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Saturday, April 03, 2021

The darkness of Golgotha

It is common for modern atheists to claim that neither science nor history has detected any sign of the Biblical account of Jesus Christ. But only those who are ignorant of both can make the assertion with a straight face.

It is certainly interesting to observe how even ancient man was trying to explain away supernatural events with natural ones—a hobby often taken up in our modern day. Returning to ancient Greece, we can read from Pseudo-Dionysus in a letter to Polycarp:

Then ask him: “What have you to say about the Solar Eclipse, which occurred when the Savior was put on the cross? At the time the two of us were in Heliopolis and we both witnessed the extraordinary phenomenon of the moon hiding the sun at the time that was out of season for their coming together… We saw the moon begin to hide the sun from the east, travel across to the other side of the sun, and return on its path so that the hiding and the restoration of the light did not take place in the same direction but rather in diametrically opposite directions…”

In 1457, Lorenzo Valla would ridicule this notion that Christ’s crucifixion was caused by an eclipse. In our modern day, NASA and astronomers worldwide would solidify Valla’s position, pointing to the fact that no projection of the ancient past shows an eclipse at that time. And yet it happened. Ancient man was witnessing a global supernatural occurrence.

If we jump to 52 AD, we can read a Greek secular historian named Thallus who recorded the following:

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1

This quote of one of Thallus’ lost writings was by Julius Africanus, who was writing about the event around 221 AD. Africanus also discusses another ancient who bore testimony to the darkness of Christ’s crucifixion:

“Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth to the ninth hour; it is clear that this is the one. But what have eclipses to do with an earthquake, rocks breaking apart, resurrection of the dead, and a universal disturbance of this nature?”

Ibid

This very same Phlegon is also quoted in Eusebius’ The Chronological Canons:

“However in the fourth year of the 202nd olympiad, an eclipse of the sun happened, greater and more excellent than any that had happened before it; at the sixth hour, day turned into dark night, so that the stars were seen in the sky, and an earthquake in Bithynia toppled many buildings of the city of Nicaea.” 

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45 Comments:

Blogger Mr Traumaboyy April 03, 2021 5:46 PM  

Just discussing tomorrow being Easter with one of my Alzheimers patients...she has literally zero short term memory....she smiled and said...HE IS ALIVE!!! Thank You JESUS!!

Blogger Paddy J S April 03, 2021 5:53 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger rumpole5 April 03, 2021 6:02 PM  

I am so glad that you brought this up. In the last few years I had learned about the historical support for the darkness at Jesus' crucifixion, but due to the many lies fed to, many of my generation and beyondb they believe that faith in Jesus Christ is unsupported superstition when, in truth, the Jewish and Christian faiths are the only ones founded in historical fact. The miracles of Fatima and our Lady of Gaudalupe are also rather persuasive to the validity of the Christian faith when one explores their facts.

Blogger James Fox Higgins April 03, 2021 6:06 PM  

Praise God! I believe He can do it, I’ve experienced enough tiny miracles to know His power. And if not at the culmination of the battle between life and death, which on our temporal plane occurred at Golgotha with the Son of God on the Cross, then when?

Popcorn at the ready for the eschaton, but breath not held!

Blogger CM April 03, 2021 6:44 PM  

How is it that history and religious classes in college and years of study and curiosity I have never heard of these?

I knew historians overwhelmingly affirm the historicity of Jesus, his ministry, and the account of his death. They even acknowledge the historicity of the witnesses post resurrection.

But to hear these accounts is something else entirely. I thought the only historical record they had was Josephus.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer April 03, 2021 6:51 PM  

I have seen a video recently of a biblical scholar giving a lecture stating that in the 70s you would get laughed out of academia if you stated that Christ was a real, historical personage. However, the consensus now is that not only did Christ exist, he appeared to his followers after his crucifixion. So now the "argument" is on how that could happen.

Blogger Rick April 03, 2021 6:53 PM  

“so that the stars were seen in the sky,”

This sounds like one of those things that Vox was talking about last night about how you can tell a real conversation from a made up one.
This sounds real to me as my understanding is that “back then” people thought the stars “came out” at night and were not actually in the sky overhead during the day.

Blogger Rick April 03, 2021 7:00 PM  

Thanks for sharing these. I wasn’t aware of them.
I know there are something like 4 extra-biblical accounts of Jesus as a real person. And to have any at all means he was of some import to these other historical writers to make mention of him.

Blogger pyrrhus April 03, 2021 7:44 PM  

Both Tacitus and Flavius Josephus mention the proceedings against Jesus, and his death...and that's just off the top of my head

Blogger Axe April 03, 2021 8:05 PM  

Thank you for this Vox. While I live by faith, I love reading contemporary accounts of our Lord and His work on the cross for us. This was very encouraging.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 April 03, 2021 8:53 PM  

I misread the bit from Thallus originally - I thought Julius Africanus was writing his own version of the events drawn from texts he had access to in 221 AD, instead of relaying a period text he found.

That said, this doesn't read as a normal solar eclipse being described, so it not fitting with the existing solar models isn't a dealbreaker.

Also, I've never heard the claim that the Crucifixtion was *caused* by an eclipse, as opposed to them occurring concurrently.

Blogger Mother Effingby April 03, 2021 9:03 PM  

The only thing that changes is the history you discover.

Blogger Pathfinderlight April 03, 2021 9:15 PM  

Scientists discounting the observations of non-scientists is commonplace. Rather than taking these accounts at face value, or seek corroborating sources, they dismiss this evidence out of hand.

My favorite example of this kind of hubris was the "discovery" of Hoodia by scientists after being introduced to it by the Khoisan people of South Africa.

Blogger Hammerli 280 April 03, 2021 9:32 PM  

I recollect reading Will Durant's volume on this period...he argued there was as much evidence for Christ as for Julius Caesar. Nobody disputes the existence of Caesar.

Blogger basementhomebrewer April 03, 2021 9:39 PM  

When you take the signs at Jesus's death and factor in the likelihood Saul was there , you start to wonder about the road to Damascus experience.

Having the shroud tear, faithful dead flood your holy city and witness for Christ and the earthquakes and darkness at his death and not change your mind? Did Jesus smack him around more in that experience than he lets on?

Blogger Jacq April 03, 2021 10:00 PM  

The Jews knew for damn sure the Messiah had come, but rejected the cornerstone and decided to Tikkan Olam. Wherefore their religion is appropriately called “Judaïsm,” which is to say: Tribalisticself-worship.

“In the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE), the Jewish people began writing two versions of Jewish thought, religious history and commentary. One was written in Palestine and became known as the Jerusalem Talmud. The other was written in Babylon and was known as the Babylonian Talmud.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open" (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE]
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
"Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).

Blogger Jacq April 03, 2021 10:00 PM  

In the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE), the Jewish people began writing two versions of Jewish thought, religious history and commentary. One was written in Palestine and became known as the Jerusalem Talmud. [see special endnote at the end of this article concerning the Talmud] The other was written in Babylon and was known as the Babylonian Talmud.
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open" (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE]
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
"Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).

Blogger teemac April 03, 2021 10:09 PM  

wow, this is great information. why didnt i know of these accounts. doesnt change my faith but does put a little`of course` in my step.

Blogger Unknown April 03, 2021 10:42 PM  

The Edomites dun fucked up BIG TIME and they damn well know it. All their conspiracy and subterfuge and millennia of propaganda and rape don't amount to even an atom of what is in store for them. Hope they have asbestos suits stored up!

Blogger Jose Miguel April 03, 2021 10:58 PM  

@5 CM

Look up the Ante-Nicean fathers for plenty of collobarating stuff. Dionysus, a student of Paul's, is one of my favorites.

Blogger Bunnyknows April 03, 2021 11:27 PM  

Thank you for sharing that. Happy Easter.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 04, 2021 12:01 AM  

The idea that the evangelists could write of things that never happened, that would have been within living memory, and persuade anybody to join them is ludicrous on it's face.
It's one thing for the disappointed Millerites to claim with a straight face that "Christ DID return, we just were looking in the wrong place." It's another to claim "And then on the 8th of May, 1971, a nuclear bomb leveled New York City." They are different classes of events. Particularly things like earthquakes knocking down building, the dead rising from the graves, and the curtain of the Holy of Holies in the Temple being rent in two.
They'd have been called out as demented liars immediately, and consigned to the dustbin of failed cults.

Blogger Smee April 04, 2021 12:30 AM  



@ 1
my MIL was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
she was always a pleasant soul. perfectly supportive, always.
when she progressed, she took on a different tone.
she spoke freely of the Lord, albeit in terms easy to understand, and in a matter-of-fact manner.
I was truly amazed by this.
but am encouraged at the same time.
there truly is more.

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz April 04, 2021 12:38 AM  

Today's historians claims that at last 50% documents available to them from as far as the Baroque era are falsified. Even including those confirmed by other soirces.
In other words: believing a historian is beliving a coin flip.

Blogger Dan Karelian April 04, 2021 12:41 AM  

Saint Dionysius, whom the Church holds to be one person and one person only, is a great apologist precisely against Neoplatonism. But unfortunately he too accepted certain pagan Hellenic presuppositions with respect to astronomy, as opposed to, say, Saint John Chrysostom, who took a more biblical view.

The Moon is not the object eclipsing the Sun any more than the Earth is the object eclipsing the Moon. That is observable by the Selenelion, which typically does not display any unusual distorting of the Moon. Nevermind that unlike refraction, this type of eclipse is predictable to the day.

The long day of Joshua is another testament to the fact that we do not live in the cosmology perpetuated by the Freemasons and Jesuits.

Blogger John Rockwell April 04, 2021 12:48 AM  

In the 3 hours of Darkness. Christ had all of Divine Wrath poured out upon him.

Its equivalent to being thrown into the lake of Fire and being punished for all our sins.

After enduring endless horror and torment. Jesus Christ proclaimed:"It is Finished" then gave up the ghost.

Blogger cyrus83 April 04, 2021 12:51 AM  

Even if the atheists had witnessed the darkness, most would not have believed. It is much the same as the Pharisees, who presented with signs that pointed to Jesus being God concluded that they were dealing with a devil and a blasphemer.

Blogger VFM #7634 April 04, 2021 1:18 AM  

The "eclipse" at Golgotha was for three hours... many times longer than an actual solar eclipse. It wasn't necessarily caused by the new moon, but a direct miracle. (If only someone could have reported seeing the moon elsewhere in the sky at the time it happened...)

Also, an actual total solar eclipse is more like twilight, rather soft and still seeming like semi-daytime. It looks like the sun has just set, but with the weird effect of the silvery corona hanging in the sky.

Blogger Damn Crackers April 04, 2021 1:19 AM  

I'm not denying these historical quotations, but wasn't Pseudo-Dionysus a 5th/6th century AD/CE Century figure? So, how could he communicate with a 1st/2nd century AD/CE saint like Polycarp?

Blogger ezra April 04, 2021 3:39 AM  

Thanks Brother. Christ is above all things. It's not long now until no one can deny Him.

Blogger Catchthefox April 04, 2021 4:33 AM  

glory be to the Lord

Blogger The Child April 04, 2021 5:18 AM  

I never knew there were historical records of these events. Thanks for sharing this, will be useful to counter dumb atheists on yt for sure.
It was interesting to see that it happened on a full moon too, as we would have expected that, as passover was on the 14th of the month (moon cycle), so the middle of the month would have been full moon.

You may find this article interesting, on the new year, first new moon after spring equinox:

http://www.hope-of-israel.org/1stmonth.htm

It also hammers the judaists crazy floating metonic cycle.
Praise God for the power of His hand, let the light shine forth into darkness.
Bless you Vox.

Blogger yoghi.llama April 04, 2021 6:17 AM  

It all sounds good, but still, 200 years is one heck of a long time to draw a doodle.

https://twitter.com/holland_tom/status/1377885242820849665

It doesn't mesh.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer April 04, 2021 7:54 AM  

Here is a link to the lecture concerning Christ's resurrection. It is one hour and twenty minutes long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay_Db4RwZ_M

Blogger Magnifico April 04, 2021 8:29 AM  

And it's AD not CE. Use our language, not (((theirs))).

Blogger Pratisara April 04, 2021 9:06 AM  

I have met people who have friends in very high places and hence have been taken to Jesus's grave in Kashmir state of India. The location is an extremely guarded secret. Where do you think important dignitaries, including Bush, Clinton, Trump, disappear off to for a couple of hours from Delhi during their diplomatic visit?

Happy Easter!

Blogger Jose Miguel April 04, 2021 9:28 AM  

@Damn Crackers

In the Dyptychs Dionysus is listed as the first Bishop of Athens. In an attmept to discredit this 1st century writer, some Germans claimed his stuff was written by someone else in the 5th/6th century.

Of the six claims given for his writings being of a later date, most are either proven false easily or are spurious:
1 they claim Dionysus alludes to creeds in the liturgy, which the Germans claimed it had to be after the Council of Nicaea. The problem with that is there were many creeds before "standardization" was done at Nicaea that were used in liturgies.

2 They claim the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy was written no earlier than the 6th century because of it's teachings on angels, yet anyone who has served the 4th century Divine liturgies of St John Chrysostom or St Basil, or the 1st century liturgies of St John Mark or St James would know that what St Dionysus wrote is in these liturgies during the preparation of the host.

3 He didn't use standardized Christological language, so the Higher Critics claim he must have written it after the Henoticon of Zeno but before its repeal. The other more obvious conclusion historically would be that he wrote down stuff about Christ before terminology was standardized at Chalcedon, but that doesn't give the higher critics what they want.

4 They claim the earliest reference to St Dionysus' work is in 528 AD, but as pointed out before, it's in all the early liturgies, but that goes against what they want to believe.

5 They claim St Dionysus wrote things that were almost word for word like the 5th century philosopher Proclus. Why couldn't it have been the other way around?

In short, if one is to reject the oral history and the liturgical practice from Britain to Ethiopia to India, and assume the other two bits of evidence that could be a later or earlier date both must be later, one should consistently believe that Alexandwr the Great does not also exist but was a fiction, since his story was passed down orally and through religious rites practiced throughout his former empire, with no attestation of a contemporary writing.

Blogger Cultured April 04, 2021 9:41 AM  

Amen and amen.

Blogger Canada78Bear April 04, 2021 10:08 AM  

Still more proof of existence than heliocentrical Earth model, and I considered a minor in astronomy.

Blogger Lando April 04, 2021 9:13 PM  

It's hilarious to me that anyone can make a statement such as "Jesus didn't exist". There's plenty of documented evidence, which is why the mass media goes insane in trying to disprove that He doesn't exist.

Anyone using 'CE' should be horsewhipped. It is AD, Anno Domini, Year of Our Lord like it or not.

Blogger Pax_Romana April 04, 2021 11:36 PM  

@17 I had never heard about the Yom Kippur sacrifice not turning white. I googled it, and the first result (of course) was a Rabbi denying it had anything to do with Christianity, but - in the most unconvincing terms - proceeded to waste 4,000+ words explaining why it was a gradual decline of holiness that lead to the miracles fading away.

Long story short: he argued from a position of bias, ignoring facts and touting the same party line that his forefathers did, 2000 years ago.

Caiaphas would have been proud.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 05, 2021 7:02 AM  

"It was interesting to see that it happened on a full moon too"

Particularly since a full moon means that the Moon is on very nearly the opposite side of the earth from the Sun. The least zany means of it coming into alignment between the Earth and Sun at that time would mean that it was moved nearly 180 degrees around the Earth in a day or less where it normally takes at least thirteen days to orbit that distance.

Just as amazing, according to Pseudo-Dionysius, the Moon reversed course during or immediately after the eclipse... full 180 reversal of direction in order to get back to where it was supposed to be.

Blogger Alexei April 05, 2021 7:34 PM  

Given that, I'd presume it wasn't the moon covering the sun but God's hand otherwise incarnated. Otherwise there would be accounts of extraordinary tidal effects as well as the others.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 06, 2021 7:49 AM  

"Given that, I'd presume it wasn't the moon covering the sun but God's hand otherwise incarnated. Otherwise there would be accounts of extraordinary tidal effects as well as the others."

Tidal effects might easily account for the earthquakes. If you mean tidal as of water, it would depend on how fast the Moon was moved around into position. If the Moon was moved around fast enough, the water wouldn't have time to fully respond to its new location, so the effects there might be minimal, or otherwise attributed to the earthquakes.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch April 07, 2021 9:22 PM  

The moon came up in a bloody eclipse, just as the sun went down on the western horizon.

https://forge-and-anvil.com/2021/04/07/part-5-the-blood-moon-eclipse-of-christs-crucifixion/

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