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Old 03-15-2001, 12:52 PM   #61
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ish:
Rodahi, so your bias goes beyond Morton Smith to Christianity!

So, Ish, when did you read The Secret Gospel? You have shown no familiarity with it.

You seem to imply that Christian beliefs are silly, so anything we say must be wrong by default.

Did you give up in your efforts to libel Morton Smith?

I tell you what. You present your beliefs and lets see what you have to back them up. Just for starters, tell me exactly what happens when we die. No, no, not speculation, evidence!

So, Ish, when did you read The Secret Gospel?


You're trying to build the same speculative case against the existence of the Christian God that I was attempting to build against Morton Smith.

So, Ish, still attempting to libel Morton Smith?

If I am biased, then so are you. It cuts both ways.

So, Ish, when did you read The Secret Gospel?

Finally, the Christian at least has the hope of an afterlife through Jesus Christ our savior. Compared with the speculative notion of a finite life and then nothingness, it sounds pretty good to me.

So, Ish, are you going to present any evidence that Morton Smith "bullshitted" anyone? Are you going to back up your claim that his integrity should be questioned?

Once again, rodahi, you prove (with the evidence of your last post I might add) that you are not out to debate and understand others but to put down others beliefs.

Have you given up attempting to prove that Morton Smith was a "bullshitter?"

You will gain nothing by "debating" in this fashion. After all, what is your goal?

One of my goals is to keep people from libeling a dead world-class scholar simply because they feel threatened by his conclusions.

By the way, you sure do complain a lot.

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 01:00 PM   #62
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
Nice work, John. I had read the article myself and should have used it. Thank you for going to the trouble.

It is interesting that Ish did not provide the name of this website, isn't it?

rodahi</font>
I had a feeling you had read the site, because I remember Ish ignoring you when you had pointed this out.

I myself, haven't read Morton Smith's "Secret Gospel of Mark", but that's okay, neither has Ish.

John
 
Old 03-15-2001, 04:08 PM   #63
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For those of you just tuning in, this thread has been about how Morton Smith sprang the existence of a document since called the "Secret Gospel of Mark" on the world about 1960.

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.

In the meantime, the following points remain unchallenged, or unaddressed by Smith's defenders thus far:

1) There is no physical or other evidence for the existence of the Secret Gospel of Mark
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
3) The only textual critic to ever see the letter is Morton Smith
4) No one (including Smith) has ever seen an actual copy of Secret Mark
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! )
6) Some people think that Morton Smith pulled a fast one on everybody, but in any event, his actual handling of the letter from Clement, even if Smith was honest, was the shabbiest scholarship possible
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.

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. If and when any evidence does show up for Secret Mark, or Clement's letter, then we can talk about it. Finally, if anyone wants to actually address the points raised by Akenson in the original post, I will discuss that as well.

In the meantime, thanks for the discussion all. It's been very interesting.

Nomad
 
Old 03-15-2001, 04:55 PM   #64
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Thanks a lot John... You are a regular sherlock!

Yes, I snipped the list. Do I have to agree with the complete post?

The fact that this particular author believes those quotes to be silly is his spin. If you can prove to me that each one of those scholars have retracted their statements that I snipped, then I will consider backing off Smith's integrity.

Rodahi, you have backed me into a position that you have contrived for me: "libeling a dead world-class scholar simply because they feel threatened by his conclusions". This is completely rhetorical and a gross misrepresentation of my views.

I have presented a critique of Smith's actions as a scholar and the questionable activities surround Secret Mark (directly from the mouths of reputable scholars). The fact that he is dead makes no difference except to support your descriptive, rhetorical accusations, twisted in just the right ways to benefit you. If he was still alive, my arguments would be the same.

Yet again, the very student of Smith, Jacob Neusner, accused Smith of forgery! To my knowledge, he even has a book refuting Smith's claims in The Secret Gospel, which by the way, I read around 1994-5 (think whatever you like) and do not happen to have it sitting in my lap as you appear to have it (probably reading for the first time since you didn't quote from more of it early on in the debate and LOUDLY make a big deal of it later!). I imagine you also know how difficult the book is to obtain!

I never said that his scholarship wasn't good (though I will not use such a rhetorical device for his work as "world-class"!), I have maintained all along that there are very suspicious circumstances surrounding the discovery and publishing of Secret Mark.

Moving on, rodahi, you attempted to ridicule our beliefs, now kindly provide us with your own beliefs. It's really easy to be on the offensive side, now try defending your beliefs.

If you think I complain a lot, r. hic., you might check your rhetoric. You'll find the reason right there.

Anyway, this converstion has gone so far down hill in a direction that I didn't intend to take it, that I will now take my leave of it for good (Yeah, I know, see ya... ).

Au Revoir,
Ish
 
Old 03-15-2001, 05:45 PM   #65
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nomad:
For those of you just tuning in, this thread has been about how Morton Smith sprang the existence of a document since called the "Secret Gospel of Mark" on the world about 1960.

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. 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.

One other thing: Morton Smith did not "spring" his books on anyone in 1960. 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. Ultimately, he published the two books alluded to above in 1973.

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.

Nomad has it backwards. There is absolutely nothing for which Morton Smith must be defended. 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.


In the meantime, the following points remain unchallenged, or unaddressed by Smith's defenders thus far:

Not any more!

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

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. Also, Why does Nomad feel so threatened by the possibility of a "Secret Mark?"


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

Again, this is not evidence that Smith "bullshitted" anyone. (It is common practice for scholars to use photographic plates for the study of MSS.)

3) The only textual critic to ever see the letter is Morton Smith

Morton Smith took photographs of the letter. Numerous scholars have studied the photographs without questioning the integrity or motives of Morton Smith.

4) No one (including Smith) has ever seen an actual copy of Secret Mark

Again, Why is Nomad so threatened by the possibility of the existence of a "Secret Mark?"


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! )

What does this have to do with the claim that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community?


6) Some people think that Morton Smith pulled a fast one on everybody

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.


, but in any event, his actual handling of the letter from Clement, even if Smith was honest, was the shabbiest scholarship possible

How much does Nomad KNOW about the "handling of the letter?" Does he know about Smith's methodology? 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?


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.

This is nothing more than one man's biased opinion.

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.

Nothing is "settled."

If and when any evidence does show up for Secret Mark, or Clement's letter, then we can talk about it.

Apparently, Nomad does not think the photographic plates of the letter are "evidence." 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.")

rodahi
 
Old 03-15-2001, 07:24 PM   #66
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Have we all forgotten the topic of this thread?

It is "Morton Smith and the Forged Secret Gospel of Mark."

Forged.

Then we have the saying--modified to be taken more minimally later on in the thread--"Morton Smith bullshitted everyone."

Bullshitted? Everyone?

We apparently (and that is the right word, I submit) have a copy of a revision of a copy (of a copy?) in a library which certainly doesn't authorize library cards to its users. As lexicographers, textual critics, archeologists and translators know, it ain't always easy in the real world to get our hot little hands touching the wounds of ancient manuscripts.

As I wrote to "Nomad" earlier, we stand on the same playing field we stand on when we look at the canonical gospels themselves: if we cannot believe in copies or reconstructions, we may not have anything left to believe in.

 
Old 03-15-2001, 07:57 PM   #67
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Rodahi, I think you’re the only one that has read the book. I’ve admitted I haven’t read it. Ish claims he has. Nomad says that Morton Smith is a bullshitter, but that he‘s honest. An honest bullshitter? Ish falls in lockstep by thinking there has to be something wrong with Morton Smith's integrity. Who is bullshitting who? Nomad continually plays the role of Columbo with his false exists. He's as sincere as he's ever been. Now I see, Ish is pretending he is signing off now too.

It will be interesting if future archaeological discoveries shed more light about the mysteries of the kingdom of God in particular if they help substantiate what Morton Smith's was saying.

John
 
Old 03-15-2001, 08:32 PM   #68
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
The fact that this particular author believes those quotes to be silly is his spin. If you can prove to me that each one of those scholars have retracted their statements that I snipped, then I will consider backing off Smith's integrity.</font>
He provided a great deal more than just the quotes. He went through a great deal of them explaining what the scholars were objecting too. Their arguments couldn’t have been laid out any simpler. If your ideal of a top-notch scholar is someone who points out that Morton Smith is bald, then, it doesn’t take much for you, does it? Others were objecting to the quality of photos, but they too can be found if the scholars critiquing his work, would have only bothered to find them. Two other scholars objecting to his work because Smith had too much documentation, and they said it was a ploy to confuse the reader. These are what you call top-notch scholars? Nomad made the following comparison:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Do you personally give more, less or the same credence to Secret Mark than you do to Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon? Why?</font>
To which rodahi replied to. I would like to ask almost the same question.

Do you personally give more or less the same credence to the Protestant Bible than Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon? If not, why?

A couple of posts up, you said this:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Finally, the Christian at least has the hope of an afterlife through Jesus Christ our savior. Compared with the speculative notion of a finite life and then nothingness, it sounds pretty good to me.</font>
A false hope isn’t any better than blind faith to me, but if it makes you feel good to think those thoughts, and you‘ve convinced yourself that it is true, I would like to know how you were able to convince yourself of that. Is it just wishful thinking, or is there some critical thought that you have put into it?

John



[This message has been edited by John the Atheist (edited March 15, 2001).]
 
Old 03-15-2001, 10:02 PM   #69
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Back to your old bait and switch tactics eh big guy? Alright, lets take a look at your "defence".

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>
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.

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.

So, rather than wondering at my motives, how about answering some questions for us penatis?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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.</font>
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.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">One other thing: Morton Smith did not "spring" his books on anyone in 1960. </font>
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.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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.</font>
Question: Why didn't he see to it that this important document was protected?

This question is one from Ish, and for all your own bullshit rodahi, you haven't answered that one either.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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.</font>
Give me a break rodahi. 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. At least you didn't do the same for Joseph Smith, but then, he was making religious claims so I suppose you wouldn't.

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.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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. </font>
For a moderator, you are clearly not reading the posts on your board very well. 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. What I want to see is hard evidence in support of Morton Smith's claims. In the absense of such evidence, the idea that there is anything to talk about here is nearly laughable. The only real discussion from my point of view is how any sceptic could even take this stuff seriously.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: In the meantime, the following points remain unchallenged, or unaddressed by Smith's defenders thus far:

Not any more!</font>
At least you gave it a game effort, but you never really answered the questions. Instead, you have questioned my motives, but don't you remember from before penatis? Questions are not answers to questions, and I asked first.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: 1) There is no physical or other evidence for the existence of the Secret Gospel of Mark

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

Let's do this again: There is NO hard evidence for Secret Mark, and now, not even for the letter Morton Smith photographed.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Also, Why does Nomad feel so threatened by the possibility of a "Secret Mark?"</font>
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.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.)</font>
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. 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? 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?

So back to the question from my first post, if a conservative scholar had pulled this stunt, what would the sceptics be saying? The silence is pretty telling here fellas, but I don't have to make too hard of a guess, do I?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>
So what? Tell me how many papyri get a hearing without ANY physical evidence or the ability to actually view them first hand?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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?"</font>
Oh oh. Red herring alert!

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

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

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

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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?</font>
Let me help you. 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.

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?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>
And in the meantime they ask excellent questions, and raise important points that require Smith's supporters to dance very fast. 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.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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?</font>
Answer the questions rodahi. Did he get any other scholar to view the physical evidence that he DID have? 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?

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

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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?</font>
Have any of these people bothered to answer legitimate questions and concerns raised by other scholars? Do any of them act like this with any other papyri? Are you always this gullible when something comes from a scholar you respect?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>
And here I thought you were going to answer the charges. Not that I am surprised by your methods any longer penatis. This has become your trademark.

Joseph Smith made claims. He had no actual evidence to produce for the world, and to date, we still have none. Morton Smith made some claims. To date no one has been able to produce any evidence to support his claims. In the world of sceptics, this shouldn't even be open for discussion.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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." </font>
Truer words were never spoken. Thanks.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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."</font>
Do we have photographic evidence of UFO's? 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.

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

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 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.")</font>
Hmm... and do we actually HAVE copies of p46 to look at? Have other scholars been able to examine it? Can we all say YES!?

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

In the meantime, like I said big guy, try and stay focused here please. I may be just an amateur, but your refusal to address the questions and points of the thread, and in the meantime to just question my motives is getting tiring. Do better.

Nomad
 
Old 03-16-2001, 06:07 AM   #70
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ish:
Thanks a lot John... You are a regular sherlock!

I disagree. John is better than "sherlock."

Yes, I snipped the list. Do I have to agree with the complete post?

You also failed to cite your source. You could have been more honest.

The fact that this particular author believes those quotes to be silly is his spin.

Did you read the whole article? Did you understand the points he made?

If you can prove to me that each one of those scholars have retracted their statements that I snipped, then I will consider backing off Smith's integrity.

You never had any reason to question Smith's integrity in the first place. If you had read the article John alluded to (except for the negative quotes), you would know that very few scholars have ever believed Morton Smith to be capable of unscrupulous behavior.

Rodahi, you have backed me into a position that you have contrived for me: "libeling a dead world-class scholar simply because they feel threatened by his conclusions". This is completely rhetorical and a gross misrepresentation of my views.

I tell it like it is.

I have presented a critique of Smith's actions as a scholar and the questionable activities surround Secret Mark (directly from the mouths of reputable scholars).

You have given the OPINIONS of men dead set on tarnishing Smith's reputation. There are not "questionable activities surrounding" anything Smith has said or done, except in your imagination. Get his book and read it.

The fact that he is dead makes no difference except to support your descriptive, rhetorical accusations, twisted in just the right ways to benefit you. If he was still alive, my arguments would be the same.

Dead men cannot refute false claims made against them. You have no arguments.

Yet again, the very student of Smith, Jacob Neusner, accused Smith of forgery! To my knowledge, he even has a book refuting Smith's claims in The Secret Gospel

As I stated earlier in this exchange, Jacob Neusner wrote a glowing review of The Secret Gospel BEFORE he became an enemy of Smith's. You have a disturbing tendency to IGNORE much factual information. I quote Neusner, "This is a brilliant account of how Morton Smith reached a major discovery in the study of first-century Christianity. We have not only his conclusions and the way in which these are argued, but also his own life and thought as he reached them. The discovery itself ranks with Qumran and Nag Hammadi, Masada and the Cairo Geniza, but required more learning and sheer erudition than all of these together, both in the recognition of what had been found, and in the interpretation and explanation of the meaning of the find. All this Smith has done--and he tells us about it in narrative of exceptional charm and simplicity." THIS REVIEW IS ON THE COVER OF SMITH'S BOOK! This edition was published in 1982!! WHY did Jacob Neusner wait until Morton Smith was dead before attacking him? If you think his change of heart was based on a re-assessment of the evidence, think again. To my knowledge, Neusner developed a hatred for Smith AFTER Smith exposed Neusner's unethical behavior with respect to a certain book Neusner published. Neusner made false claims. Smith pointed out this fact. Neusner lost face and became Smith's enemy.

which by the way, I read around 1994-5 (think whatever you like) and do not happen to have it sitting in my lap

You could have saved yourself a lot of grief if you had admitted this fact early on.

as you appear to have it (probably reading for the first time since you didn't quote from more of it early on in the debate and LOUDLY make a big deal of it later!). I imagine you also know how difficult the book is to obtain!

FACT: I have a paperback copy of The Secret Gospel that I purchased about four years ago. I read it when I first got it, and I re-read it a few days ago.

I never said that his scholarship wasn't good (though I will not use such a rhetorical device for his work as "world-class"!), I have maintained all along that there are very suspicious circumstances surrounding the discovery and publishing of Secret Mark.

What you say simply is not true. The ONLY reason you think "there are very suspicious circumstances surrounding the discovery and publishing of Secret Mark" is because of the negatively-biased commentary of a very few vocal critics of Smith. Again, if you had the book in front of you and could read the circumstances as they developed, you would not be suspicious at all. I truly think that some of Smith's critics have read none (or only small portions) of his books. Quesnell is an exception, but Smith refuted Quesnell's claims.

Moving on, rodahi, you attempted to ridicule our beliefs, now kindly provide us with your own beliefs.

I have not "ridiculed" your beliefs. I HAVE pointed out that you have not presented any EVIDENCE demonstrating that Morton Smith "bullshitted" the scholarly community.

It's really easy to be on the offensive side, now try defending your beliefs.

Based on reading Smith's book, which includes his methodology and conclusions, I
am convinced he believed he had found a genuine copy of a Clementine letter. I have no reason to think he did anything unethical nor should anyone else.

If you think I complain a lot, r. hic., you might check your rhetoric. You'll find the reason right there.

You sure do complain a lot. BTW, what is "r. hic." supposed to mean?

Anyway, this converstion has gone so far down hill in a direction that I didn't intend to take it, that I will now take my leave of it for good (Yeah, I know, see ya... ).

It has surely been a pleasure. You still haven't presented evidence demonstrating Morton Smith did anything dishonest or that he "bullshitted" the scholarly community.

rodahi

 
 

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