n Akroterion - Thallus and Phlegon : solar eclipse in Jerusalem c. 33 CE?

Volume 63 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1896
  • E-ISSN: 2079-2883
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The current investigation explores whether Thallus and Phlegon can continue to have relevance to the current historical Jesus debate. To assist in this process, apart from pertinent input from a range of contemporary scholars, the often quoted reference to an assumed solar eclipse that occurred at the time of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion is critically examined in the light of current astronomical knowledge. The findings reveal the more likely historical context that is often overlooked by many scholars. As a result, only one conclusion is possible, namely any account of a total solar eclipse at any time during any activity in or around Jerusalem between 23 CE and 43 CE would have to be entirely and undeniably fictitious. In addition, even if one is naïve enough to countenance supposedly historical references to either Thallus or Phlegon, they tell the historian nothing that can authenticate either the life or ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

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