Surely something of that magnitude would have to catch the attention of historians, as Jerusalem even at that time was not a small town by any means, but it didn't. The uproar that it should caused was non-existant according to history outside of the Bible.
History has also already determined that Quirenius was not governor during the time that Luke mentions him. Nor was a census conducted of the Jews at that time.
Neither has the "star" over Bethlehem been documented other than shepherds and wise men seeing it. Almost as if no one but them was supposed to see it. The same with the angel throng that appeared to the shepherds and scared them senseless.
Those are all pretty big things to simply slip into the cracks as if they never happened.
If Herod ordered the execution of all baby boys under age 2, why was it not recorded by secular historians?
The same can be said of the Exodus. There are no records of a massive Jewish migration out of Egypt by Moses. Christians claim, erroneously, that the Egyptians never documented a bad policy and would never document losing thousands of slaves.
Interestingly enough though, maticulous records from granaries show no excessive shortages or surplus, which would support the Exodus story...
It's a book. 5% philosophy, 73% theology, 22% assorted smut and violence. 100% fiction.
Incidentally, for the guy above me, that occurance was off by about 5 years. The phenomenon you are referring to happened BEFORE the birth of Jesus in the historical record.
Reply:blood sacrifice was all to common at that time in the middle east,and was not considered worthwhile news,
indeed the only ones who could have reported it was the Romans and as they had no love of the Jews why indeed would they, no other outside peoples were present at the time either,and don`t forget Herod was a maniacal ruler who would have crushed any locals who spoke of it.
Reply:The star of Bethlehem can by seen using the Skyglobe astronomy program. Set your location to Jerusalem, time 5:00 AM, facing east and check the years between 3BC and 3 AD. There was a conjunction of the planets in the constellation Virgo, the virgin. I think it was in November but I've lost my notes. The conjunction of all the major planets would have looked liked the brightest star ever seen.
Reply:I'm only going to focus on your original question. The rest should be dealt with separately, to give a decent, honest rendering of the facts to each. However, in all of your questions, I believe you are wrong.
Bethelehem (and the surrounding countryside) was, and IS, a small town. I don't mean "small" like Buffalo, NY. I mean SMALL, like those tiny dots on a county map small. We are not dealing with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of infants. Probably not even 100 babies were killed, even if you count all the toddlers. By stretching things a bit, you might come up with 30 deaths! That, and the lack of things like CNN, would have prevented the "great historians" from noticing such an event.
People like that were busy back in Jerusalem, watching King Herod strangle his wives and kill his OWN children. THAT got noticed, even by Caeser. Ceaser (Augustus) is quoted as saying he would rather be a pig in Herod's household than a son in his palace. Herod, under the guise of a "good Jew", would not kill a pig (they were "unclean" animals), but as a "good" politician would not hesitate to strangle his own sons (if he thought they were trying to overthrow him) and wives.
Herod the Great's bloodthirstiness and taste for power are well recorded by the historians of his day. Read Josephus. It wouldn't suprise anybody, then, to hear of him ordering a "hit" on a small town that MIGHT produce a "usurper". It would be entirely in his character.
Reply:It was recorded in the bible, I don't think Herod wanted to stain his image as a good ruler therefore it was not recorded (NOT)
Reply:i dunno..maybe herod couldn't write well
Reply:one thing to keep in mind is that there were no "secular" historians then......there were just historians, period.
Reply:Did not Macrobius and Augustus Caesar mention Herod's order to slay the male children under 2 years of age?
Reply:Science has already proved all this things.
The wise men were following Jupiter and didn't show up in Jerusalem until Jesus was nine months old.
They couldn't tell Herod why they were there because they knew he was looking for Jesus his self so they had to search for Jesus and by then the star lead them south instead of west as it did before.
It's believed the wise men came out of Iran. The planet of Jupiter told them than the Messiah was being born, it was prophesied long before Jesus was born.
The skulls of the three wise men are in a church in Germany. They can tell by their skulls that one is old, one is middle aged and the other is young just as it says in the bible.
Reply:I dont know why the decree of herod as not recorded...maybe it was and is lost...dont know. its recorded in the bible and thats all that matters to me. HOwever the star over bethlehem was not a ordionary star...it was shown to certain people ....
Reply:In this day of information many things still slip past us. Among the many %26amp; vastly devastating events happening to sink the continent of present day Africa, I'm sure many atrocities occurring in out of the way African villages have no documentarian to list the savageries. Also, few people with paper %26amp; pen could list even small parts of the estimated 100million murders of Chinese by the Maoist communists between 1949 %26amp; 1970 as Mao established communism. But that continueing massacre was the worst in all earth history, doubling the murders by Stalin %26amp; Hitler...COMBINED! It is easy to see how 20 or 50 baby murders in a tiny village up in the hills of Judea could go unnoticed, while other massacres, governmental topplings, %26amp; national re-alignments took the forefront of emperor %26amp; kingly attentions...who assign the court documentarians.
Reply:Do we HAVE a complete secular history of that area? Then how can you expect such an independent source to magically appear?
It has been well documented that the 'star' over Bethlehem was in actuality a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Pisces, which LED the wise men to Judea. Herod's records got them the rest of the way in. Astronomers have verified the date as accurate.
Reply:A) What makes you think Rome gave a darn about a little-bitty local purge?
B) What makes you think Herod wanted it recorded? He knew he was being an illegitimate offspring of a pig and a dog. He didn't want future generations wallowing in it.
C) Since the slaughter was confined to Bethlehem, and since Bethlehem probably had fewer than 20 boy children 2 years and under at the time, we ain't exactly talking genocide here.
D) As to the rest, so what. That has no more significance than George Washington chopping down the cherry tree or throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac. It's called literary license and it's a time-honored tradition to make your heros look bigger than life. Where do you get the idea that less than a century after His death and resurrection, any of Jesus' followers really had a clue as to how big He was gonna figure in world civilization? Remember, they were expecting His second coming before they croaked. They were wrong about that too. So what?
Human beings do 2 things exceedingly well. They s***w up and they lie. Why should the Apostles be that different? They didn't stop being human just because they accepted Jesus as Lord. They just got better at controlling the negative aspects.
Reply:The Romans appointed King Herod as King of Judea in 37 BC. Historians agree that in many respects Herod had a hugely successful reign. King Herod, ethnically Arab but a practicing Jew, increased the land he governed from Palestine to parts of modern Jordan, Lebanon and Syria constructing fortresses, aqueducts and amphitheatres and earned him the title 'Herodes Magnus', Herod the Great.
The Romans also gave Herod the title 'King of the Jews' because of the Jewish population he ruled. The title of 'King of the Jews' begins to explain the impression we have of Herod from the Bible. The Bible shapes the popular conception we now have of Herod as a King who was proud of his title and would do anything to keep it. If the soothsayers of the time were correct the birth a new King of the Jews was imminent and threatened Herod's position. In the massacre of newborn babies of Bethlehem so familiar to us through the Nativity story, King Herod is portrayed as a tyrant prepared to kill infants who could eventually challenge him.
However the historical evidence for the event is only Biblical and in fact only one verse in Matthew mentions it. The event is notably absent from the other gospels.
It seems difficult to imagine such a massacre was not mentioned by Josephus, a first-century historian who described other events in Herod's life. One could be a sceptical of Matthew's account of a massacre of infants.
In fact, demographic clues from first century Palestine reveal that Bethlehem was a small village, with a population between three hundred and a thousand. Experts estimate that, at any given time, the number of babies under the age of two would be only between seven and twenty. So numbers alone may be the reason why Josephus does not mention the murders.
Matthew 2:16 tells the story
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Many historians think that Herod's downfall begins with his possessive love for his wife Mariamme. On a political expedition he visits the Roman ruler Octavian in Rhodes and fears for his life (he had previously sided with the defeated Marc Antony). He demands that Mariamme is killed if he doesn't return alive, unable to bear the thought of another man with her.
Later he becomes convinced by his sister that Mariamme is scheming against him and she is put on trial and executed. Despite being responsible for her death, Herod's torment is intolerable. He sees visions of Mariamme. Perhaps in a futile attempt to replace his love for Mariamme, Herod becomes polygamous. The story of Herod becomes more tragic still when for fear of being usurped he executes three of his sons.
Herod's life was one of ruthless political expediency; although the historical evidence for the massacre of infants is exclusively Biblical it appears entirely possible that King Herod was capable of the atrocity.
Reply:First, you are assuming that secular history does not record those events.
The star of Bethlehem appears to have made its appearance at the same time a supernova was recorded in the night sky by several groups including the egyptians, chinese and inca/aztec. I do not recall which galaxy most modern astronomers place the supernova as occuring in. But there is evidence that it did. The magi (or wise men) had the prophecy of one of their members, Balaam, to guide them to Jerusalem.
That a census was not taken during the time of Quirenius, and that he ruled too late has been a common belief since documents in the early 1900s established he was a real person. What they missed is that the Bible says this census was taken the first time he was govenor. We now know the records are from his second term as govenor. So if course he did not do what the Bible said he did during his first term during his second term. Other then a mention that he was governor for two years at the time of Christ;s birth, no other records remain of his first term. But then, no records remain of Julius Caesars wars against the Galliecs, an event that would have had far more historical importance when it happened then another one of the 10 years censuses that were routine in that time period.
Slaughter of the children. Re-read the event in the Bible some time. Herod did not slaughter the children in Jerusalem. He slaughtered the children in a small rural farm community called Bethlehem. So of course there is no record of his killing babies in Jerusalem. It did not happen there.
The angels. Again, several miles outside of town a group of angles appeared to some shepherds in a field. Of course the whole world did not see it - or the whole country - or even the whole town. It id not happen over the whole world, country or town. It happened over one field. And everyone there saw it. It made enough of an impression on them that the Bible says they told the whole town about it. But you are right - only the people who were there at the time saw it. Usually the people who are there are the only ones who see an event.
There historical proof of these events. Four accounts of the life Jesus written by people who know him. But those are rejected because - after all - they were people who knew him, most traveled with him, heard his words themselves, and witnessed his death and ressurrection. So of course, they can not be trusted. You can only trust the account if it is written by someone who didn't know him.
Reply:The earliest extrabiblical reference to the Massacre of the Innocents is by Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, a Roman philosopher of the 4th century. The reference is found in Macrobius’ The Saturnalia:
When Augustus heard that Herod king of the Jews had ordered all the boys in Syria under the age of two years to be put to death and that the king's son was among those killed, he said, "I'd rather be Herod's sow than Herod’s son." -Macrobius, The Saturnalia, trans. Percival Davies (New York 1969), page 171.
Reply:The fact that Herod thought Jesus was at least two years old at that time, proves that when the astrologers went to see him, he was not a babe in a manger as Christendom portrays him. Also, who was guiding the star that led the astrologers to Jesus? It was Satan the Devil, who was counting on the three men to report back to Herod where Jesus was, and that Herod would kill the Son of God. Jehovah God intervened and told the astrologers in a dream, not to report back to Herod, so they went to their own country another way.
Reply:Believe or don't believe. The end of time will sort things out.
Reply:That's the whole point of secularism.People do not hear the stories of the bible simply because atheists,agnostics,and secular humanists have campaigned hard over the years to muffle it down.
When you are in a classroom for world history for instance,your text book is going to talk about everything concerning King Herod except for the dealings with Jesus or anything related to Christianity or religion.That's basically called misinterpretation of the separation of church and state,because people think students shouldn't hear any stories of the bible because they know people will know it's true.It is recorded history,and not just in the bible.Bet you won't hear about Pontius Pilate being the one that ordered the execution of Jesus either.
Everyone thought King Solomon was a myth until they found ruins of his gates.http://www.kingsolomonsgate.com/
Our American students and citizens have a right know anything pertaining to recorded history.It shouldn't matter what it is.
Reply:Didn't even make the tabloids ... Beit Lechem was a small town, and the news media rarely took any notice of what happened there. AND it was the children at Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) that were slaughtered, not in Jerusalem!
History does mention that Quirenius was responsible for TWO different times a Census was taken.
And the killing of Julius Caesar was a BIG thing of the time ... how many existing records are there of reports of it by contemporary historians?
Reply:Because the bible is just a book.
Reply:because it never actually happened, like almost everything else in the bible
Hey, I said ALMOST everything else...cut me some slack you jesushead downthumbers ;) for instance, there are historical records that show Herod existed.