EVIDENCE that Christians fled Jerusalem after 66 CE ...?


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    EdenOne posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:20:00 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    What the OT says ... what sources of evidence do we have that account for the 'great escape' of the Christians from Jerusalem after Cestius Gallus siege of 66 CE ? Do we have any Christian prespective about it? Since I concluded that all NT books were concluded before 66 CE (including Revelation), what do we have in order to support the story that the Jerusalem Christians ran to Pela ...etc....? Since the Bible is silent after that date?


    M Billy the Ex-Bethelite posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:23:03 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Here's an earlier thread about the LACK of evidence: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/beliefs/195465/1/2010-drama-historicity-of-Christians-leaving-Jerusalem-between-Roman-wars

    J. Hofer posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:34:56 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    how do you conclude that any of the NT books were written before 66 CE?

    *lost* posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 16:41:05 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Let us not forget, the books that are compiled to make up the Bible, are not the only books and sources of reference out there.

    Band on the Run posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 17:30:47 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Did not the Romans destroy most of Jerusalem in the 70s C.E? I never heard 66 C.E. any place before. Of course, archaeology moves on. From Bible sources to secular books not dealing with Christianity, the date is always in the 70s. It is obojective fact.

    Every prof and source I've read theorize that James and Peter were wiped out in the destruction. They are so prominent until that date. Paul must pay them tribute. James is far more important than Peter, which makes sense if he were Jesus' brother. Jesus' family members may have believed more after the resurrection. The Jerusalem Christian community was the essential one. No one knows why it basically disappeared suddenly.

    The loss of Jersualem as the status center for Christianity paved the way for Paul's theology to triumph. Fewer Jewish Christians allowed Christianity to morph from a Jewish sect to a new religion. I am very busy. One of the tasks is to briefly summarize Elaine Pagel's recent book on Revelation. She discusses the prophet John of Patmos (not the beloved disciple or author of John) as one of the last Jewish Christians radically opposed to Paul's views.

    This was new to me or I forgot. I want to reread the section and post the key info here. Revelation scares me but I am obsessed with alternate views.

    Speaking of Jewish Christians, does anyone know if there remains a fragment or trace of Jewish Chrisitanity in today's world? It would make an interesting comparison.

    Band on the Run posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 17:31:45 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Your gospel dating is off by immense time spans. Utter nonsense.

    EdenOne posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:26:50 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    JH, I wrote an extensive article about dating Revelation and published it on my website. My conclusion is that all NT books (including Revelation and the Gospel of John) were written before 66 CE, hence no mention mention made in the Bible of the destruction of Jerusalem as a past event. Actually, it appears fairly solid that Revelation was received by John before the other books of the NT were written.

    It's, of course, subject to criticism. BOTR defines it as "utter nonsense". I find curious that BOTR doesn't find "utter nonsense" the notion that the writer of the Gospel of John is a different person than "John of Patmos". Oh well.


    M glenster posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:28:31 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Conservative--early date and acceptance of 2 Peter

    Vidqun posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:54:53 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Josephus writes in detail about Cestius Gallus' attack and hasty retreat from Jerusalem. He viewed Cestius Gallus as a coward. We know most Christians got out of Jerusalem because the gospel spread to Europe, Asia and Africa. Had the Christians remained in Jerusalem, their missionary work would have seriously been impeded. Fact of the matter is, by the turn of the century the Christians had spread all over the Roman Empire. Some Romans complained about them.

    Vidqun posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 20:11:33 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    This is all I could find, relating to the Christians and the city of Pella. Evidence of Christian use of the city as refuge during the first Jewish revolt (A.D. 66-70) is still inconclusive. 1 Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. III. V, 3) relates that the Christians of Jerusalem fled to Pella when Vespasian prepared his attack. 2

    1 Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper’s Bible dictionary (1st ed.) (768). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

    2 Negev, A. (1990). The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press.

    Satanus posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 20:18:15 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    Rodney starks book, the rise of christianty says that cities became the main early growth centers for early christianity. Rome was one of the main ones. The word that we use to define nonchristian, pagan, came into use from this event. Pagan meant the country folk - the nonchristian ones, as compared to city people, where christianity was rising. So, christianity had already spread out of jerusalem, before its destruction.


    Vidqun posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 20:28:56 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    This is a translation of Eusebius' testimony (Eccl. Hist. III. V, 3), which does sound like fanciful propaganda:

    3 But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. 11 And when those that believed in Christ had come thither from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.

    EdenOne posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:10:21 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    From what i could read so far, it seems to me that the ONLY account that MAY have some credibility about this subject is the one given by Eusebius, which is probably based on an earlier account by a certain Ariston of Pella (c. 100-160) or in the Memoirs of Hegesippus (c. 180 AD). Archaeological evidence is scarse. The Ebionites originated from pella and they considered themselves as the true inheritors of the church of Jerusalem.


    Band on the Run posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:22:22 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    70 C.E. is the date for the destruction of Jersualem in wikipedia and other sources I found in my home. Not 66 C.E. Perhaps there was a skirmish in 66 C.E. The sources for 70 C,E, are extensive, includiing Jewish, Roman, and third country sources.

    I don't think the Romans believed in Jewish numerology. Such a round number, starting with seven. Perhaps a coincidence.

    Don't the Witnesses use 70 C.E.? I thought I learned it in KH or Wt lit.

    EdenOne posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:36:48 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    66 CE is the date for the early siege by Cestius Gallus ... it's the beginning of the First Jewish War, that ended up with the calamity of Jerusalem in 70 CE.


    Band on the Run posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 22:53:58 GMT(6/16/2013)

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    This is ridiculous. One can trace const'l rights back to now obscure French philosphers during the MIddle Ages. Americans tend to forget the Magna Carta. We date things by significant action. If you want to study obscure facts, you buy a book that specializes in obscure facts.

    I receive a catalogue from a truly consservative economic group. They reprint every book and thought that paved the way for American concepts of freedom and democracy. It interests me. I believe the selections reinforce their modern views. Ask a Supreme Court justice about some of these obscure philosophers, I will bet heavy money that no justice has heard of them.

    Jersualem was destroyed in 70 C.E. It sounds so much like the Witnesses - finding little details and pretending to make major leaps from them. As a child I was so impressed with it. I am no longer a child.

    Bobcat posted Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:39:39 GMT(6/17/2013)

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    I think everyone agrees with you on 70 for the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. But as Eden and others have mentioned, 66 is when Cestius Gallus came and went. (I think it can even be pinpointed to around Nov 22nd or so when he pulled back.) The Christian flight from Jerusalem and Judea came on the heels of this.

    Take Care, and hope you are doing well.

    Band on the Run posted Mon, 17 Jun 2013 01:09:49 GMT(6/17/2013)

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    There is not a shred of proof of what happened to the Jerusalem Christians. Even the best scholars say it is surmise. I assume there were frequent skirmishes in the Holy Land. The Jewish revolts happened again and again. Indeed, the NT places Judas as a probable politicla radical. Most Jewis expected the Messiah to liberate Israel. The gospels are full of accounts of Jesus reframing the enthusiasm for liberation. I would trace Massada.

    These dates show complete ignorance. Why not just go with the WT dates? The WT is now a large religion with established rules. I never understood people who broke away from the WT and adopt their own silly rules. This is not an intelligent discussion. Many good discussions of well read people appear on this forum

    Revelation was the last book written. It can be dated within a general framework by many clues. I can only refer readers to several popular books, including the most recent by my professor, Elaine Pagels. Pagels has her own theories but she always tells people what the main body of scholars believe before she states her own viewpoint. I am not obsessed with her but her views have changed over the decades.

    The academic field, with many cross studies, agree about major influences and dates. Sometimes it is an educated guess. They never state something happened unless it is an objective fact. There is no reasoning on this thread. I can well understand someone asserting JW dates, Roman Catholic dates, or academic dates. It drives me crazy when people assert no dates with no analysis. X has such a view that differs from Y. Well, perhaps you are correct and every scholar siince the late 1800s is wrong. Stranger things have happened. State your credentials, which books you are relying upon. State your credentials and a process. Extraordinary claims need extraordiinary proof. These are extraordinary claims in this day and age.

    What stresses me is that this is not a voice heard from God but a human assertion with no proof cited. It personally triggers me that on a forum so rich with true theological debate and so many members well versed in scholarship, such assertions go unchallenged. I would have failed school if I did the same. They would throw my carcass out. I understoodi t when we were Witnesses. No one need leave this forum to find accurate information.

    I know better for a fact. If I know better with the little bit I know, I see no reason for picking dates out of the air. Roman Catholic cardinals don't cite these dates, anymore though lowl priests will do so. My legal training focuses on wording. A recent Vatican documentary interviewed several high ranking cardinals. They cannot state the dates anymore. Instead, they say Catholic legend teaches or Catholic tradition states....Most viewers don't note these huge qualifications but I do.

    The world is smaller. More and more knowledge is available. It is beyond me why anyone would not think or read when it is so easy today. Cable TV has a wealth of information. I am not the only Bible nut. These shows move products.

    Vanderhoven7 posted Mon, 17 Jun 2013 02:07:07 GMT(6/17/2013)

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    Hi Eden,



    Stephen Bourke in his article, "The Christian Flight To Pella: True Or Tale?" concludes:

    "Did the early Christians flee to Pella?Archaeological evidence of any sort from the first two centuries A.D. is very sparse at Pella. But historical probabilities, geographical realities and the few traces of physical evidence we have recovered during more than 30 years of excavation and survey would all seem to point in the same direction. No one piece of evidence viewed in isolation carries any great weight, but viewed together they form a more coherent whole, suggesting a flight to Pella was possible. More we cannot say."

    EdenOne posted Mon, 17 Jun 2013 05:35:03 GMT(6/17/2013)

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    You seem to be picking on me for whatever reason. May I ask why? Because your replies are ad hominem attacks and largely unsubstanciated. If indeed you can present solid evidence to back up your rebuttals, I'm happy to hear, for I'm also learning. If not, then please lower the tone, because its getting frankly insulting and I did nothing to you to grant such attacks. You may have education on law, but I got education in anthropology and aeronautics. Just in case you want to swing spades, you better know who's on the other side. We're merely discussing opinions here. This is a free forum, not your sandbox.



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