How To Do a Particular Search: I Have Some Ideas, But I Want to Be Very Specific

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Posts 79
Jamie Page | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:23 AM

I'm preaching Acts 5.34-42 this week. I'm very curious on why the Census was such a watershed event for Palestine. How would I do a search in Logos to find resources that might answer the question of:

Cause for Jewish revolt during time of census...

Posts 932
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:57 AM

If doing a pure search, I would start with "(revolt, census, tax) NEAR <Acts 5:37>"

I think I think the best results probably come from right clicking on Judas of Galilee, clicking on 'Person Judas (the Galilean)" and then clicking on Factbook. I get 10 dictionary entries on him, which makes a good start. LBD gives links to the relevant passages in Josephus. A straight search for "Judas the Galilaean" gets lots of good results for me (Factbook's parentheses do not).

I would see in the dictionaries that the revolt led to the formation of the zealots and begin to search "Zealot NEAR <Acts 5:37>"

To jump start your work, if you have "Apostle of the Free Spirit" by FF Bruce (my print copy is called "Apostle of the Heart Set Free" the difference seems to be regional), you will find this helpful paragraph: 

"Some of the provinces of the empire assimilated Roman civilization so thoroughly that their inhabitants came to think of themselves as Romans, and their descendants to this day speak a language which has developed from “vulgar Latin”.3 The Jews of Judaea were perhaps the least assimilable of all Rome’s subject-nations. This was due to their unique and exclusive religion, the practice of which was guaranteed to them by imperial decrees, as it had been safeguarded by earlier imperial overlords. Under these earlier Gentile rulers, it had never been suggested that the Jews’ payment of tribute to them was in some way offensive to the God whom they worshipped. In so far as this payment of tribute to foreigners was given a religious significance, it tended to be interpreted as a token of Yahweh’s displeasure with his people: if he allowed foreigners to rule over them, the payment of tribute to those foreigners was an act of submission to divine judgment. But when Judaea became a Roman province in A.D. 6 and its population incurred liability to pay tribute direct to the emperor, a new doctrine was voiced—that for the people of Israel, living in the holy land, to acknowledge a pagan ruler by paying him tribute was to be guilty of high treason against the God of their fathers, Israel’s true king. The principal teacher of this new doctrine was Judas the Galilaean, who at that time led a rising against the Roman government of the new province.4 The rising was put down, but the teaching lived on, and became a dominant feature of the policy of the Zealots. The party of the Zealots, which made no distinction between what we should call politics and religion, became active from about A.D. 44 onwards, and although it did not initiate the revolt against Rome of A.D. 66, it soon took over the leadership of the ensuing war.5"

F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit (Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 1977), 28.

"Judas was a fanatic who took up the position that God was the King of Israel; to Him alone tribute was due; and that all other taxation was impious and to pay it was a blasphemy"

Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Ac 5:37.

Posts 13420
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:21 PM

Jamie Page:

I'm preaching Acts 5.34-42 this week. I'm very curious on why the Census was such a watershed event for Palestine. How would I do a search in Logos to find resources that might answer the question of:

Cause for Jewish revolt during time of census...

It was interesting reading Justin's response. Finding answers when researching is often a process, and seeing how other people handle that process is instructive, I think.

For myself, I'd probably have started with background commentaries. I have a section for background commentaries in my custom passage guide. The first background commentary I opened (Zondervan Illustrated) said this:

Josephus informs us that this census took place under the direction of P. Sulpicius Quirinius, the governor of the Roman province of Syria. This is the same Quirinius who earlier directed a census on behalf of Caesar Augustus at the time of Jesus’ birth (see comments on Luke 2:1). Quirinius came into Judea, now part of the Roman province of Syria, to take account of its wealth and to assess it for the purposes of taxation. The Jewish people were upset with this action, but the high priest Joazar intervened and quelled their fears somewhat with a stirring appeal. It was this census that prompted Judas to revolt and excited the Jews about fighting for liberty from foreign rule and oppression. He admonished the people to take action by insisting that “taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery.”

There was then a footnote with the Josephus references: Josephus, Ant. 18.1.1, 6 §§1–10, 23–25.

That may be enough info, but if you needed more then a Factbook look up for Census would direct you to Bible Dictionaries that discuss the relationship between taxes and censuses, and several of them discuss this census in particular. The AYBD is particularly instructive, I think.

Posts 79
Jamie Page | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:40 PM

Yeah, one of the reasons that I posted here is just to see how others would do the search and learn from their methods. The other reason is that I want to go - if possible - deeper than the commentaries and broader than Josephus.

Witherington, in his Acts of the Apostles commentary says: "the census under Quirinius as a watershed event in Palestine."

 Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 235.

Okay, how?

Thanks for the ideas so far. Any others, I'd love to hear what methods people are using to dig deep.

Posts 932
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:43 PM

I already shared how I did it, but I assume BW3 means because it led to the formation of the zealots, who were instrumental in the later rebellion.

Posts 79
Jamie Page | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:49 PM

Justin: Yeah, you're good. I was just reasserting my original question.

Otherwise, for clarity, did you Bruce book come up in a search or did you recall it from previous use?

Posts 932
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:52 PM

I was actually reading it this morning by coincidence, so I was faking my process the best I could, since I happened to remember the answer. It is surprisingly hard to figure out what you would do organically if you didn't already know where you were going. I think I would have seen it, because I normally do searches by "resource" and FF Bruce is one of the authors I keep an eye out for. 

Posts 13420
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 4:10 PM

Jamie Page:

Witherington, in his Acts of the Apostles commentary says: "the census under Quirinius as a watershed event in Palestine."

 Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 235.

Okay, how?

I did a search for census Quirinius <Acts 5:37> zealots, which I found gave lots of useful hits. The most interesting was from Steve Mason's Josephus and the New Testament: logosres:josephusntscnded;ref=Page.p_273;off=1491

Posts 79
Jamie Page | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 4:31 PM

Mark Barnes:

Could you explain those search parameters for me? That's the other thing that I'm learning: Not just what to search, but how. Specifically, how do the < > work?

Posts 13420
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 4:41 PM

Jamie Page:
Specifically, how do the < > work?

They indicate a reference. Normally you would specify the type of reference <Bible = Acts 5:37>, but if you leave the type out, it will assume Bible.

The difference between search for "Acts 5:37" and <Acts 5:37> is that the former searches for those words, whereas the latter searches for the tag. That means the latter will also return hits for Acts 537, Acts 5,37, and Acts 5:30-39.

You can search for any reference, not just Bibles. All the following are valid searches:

  • <JosephusWhiston = Wars II, viii>
  • <BabTalmudFolio = b. B. Bat. 14B>
  • <ApostolicFathers = I Clement 34.5>

An equals sign does an exact search, if you leave the equals sign out, Logos will also include intersecting ranges. So <Bible = Acts 5:37> will miss Acts 5:30-39, whilst <Bible Acts 5:37> will include it.

There's more info here: https://wiki.logos.com/detailed_search_help#Searching_for_Bible_Verses_and_other_References 

Posts 79
Jamie Page | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 4:52 PM

Awesome. Thanks.

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