Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jesus crucifixion date NOT proven by geologist

OK, let's spot the errors in this story that claims paleogeology, or whatever the word, proves Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33 CE.

Error No. 1? Geologists treading WAY beyond their area of expertise.

Error No. 2? Geologists taking what is poetic license, at least, as literal truth.

Error No. 3? Geologists taking a story with legendary elements, at least, to be literally true, if even in parts.

Error No. 4? Taking the New Testament Gospels as anything close to history. That includes assuming that Jesus was crucified over a Passover period. If the “Palm Sunday” story is true, this would actually fit other festivals more closely, as Hyam Maccoby, among others, has argued.

Error No. 4A? Assuming that (outside of Luke, who still blows it) these books were written to be taken as documents of history, not polemic.

Error No. 5? Assuming that a Yeshua bar Yusuf, if he existed, had the approximate life and death dates that literalists and semi-literalists claim.

Error No. 6? Assuming we can know enough about this Yeshua, from the Christian New Testament, to even guess at facts that might mitigate Error No. 5.

Error No. 7: Assuming that this Yeshua was a historic personage.

Ohhh, other than THAT, there’s nothing wrong with geologists, on what’s probably shaky (pun highly intended) evidence, assuming that something from the geological record proves a Jew named Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33 CE.

Now, they do leave the door to the world of rationality cracked open a small bit:
In terms of the earthquake data alone, (Jefferson) Williams and his team acknowledge that the seismic activity associated with the crucifixion could refer to “an earthquake that occurred sometime before or after the crucifixion and was in effect ‘borrowed’ by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, and a local earthquake between 26 and 36 A.D. that was sufficiently energetic to deform the sediments of Ein Gedi but not energetic enough to produce a still extant and extra-biblical historical record.” 

“If the last possibility is true, this would mean that the report of an earthquake in the Gospel of Matthew is a type of allegory,” they write. 
Only to then shut it even more firmly:
Williams is studying yet another possible natural happening associated with the crucifixion — darkness. 

Three of the four canonical gospels report darkness from noon to 3 p.m. after the crucifixion. Such darkness could have been caused by a duststorm, he believes. 

Williams is investigating if there are dust storm deposits in the sediments coincident with the earthquake that took place in the Jerusalem region during the early first century.
Go BACK to studying sedimentary rocks, Mr. Williams, and stay there.