Atlas appears wrong?

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Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Apr 1 2018 11:49 AM

So this morning I am preaching away and I mention that Emmaus was about 24km from Jerusalem (because that's what I saw in Atlas)

I then directed the congregation to read Luke 24:13ff and read it was 7 miles Surprise. How did I miss that! Anyways I am not sure if anyone picked up on it.....but it appears the distance tool on Atlas is off (?)

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 1 2018 12:00 PM

There are at least two reasonably credible contenders for the location of Emmaus mentioned in Luke. Maybe that's why you're seeing this.

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David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 1 2018 2:17 PM

There are 2 primary problems with Luke 24.13:

1. The actual identity of the place called Emmaus is disputed. There are at least 3 principle contenders for the location of Emmaus, but unfortunately, none of them conform to the length from Jerusalem to Emmaus which we find in Luke. For example, the candidate which most scholars favour is Emmaus-Nicopolis (the Arabic name is Imwas), which is 18.6 miles (i.e. 160 furlongs) from Jerusalem. So, either the location was right, but Luke got the distance wrong; or Luke got the distance right, but we got the location wrong.

2. The actual length of a "furlong", which is a translation of the Greek word στάδιον is disputed. Different manuscripts of Luke have differing lengths of distance between Jerusalem and Emmaus because they differed over how long a a furlong was. This is due to the fact that, although we know that one στάδιον was equal to 600 Greek feet, the length of the Greek foot varied in different parts of the Greek world. Hence, differing scribes in different parts of the Greek world entered differing distances between Jerusalem and Emmaus based on their understanding of how long a furlong was. Origen, for example, placed the distance at 160 furlongs. Origen is the principle source for identifying Emmaus-Nicopolis (Imwas) as the place Luke refers to, as it is 160 furlongs from Jerusalem. 

Because of these 2 problems, some scholars have given up trying to locate an actual historic place which conforms both in name and distance from Jerusalem, and have instead rounded on a strange variant reading of Luke 24.13 found in Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, which reads "Oulammaus" instead of Emmaus. In the Septuagint (LXX), Oulammaus was the place where God visited Jacob in a dream. On the basis of this, these scholars have suggested that Emmaus is a fictitious, or legendary place, invented to draw a parallel between Jesus' disciples and Jacob: just as God visited Jacob at Oulammaus, so Jesus visits the disciples at Emmaus. 

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 1 2018 6:14 PM
Thanks David! I'm going to have to look closer the issue. Interesting...
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Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 1 2018 10:21 PM

A fascinating reply, David.  I enjoyed reading what you had to say.  Keep well Paul 

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 1:12 AM

Mike Tourangeau:
Anyways I am not sure if anyone picked up on it.....
 

Since you mentioned km's and the text speaks of miles, I doubt that too many picked up on it... just a comforting thought!😉

FWIW, due in part to the implication of vs 33 (1 day round trip), I tend to think "we" have the location wrong and Luke was right.

Posts 92
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 5:30 AM

Here is a better map from Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas showing several sites that fit the biblical criteria. With Dr. Luke's close attention to geographical detail (especially in the book of Acts) I believe we are the ones who are misinformed not Dr. Luke.

The Road to Emmaus. The desire to remember and venerate the encounter that two followers of Jesus had with the risen Christ on the Road to Emmaus has led to several competing candidates for the location of the village over the course of Church history (this is an “It-could-have-been-me” story claimed by Everyone). According to most early Greek manuscripts of Luke’s Gospel, Emmaus was 60 stadia (about 7 miles) from Jerusalem (Lk 24:13), a reading that favors both el-Qubeibeh and Castellum. Some manuscripts (primarily the Codex Sinaiticus) read “160 stadia,” supporting the city of Nicopolis. If the distance noted by Luke was “round trip,” then a village 30 stadia (3.5 miles) from Jerusalem such as the Emmaus mentioned by Josephus (Qaloniyeh/Mozah; War vii.6.6) could also be a candidate for the town.

Paul H. Wright, Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas with Biblical Background and Culture (Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing, 2012), 210.

 

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David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 2 2018 2:11 PM

Castellum Emmaus (the Arabic name is Al-Qubeiba) is 65 stadia from Jerusalem. Not 60 stadia. 

Also, and perhaps most tellingly, there is no historic evidence from either Roman, Hellenistic, or Arabic sources of Al-Qubeiba being called "Emmaus" at the time of Christ. The first time it got called "Castellum Emmaus" by the Romans is after the last Jewish war circa 150-70 C.E.

As I said above, no candidate fits both name and distance. Either one, or the other, isn't an exact fit. 

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 3 2018 5:58 AM

Have you considered Mozah as the biblical Emmaus.  If you consider 60 Stadia as a round trip it fits what Luke says exactly. Take a look at this article: https://www.jerusalemperspective.com/16208/

 

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