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Interesting Annointing Ceremony described by Cyril of Jerusalem


mpschmitt

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There is no fallacy in debunking claims of impossibility by showing possibility. Why you think there is is beyond me.

And precisely how have you determined what is impossible? That's a mighty tall order.

At any rate, you obviously don't understand what the fallacy of the possible proof means.

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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.

So now my rejection of Quinn's theory is because of a moral failing on my part, and is not based on a careful analysis of his evidence and argumentation. Got it.

CFR. What specific part of Quinn's theory in Early Mormonism does Bushman accept? Reference, please.

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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?

Nope. I am just pointing out a double standard that you seem to have.

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

Obviously, eh? What I reject and accept is based on what I perceive to be improbable and probable. For example... I reject your ability to read my mind and tell me what my sincere position (ie. whether I am just "trying the agnostic posture") is. And if you told me that you got such an idea about me from staring into a rock, I would likewise reject it. Why? Because I have evidence to the contrary that for the moment appearrs to outweigh your accusation.

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

You claimed that I make pretense to the contrary. And I asked where? I don't see how your follow up question (now) follows the question I asked.

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

Nope. I don't agree that my assertion to skepticism is mere rhetorical posturing. I have announced that I am agnostic long before I entered this thread.

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Nope. I am just pointing out a double standard that you seem to have.

What double standard do I have? I believe we should treat evidence for 19C and ancient theories of JS's revelations equally. I believe we should be just as skeptical of 19C claims as we are of ancient claims. Do you agree?

I also believe that JS's 19C environment is a necessary cause, but not a sufficient cause. You, apparently, believe 19C explanations are a sufficient cause. Where, precisely, do I have a double standard?

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So now my rejection of Quinn's theory is because of a moral failing on my part, and is not based on a careful analysis of his evidence and argumentation. Got it.

Nice try to twise my words again. I didn't deny that your rejection was at least partially supported by your analysis of his book.

CFR. What specific part of Quinn's theory in Early Mormonism does Bushman accept? Reference, please.

I didn't assert that he accepted a particular theory. Bushman acknowledged that there are many problems in his book, which he says is probably due to what he calls a "magnification" fallacy. However, he praises the book as "ingenious" and substantial contribution to scholarship. His appraisal was made in the third part of his mormon stories podcast series that he did years ago. You could try to track down this recording... or you could just ask Bushman himself.

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Obviously, eh? What I reject and accept is based on what I perceive to be improbable and probable. For example... I reject your ability to read my mind and tell me what my sincere position (ie. whether I am just "trying the agnostic posture") is. And if you told me that you got such an idea about me from staring into a rock, I would likewise reject it. Why? Because I have evidence to the contrary that for the moment appearrs to outweigh your accusation.

Cut the posturing. Do you, or do you not reject supernatural explanations for JS?

A real agnostic would accept the possibility of the divine origins of JS's revelations as well as the possibilities of a 19C origin. A real agnostic would saw not only that we do not know how JS produced the BOM, but that we cannot know.

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I didn't assert that he accepted a particular theory. Bushman acknowledged that there are many problems in his book, which he says is probably due to what he calls a "magnification" fallacy. However, he praises the book as "ingenious" and substantial contribution to scholarship. His appraisal was made in the third part of his mormon stories podcast series that he did years ago. You could try to track down this recording... or you could just ask Bushman himself.

My understanding is that Bushman rejects Quinn's overall theory in EMMWV. Do you have any evidence to the contrary besides him trying to be nice in a passing public statement?

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Nope. I don't agree that my assertion to skepticism is mere rhetorical posturing. I have announced that I am agnostic long before I entered this thread.

Skepticism and agnosticism are not synonymous.

Do you agree that we should be equally skeptical of naturalistic explanations as we should of supernaturalistic explanations of JS?

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And precisely how have you determined what is impossible? That's a mighty tall order.

You've got it backwards, Bill. The impossibility is what I am debunking with possibilities. The opening posts asserted that it was extremely unlikely for Smith to have gotten his ideas (which paralled ancient texts cited by other posters) from his immediate environment. And so I showed some reasonable possibilities.

At any rate, you obviously don't understand what the fallacy of the possible proof means.

Actually... I think I do. The problem, rather, seems to be that you have lost track of what has been going on in this thread.

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Nice try to twise my words again. I didn't deny that your rejection was at least partially supported by your analysis of his book.

Let's see, it's wrong for me to (supposedly) read your mind, but you get to read mine. That's how it works? Anyway, "at least partially" is hardly a ringing endorsement. The reason, and the only reason I reject Quinn's thesis in EMMWV is because I find it extraordinarily flawed.

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Let's see, it's wrong for me to (supposedly) read your mind, but you get to read mine. That's how it works? Anyway, "at least partially" is hardly a ringing endorsement.

And if you could find somewhere in this thread where I CLAIMED that Bushman gave a "ringing endorsement", you would have a point. Good luck finding such a statement, though.

The reason, and the only reason I reject Quinn's thesis in EMMWV is because I find it extraordinarily flawed.

And like I said, I think you are over critical because you don't accept the positive contributions that he has made. Remember what you were saying a few moments ago about giving two sides?

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You've got it backwards, Bill. The impossibility is what I am debunking with possibilities. The opening posts asserted that it was extremely unlikely for Smith to have gotten his ideas (which paralled ancient texts cited by other posters) from his immediate environment. And so I showed some reasonable possibilities.

OK, then do you believe it is possible that JS received authentic revelation in which ancient truths were revealed?

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And if you could find somewhere in this thread where I CLAIMED that Bushman gave a "ringing endorsement", you would have a point. Good luck finding such a statement, though.

This is degenerating quickly getting pointless and noisome. Here's what I said in response to your claim that I have some type of grudge against Quinn and therefore reject his EMMWV.

Let's see, it's wrong for me [bill] to (supposedly) read your [Mike's] mind, but you get to read mine. That's how it works? Anyway, [your statement that my rejection of Quinn's thesis is] "at least partially" [based on analysis] is hardly a ringing endorsement [of me]. The reason, and the only reason I reject Quinn's thesis in EMMWV is because I find it extraordinarily flawed.

I was talking about your response to my position, not Bushman's response to Quinn. I said nothing about Bushman.

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And like I said, I think you are over critical because you don't accept the positive contributions that he has made. Remember what you were saying a few moments ago about giving two sides?

I don't find any "positive contributions" in Quinn's EMMWV. I think I have demonstrated it is fatally flawed. What has that got to do if whether or not he is right in some of his other works? Why are you trying to make this anything more than my judgment about Quinn's EMMWV?

At any rate, I have carefully and extensively evaluated Quinn's thesis and found it wrong. How have I failed to give careful evaluation to both sides?

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Cut the posturing.

Quit the mind reading shtick. I started as an agnostic in this thread, so don't expect my "posture" to change any time soon.

Do you, or do you not reject supernatural explanations for JS?

If I were to make a conclusion based on my perception of the evidence I have right now, I'd say that I don't believe most of Joseph Smith's more fantastic supernatural claims. But again... I don't know, and I am willing consider evidence at it is presented to me.

A real agnostic would accept the possibility of the divine origins of JS's revelations as well as the possibilities of a 19C origin. A real agnostic would saw not only that we do not know how JS produced the BOM, but that we cannot know.

Like I said, I am weighing the evidence the best I can.

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This is degenerating quickly getting pointless and noisome. Here's what I said in response to your claim that I have some type of grudge against Quinn and therefore reject his EMMWV.

I was talking about your response to my position, not Bushman's response to Quinn. I said nothing about Bushman.

Ok. Thanks for the clarification, Bill. Yeah... I think we have been talking past each other several posts ago. Me trying to do two things at once (working on my thesis and keep up with this fast paced thread) isn't helping, I am sure. When you jumped in, I knew I was in for it. :P And to think, if I didnâ??t say â??blah, blah, blahâ?, this argument probably would have never started. I should have made it clear that I wasnâ??t directing this to you or your review. Oh well. I will give it a rest tonight... and if I have time, I will respond tomorrow. Thanks.

--Mike

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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?

Neither. It appears you don't even know which quote I was commenting about, but instead of asking, you attack a position I didn't take.

Of course I read your post. And your snide comment about me having difficulty in understanding the thread was uncalled for.

I did say there were "few similarities" to the folk magic example as compared to the Coptic example, (which is the one I was refering to), and I stand by that statement. Self annointing is not the same as anointing by another with authority and in the folk magic example only the palms and forehead are annointed without specific prayers relating to those parts of the body, whereas in the Coptic example, more than 30 parts of the body are anointed with blessings specific to the body parts. The theological purposes of the folk magic anointing is totally different. I said there was "little similarity" and I stand by that statement.

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

But I never made an "assessment of impossibility". Very little in life is impossible, and as a good skeptic, you should know that.

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!

No, I denied the similarity of the two anointings, other than the fact that they both were anointings.

The only assertions I made were that

1- The Coptic anointings were not similar to the folk magic anointings,

2- that Joseph most likely could not have known about the Coptic anointings.

3- That the quote you gave from Joseph about the Catholic anointings was highly ambiguous. (To me all it shows is that Joseph did not believe in the sign of the cross)

I never denied the possibility of migration paths.

My discussion was about similarities between the anointings and only peripherally about whether there were possible migration paths

Finding a possible migration path is not a problem. Finding a path that is both similar (including multiple body part anointings and theological similarity) is a much bigger problem. Proving that Joseph was not inspired is a major problem. You say that you are agnostic, and are aware that you can't prove that Joseph was not inspired.

But the central point of my post was that your entire argument was irrelevant because it sought to show a possible "migration path" which I was already willing to concede existed in the biblical references, and that such an argument is irrelevant for TBMs. That is the major point here. We can argue all day about migration paths, but TBM's seem to be unfazed by this because of their familiarity with the quote from Exodus.

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This is degenerating quickly getting pointless and noisome. Here's what I said in response to your claim that I have some type of grudge against Quinn and therefore reject his EMMWV.

I was talking about your response to my position, not Bushman's response to Quinn. I said nothing about Bushman.

Ok. Thanks for the clarification, Bill. Yeah... I think we have been talking past each other several posts ago. Me trying to do two things at once (working on my thesis and keep up with this fast paced thread) isn't helping, I am sure. When you jumped in, I knew I was in for it. :P And to think, if I didn't say "blah, blah, blah", this argument probably would have never started. I should have made it clear that I wasn't directing this to you or your review. Oh well. I will give it a rest tonight... and if I have time, I will respond tomorrow. Thanks.

--Mike

Wow. Reading that Mike & Bill exchange was more fun than I have had on this board in a looonnngggg time. I can't wait to check in tomorrow to see how the continuation goes. Marvelous!

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Wow. Reading that Mike & Bill exchange was more fun than I have had on this board in a looonnngggg time. I can't wait to check in tomorrow to see how the continuation goes. Marvelous!

Are you a masochist? :P You've got to get out more often. ;)

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I love it.... so long as the early Church Fathers say something close to Mormonism, it is evidence that the LDS Church is really restoration of the early Church....

Of course, when the exact same Church Father talks about the Eucharist in a way that is totally divergent from LDS theology, it will be evidence of the apostasy...

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310122.htm

I suppose this is a subject for a different thread, but I think you have raised a fair point, and I wanted to respond while it was fresh in my mind. My reading of Cyril here is different than yours. I am not sure that his take on the eucharist is that different from the modern LDS view.

I am adding emphasis to show what I mean

3. Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to you His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that you by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, may be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we become partakers of the divine nature 2 Peter 1:4 .

4. Christ on a certain occasion discoursing with the Jews said, Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you John 6:53 . They not having heard His saying in a spiritual sense were offended, and went back, supposing that He was inviting them to eat flesh.

I think anyone LDS could have said this. Jesus was NOT asking them to eat his flesh in any way but in a "spiritual sense".

5. In the Old Testament also there was show-bread; but this, as it belonged to the Old Testament, has come to an end; but in the New Testament there is Bread of heaven, and a Cup of salvation, sanctifying soul and body; for as the Bread corresponds to our body, so is the Word appropriate to our soul.

6. Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to you, yet let faith establish you. Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to you...

8. Therefore Solomon also, hinting at this grace, says in Ecclesiastes, Come hither, eat your bread with joy (that is, the spiritual bread; Come hither, he calls with the call to salvation and blessing), and drink your wine with a merry heart (that is, the spiritual wine); and let oil be poured out upon your head you see he alludes even to the mystic Chrism); and let your garments be always white, for the Lord is well pleased with your works Ecclesiastes 9:7-8; for before you came to Baptism, your works were vanity of vanities . But now, having put off your old garments, and put on those which are spiritually white, you must be continually robed in white: of course we mean not this, that you are always to wear white raiment; but you must be clad in the garments that are truly white and shining and spiritual, that you may say with the blessed Esaias, My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with a garment of salvation, and put a robe of gladness around me Isaiah 61:10 .

The argument he is making here is that these sacraments should be viewed in a spiritual sense, as opposed to a literal one. In fairness, he does say this:

9. Having learned these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengthens man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil , "strengthen your heart," by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of your soul to shine." And so having it unveiled with a pure conscience, may you reflect as a mirror the glory of the Lord 2 Corinthians 3:18, and proceed from glory to glory, in Christ Jesus our Lord:— To whom be honour, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Which to me implies that his whole message here is that if we want to "proceed from glory to glory" in Jesus Christ, we need to "partake thereof as spiritual" bread "after we have "unveiled it" from the appearance of regular bread. I think he is saying we should regard the bread "as if" it were the body of Christ, which I think is a legitimate LDS view of it.

I agree it is ambiguous, and I don't know that I want to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what Cyril was saying, because fankly it is ultimately of little consequence to me. But my point is, that these issues are not that clear, and your point which seems fair at first becomes quite blurry when we actually analyze the writings of one I would consider an honest soul seeking the truth in an apostate tradition that was growing more apostate by the hour.

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I suppose this is a subject for a different thread, but I think you have raised a fair point, and I wanted to respond while it was fresh in my mind. My reading of Cyril here is different than yours. I am not sure that his take on the eucharist is that different from the modern LDS view.

I am adding emphasis to show what I mean

I think anyone LDS could have said this. Jesus was NOT asking them to eat his flesh in any way but in a "spiritual sense".

The argument he is making here is that these sacraments should be viewed in a spiritual sense, as opposed to a literal one. In fairness, he does say this:

Which to me implies that his whole message here is that if we want to "proceed from glory to glory" in Jesus Christ, we need to "partake thereof as spiritual" bread "after we have "unveiled it" from the appearance of regular bread. I think he is saying we should regard the bread "as if" it were the body of Christ, which I think is a legitimate LDS view of it.

I agree it is ambiguous, and I don't know that I want to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what Cyril was saying, because fankly it is ultimately of little consequence to me. But my point is, that these issues are not that clear, and your point which seems fair at first becomes quite blurry when we actually analyze the writings of one I would consider an honest soul seeking the truth in an apostate tradition that was growing more apostate by the hour.

If you read John 6 The Bread of Life Discourse when Jesus said Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man you have no life in you. When Jesus said these words what happened? His desciples, the Jewish audience was scandalized and they left Him. Jesus never called them back.Instead He asked His own apostles if they were going to leave Him too. If Jesus was talking symbolically about His real presence in the Eucharist He would have called them back to explain. Hey guys come on back I was only kidding. Instead for the 3rd time He said unless you eat "TORGO" Greek verb=to eat or gnaw on flesh, For my flesh is food enough and my blood is drink enough.

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I did say there were "few similarities" to the folk magic example as compared to the Coptic example, (which is the one I was refering to), and I stand by that statement.

Ok. But I thought we were talking about the migration of certain ideas.

Self annointing is not the same as anointing by another with authority and in the folk magic example only the palms and forehead are annointed without specific prayers relating to those parts of the body, whereas in the Coptic example, more than 30 parts of the body are anointed with blessings specific to the body parts. The theological purposes of the folk magic anointing is totally different. I said there was "little similarity" and I stand by that statement.

But the fact remains that there are similarities, and there are similarities to Catholic ritual too (don't forget that my opening post also noted parallels with catholicism). Therefore your statement--"That Joseph really had an amazing library!" with a smiley wink to boot, indicating that you were being facetious--seems rather silly. I am not saying that Joseph Smith got his entire anointing ritual from the occult book I cited. I think it is more probable, in fact, that Joseph Smith was primarily influenced by freemasonry and/or Catholicism. Morgon's anti-Masonic expose, Bernard's "Light on Masonry," and other literature that circulated Smith's time and space, reveal Masonic rituals of the Master of Ceremonies anointing an initiate's various body parts (citing Biblical president). In the "Light on Masonry," for example, we read "The candidate remains on his knees, while the Master of Ceremonies... anoints his head, lips and left breast, with the holy oil which anointed David and the wise Solomon." (209) Anti-Catholic literature was also in circulation in Joseph Smith's day, giving information on anointing ceremonies. For example, one anti-Catholic book by Grace Kenedy, entitled "Father Clement, a Roman-Catholic story" was published in New York in Joseph Smith's day (1834), and says, "Warrene, however, rapidly pronounced the words, and repeated some Latin prayers, then touched with the sacred oil, the eyes, the lips, the hands; whatever had been the means of seeing, of hearing, of speaking, of doing evil." (p. 234) Another book, J.P. Callender's "Illustrations of Popery: The Mystery of Iniquity Unveiled in its Damnable Heresies" (1838), says, "The parts which are anointed are the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the hands, the feet, and the reins.... After the absolution, the Priest dips the thumb of his right hand into the oil, and anoints in the form of a cross.... The Priest commences by anointing the right eye; the eyelid being shut; then the left eye; next the ears; after which the nostrils; the lips; the hands; the feet; and the reins are successively touched." (p. 526) We know that Joseph Smith was influenced by Freemasonry when developing other parts of the endowment, and it is quite reasonable to expect that Joseph Smith could have been influenced by freemasonry when developing the initiatories too. And given the extreme syncretism that was happening among Masonic orders of the day, it is quite possible that this is where Joseph Smith learned about (or at least, developed an interest for) Catholic ritual. But even if he didn't, he could have learned about it elsewhere, from all the anti-Catholic (as well as anti-Masonic) literature that was being circulated at the time. But againâ?¦ like I said, Joseph Smith was somewhat familiar about Catholic ritual, evident by the fact that he knew they anointed the forehead with the cross. It is further evident that he had a familiarity and interest in Catholicism in general, as he had donated two books on Catholicism to the Nauvoo library: Catholic Manual, Catholic Piety. See Kenneth W. Godfrey, "A Note on the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute," Brigham Young University Studies 14 (Spring 1974):386-89.

But I never made an "assessment of impossibility". Very little in life is impossible, and as a good skeptic, you should know that.

Sure you did. Not absolute impossibility, but extreme unlikelihood (impossibility), when you said, "Here is another source for similar information. That Joseph really had an amazing library! :P And such an inventive mind! I guess it was all those masonic influences! ;)"

Joseph Smith had all sorts of ideas available to him (outside of revelation) for developing this ritual--whether Freemasonry, folk magic, catholicism, or the bible. There is no reason to presume that Joseph Smith "restored" these ideas simply by communicating with some devine "other-worldly" being, or staring through a rock.

No, I denied the similarity of the two anointings, other than the fact that they both were anointings.

The only assertions I made were that

1- The Coptic anointings were not similar to the folk magic anointings,

2- that Joseph most likely could not have known about the Coptic anointings.

3- That the quote you gave from Joseph about the Catholic anointings was highly ambiguous. (To me all it shows is that Joseph did not believe in the sign of the cross)

Nope. Again... you made an assertion of extreme unlikelihood (impossibility). See quote above.

I never denied the possibility of migration paths.

You implied such a denial in the quote I give above.

My discussion was about similarities between the anointings and only peripherally about whether there were possible migration paths

And it is that "peripheral" implication that I was responding to.

Finding a possible migration path is not a problem. Finding a path that is both similar (including multiple body part anointings and theological similarity) is a much bigger problem.

There is no problem at all. As has already been explained to you, both Catholicism and Freemasonry anointed separate body parts. And information about both of these rituals were available to Joseph Smith.

But the central point of my post was that your entire argument was irrelevant because it sought to show a possible "migration path" which I was already willing to concede existed in the biblical references, and that such an argument is irrelevant for TBMs.

I disagree that it was irrelevant. If you were not asserting the extreme unlikelihood of other migration paths, then explain the quote I give above (smiley winks and all).

To Bill Hamblin: I completed my second draft of my thesis, so I have time to continue out discussion. Gotta go work out first, but I will be back tonight.

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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.

:P;):crazy::fool::)

(Wiping my eyes)

That was a good one, Mikey!

So now that you've completed two important tasks: (1) reminding everyone at least twice that you are working on an M.A. thesis, and (2) actually getting some work done on it (ranking these in order of importance,) how about you produce just one single solitary contemporary source that can place the "Jupiter talisman" in Joseph's hands?

Just one will do for the purposes of this thread.

Thanks.

Regards,

Pahoran

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