02 Mar 2013 
#59 About the order of Theudas & Judas of Galilee in 'Acts of apostles' as reversed of the one in Josephus' Antiquities

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About Theudas and Judas reversed in 'Acts', Richard Carrier wrote:
"When Luke brings up Theudas and Judas in the same speech [Ac 5:36-37], he reverses the correct order [agreed], having Theudas appear first, even though that does not fit what Josephus reports--indeed, Josephus places Theudas as much as fifteen years after the dramatic time in which Luke even has him mentioned. That Luke should be forced to use a rebel leader before his time is best explained by the fact that he needed someone to mention, and Josephus, his likely source, only details three distinct movements (though he goes into the rebel relatives of Judas, they are all associated with Judas). And when Josephus mentions Theudas, he immediately follows with a description of the fate of the sons of Judas (JA 20.97-102) and uses the occasion to recap the actions of Judas himself (associating him with the census, as Acts does). Thus, that Luke should repeat this very same incorrect sequence, which makes sense in Josephus but not in Acts, is a signature of borrowing. Further evidence is afforded here by similar vocabulary: both use the words aphistêmi "incited" and laos "the people.""

The passage referred by Carrier is Ant., XX, V, 1-2a:
"NOW it came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it; and many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them; who, falling upon them unexpectedly, slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem. This was what befell the Jews in the time of Cuspius Fadus's government. Then came Tiberius Alexander as successor to Fadus; ... [about 90 words here not quoted]. And besides this, the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book [Ant., XVIII, I, 1]. The names of those sons were James and Simon, whom Alexander commanded to be crucified."

If "Luke" ever read that, how could this Theudas' incident be NOT noticed as happening during Fadus' rule (44-46 CE)?
Furthermore, its narration appears within the proper chronological "niche" and two books after the initial description of Judas' revolt & the summary of Pilate's government. And "Luke" knew Judas rebelled during the census (Ac 5:37) (likely from Josephus' Wars, II, VIII, 1), which the author placed around the time of Jesus' birth, several decades before Fadus.
And "Luke" would have missed the next paragraph being about Judas' sons (with a flash back on Judas' story) and the mention of Alexander's tenure (46-48 CE)! For any browser, that's a lot of atomistic  tunnel vision on selected words ('Theudas, 'Judas'), and without seeing their immediate textual context!

Let's also note "Luke" described the Theudas' episode with significant differences as compared with Josephus' account in 'Antiquities' (published 93 CE):
Ac 5:36 Darby "for before these days Theudas rose up, alleging himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, were joined; who was slain, and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed and came to nothing."
Here "Luke" had the followers numbering four hundred (which is not in Josephus' Antiquities), and said all of them were able to disperse (which is not according to Josephus' work). 
And, as Carrier noticed, "Josephus places Theudas as much as fifteen years after the dramatic time in which Luke even has him mentioned", that is "Luke" had the Theudas' event much earlier than Josephus.

Therefore I find Carrier's argument rather preposterous. And mainly considering the very clear location in time of Theudas' story in Josephus' Antiquities (hard to miss!), Luke's knowledge of the Judas' revolt happening much earlier and the dissimilar accounts, it is most likely "Luke" never knew about Ant., XX, V, 1-2a. Actually, if the author had just browsed through it, one more mistake would have been avoided (Judas, then Theudas).

What about 'aphistêmi' "incited" and 'laos' "the people"?
It happens these two words were very much used in Luke's works:
'aphistemi': gMark=20, gMatthew=6, gJohn=8, gLuke=27, 'Acts'=43
'laos': gMark=2, gMatthew=15, gJohn=3, gLuke=36, 'Acts'=47

Note: because Theudas does not appear in 'Wars', so again "Luke" must have got the name from another source. And it is undeniable "Luke" had other (sometimes dubious) historical accounts. For example:
- Iturea, an area in the northern mountains of Lebanon, was not part of Philip's tetrarchy. As I explained earlier (on this webpage), "Luke" probably did not browse over the whole or parts of Chapters VI & VII of Book II in Josephus' Wars, where it is written "... but Batanea, and Trachonitis, and Auranitis, ... were made subject to Philip"
- "Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene", during Pilate's rule over Judea.
These do not appear in Josephus' works.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Acts of the apostles} {Carrier} {dating} {Josephus}
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