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August 12, 2009

Comments

Thanks for this. I've heard this story repeated multiple times but wasn't sure if it was true, myth, or what Lawrence people were talking about.

According to Wikipedia: One of the early sources for the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence was the description by Aurelius Prudentius Clemens in his Peristephanon, Hymn II.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was born in 358 - a hundred years after Lawrence died.

RonH

So what.

RonH,

Thank you for that excellent point. In the panoply of ancient historical source texts, 100 years elapsing from the time of an event to the earliest extant documentary evidence is inconsequential. The earliest documents recording Alexander the Great which still exist were written some 400 years after he lived, and the earliest texts chronicling the life of Bhudda were written 600 years later. 100 years' difference is remarkably short for ancient documents to establish a reliable accounting of history.

The earliest Biblical manuscripts date to within 100-200 years of Jesus' life. This is also a remarkably short time-span for establishing historical accuracy.

Actually, many scholars believe Biblical manuscripts date to within 50-100 years of Jesus' life. If true this is more remarkable than manuscripts that date to 100-200 years of His life.

I hadn't heard that, David. Are you talking about the actual drafting of the texts - when John and Peter and Paul penned the autographs - or the earliest surviving copies of those originals?

The original documents of major events were typically written soon after the events occurred. The earliest surviving copies of ancient original texts are normally not so closely dated to the events they record. And there are no originals left.

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