Tacitus use the title "procurator" - does that mean he's unreliable?


#1

In his work Annales Tacitus gives Ponitus Pilatus the title “procurator”. Today we know that Pilate’s title was “prefect” because of a limestone inscription.

I’ve been discussing with som atheists, and they claim that Tacitus does not offer reliable proof to the existance of Jesus. They say that because of the error “procurator”, Tacitus may only have based his information on Christian rumours.

This contradicts the opinion that Tacitus was a highly sceptical historian, but they can’t get over the procurator-error.

Any ideas on why Tacitus used “procurator”? If he had access to the Roman archives, would he not have used the correct title “prefect”?

It would mean a lot for me to be able to answer this question. My faith would not be shattered if there aren’t any answers, but a lot of people in surch of Christ are joining the sceptics as they conclude that the evidence is insuffient. An that is just heartbraking!

(If you see any funny errors in my spelling, please ignore it.:wink: English is not my mother tongue)

Thanks,

Esmeralda


#2

[quote=Esmeralda]In his work Annales Tacitus gives Ponitus Pilatus the title “procurator”. Today we know that Pilate’s title was “prefect” because of a limestone inscription.

I’ve been discussing with som atheists, and they claim that Tacitus does not offer reliable proof to the existance of Jesus. They say that because of the error “procurator”, Tacitus may only have based his information on Christian rumours.
[/quote]

That is probably one of the silliest things I’ve read in a while.

Pontius Pilate could have had both titles. Both were awarded to minor administrations from the equestrian class, which certainly included Pilate. To a certain extent, the two titles were even interchangeable as their duties weren’t terribly different. It may also be that Pilate’s original title was procurator, which was later changed to prefect by Tiberius Caesar.

But let’s say that Tacitus made an error. So? The historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth is beyond dispute. No credible historian works on the thesis that the Jesus of Nazareth never lived.

– Mark L. Chance.


#3

Thank you!

I have tried to explain some of this to them, but they will not hear of it. They cannot understand why Tacitus would write procurator, when prefect was a “better” title. I will try your arguments, however, they are certainly good.
Are there any examples of someone holding both titles? Or of someone having their titles changed? In case there is - where? (I’m sure they are going to ask for further proof.)

Also, they do not acknowledge the fact that the historical existance of Jesus is beyond dispute, because there are no written accounts of his existance within his lifetime.

I think that is the main issue.

Again, thank you! :thumbsup:


#4

[quote=Esmeralda]Are there any examples of someone holding both titles? Or of someone having their titles changed? In case there is - where? (I’m sure they are going to ask for further proof.)
[/quote]

There are plenty of examples. Any Roman who was elevated had his title changed. Like, for example, Pilate when he became governor of Judea. Emperors often had more than one title. Quirinius, mentioned in Luke’s Gospel, had his title changed at least once. If I didn’t have to get up to go to work, I could give you more info about Quirinius.

[quote=Esmerelda]Also, they do not acknowledge the fact that the historical existance of Jesus is beyond dispute, because there are no written accounts of his existance within his lifetime.
[/quote]

Then they’re fools, and you’re best not talking with them. You can’t be rational with the irrational.

It bears repeating: No credible historian doubts Jesus of Nazareth really lived. Those historians closest to Jesus’ day and age didn’t doubt that he had lived either.

– Mark L. Chance.


#5

Ha-ha! Not talking to them. That’s a good one! Not talking to an atheist is impossible where I come from :smiley:
But to be serious, I see your point. Arguing doesn’t accomplish much.

I’ll browse the web for info on Quinirius, and check out the library.

Esmeralda


#6

GW has held the title of governor, and of President, and I don’t know what else. If a future historian finds a plaque in a state building in Texas 1000 years from now inscribed Gov. GW that will not overturn the history that records his presidency. The vice-president may hold several titles at the same time, including head of the Senate (whatever that official name is), special delegate to the UN, or another role, if I find a record addressing him by one title it does not invalidate his filling another role at the same time.


closed #7

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