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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. I strongly believe that shared experience is part of the divine nature. I believe that, given that Christ experienced our pains during the Atonement, we can take it as a given that it is possible for divine beings to experience the experiences of others. It would make sense to me that part of heaven, part of deification, is undergoing the experiences of others, mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice to the umpteenth degree. Actually this helps with some aspects of the problem of evil as well. Huh.
  2. Fashion icons for thousands of years and counting.
  3. I would argue that the general "opposition" which they experienced before the Fall, ie the presence of Satan, is insufficient to fulfill the measure of Lehi's concept of opposition, which is totalizing: "opposition in all things." I'd also argue that if we don't have concepts of good or evil then it becomes hard to have a goal, and thus opposition to that goal. For this reason I tend to think that the fruit didn't cause knowledge of good and evil to immediately distill upon them; rather, it sent them out in the world to have experience which taught them good from evil. The knowledge came from the mortal experience which the act of eating the fruit initiated, not the fruit itself.
  4. And those characters...are from the first four lines of JSP XI. The absence of characters from line I is meaningless as long as it can be demonstrated that characters from the twin manuscripts were regarded by Joseph Smith as not being translate-able. Gonna CFR Mackay on that. Gotta love scholarly mindreading. Exactly, no Abrahamic relation. Also for what it's worth the Valuable Discovery notebook was not involved in extended translation efforts and appears purely experimental. Here's what I've found of Schryver. Makes enough sense to me: https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2010/the-meaning-of-the-kirtland-egyptian-papers-part-i His conclusion is actually similar to Samuel Brown's statements in other places, and provides some textual support to Brown's theories. Basically, the KEP were not a back-translation of a language, but a language creation: the creation of what they believed a "pure language" to resemble.
  5. The fact that we have instantiated the Eden narrative in a temple rite even after so many centuries of that tradition being lost never ceases to amaze me. I used to be much more traditionalist about Adam and Eve and I used to be thankful to God that I knew how connected we were to the grand scheme of things. I knew the true history of the world, the grand arc, more than those around me. Or so I thought. I've changed my mind since, accepted that I was wrong about many things, but things like this remind me that I am still connected to something ponderous, ancient, and primordial...a mystery more profound and exciting than the casual confidence I lost. The journey from certain to sacred is quite the trip. Please forgive the bad pun.
  6. Got it. I do find it interesting that Northern Utah is essentially an inverted Holy Land.
  7. I weirdly enjoy reading legal documents and rulings. So long as there's not too much technical legal jargon, it's usually lucid writing and quite reasonable.
  8. In what ways are Lunn's comments inconsistent? Because it isn't dubious by the standards of textual reconstruction. Actually, it does matter, because these scribes aren't pulling things out of thin air...unless you intend to accuse the vast majority of New Testament scribes of dishonesty. They're working with pre-existing textual traditions which cannot simply be dismissed. It should be noted that the manuscript evidence from the "oldest and most trusted manuscripts" isn't uniformly against the Long Ending either. The gold standard for New Testament textual studies are the four Great Uncial Manuscripts, the Codices Sinaticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, and Ephraemi Rescriptus. All of them occur within about 100 years of each other. We haven't heard much about the latter two in this discussion, because they contain the Long Ending. You aren't just looking at a bunch of late manuscripts here. The Long Ending was in there pretty early. Regarding word choice, the case against the Long Ending isn't that clear cut. Much hay has been made about the 17 words that don't ever recur in the Gospel of Mark. This doesn't mean too much when you realize that Mark 15:40-16:4, a 12-verse section preceding the Long Ending, contains 20 words that likewise do not appear anywhere else in the Gospel of Mark. Yet nobody doubts the originality of this passage. As it turns out, Mark's vocabulary is more varied than we realize. Here's a handy table from an old paper on the subject: The Style of the Long Ending of Mark. Below are the chapters of Mark and the incidences of unique words within them. "Number of Words Used Only Once" refers to incidence in the entire Gospel of Mark. So the "unique words" argument loses a lot of strength here. This is unfortunately a false dichotomy. Whether or not a Church Father is correct on topics of theology and possess priesthood authority (the crux of the matter of the Great Apostasy) has nothing to do with whether or not they quote texts in their writings and thus provide support for their historical inclusion. What the Church Fathers do with those verses is what we might have a problem with, and that is of little consequence in this dispute. Though, for what it's worth, we actually don't have too much beef with the Church Fathers which we are discussing. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Polycarp aren't terribly objectionable. I think Augustine is really where we break theologically, and he comes later. But actually, while we're on the topic, let's talk Church Fathers. As I recall, you mentioned how Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome offer support for the hypothesis that the Longer Ending is not original? The following blog post offers interesting pushback on common arguments like these: Mark 16:9-20: Sorting Out Some Common Mistakes As it turns out, Clement of Alexandria's silence is not significant. Why? Because he is similarly silent with regards to the vast majority of Mark. He just doesn't use it that much, besides chapter 10. In fact, Clement cites 1.3% of Mark outside of chapter 10. The absence of a Clementine citation of Mark is not terribly significant, unless I misunderstand the point Metzger is trying to make. Origen's silence is similar: like his fellow Alexandrine Clement, he didn't use Mark very much. He makes an oblique reference to the contents of the Longer Ending in Philocalia, though I wouldn't call it a knockdown reference by any means. I'd say his testimony is neutral. Eusebius is probably your best witness here, because he omitted the Longer Ending from his Canons. However, Eusebius's statement about the absence of the Longer Ending is qualified. It comes from his Ad Marinum, a letter to Marinus answering certain questions. Marinus asks how to respond to the differences in resurrection accounts between Matthew and Mark. Eusebius offers him two options: a) just deny Mark because it's disputed, or b) harmonize the two, which harmony he then offers. Notably, Eusebius does not encourage Option A, and at another point in the same letter, he quotes the Longer Ending three times while answering additional questions. Eusebius' relationship to the Longer Ending was complicated, I grant, but to say that he dismissed it outright is incorrect. He may have viewed it as not original to the Gospel of Mark, but it seems clear that he didn't view it as false or heretical. Jerome's comments on the matter are actually just an loose quotation of Eusebius' comments in this regard. Notably, Jerome included the Longer Ending in the Vulgate and also referenced Mark 16:14 in his Against the Pelagians, where he notes that he found the Freer Logion with it in numerous Greek manuscripts. It is difficult to fathom how he could find the Freer Logion with Mark 16:14 on Greek manuscripts without Mark 16:14 being on the Greek manuscripts. I should note, as a cautionary tale, that none of these men had access to more than a few geographically-centered copies of the Gospel of Mark. There wasn't a massive database of Mark-copies for them to search. Make of that what you will. Nevertheless, I think I'm getting ahead of myself, defending a hill I don't particularly need to. I'm with @webbles: the existence of an early Christian tradition of these words and promises being said is all we need, and we have it. These words didn't have to be attached to Mark originally. Frankly, any sort of Ostlerite expansion model could also do it, or Jesus choosing to reference such with Moroni. Such 'God magic' is clearly less offensive to us. But also...the more I learn of biblical studies, the more I feel that the buyer must beware, and must always double-check. Pointing that out is always enjoyable.
  9. I've done so. If I have Rorty (and yourself) right, Pragmatism and postmodernism do not hold that there is no external world. "To say that the world is out there, that it is not our creation, is to say, with common sense, that most things in space and time are the effects of causes which do not include human mental states." However, our access to this external world is mediated 100% through our perceptions, so for all intents and purposes our perceptions are what exist.
  10. That quotation from Irenaeus looks like a cited text to me. I didn't know I was being graded on formatting. I'm still waiting for an answer on what exactly it is you're looking for. Overstepping your evidence. On what evidence do you declare his reading false? Any explanation of what happens to these words is going to earn these two adjectives, considering the fact that all we have is some manuscripts have the words whereas others don't. Earliest, you have. How are you measured "most trusted" or "most reliable"?
  11. Ah, the soft tyranny of "of course," by which dubious conclusions are smuggled into the discourse as facts. The nature of historical inquiry is such that assumptions are effectively unavoidable. Those who desire an empirical or legal resolution to historical questions will be disappointed, as sure as the day is long. It's a little more difficult to dismiss the Diatessaron than that. The two texts you refer to, namely the Codex Fuldensis and the Arabic Diatessaron are translated so that their citations correspond to the wording of the dominant biblical canons in their areas, respectively the Vulgate and the Syrian Peshitta. However, they use the excerpts of Mark 16:9-20 in the same way, weaving them among the excerpts from other gospels in an almost identical fashion: The specific word choice of these two witnesses to the Diatessaron is influenced by the canonical works but the inclusion of the cited passages themselves is not. Given that these two separate translations from separate Christian traditions use the Long Ending of Mark in substantially the same way (in the classical style characteristic of Tatian no less), it can be concluded that both the Codex Fuldensis and the Arabic Diatessaron are following a prior text of the Diatessaron which preceded them both. It must be noted that an interpolation into a text is usually characterized by its being out of joint and disconnected from the text around it; asserting that seamlessly integrated features of a text are interpolations for the sake of another argument is controversial. Other things which you may be interested to consider. Irenaeus of Lyons in Book Three of his Against Heresies, chapter 10, writes the following. That's a direct quotation from the Longer Ending. This work was written around 180 AD. I have a question for you, Bob. What evidence are you expecting? Will you accept nothing less than a document carbon-dated to the first couple of centuries with the Longer Ending written on it? If so, then we might as well stop now, because that doesn't exist to my knowledge.
  12. It's textual criticism. Once you get any case that strays from the straightforward, "supposition" is basically unavoidable. Historical reasoning is a lot more fuzzy than legal reasoning. I'm somewhat busy today and I'd like to put a bit more time into my next reply, so I probably won't be sounding off again today.
  13. Lol, you flatter me. Jeff Lindsay did more than me on this, I'm just summarizing my favorite parts of a few sources I've found. No more, no less.
  14. Good thing we don't have absence of evidence, eh? There's pretty clear evidence that the Long Ending of Mark is part of an exceedingly ancient Christian tradition that rivals the Gospels themselves in age...and that presumes that it wasn't a part of the Gospel of Mark to begin with. The evidence that it was invented whole-cloth by a 4th-century scholar is frankly nonexistent. Also, for what it's worth, absence of evidence is simply that...absence of evidence. I'm afraid I cannot accept the aphorism which you provide. For a full text of Tatian's reconstructed Diatessaron, see here. For a verse-by-verse highlighting of the quotations of Mark 16:9-20 in the Diatessaron, see here. For those who are further interested in the Diatessaron and its implications for the Longer Ending, see this book-length treatment here. Bear in mind that this is only one of the attestations of the Longer Ending prior to Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. If you glance at the book-length source I provided, you will see for yourself that we're dealing with rather complex issues. I'm not sure I can simplify it further without doing violence to the issues. I'll just say this: the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are considered significant because they are the oldest New Testament manuscripts which we have, and they don't have Mark 16:9-20. However, we know that the scriptures were being tampered with from both scriptural (Book of Mormon) and contemporary sources (Tertullian and Irenaeus), and we know that both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus came from the same place, meaning that they represent just one scriptural tradition rather than two witnesses to an original text. We also have good evidence that Mark 16:9-20, or at least a tradition with the content of Mark 16:9-20, was widely known from very early on, and was associated with Mark by some of the earliest scriptorians of the Christian faith. Edit: By way of introduction, the Diatessaron is a Gospel harmony written by Tatian the Syrian, a 2nd-century Christian theologian and chronicler. Basically, he took lines from all the canonical Gospels and weaved them together into one story. The work has no extant manuscripts but it is quoted in several different additional works dating from the 4th-century onward to the point that it can be reconstructed to a high degree of confidence, and said reconstruction was done by Theodor Zahn in 1881.
  15. First, @webbles is quite right. To say that these words "were never uttered by Jesus" is to overstep the evidence considerably. Is it reasonable to declare that the Gospel of Mark contains all the sayings of Jesus? No, it is not. Therefore, a passage's absence from the Gospel of Mark is not grounds to say that Jesus never uttered it. Phrases and concepts from the Longer Ending are attested in the 2nd century. They were not invented whole-cloth by 4th-century scribes, as @Fair Dinkum's OP would suggest. I say 4th-century because the "earliest manuscripts" in question, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, date from 4th-century Alexandria. They differ from 95% of known manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark in their omission of the Longer Ending, and they contain multiple other deviations from otherwise-well-attested aspects of the Gospel of Mark, so the label "most reliable" is dubious, unless you equate "reliability" with "age" in a one-to-one comparison. This is dubious, as early Christian authors like Tertullian and Irenaeus record that manipulation and targeted editing of the Gospels was already rampant prior to the creation of these manuscripts. The Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus are not urtexts, they should not be given the authority of such. As it happens, at least four texts which are older than these codices attest elements of the Longer Ending. See the following, quoted by Jeff Lindsay from James Snapp Jr.'s Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20: For my part, the evidences from Tatian and Irenaeus are most impressive. Tatian incorporated all 12 contested verses in the Diatessaron at least 130 years before the composition of the Codex Vaticanus and 160 years before the composition of the Codex Sinaiticus (which, incidentally, were composed by the same scriptorium and thus cannot be considered independent textual witnesses.) Irenaeus, at the very least, associated an ending with Mark which is closer to the Long Ending than the abrupt ending of the codices. If The Long Ending was associated with Mark before the codices were composed, then I fail to see how the codices are evidence of anything but a fourth-century textual drama regarding the Longer Ending. Then again, I am but a layman and do not possess the gnosis of the Bɪʙʟɪᴄᴀʟ Sᴄʜᴏʟᴀʀ (TM). Jeff Lindsay has done more thorough work on this than I could, I recommend his two-part essay on the subject for Interpreter. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here. For what it's worth, there are scholars who reject the association of the Longer Ending and Mark who nevertheless hold that, given the reoccurence of the themes of the Longer Ending over and over in the ancient world, at the very least it traces its origins to teachings of Jesus from the post-Resurrection ministry. N.T. Wright is an example of such. This would be satisfactory to me, as after all, Christ was addressing the Nephite in his post-Resurrection ministry as well. Likewise, there is debate about what the original ending of Mark should have been. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are not taken as definitive in this issue, or in other words, even these codices can be regarded as incomplete. Long story short, the claim that "Jesus never uttered these words" based on their absence from the oldest texts of Mark is way out of evidential line. There's strong evidence that the words of the Longer Ending are rooted in very early Christian tradition derived from the words of Jesus; this alone gets the Book of Mormon off the hook. And it is indeed defensible to believe that the ending of Mark as presently constituted is in fact accurate.
  16. I'd very much prefer that you didn't go. But if in the end you choose to do so, you ought to go knowing that you definitely helped me.
  17. I am in agreement. The nature of God's knowledge and the nature of our knowledge seem obviously different, which implies that our knowledge is necessarily of an imperfect nature. This occurs on any variety of monotheism, it seems. Interestingly, my coming around to Pragmatism was not brought about by arguments. Your arguments, and those of others, helped, but my experience was that my axiomatic belief in the "hard truth" of rational conclusions was pretty well dug in. I blame the culture for that. Argument couldn't really dislodge it. The only thing that could was experience - I read philosophical and political literature and I saw so much disagreement everywhere. I saw people disagreeing over the meaning of the same exact words, on topics with the most profound implications. I reflected on the fact that all of them thought that they were right, or at least acted as though the beliefs they held were right, and I really couldn't fault them for it. And yet other people, just as qualified, disagreed. To me, the only way to resolve this was to accept theoretical humility but, practically speaking, act as if our controversial beliefs were true. That means jettisoning the dogma of the truthfinding reliability of "pure reason", but it does open up a view of the world which, I think, better fits the data. Argument couldn't do it for me, only experience could. It seems that the gospel tells me to accept both of these conclusions - experience is a more powerful guide than mere argument, and at the end of the day we have to regard our beliefs as practical instruments rather than indubitable nuggets of The Truth. I find this convergence of conclusions to be revealing.
  18. I think our lack of understanding in this regard is an interesting vindication of what Rorty is getting at. "Truth", as an extension of human creations, cannot exist outside of individual perception. We all presume to believe in truth, but we all believe different things about different things, and it seems clear that the grand overarching "truth" is inaccessible to us mere mortals...that which we can attain is a facsimile of it dependent on our axioms and capacities, which can be upheld only with humility, but which works well enough for the purposes of getting on with our experienced life. I admit I struggled with this for a while, but as I journeyed further in philosophy I was forced to confront the fact of disagreement, which got me very far on the road to this conclusion. Seeing two philosophers at loggerheads over the exact same arguments tends to strip one of one's confidence in the objective truthfinding capacity of unaided pure reason. "Objectivity" is a maximally overrated concept. This is uncharitable. You don't even know what the question is...all you know is that Mark asked a question about the second endowment, and yet you assume that the 5 temple presidents were all lying. In order for your accusation to have any support, you'd have to assume that temple presidents automatically know all there is to know about the second endowment and the doctrines therein...which is highly unlikely in our church where we generally assume there's more to the ordinances than meets the eye.
  19. Outstanding commentary. I haven't seen 1 Kings 19:11-12 used like that before, but having seen it I think your use of it is profound, not to mention correct.
  20. You keeping saying that, and our experiences with it don't cease to conflict with your assessment.
  21. Please elaborate on how this objection is relevant. Barker clearly found characters from the 4 lines on the manuscripts and Facsimile 2. He doesn't need to find every character from the manuscripts on Facsimile 2 in order to establish his point. I also object to your characterization of the Book of Mormon translation process on historical grounds. Your sources only establish that Joseph Smith copied down the BofM characters to send elsewhere, they do not represent him engaging in an alphabet development project similar to the KEP. This is an extremely broad and tenuous parallel with little interpretive value. I should also note that Michael Chandler was a salesman, not a scholar, and it is unlikely that Smith was seeking his "learned, scholarly" input on the Book of Mormon characters. You also haven't done anything with Schryver's arguments yet. Edit: I should also add that nothing in the notebook you linked to appears to have anything to do with Abraham either.
  22. Mekis' book is interesting. Skousen's work is also plausible, though I am not entirely convinced of his arguments.
  23. I agree. As the numbers started to show real decline in growth rate, the church stopped publishing the numbers that had always been available at the April conference. The church had the Kirton McKonkie law firm reach out to all of the websites that were providing membership data for them to cease and desist. Most did comply except one, which still provides accurate data: https://www.fullerconsideration.com You are right. I apologize.
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