FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-22-2001, 06:54 PM   #61
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
It has been suggested that 90% of the Passion Narratives are fiction based on Greek mythology. How is that not your standard mythicist argument?
</font>
As I understand it, the standard mythicist argument is that there was no historical person named Jesus at all, with the Jesus figure derived from pagan mystery religions. I think this is different from the idea that there was such a person, but that many legends grew up around him. Homer is not the same as the mystery religions.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
We've responded to the arguments presented. If you have a problem as to how they were presented, then correct the presentation, don't whine to how they have been received. There has been a substantive debate going on, feel free to join it.
</font>
Let me try again.

The argument that Mark is based on Homer is presented in a slim volume which presents a well researched argument that the structure and details of Mark were derived from a literary interplay with Homer. The force of the argument involves the lengthy details and parallels, some of which are stronger than others, but which on the whole present a cumulative picture that is very convincing. It is not just that there are many parallels, but that many details in Mark do not make sense as far as Mark's narrative, but do make sense if they are derived from Homer.

You have been told about this scholarly work, and that it can only be appreciated if you read the entire book, but you decline to read it. Instead, you prefer to pick apart one of the parallels that you have been provided, claiming that it could all be due to chance, and that people who doubt the historicity of Jesus are just gullible fools who will believe anything.

For the amount of time you have spent complaining that you haven't been presented with the right arguments, you could have read at least part of the book. Then you could have made an intelligent commentary, pro or con, instead of just engaging in verbal combat.

Your refusal to even consider reading it for yourself sounds like you are afraid of it. I guess I would be if I were a fundamentalist.

If you don't think the book is worth reading, even with its review on this site by Richard Carrier, you can't really comment on how good the argument is, can you?

But I see by your profile that you, Layman, are an LA lawyer, so the facts shouldn't get in your way.
Toto is offline  
Old 02-22-2001, 07:38 PM   #62
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Originally posted by Layman:
It has been suggested that 90% of the Passion Narratives are fiction based on Greek mythology. How is that not your standard mythicist argument?

Because 10% is not. Because there *is* a story underneath it. I don't know what the *standard mythicist argument* is. I always thought that those scholars all had their own arguments, with some points in common. MacDonald doesn't even have a position on the existence of Jesus AFAIK.

Talk about raising Strawmen. Do you know how many books there are on the historical Jesus written by respected scholars? How many have you read? Do you read everyone that others suggest? Have you read E.P. Sanders' Jesus and Judaism and The Historical Figure of Jesus? Have you read N.T. Wright's New Testament and the People of God and Jesus and the Victory of God? Have you read Ben Witherington's The Christology of Jesus and The Jesus Quest? Have you read both volumes of John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew? Have you read both volumes of Raymond E. Brown's The Death of the Messiah, and An Introduction to New Testament Christology?

Do you know how many books were written saying that cannon were a fourteenth century invention of the west, until Needham found one in China dated 1288? Do you know how many books were written on submarine warfare in WWII before it was revealed that our amazing success was due to having cracked Japanese codes? Do you know how many books were written on neoclassical explanations of Taiwan's growth, and have been junked because of work done in the late 80s? What kind of reaction is that, Layman? When new information comes along, you junk what is demonstratably wrong, reassess what is salvageable, and move on. I've done that a zillion times, and will do it a zillion more.

There are 1,500 books in the Taoist canon, some devoted to entirely fictional wonderworkers. Should I accept them because the evidence for them is so much richer than it is for Jesus? Remember when scholars were arguing about when in the 2nd century John was written and then wham!, along comes a date of 125 for a papyrus and it's a whole new ballgame. Now they are discussing how early it should be dated. Same information as before, only new data caused people to look at it in new ways. New information causes revisions in thinking. That's what scholarship is for. It isn't to buttress already-held positions.

I thought Bede's post was great, it was the only one that actually addressed some of the issues at hand. &gt;bow&lt; But, as I said, the summaries I gave don't make sense without the supporting arguments, which I can't give. Toto was right, I never should have done that. Read the book and confront it yourselves. I am always available for discussion on or off-list.

Michael
 
Old 02-22-2001, 07:43 PM   #63
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I have written to a friend who is a Fellow at Cambridge University in England, and teaches classical Greek and Latin. (His PhD is in classical Greek). If anyone thinks that I am the author of this piece, however, I am flattered. But trust me, I couldn't have written this kind of piece with a gun placed to my head.

Here is his review of MacDonald's book, and yes, he has read it in its entirety.

Nomad
---------------------------------------------

Some notes on MacDonald's 'The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark'

It is my intention to divide this short review into three sections: 'Why I
think that MacDonald [hereinafter MacD] is wrong'; 'Why MacDonald's thesis is
antecedently improbable'; and 'Why it doesn't really matter anyway'. These
sections have been arranged in reverse order, in the hope that anyone who
doesn't get to the end will at least see the most important bits.


Why it doesn't really matter anyway

The more irritating thing about MacD's book - or rather, not his book, but the
people with axes to grind who make use of his research - is to (mis)appropriate his work to prove something that it manifestly doesn't.

The thing that they think it proves is the theological bankruptcy of
Christianity. Here's why it doesn't.

Lay Christians assailed by atheists triumphantly brandishing copies of MacD who
don't know much about classical literature or NT scholarship will probably
immediately take refuge in one of two arguments: (a) similarity doesn't prove
influence; and (b) Mark could have used Homer for 'literary reasons'. And these
are, in fact, the main argument that I come across in bog-standard refutations
of MacD on Christian websites. Now, atheists are entitled to scoff at them,
since they show every sign of having been plucked from the air by people who
*know* that MacD *can't* be true and have chosen to take refuge in a couple of
apparent fail-safes. Unfortunately for them, however, on closer inspection, the
arguments turn out to be perfectly good and valid ones.

Below, I'll try to show that most of the supposed parallels are quite illusory.
But suppose that MacD had proved his case beyond all reasonable - no, all
*possible* doubt. So what? Would Mark's harnessing of Homer as a literary model
prove that Christianity wasn't an authentic revealed religion? Of course not.
If I wanted to write a biography of one of my friends or colleagues, I'd have
no difficulty in singling out episodes in their lives bearing some resemblance
to episodes in Homer (remember that the forty-eight books of Homer are each
several hundred lines long, while GMark is quite a petite little text - the
shortest of all the Gospels, in fact).

The only indictment which could plausibly lie against Christianity on the basis
of MacD's study is that (to put it crudely) Mark made up bits of his Gospel to
fit his Homeric model. Now, I hardly need point out that the notion that Mark
massaged details or made creative use of narrative structures in pursuit of his
literary ends would be problematic only to a hardcore inerrantist (or an
atheist who has already decided that MacD's book proves that there is
*something* fishy about the Bible, whatever it may be, and doesn't want to
relinquish what s/he feels sure *must* be a valuable weapon). I can say with
confidence that, even if it were proved that Mark had, as a creative artist,
taken literary and/or historical liberties with his material in a way which
adherents of modern positivistic historiography might find uncomfortable, that
fact would not even come close to proving that the creation of his text was not
inspired by God to stand as an authoritative witness to the life of Jesus
Christ. After all, you don't have to be a liberal to accept that the Christic
discourses in John's Gospel can't be read like a news report in yesterday's New
York Times.

It is impossible to underestimate the significance of these few basic facts.
They don't merely discredit the atheists' *strongest* MacD-based argument: they
completely destroy their *only* one.


Why MacDonald's thesis is antecendently improbable

What MacDonald doesn't do is explain that he's got an uphill struggle on his
hands (excuse the mixed metaphor) from the outset. There are several reasons
for this.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about MacD's book is that he never explains
*why* Mark allegedly drew on Homer so heavily (not MacD's fault, since that's
not the function of his work). It seems probable a priori that Mark's intention
was to write a text which could be used in the instruction and/or
evangelization of sub-Úlite Romans (or, if you accept the Goulder-Spong thesis,
in public worship). Now, while Mark's target audience will have been reasonably
familiar with the contents of the Homeric epics, the idea that they would have
picked up on the sort of things that MacD purports to have identified is almost
incredible. *That* would have taken long, hard study by a skilled and
determined scholar. Did Mark really go to all that trouble just to put together
a playful little jeu d'esprit for the benefit of an educated minority? Or was
his principal concern the salvation of souls after all?

If Mark had *wanted* people to pick up on the Homeric parallels adduced - and
it's difficult to believe that his motives in writing his Gospel were identical
to those of Elgar composing the Enigma Variations - he would have made it very
clear. If the Homeric epics really had provided the interpretative key to
GMark, the fact would have become well-known. Indeed, it could plausibly be
argued that it would never have been forgotten - at any rate, one would expect
to find some reference to GMark's Homeric pedigree in the record somewhere.
Instead, there's a deafening silence. None of our Christian forebears mention
anything about Mark being influenced by Homer, not even the Apostolic Fathers,
despite the fact that they tell us a reasonable amount generally about the
authorship of the Gospels and the circumstances of their composition. That fact
alone should set alarm bells ringing in our minds.

This brings me onto another vital point: if MacD were right, it would almost
defy belief that the extensive and detailed parallels which he uncovers lay
hidden for twenty centuries before being excavated by him. The Fathers knew
their Homer - as MacD himself points out, various later works of Christian
literature are manifestly Homeric hypertexts. Yet none of them noticed anything
fishy about GMark. Archbishop Eustathius, Ecumenical Patriarch (Head of the
Orthodox Church) during the Middle Ages, was one of the greatest Homeric
scholars in history: he even wrote a massive commentary on both epics that
dwarfs every single one of its successors. Yet he didn't smell any rats. And
what of the nineteenth-century German skeptics? Homer was just as popular a
target for Wellhausens as the text of the Bible, and dozens of academics
working on the NT would have been just as familiar with Homer as Mark. It is
incredible that MacD is unable to call to the stand *any* of these distinctly
unsympathetic witnesses.

Then there is the linguistic argument. Briefly, Homer wrote in a very peculiar
dialect. When later authors deliberately Homerized, they frequently added
Homeric colouring to their work at the verbal or syntactic level. Mark simply
doesn't do this. (To be fair, MacD is aware of this problem, even though he
never really surmounts it.)

Finally, there is little formal resemblance between the epics and GMark. When
Virgil ripped off Homer's two 24-book oeuvres, he wrote a 12-book poem which
followed the Odyssey for the first 6 books and the Iliad in its second half.
Likewise, Nonnus' Dionysiaca received 48 books - to show that it was as good as
both Homeric epics put together. There isn't even a ghost of this in Mark.

I could go on and point to things like the absence of a prooemium (which would
be an absolute gift to a Christian writer - just look at the beginning of
'Paradise Lost') - but you get the idea.


Why I think that MacDonald is wrong

I'll start with one strange parallel which seems to be quite popular on the
Internet: that between the stories of Elpenor and Eutychus.

Odyssey Bible
Odysseys and crew left Troy Paul and crew stopped at Troas having
And sailed back to Achaea. Left Achaea to sail back to Jerusalem.

This is seriously misleading. Odysseus' voyage back from Troy began long before
the Circe episode (to which the Elpenor incident belongs), and Odysseus had had
numerous strange adventures in the meantime. Also, Achaea is a big place, and
Paul hadn't been anywhere near the spot which Odysseus was making for (the
island of Ithaca, on the far side of the Greek peninsula).

Narration in the first-person plural. Narration in first-person plural.

This doesn't even count as a parallel. What other person could the Bible-writer
have used under the circumstances?!

After a sojourn, the crew and After a sojourn, the believers and Paul
Odysseus ate a meal. ate a meal.
Disaster came at night. Disaster came at midnight.

Of course, what this *doesn't* note is that Odysseus and his crew have by this
stage in the Circe episode done lots of things that Paul and his friends
*don't* - the Eutychus incident assumes a certain prominence in Paul's
narrative which Elpenor's mishap just doesn't have in Homer (which raises the
question again: what on earth did the Bible-writer think he was achieving by
patterning his narrative after such a strange and trivial incident?). Odysseus'
friends, since you ask, have by this stage been turned into animals (and back
again) by a witch, who obligingly goes to bed with Odysseus when he objects.

The crew slept in Circe's "darkened "There were plenty of lamps in the upper
Halls." Room."

Elpenor fell into "sweet sleep." Eutychus fell into a "deep
sleep."

If the Bible-writer really *had* been basing his narrative on Homer, "sweet
sleep" would have been an absolute gift as a means of flagging up what he was
doing on the level of vocab. "Sweet sleep" is an absolutely standard Homeric
phrase - occurs numerous times in the epics.

e epics.

The narrator switches to third person. The narrator switches to third person.

Well, of course he does!

"There was one, Elpenor, the "A certain young man named Eutychus."
youngest."

Ok, so they're both young..! Once again, the Bible-writer's not making it easy
for us, is he? Why couldn't he just have made Eutychus the *youngest*? Or by
bringing in this new 'young man' noun? What does he think he's doing?
Incidentally, the fact that their names both begin with 'E-' doesn't count,
since the 'Eu' is a diphthong, and diphthongs in Greek don't alliterate with
monophthongs.

Elpenor fell from the roof. Eutychus fell from the third story.
Elpenor's soul went to Hades. Eutychus's soul remained in him.
Associates fetched the body, dead. Associates took up the body, alive.

Ok, so one person falls from one place and dies and someone else falls from
another place and survives.

Elpenor was not buried until dawn. Eutychus was not raised alive until dawn.

And this is where MacD gets seriously misleading. Firstly, Eutychus was never
'raised alive' - he was never dead to begin with, and all that happened was
that Paul let him go on sleeping until - naturally enough - dawn. Secondly,
before Elpenor's body was dealt with, lots and ltos of things happened to
Odysseus and his crew, including a book-long trip to the underworld, which have
no conceivable biblical counterpart.


So the similarity between the two passages comes down to the fact that in each
of them someone has a fall while asleep. Hardly faith-shaking stuff.

The irony here is that the NT passage comes from Acts, traditionally ascribed
to *Luke*. Even if we admit Homeric influence here, so what? Either we take the
common-sense view that it has no bearing on GMark (and hence the rest of MacD's
book) - or we start getting into the realms of conspiracy theories and
hypothesize that there was some kind of plot among the NT writers to infringe
Homer's copyright without letting anyone know.


After that rather detailed scrutiny of a typical MacDonaldian exercise in
parallel-drawing, let's now take a bird's eye view of MacD's case for
associating the Marcan Jesus with Odysseus, which he nconveniently summarises
at the start of his book.

1. Both sail seas with associates far their inferiors, who weaken when
confronted by suffering.

Yes, but Odysseus wanders, lost, for 10 years while trying to get home from the
wars, spending much of his time in mythical space, while Jesus takes a few
short boat-trips on inland seas in Palestine.
The whole purpose of Odysseus' companions is that they point up a contrast with
the hero. And it's hardly surprising that the disciples didn't always match up
to the Messiah. Not really a parallel at all.

2. Both heroes return home to find it infested with murderous rivals that
devour the houses of widows.

I wondered what MacD was talking about here until I discovered later in his
book that he is lumping together various assorted money-changers, scribes,
pharisees etc who feel the rough edge of Jesus' tongue with the suitors of
Penelope. Now, most of Jesus' enemies aren't murderous, just self-righteous and
hypocritical; and none of them have much to do with widows (though some of them
are vaguely referred to as oppressing women whose husbands have died). Penelope
isn't a widow, anyway, and Homer never describes her as one. Nor are Jesus
enemies in his 'home' (the Temple - the House of the Father - is in no way
analogous to Odysseus' palace).

3. Both oppose supernatural foes, visit dead heroes, and prophesy their own
returns in the third person.

Nearly all heroes oppose supernatural foes, and the supernatural foes of
Odysseus (notably, Poseidon and the Sun) are manifestly not comparable to
Jesus' supernatural adversaries.
Odysseus visits the underworld in a book-long interlude and sees or converses
with various great men of the past; the nearest Jesus comes to this is the
Transfiguration (entirely different - much fewer 'heroes' are invovled, and not
much conversation takes place). Later in the book, MacD will compare each of
these incidents with something completely different in the other text -
notably, the Transfiguration gets compared with Odysseus' recognition by
Telemachus, which seems truly bizarre, an impression which isn't assuaged when
one reads MacD's feeble attempt to marry arbitrarily-chosen passages from the
two texts.
And does anyone, even MacD himself, take seriously the suggestion that Jesus'
prophecies of the Second Coming were suggested to Mark by his reading of Homer?

4. A wise woman anoints each protagonist, and both eat last suppers with their
comrades before visiting Hades, from which both return alive.

The woman at Bethany who anoints (a almost completely obscure character of whom
we know almost nothing and who plays an insignificant role in GMark) is
supposed to counterpoint Eurycleia (Odysseus' old nurse who has known him from
childhood and plays a major role in the later books of the Odyssey), on the
basis that the latter pours oil onto Odysseus' body too. Say no more.
Moreover, Eurycleia's recognition of Odysseus by his childhood scar is supposed
to counterpoint the Bethany woman's recognition that Jesus is going to die (and
here MacD has to torture the text to extract this particular detail -
apparently, she anointed him *because* she realised he was a goner).
Nothing in the Odyssey even slightly resembles the Last Supper, so I won't
waste time on this alleged parallel, which is gossamer-thin even by MacD's
hair-raisingly generous standards.
Odysseus' trip to the underworld is divided into two parts - the first is spent
on earth talking to some ghosts who rise out of a trench and appear in front of
him; the second (which was probably inserted into the Odyssey's text at a
relatively late stage) is spent actually walking around in Hades looking at
sinners suffering unspeakable punishments. Now, you (and Prof. MacD) might see
some point of contact here with the Cruficixion and Resurrection, but I'm
afraid that I'm personally less than convinced.


These 'notes' have gone on for too long already, and I haven't got time to
explain why (my personal favourite!) Jesus' Resurrection bears no resemblance
to the ransoming of Hector's body by Priam from Achilles, or why connecting the
three lengthy laments which end the Iliad with Mk 15.47-16.1 takes considerably
more imagination than I possess. The aroma of coffee, we are told, is like sex
in that it promises more than it can ever deliver. 'The Homeric Epics and the
Gospel of Mark' might be an equally appropriate analogue.
 
Old 02-23-2001, 08:04 AM   #64
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You have been told about this scholarly work, and that it can only be appreciated if you read the entire book, but you decline to read it. Instead, you prefer to pick apart one of the parallels that you have been provided, claiming that it could all be due to chance, and that people who doubt the historicity of Jesus are just gullible fools who will believe anything.

For the amount of time you have spent complaining that you haven't been presented with the right arguments, you could have read at least part of the book. Then you could have made an intelligent commentary, pro or con, instead of just engaging in verbal combat.

Your refusal to even consider reading it for yourself sounds like you are afraid of it. I guess I would be if I were a fundamentalist.

If you don't think the book is worth reading, even with its review on this site by Richard Carrier, you can't really comment on how good the argument is, can you?

But I see by your profile that you, Layman, are an LA lawyer, so the facts shouldn't get in your way.[/B]</font>
Oh please. You misconstrue my point completely. I have not taken the dismissive tone that you suggest. I have not been the one to pick apart the parrallels. I have not said that those who doubt the historicity of Jesus are gullible fools. Instead I have focused on the massive amount of the Jesus tradition which is independent of Mark. A fact that Mac's supporters continually deny but have yet to refute.

And it is a rather pathetic argument to keep up the "you just have to read it" line of assault. The fact that one or two people claim to have read something that is so revolutionary, but complex, that I simply MUST read the book is nothing new. There are "revolutionary" books published about Jesus every day. This Third Quest for the historical Jesus has been the most prolific yet. Crossan claims that the gospel writers invented the passion narrative based on OT prophecies, Arachaya claims that it is all based on Egyptian Myths, etc. and so on and so forth. My point is not that these are invalid on their face because they claim to be revolutionary, but I don't have time to read them all. That is why I referred to all of the other authors that I did. They ALL claim to have revolutionary insights into the historical Jesus.

Claiming that the new novel theory just hasn't had time to enact a revolution in historical thought is a clever debating tool, but it fails to offer ANY persuasive value for the point itself. N.T. Wright's latest "Jesus and the Victory of God" is also considered to be "revolutionary." He had developed a theory which makes Jesus all the more thorougly Jewish by realizing a rather radical understanding of Second Temple Judaism's belief that the nation of Israel was still in an exilic mindframe. He argues, persuasively in my opinion, that the only way to understand Jesus' teachings and actions are in the context of that perspective of first century Judaism. Do you accept that theory? Are you going to read his book?

Ya know what? I'm willing to bet that I have read MORE and more diverse works by Third Quest authors than you have. The notion that I am somehow afraid of MacDonald is just another cheap debating technique. You seek to convert your failure to adequately defend his theories into a virtue. It is not. I've seen nothing yet that suggests his efforts merit more of my scarce time.

And, I see you devolve into another time honored but cheap debating technique. Name calling. Now I am a "fundamentalist" and, God-forbid, an "LA laywer." But, to be clear. No, I am not a fundamentalist. Yes, I am a lawyer. Yes, I live in LA.

You must be very frustrated by your inability to defend your point.
 
Old 02-23-2001, 09:27 AM   #65
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile


Hi Michael,

You wrote: MacDonald doesn't even have a position on the existence of Jesus AFAIK.

Sec: I'm in contact with MacDonald at the moment via e-mail. He definitely does believe Jesus existed and he even teaches a course on the historical Jesus. I wrote asking him specifically about historical Jesus research - if he thought it was a waste of time. He says it is not, though he does feel that certain areas where he has allegedly demonstrated mimesis need to be dropped from consideration. He also writes: "By the way, I am a practicing Christian, a deacon in my local church, and my wife is a hospital chaplain. For my money, there is no conflict between my research and my faith, but there most certainly is a creative tension. Keep the faith!"

SecWebLurker


 
Old 02-23-2001, 10:35 AM   #66
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
I have focused on the massive amount of the Jesus tradition which is independent of Mark.
</font>
I see we are arguing at cross purposes. You are arguing for the existence of the historical Jesus. I am an agnostic on that question, although I tend to find the evidence thin. I am just arguing that Mark is not an eyewitness account.

Our friend Nomad has been trying to argue that Mark contains eyewitness testimony to the existence of Jesus that passes scrutiny as a historical document. (Other Christian apologists try to make this argument, like Josh McDowell.) This particular argument, which was never very convincing, is now worthless.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">N.T. Wright's latest "Jesus and the Victory of God" is also considered to be "revolutionary." He had developed a theory which makes Jesus all the more thorougly Jewish by realizing a rather radical understanding of Second Temple Judaism's belief that the nation of Israel was still in an exilic mindframe. He argues, persuasively in my opinion, that the only way to understand Jesus' teachings and actions are in the context of that perspective of first century Judaism. Do you accept that theory? Are you going to read his book?
</font>
Maybe I will. But that's not what I thought we were discussing here.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I've seen nothing yet that suggests his efforts merit more of my scarce time.</font>
I think you have prematurely assumed an adversarial mode. You decided that MacDonald was a "Third Quest" type instead of the scholarly Christian that he is. McDonald's book is pure literary criticism, with no discussion of the historical Jesus, pro or con.

Besides, anyone who posts on these boards can't be that pressed for time.
Toto is offline  
Old 02-23-2001, 11:00 AM   #67
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

"I think you have prematurely assumed an adversarial mode. You decided that MacDonald was a "Third Quest" type instead of the scholarly Christian that he is. McDonald's book is pure literary criticism, with no discussion of the historical Jesus, pro or con."

You seem to assume that I have some hostility to the "Third Quest." I assure you that your assumption is misplaced. I have been very eager and excited to learn as much from the Third Questers as possible. I think that it has been, by far, much more succesful than the previous "Jesus Quests."

My point was that your implication that I was somehow too scared to read the books was baseless. Just because it is revolutionary doesn't mean I have to read it. There are plenty of revolutionary books about Jesus that I simply have no time or inclination to read. Even when I finish Jesus and the Victory of God I still must work through Ben Witherington's commentary on Acts, and I am eagerly awaiting J.P. Meier's third volume of A Marginal Jew.
 
Old 02-23-2001, 11:30 AM   #68
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I will be gone for the weekend, but would like to cover this point off...

Toto

Bede, Layman, Polycarp and I have listed off a host of objections to MacDonald's theories, and also addresses specific examples of his parallels, and why they do not work.

In response, you have said that we must read the book in order to fully grasp his argument. I have responded to that by writing a good friend who teaches Classical Greek, and he has read MacDonald's book.

So, reply either to our challenges, or to the review offered by our Cambridge Fellow. Thus far you have demonstrated all the belief of a solid fundamentalist, but have refused to offer more than assertions. If that is all you have, then so be it, but do not consider your opinions to be arguments. That is simply not how this is done.

So, on that note, I am off. If you have anything substantive to say, then I will address it when I get back.

In the meantime, be well.

Nomad
 
Old 08-16-2001, 10:09 AM   #69
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 410
Post

I have seen a number of references to MacDonald's book on the boards of late, and thought it might be worth while to bring this thread back to the top. Apparently this discussion is not as settled and finished as I had previously believed.

Nomad
Nomad is offline  
Old 08-16-2001, 02:05 PM   #70
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 40,549
Post

I would suggest that Mike or a moderator close this thread, which is unwieldy, and not conclusive. It is unfair to expect a newcomer to read through the entire thing, and then add a comment or question to the end. If anyone has anything else to say, as opposed to referring the the prior arguments, I think a new thread would be appropriate.

I started a separate thread. If you will check that thread, the last order of business was that Bede challenged the idea that Homer ever referred to Odysseus as a carpenter, and I listed some sources for him from the footnotes in MacDonald. Bede never got back to me, so I guess he now realizes that Homer does refer to Odysseus as a "tektwn", and that other authors made a point of technical skills being a part of the ideal hero.
Toto is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:31 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.