Daily Archives: July 10, 2010

Another Small Anachronism

So I was reading the wiki article on Tacitus on Jesus and came across this lttle nugget:

It should be noted that after Herod Agrippa’s death in AD 44, when Judea reverted to direct Roman rule, Claudius gave procurators control over Judea

Why is this describing an anachronism in Mark and John? Well, this means that prior to 44 CE, Jews probably had the authority to execute people according to their own laws. John states:

18:31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected.

The Jews handing Jesus over to a prefect makes no sense, they should have been able to handle matters on their own. In Josephus, another Jesus is handed over to Roman rule. But he’s handed over to a procurator (Jesus Ananias is handed over to Albinus), not a prefect. Besides this, Herod was able to execute John the Baptist (according Josephus) without needing Roman approval. And in the gospel of Peter, it actually is Herod who gives the order to execute Jesus.

So this means that the gospel stories at the least were written by someone who lived after 44 CE. Not that this is a big deal or anything, since even most NT scholars date Mark to after 70.


Posted by on July 10, 2010 in 2nd temple judaism

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