Talk:Crucifixion darkness

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Dating of the gospels.[edit]

The article currently states the date of composition of Matthew as a fact, relying on Harrington. The Gospel of Matthew article, however, carefully following its own source, says most scholars favour 80–90. This is the date and the wording we should use here. (This probably means splitting the sentence in two.) Similarly, the date of Mark's gospel is stated as fact (70) whereas the Gospel of Mark article says "probably around AD 60–70". And it's the same situation with Luke, though the dating of that gospel has even less consensus. StAnselm (talk) 19:58, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

OK, I have reworded for neutrality, using Scholz as a source, though other sources have slight variance of the dates that "most scholars think" the gospels were written. Perhaps we could give a longer bracket (e.g. 80-90 for Matthew). StAnselm (talk) 00:32, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps another solution is available[edit]

One wonders what on earth could explain the darkness described in the gospels about the crucifixion and yet seemed to be confirmed by pagan sources as well. The description that it occurred across the entire earth and that passover occurs during the full moon eliminate the possibility of a total solar eclipse in regards to the coverage and amount of time involved. The gospels also describe tombs opening and the earth quaking. Standard explanations for this seem to defy the evidence as well. So what caused it.

One argument is that is never occurred. I offer an alternative. It did occur, hence the reporting of it, and the confirmation by other sources. If a very large asteroid or planetoid passed between the earth and the sun, and the pass was close enough it would not only darken the sun for a period, and depending on it trajectory it could have darkened it for hours. As it passed close to the earth its gravitational distortion of space/time (gravity field) could of disrupted the earths mantle/crust sufficiently to cause tremors and quakes.

Not being a deep investor in such coincidence, then the moments of the crucifixion and the passing of this large mass in space at the same time would appear to be coordinated, requiring much more knowledge of the heavens than we currently even possess. If this argument has weight, then the appearance of this large asteroid would herald just spiritual changes, but would effect the earth physically as well. If this asteroid in fact existed and is the explanation for what happened, being the beginning of a change in our understanding of God, then might it also be the same planet killing Asteroid that will herald the end on its next pass, whenever that may be.(open speculation)

This event may be verifiable should astronomers, astrophysicist, geologist, and climate archeologist know what evidence to look for.

Science and Religion aren't at war with each other, if you simply view science as the explanation of how God works. (talk) 19:58, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Such an asteroid would have to be a miracle in its own right to fit all your requirements considering it would have to pass very near the Earth, be very VERY large, and move very VERY slowly. Anything of that size would have to be still around somewhere - or have been captured by the Earth and ended life as we know it - and there is no evidence today of these events.
However, this Talk page is not a discussion Forum and is thus not really meant for our pet theories.Ckruschke (talk) 19:51, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke

I will update the name of the roman historian that wrote,"during the 322nd olympiades in Rome there were many reports of an earthquake and eclipse on the 6th hour in the region of Jerusalem. This is recorded in greek history. I am not home to obtain my notes on the name of the historian that was a non-biblical source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cheekers777 (talkcontribs) 18:54, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Naturalistic explanations, A further explanation and its Merit[edit]

I was advised that to avoid an edit war, I should post my position on this talk page.

It has recently come to my attention a historical fact that seems to have direct relevance to the crucifixion darkness. This fact is that many ancient naturalists seemed to have the opinion based on eyewitness accounts of strange weather phenomena, preceding earthquakes. For two thousand years ancient European and medieval (including islamic) natural philosophers have considered a dry, warm gas, the "pneuma" ( breath, exhalation), escaping from the earth, as precursor and trigger of earthquakes. Also in China an escaping gas or breath (the qi) was considered the cause of earthquake, first in a document from 780 BC. We know today that escaping gas is not causing earthquakes. But it may be that natural phenomena that supported such a pneuma-concept have again and again been observed. The unpolluted environment and the largely absence of distracting artificial stimuli may have allowed the recognition of distinct earthquake precursors, such as described by ancient observers:

1) the sun becomes veiled and has a dim appearance, turns reddish or dark 2) a narrow long stretched cloud becomes visible, like a line drawn by a ruler, 3) earthquakes preceded by a thin streak of cloud stretching over a wide space. 4) earthquakes in the morning sometimes preceded by a still and a strong frost, 5) a surf - line of the air sea is forming (near the horizon).

The described phenomena may be interpreted as a kind of smog forming above the ground prior to an earthquake, a smog exhaled from the ground, which is triggering water condensation, releasing latent heat, changing visibility, temperature, heat conduction and radiation properties. This could perfectly match the phenomenon, which is at the origin of satellite monitored temperature anomalies preceding earthquakes. [1]

Anaxagoras (according to Aristotle [Aristot. Meteor. II. 7, 365 a 14 ff. (Aristotle, 384–322 BC).]), in the 5th century B.C. already assumed that a gaseous ether forces its way through the porous earth and through the contained air from below the earth’s disc thus generating earthquakes. Aristotle based his earthquake concept on this pneumatic mechanism communicated by Anaxagoras. His elaborated ideas have been conserved in his famous book on meteorology [18]. Basically he assumes, that a compressed dry and warm gas, pneuma, escapes from the earth thus producing earthquakes. The same origin has also a sign that according to Aristotle used to precede the earthquake: “In clear weather during the day and shortly after sunset, a narrow long stretched cloud becomes visible, like a line drawn by a ruler, because the pneuma is disappearing. What remains is a kind of surf line of the air-sea”. Aristotle also describes some of the fog’s properties: “Besides the weakening of the sun and the (relative) darkness that comes about without clouds, the calmness and great cold that occasionally occur before earthquakes, that happen in the morning, confirm the cause”. The strange cloud or fog, which appears before the earthquake, and is described by Aristotle, has also received attention during a later historical event and Pliny the Elder explicitly mentions it as one of four possible earthquake precursors [Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, 2:84. (Gaius Plinius Secundus, 23–79 AD)].

There have been a number of eyewitness accounts reporting the same anomaly, such as the one reported in the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12. These quotes are on record in different places, from books to sites dedicated to that earthquake. They report that "The skies turned dark during the earthquakes, so dark that lighted lamps didn’t help. The air smelled bad, and it was hard to breathe. It is speculated that it was smog containing dust particles caused by the eruption of warm water into cold air. [2]

All this is supported by a number of Scientific articles on the subject of Meteorological Phenomena as Earthquake precursors, which the Crucifixion Darkness seems to be one such event. 1) 2) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeremias19 (talkcontribs) 00:31, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

This seems to be a personal theory. In order to be included, it has to be stated in a reliable published source. Otherwise, it is simply WP:OR original research. --Rbreen (talk) 18:05, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

So are the other natural theories postulated on the main page.

Where is the evidence of a Total Solar Eclipse, sunstorms, heavy cloud cover, or the aftermath of a volcanic eruption?

You do realize that you being biased here don't you? The theory put forth as evidence has historical precedent both by ancient naturalists and philosophers and by modern science. I have quoted them directly on this. As a matter of fact 99% of what was on the main page is taken directly from those papers. When a science paper mentions this possibility regarding Earthquakes in general, then it is natural to tag this with the crucifixion darkness since the historical narration also mentions that an Earthquake took place on that very day. There is no original research being done by tagging one concept with another clearly related event.

Earthquake and the Crucifixion

I would also suggest that you not go about reverting things as if you own the page itself, before enquiring of the participants directly by the available and provided methods, such as this talk page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeremias19 (talkcontribs) 20:41, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

That's not how this process works. You need to find a published, reputable source which describes this theory. The other natural theories are supported by published citations, whereas you are citing directly from sources and interpreting them in support of your own theory. In Wikipedia, this is known as Original Research (WP:ORIGINAL. I am not inventing this - it is basic Wikipedia Policy, and you need to inform yourself of it before criticising other editors. It does not matter how good your theory is, unless you can find a reputable published source that describes this theory, it cannot go in a Wikipedia page. Please read the Wikipedia page on Original research to inform yourself of this. And please do not accuse other editors of being biased for simply upholding Wikipedia policy. --Rbreen (talk) 22:24, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Very well, the Theory can actually be found it, seems, in a Commentary by Charles John Ellicott, called "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". This connects the Earthquake directly with the darkness:

Darkness over all the land.—Better so than the “earth” of the Authorised version of Luke 23:44. The degree and nature of the darkness are not defined. The moon was at its full, and therefore there could be no eclipse. St. John does not name it, nor is it recorded by Josephus, Tacitus, or any contemporary writer. On the other hand, its appearance in records in many respects so independent of each other as those of the three Gospels places it, even as the common grounds of historical probability, on a sufficiently firm basis, and early Christian writers, such as Tertullian (Apol. c. 21) and Origen (100 Cels. ii. 33), appeal to it as attested by heathen writers. The narrative does not necessarily involve more than the indescribable yet most oppressive gloom which seems to shroud the whole sky as in mourning (comp. Amos 8:9-10), and which being a not uncommon phenomenon of earthquakes, may have been connected with that described in Matthew 27:51.

The OR rule you cited. states that Wikipedia articles must not contain original research. The phrase "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist.[1] This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material being presented. (This policy of no original research does not apply to talk pages.)

This is a published and reputable source for the Theory and the connection of the two events in question, the darkness and the earthquake. Just as the other theories also have their proponents even if they have no merit, but are allowed space on the board because the theories are in print, so then this theory can also be found in print and cannot be labeled original research by yourself or anyone else. The fact that I also provided a modern day science paper where the link between the darkness and other meteorological phenomena are precursors to earthquakes makes this a viable addition to the main page.

What are you going to do now? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeremias19 (talkcontribs) 20:07, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

One needs to ask if you are going to respond, otherwise I assume everything is now alright and the information can now be published on the main page. Jeremias19 (talk) 18:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Since there is one significant source which mentions this theory, I have added it in. Note, though, that all the supporting citations you mention are not in support of this theory - none of them refers to it. In adding them in and arguing that they support it, you are adding your own interpretation, which is Original Research. Also, this reference is to a very old - well over a century old - theory, in a popular (not scholarly) work, and as the article makes clear this no longer represents the opinion of modern biblical scholars. --Rbreen (talk) 01:03, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

None of them need refer to it directly as they are in support of the theory in general that earthquakes have precursors of which a darkness is merely one of them. The reference takes this as a given in the context of the crucifixion darkness, so you at least need to broaden the scope of the explanation which the real problem here since you don't want to do so. You need to add more.

As such I have taken the liberty of adding yet another published paper, that connects the two events explicitly, which I will quote forthwith:

Sky darkness was considered as a real phenomena occurring during the Holy Crucifixion. In fact, it was evaluated as a process that occurred with the strong earthquake described by Synoptic Gospels at the time of Christ's death. The considered models suggested that sky darkness was due to atmospheric phenomena of dense cloud formation. As reported in recent works, such phenomena can be explained by the presence of air ionisation near the ground, which is able to modulate condensation nuclei at cloud altitudes.

L’Aquila earthquake. April the 6th, 2009 this was the strongest seismic event happening in Italy over the last thirty years, with a magnitude of M = 6.3. Around the time of the seismic swarm many instruments were working in Central Italy. People present at the time were questioned just after the main shock, and gave data on earthquake lights, gas leaks, human diseases and anomalous animal behaviour (Fidani, 2010). The questionnaire was made up of a sequence of topics, based upon observations during past historical earthquakes and written down over seven months after the main shock. Nearly all the witnesses interviewed, living in localities in places up to 40 km from the epicentre, observed a red Moon hours before the earthquake. Witnesses reported this phenomenon several days around the time of the main shock. Furthermore, witnesses living on the epicentre observed something that they called “a black Moon”. They observed a blurred Moon in a very black sky. Some of them observed such a black sky, that nothing else was visible around them for a few meters, before the main shock came.

Tributsch (1978) supposed that charged aerosols were being emitted from the fault zone and could explain the formation of both clouds and fog in air with less than 100% humidity. Ikeya and Takaki (1996) calculated that an electric field gradient collects dust, smoke and vapour, making their condensation easier. As a result, charged aerosol may be generated by an intense electric field and become nuclei leading to fogs and clouds. A model was recently proposed to overcame the major difficulty with the ion-induced nucleation (Harrison et al., 2014), which is that condensation of water droplets on ions requires extreme levels of water super-saturation. Coupling between surface air and clouds could occur via the global electric circuit, where enhanced ionization in the lower atmosphere will increase the vertical electrical current flow always present in fair weather. Following the Authors, vertical current flow through the horizontal edge of a layer cloud in semi-fair weather, generate charges at the horizontal cloud–air boundary influencing, in some cases, the evaporation–condensation of drops. Confirmations of nucleation using optimised gas mixtures were experimentally observed (Harrison et al., 2003) and long-range cloud dissipation was apparent in a satellite image of the Chernobyl reactor plume due to enhanced ionisation from radioactivity (Brandi et al., 1987). Being so, more intense and black clouds maybe formed during earthquake occurrence due to the presence of charged ion in the lower atmosphere.

Source: Electrical charges associated with sky darkening and the Turin Shroud by Giovanna de Liso and Cristiano Fidani.

As before I hope that you will now reconsider your position on my contribution to the main page. This paper intrerestingly has ALL the information I previously posted and more. I await your response and will add the information myself if none is forthcoming. Jeremias19 (talk) 14:54, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Again, only one of these actually relates to the Crucifixion Darkness, and if you look into it you will find that this paper is not from a reputable scholarly journal. Apart from anything else, it does not refer to a single New Testament scholar and takes no account of the very considerable quantity of scholarly analysis of this question. None of the sources mentioned in this article - which is pretty comprehensive - are referred to. (It does, however, cite "Yahoo answers") The quality of the writing - you may not be a native speaker of English, so this may not be apparent to you - is poor, and the article shows no awareness whatsoever of the last century of New Testament scholarship. One author works in a music school, the other in an observatory. This source, the International Journal of Development Research, is not a peer-reviewed publication. It is to be found on Beall's list of predatory publishers: [3] . This is not the kind of source we can use on Wikipedia, unless we are to be made a laughing stock. Unfortunately, your search for modern, peer-reviewed, scholarly sources for this interesting theory must continue. Good luck! --Rbreen (talk) 23:18, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Just a small heads up here, to be accepted into a wiki article, one does NOT have to quote a peer reviewed paper, the explicit nature of the rules dictate that the phrase "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material being presented.

As long as it is printed, it is an acceptable resource. One can quibble on the reliability, but that is not exactly clear. There are a good many articles where such publications are used and accepted by other editors. English is indeed my native language, unfortunately you require the articles to be explicit otherwise it is labeled OR, well, irrespective of your position regarding the quality of the paper in question, you now have all the information quoted by 3rd parties that I originally mentioned, and you are still blocking that information from appearing on the main page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeremias19 (talkcontribs) 19:00, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

"As long as it is printed, it is an acceptable resource." No, that is not how this works. It has to be a reliable printed source. There are lots of self-published, vanity books out there and we cannot cite any of them. The same is true of a pay-to-play predatory journal article. It is simply unreliable and even a cursory examination of the text will show various weird usages, basic misspellings and strange capitalisations. The quality of this article is simply not good enough to be a source for Wikipedia. We need reliable sources, published by mainstream and preferably academic publishers. There may be such sources which support this argument, but they need to be cited. --Rbreen (talk) 22:18, 12 March 2015 (UTC)