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Old 03-16-2001, 06:16 AM   #71
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Back to your old bait and switch tactics eh big guy? Alright, lets take a look at your "defence".

Nope, except in your mind.

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Originally posted by rodahi:
For those of you who would truly like an account of what happened, just read one of Morton Smith's books, either The Secret Gospel or the more scholarly Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark. DO NOT take Nomad's word for anything he says with respect to "Secret Mark." He has not even bothered to read anything written by Smith to get the total picture.


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And here is the first howler, a tactic used to such little effect from the defence of D. MacDonald thread and good old Homeric epics. If you haven't read a book, you're not allowed to ask questions. How quaint.

No "howler" here. You base your opinions on only one side of the issue and REFUSE to look at the other side. That is the type of BIAS you exhibit in many of your postings.

Last time I checked, the sceptics were howling that even an amateur can ask good questions, and since no one is answering mine, it looks like something isn't right in Denmark.

You haven't "asked questions;" you said Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community. Where is your evidence? It seems you don't want to hear Smith's side of the story. Why would that be, Nomad? Could it be BIAS?

rodahi


 
Old 03-16-2001, 06:23 AM   #72
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Nomad has read a few negatively biased reviews, ignored the positive ones, and now thinks he is an expert on Morton Smith and his scholarly works. My suggestion: Read at least one of Smith's books and as many reviews of the work as possible. Then make up your own mind.
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Read whatever you like.

And you don't read whatever you like.

For now I just want some answers to some basic questions raised by me and Smith's critics. The silence is getting quite deafening here.

You seem to know a great deal about "Smith's critics" and their commentary, but you seem ignorant about what Smith and his supporters have said. Any reason for this, Nomad? Could it be BIAS?


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One other thing: Morton Smith did not "spring" his books on anyone in 1960.
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Reread my post. I did not say his book came out in 1960. His first paper, when he was still in the process of earning his PhD came out in 1960. The rest, as they say, is history, and so far all we have is a lot of smoke, but no fire.

Cite your source.


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In 1958, while doing an inventory of books at the Bar Saba monastery Smith discovered a volume containing a letter of Clement of Alexandria. The letter had been copied onto the back pages of a seventeenth-century book. Next, Smith photographed the book and all three pages of the letter and went straight to one scholar after another over a span of several years.
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Question: Why didn't he see to it that this important document was protected?

How do you know he didn't make attempts to protect the book? Is there some reason this is an important issue with you. Could it be because you are BIASED?

rodahi

 
Old 03-16-2001, 06:34 AM   #73
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Nomad: Thus far, the ONLY defence offered of Smith is that he was a perfectly honest man. This is cool. From my point of view I don't care either way.
rodahi: Nomad has it backwards. There is absolutely nothing for which Morton Smith must be defended.


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Give me a break rodahi.

Okay, Nomad, you get precisely ONE break.

Saying it ain't so doesn't make it not so. Morton Smith behaved shamefully, and a bunch of "non-biased" people like yourself fell for it hook line and sinker.

Saying Morton Smith "behaved shamefully" does not make it so. It seems you have fallen for the old "let's tarnish the reputation of a dead scholar" routine. For some reason, you think that will somehow discredit Smith's scholarly conclusions about Jesus. That is your problem, isn't it.

At least you didn't do the same for Joseph Smith, but then, he was making religious claims so I suppose you wouldn't.

I am surprised you haven't disparaged Joseph Smith. I guess that is next, right?


By now I recognize that you are smart enough to not try and defend the indefensible, but don't pretend that Smith was spotless in all of this.

I don't have to "pretend" anything, Nomad. You haven't presented one iota of evidence to support your CLAIM that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community. With respect to "defending the indefensible," think of your comment the next time you try to sell the "virgin birth" myth or the "resurrection" myth.

rodahi

 
Old 03-16-2001, 06:54 AM   #74
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Nomad has claimed Smith has "bullshitted" the scholarly community. It is he who must produce evidence to support his claim. Thus far, he has produced a report of the opinion of one historian.
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For a moderator, you are clearly not reading the posts on your board very well.

I have carefully read the postings on this thread; however, thanks for your biased opinion.

I have asked a number of questions. So has Ish. No one has answered them (largely because there are no answers). Personal integrity has nothing to do with this.

The issue is "personal integrity." The problem is you want to change it to something else because you know that you have no evidence on which to indict Smith.

What I want to see is hard evidence in support of Morton Smith's claims.

Great. And what I want is hard evidence that Miriam was impregnated by the "Holy Spirit." You know what, Nomad, THERE AIN'T ANY. You blindly accept the words of two ancient Christian propagandists who relate a story of Joseph having a dream and Miriam being visited by an angel and then you have the AUDACITY to demand that a world-class scholar produce "hard evidence?" I don't think you realize how foolish you sound.

In the absense of such evidence, the idea that there is anything to talk about here is nearly laughable.

In the absence of evidence, I think the idea that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community is laughable.

The only real discussion from my point of view is how any sceptic could even take this stuff seriously.

The REAL question is why do people take myths seriously?


Nomad: 1) There is no physical or other evidence for the existence of the Secret Gospel of Mark

r: There are color photographic plates of the letter Smith found. The letter contains a portion of a "Secret Mark." The letter may or may not be genuine, but this is not evidence that Smith "bullshitted" anyone.


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There are pictures of UFO's. We have sworn statements of authenticity from several "witnesses" to Joseph Smith's gold tablets.

Yes we have the things you mentioned. Are you suggesting that Morton Smith's reputation as a world-class scholar should be compared to the reputations of those who have produced pictures of UFOs? If so, on what basis?

Are you saying that the claimed existence of ET is somehow to be compared to the existence of a book found in an old monastery? If so, on what basis?

Are you saying that the claims of Joseph Smith should somehow be compared to the photographic evidence of the book he found in the Bar Saba monastery? If so, on what basis?

You still have not presented any evidence demonstrating that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community.

rodahi
 
Old 03-16-2001, 07:14 AM   #75
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N:Let's do this again: There is NO hard evidence for Secret Mark, and now, not even for the letter Morton Smith photographed.

Okay. Let's do this again. We have color photographs of the Clementine letter. The letter includes a portion of "Secret Mark." This is better evidence than we have for the "virgin birth" myth.


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Also, Why does Nomad feel so threatened by the possibility of a "Secret Mark?"
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Stay on topic big guy. I couldn't care less if Secret Mark turns out to be 100% legit. Right now I want to see some evidence for it.

If this is so, why have you gone to such efforts to discredit Morton Smith?


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Nomad: 2) What we do have is some photos of a letter that may or may not be legit, but we don't have any copies of this letter (presumably written in the 2nd Century by Clement of Alexandria) either
rodahi: Again, this is not evidence that Smith "bullshitted" anyone. (It is common practice for scholars to use photographic plates for the study of MSS.)


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It is also expected for scholars to produce the originals, or for more than one textual critic to examine the evidence. Morton Smith had ample opportunity to have ANYONE else do this, and didn't.

And, you have evidence demonstrating that Smith DID NOT attempt to get the book? Please present it.

Maybe he was being naive, or his supporters were, but how many other sciences would take a claim seriously if they could not examine the evidence first hand?

Maybe he was just being honest and never thought that anyone would suggest otherwise.

Sadly, now the evidence has disappeared. How unfortunate. Of course, even if it DID turn up, we still don't have Secret Mark itself do we?

The issue is this: Did Morton Smith "bullshit" the scholarly community. That is what you have claimed. Who cares if "Secret Mark" turns up? I certainly do not. I stated at the outset that I wasn't sure what to make of the letter or its contents. It is IRRELEVANT to this discussion. Morton Smith's reputation is THE issue.

So back to the question from my first post, if a conservative scholar had pulled this stunt, what would the sceptics be saying?

You insinuate that Morton Smith has "pulled this stunt." What "stunt" are you referring to? Present some evidence demonstrating that Morton Smith did ANYTHING dishonest.

The silence is pretty telling here fellas, but I don't have to make too hard of a guess, do I?

What "silence" are you referring to? Do you mean the silence you have conjured up?


rodahi
 
Old 03-16-2001, 07:35 AM   #76
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Nomad: 3) The only textual critic to ever see the letter is Morton Smith
rodahi: Morton Smith took photographs of the letter. Numerous scholars have studied the photographs without questioning the integrity or motives of Morton Smith.


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So what? Tell me how many papyri get a hearing without ANY physical evidence or the ability to actually view them first hand?

Isn't possible that even if you had the book in front of you, you would still question where it came from? After all, it is only Morton Smith who claimed to have found the book in the monastery. Perhaps he found the book in the trash behind his residence. Wrote the letter of Clement in the back of the book. Carried the book to Jerusalem and then deposited it in the library only to "find" it there. Or perhaps he bought the book and had someone else write the letter in the back and had someone else put the book in the monastery. Or perhaps he stole the book, forced, at gunpoint, someone to write the letter in the back, and then kidnapped a bedouin and threatened to kill him if he didn't place the book on the second shelf of the highest room in the tower of the ancient library so Smith could find it there.
Or perhaps the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the book were precisely as Smith said they were.


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Nomad: 4) No one (including Smith) has ever seen an actual copy of Secret Mark
rodahi: Again, Why is Nomad so threatened by the possibility of the existence of a "Secret Mark?"


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Oh oh. Red herring alert!

Oh, oh, Nomad BIAS alert!!

Just answer the points if you can please. I am not threatened by anything

Oh, really? Then why have you spent so much time and energy attempting to show that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community when there is no evidence that he did?

but I do find the credulity of the typically sceptical (like yourself for example) on the basis of the "personal integrety" of a scholar alone.

I see no reason to question the honesty of Morton Smith.

Faith is a good thing rodahi, I will admit, but it is also a good thing to remember that it may well be misplaced.

I have READ Smith's book, something you have not done. The book explains the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the book and subsequent events. If YOU HAD READ the book perhaps you would not be questioning Morton Smith's honesty and motivations. His book is EVIDENCE. Morton Smith's life as a scholar is EVIDENCE. You continue to ignore these FACTS.

My point stands. No one has ever seen Secret Mark. Ever.

Who cares if anyone has ever seen "Secret Mark?" That is irrelevant. You said Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community. Thus far, you have not presented one iota of evidence to support your claim.


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Nomad 5) The consensus is that the letter from Clement may or may not be legit, but that Secret Mark itself is a heresy or forgery, with no evidence connecting it to the original Gospel of Mark (go figure since we don't have any evidence for Secret Mark at all! )
rodahi: What does this have to do with the claim that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community?


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Let me help you.

No, Nomad, let me help you. PRESENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM THAT MORTON SMITH DID ANYTHING DISHONEST.

If you want to call this highly questionable evidence a part of the Gospel of Mark, you actually have to produce SOMETHING to support your claims.

What are you talking about, Nomad? The ISSUE is Morton Smith's reputation as an honest scholar.

Thus far we have a lot of hot air and not much more. I call it bullshit, you call it what exactly? Good solid scholarship?

Please present evidence demonstating that Morton Smith did anything dishonest.

rodahi


 
Old 03-16-2001, 08:03 AM   #77
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Nomad: 6) Some people think that Morton Smith pulled a fast one on everybody
rodahi: A very few people. The majority have not questioned Morton Smith's integrity or his motives. There are a few who wish to tarnish Smith's reputation for reasons only they know.


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And in the meantime they ask excellent questions, and raise important points that require Smith's supporters to dance very fast.

The only thing "dancing" is your imagination.

Next time I am going to play music for you rodahi, but I do hope you do not kid yourself into thinking you have actually replied to the charges or questions.

You don't need music, Nomad, to hear the angels dancing in your head. It is the demons you have to watch out for. Some of them are mute.


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Nomad: but in any event, his actual handling of the letter from Clement, even if Smith was honest, was the shabbiest scholarship possible
rodahi: How much does Nomad KNOW about the "handling of the letter?" Does he know about Smith's methodology?


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Answer the questions rodahi. Did he get any other scholar to view the physical evidence that he DID have?

Have you read Smith's account of what happened? Have you read positive reviews of Smith's work? If you had, perhaps you would not be asking these questions. I don't think you realize how foolish your suggestions are. Let's look at something YOU call evidence: Did the writers of the narratives depicting the life of Jesus consult scholars. Did they share their compositions with anyone but fellow fanatics? Where are the originals? Who wrote the narratives? When did they write them. You have convinced yourself that these ancient pieces of propaganda are solid evidence. And yet, you question the statements of an honest, twentieth scholar whom you have never read? This is laughable.

Did he secure the document to make sure that nothing happened to it? Did he cross check to see if there was even a single piece of co-oberrating external evidence to support the document itself?

I have no good reason to question his methodology, but then, I have read his book.
Take a look at pages 143-148. If you REFUSE to look at Smith's book, then we can be positively certain of your BIAS.

If you answer some of these questions then you would not have to cry foul so much.

I haven't had the need to "cry foul." Now, Nomad, please present evidence demonstrating that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community.

Give it a try. Maybe you can even make a case for Smith. (I know, you won't, but it is worth asking, at least so the lurkers can dig into this more if they like).

Why don't you do some research yourself? Are you afraid of what you might find? Better yet, why don't you read something Morton Smith has written? Then you might be more qualified to criticize his works.


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Does he know about his consultations with scores of scholars BEFORE publishing his books? Has he bothered to read anything written by the man himself?
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Have any of these people bothered to answer legitimate questions and concerns raised by other scholars?

Read the positive reviews of Smith's books and related commentary. I think you are avoiding anything that might change your opinion.

Do any of them act like this with any other papyri? Are you always this gullible when something comes from a scholar you respect?

How can you call me gullible? The man has done NOTHING for me to question. He may very well be no more reliable than the NT writers for all I know, but I see no reason to doubt his integrity.

rodahi


 
Old 03-16-2001, 08:06 AM   #78
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
If you haven't read a book, you're not allowed to ask questions. How quaint. Last time I checked, the sceptics were howling that even an amateur can ask good questions, and since no one is answering mine, it looks like something isn't right in Denmark. </font>
Asking questions is one thing, but you’ve done far more than that by stating Morton Smith is bullshitting. How well do you remember your “Redating of the 7Q5 piece? I wanted to archive it, but it doesn’t appear to be accessed because I sure would love to put you in quotes right now. I do remember quite a bit of howling, screaming, raising nine kinds of hell going on, I swear I thought you dropped your bar of soap in some prison shower, because I got some quotes off of the internet, and I didn’t have the book of an author critiquing the 7Q5 piece, instead choosing to quote scholars I found on the internet. Also I remember you asking me many times have I read Thiede’s book, trying to make that a qualifier before you considered any merit to any scholar’s criticism that I brought in. The reason I didn’t think it necessary to get the book, is because of the few arguments that you tried to pass of as fact wasn’t that at all, and I figured if this was your best arguments for it, then it would be a waste of money and time. You took the minority view of a few scholars there too, and even though you were stating certain things as “fact” and when questioned about calling it a “fact” you said you never said that. But yet it was in your opening post and subsequent posts.

In this thread you are saying Morton Smith is a bullshitter. In another post you say that bullshit was perhaps too strong a word, but it didn’t take long to go back to saying he was a bullshitter once again. In an earlier post you have said that Morton Smith is basically an honest man. You said something was suspect because the document is gone, but you also stated that Smith certainly didn’t have anything to do with it. When are you going to get to the bullshit that you said Morton Smith is guilty of? Be more specific.

John


 
Old 03-16-2001, 08:21 AM   #79
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Nomad: 7) Given that the evidence for Secret Mark is no better than it is for the Book of Mormon, then anyone that gives much credence to its existence and legitimacy is acting on faith in the absense of any evidence.
rodahi: This is nothing more than one man's biased opinion.


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And here I thought you were going to answer the charges.

You didn't make any "charges." You gave your biased opinion.

Joseph Smith made claims. He had no actual evidence to produce for the world, and to date, we still have none.

The writer of Matthew made the claim that dead people came out of their tombs and made their way to Jerusalem after Jesus was executed. He had no actual evidence (except his imagination) to produce for the world, and to date, we still have none. And yet, you believe this malarky and question Morton Smith who only claimed to have found a book in a monastery. Surely it is not BIAS!

Morton Smith made some claims. To date no one has been able to produce any evidence to support his claims.

And your evidence to support this claim is...

In the world of sceptics, this shouldn't even be open for discussion.

Read Morton Smith's works.


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Nomad: Since establishing these points was my concern from the start of this thread, and none of them have even been addressed, I consider this matter settled.
rodahi: Nothing is "settled."


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Truer words were never spoken. Thanks.

First you say "I consider this matter settled." Then you contradict yourself by aggreeing the issue is not settled. Nomad, your mind works in mysterious ways.


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Nomad: If and when any evidence does show up for Secret Mark, or Clement's letter, then we can talk about it.
rodahi: Apparently, Nomad does not think the photographic plates of the letter are "evidence."


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Do we have photographic evidence of UFO's?

Yes. Unfortunately, we do not have photographic evidence of the NT books. I guess the evidence is better for UFOs than it is for the NT MSS.

Do the people that take them actually believe that they are photographing UFO's? Some undoubtably do. Does any of that help their case? Not really.

Do we have original MSS of the NT works? No, but that does not keep some poeple from believing the myths they contain.

I'm surprised at you rodahi. They are going to take away your Sceptic's Secret Decoder Ring for this one I think.

I am not surprised by you, Nomad. You are as BIASED, illogical, and gullible as ever.

rodahi


 
Old 03-16-2001, 08:39 AM   #80
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This is an odd position to take. He went to elaborate lengths to promulgate the claims/conclusions of one Young Kyu Kim. (A person who is virtually unknown, for the only thing he has published is one study in an obscure magazine.) According to the article, KIM USED ONLY PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES TO ANALYZE P46. (See "Paleographical Dating of p46 to the Later First Century.")
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Hmm... and do we actually HAVE copies of p46 to look at?

Good question. Do we? Do you know where they are? Have you ever questioned where they are?

Have other scholars been able to examine it? Can we all say YES!?

Okay, Nomad, where is the original MS? How can you be absolutely sure it is where you think it is?

And to date, Kim remains unrefuted by even one scholar on paleographical or papyrological grounds.

And to date, Kim has found only one or two scholars who agree with his opinions. Morton Smith is FAR more credible than the unknown Kim. And yet, you put your faith in Kim. Could it be BIAS, Nomad?

On the other hand, if you have any new evidence to show that he was wrong, let's see it. My proofs of the early dating for the codex does not depend on Kim's claims alone, remember?

My point is that Kim ARRIVED at his dubious conclusions BASED on analyzing PHOTOGRAPHS. You have indicated PHOTOGRAPHS are not evidence.

(BTW, the thread is still active, so if you want to talk about your thoughts on dating p46, go for it. I will be happy to look at what you've got).

Since Kim has convinced only one or two scholars with his opinions, I think it would be a waste of time. Now, when a score or more of scholars seriously consider his opinions, let me know. Since Kim's article was published about thirteen years ago and he has published nothing, to my knowledge, since, I am not too optimistic.


In the meantime, like I said big guy, try and stay focused here please.

Same to you, Nomad. Just present some evidence, then things will go smoothly.

I may be just an amateur

Aren't we all?

but your refusal to address the questions and points of the thread, and in the meantime to just question my motives is getting tiring.

If you are getting "tired," perhaps you should go to bed and get some rest. THEN, present evidence demonstrating that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community.

Do better.

I will begin to follow your advice once you have demonstrated you are qualified to offer it. To date, you have not done so.

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 16, 2001).]
 
 

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