THALLUS AND PHLEGON: SOLAR ECLIPSE IN JERUSALEM c. 33 CE?
AbstractThe current investigation explores whether Thallus and Phlegon cancontinue to have relevance to the current historical Jesus debate.To assist in this process, apart from pertinent input from a range ofcontemporary scholars, the often quoted reference to an assumedsolar eclipse that occurred at the time of Jesus of Nazareth’scrucifixion is critically examined in the light of current astronomicalknowledge. The findings reveal the more likely historical contextthat is often overlooked by many scholars. As a result, only oneconclusion is possible, namely any account of a total solar eclipse atany time during any activity in or around Jerusalem between 23 CEand 43 CE would have to be entirely and undeniably fictitious.In addition, even if one is naïve enough to countenance supposedlyhistorical references to either Thallus or Phlegon, they tell thehistorian nothing that can authenticate either the life or ministry ofJesus of Nazareth.
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