October 29, 2009

two corrections and notes

First, in my last post I said Caesar sailed for Gaul in 16 AD. Of course it's possible to sail from Italy to France, but Caesar probably went over the Alps. I must have been thinking of the Gauls in Galatia because Caesar went to Asia in 19 AD. Oops.

Second, near the end of that same post I inadvertently left off 30 AD as a possible date for John 2:20. By strict chronological reckoning, 46 years back from Passover of 30 AD would seem to put the Temple construction beginning in early 17 BC. That date is just beyond the realm of possibility, but late 18 BC is acceptable, and the Jews could have been rounding down from 46 years and a few months.

Both points have been fixed in the previous post.

By the way, that second correction is not for my sake, but in fairness to those who take 33 AD for the crucifixion and posit a three year long ministry for Jesus. Personally, I date John 2:20 to the Passover of 29 AD because I find a four year ministry more suitable to the evidence overall. Again, the point of my post is that John 2:20 itself is somewhat imprecise, even based on Josephus.

As it so happens, the previous (erroneous) efforts to date John 2:20 more precisely have been one long standing reason (evidently) why leading apologists felt constrained to defend the three year view against the four year view. I believe I have demonstrated why that was not necessary, and naturally I hope these efforts will encourage many to give the four year ministry more careful consideration.

However, I just as fervently want to be clear that anyone who wishes to stick with their established views can still adopt my explanation on this one detail. As detailed in the previous post, the evidence on Herod's Temple construction allows dates as early as 27 AD for the citation of John 2:20.

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