious again - that the "God of the gaps" is not a serious option for anyone?

22:10:46
25 Oct 2020
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip By the way, for those who have installed Calibre:
One can set up Calibre to have an input folder. Any appropriate document placed in that folder will then automatically (if Calibre runs, or else the next time it starts) be added to its library. I have found it very helpful to download e-books and PDFs to Calibre's input folder, and be able quickly and flexibly to search the resulting ever-growing library.
10:06:07
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip *

In my mind there is simply no room for a natural world which is partly driven by unreliable supernatural principles and rules.

With remarks like these you keep losing me. I of course fully agree (not in my mind lacking the ability to believe it given good grounds for it, but in not actually believing in such a world), and so (presumably) does Behe - so what are you trying to establish? Merely out of the blue underlining the obvious again - that the "God of the gaps" is not a serious option for anyone?

10:09:34
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * Remark the sentence: In fact, Greek was used almost exclusively on inscriptions in the Roman period. And Kos was a Greek island - the people there knew their language. They could have used either Attic, or Koine, or their local variety of Greek, but in all three cases it would have been good Attic, Koine, or Kos-Greek. The Nazareth inscription is in poor Greek, indicating it came from a place where Greek was not native - the way in the past, when French was still the national languate, Flanders, but not Wallonia, would be likely to have had signs in awkward French. 19:58:27
@biep:nltrix.netM Bip * If Pilate did not remove the body, then the Roman authorities will have presumed someone else did - and given the trouble the empty tomb gave, they issued the decree. That seems to me by far the most plausible scenario. (In fact, the Jews were actively spreading the story that the disciples had stolen the body, so that presumption was almost certain. The Jew Trypho still claims it to Justin - chapter 108).
If he did, and didn't mention it, the same thing might have happened. But that is an exceedingly implausible scenario to begin with, given the precarious nature of Pilate's position. Given how common Jesus-type people were (Acts 5:35 - it was after all the very time predicted by Daniel for the Messiah to show up) he was not placed in an unexpected situation. He would simply have refused the request of Joseph of Arimathea, secure in his knowledge that the other Jewish leaders would back him up. Or he could have called them to take care of the corpse themselves - they were accessible, because they came to him later ("the next day" in Matthew 27:65 means "after sundown", Jewish days starting at sundown). Adding another exceedingly improbable element to the explanation makes the whole only even less likely.
20:03:01
26 Oct 2020
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate on a minute case, then Palestine must have been an important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment or a wax tablet: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a heavy bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire. Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:20:59
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate, then Palestine must have been a very important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a true bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire, Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:23:43
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate, then Palestine must have been a very important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a true bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire, Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:26:15
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate, then Palestine must have been a very important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a true bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire, Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:38:10
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate, then Palestine must have been a very important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a heavy bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire, Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:47:53
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate on a minute case, then Palestine must have been an important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a heavy bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire, Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
11:49:26
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel
In reply to @biep:nltrix.net
By the way, for those who have installed Calibre:
One can set up Calibre to have an input folder. Any appropriate document placed in that folder will then automatically (if Calibre runs, or else the next time it starts) be added to its library. I have found it very helpful to download e-books and PDFs to Calibre's input folder, and be able quickly and flexibly to search the resulting ever-growing library.

M Bip:

One can set up Calibre to have an input folder.

I noticed that my file system has a directory called 'Calibre Library' (quotes inclusive). Is that the one you mean?

11:52:14
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate on a minute case, then Palestine must have been an important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a heavy bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire. Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
12:00:36
@marcel:kde.orgMarcel van de Vel *

Your comments on the island of Kos are convincing to me. Putting the inscription at Nazareth makes sense if the rumors about Christians taking the body away were taken serious by the authorities. A connection with Pilate seems very unlikely: if he ordered removal of the body (most reasonable assumption) he apparently succeeded to hide that fact and he would be clever not to take positions.
I see little point in discussing HOW bureaucratic the Roman empire was. Just for the record: if during the first and second century CE Christians could call upon consulting the Acts of Pilate on a minute case, then Palestine must have been an important region. Just imagine some thirty regions like Palestine (and larger) in the Empire producing just one report a week for three centuries, each document being a role of parchment or a wax tablet: how large must the Tabularium have been in case of a heavy bureaucracy?

I spent some further thought on the removal of Jezus' body from Arimatea's grave.

  1. It must have been close to the evening when Jezus' body arrived at its destination. It was of vital importance to pious Jews to stop any activity when dark fell. There will not have been a true burial rite (that would have been done on sunday). It wouldn't feel like desecrating a tomb to Pilate (and he wasn't very sensitive to Hebrew religion either).
  2. As to Pilate's relationship with the emperor, you should notice that the Jews are not the easiest people to have in your empire. Ask the Greek (Maccabean revolt). There was an almost permanent unrest, particularly in Galilea. You need an adequate person there. Pilate was the right man for the job, probably a bit of a hard-liner. The emperor's critic was probably not whole-hearted: Pilate had to do something to be respected and keep order. The case of Jesus was exactly what could clean up Pilate's relation with the emperor: my sketch of a potential report on the case suggests that the emperor would be pleased: revolt prevented, no casualties. If Arimathea hadn't spoiled it by his unexpected gesture. The occasion to act swiftly and effectively was there for Pilate:
  3. It occurs to me that a town like Jerusalem must have had its portion of homeless people. Among them a large portion of old, disabled, and/or sick people. The problem would even be larger at times of great festivities like Pesach. I guess that about every day a dead body was found somewhere on the streets, and that the clever Romans would have provisions for this. Presumably, they had a department, involving a few servants and a few carts to transport bodies away from reported locations almost every night (preferably not by day, in the crowded narrow streets). The Roman guards at the grave were dismissed when dark fell (Jews were off the streets). It would cause no suspicion to send a team with a cart to remove Jesus from Arimathea's grave (3 minutes will do; they did not bother to pull the stone back). Then they continued their route towards some reported death, or at least, make a routine tour. Every important person has a few people indebted to him, which can be used for a job that needs secrecy. That's all.
12:04:17

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