THALLUS AND PHLEGON: SOLAR ECLIPSE IN JERUSALEM c. 33 CE?

N P L Allen

Abstract


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historical references to either Thallus or Phlegon, they tell the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.


Keywords


Thallus; Phlegon; Jesus of Nazareth

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/63-0-975

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