Showing posts with label Chronology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chronology. Show all posts

Friday, July 27, 2018

In What Year Did Herod Die?

Luke was right after all.
by Ruggero Sangalli
One of the frequently quoted historical reference points for chronologicalizing the events reported in the Gospel concerns the year of the death of King Herod the Great: the year 4 BC, at least according to many authors.
Herod the Great
Herod the Great
This year we owe to the writings of Flavius ​​Josephus, who, however, never expressly names them. It is derived from the reigns of Archelaus, Philippos and Antipas, the heirs of Herod. But Flavius ​​Josephus himself provides at least a dozen clues that contradict and render the year useless as Herod's year of death. For example, it was not uncommon to reckon with the successor's reigning years as well as the time when the office was held, but the old king was still alive.
Amazingly, many writers today write that "Herod certainly died in the year 4 BC." They do so with such confidence in Flavius ​​Josephus that they simply ignore many other of his statements, which are much more precise. Flavius ​​Josephus wrote that Herod died at the age of seventy. Similarly, at the age of just 15, Herod was appointed by his father Antipater to be the administrator of Galilee, after he had come to power from Pompey, after the Romans conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC.
We also know that at the time of the Battle of Actium, in September 31 BC, Herod was in the seventh year of his kingship. According to Jewish Antiquities, his reign lasted 37 years, 30 to 31 years after the Battle of Actium. We know that Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign, after the visit of Emperor Augustus to Syria, for which the Roman historians handed down to us the year 19 BC, resolved to rebuild the temple (the 15th year of his reign, according to the records) in the History of the Jewish War , in which Herod's reign is given as 34 years). In short, in the year 4 BC, Herod was still alive.

Astronomy gives justice to the Evangelist Luke

Astronomy is also in this case an effective tool for determining the timing of historical events. It provides both Flavius ​​Josephus as a historian, and Luke as an evangelist justice, but to the detriment of many modern authors. Flavius ​​Josephus wrote that Herod died about two weeks after a spectacular lunar eclipse and that his funeral took place before the subsequent Jewish Passover. The records of NASA allow us to calculate the exact date of the lunar eclipses of that time and eliminate those that were invisible in Palestine.
Those who insist that Herod died in the year 4 BC look at the darkness of March 13 (according to the Julian calendar) of that year. At that time the 14th Nisan fell on the 12th of April, so 29 days later. After all, however, what Flavius ​​Josephus reports for that period, the time span is too short to be that date. An often overlooked detail: the 13th of March would have been the 14th Adar, a feast day (Purim) associated with the 13th Adar, the day of Nicanor, a feast day since the times of the Maccabees.
Flavius ​​Josephus testifies that just a few days before, two rabbis had instigated an anti-Roman uprising, destroying the gilded eagle that Herod had placed on the outside of the Jerusalem temple. For security reasons, Herodes preferred to bring the two rabbis outside Jericho to Jerusalem, where he was in the spa to heal his physical ailments. He had them burned alive on the very day of darkness ( Jewish Antiquities , chapter XXVII).
Flavius ​​Josephus, The Jewish War
Considering the great respect of the Jews for holy days, which Herod always kept disparaging, but no court could have been found, not even an unlawful one, to pass a verdict on a religious feast (Est 9,17--18), let alone against two well-known rabbis. The entire population would have been scandalized about it. However, Flavius ​​Josephus reported that it was not just any court, but the Highest Court of the Jews, the right-wingers par excellence. He also recalled that Archelaos (co-regent of Antipas and Philippos since the year 4 BC), because of the persistent criticism of the judgment, expressly justified that it was done "in accordance with the law." Even with Jesus, the "law" endeavored to accelerate his execution so that no feast day would be profaned.
The 14th Adar may not have been the date of the lunar eclipse and therefore it is not the year 4 BC that interests us. Herod, an Idumaean, would not have had two rabbis burned on a day when Haman was burned according to the ancient tradition of the Purim festival.
If there are any doubts: Flavius ​​Josephus lists for the period after this "impossible execution" and before the Passover, a series of events that occurred before Herod's death (which occurred about two weeks after the lunar eclipse). However, the dates are incompatible with the few missing days until the 14th Nisan.
So it must have been another lunar eclipse. According to NASA directory, two especially would be in question. The first occurred on the 10th of January of the year 1 before Christ, the second on the 29th of December of the same year. In both cases there would be sufficient time to accommodate all the events that Flavius ​​Josephus mentions between the darkness and the subsequent Passover. A Jewish document, Megillat Taanith, which dates back to the destruction of the temple in the year 70 AD, has been handed down to us. The scrolls contain a list of Jewish festivals. In it are two dates without further information, on which it was forbidden not to celebrate: one is the 7th Kislev, the other of the 2 Shevat.
M. Moise Schwab, through a detailed and intricate study in the 2nd Shevat, pinpointed the death of Herod, exactly two weeks after the lunar eclipse of December 29, the 14th of January of the year 1 AD, according to today's calendar. The lunar eclipse came exactly at dusk, so that everyone could see it. Herod, born 70 BC, ruler since the year 37 BC, was 70 years old, and had ruled 37 years according to the specifications of the Jewish Antiquities. Jesus was born about a year before, at the end of the year 2 BC. Everything fits, at least for those who are willing to take a close look.
Text: Ruggero Sangalli / NBQ
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Pictures: Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict and the SSPX: A Chronology

Edit: for the record from, Germany’s SSPX website.

Pope Benedict resigns. A sensational report from Rome, special programs, reports, recaps: The issue is all the rage. Never since Celestine V in 1294, a pope has resigned. [Gregory XII]

The pontificate was marked by Benedict's attempt to find a canonical solution for the SSPX. Already in 2009, the pontiff had withdrawn the unjust Excommunication against the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.

Unjust because Archbishop Lefebvre did not wish to split with the consecration, but wanted to save the tradition. has summarized all the stages of the talks between Pope Benedict and the SSPX, which began in 2005

(Photo: Pope Benedict and Father Franz Schmidberger at a general audience in Rome)

2005: Bishop Fellay welcomed the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope as a "ray of hope". End of August, Bishop Fellay of Benedict XVI. received in audience. The conversation showed, according to the Vatican, the "desire to arrive at a perfect communion.”

July 2007: Benedict XVI. allowed in the letter " Summorum Pontificum "that Masses may be celebrated everywhere according to the rite of 1962. This is now called "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.”

15th December 2008: In a letter to "Ecclesia Dei" Fellay asks for the remission of the excommunication on behalf of the four bishops. He assures the recognition of papal primacy and the acceptance of the Magisterium of the Pope.

21st January 2009: By decree the Congregation for Bishops lifts the excommunication of the four Bishops Bernard Fellay, Alfonso de Gallareta, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Richard Williamson.

24th January 2009: The Vatican shares the remission of the excommunication in a formal communication. Almost simultaneously, a Swedish TV interview is made known in which Williamson denied the existence of gas chambers. ( Opinion of the district )

10th March 2009: Benedict XVI. wrote to all the bishops of the universal Church. In it, he admits technical mistakes of the Curia in the Williamson affair, he also reiterated its intention to integrate the SSPX back into the Catholic Church.

8th July 2009: Benedict XVI. binds the Commission "Ecclesia Dei" closely to the CDF and he invites the SSPX  to regular discussions about doctrinal issues in Rome.  The decision on the results remain subject to the Pope.

26th October 2009: At the headquarters of the Congregation in Rome beginning theological discussions in a "cordial, respectful and constructive atmosphere". For the Holy See, representatives of the CDF and the Commission "Ecclesia Dei” take part, followed by ten more meetings. For an interview,  read the interview with Bishop Fellay

14th September 2011: The Vatican puts a “Doctrinal Statement” before the leadership of the SSPX on basic beliefs of the Catholic Church for signature. In case the Brotherhood agrees, discussions on legal and structural issues of integration could be included.  ( asked the Superior General in Rome )

7th October 2011: On the Feast of the Holy  Rosary the meeting of the Superiors of the Society of St. Pius X.  begins in Albano (Rome). The 30 priests discuss the "Doctrinal Statement” presented by Rome.

12th December 2011: Father Franz Schmidberger, presented on behalf of Bishop Fellay, the answer to the "Doctrinal Statement”.

Jan. 2012: Bishop Fellay of the CDF receives a further explanatory extension letter.

16th March 2012: The Superior General meets with the Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada. The offer extended to the Society  "is not enough to overcome the doctrinal problems," said the written reply of the Cardinal. Rome expected a renewed statement from the SSPX in a month. (For the Vatican press Communiquée )

15th April: Renewed response from Bishop Fellay. The Press Office of the Vatican confirmed receipt of the response as follows: "The text of the response of HE Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, who was at the meeting of March 16, 2012 called for the Offices of the Congregation is arrived yesterday, April 17, 2012. This response is checked by the dicastery and is then submitted to the judgment of the Holy See." (Rome, 18.4. 2012)

13th June: The Superior General and his first assistant (Father Pfluger) come to Rome to accept the response of the CDF. There is a two-hour meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Levada. Bishop Fellay explained again his answer as “Declaration doctrinale" [declaration of faith]. During the discussions, the deep gap in teaching (Arrangement of the New Mass, controversial points of Vatican II) was addressed again. A continuation of the theological conversations is formulated as a possibility. In addition, the Superior General is presented with a concept for the recognition of the Fraternity of St. Pius X as a "personal prelature."

26th June 2012: Pope Benedict appoints a new contact for the SSPX: The Italian-American Curial Archbishop, Joseph Augustine Di Noia, was appointed Vice President for the Vatican Commission "Ecclesia Dei", and will continue on behalf of the President of "Ecclesia Dei", the prefect of the Congregation , to coordinate unification efforts with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X .

Second July 2012: Pope appoints Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller to the Roman Curia, and appoints him as the successor to William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission. Thus Bishop Muller is the negotiator for talks with the SSPX.

9th - 14 July 2012: At the mother house of Ecône (Switzerland)the General Chapter of the Brotherhood is convened to the focus on the talks with Rome. The tenor is clear that the "Doctrinal Statement" can not be signed without further ado. The General Chapter shall adopt a "Declaration of Principles ".

19th July 2012: Rome recognized the receipt of the Declaration of Principles , It doesn’t see an acceptable response to the Doctrinal Clarification: "The Holy See has taken note of the Declaration, but remains in anticipation of the announced official release of the SSPX regarding the continuation of the dialogue between the Society and the Pontifical commission 'Ecclesia Dei'. " Opinion of the Vatican )

18th September: Father Schmidberger gives an interview for the current situation with Rome.

4th October 2012: Bishop Williamson is expelled from the Society. The General House justified the step in an official statement : "HE Bishop Richard Williamson has removed himself for several years from the leadership and direction of the Society, and refused to offer the respect and obedience which he owes his lawful superiors."

4th February 2013: Archbishop Müller puts pressure on the SSPX. In an interview with Die [very anti-CatholicWelt , he announces, "We will not wait forever,” 

Die Welt:. How will you continue the process of reconciliation with the estranged Pius brothers. 

Müller:.. "Easy and hard. The CDF has presented the Society with the Doctrinal Preamble which  includes nothing but the totality of the Catholic faith, where the Pope is legitimately entitled to the finally binding teaching authority.  It has been given no response so far.  We are waiting but not forever. “ [++Mueller has lied about representing the Pope’s will before.]

11th February 2013: Pope Benedict announces his resignation.

How will continue the negotiations? Will the new pontiff be open to the concerns of the Tradition?  Will he protect what Benedict has already accomplished?

The General House of the SSPX has issued statement on the resignation of the Pope and thanks him for his courage and steadfastness. The Superior General, Bishop Fellay calls for prayer for a pope who renews all things in Christ.