2010 drama: historicity of Christians leaving Jerusalem between Roman wars

by Billy the Ex-Bethelite 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, I haven't been around here a lot and I have this question for any history buffs.

    This summer's DC is a fictionalized account of first century Jehovah's Witnesses (gag), leaving Jerusalem right after the first attack by Rome and fleeing to Pella.


    Other than Jesus "this generation" prophecy, the Bible mentions nothing directly about this. Even John, who wrote his gospel and letters afterward, makes no hint of events in Jerusalem during that era. Insight and other JW sources cling to what Eusebius stated about Christians leaving Jerusalem and settling around Pella and the decapolis. The problem is, Eusebius was born 200 years after the fact, quotes no references for his account, and, as I understand it, is ambiguous on exactly what happened. This same Eusebius is condemned by JWs for signing the Nicean creed as a handmaiden for Constantine. And he is elsewhere condemned as an apologist philosopher who is inaccurate, if not dishonest.

    In the little that I recall from previous research, most Christians were persecuted out of Jerusalem and Judea years before the first attack, Peter was already away in Babylon. And I thought that Eusebius stated that the Christians left just before the Romans arrived in 70 CE, because they had received a special angelic warning just before the Roman troups attacked.

    Any brainiacs out there that can help clear this up?

  • coffee_black

    fleeing to Pella.

    Sorry to derail.... but that's the name of the company I work for... LOL


  • sherah

    I'm not a history expert but from what i remember, you covered all the bases.

    What's a few details to the WTBS, they will fill in the gaps!

  • wobble

    It is very doubtful that any Gospel containing a warning was written before the 70 CE destruction, and doubtful that Jesus actually spoke those words.

    A few Christians, along with others, may have left Jerusalem early, on hearing of the approach of the Romans, but I have no doubt that it was NOT as the WT depict.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    While wiki is not a final source in all matters, I think this is well researched and telling about the history of what Botchtower Corp. calls "the truth".


    Eusebius relates a tradition, probably based on Aristo of Pella, that the early Christians left Jerusalem just prior to the war and fled to Pella beyond the Jordan River. [ 8 ] [ 10 ]

    So, Eusebius' story of the Christians fleeing Jerusalem between 66 and 70 CE is likely based an the story originating with a Jewish sect of Christians, the Ebionites, in Pella. These Ebionites considered Paul to be an apostate. It's interesting in this wiki article that they point out that the Jerusalem "governing body" didn't really settle the question of keeping parts of the Mosaic Law. After the matter was supposedly settled, Paul was instructed to keep a vow at the temple. And as we know, the first thing that Paul did when he got back to his "Circuit Overseer assignment" was to circumcise Timothy. Interesting that Botchtower would base their drama on an unsubstantiated history that was proposed by anti-Pauline Christians.

    Since Pella was one of the cities of the Decapolis, it seems to have enjoyed prosperity under Roman rule.


    Elsewhere, it is noted that Pella built some of the earliest Christian church structures, so the Christians must have enjoyed peace and prosperity. Contrast that with the Bible's frequent references to the persecution and murder of Christians in Jerusalem, and the whole setup of this drama is flawed. Supposedly the Christians had thriving businesses in Jerusalem and fled to Pella and barely survived on charity. Historically, the situation would have been the opposite, from everything I've seen in my research. The Christians would have been miserable and persecuted in Jerusalem, but would have enjoyed prosperity and relative freedom in Pella.

    According to the drama, the prominent "governing body" would have relocated from Jerusalem to Pella. Although there is evidence of Christians living in Pella, there is zero evidence that Pella was ever a major center of Christian activity.

    Why didn't they just go ahead and set their drama that the Christians fled to Brooklyn Heights and founded Watchtower. That might have been slightly more believable in my estimation.

  • cantleave

    Did you enjoy the assembly Billy?

    Ours was great, we went to theme park and rode on roller coasters and shoot em up ghost trains.]

    The nearest thing we had to sitting hrough a Drama was the kids watching a DVD on the way up.

    As for the Jerusalem question, yes it is total fiction and its applicxation to modern Jdubs is laughable at best.

    Good to see you here again.

  • garyneal


  • notverylikely

    Wow, they took sketchy information from a dubious source that, depending on whether or not he agrees with them, is either a honest, hardworking historian or villainous liar and then appliced that info to their own unverfied interpretation of a book with an unknow date of authorship?

    That's totally reliable.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Okay, I saw the mess. I was shocked how those early Jerusalem Christians were portrayed as grossly materialistic, weak-willed wimps that were ready to resort to bribery and lies at an instant. I guess that is the reflection of the "anointed" JWs today.

    The attempts at humor were pathetic. Melodramatic and brainless to the barftastic extreme.

  • miseryloveselders

    My convention is next month, and I'm not looking forward to it. I've always hated the dramas too. I'm glad I located this forum though, because now I know ahead of time what BS they're trying to present as history.

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