Tim's comments are italicized. The Carrier essay is linked.
The list of “generic parallels” between Luke and Josephus is so generic that I was surprised he left out “Both Luke and Josephus mention the existence of Rome.” The list of “story parallels” is even worse, since in many cases it involves torturing the notion of a parallel. Just run through the list and note some of the (non)parallels that he either vastly overrates or twists ’round:
* In Josephus, the census under Quirinius is the beginning of something bad. In Luke, it isn’t. Therefore, this is a parallel where Luke “transvalues” the message of the census, changing “bad” into “good.”
(Um, ... standards ...?)
* Josephus says that there were many men who led revolts, and he names three prominent ones. Luke has passing references to three persons with the same names, though it is not clear that Luke’s “Theudas” is the same as Josephus’s. One of the men is called “the Egyptian” by both Josephus and Luke; Luke links him with the sicarii, whereas Josephus does not. Therefore, Luke was copying from Josephus.
(The argument that this must be copying because there were thousands of Egyptians in Palestine at the time is beyond ridiculous. It would work equally well against two independent references to Jimmy the Greek. (“How many millions of Greeks,” etc.))
* Luke and Josephus both recount the death of Agrippa I in some detail, speaking of his brilliant robe, his acceptance of adulation as a God, and his immediate demise. There are also some details that differ in the two stories. Therefore, Luke must have borrowed it from Josephus.
(It couldn’t just be a notorious fact? Why not?)
* Josephus mentions a rumor that there was an incestuous relationship between Agrippa II and Bernice; Luke does not. Therefore, Luke is inspired by Josephus and intends the entire scene in Acts 25 as comic sarcasm.
(Does it seem like sarcasm? Can it by any legitimate stretch of the imagination be read that way?)
* Josephus reports that Drusilla abandoned her husband for Felix. Luke (Acts 24) portrays Paul as speaking to Felix about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix becomes uncomfortable. Therefore, Luke must be using Josephus.
(It isn’t enough of an explanation that Drusilla’s obvious abandonment of her husband for Felix was notorious?)
* Josephus portrays Felix as sending priests, “excellent men,” to Rome for trial on petty charges. Luke portrays Paul as demanding to be sent to Rome. So perhaps Luke was using Josephus as a model.
* Luke and Josephus both mention Lysanius, tetrarch of Abilene.
* Luke records a parable about a hated king who is really a good guy; Josephus talks about Herod, an actual hated king who was really a bad guy.
* Luke contains a prophecy involving the slaughter of children in a siege of Jerusalem; Josephus talks about a mother who cannibalizes her own infant during the actual siege of Jerusalem.
* Both Luke and Josephus mention a famine in the reign of Claudius.
* Luke reports an attack by Pilate on some Gailieans; Josephus reports an attack by Pilate on some Samaritans.
Forgive me, but as I read through this I am irresistibly reminded of an exchange from Sleeper:
Luna: “Do you know that ‘god’ spelled backwards is ‘dog’?”
Miles: “So?”Luna: “Makes you think!”
The obvious point, which I made in a previous thread, is that Josephus's area of concern seems to have been Judeo-Roman relations. So he's not going to explain the kind of rich, detailed knowledge of Asia Minor, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta that Luke demonstrates, information that would have been difficult to come by in the second century. See Tim's discussion here.
It is completely unclear to me why it should be assumed that some similarity between Luke and Josephus has to be explained in terms of Luke using Josephus.
The most detailed defense in recent times of Luke's accuracy is, to my knowledge, Colin Hemer's The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, reviewed here. That would be the book to set up against Pervo. Price, not surprisingly, declares Pervo to be the winner.
It is refreshing to see Pervo spill the insides of apologists Ben Witherington III and Colin Hemer, who otherwise manage to receive way too much serious regard. When Pervo is done with them, they sag like empty piñatas, only his blows reveal that neither donkey ever possessed any candy inside. Just one example: Pervo shows the gross inconsistency between believing on the one hand that Acts’ author knew Paul personally and on the other that he was not familiar with Paul’s letters.
I'd like to see that argued. No one that I know, even in my immediate family, is familiar with all my letters, except, of course, for those addressed to them. Why should Paul be any different?