Another Small Anachronism

10 Jul

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


2 responses to “Another Small Anachronism

  1. Rich Griese

    July 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I think 70CE would be the earliest date possible. I think the limiting is that there are references in in Mark that talk about the Jewish uprising and the Destruction of Jerusalem. So while they could have been written anytime after that they could not be written before that.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

  2. beowulf2k8

    July 11, 2010 at 2:37 am

    It is still significant since although clearly written after 44 the gospels pretend to relate events in 33.

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