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Old 01-20-2001, 01:18 PM   #31
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:

Nomad: Penatis, the challenge is simple. Offer an early Christian tradition (beyond assertion) that shows that Christians did not believe in the virgin birth. In the absense of such a thing (especially since you have refused to counter the translations of Paul's writings on this subject), your argument is built on conjecture and special pleading.

{Snip Ehrman's quote}
Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, P. 48.

Bart Ehrman, to my knowledge a Christian scholar, takes a historians' view of the NT. In other words, he wishes to find out what actually took place in history. He is less interested in apologetics.</font>
While Erher's thoughts are interesting, you will notice that he (like you) has not addressed the careful differences in the choice of words used by Paul in these exact passages in his letter to the Romans. What Ehrman gives is a good reason to believe that the virgin birth story was not widely known amongst early Christians. That's cool. That would explain Mark's own ignorance of this particular story.

On the other hand, the fact that Mark might not have known a story is hardly an argument that no one knew it. Clearly someone did, and in two seperate traditions (Matthew and Luke's) they wrote it down. No one I am aware of thinks that either Matthew or Luke simply made up their birth narrative's from whole cloth, indicating that the tradition predates these two Gospel accounts. You have refused to address this fact, and until you do, we have a good reason to believe that some Christians did know and believe in a virgin birth story very early on.

Finally, you have failed to address my own quotations on this subject. Writing them off as Christian sources is not an argument, so try again if you wish. If not, no worries. It saves time.

"Whenever Paul speaks of the birth of Jesus Christ, he uses the verb ginomai , which has the broad meaning of "come to be." This is particularly significant in Gal 4:4, 23f. Jesus Christ "comes to be" by a woman, whereas Isaac and Ishmael, born of two women, are begotten and born, since the vb. gennao, used here, carries overtones of the father's act. Paul uses the same general word in Rom 1:3 ("came of the seed of David according to the flesh") and Phil 2:7 ("coming to be in the likeness of men"). On each occasion, Paul avoids the normal word for born, which is understandable if, as the traveling companion of Luke, he knew that Jesus was born miraculously."
(J. Stafford Wright, "Son", in Dictionary of New Test. Theology, p.661)


Now, do some work and refute Wright's point.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Umm... no it doesn't. I have given you a ton of reasons why Mark might not have included the virgin birth story.

No, Nomad has presented the opinions of Christians, not historians. Big difference.</font>
Poor penatis. I'm a Christian. So are my sources. Therefore we are not worth replying to. How sad. Luckily, I'll get over it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: For your part the best you have come up with is speculation that he didn't know about it, and from that you have concluded it was not believed early on. You need to do much better than this penatis, at least offer us some positive evidence to support your claims.

See Ehrman's statement above.</font>
Did that. Refuted. Hope you have something to offer us.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: we heard this assertion from you before. I have offered a refutation from a scholar. Thus far you have offered us your opinion.

See Ehrman's statement above.</font>
Nomad gives penatis a shove. Nomad thinks penatis is stuck.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: You're showing your prejudices again penatis. I know you don't see them, but to rule out a source a priori, without considering or refuting their arguments at all is very lame. As usual, you need to do much better than this.

Nomad is a Christian with a Christian bias. ALL of his "evidence" derives from the opinions of those who have a Christian bias. I have read and studied their opinions and do not find them convincing. I do find the views of historians convincing.</font>
You have rejected the evidence offered simply because it comes from Christians. Such is your right, and just as a member of the KKK is free to reject evidence he does not like that is offered by Jews about the Holocaust, you are free to reject evidence you do not like from Christian sources.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 20, 2001).]
 
Old 01-20-2001, 01:29 PM   #32
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:

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Mark 3:31-35 (KJV)
SD: I read this five times and I get the same sense that penatis did. Jesus' mother and biological siblings come to him, and he renounces them and calls his followers his real brothers.


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Nomad: With all due respect SD, unless you or penatis can demonstrate a good understanding of Koine Greek, I hope you will forgive us for not considering your opinion to be an expert one. As I said before, I have no official position on whether or not Mary remained a virgin, but the fact that adelphos does not always mean brothers related through both parents (another example is that all half-brothers are also called adelphos without distinction, see the relation of Herad Antipas and Philip) is important. And the additional fact that Jesus entrusts his mother to someone who is certainly not a brother (the beloved disciple) is also powerful, and unrefuted by anyone so far as I am aware.

1. Nomad fails to mention here that his ability to read Greek is on par with that of SingleDad and myself.</font>
Umm... penatis? If you didn't know that I do not read Greek, you must be the only one. Stick to the arguments please. Your arguments from ignorance hardly build up support for your position.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2. I have clearly demonstrated the fact that the writer of "Mark" used the Greek word "adelphos" to mean "male sibling" in ALL instances but one....</font>
Let me help you with languages here.

The word adelphos is known to mean more than just a biological brother. Mark knows this. Other NT authors know this. Even you must know this by now. How Mark uses is depends on how you read it, and translate it into English. There are two ways to do this, yours, and that of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Both are equally legitimate.

Hope that helps you out now.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 3. The words spoken by Jesus during his execution are disputed; therefore, anything he supposedly said is conjecture, not evidence.</font>
And this is pathetic. Are you going to use an argument from disputation again, even after I blew your last one regarding Mark 1:1 out of the water? Stick to offering evidence of your own penatis. I am tired of having to respond to your nonsense again and again only to have you say "it's disputed" or "it comes from Christians".

My arguments happen to be based on the opinion of two groups of people that read and wrote and spoke Koine Greek. They tell us that the proper translation of one of their own words is X. You stubbornly cling to your definition Y. To be candid, if I was to meet someone who did not read or write English, and they wanted to tell me what my own words actually meant, I would laugh them out of the building.

Thanks again for the discussion penatis. For my part I am done on this thread now unless you are prepared to offer something far more substantial to this discussion than you have to date.

Salute, et adieu mon petit ami,

Nomad
 
Old 01-21-2001, 04:08 AM   #33
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Originally posted by penatis:
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Mark 3:31-35 (KJV)
SD: I read this five times and I get the same sense that penatis did. Jesus' mother and biological siblings come to him, and he renounces them and calls his followers his real brothers.


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Nomad: With all due respect SD, unless you or penatis can demonstrate a good understanding of Koine Greek, I hope you will forgive us for not considering your opinion to be an expert one.

It DOES NOT require "a good understanding of Koine Greek" to comprehend the meaning of "Mark's" words, and Nomad is not quailified to evaluate my (and SingleDad's) comprehension of "Mark's" words.

Nomad: As I said before, I have no official position on whether or not Mary remained a virgin

An official position is not evidence.

Nomad: ...but the fact that adelphos does not always mean brothers related through both parents

Yes, with respect to what "Mark" wrote, the word "adelphos" most certainly does mean "male sibling." Anyone who takes the time to read "Mark" can readily see this fact.


Nomad: (another example is that all half-brothers are also called adelphos without distinction, see the relation of Herad Antipas and Philip) is important.

Irrelevant. The issue IS what "Mark" wrote and meant.

Nomad: And the additional fact that Jesus entrusts his mother to someone who is certainly not a brother (the beloved disciple) is also powerful, and unrefuted by anyone so far as I am aware.

Nomad is misusing the word "fact." He uses disputed testimony to confirm an erroneous conclusion. No one knows with certainty what Jesus said at his execution. Each gospel writer contradicts at least two other gospel writers.

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quote:
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2. I have clearly demonstrated the fact that the writer of "Mark" used the Greek word "adelphos" to mean "male sibling" in ALL instances but one....
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Nomad: Let me help you with languages here.

Nomad implies that he has a better understanding of what "Mark" wrote. He DOES NOT.

Nomad: The word adelphos is known to mean more than just a biological brother. Mark knows this.

In "Mark" the word "adelphos" means "male sibling." Anyone who reads the text can readily see this.

Nomad: Other NT authors know this. Even you must know this by now.

"Mark" uses the word "adelphos" to mean "male sibling." Others know this, even Nomad must know this by now.

Nomad: How Mark uses is depends on how you read it, and translate it into English.

NO, Nomad is incorrect. The word "adelphos" means "male sibling" in "Mark." The only individuals who maintain that this is not the correct reading are apologists. Obviously, if the correct reading is admitted, they have to acknowledge the existence of Jesus' biological brothers and sisters. They cannot do this, so they go to EXTREME measures to keep their superstitious beliefs intact.

Nomad: There are two ways to do this, yours, and that of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Both are equally legitimate.

NO. There is the correct way and the apologists way. They are not equal.

quote:
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3. The words spoken by Jesus during his execution are disputed; therefore, anything he supposedly said is conjecture, not evidence.
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Nomad: And this is pathetic. Are you going to use an argument from disputation again, even after I blew your last one regarding Mark 1:1 out of the water?

FACT: The gospel writers contradict themselves. FACT: Mark 1:1 is disputed. FACT: Nomad has blown no one out of the water.

Nomad: Stick to offering evidence of your own penatis.

The writer of "Mark" uses the word "adelphos" 17 times in his narrative. In EVERY case but one, he uses the word "adelphos" to mean "male sibling." The one exception conclusively demonstrates the error of Nomad's contention. In the exception, Jesus distinguishes his biological siblings from his followers.

Nomad: I am tired of having to respond to your nonsense again and again only to have you say "it's disputed" or "it comes from Christians".

I am not greatly concerned with what "tires" Nomad.

Nomad: My arguments happen to be based on the opinion of two groups of people that read and wrote and spoke Koine Greek. They tell us that the proper translation of one of their own words is X. You stubbornly cling to your definition Y.

Nomad's arguments are based on Christian apologetics, not facts and evidence.

Nomad: To be candid, if I was to meet someone who did not read or write English, and they wanted to tell me what my own words actually meant, I would laugh them out of the building.

Nomad can tell that to ALL translators of the NT.

Nomad: Thanks again for the discussion penatis. For my part I am done on this thread now unless you are prepared to offer something far more substantial to this discussion than you have to date.

I was prepared to say the same thing to Nomad.

 
Old 01-21-2001, 07:21 AM   #34
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Nomad: Don't present your unfounded opinions as facts please.

According to "Mark" Jesus had brothers and sisters. I presume they are natural. If Nomad has reason to believe they are not natural, then he needs to present evidence demonstrating that they are not.

Nomad: BTW, since no father is mentioned, can we assume this means Jesus didn't have one?

It is certainly plausible that even Jesus did not know who his father was. According to Jewish tradition, Jesus was illegitimate.


We read in the Talmud:
"Rabbi Eliezar said to the sages, 'Did not Ben Stada [Jesus] bring spells from Egypt in a cut on his flesh?' They replied, 'He was a fool and one does not prove anything from a fool.' Ben Stada [Jesus] is Ben Pandira. Rabbi Hisda said, 'The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira.' ...The mother was Miriam [Jesus' mother], the dresser of women's hair--as we say in Pumbeditha. 'Such a one has been false to her husband.'" [Shabbath 104]

According to R. Joseph Hoffman, "[the] earliest of the Talmud stories date from a time well before the latest of the Gospels reached its final form, and one cannot exclude the possiblility that many stories in the Gospels are specific responses to the Jewish picture of Jesus given in the Talmud." Jesus Outside the Gospels, P. 39



[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 21, 2001).]
 
Old 01-21-2001, 07:29 AM   #35
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Nomad: You have rejected the evidence offered simply because it comes from Christians.

No, Nomad is incorrect. I have not been convinced by the arguments of Christian apologists. This is not because they are Christian apologists, it is because their arguments are not in agreement with those of historians. My objective is to ascertain to the best of my ability precisely what happened in the past. That objective conflicts with that of Christian apologists.

Nomad: Such is your right, and just as a member of the KKK is free to reject evidence he does not like that is offered by Jews about the Holocaust, you are free to reject evidence you do not like from Christian sources.

Strawman. False analogy. See above.



[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 21, 2001).]
 
Old 01-21-2001, 08:01 AM   #36
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
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Originally posted by penatis:
Nomad: Penatis, the challenge is simple. Offer an early Christian tradition (beyond assertion) that shows that Christians did not believe in the virgin birth. In the absense of such a thing (especially since you have refused to counter the translations of Paul's writings on this subject), your argument is built on conjecture and special pleading.

{Snip Ehrman's quote}
Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, P. 48.

Bart Ehrman, to my knowledge a Christian scholar, takes a historians' view of the NT. In other words, he wishes to find out what actually took place in history. He is less interested in apologetics.


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Nomad: While Erher's thoughts are interesting, you will notice that he (like you) has not addressed the careful differences in the choice of words used by Paul in these exact passages in his letter to the Romans. What Ehrman gives is a good reason to believe that the virgin birth story was not widely known amongst early Christians. That's cool. That would explain Mark's own ignorance of this particular story.

Nomad does not get it. If Jesus had been born from a virgin and conceived in a way no other man in history had been conceived, then EVERY family member and EVERY follower would have known of it. If "Mark" was ignorant of this, then he was not very close to the events he decribes or he didn't know of the virgin birth because it was a myth that originated after his time. NO EARLY WRITER mentions the virgin birth myth.

Nomad: On the other hand, the fact that Mark might not have known a story is hardly an argument that no one knew it.

In my view, the writer DID NOT know of the myth because it originated after his narrative was written. Of course, it might have been circulating during his time, and he just did not believe it. (Perhaps some writers were not as superstitious as others.)

Nomad: Clearly someone did, and in two seperate traditions (Matthew and Luke's) they wrote it down. No one I am aware of thinks that either Matthew or Luke simply made up their birth narrative's from whole cloth, indicating that the tradition predates these two Gospel accounts.

Someone made up the story of Herakles being born of a virgin, being resurrected, and ascending to the sky. Someone certainly could have made up a story about an angel named Gabriel telling Mary she would be impregnated by the "Holy Spirit." One story is just as fabulous as the other.
The circulation of a story does not in any way make events in the story historical. The fact is, some people would/will believe just about anything.

Nomad:...we have a good reason to believe that some Christians did know and believe in a virgin birth story very early on.

There is no EARLY written work documenting the virgin birth myth.

Nomad: Finally, you have failed to address my own quotations on this subject.

When Nomad presents quotes from historians, I will certainly take note.

Nomad: Writing them off as Christian sources is not an argument, so try again if you wish.

If Nomad would present a good argument, I would respond to it. Also, the quotes from his Christian apologists are not solid evidence.


 
Old 01-21-2001, 08:58 AM   #37
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Nomad: "Whenever Paul speaks of the birth of Jesus Christ, he uses the verb ginomai , which has the broad meaning of "come to be." This is particularly significant in Gal 4:4, 23f. Jesus Christ "comes to be" by a woman, whereas Isaac and Ishmael, born of two women, are begotten and born, since the vb. gennao, used here, carries overtones of the father's act. Paul uses the same general word in Rom 1:3 ("came of the seed of David according to the flesh") and Phil 2:7 ("coming to be in the likeness of men"). On each occasion, Paul avoids the normal word for born, which is understandable if, as the traveling companion of Luke, he knew that Jesus was born miraculously."
(J. Stafford Wright, "Son", in Dictionary of New Test. Theology, p.661)

Now, do some work and refute Wright's point.


Wright is wrong. Paul uses the Greek word gennao to mean "begat." He uses ginomai precisely the same way. See the following:

"But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh" Gal. 4:23

"But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him" Gal. 4:29

"God sent forth his Son, born of woman" Gal. 4:4

Hugh J. Schonfield tranlates Romans 1:3 as follows:
"Jesus Christ our Master [was] born in the physical sense of the line of David"

The King James Version reads as follows:
"[Jesus] was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" A more literal translation would be "Jesus came from the semen of David according to the flesh."

As any reader can readily see, there is no hint of a virgin conception or virgin birth in the words of Paul of Tarsus. The fact is, the textual evidence demonstrates just the opposite.

Again and again, the textual evidence opposes the statements of Christian apologists.




[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 21, 2001).]
 
Old 01-21-2001, 11:43 AM   #38
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Nomad: Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God from the opening statement, and there is no question that the author of Mark believed Jesus was the Messiah.

penatis: 1. The opening statement is disputed.


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Nomad: Oh dear. Does this mean that Mark didn't think that Jesus was the Son of God? Or the Messiah (Christ)? (Mark 1:1, 3:11, 5:7, 15:39)

Certainly no one knows if the writer or interpolator meant "Son of God" in a literal sense. (He probably did not. He does not mention a virgin birth myth.) We know that the writer of Daniel used the term "Son of God" (3:25 KJV) to denote someone who dwells in the sky.
Furthermore, in other ancient Jewish traditions, it was believed a "son of god" was someone who had an intimate relationship with Yahweh. (This relationship was similar to the relationship a child has to a parent.)
The "son of god" designation was given to several of the kings of Israel. For instance, King David was told (via the prophet Nathan), "I [Yahweh] will be his father, and he shall be my son." 2 Sam. 7:14 It could very well be that the writer of "Mark" understood Jesus to be the "son of god" as an annointed king of Israel, similar to King David.

Nomad: BTW, for those that don't know what penatis is talking about, one papyrus, I*Q28 (or a*Q28) the reference to "Son of God". Most scholars do not see this as a great concern, since many of the other manuscripts that we do have show it.

The first words of "Mark" in most MSS are as follows: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The words "Son of God" are missing in several important documents: Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Koridethi, Q28, MS 1555, Armenian and Georgian versions of "Mark", and in Origen's Contra Celsum. Accordingly, textual critic Bart D. Ehrman has this to say: "As the textual situation of Mark 1:1 appears not to have been created by sheer accident, and because the shorter text appears in relatively early, unrelated, and widespread witnesses, I can now draw a conclusion concerning the history of its transmission. Scribes would have had little reason to delete the phrase 'the Son of God' from Mark 1:1, but they would have had reasons to add it." The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, pp. 74-75.

Bart Ehrman sees things with a historian's eyes. Christian apologists do not.



[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 21, 2001).]
 
Old 01-21-2001, 02:40 PM   #39
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Originally posted by penatis:

For the sake of argument, I will pretend that virgin births take place: If Mary, as a virgin, had been impregnated by the "Holy Spirit" and Jesus was the product of that union, who among his family and followers would not have been aware of that MOST EXTRAORDINARY historical fact? Answer: NONE.


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Nomad: No one thinks Mark was part of Jesus' family.

I never said that, nor was that my implication. My emphasis is on the point that if the family KNEW and followers KNEW, a biographer should have KNOWN. If the biographer did not KNOW, then he was not close to his subject or the myth had not originated yet.

Nomad: His argument here is interesting, but of course, Mary and Joseph did know that Jesus was a virgin birth, so I don't know what he was trying to say.

Nomad has no idea what Mary and Joseph knew.


quote:
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On the other hand, if it was just a late mythical story, then we would expect that his family members would not believe it. And his earliest followers would not believe it either. For family and early followers would know the truth about his natural conception and birth.
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Nomad:Well, I don't know if Jesus talked about His birth or not.

Obviously.

Nomad: None of the Gospels show that He did. And since we cannot prove for a fact that Mark was among Jesus' personal friends, it seems possible to me that he may not have known about it, or did not see it as being important to his Gospel if he did know about it.

Great! 1. Finally Nomad is admitting that the writer of "Mark" may not have been close enough to his subject to have known of something as EXTRAORDINARY as a virgin birth. 2. How could a biographer possibly consider a virgin birth unimportant?

Nomad: You have stuck doggedly to your argument from Mark's silence, but you have failed to shed any light onto how or why you think Mark should have shared your motivations to relate the birth narrative at all.

Well, let's see. According to the virgin conception and birth myth, Jesus was the only human being ever conceived by a virgin woman after having been impregnated by a spirit. It is inconceivable that a biographer would have omitted this EXTRAORDINARY detail, if he knew of it. This omission is all the more inconceivable when we as readers consider that the writer included such insignificant details as: what John the baptizer wore and ate (1:6)or the qualities of salt (10:50). If these two things were important enough to include in the narrative, then why didn't "Mark" include the virgin birth myth?
 
Old 01-21-2001, 02:53 PM   #40
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This extremely vital detail is MISSING where it would be expected to be found--in a biographical narrative of his life.
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Nomad: Why is it vital? You have not addressed this question at all. Remember John? He doesn't mention it either, and his gospel is seen as being very late.

1. According to Nomad, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches believe the virgin birth myth is important, perhaps vital.
2. "John" has transformed Jesus into Yahweh. Why would he need to explain how Jesus was born? "Mark's" Jesus is fully human, with human characteristics. The writers are on opposite ends of a long Christological spectrum.


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There is not the slightest hint that Jesus was born in any way but the natural way.
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[b]Nomad: You mean in Mark or in John?

I didn't bring up "John." Nomad did.

 
 

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