On the evidence for Jesus


Remember, Julian calendar didn’t exist yet so no December 25.

It would be correct to say “ancient Pagans found important symbolism in the sun’s behavior an indeterminate number of solar days after the solstice.” It could be due to the movement of sunrise or to the length of the day. Length of the day is probably easier for a people with no clocks to notice but it doesn’t change very fast around the solstice.

(Juan Romero) #62

Now that I actually remember, I found this guy who claims to have 23 “good” reasons not to believe in Jesus.

The article is in Portuguese, but we have Google Translate for something:

Just by looking at the title, where it says that the Bible is a “book of fairy tales”, you may already know what he is up to.

(George Brooks) #63

Prior to the Julian Calendar, by referencing “December 25” we would mean, or I would mean:

“3 days after the southern-most Sunrise”.

Your posting on the Newgrange structure shows that this was possible … because the structure allowed sunlight to penetrate to the very depth just once a year … which was the very day that modern astronomers would call the Winter Solstice.


As I said on the other thread, the determination of the exact day of the solstice would mean they could see the change on the day after the solstice so 3 days later is meaningless and there is no pause in the sun’s movement. Just as it seems to us.

(George Brooks) #65


No, Bill.

Equipped with the precision of a place like Newgrange, Priests or Elders would be able to tell the peasants exactly when they could expect the Sunrise to noticeably reverse in direction… 3 days before it did.

Maybe that’s where some of the drama comes from … seeing if the priests could really be correct 3 days out?



I am confused. The sun reverses direction after the solstice so the priests would be able to point out the day after the solstice that the sun was returning north. Where do you keep getting 3 days? Using a lunar calendar they wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the exact date of the solstice in advance.

(George Brooks) #67

First of all, how did the lunar calendar enter the picture?
Secondly, you yourself pointed out that after the official solstice, the next 2 days are indistinguishable to the human eye. And in fact, you pointed out that even 3 days before that, we have six days of teeny-tiny movement, in any direction. The first 3 days (up to the Solstice) the sunrise is moving southerly… and the next 3 days the sun is moving northerly. The 7th day, the sunrise appears noticeably northward.

Maybe this is where the whole idea of 7 days in a week comes from.

What I’m not really fathoming is that you (at various times), and Korvexius (always) and Jonathan (when it looked like he could win the argument) all assume that this is all just a pile of mumbo jumbo, and that my points of discussion have no meaningful connection with ancient history, even ancient astronomy.

And yet the fact we have the word itself to defend the concept should have been enough to close some yaps quite a while ago:

“In that sense, solstice means “sun-standing”. This modern scientific word descends from a Latin scientific word in use in the late Roman Republic of the 1st century BC: solstitium. Pliny [died August 25, AD 79] uses it a number of times in his Natural History with a similar meaning that it has today.”

No doubt there is some very interesting history to the concept on the Greek side of Western history … but the Latin alone is pretty much a deal-closer.


You are the one that brought up priests being able to “predict” the solstice. They couldn’t do that until they had an accurate calendar that let them know the solstice was going to be next Thursday.

Indistinguishable if all you have is the human eye. If you have a permanent structure constructed that enables you to see the day of the solstice and then note that the very next day the sun is moving north. Apples and oranges.

Using etymology alone is never a good idea if you are trying to understand history. I would agree that in the days before and after the solstice the sun “appears” to stop moving south, but how does that get you to exactly 3 days after the solstice?

(George Brooks) #69


You act like mentioning priests (or shall we say, holy men) is some sort of surprise. Who do you think organized the construction of Newgrange?

You provided the evidence of Newgrange, and then you ask how could this be done with a lunar calendar?
So, do you believe Newgrange or do you disbelieve Newgrange? Newgrange was built by following the half year progression of Sunrises. How does this involve the moon?

While I have always maintained that the human eye alone would be challenged to perceive the differences in movement of the sunrise between the true Solstice and the following 3 days, it was you who first suggested it couldn’t be done by any means.

So I was delighted when you, as a skeptic, found a man-made construction that made it possible to identify the exact and specific day.

You ask: “I would agree that in the days before and after the solstice the sun “appears” to stop moving south, but how does that get you to exactly 3 days after the solstice?”

In order to build Newgrange, the architect would have to know exactly where the furthest south Sunrise occurred, right?

So… once we have established that, the attendants would then start to count the days before they could “see” or “measure” a sizable jump northward! Modern astronomy confirms that it is 3 days after “the most southerly Sunrise” occurred.

The etymology of the Solstice indicates the Romans knew there was a pause of some sort. Otherwise there would be no point in using the term “-stit” for “stand still”.

I’m not really clear on what position you think you are defending. Once we have proven that the ancients were able to design a tool that could tell them the exact day of the southern-most Sunrise, everything else falls from that accomplishment.


Let me try again.

Newgrange identifies the solstice by using a narrow window and a long corridor. On a little further digging I found that room that is illuminated by the sunrise is actually illuminated for the 5 days before and after the solstice. Not exactly what I would call precise. I suppose the priests could count 8 days from the first day the room was illuminated, but why would they?

(George Brooks) #71


Didn’t the article you link us to describe the special function of one of the apertures?

It seemed to be quite specific about one day. How does that jive with “five days”, unless they are referring to two different paths for the light to travel?


The aperture was an opening above the entrance. The “once a year” was in a Wikipedia article. I found the 5 days on the website for the group that controls the site and brings in tourists for special tours on the winter solstice so they can see the effect.