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Interesting Annointing Ceremony described by Cyril of Jerusalem


mpschmitt

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You fail to understand that when historians trace the migration of certain ideas, the possible sources from oneâ??s immediate environment takes high priority. The closer a certain element is found in a person's immediate environment, the higher probability exists that the migration path transferred from that closer source.

You fail to understand that the question of origins is precisely what is debated. To insist that "oneâ??s immediate environment takes high priority" begs the question of what the "immediate environment" was.

At any rate, the ancient theory is that Joseph's early 19th century environment is a necessary cause for the Restoration, but not a sufficient cause. The nineteenth century theory is that the 19th century is a sufficient cause. The debate can only be engaged by examining and comparing both 19th century and ancient contexts, not privileging 19th century contexts.

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Nevertheless... the quote does allow for a possible migration path that seems much more plausible than the notion that Joseph, through mysterious and supernatural ways (independant of contemporary sourses from which to draw his inspiration/ideas), was able to tap into a source that would give him a first hand witness of what early Christians believed and practiced. As a non-believer of Mormonism, I am extremely skeptical about such miraculous claims. And I think it is safe to say that most non-Mormon historians would also be skeptical.

Precisely. Your prejudice distorts your ability to openly and coherently compare and contrast ancient and 19th century contexts. Once you reject the possibility of revelation, any explanation, however implausible or improbable, is superior to any supernatural explanation.

Skepticism, by the way, offers neither evidence nor argument. It is mere assertion.

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Do you ever cite the catechism to prove that Catholics can become Gods? I often do

http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sec...t2art3.shtml#p1

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

Not to go off on too much of a tangent from the topic at hand, but here are a few other examples of early Church Fathers (and one from C.S Lewis) making similar statements:

“…the Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man can become God…they are called by the appellation of gods, being destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Savior…”

~ Clement of Alexandria (Protrepticus, 1.8.4 and Stromata 7:10)

“Men should escape from being men, and hasten to become gods. . . .Thou shalt resemble Him having made thee even God to His glory”

~Origen (Commentary on John, 29.27,29 and Refutations, X.30)

“Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, ‘I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High.’ ... For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality."

~Irenaeus (Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter XXXVIII)

“The command Be ye perfect [Matt. 5:48] is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and he is going to make good His words. If we let Him - for we can prevent Him, if we choose - He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what he said.”

~ C.S. Lewis

(Mere Christianity the last paragraph of Chapter 9, "Counting the Cost," in Book IV)

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Anointed forehead, eyes, palms, knees, feet.... wearing a white linen "close before and behind". Did you think to READ the pages I cited?

It would do you well to read source I cited before you talk.

It would be better if this reference was to the Catholic annointing you were refering to. But it is not. It is to the "folk magic" ritual you only showed a general reference to, with no evidence that Joseph knew anything about this particular ritual.

This appears to be deliberate equivocation

No, I stand by what I have posted. I am replying to the information you posted; nothing more nothing less.

Your point was that Joseph had knowledge of Catholic annointings which might have provided him a "possible migration path" for the origin of his rituals.

But you have not come close to showing that.

Your reference in post 7 refers to what you yourself describe as coming from "occult manuals". These are the self-annointings of the palms of the hands and forehead you referenced in post. Though there appear to be some similarities between these and the Coptic annointings you cited, you have shown no "migration path" between the PARTICULAR annointings you have cited and Joseph other than his general knowlege of folk magic.

The reference to Catholicism in whichyou quoted Joseph as having made shows only PERHAPS a passing reference to the Roman Catholic annointing which does not include annointing parts of the body, and so is similar in only a cursory way to the annointing of specific body parts.

Showing a general link to "folk magic" which included annointings does not show a definite migration path.

And showing a vague reference to Roman Catholic practices which are not similar to Joseph's practices definitely does not show a migration path either.

Had you wanted to show a better "migration path" you might have chosen this:

Exodus 40

12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.

13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

14 And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats:

15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.

Had you still been LDS this quote would have been obvious. But the fact that members of the church are very familiar with this quote and yet don't see it as evidence that Joseph manufactured the ordinances shows that your whole line of argument is not convincing to members.

I guess you believe in revelation or you don't.

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Precisely. Your prejudice distorts your ability to openly and coherently compare and contrast ancient and 19th century contexts. Once you reject the possibility of revelation, any explanation, however implausible or improbable, is superior to any supernatural explanation.

Skepticism, by the way, offers neither evidence nor argument. It is mere assertion.

That's not fair. It took me that long old post to say that, and you say it in three lines. Not fair at all. :P

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Precisely. Your prejudice distorts your ability to openly and coherently compare and contrast ancient and 19th century contexts. Once you reject the possibility of revelation, any explanation, however implausible or improbable, is superior to any supernatural explanation.

Unless, of course, I am right that the Church is not what it claims to be. We all have our biases, no doubt. Do you deny that your biases at times interfere with your objectivity? For example, when you study a religion other than yours (particularly when it directly conflicts with your faith) then skepticism is fair game, isn't it? At least I am in a position where I can hope to have a certain level of consistency. The same tools for historical analysis can be applied across the board. I am sorry, but I don't see that as a weakness, as you apparently do.

Skepticism, by the way, offers neither evidence nor argument. It is mere assertion.

The same can be said of faith, can it not?

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Unless, of course, I am right that the Church is not what it claims to be. We all have our biases, no doubt. Do you deny that your biases at times interfere with your objectivity? For example, when you study a religion other than yours (particularly when it directly conflicts with your faith) then skepticism is fair game, isn't it? At least I am in a position where I can hope to have a certain level of consistency. The same tools for historical analysis can be applied across the board. I am sorry, but I don't see that as a weakness, as you apparently do.

The same can be said of faith, can it not?

How did you get back up? I thought for sure you would be nursing your wounds to fight another day....

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Alas, I can't find a baby amid all Quinn's obscure murky bath water.
Perhaps you need to take off the shades. :P Perhaps you should also talk with Bushman, and many other competent and well respected scholars of Mormon history who have not had their reputation severely tinged by polemics.
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Perhaps you need to take off the shades. :P Perhaps you should also talk with Bushman, and many other competent and well respected scholars of Mormon history who have not had their reputation severely tinged by polemics.

Yes, but, you see, Bushman agrees with me about Joseph Smith. So?

I'm perfectly willing to examine evidence for Quinn's theory. I'm just skeptical. That's a good thing, right?

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Unless, of course, I am right that the Church is not what it claims to be. We all have our biases, no doubt. Do you deny that your biases at times interfere with your objectivity? For example, when you study a religion other than yours (particularly when it directly conflicts with your faith) then skepticism is fair game, isn't it? At least I am in a position where I can hope to have a certain level of consistency. The same tools for historical analysis can be applied across the board. I am sorry, but I don't see that as a weakness, as you apparently do.

The same can be said of faith, can it not?

No, even if you are right and the Church is not what it claims to be, you still need to give the evidence for both sides an equal hearing. Period. Universal skepticism is a weakness precisely because it a priori excludes certain evidence and arguments in favor of a pre-judged conclusion (i.e. there is no supernatural). How could you possibly adequately judge the issue if you've already made up your mind that only one explanation--naturalistic--is possible?

Everyone's biased. No one is objective. Not me, and certainly not you. I make no pretense to the contrary. You do.

I never said that either faith or skepticism is evidence or an argument, did I? You do.

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Do you ever cite the catechism to prove that Catholics can become Gods? I often do

http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sec...t2art3.shtml#p1

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

Indeed, there is more than that in the Catechism that supports the doctrine of theosis.

What Mormonism teaches is not theosis. Not unless you redefine 2000 years of Christian belief and throw in the Pearl of Great Price. Which I'm sure you already know, is not in the Catechsim.

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No, even if you are right and the Church is not what it claims to be, you still need to give the evidence for both sides an equal hearing. Period.

Says the fellow who has demonstrated no such thing on this thread. Special pleading are we?

Universal skepticism is a weakness precisely because it a priori excludes certain evidence and arguments in favor of a pre-judged conclusion (i.e. there is no supernatural). How could you possibly adequately judge the issue if you've already made up your mind that only one explanation--naturalistic--is possible?

Where did I say that "there is no supernatural"? I don't think I said that, and if I did, I misspoke. After all... I'm agnostic. If I remember correctly, I said things like, "I find it hard to believe that..."

Everyone's biased. No one is objective. Not me, and certainly not you. I make no pretense to the contrary. You do.

I did? Where?

I never said that either faith or skepticism is evidence or an argument, did I? You do.

I did? Where?

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Unless, of course, I am right that the Church is not what it claims to be. We all have our biases, no doubt. Do you deny that your biases at times interfere with your objectivity? For example, when you study a religion other than yours (particularly when it directly conflicts with your faith) then skepticism is fair game, isn't it? At least I am in a position where I can hope to have a certain level of consistency. The same tools for historical analysis can be applied across the board. I am sorry, but I don't see that as a weakness, as you apparently do.

The same can be said of faith, can it not?

But history is a tough discipline for a rigorous skeptic. It's evidence is not exactly replicable as in an experimental science, is it? So ultimately in most cases, you bring your evidence and I bring mine and the conclusion is decided by what prejudices you started with in the beginning. There is very rarely incontrovertible evidence.

Neither of us were there, and even in the present, there are two sides to any issue. Ultimately even skepticism takes faith. And faith can be just as consistent as skepticsm.

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Indeed, there is more than that in the Catechism that supports the doctrine of theosis.

What Mormonism teaches is not theosis. Not unless you redefine 2000 years of Christian belief and throw in the Pearl of Great Price. Which I'm sure you already know, is not in the Catechsim.

Sounds like we are meeting somewhere in the between, good enough

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It would be better if this reference was to the Catholic annointing you were refering to. But it is not. It is to the "folk magic" ritual you only showed a general reference to, with no evidence that Joseph knew anything about this particular ritual.

I remind you of the initial claim made that had encouraged me to participate in this thread: Jadams: "Dang ! another book from the worlds biggest library that j.S had access too!" LostinDC: "that the Palmyra library by todays standards is one of the most aggressive large scale libraries in the western hemisphere." And You: "That Joseph really had an amazing library! And such an inventive mind! I guess it was all those masonic influences!"

You see? My response was directed at the assumption that it was extremely unlikely for Joseph Smith to have found these same paralleling elements (of probable ancient origin) elsewhere. Which means that all I am required to do is show that other likely possibilities exist. For you to insist otherwise, demanding that I prove my case, and define explicitly and precisely the migration path, is to shift the burden of proof.

This appears to be deliberate equivocation

How so?

No, I stand by what I have posted. I am replying to the information you posted; nothing more nothing less.

When you said, "There is little similarity here," you were responding to my post that said:

-----------------------------------

There is evidence that Joseph Smith was familiar with the Catholic anointing ritual. Also, occult manuals (that also describe similar rituals) were not uncommon in Joseph Smith's day. The same manuals, in fact, that scholars believe were used to design the Smith family parchments, mars dagger, jupiter talisman, etc.

Read the annointing rituals in this book, for example: http://books.google.com/books?id=NewpGt04P...TYPES#PPA297,M1

See pages 297 and 300.

---------------------------------

How can you deny similarities if you didn't read the sources I cited? Or were you specifically commenting on parallels to Catholicism?

Your point was that Joseph had knowledge of Catholic annointings which might have provided him a "possible migration path" for the origin of his rituals.

But you have not come close to showing that.

I know that I haven't shown that. I have only been concerned about showing possibilities, since I was rebutting an assessment of impossibility.

Your reference in post 7 refers to what you yourself describe as coming from "occult manuals". These are the self-annointings of the palms of the hands and forehead you referenced in post. Though there appear to be some similarities between these and the Coptic annointings you cited, you have shown no "migration path" between the PARTICULAR annointings you have cited and Joseph other than his general knowlege of folk magic.

I know that I haven't shown that. I have only been concerned about showing possibilities, since I was rebutting an assessment of impossibility.

The reference to Catholicism in whichyou quoted Joseph as having made shows only PERHAPS a passing reference to the Roman Catholic annointing which does not include annointing parts of the body, and so is similar in only a cursory way to the annointing of specific body parts.

And? Did I insist that parallels exist in every way?

Showing a general link to "folk magic" which included annointings does not show a definite migration path.

I know that I haven't shown that. I have only been concerned about showing possibilities, since I was rebutting an assessment of impossibility.

And showing a vague reference to Roman Catholic practices which are not similar to Joseph's practices definitely does not show a migration path either.

I know that I haven't shown that. I have only been concerned about showing possibilities, since I was rebutting an assessment of impossibility.

Had you wanted to show a better "migration path" you might have chosen this:

Exodus 40

What a second. You just denied the probability of a migration path (of other sources) because specific body parts were not anointed individually. Now you use this proof-text as a more reliable migration path? You wrote, "Pouring oil over the head vs annointing specific body parts as the Copts do? How could you say they are similar other than in a vague way?" Is it too much to ask for a level playing field? Sheesh!

For the record, I do not deny the possibility that Joseph Smith may have found biblical president for certain things he adopted and adapted into the Church. In fact... I am quite confident that (like many occultists and freemasons of Smith's day) he did.

Had you still been LDS this quote would have been obvious. But the fact that members of the church are very familiar with this quote and yet don't see it as evidence that Joseph manufactured the ordinances shows that your whole line of argument is not convincing to members.

Ah... you can read minds now, eh? LOL! Give the shtick a rest.

I guess you believe in revelation or you don't.

It isn't necessary to believe in revelation to accept the fact that Joseph Smith incorporated ideas that he thought had biblical president.

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But history is a tough discipline for a rigorous skeptic.

Since I am agnostic, it would be inaccurate to label me a "rigorous skeptic."

It's evidence is not exactly replicable as in an experimental science, is it? So ultimately in most cases, you bring your evidence and I bring mine and the conclusion is decided by what prejudices you started with in the beginning. There is very rarely incontrovertible evidence.

It is a much easier task when debunking claims that are clearly off the mark. It was not highly unlikely (as asserted on the first page of this thread) for Joseph Smith to have gotten these ideas (parallel to the ancient texts cited in this thread) from his immediate environment in 19th century america.

Neither of us were there, and even in the present, there are two sides to any issue. Ultimately even skepticism takes faith. And faith can be just as consistent as skepticsm.

True. But again... I was not trying to prove exactly where Joseph Smith got his ideas from, and prove that he could not have gotten them via revelation (if there is such a thing). My argument, rather, was focused strictly on showing sufficient possibility--to debunk the claim of extreme unlikelihood. And I think I have succeeded in this effort.

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Since I am agnostic, it would be inaccurate to label me a "rigorous skeptic."

It is a much easier task when debunking claims that are clearly off the mark. It was not highly unlikely (as asserted on the first page of this thread) for Joseph Smith to have gotten these ideas (parallel to the ancient texts cited in this thread) from his immediate environment in 19th century america.

True. But again... I was not trying to prove exactly where Joseph Smith got his ideas from, and prove that he could not have gotten them via revelation (if there is such a thing). My argument, rather, was focused strictly on showing sufficient possibility--to debunk the claim of extreme unlikelihood. And I think I have succeeded in this effort.

Which means what you are doing is not history, but a monumental exercise in the fallacy of the possible proof.

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Says the fellow who has demonstrated no such thing on this thread. Special pleading are we?

So you are saying that we should not give evidence for and against a historical theory equal and balanced consideration? Really? Are you saying that we should not apply the two-edged sword of skepticism equally to 19th century theories and ancient theories?

Where did I say that "there is no supernatural"? I don't think I said that, and if I did, I misspoke. After all... I'm agnostic. If I remember correctly, I said things like, "I find it hard to believe that..."

Don't try the "agnostic" posturing on me. It doesn't work. You obviously reject the supernatural.

I did? Where?

I did? Where?

So I take it you agree that you are not more objective than me?

And I take it that you agree that your assertions of skepticism are essentially rhetorical posturing rather than a serious argument?

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Yes, but, you see, Bushman agrees with me about Joseph Smith. So?

He agrees that Smith was a prophet? So does Quinn. What I am talking about (of course) is what Bushman believes about Quinn's contribution to Mormon scholarship. It is apparent that you and him have a personal grudge, and perhaps this tainted lens makes it hard for you to see through the "murky water"... but there are several other reputable scholars (like Bushman) who are willing to give Quinn the credit he deserves.

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