Someone wrote that I was on the classic Quest for the Historical Jesus, and that my theory was based solely on the hazy meaning of Luke 17:34-35.
He was not yet aware of some key facts about the Bethsaida Trial conjecture.
First, there are three sources for the details of the Bethsaida Trial: one passage from Josephus, four passages from the Talmud, and one passage from Luke.
The Josephus passage gives us a lengthy description of the judge. The four passages from the Talmud give us the prosecutor and several of his actual trial documents. And Luke gives us the four defendants and the disposition of the trial.
Josephus’ gives us Herod’s son Philip the Tetrarch, who ruled Bethsaida from 4 BCE to CE 34.
The Talmud gives us the Pharisee Yohanan b. Zakkai, who later founded Rabbinic Judaism. He was stationed in Upper Galilee from ca CE 20 to CE 40.
Luke gives us the defendants, two mixed ethnicity same-sex couples. The trial summary is in Luke 17.
They were all present in Bethsaida at the same time.
No single source contains all the facts. The trial events were embarrassing for all the sources concerned. As a result, no source preserved an complete account of the trial.
Together, however, we can assemble the major features of the trial. Archaeology confirms a significant detail.
The conjectured Bethsaida Trial is not based on the haziness of Luke 17:34-35 combined with some clever guess work. Each of the three sources contributes details which would otherwise be missing.
This is not the classic Quest for the Historical Jesus.
This is the Discovery of the Unknown Trial. You may or may not see Jesus of Palestine sitting there.