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Old 01-05-2001, 09:44 AM   #21
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Okay, first off many fragments are and have been identified without controversy or opposition that are of similar size, and containing approximately the same number of letters, so this doesn't really prove much.
The Oxyrhynchus papyrus XXXVIII 2831 was identified as being from Menander's comedy Samia eventhough it measures only 2.4cmX3.3cm and has only 19 letters on five lines. Fragment 7Q2 from the same cave in Qumran has only 21 letters on it, yet it is accepted as being from Baruch 6:43-44. P.Masada 721a is known to be from Virgil's Aeneid 4.9 with only 15 visible letters on it (yes, Virgil was read by the folks on Masada, cool eh?). (C.P. Thiede, EJ, pg. 44) </font>
I don’t think much of Wallace’s original piece that reviewed Thiede’s older work is outdated, and his arguments are still valid. These examples you give also have many more letters to work with than the undisputed letters of the 7Q5. Unless this electron microscope was able to finally clear up more of these letters, then I can see why many scholars still don’t favor giving credence to this being a part of Mark 6 with the earlier dates. Besides, Wallace ran through the various letters, and even allowing for “nu” he was able to have 16 hits. Wallace used the search engine Ibycus with the database, Thesaurus Lingua Greek. Among some of his hits were passages in Ezekiel, Josephus, Philo’s, and Thucydides to name a few. But Thiede said only Mark 6 would fit and there was nothing else to find. This didn’t strengthen Thiede’s position.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Yes, I have read Dr. Wallace's excellent article as well, and as I told Bob in my last post, I have been emailing him to see what he thinks of Thiede's new evidence (Wallace wrote his article before Eyewitness to Jesus was published. He told me that he has always remained neutral on the disputed "nu", but did not have a problem accepting it.</font>
Fortunately, Wallace is quite accessible, and I too, wrote him, and had received some e-mails from him just a few hours before I made my first opening post on this board, and I asked him to address Thiede and if his electron microscope brought out anything worth looking into. He immediately provided me with a handful of names, including him remember reading Robert Gundry’s ‘99 work in JBL that reviewed Thiede’s ‘96 EtJ work which didn‘t find any “nu”, although he didn’t find the issue was settled even though Gundry did as I stated in my previous post. He also gave me Dr. Peter Head (Not making up the latter. Hell of a name, ain’t it? ) as well as Stanton and Armstrong, all of which were giving arguments including his own points that had evidence that strengthened the case going against Mark 6. After I received these names from Wallace via e-mail, I got hits on all of them, (didn’t run one on Armstrong) although most of it was scant, but it did provide me getting the address that had the JBL document from Gundry and I provided that. It just didn’t give me the detailed 10 pages of his work I was seeking.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If the fragment dates from no later than 50AD, then it is virtually impossible that it could be from Mark, but the likelyhood that it comes from an earlier gospel tradition, like the theoretical UrMark is very credible in his view. </font>
Thiede makes this remarkable statement in Wallace‘s site: “leaving theological arguments aside, the earliest possible date for this gospel, historically speaking, is AD 30, the year of the last event recorded in it, the resurrection of Jesus.”
Maybe in Thiede’s latest work, he doesn’t go with this date anymore. I’ve got a lot of respect for Wallace for holding his tongue, and being able to still address this without hitting Thiede over the head with a two by four for making such a statement.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Colin Roberts was working in the 50's, and lacked the tools available to Thiede today (especially the electron microscope). Also, given that many of the documents in the caves fall within such a broad range (and Roberts was still working in the early stages of the DSS discoveries, his caution is warranted. Tightening up the range is much easier now, and neither Thiede nor Wallace has a problem with the dating at 50AD. </font>
I’m not sure what role an “electron microscope” can have to do of anything in tightening up the dating as precise as some would like to have it though. Explain please?It would seem to me, quite limited. It might give the papyrologists some new letters to go on. I haven’t studied this aspect as much as I need too. But Wallace also doesn’t have any problem addressing his concerns for it not being a piece from Mark 6 either. Getting evidence for both a date of around 50 AD, along with this being a piece from Mark 6 is what needs to be settled. From what I’ve gathered of the various scholars, I think it is going to be very difficult to get as precise a date as some would want, and what role this electron microscope plays in this dating, escapes me.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Wallace mentioned this article as well, but I have not read it. Do you know if Grundy has looked at the papyrus under an electron microscope? </font>
It was Wallace who steered me to Gundry, and as I stated earlier, my question to him dealt with the electron microscope, and he said the best he remembered, he did address Thiede’s concerns, and Gundry’s article was done about three years after Thiede’s work. Whether or not he has personally looked at the papyrus with an electron microscope himself, I just don‘t know. I was able to find a few scant quotes from him on the internet, but it was basically just giving the source of where it is documented. Wallace provided me with most of my source names.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Okay, this is what I talked to Dr. Wallace about most, since it is his major concern.
The word in question is derasantes, and whether or not this word can be spelled tiaperasantes. This is crucial since the letters on 7Q5 are defintitely TIA as Wallace noted.
Here is what Thiede had to say...</font>
He covered this part with me also via e-mail, but it was more brief.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">LOL! Please John. Silence is not an argument against anything, and you should know better than to make such a claim. Thiede defends himself very well against Stanton, and even some of Wallace's concerns and critiques.</font>
The work that Thiede published in German fell on deaf ears. He has gained a little more attention since publishing his work in English to American and Britain audiences, but this still has mostly been from the general public and media, with very few scholars. It is those scholars he needs to be the most concerned about impressing. Not laymen such as you and I.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Have YOU read the book yourself? If not, perhaps you may wish to do so before criticizing it so much. After all, I've already seen Mike roasted for this same "crime" (of not reading something he is criticizing), and we would hate to be using a double standard, no?</font>
My two previous posts basically was citing the scholars who have critiqued his work, and certain things needing to be addressed with 7Q5 such as the many arguments that Wallace brings up in his site if he is going to get any where with his peers. There is plenty of material as well as the pictures of 7Q5 that review his work on the internet, and it‘s not too difficult to follow along their points. Since I didn’t see you addressing any of this in your earlier posts, in particular Wallace’ concerns, I wanted to balance it out by showing it is not a fact as you assert that it is, and there is nothing conclusive about this 7Q5 piece, about it’s date or it being a part of Mark 6. Until Thiede starts convincing more of his peers of his methodology, I don’t see any need to spend any money on his book just yet. Since Gundry and others have already had works reviewing Thiede’s ‘96 EtJ, I might wait to see if he’ll come out with a newer addition that concerns more of his peers concerns, and then purchase it.

John
 
Old 01-05-2001, 10:21 AM   #22
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I had last years daily tear away calender from Dilbert, and I have to tell you, Scott Adams is a genius (I have this year's too of course). I love his work.

December 23, 2000 was esecially interesting given this discussion, I'll try to help those who know the characters to visualize as I give the dialogue:

A neatly dressed but slightly clueless looking scientist walks in and finds Alice (one of Dilbert's co-engineers) working on something. The scientist guy sits down and starts talking.

Scientist: "Hi. I'm Dan, the illogical scientist."
"That idea won't work. I know because I've read many reports about ideas that didn't work.

Alice: "You haven't even looked at my idea."

Scientist: Oh, I get it; you're one of those religious nuts."


Thiede's newest book "The Search for the True Cross" is apparently out in Europe in English now, but I have not seen it. Amazon.com does not list when it will be coming out (unless they plan to use a different title in North America, I don't know).

Here is what I will say John:

1. I have not presented Thiede's arguments as conclusive, or facts.
2. I have read his book, however, and his defences against those scholars that had published before "Eyewitness to Jesus", and against Dr. Stanton (a HIGHLY respected scholar) he defended himself extremely well, and Stanton was uncharacteristically sloppy in his methodology, as well as his refusal to consider all of the available evidence.
3. Wallace has stayed neutral on the question of the disputed nu, and still has concerns about Thiede's conclusions, that is cool. His arguments are well reasoned, but do not PROVE that Thiede is mistaken, only that he has more work to do on some questions.
4. Neither you, nor I has actually read Grundy's or Head's work, yet you feel confident to rely upon their authority and say so to draw your own conclusions about Thiede's work. Bottom line? You have not examined the evidence from Thiede, Head, or Grundy, yet you feel qualified to pronounce judgement. Why is that?
5. Thiede is not alone in his conclusions, and I have shown that. Other respected papyrologists (that have actually read Thiede's work BTW) do agree with him, especially regarding the disputed nu.

So, there are questions left to answer. You have demonstrated that you will believe evidence (unread by you, and unavailable to either of us at this point) unquestioningly. You reject Thiede's work having never read it. And you think that silence by some of Thiede's peers is somehow significant.

Tell me John, if you met a theist that acted like this about some new scientific theory you had read about, what would you think of him?

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 05, 2001).]
 
Old 01-05-2001, 03:40 PM   #23
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Well, words in the English language just don’t mean what they used to. And you was having so much fun earlier. It’s a damn shame, it really is. Wallace is neutral on some of this, but his site presents for the most part the arguments that strengthens the case against the Mark 6 connection. His e-mail correspondence with me also gave arguments against it. They are not that difficult to address if one cares to do so, and isn‘t emotionally attached to the issue.

Not sure what all the fuss is about with the electron microscope. Wallace left the “nu” in his search engine since Thiede thinks it should be in there, and we’ve seen his results he got out of his search engine. Just what exact role this electron microscope has had in shedding any new light isn’t conclusive, only you stating it was; at least initially you did. Here is how you befuddle things:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">1. I have not presented Thiede's arguments as conclusive, or facts.

The results are conclusive, proving that the letter is in fact a “nu”, and thus keeping the text consistent with what we would expect to find in Mark 6:53 (a diagram of the letter in question compared against the other letter “nu” is found on page 42).

One of these in particular has become extremely important, and was labeled 7Q5. Until recently it was believed that we could not know what ancient work this fragment came from, but now have learned that it is, in fact, a portion of the Gospel of Mark 6:52-53.

So conclusive is Thiede’s proof, that leading papyrologists have come to accept them, including the Jewish scholar Shemaryahu Talmon, and Orsolina Montevecchi, Honorary President of the International Papyrologists’ Association who is quoted as saying...</font>
This 7Q5 has been out since ‘62, and so I’ll shall remain skeptical of not thinking too strongly that Theide’s electron microscope and that his ‘96 work is going to move mountains if there are only a few scholars that agree with certain parts of it. However, if there is something there, the majority of scholars will probably find it in due time, but not after they have peer reviewed the heck out of it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2. I have read his book, however, and his defences against those scholars that had published before "Eyewitness to Jesus", and against Dr. Stanton (a HIGHLY respected scholar) he defended himself extremely well, and Stanton was uncharacteristically sloppy in his methodology, as well as his refusal to consider all of the available evidence.</font>
Thiede doesn’t get very far on Wallace’s site. And what role this electron microscope could show to outdate any portion of his work on that site would probably be miniscule.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3. Wallace has stayed neutral on the question of the disputed nu, and still has concerns about Thiede's conclusions, that is cool. His arguments are well reasoned, but do not PROVE that Thiede is mistaken, only that he has more work to do on some questions.</font>
After reviewing Wallace’s site of Thiede‘s work, I would place quite a bit of emphasis on more work.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">4. Neither you, nor I has actually read Grundy's or Head's work, yet you feel confident to rely upon their authority and say so to draw your own conclusions about Thiede's work. Bottom line? You have not examined the evidence from Thiede, Head, or Grundy, yet you feel qualified to pronounce judgement. Why is that?</font>
Not sure who is pronouncing judgment. I have stated from the get go, that neither the precise date or fragment had been shown to be conclusive, and this is what most scholars share today. And I doubt you’re qualified after reading Thiede’s work, to be able to make an accurate assessment of any scholars work. Wallace is far more emotionally unattached to the issue and I relied heavily on his site as well as some correspondence he shared with me, and also spent quite a few hours studying enough of the various sites that cared to comment on the 7Q5 to know it isn’t the least bit conclusive. So no conclusions on my part, only sharing a great deal of the arguments that I find easy to follow to be very convincing of this going against what you want it to be. Special pleading won’t work.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">5. Thiede is not alone in his conclusions, and I have shown that. Other respected papyrologists (that have actually read Thiede's work BTW) do agree with him, especially regarding the disputed nu.</font>
So if he can get a few to agree with him on a few points, that's good enough? It’s still a minority view among scholars. It doesn’t take very long to do the necessary searches on the internet to be able to determine this. Not that a minority view would make it untrue or vice-versa. It just means there are many issues that have to be resolved.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So, there are questions left to answer. You have demonstrated that you will believe evidence (unread by you, and unavailable to either of us at this point) unquestioningly. You reject Thiede's work having never read it. And you think that silence by some of Thiede's peers is somehow significant.</font>
You have demonstrated that you will ignore even the very basics of what Wallace presents. You said you welcomed any critique of his work; so, use it if you really wanted this material. While not reviewing the “EiJ” work, it is an excellent critique of the work Thiede uses on 7Q5. There is enough material on the internet to get to a great deal of Thiede’s work. I think the silence of much of Thiede’s German works shows just that: they are a much tougher crowd, and isn’t as easily swayed. But this has been true of most scholars. The general public and media are not as critical. I have read enough from the sites to realize that it’s going to be a hard sell for credible papyrologists to make such a precise date for this piece. He’s going to need more than a electron microscope. And I have no idea what role his co-author shared in his work.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tell me John, if you met a theist that acted like this about some new scientific theory you had read about, what would you think of him? </font>
I would hope anyone, not just a theist, could set their emotions aside, and not be so quick to jump to conclusions, and would be patient enough to wait for the necessary empirical data to come in if it ever did, and would let the work get extensively peer reviewed before becoming so emotionally attached to one side of the argument that one couldn’t see straight.

John




[This message has been edited by John the Atheist (edited January 05, 2001).]
 
Old 01-05-2001, 03:57 PM   #24
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Judging by what you have said in your last post, you do believe it is acceptable to discount the work of a respected scholar based on opposition from other scholars (even when you cannot actually READ what those other scholars wrote). Until you can produce some actual arguments and supporting evidence from Gundry, Armstrong or your other mentioned scholars (we can hardly call them quoted can we?), and compare it against the evidence Thiede offers himself (you know that his books are much longer than brief quotes found on the internet I hope) by actually reading some of them someday, you might take the time to compare the two. Right now, you are doing a lot of shooting in the dark, and basically saying that the only article you actually HAVE read (from Wallace) is good enough for you. I guess I can't offer much to argue against your right to do this, but it does seem a bit thin to me.

You further believe that silence equates to something important (somewhat akin to the opposition of the clerics that refused to look through Galileo's telescope perhaps, because they already KNEW what they needed to know? ).

You believe I am emotionally committed to Thiede's positions when all I am really committed to (yes, with a lot of enthusiasm) is the idea that we may have actually uncovered a very important document (perhaps even an UrMark, something Wallace believes to be credible BTW), and the fact that a man of Thiede's calliber (as well as Wallace's, and Stanton's in opposition) would think it worth discussing) is very cool.

So, now that it appears you will dismiss Thiede without reading him (at least until perhaps some future unknown date), accept his critics after reading just one of them (and having not bothered to address Thiede's replies to what Wallace did say), I guess you and I are about done here.

Thanks for the discussion John. Did you have any other questions or comments to offer?

Nomad
 
Old 01-05-2001, 07:35 PM   #25
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Judging by what you have said in your last post, you do believe it is acceptable to discount the work of a respected scholar based on opposition from other scholars (even when you cannot actually READ what those other scholars wrote).</font>
When one scholar has had a minority view, such as Thiede, and the majority view of scholar’s disagreeing with it wouldn’t discredit it, but when one finds that many scholars which go against another works, then the minority view had better present some compelling evidence to over throw what has already been established. I don’t think Thiede has been able to do this, judging from the many sites I have read from.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Until you can produce some actual arguments and supporting evidence from Gundry, Armstrong or your other mentioned scholars (we can hardly call them quoted can we?)</font>
For somebody that puts in his two cents worth, you sure expect a lot of change back. Whatever evidence this electron microscope was to suppose to reveal, I didn’t see any compelling evidence that was forthcoming nor did I find anything that would support the methodology used in order to get a more precise date. Only you citing a couple of Jewish scholars saying they agreed with Thiede, although I don’t know what exact points they agreed on was. If the issue of Gundry is interesting enough to you to want his material, then go to the places where you can obtain a back copy. I’ve seen plenty of pictures and reviews on the web of this 7Q5, and from I’ve seen, I can’t detect how they can make out the “nu” of what Thiede wants either. But to Wallace this doesn’t even matter when his search engine hits with “nu” providing the 16 texts that Thiede said wasn’t there. So, if you don’t understand why I don’t find it compelling, then, that’s okay, I can only present to you what arguments make better sense to me.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You further believe that silence equates to something important (somewhat akin to the opposition of the clerics that refused to look through Galileo's telescope perhaps, because they already KNEW what they needed to know? </font>
Not quite. The evidence itself just wasn’t compelling enough for many of the German scholars to think it deserved comment, so it fell on deaf ears. I think most knew what kind of empirical evidence would be needed to overthrow what they already had.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(you know that his books are much longer than brief quotes found on the internet I hope) by actually reading some of them someday, you might take the time to compare the two. Right now, you are doing a lot of shooting in the dark, and basically saying that the only article you actually HAVE read (from Wallace) is good enough for you. I guess I can't offer much to argue against your right to do this, but it does seem a bit thin to me. </font>
I don’t think it is compelling enough for me to look at it too much further when you’ve had ample time to present his best arguments for it here. There was dozens of hits that 7Q5 searches provide, and I read a great many of them. Your primary source you concentrated on was Thiede‘s, wasn‘t it? Did you read from the Jewish sources that supported Thiede‘s claims, or did you take his word for it? Did you read from the actual German sources that you offered up, or did you take somebody‘s word for it? Do you also translate German sources too or did you take somebody else’s word for it? It cuts both ways.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You believe I am emotionally committed to Thiede's positions when all I am really committed to (yes, with a lot of enthusiasm)</font>
I don’t see your latter posts as enthusiasm, but maybe that’s all it is, and who knows, maybe some day this work in the future might have more credence than what it has today.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thanks for the discussion John. Did you have any other questions or comments to offer?</font>
Nope, it would be basically be asking the same questions, but I’ll address them to Wallace at a future date. We‘ll, bang heads some other time.

Thanks for putting up with me, Nomad.

John


 
Old 01-05-2001, 09:32 PM   #26
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Alright then, just to wrap up here, and clarify a couple of points:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> When one scholar has had a minority view, such as Thiede, and the majority view of scholar’s disagreeing with it wouldn't discredit it, but when one finds that many scholars which go against another works, then the minority view had better present some compelling evidence to over throw what has already been established.</font>
Here is the first problem. We do not really KNOW what the majority view is here, because the sciences are different, and the number of qualified individuals (in other words trained papyrologists and paleologists) that have actually studied this issue in depth is this limited, most people are relying on one another for their conclusions. The way a science changes from the conventional view to the new is usually accomplished by a very few scholars going against the majority, working diligently, and showing better evidence than supports the previous opinion.

So, here for example, we have the opinion of Dr. Thiede, an actual papyrologist, supported by Jose O'Callagan, another papyrologist, and Herbert Hunger, yet another papyrologist all presenting one opinion.

Dr. Graham Stanton, a highly respected New Testament scholar, but definitely NOT a papyrologist is then shown to offer a faulty criticism, largely because he ignored critical evidence, including material that was easily available to him. His ENTIRE argument was built on the faulty assumptions about the disputed nu, and collapses in the face of Thiede's scientific evidence compiled with an electron microscope (something Stanton refused to use himself).

Gundry's qualifications in the matter are unknown, and what he said is equally unknown to both John and I. What I do know is that his 10 page critique is against the entire 185 page book, of which only 17 pages are spent on 7Q5. How much of Gundry's 10 page essay dedicated to 7Q5? We don't know. What is his major criticism? Again we do not know. So how solid is his evidence and conclusions? Who can know. But in which does John place his faith? Well, the unknown Gundry.

The same can be said of Armstrong's criticism. Sadly, when one is arguing (especially if both are complete amateurs in this field as John and I are), when we have competing authorities like Thiede, Hunger and O'Callagan ranged against Gundry and Armstrong, we NEED to see the actual arguments from both sides to try and draw a reasonable opinion. Instead, John has chosen to believe the latter without knowing their arguments, even as he refuses to accept the former's based on internet web site criticisms rather than the original documents themselves. I am not complaining about this really, but it does make me wonder what the sceptics would think here were John's role and my own reversed, and I was the one criticizing a scientist on the basis of second hand hearsay evidence.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I don’t think Thiede has been able to do this, judging from the many sites I have read from. </font>
Aside from Wallace, where have you gone? I have not seen you offer anything else for us to check.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Until you can produce some actual arguments and supporting evidence from Gundry, Armstrong or your other mentioned scholars (we can hardly call them quoted can we?)
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John: For somebody that puts in his two cents worth, you sure expect a lot of change back. Whatever evidence this electron microscope was to suppose to reveal, I didn’t see any compelling evidence that was forthcoming</font>
I am not sure you even understand the evidence that I offered on this thread regarding what the electron microscope showed us. I hope you understand that such a machine is designed to show us what the human eye cannot see, and so far as I am aware, Thiede remains the only person to take a first hand look at 7Q5 using it. I am left to wonder why others have not done this (assuming they have not), and if they have not, why they think their analysis is better than Thiede's. In any other science, such arrogance would be laughed out of the academy, and rightly so.

In addition, you failed to note that the respected American Qumran scholar J.A. Fitzmyer was impressed with Thiede's analysis of the disputed nu, as even Stanton himself knew (Gospel Truth, G. Stanton, pg. 198).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> nor did I find anything that would support the methodology used in order to get a more precise date. Only you citing a couple of Jewish scholars saying they agreed with Thiede, although I don’t know what exact points they agreed on was.</font>
The dating falls within the range offered by Carlson, as well as Wallace (circa 50AD), as well as Hunger and O'Callagan. So far as I am aware, the dating is not even disputed by any scholars. Are there any?

BTW, you also missed that the Orsolina Montevecchi, Honorary President of the International Papyrologists’ Association, (and definitely not Jewish) agrees with Thiede on the crucial issue of identifying 7Q5 as being from Mark.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> If the issue of Gundry is interesting enough to you to want his material, then go to the places where you can obtain a back copy. I’ve seen plenty of pictures and reviews on the web of this 7Q5, and from I’ve seen, I can’t detect how they can make out the “nu” of what Thiede wants either.</font>
Of course you can't see it. That was why the electron microscope was needed to confirm O'Callagan's theory. Dr. Wallace was not aware of this point (nor should he necessarily be expected to know about it, since like most scholars, he cannot know everything about 7Q5. Remember, Wallace's expertise is in Koine Greek, not papyrology or paleology).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> But to Wallace this doesn’t even matter when his search engine hits with “nu” providing the 16 texts that Thiede said wasn’t there. So, if you don’t understand why I don’t find it compelling, then, that’s okay, I can only present to you what arguments make better sense to me.</font>
I have never staked a great deal on this point either, since the fragment could well come from Mark, or even an UrMark. Your lack of curiosity is interesting, but makes me wonder what you would think if Thiede were trying to prove that this fragment offered something that was damaging to Christianity. (Remember all the excitement over the forged so called Secret Gospel of Mark? Funny how the NT scholarship community works eh?)

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: You further believe that silence equates to something important (somewhat akin to the opposition of the clerics that refused to look through Galileo's telescope perhaps, because they already KNEW what they needed to know?
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Not quite. The evidence itself just wasn’t compelling enough for many of the German scholars to think it deserved comment, so it fell on deaf ears. I think most knew what kind of empirical evidence would be needed to overthrow what they already had.</font>
This is first a classic argument from silence. You might as well admit that the Church was successful in silencing Galileo for a time, and this was sufficient to prove him wrong. The German scholars may have all kinds of reasons for not responding to Thiede's work, but if you want to make the claim that it proves Thiede is not offering credible evidence, then you are clearly drawing a very big conclusion of very little evidence. So far as I can tell, Armstrong is the only papyrologist that has come out and criticized Thiede at all, and we don't even know why. So you buy Armstrong based on an argument from authority, but this is not very convincing to me, and I have no idea why it is for you.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I don’t think it is compelling enough for me to look at it too much further when you’ve had ample time to present his best arguments for it here. There was dozens of hits that 7Q5 searches provide, and I read a great many of them.</font>
Can you tell me which sites and articles you looked at please? Besides Wallace's. I have read his already.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Your primary source you concentrated on was Thiede‘s, wasn‘t it? </font>
Yes. And he was building on prior work from O'Callagan and Hunger.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Did you read from the Jewish sources that supported Thiede‘s claims, or did you take his word for it?</font>
His notes were properly sited with references. If you are suggesting by this that Thiede was somehow sloppy or misleading, I would like to see that criticism offered by someone that would be able to know (like another scholar).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Did you read from the actual German sources that you offered up, or did you take somebody‘s word for it?</font>
I cannot read German.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Do you also translate German sources too or did you take somebody else’s word for it? It cuts both ways. </font>
Yes it does. That is why I would like to see what you have besides your faith in articles you have not read written by scholars you do not know.

Thanks again John.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 05, 2001).]
 
Old 01-06-2001, 09:12 AM   #27
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I’ll sum up just two key points that think would need to be cleared up before I would ever get excited about these six undisputed letters. And I’ll give a few sites of the many that I used, too many hits to spend a week bringing it all here when you can do the same search. Most of these were religious sites, and virtually all of them seem to be promoting a healthy dose of skepticism over this piece. Anyway, two key points:

A. Find out if Thiede is really correct in stating that only one text such as the Mark 6:52-53 can honestly fit. If it can, great, I would probably have to concede. We’ve got Wallace doing the same Ibycus search showing 16 texts can fit, and that’s using the “nu” that Thiede wants in it. There seems to be a lot of imagination and creativity that has to be used in order to make this thing work.

B. When Roberts dates this piece with a 100 year span, of which Thiede relied on for his dating, we now have Thiede today, relying on tools such as the electron microscope and what other tools in order to be able to give it a more precise date. Let’s find out precisely what is this methodology that he has discovered, because frankly, after four years since Thiede‘s latest work, there should be plenty of papyrologists and scholars coming forward to replicate Thiede’s findings if such tools truly exist to do so, particular if the evidence is that good. But I think that‘s the major problem. Scholars give dates for when they think Mark may have first been penned with dating ranging around 60 (just a few), a bit more going around 65, and quite a few going for around 70. They don’t put these as absolutes, but somewhat a general date. There are varying dates for the other gospels as well. How much credence on a date is a credible scholar going to place on a fragment of six undisputed letters about the size of a postage stamp? The evidence would have to be overwhelming.

Wallace gave me quite a few good names, of which I don’t know why you want to make it a source of contention, when Wallace shared probably the same info with you, and we both have relied on Wallace. I feel fairly good about his credentials, reliability, and his fairness. He shared with me what he thought were other leading experts in the field, and I think you said he shared Armstrong‘s info with you to concerning D and T. And one can obtain Gundry’s piece to find out what he has to say. I relied on Wallace after him reading this piece, and I checked a site that listed the dated ’99. I think he has the credentials to evaluate other scholars for their expertise, of which not only I but you too, have relied on. But I don’t rate any scholar as infallible or the final word. If this thing every did get off the ground, I could assure you, I would be looking at everyone’s material in detail, but to date this piece just hasn’t attracted the attention that Thiede would like. Virtually everything that is on Wallace’s site and what he shared with me is evidence that goes against what Thiede is still promoting. If one ignores some of these without realizing their implications, then; I think they are using more hype than reason to promote this little piece.

John


Wallace’s site:
The Earliest NT Papyrus?
www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/7q5.htm

Greek Qumran Fragment 7Q5: Possibilities and Impossibilities:
www.members.aol.com/egweimi/7q5.htm

I think this piece is from Thiede, at least that’s the name that is at the bottom of it. One brief quote: “not only Hunger's paper and the forensic analysis in Jerusalem that have recently added to the arguments in favour of 7Q5 = Mark 6,52-53; O'Callaghan's identification was checked by the Ibykus computer programme with the result that there is no other text than Mark 6,52-53 in extant Greek literature which fits the papyrological evidence of 7Q5 (8).”

Wallace has had contact with Thiede since that time, so it appears Thiede is still promoting this view that only one text can fit.

A source which one may be able to obtain Gundry’s work:
www.orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/resources/bib/g.shtml


This next particular site starts out in the first paragraph: “In spite of various attempts at identification, this enigmatic fragment has yet to be identified with certainty.” This seems to be the attitude of virtually every site I have came across. If you’ve got some excellent sites showing something more conclusive to the contrary, then you can list them if you like, because I haven’t been able to do any good here basically only finding Thiede. This site seems up to date, and has the best pictures that I was able to find.
You can actually enlarge a dozen pictures of the 7Q5 piece. They are dated Aug 21, ‘99. www.breadofangels.com/7q5/key.html


This one comes from “Inside the Vatican”. I’ll only go with one brief quote: “One lengthy piece appeared in the Italian Catholic journal in 1993. There, Fusco wrote: ‘As for the Qumran fragment 7Q5, identified with Mark 6:52... it is not explained to the readers that the date of 50 A.D. has been proposed on the grounds of the style of writing, characteristic of the period between 50 B.C. and 50 A.D., even though, as O'Callaghan himself has stated, that style of writing was used up until the end of the century.’”
www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/GOSPELS4.TXT

Here’s a site that showed page 206 from Thiede’s book “Eyewitness to Jesus” which I looked at as well as footnotes you can click on to. It's not from a scholar, just someone that probably shares your view. I only used it to gather material from Thiede's book. This person used two sources for his piece. Thiede and Josh McDowell. I hope he's better than McDowell though.
www.geocities.com/Heartland/7547/ntmss.html


Supplies an enlarged picture of “Thiede’s NU”
www.user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/texte/7Q5.html



[This message has been edited by John the Atheist (edited January 06, 2001).]
 
Old 01-06-2001, 10:41 AM   #28
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Nomad: Until recently it was believed that we could not know what ancient work this fragment came from, but now have learned that it is, in fact, a portion of the Gospel of Mark 6:52-53.


Nomad: 1. I have not presented Thiede's arguments as conclusive, or facts.

[emphasis added]
[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 06, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 06, 2001).]
 
Old 01-06-2001, 11:02 AM   #29
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Thanks for the linkd John, I have had a chance to go through them very quickly. I just wanted to record some thoughts on them. These opinions are my own, of course, although I will offer quotes from the sites in question.

[quote]<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by John the Atheist:

Quote:
A. Find out if Thiede is really correct in stating that only one text such as the Mark 6:52-53 can honestly fit. If it can, great, I would probably have to concede. We’ve got Wallace doing the same Ibycus search showing 16 texts can fit, and that’s using the “nu” that Thiede wants in it.</font>
I haven't had a chance to write to Wallace since the 4th when last he replied to me, but I am willing to accept that the fragment could very well come from other documents. Right now, I am most interested in whether or not it COULD come from Mark, or UrMark, and thus far Wallace has not ruled that possibility out.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> There seems to be a lot of imagination and creativity that has to be used in order to make this thing work.</font>
Not really. This science (papyrology) is a lot like paleontolgy where they build dinosaurs out of a few bone fragments sometimes. Educated guesses are often part and parcel of the business, and Thiede acknowledges that. But when a find of this importance comes up, it is incumbent on those that DO have the qualifications to do so, to try and come up with reasonable possibilities. Considering the fact that Thiede can and has defended his theories against the likes of Stanton and Spottorno tells us that the doubters have hardly proven their case. Thiede may be wrong, but the fact that he may also be right cannot be ruled out, and so I agree with the author of one of the sites you offered that much more research needs to be done. It certainly should NOT be ignored or treated with silence. Such a position is pretty pig headed in my view, even if it comes from experts in the field.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">B. When Roberts dates this piece with a 100 year span, of which Thiede relied on for his dating, we now have Thiede today, relying on tools such as the electron microscope and what other tools in order to be able to give it a more precise date.</font>
As I said in a previous post, the microscope confirms the indentity of the disputed letter nu, it does not date the fragment.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> ...Scholars give dates for when they think Mark may have first been penned with dating ranging around 60 (just a few), a bit more going around 65, and quite a few going for around 70. They don’t put these as absolutes, but somewhat a general date.</font>
Yes, and the fact that O'Callagan got the dating "wrong" on the style actually helps the case for 7Q5 being from Mark. Thiede himself notes this fact, since if the fragment cannot be later then 50AD, the chances it is from Mark get pretty remote, but the style WAS in use until the end of the first century, so 7Q5 can now be dated all the way up to 68AD when the Caves at Qumran were abandoned. A date of 60-65 strikes me as much more reasonable then 40 to 50AD.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> There are varying dates for the other gospels as well. How much credence on a date is a credible scholar going to place on a fragment of six undisputed letters about the size of a postage stamp? The evidence would have to be overwhelming.</font>
The real point in dating is that the fragment cannot be newer than 68AD, and on that basis alone IF this fragment if from Mark, it turns all of the assumptions about the dating of the Gospels (especially the Synoptics) on their head. Mark cannot be from 70, and Matthew and Luke would almost certainly have to be pushed up as well, from the current consensus of 75-85 back to a more likely 65-75AD.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Wallace gave me quite a few good names, of which I don’t know why you want to make it a source of contention, when Wallace shared probably the same info with you, and we both have relied on Wallace.</font>
Yes he did, but Wallace only told me that Gundry and Armstrong thought their rebuttals to Thiede and O'Callagan were indisputable. He did not say (at least to me) that he thought so as well. I found this interesting espcially since Wallace is still prepared to accept the disputed nu, while Gundry is not.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I feel fairly good about his credentials, reliability, and his fairness.</font>
As do I, but Wallace is cautious because he is not a papyrologist, and like all good scientists, he must be careful when expressing opinions about questions outside of his field of expertise. That is why I would like to see what Gundry and Armstrong say. They are both papyrologists like Thiede.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> He shared with me what he thought were other leading experts in the field, and I think you said he shared Armstrong‘s info with you to concerning D and T.</font>
I found the point on the spelling alteration substitution "T" dor "D" to be especially interesting.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> ...But I don’t rate any scholar as infallible or the final word. If this thing every did get off the ground, I could assure you, I would be looking at everyone’s material in detail, but to date this piece just hasn’t attracted the attention that Thiede would like.</font>
On the contrary, it is drawing a lot of attention, OUTSIDE of Germany mind you, but that may have more to do with what his fellow Germans think of him as a person than anything else. If nothing else, Thiede certainly has more than your average every day quota of ego and hutzpa (sp?). On Bede's web page (www.bede.org.uk/apologet.htm ) I found his comments about this fact (relating to an earlier book published by Thiede) to be very interesting.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Virtually everything that is on Wallace’s site and what he shared with me is evidence that goes against what Thiede is still promoting. If one ignores some of these without realizing their implications, then; I think they are using more hype than reason to promote this little piece.</font>
You and I clearly differ on this. You read a great deal into Wallace's caution, while I simply see his scepticism as justified based on questions he raises that Thiede must address. I do not take Thiede 100% as being right, but I do admire his determination and courage in the face of so much controversy. Without individuals like him, we would have no progress at all in science (or almost any other field for that matter). And I think you will agree, the truth (whatever it turns out to be) will win out here, no matter what anyone from any side believes, and I think that is a very good thing.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Greek Qumran Fragment 7Q5: Possibilities and Impossibilities:
www.members.aol.com/egweimi/7q5.htm

I think this piece is from Thiede, at least that’s the name that is at the bottom of it. One brief quote: “not only Hunger's paper and the forensic analysis in Jerusalem that have recently added to the arguments in favour of 7Q5 = Mark 6,52-53; O'Callaghan's identification was checked by the Ibykus computer programme with the result that there is no other text than Mark 6,52-53 in extant Greek literature which fits the papyrological evidence of 7Q5 (8).”

Wallace has had contact with Thiede since that time, so it appears Thiede is still promoting this view that only one text can fit. </font>
It is Thiede's site, but I do not know the date on it. Notice that Wallace's site does not refer to any new info either, so I wouldn't read too much into this. The purpose of this site was to refute Spottorno, and he does this very well.

[quote]<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A source which one may be able to obtain Gundry’s work:
www.orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/resources/bib/g.shtml

For some reason this site did not work for me at all.

Quote:
This next particular site starts out in the first paragraph: “In spite of various attempts at identification, this enigmatic fragment has yet to be identified with certainty.” ...They are dated Aug 21, ‘99. www.breadofangels.com/7q5/key.html</font>
This is a great site, thank you. I have not had a chance to go through it in detail yet, but I do like the author's conclusion:

"It is hoped that the above observations and conjectures, along with the questions that they naturally raise, demonstrate the necessity and propriety of closely re-examining Qumran fragment 7Q5 in the manner suggested above in order to resolve or defuse the controversy that has surrounded this fragment since 1972. It is my personal opinion that such a resolution is possible, and that it would pave the way for a more sober study of the Qumran Cave 7 fragments. It may also help with the identification of 7Q5 itself.

Silence and ignoring 7Q5 does not appear to be a prudent thing to do in this person's opinion, and I agree.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This one comes from “Inside the Vatican”. I’ll only go with one brief quote: “One lengthy piece appeared in the Italian Catholic journal in 1993. There, Fusco wrote: ‘As for the Qumran fragment 7Q5, identified with Mark 6:52... it is not explained to the readers that the date of 50 A.D. has been proposed on the grounds of the style of writing, characteristic of the period between 50 B.C. and 50 A.D., even though, as O'Callaghan himself has stated, that style of writing was used up until the end of the century.’”
www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/GOSPELS4.TXT</font>
And as you can see from the site, O'Callagan apologised for his error. At the same time, as I said above, this actually HELPS the case for 7Q5 to be from Mark, since the dating can now be moved up to a more realistic and probable 68AD from the previous 50AD.

One quote I liked from this site was from Father Gianfranco Ravasi , a member of the
Pontifical Biblical Commission, and noted sceptic on the identification of 7Q5. After listing his doubts Fr. Ravasi goes on:

" "Certainly, any new discovery alarms the dominant system."

Also, I found it worth noting that Fr. Ravasi is commenting on O'Callagan's 1972 work only. He says nothing about Thiede's work from 1984 to 1996.

A further quote of interst was from one of O'Callagan's supporters in the Vatican, Father Albert Vanhoye , Secretary of
the Biblical Pontificate Commission.

"I have followed the debate as a non-specialist, but O'Callaghan's arguments seem
plausible to me," Vanhoye said. "The paragraph containing the section change is rather uncommon in ancient manuscripts as, for example, in the Old Testament. Therefore, the probability that the text if from Mark increases decisively.

"The title of &lt;Il Sabato&gt;'s article is imprecise: it gives the impression that Mark wrote the text as if he were a reporter taking notes. In reality, his Gospel is the fruit of evangelical catechesis. Saint Irenaeus, by the way, writes that Mark was in contact with Peter in Rome and it is probable that the text was written in Rome.

"Unfortunately, whenever someone discovers sources that prove historically the truths of the faith, there is an outcry. On the other hand, whenever research suggests the contrary, the results are received with great favor.

"O'Callaghan has been subjected to tremendous criticism. His discoveries greatly upset many biblicists: it had been taken for granted that 40 years had passed from the time of the death of Christ to the writing of the Gospel of Mark. To discover instead that less than 20 years had divided the two events - that threatened to undermine the whole of New Testament exegesis.


"In any event, it is of extreme importance that the question be raised again, and that
there be discussion in the Church on the matter."


Good heavens! Politics in the world of Biblical scholarship?? Say it isn't so!!!

One final quote from Father Ignace de la Potterie , Professor Emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute is also worth noting:

"The implications of the discovery are so
great that it merits renewed interest. The Enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Lessing
once said 'an insuperable abyss separates us from the origins of Christianity.' The new
date attributed to the Gospel of Mark, if verified, would help this great abyss.

"If he is right, the modern distinction between the Christ of Faith and the Jesus of
history would be put into question. And we must keep in mind that it the Gospel of
Mark which most exalts the divinity of Christ with its miraculous power.

"Modern exegesis has tended to separate the historical fact from its meaning. Facts
became increasingly secondary, almost mythological, and only the spiritual meaning
remained. But fact and meaning are inseparable in Christianity."


So I guess politics, for good or ill, is playing a role here. I certainly hope that the opponents (and proponents) of Thiede's work and his critics keep their prejudices in mind. Here at least we can hope to use science answer an important question, "Did the Qumran community have Christian documents, and possibly even a Gospel?" And in such a question, the desire to uncover the truth, regardless of a priori biases is essential. Such prejudice impedes rather than helps our objectivity and research.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Here’s a site that showed page 206 from Thiede’s book “Eyewitness to Jesus” which I looked at as well as footnotes you can click on to. It's not from a scholar, just someone that probably shares your view. I only used it to gather material from Thiede's book. This person used two sources for his piece. Thiede and Josh McDowell. I hope he's better than McDowell though.
www.geocities.com/Heartland/7547/ntmss.html</font>
First, I have a copy of "Eyewitness to Jesus", and it is only 185 pages long. Maybe this copy is from Europe. I don't even know if McDowell has commented on Thiede's work at all since I do not have his book. I wouldn't mind finding out if McDowell had additional sources of support though.

Thanks again John, I am still trying to put something together on the REAL meat of Thiede's book, and that is on the Magdalen Papyrus. Awesome stuff. I will post on it when I am finished the book. As for helping me out with the questions on 7Q5, you have been fantstic! I appreciate your work on this question.

Thank you, and peace,

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 06, 2001).]
 
Old 01-07-2001, 08:49 AM   #30
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">First, I have a copy of "Eyewitness to Jesus", and it is only 185 pages long. Maybe this copy is from Europe.</font>
I could have written clearer by saying the site showed Thiede’s book as having 206 pages, instead of what I wrote by saying it “showed page 206”.

It might be that the site needs to make a correction on the page content, not sure. This is what the site provides at the bottom:

Thiede, Carsten P. and Matthew D'Ancona, EYEWITNESS TO JESUS: Amazing New Manuscript Evidence About the Origins of the Gospels (New York: Doubleday, 1996) 206 pp.

 
 

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