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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fishing-gate

Wrong must be laughing in biblioblog heaven. Or up there in his premier seat in the theatre of the absurd. Yes, the best thing to happen to blogging has caused another stir! This time over a naughty hobby.

Mark Goodacre liked the interview but appears to have reservations:
The interview is actually very entertaining, and the anti-bishop reveals a bit more of his voice. He is clearly enjoying trying to see what he can get away with, though, since there is an obscenity of the kind that is surprising (and frankly not entirely welcome) in an academic venue.

I don't see why such language should be a problem in an academic venue. Who decides what is welcome or not? And is biblioblogs.com (where people have been more 'relaxed' and 'jokey' to be fair) and biblioblogging really that much of an academic venue? Maybe, maybe not. I dunno. And what about some of the more naughty seminars at SBL where, I'm reliably informed, even naughtier things are openly discussed? It's welcome there so...

Anyway, I'm a bit surprised people have been bothered by this. It's not like anything racist has been said. I think some of the negative reaction is serious, though I could be wrong. If it isn't serious, I'll have to simply admit that, not for the first time, I'm the victim of the humour. The most dramatic and entertaining attack has come from David Ker. Again, I think this is serious (oh, God help me if I've misread all this...)

Ok, David says,
It’s one thing to slaughter a pig on the sacred altar. It’s quite another to fall down and worship it. But that’s in fact what has occurred at Biblioblogs.com. This august blog highlighting the best of Biblical scholars has featured a reprobate heretic and pervert as their featured blogger of the month...He confessed in the interview with Jim West that he has a special addiction for the most reprehensible sexual practice while claiming to be a husband and father.

Ok, I'm going to suggest that maybe Wrong might not be into such naughty things and it might have been a joke. I dunno. But if Wrong is into such things, consenting adults and all that...

There's this:
And rather than run screaming from the temple, our academics are applauding themselves and the latest object of their affection.

I'm guilty of the latter certainly. In a strictly intellectual way.

And this:
Who is this supposedly note-worthy blogger? Who should we as bloggers interested in the finest in Biblical studies look to as the apex of academia? It is the pseudonymous NT Wrong. NT Wrong is an excellent writer. He is a scholar of some distinction

I agree (should anyone care).

But wait...'there are several reasons why his inclusion in the highest ranks of Biblical studies should give us cause us to rend our garments and throw dust in the air' And these include:
1. He writes under a pseudonym. No self-respecting scholar will long tolerate a blogger who publishes his opinions under the cover of a false name.

A largely indifferent matter (for me at least). If it's right, it's right or wrong it's wrong. On the other hand, as pointed out in the interview, it allows him to be funnier and it allows him to say things people wouldn't say under a real name. A sad state of affairs perhaps but it is what it is.

2.
He is vulgar in the extreme. Not satisfied to pepper his posted with the most disgusting language, Wrong actually wrote a summary post proudly listing his wretched vocabulary.

Again, I can only shrug. Why does it matter? Some of us find it funny...

3.
Actual evidence of his scholarship is sketchy in the extreme.

To be fair, he seems to be the most broadly learned of any biblioblogger.

More?
Why, I ask you, should Jim West not interview Ted Haggard, a man who he has repeatedly slandered and ridiculed despite his repentance and desire to change his way?

Presumably because Haggard isn't a biblioblogger. I mean if he were, then Jim and biblioblogs.com might...?

Then this:
Instead he positively slobbers all over a flaming pervert and two-bit scholar...

An interesting image. Jim's interview was structured and written in a similar way to his usual interviews so if he's slobbered over Wrong, he's slobbered over all of us. If you see what I mean.

But then:
...who does not even claim to be a believer in the Bible or the God of the Bible!

A requirement of biblioblogger...? That means that at a couple more interviews (perhaps) ought not to have taken place.

A warning:
If you have been awarded a “Top 50 Biblioblogger” award by NT Wrong I ask you to consider if this is really a distinction worth bragging about. If the Devil calls you a saint, what are you?

I'm no longer a top 50-er and haven't been for two long and lonely months so I'm afraid I don't recall what it really feels like. :-(

And this:
Biblioblogs.com and in fact the whole of biblioblogdom is completely compromised and morally bankrupt.

A bit too apocalyptic perhaps...?

Finally:
The glory of the Lord has departed. If those who claim to know the Bible best have sunk to this depth to whom shall the people of God turn?

Come and read Earliest Christian History. It'll get me in the top 50...

Please tell me the general negative reactions were a joke...

145 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

no- ker wasn't kidding.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"Broadly learned" - so what! He still comes up with wrong answers -even boring ones like 100 Reasons etc. or The Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity - the last book he ever wrote (under his own name that is). He started it way back in the early eighties for his Ph.D. And in it he expects everyone to assume the existence of Jesus. Of course he can talk about the Greek as though it meant something to somebody 2000 years ago. But that's about as far as he can go, never mind that the editors of the NT were fabricating much of what they wrote. If he doesn't realise that, he can hardly be described as "broadly learned", and he falls into the category of the other literalists who received their Ph.Ds in Sunday school.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Hi James. Thanks for your comments. As I commented over on Jim's blog, I am not inclined to make a big deal about it. In fact, I found the interview overall very entertaining -- I was one of those who greatly lamented the anti-bishop's "That's all folks". However, in linking to an article that includes an obscenity, I think it is important to mention the fact to my readers given that, by linking to it, I am encouraging them to go there. My general rule about blogging is that I avoid saying anything that I would not say in the classroom. That is my rule of thumb. I quite understand, of course, that others would feel differently. My guess is that you are actually not a thousand miles from that kind of position yourself given that you don't include the actual word in your post here )so, similarly, Jim). So it is a question of context. I am a big fan of Russell Brand, but I would not try to emulate the way he talks in the classroom.

February 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark...I'm try to picture you lecturing like Russell Brand now!

I guess we might not be so far apart. I found the naughty bit very funny not least because I didn't expect it. It's true, I'm clean mouthed in lectures. But I don't suppose I'd care if others were used naughty language and I certainly see no problem in a biblioblogging interview.

Now, interestingly, as you imply, why am I not using the said word???

James

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Actually, I do have a story about how watching Russell Brand has helped me lecture and I may share it some time on my blog -- it might be fun.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger metalepsis said...

James,

Loved the Ker link, wow!

Plus had the same reaction, just reading that part I spit coffee all over my screen. It is akin to Ali G doing Borat. Brill!

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

"He is clearly enjoying trying to see what he can get away with, though, since there is an obscenity of the kind that is surprising (and frankly not entirely welcome) in an academic venue."

Come now, Mark, there were other ways to warn your readers of the word being used than using such a disapproving tone. Admit what you did :)

Fisting, BTW. I don't mind using the language - I doubt it will taint me too much. Let's remember that Roland Boer has used this language recently on Stalin's moustache, citimg David Halperin's comment that it is the 20th C unique contribution to sexual practice (something new under the sun?). Did anyone comment then? Don't recall so. Is Halperin not a serious scholar? Bloody right, he is.

Let's also remember that Roland wrote a piece in Semeia years ago which ended with Solomon being sodomised by, I seem to recall, the Queen of Sheba, I also seem to recall Alice Bach going "yuk" in a response. Equally, Roland recently quoted on his blog, Annie Sprinkle, a porn star who also appeared in that original Semeia article.

If it can appear in Semeia, then why not biblioblogs.com. This is not an issue about taste, or personal practice. Sex is of great interest to scholarship, and why not biblical scholarship as well?

And let's be honest, sex is pretty hilarious. Remember Dogma! Even God and the Angels laugh at it! :)
Wrong is funny! Sex is funny! Wrong + sex + reaction of bloggers = bloody hilarious!

Some bloggers should get a life, quite frankly. I have asked before about whether we like each other or not. Well, hell, I much prefer Wrong and Roland to most bloggers I've ever read, and their ability to challenge and provoke me is not unrelated to their energy, their humour, and their crude ways. I don't think I'll ever get to spend two days on a train with Roland, but I think I am the poorer for it.

Jeez fellas. Why the long faces?

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Doug Chaplin said...

I wonder if Jim has heard of Julian Clary and Norman Lamont!

In this discussion of fishing, I have to say that highlighting the idea of Jim "slobbering over Wrong" brings some pictures before my eyes I would rather not ever have seen.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

So Goodacre, West, and Crossley, y'all know who Wrong is, so why don't you say so? Brand and Wrong make quite a pair - as bad as Brand and Ross, but at least we know who they both are. Does an academic scholar have to hide behind a false name in order to indulge himself in what amounts to trivia? Let's face it, that's what was in his blog - trivia and more trivia - to put it mildly. I wouldn't want to offend Steph.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Jim said...

@ john- good points all!
@ doug- no i don't. and i do agree with you that ker's 'slobbering' metaphor made me vomit a little in my mouth.

back @ john- i'm appending your comments as an update with the offending word changed to the proper one.

February 03, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

I thought Ker was kidding. You mean he's serious?! How precious. Bilbiobloggers takes themselves far too seriously. A scholar who is worth his custard doesn't take the blogging world seriously. NT Wrong has better things to do but he still knows how Victorian bibliobloggers are about sex.
;-)

February 03, 2009

 
Anonymous Jordan wilson said...

I believe the coward was having fun at the expense of a clueless sex expert, who reported the same thing about the Obama's.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cd0_1232763796

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Chris Zeichmann said...

I'm going to go ahead and agree with Jordan's post. It's a pop culture/youtube reference. Wrong did it with the "4th most popular New Zealand" something-or-other and a few people missed that reference to Flight of the Conchords. Wrong is clearly someone who spends too much time watching stuff that someone 20-39 would watch.

That said, I can understand why people would be hesitant to endorse that kind of language on someone else's blog.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Jordan and Chris: I must admit that I missed that reference. Shows I am not quite in that 20-39 age range, so I suppose I can't be NT Wrong after all. Steph: I am not sure I agree about bibliobloggers taking themselves too seriously; I often have a laugh when reading the blogs. My point was about context. I tend to treat content in academic contexts online in the same way that I would treat content in the classroom. Context is all; even stand-up comedians understand the point. They will swear like troopers during their stand-up but will moderate their language if they are on Radio 4. That's entirely right, and I enjoy listening to both.

In other words, I don't think it is anything to do with being puritan, Victorian or any of these things. A moment's consideration will confirm the point. Jim West is a preacher. I doubt that he talks about the sexual practice in question, whether for gays or straights, in his sermons. (Correct me if I am wrong). It is a question of what is felt to be appropriate to the context. Likewise, James has said that, like me, he watches what he says in class. I think that that is wise -- students might complain if they found particular things offensive. I would also be surprised if John is that different here. I think there are certain things that he would find acceptable in sharing in class and certain things that he would watch out for.

Appeals to the discussion of sexual practices in academic work is a red herring. Once again it is a question of context. I supervised a fine dissertation in 1997 which compared Revelation 17 with some pretty appalling contemporary pornography. The academic discussion of that pornographic literature was at the heart of the dissertation, but if in response to a question at the viva, the candidate had spoken a gratuitous profanity, it would have been rightly regarded as unacceptable. Likewise, when I examined a PhD thesis on porno-prophetics a few years ago, the subject matter demanded a careful and measured approach, not one in which we imitated the language we were studying.

John, I'll admit to being a bit disappointed about the "get a life" type comments. One has to make a judgement call on something like this. You clearly think that Wrong's answer to that question was innocuous. I did not think so, feeling that this was not the right context for that kind of comment. Judging from the response here, I am in a minority in thinking that way, and what you say obviously resonates with people. The fact that most other bibliobloggers do not speak in the same way, though, and the fact that NT Wrong only does it under the cloak of a pseudonym, suggests to me that the matter is not quite as simple as you'd like to present it.

Oh dear! Having said that I did not want to make a big deal of it, now it sounds like I am making a big deal of it. As Paul said, "You drove me to this!". Or as Terry Gilliam once said, "I blame everyone. Everyone except me, that is!"

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

It's not about laughing at other blogs. Gees - NT Wright's books make me laugh sometimes, and so do Maurice Casey's, but for completely different reasons. But your comment (not to mention it's length!) proves my previous points ;-) And while James is sweet mouthed in class he's sworn ferociously on this blog.

I agree with John so much you might think it was he who is NT Wrong. And the fantastic Roland - I don't think I knew what fisting was before I started reading his blog (the best thing in biblioblogs since NT Wrong came along) and Roland, face it, is far more learned than most other bibliobloggers.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

"John, I'll admit to being a bit disappointed about the "get a life" type comments."

I am sorry you included yourself among "some bloggers", Mark, because that was aimed more at the outraged Ker than the merely concerned Goodacre. Imprecise language, so sorry for that.

That said, we do see this very differently. I have done plenty of things in a class that I wouldn't do in polite company because I think provocation is a legitimate tool to unsettle students, especially when one is dealing with the strange world of the Bible. I think the same of the blogging world. There are some people here who should be unsettled as much as possible. This is not just an academic setting of peers (and even there I like to provoke), but it is also a classroom, albeit a public one. So, different styles are legitimate in my mind. I don't mind you warning your readers of what is to come - that is legitimate, I agree - but no-one yet has the right to say what a biblioblogger may or may not say, or even what is or is not allowable in an academic setting, obviously abusive practices aside. That is as it should be. We all know that journals veer as they change editor. JSNT, for example, had Francis Watson, Stephen Moore, David Horrell, and Simon Gathercole, and has wandered all over the place. I liked some versions better, sure, but what I like about blogging - when I like it at all - is the fact that you get all stripes at the same time. Please don't try to proscribe the Roland's or Wrongs of this world. To me, they are the leaven that makes the loaf rise.


"The fact that most other bibliobloggers do not speak in the same way, though, and the fact that NT Wrong only does it under the cloak of a pseudonym, suggests to me that the matter is not quite as simple as you'd like to present it."

Wrong proved pretty conclusively that most bloggers are very conservatve. If we add in those whose interests don't match, and those who are naturally reticent, it is no surprise that pretty much no-one uses such terms. But Roland has done so repeatedly. I have worked on both Sodom and Homosexuality, but have had no occasion to discuss practices like this. But I would if I felt it necessary or helpful, or, I'm afraid, if it was just usefully provocative. That's why I threw Roland's Semiea article and Halperin into the mix.

As for Wrong's pseudonimity, I doubt it is there so he can use obcenities without anyone knowing who he is. For me, the only question is whether his reticence to name himself is a pose or a necessity, and that is a side issue. I think he is better read than I am and is probably more senior than I am, but ultimately I don't care very much. Provocation is often all that is required. And Wrong can do that in spades without us knowing his real name.

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

John, you are so wise, you must be Wrong. And Wrong was always right.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

But y'all know who he is, so why pretend that you don't? It's all academic assing about.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

And now we know why y'all despise evangelicals - they don't swear like troopers. Just think about it Jim. N T Wright doesn't swear - very scriptural you know - you are allowedd to shuffle your feet Jim, but only where you wear the carpet at the computer.

May be evangelicals are not so bad after all. Many are students that keep some of you lot in a job. But heaven help the students of N T Wrong. He would fill the world with Russell Brands - layabouts.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger andrewbourne said...

I wonder if any of the Bibliobloggers read regularly the `Theology and Sexuality` Journal. It regularly has articles that are stronger than fisting and are bibliobloggers unaware of the whole area of Queer Theology. I think what Wrong has done is to `out` to a degree the amount of Homophobia and the hegemony of heterosexuality within the biblioblogging world. If anything Wrong has contributed in showing some of the assumptions underlying the world of biblical biblioblogging. James sorry to mention this but it highlights some of the issues you raise `JESUS IN A TIME OF TERROR`. In that there are subjects that are shameful to discuss.

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

I was only joking - I pulled that one on you a while ago but that was due to a glitch between emails with a friend. But you are every bit as wise as Wrong and the fact you are blog idle is an indication you have more interesting things to do (hopefully not admin). :-)

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

Sorry Steph,

I am too idle to be Wrong - as anyone who has ever read my poor excuse for a blog will know.

I love the conspiracy aspects of all this though. It is all so academic! Maybe not in NT, Mark, but early experience of Qumran Studies opened my eyes, I can tell you. We might also mention Reimarus here. And Peter Enns might also have kept his job had he been Wrong! Silly boy.

Geoff Hudson, I don't know who you are, but I can promise you, hand on heart and hope that Jim West dies if I tell a lie, I do not know who Wrong is.

But then I would say that, wouldn't I. :)

(How does one do an evil grin emoticon, anyone?)

Andrew Bourne: Hear, hear.

BTW James, how did you get the verification word to be 'staid'. How do you do that????

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

it's an age of terror... :-)

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"Geoff Hudson, I don't know who you are, but I can promise you, hand on heart and hope that Jim West dies if I tell a lie, I do not know who Wrong is."

If you, John Lyons, are a theologian, you must be lying; propagandist inversion is the basic hermeneutic for the understanding of the NT and the writings attributed to Josephus. But don't tell that to N T Wrong. He might think that all his Greek learning has been an utter waste of time, and commit suicide by sticking his head somewhere.

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Roland said...

JFK (no it's not the ex-president), this is the best laugh since, well, yesterday. Here's to Annie Sprinkle (thanks, John, for mentioning my love afafair with Annie): the holy Bible is so erotic, I sure hope they don't ban it!

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh let me bump up your ratings.

I'm one of the lurkers on biblioblogs who has never studied or worked in the field, never comments (hmm maybe once or twice over the years, I forget), but who just likes to see what the bibliobloggers are up to.

It is funny how over time you get a sense of the person behind the blog, whether they blog anonymously or not, or whether they are some well known name in that incestuous little pond of yours, or some obscure wannabe. Over time you get a feel for who is most likely to be a gentleman and a scholar, who still has daddy issues, who has designs on themselves, who is a wanker, who has some intellectual virtue, who really just wants to push an agenda, who lives in a parallel universe and who actually approaches normal.

Frankly my amateur assessment of most (not all) of you bibliobloggers, even allowing for blogs being a medium for fun and not a place where one writes dissertations, is that you have fragile egos - and the more inflated sense of self-importance you all have, the more fragile I think you are.

Not just that, you spend most of your time chasing imaginary rabbits down dead end holes. I sometimes wonder how some of you could spend the best part of your lives so earnestly anal-ysing stuff that is so useless, atomistic, irrelevant and so off the mark it goes beyond funny and into the realms of sad. Do you ever stop to think: am I asking the right question? Because seriously dudes, most of the time it doesn't sound like it.

The funniest part is when once in a blue moon (and a very rare moon that is) someone has an aha moment where they come up with an insight or conclusion that the rest of us amateurs think, "Well that was duh. Did it take you three years to work out something common sense and a bit of history should have told you in the first place?" If I had the energy I'd go dig up a couple of examples from over the years but I can already guess most of your reactions to my comment so I am not even going to bother.

In any case, it's probably why I keep reading biblioblogs. Sometimes it's like watching life in a parallel universe.

I have been fascinated with all your obsessions over Wrong - as it has only confirmed my suspicion that most of you are really fragile), and that Wrong is just another leftard who likes pushing buttons because s/he can (yawn),

I mean the way some of you obsess about your blog ratings on some list by some anonymous crud is hilarious - the fact that most of you link to it or other such "acknowledgements" with the usual disclaimers says more than you would care to admit. It's like you wear all your buttons on your sleeve with a big sign: "push me".
And well, here you all are again obsessing over what Wrong said or didn't and whether Wrong was right or wrong.

Sometimes I wonder if I really am reading blogs by grown men and women or whether I am reading teenage ridicule and angst on myspace.

I sincerely hope that most of you - Wrong included - aren't representative of those who work in Biblical Studies and related fields. What a sad inditement.

While a Christian - very middle of the road - I am also glad many of you are not believers in any shape, size or form. I'd be disowning most of you thick and fast and I wouldn't be alone amongst my brethren.

So anyway carry on. Rest assured that while some of us don't take you seriously, your life at least has some meaning as online entertainment for lurkers

js

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to say I'm enjoying this...

JS: on the whole probably right and suitably nasty. In self defence (just in case you were having a dig at me which you might not have been to be honest), I can't say I take a lot of the blogging stuff very seriously at all (politics aside - that does worry me) and, like Wrong, who must know how to push the buttons, I enjoy the absurdity of it all. As do you, right?

John: well put!

Roland: this discussion must be your natural home...

Andrew: yes, indeed. Here's a question I thought I'd never ask, is it exclusively homosexual??

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair, I thought I was making it pretty obvious that I was joking about the ratings and picking up on the silliness of being concerned...


James

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Yes if you want to become mad, join the bibliobloggers. It seems that the more 'academic' you are considered to be, then judging by N T Wrong, the more mad you can be also. Your madness can rise in proportion to your academic rating, or your blog rating, because then you can get away with murder and say or blog what you like. Everyone will continue to admire and respect you because you are brilliant, and you know Greek inside out, even if, like N T Wrong you have at least 100 pis.... personalities.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Things haven't changed. Slavish adulation used to be lavished on emperors. Here its on the head-banging, pop rocker of bibliobloggers, who must be on some pretty heavy stuff.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Esteban Vázquez said...

OMG, who the hell is this Geoff Hudson, and why won't he shut up?! His fury is such that I am forced to conclude that Wrong must have once rebuffed his romantic advances. You know, "hell hath no fury," etc.

Meanwhile, we evidently need an Encyclopaedia Dramatica for Biblioblogdom. Someone get on it.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

An Arab once tried it when I asked him back to the place where I was staying. He went down the stairs a lot quicker than he came up.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger andrewbourne said...

Anonymous: How simply can I put this Queer has nothing really to do with homosexuality rather its a both/and. Queer theology is a theology that tries to take on board the categorical radicalness of Christianity. In so doing all categories are ripped up and the true radical nature of Christianity is realised

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks for the interesting and often entertaining comments. Like you, Steph, I find humour in both Wright and Wrong. John: delighted to hear that you are not telling me to "get a life" after all. I agree with most of what you say, though essentially you end up underlining my point, that provocation in the classroom is related to content / subject matter and is not, usually, gratuitous. andrewbourne: You will not find homophobia in my blog. Where have you seen it in the biblioblogosphere?

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger David Ker said...

I have to agree with Jim on this. Although I was writing in an exaggerated style I wasn't kidding. I kid around a lot but on this point I'm feeling distinctly prudish. But I think this has clarified for all of us what a bunch of reprobates you all are.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 04, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

Mark,

Glad that is cleared up.

It is interesting that you assumed at one point that I thought that the use of the term in Wrong's answer was "innocuous". The contrast then was between innocuous use and gratuitous use. I actually thought it was provocative and was intended to be so. To be honest, it was not unexpected as far as I was concerned. That's why I don't see Wrong's usage as problematic, unrelated to the topic in hand, and,..., well, gratuitous. In context, it is merely part of an ongoing discussion where various people with widely different views are provocative in diverse ways, and at some point the Bible gets invoked (or maybe not). No big deal.

James, the verification word is now "misthero". Stop doing that!!

February 04, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

I'm sure you do Mark. But you still missed the point. It isn't about being able to laugh at different things. It's about self published blogs being taken so seriously and rules of conduct assumed by others. Why care so much? ;-)

February 05, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Hi again, John and Steph. These conversations have a way of circling round on themselves, and we are now risking getting dizzy as well as bored! "No big deal" -- right! That's what I began this comment thread by saying. Steph: My attempts to find shared ground with you here don't seem to be working. Are you sure you aren't the one missing the point?

February 05, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

Yup I'm sure. I know you say it ain't no big deal now but the fact that it was an issue in the first place and described as unwelcome kinda did the damage. And come on Mark - you have to admit that some bibliobloggers take themselves pretty seriously! :-)

(A dual? - pistol or fists?) - NO pun intended.

February 05, 2009

 
Anonymous roland said...

I have a hunch that Geoff Hudson is James Crossley's alter-ego: a Dr Crossley - My Hudson relation, is it not?

February 05, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Esteban you git, when are you going to get rid of those prattish glasses? NTW = JG, has a wife? Never. When does he have time to see her. All his time is spent on computers writing under his various pseudonymns. His wife IS a computer and his children ARE computers. So where does that leave his love life. He obviously loves Jimmy and Jimmy loves him.

February 05, 2009

 
Blogger Esteban Vázquez said...

Never, of course! David Ker may think I'm a reprobate, but he thinks my glasses are cool.

February 05, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

It's a virus with marital problems, Esteban. Just ignore it and hopefully it will go away. You're gorgeous and your glasses are cool.

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

Biblioblogging is such a self-congratulatory world. If scholars spent as much time looking carefully at the evidence as they do patting each other on the back and/or making "witty' comments about each other, they might actually see something valuable one day. With all the clever comments, scholars still manage to avoid examining themselves or the texts. The world of blogging seems to have created self-infatuation rather than any serious research. And no matter how much evidence anyone presents to establish what has gone wrong, it all gets laughed off and that's modern research for you.

Leon Zitzer

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

NT Wrong now has an illustration just in case you were in doubt. And it's not a fishing rod, Jim :)

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

I just thought I'd make it 50 comments.

James, have you stopped laughing yet?

February 06, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

51: Mark, where is the illustration?

February 06, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

52: Leon: of course you know all the answers and absolutely everyone else is wrong aren't they. But how can you both be right - you and Geoff Hudson?

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Self-examination is what NTW endulges in, doesn't he Leon? Who do you think Leon is Steph? Isn't he just another of NTW = JGs fictitious characters in the blogoshere?

Now tell me Steph, can you find in Nottingham a professor or other academic, say in mathematics or physics or engineering or science, but not in biblical studies, who writes and publishes books under pseudonyms? Is such a thing done in the UK?

This brings me to another point. We all know how Jim West likes to rant on about fraudulent claims made by BAR. Methinks he doth protest too loudly, like a guilty criminal - it's called propagandist inversion you know. You see Jim has not been above playing-out his Pharisaical interview with his fabricated lover-boy NTW. So what kind of a hold has NTW got on Jimmy? Come to think of it, what kind of a hold has NTW got on Mark Goodacre? For a long time now, these two have resisted my claims that JG wrote books and posted to web sites under false names. Both have protected JG.

This raises another possibility. Are all three directors or shareholders in the same publishing company (or companies_ that publishes books under false identities. Ask James Spinti of booksellers Eisenbrauns who Russell Gmirkin (the supposed author of Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus, published by T & T Clark) is. He has absolutely no idea. Yet the name can easily be linked back to the known interests of JG's schoolboy hero, Tarzan whose yell he was very good at emulating.

So why write academic books under pseudonyms? Well you can certainly spice them up a bit to attract more interest. But the big advantage is that you can write books, apparently as an expert, without having any real experience in the particular field you are writing about. So the publishers dump books on the unwitting public hoping that they won't spot the author's lack of real credentials or identity. Banking is not the only rotten industry. The bucks may involved be less, but some academic book publishers are guilty of deception too.

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Hi Steph. It's on a great blog called "N T Wrong?". Cheers, Mark

February 06, 2009

 
Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

What do people think about whether Jesus was right or wrong when he said 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks'?

Second question: Would you be impressed or unimpressed if Mother Teresa had used similar obscenities? If not, why not? Would they have made her a bigger or a smaller person? I'm trying here to work out whether the nonChristian attitude to these things can be saved from self-contradiction.

Third: from my Christian point-of-view Russell Brand's verbal incontinence is to be expected because sin breeds sin: selfish behaviour (as chronicled in his autobiography), drug use, sexual amorality or rather imnmorality: some write about these characteristics of his lifestyle as though they were unconnected, whereas I and (I'd guess) most Christians would expect them to go together, probably because we have a worldview that works and has predictive power. In fact, we knew Russell Brand very well before we ever heard of him: he is the very embodiment of each of our own unrestrained flesh-life (if we are male, that is).

We probably all know very well that there is a godly warmth and wisdom that does not go together with this kind of verbal incontinence. But fewer can explain why not - and here is where the Christian worldview has the advantage. In my (42-year) experience Jesus was right: if people speak thus it is because something unpleasant which was already inside them is manifesting. The more mixed-up one's past, the more such things 'come out'.

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

It seems that the kind of hold NTW = JG has on JW and MG is by the short and curlys. No wonder they jump to his rescue! "Great blog" indeed!

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

I would first ask: Who is this unreal character Christopher Shell? He sounds more like Christopher Robin.

"What do people think about whether Jesus was right or wrong when he said 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks'?"

With my longer experience, I'd think he might have been a self-righteous liar. And who was this so-called high and mighty Jesus character anyway?

"Second question: Would you be impressed or unimpressed if Mother Teresa had used similar obscenities? If not, why not?"

Depends of the circumstances. If Mother Teresa had used obscenities, it would certainly have drawn attention. I might have understood that she felt that something was so unjust that it merited the sort of strong language, that may be she wouldn't have used with you Christopher Robin er Shell.

But never mind about the prats of this world like Russell Brand. There are plenty of folk who do exude warmth, but who swear every other word. And some of them are the salt of the earth, Christopher my little angel, who were prepared to die for others like me. As a student labourer, I worked with a highly skilled bricklayer on a building site. He had parachuted into Arnhem (of The Bridge too Far) and escaped. Being zealous for the Lord, one day I told him to go and wash his mouth out. It affected him. No-one had ever spoken to him like that before. In retrospect, I have regretted ever speaking so to such a man. Who was I to judge?

My own father, a carpenter, once said, quietly, almost incidentally, to his zealous son, "There are plenty of good men who don't go to Church." In retrospect, that also sticks in my craw. In particular, I know he had in mind his own employer who was very kind to him.

A running friend of mine from Bedworth, pronounced Bedoth if you come from there, again of humble background, swears every other word. I know of no-one else who makes swearing sound like music. Now I feel completely at ease with him, but he has the sense to moderate his language sometimes.

But N T Wrong is a different kind.

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

And I thought that the most controversial thing I said in the interview, by a long shot, was that biblical scholars should pursue what is 'true'. Yet, not an eyelid was battered, let alone a fist clenched in anger.

Yours sincerely,
Jeff

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Oops, er... I mean "Yours sincerely, N. T. Wrong". I don't know what possessed me to do that.

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

N. T. Wrong,

You are an obvious impostor. The real Jeffrey Gibson would never sign his name as "Jeff."

Jeffrey

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

Sorry about that. I meant to sign it "Stephen."

Stephen

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Aha - I knew it!

Just in case anybody accuses me of being into the contemptible practise of battering my eyelids, and thereby treating the imagio Dei with floury-and-eggy contempt, I correct myself: 'batting my eyelids'.

I apologize for my catechesis.

Yours sincerely,
Geoff

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Oops - what I meant to say was, I apologize for my catachresis.

Yours sincerely,
N. T. Wrong

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

I'm starting to resent these aspirations. I want to be Jeffrey Gibson too.

J. Baldrick

February 06, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

The question is: who is Geoff Hudson?

The answer can be found here.

February 07, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

This has suddenly got very funny. NowIsaac Casaubon? = who?

BTW Mark, I tried the great blog before I asked and it wasn't there. Maybe the Great One can tell me - where is the illustration of fisting NT Wrong?

February 07, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

That Tony Blair is just too creepy - what evil eyes!!

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Steph - have a look in the header. Maybe you need to refresh your browser.

Isaac Casaubon is probably Geoff Hudson.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

I mean this header.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger steph said...

Looks pretty innocent to me. What a bloody fuss. ;-)

Young Isaac only had two views when I looked - it's you, admit it!!! GH doesn't exist. It's a virus. I'm NT Wrong (I wish...) - just check my profile :-)

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Looks like N T Wrong = JG has got more than JW and MG by the short and curlys. He'll be wanting to room with y'all at SBL. Yo''l all be able to indulge in some mutual backscratching, eh Loren - is she a women?

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

A better question is :How many academics has NTW = JG fooled with his Earl Doherty?

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Perhaps our resident hypocrite Jim could arrange to interview Earl Doherty! May be Earl's wrist will be better come March 1st, but April 1st would be more appropriate. All the nice boys love a sailor Jim, so you only have to ask and NTW = JG is bound to come running.

I wonder how Earl managed to hurt his wrist? So inconvenient at a time when you have so much to fit in.

February 07, 2009

 
Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

Even if I were Christopher Robin (and by the way I have his autograph) how would that be an argument against my arguments? The underlying thought seems to be that innocence is something negative, which position comes very close to being a self-contradiction and therefore a reductio ad absurdum.

What else did Jesus mean by unclean talk in Mk 7? I am sure all these salt of the earth guys did as you say - but what did the swearwords contribute to their meaning? They would have injected violence, shallowness and unpleasantness (quite apart from lack of imagination: 'every other word' as you say - doesn't seem like a large vocab) into it, and therefore worked against any love or meaning they were otherwise trying to transmit.

Another illustration of why the Christian worldview has predictive power: Had anyone told me that a bishop or archbishop was going to come uop with the exquisite phrase 'the **** has hit the fan' and asked me to say which bp it was, I would have guessed right. The bp thereby became smaller, but the real world he inhabited, by contrast, remained just as gloriously immense. To act appropriately is to act in accordance with the immensity and wonder of the real world, ie reverently. (Ingratitude is ugly.)

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

So who is Christopher Shell? Is he just another generator of white noise on the blogosphere who bided his time to answer until things were getting uncomfortable again for NTW = Earl Doherty = Russell Gmirkin? To me an argument can only be acceptable when it is made by a real individual who means it. Like Leon, you are yet another unreal fictitious creation of our resident fiction writer, actor and lover boy. Anything written under the name of Christopher Shell is just the same as anything written under the name of Earl Doherty - pure fiction or fantasy.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

So NTW = JG derived his pseudonym Russell GMirkin from the name of his favourite Tarzan illustrator Russell George Manning.

And he derived ED as in Earl Doherty from EDgar Rice Borroughs, author of Tarzan. He got the name Doherty from another illustrator of the Tarzan stories named Doherty.

So all you gullible scholars and public out there, when you go to Earl Doherty's web site:

http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm

you know who its real creator is, and it isn't anyone by the name of Earl Doherty.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

I have hesitated to say this for a long time, but finally it needs to be said: Steph, I have yet to see you make one comment of any substance. All you do is make wisecracks and you seem to think this passes for some sort of wisdom. It is your misrepresentations that finally made me say this.

I have only made two major points here and anywhere else on the Internet: 1)Evidence must come first, and 2) the majority of NT scholars argue on the basis of preconceived theology or worldview or assumptions (all these terms are suitable) and throw the evidence out the window. I then proceed to ocasionally point out an interesting piece of evidence that gets erased by scholars (what Simon Schama [sp?] calls the telling detail) and the ways NT scholars violate scientific reasoning.

E.g., on a recent blog here, I made the obvious point (obvious in any rational scholarly field) that you cannot use an accusation as a piece of evidence to prove the truth of the accusation. I noted that this applies to Mark 14:1 and Luke 6:16. You made one of your wisecracks and Hudson joined in the ridicule. And Crossely remained silent. I can also add that in one of his blog responses in Dec., NT Wrong called Luke 6:16 a weighty piece of evidence against Judas (this is the only place in all 4 Gospels where Judas is directly accused of being a traitor). Wrong's comment is like a judge saying the charges he just read against the defendant are a piece of evidence against him. This is just horrible, irrational and immoral thinking. Yet most scholars, not just NT Wrong, make arguments like this.

The only rational question to pursue is whether there is a pattern of evidence outside the accusation that makes a case against Judas or not (there is no such pattern, by the way). This is just standard rational thinking in any other field. But it is considered radical of me to raise it. And what was your response, Steph? To carp, and to snark, and to ridicule. It is so awfully sad and tragic because I think you speak for most NT students and professors.

Leon Zitzer

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Leon, you don't read.

You don't read, because you don't want to read. You never take any notice of what anybody else says. Why? Because you have your head so far up your own arse that all you are able to do is regurgitate your own excremental opinions. As a result, whenever somebody engages with you, you ignore what they actually said. So you've got two choices, broadly speaking. Actually engage with what people say rather than what you project they are saying, or continue on with your scatophagamous style of solipsistic intrepretations. But, if you continue with the latter, you might just turn into the complete arse that you have been feeding on.

Your comments above provide a fine example of your complete failure to ever engage other people.

Leon the Solipsist:
I can also add that in one of his blog responses in Dec., NT Wrong called Luke 6:16 a weighty piece of evidence against Judas (this is the only place in all 4 Gospels where Judas is directly accused of being a traitor).

This is a typical example of your complete failure to engage people with what they are actually saying. In the post you refer to, you had made the claim that “'Prodidomi' is the word for betray and all the Gospels fail to use it to describe Judas’ action." I pointed out that Luke did in fact use the nominal prodotes in Luke 6.16, and that this verse clearly states that Judas will become a “traitor”. My conclusion was quite limited and specific: "My point addressed your specific claim. The inclusion of this word in Luke is a strong indication that at least Luke considered Judas to become a traitor when he handed Jesus over to the chief priests. It is a weighty factor in favour of considering Judas a traitor in Luke’s Gospel."

So all that I concluded was that Luke's story presented Judas as a traitor. And what have you done? You have completely ignored what I actually said, and treated my statement about Luke's storytelling as though it were a statement about some historical 'Judas' (as "a weighty piece of evidence against Judas" [sic]). It wasn't. You have completely ignored my careful qualifications and limitations in the post, for no other purpose but to regurgitate your pet theories about the Gospels. I restricted my comment to Judas's portrayal in Luke. That is, just to make this clear to you, I only concluded that Luke's story made out Judas to be a traitor. That's all. Yet, you badly misread me as making a statement about the 'historical Judas' (if there was one). And this, despite the fact that I already explained that I was not talking about any real Judas. In fact, I explicitly expressed my doubts as to the historicity (in fact) of the trial scene: "I note that I am suspicious as to whether there was any such ‘trial’ or proceedings in fact before the high priests that involved condemnation to death — or even whether the high priests were historically involved in Jesus’ death at all. But it is in the story."

But you don't care for reading what other people say, do you, Leon? You proceed irrationally and unscientifically by presumption and presupposition. Your 'method', if it can be called that, is tendentious and shallow, only interested in regurgitating your pet and idiosyncratic theories about the Gospels. You make interpretational error after error in translating Greek, such as the ‘illegitimate totality transfer’ I identified. You display the worst traits of the dilettante, who - having gained a little knowledge - proceeds to display just how dangerous a little knowledge can be with a subsequent display of his vast ignorance. What is more, you are a self-righteous prat, who fantasizes that he has seized the magic key to understanding the gospels, when all he in fact has is a stupifying mix of half-arse facts and bullshit.

Pull your head out, Leon, and you might even become someone worth listening too, instead of some irrational and unscientific ignoramus. Heck, you might even beome somewhat convincing and coherent, rather than the pig-ignorant fool you delight in being at the moment.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Fly away Christopher Shell,idiot in the hat 1, come back Leon, idiot in the hat 2 - to make more white noise over JG's discomfort, don't you think Steph?

But no Jewish prophet would have said: "She has done a beatuiful thing for ME", idiot in the hat 1 (Mk.14:6). A prophet might have said: "She has done a beatiful thing for the Lord."

And no Jewish prophet would have said: "But you will not always have ME", idiot in the hat 2 (Mk.14:7). A prophet might have said: "But you will not always have the Spirit." So what would they have always had with them? Well, idiot in the hat 1, they would have always had with them, the temple, duh! But the Spirit could depart from it.

So who were the nondescript 'some of those present' who were complaining about the waste of perfume? Well idiot in the hat 2, 'some of those present' were the priests who thought that the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the temple. (Mk.14.4). The perfume was being poured out in the sanctuary doorway by a prophet to invoke the presence of Spirit.

So the prophet wasn't reclining at the table in the house of Simon, idiot in the hat 1, he was keeling at the altar in the sanctuary. (Mk.14:3)

And the time was "The Feast" (Mk.14.2, or Tabernacles idiot in the hat 2, when the Spirit was expected.

And it wasn't Pilate, who was looking for a sly way to arrest the prophet, it was Ananias, the high priest or the temple governor. Pilate was long gone. Agrippa I had protected the prophet, but the king had been murdered by the priests. The prophet was then at the mercy of Ananias and the priests. And it was Ananias who had the reputation for being sly (Mk14:1).

So idiot in the hat 1, it wasn't the fictitious Jesus who Pilate was seeking to arrest, it was the real prophet Judas who Ananias was wanting to kill. And it was Judas who "went out" from the sanctuary to confront the priests with his message. But April Deconick buries her head in the sand about Judas being in the sanctuary. So does Darrell Bock.

The extant text of Mk.14 is what might describe as propagandist inversion.

Have you got the idiot in the hat book too?

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Leon followed by NTW, as though they are not the same - classic JG Steph.

February 07, 2009

 
Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 08, 2009

 
Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Leon Zitzer reminds me of a participant we used to have on the Corpus Paulinum list, Eric Zeusse. Like Leon, Eric believed that he was literally the only one who practiced a truly scientific approach to the bible. Hyam Maccoby called him out beautifully in this post:

In general, I am concerned that you are bringing into disrepute certain views (some of which you derived from me) by your intemperate manner of arguing and by your claim to be the sole possessor of a scientific approach to New Testament studies, which can only be regarded as megalomaniac. This makes you a very unrewarding partner in conversations such as those conducted in this list between people who are patiently trying to unravel the complexities of difficult and debateable texts on the basis of goodwill and mutual respect.

That's Leon for you. A first cousin of Eric Zuesse -- a megalomaniac and thoroughly unrewarding conversation partner. (He's also a solipsist, as Wrong points out.)

February 08, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

From your enormous soapbox Leon you rant and rave your pet theories clearly oblivious to the NT scholarship you claim to know are wrong. You headline a comment on this blog "Well here I am" and expect everyone to take your regurgitated verbal diarreah seriously. You are 'so awfully tragic and sad' Leon. Take Wrong's advice if you can although I'd say it's well and truly stuck.

That's interesting Loren - maybe Leon and Eric are the same?

February 08, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Along comes idiot in the hat 3, NTW, who knows everything about everything. He knows Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German, and even bad language. Ask him any question and he will have the answer - at least he thinks he has the answer, especially when he's talking to those other two other two idiots 1 and 2 in their hats, Christopher Robin, sorry Shell, and Leon.

But the creator of these three idots, is really holding a converstion with himself. He sets one up as a fall guy, say idiot in the hat 2 Leon, and then hammers him with idiot in the hat 3 NTW. He even introduces an apparently authentic individual like idiot in the hat 4, Loren Rossen III to join in the criticism of idiot in the hat 2 Leon. And this raving lunatic expects the rest of the world to be conned by his antics that have by now been so well documented.

They are the trademark of a certain lunatic who was caught wandering about waving his fist and shouting "woe! woe! woe! to Chicago, your end is nigh!" When police raided his flat, they could hardly get into the place for all the books stacked up to the ceiling. The city engineers had to declare the building unsafe due to the loading on the foundations. But they were even more staggered to find so many computers in the place. They immediately confiscated them to check for any pornographic downloads. The city electrical engineers then found that it was much easier to maintain the mains voltage at its correct level without resorting to frequency reduction. There was no longer that dip in voltage in the middle of the night when everyone else was alseep. And the police noticed on their infra-red cameras that they were no longer getting a bright light source at night that they had spotted previously and wondered if this particular buildiong might have been a fire. But what really surprised the police when they arrested this fist-raving lunatic was the amount of heat being generated from his head.

February 08, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

In fact they wondered where his head had been to get so hot.

February 08, 2009

 
Anonymous Antonio Jerez said...

Good to see that the blessed bishop and Steph finally put Leon Zitzer in the place he belongs. Enough is enough! As for Geoff Hudson his rantings give me headaches from time to time, but at least he has humour. Leon lacks both knowledge and humour - an unfortunate combination.
Concerning the blessed bishops comments on a peculiar sexual practice I laughed heartily while reading the interview. Must be due to my depravity :)

February 09, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The fist is not quite right Antonio. It should be turned through 90 degrees counterclockwise with the arm curved upwards as if in a note of triumph - as a tennis player gestures when he has scored, a point that is. Sometime Andy Murray does it.

NTW's body language depicts ambivalence. Had enough?

February 09, 2009

 
Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

Leon-

There is no reason to suppose that anyone who speaks ad hominem or trivially is incapable of any better. Though obviously any trivia will be treated as trivia and any genuine responses to arguments will be treated as just that. In any debate the 'real' debate takes place between those who engage with the points made, and those who do not do that are not partaking in or contributing to the real debate.

February 09, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

More noise from Thing 1. I prefer to discuss with real people, not thing 1 and thing 2, or even cat-in-the hat know-all NTW.

When is sailor Jim coming back? He's gone very quiet. He must be skulking at the end of playing field kicking a ball around pretending its me. I wonder if his wife has been nagging him again about spending too much time on the computer. I really hope she does.

Taking of wives Steph, you'll be deighted to know my wife beats me up every morning.




And she brings me a cup of tea and a biscuit while I am still in bed.

February 09, 2009

 
Blogger John Lyons said...

Ninety comments! Come on - only need ten more!! :)

James, verification word is now "story". Mmmm

February 10, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

So does everyone believe Jesus went fishing in Galilee? This was a long way to go to catch a fish, or at least to watch his disciples casting their nets on the sea. But then may be they were not in Flavian Galilee, but in the temple, casting animal sacrifices on the altar - its that propagandist inversion again. I mean you don't have to be a genius like NTW to recognise it. Even Jimmy boy might be able to recognise it. So the call was not to leave their nets, it was to leave their sacrifices, and they weren't rustic fishermen, they were priests being called by the prophet to abandon animal sacrifices. What do you think Jeffrey? We know how thing 1 likes to debate.

So my little children, the naughty disciples left their old daddy Zebedee to fend for himself in the boat. They were going on a mission for Jesus, so sod the old man.

February 10, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

You know how NTW like growing his own vegetables. I've just found out he lives in Linconshire with his brother Dick. They are both yellerbellies. See NTW at work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjp9idhxJyc

He has views on just about everything.

February 10, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost there

February 10, 2009

 
Blogger steph said...

is there a prize?

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The fundamental scandal of New Testament scholarship is the way ALL scholars, including lover boy NTW and his 100 pis.... reasons, go on about christianity and the meanings of this that and the other language, as though the Roman intervention in Judea in 66 had nothing to do with the earliest christianity. So y'all go on about your Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew etc. with your heads in the sand ignoring the fundamental social happening of the first century in Judea. And that applies to you too James, even though you talk about bandits, peasantry and the leadership class in Why Christianity Happened, you haven't really got to grips with who the so-called 'bandits' were, naively not considering that there could be propagandist inversion going on here.

It is fairly obvious that the remit imposed on the editors of the NT was that they should do their work without reference to the war of 66 and why it occured. Yet they could have their newly created saviour forecasting the destruction of the temple, and they could write as though trouble was expected, but there could be nothing explicit about the events of the war that had occured a few years before.

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger steph said...

Maybe it's you who are "naive" and haven't "come to grips" with biblical languages and Jewish Law not to mention the social historical context. In fact "it is fairly obvious" that you're as baseless as Leon.

Perhaps you should investigate early Jewish law and try to understand how it affects Mark’s gospel. See how Mark takes for granted that Jesus fully observed biblical law and consider that Mark could only make such an assumption at a time when Christianity was largely law observant - not later than the mid-40s, from which time on certain Jewish and gentile Christians were no longer observing some biblical laws such as food laws and the Sabbath. It has been demonstrated that Jesus is portrayed as a Torah observant Jew in conflict with Jews dedicated to expanding and developing the Biblical laws and this must reflect the views of the historical Jesus. The early church would not have had so much internal controversy over the observance of the Biblical Torah if Jesus had deliberately challenged it or told others to challenge it. It is particularly significant that both Matthew and Luke show clear signs that traditions concerning the Torah must not be interpreted as challenging it. This is not an issue that is not found in Mark, suggesting that Matthew and Luke were written up in the context of non-observant Christians. It is also questionable that Mark 13 reflects the Jewish war, there are other plausible historical settings. Then there are the unfulfilled predictions...

James of course demonstrates that Mark was written early in The Date of Mark, in which he clearly has a far better grip than you of biblical languages, Jewish Law and the social historical context than you.

Only a few to go. Go on - you know you can do it!

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger jps said...

Why does my name always get brought into this? Geoff Hudson is just Jeffrey Gibson, who is just Jim West, who is just Schmuel who doesn't know any Greek, but pontificates on it.

All the world is a circus, but how do I get off? It seems appropriate that the word verification is deado

James

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Steph in blue at last trying to say something. It's about time.

Give me some examples in Mark that lead you to think that 'Jesus' was Torah observant - never mind about "it has been shown".

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

For some social context Steph, you might like to read April Deconick's words that she wrote in relation to The Gabriel Stone Seminar at Rice. With regard to the text on the Stone she wrote:

"There are a couple of references to blood sacrifices. One appears to be a command to stop the blood sacrifices,"


And she seemed to think that what she called the "Qumran sectarians" (I wonder where she got that idea from, not Norman Golb) would have identified with the text on the Stone. Thus she wrote:

1. "This story appears to me to be one that the "Qumran sectarians" would have identified with, and indeed may have even produced."

2. "the story and its themes fits well with the 'Qumran expectations' of three messianic figures (prophet, Davidic king, and priest) and the cessation of the Jerusalemite sacrificial cult."

I do not agree that the folk who wrote the DSS should be described as "Qumran sectarians", but should be regarded as mainstream priests in temporary exile away from their beloved temple to which they were just itching to get back so that they could resume their sacrifices that they had been prevented from doing. To speak of "Qumran expectations" reflects the consenus view in the extreme. It would make Norman fume.

But the relavant point is that here we have a scholar who can at least conceive that a group was in existence that sought the abolition of animal sacrifices. And may be that group wrote the text of the Gabriel Stone. Now if that isn't going against the usually understood requirements of the law, I don't know what is.

So I suggest that there was indeed a traditon of law rejection going back a long way before the time of the prophet who brought things to a head. After all, the priests would hardly have killed someone they thought was law-abiding.

To have executed someone over small matters of law was most unlikely. But someone who rejected animal sacrifices was dispensing with the traditionally understood priestly way of being made right with God.

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Added to that of course would have been the more serious business for some of James' aristocratic wealthy (the high preists) of loss of temple revenues.

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Do you reckon Jimmy's wife has seen his interview with lover boy NTW? He's gone very straight of late. I hope she's giving him a right old ear-bending.

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

James, you might like to take another look at page 169 of Why Christianity Happened where you quote Ant.20.173 supposedly about "a quarrel between the Jewish and Syrian inhabitants of Caesarea on the subject of equal civic rights."

I have had my suspicions about this episode for some time, that in fact it is one of those propagandist Flavian inversions of Josephus' original writings. I suspect that this passage was originally about a dispute between priests and prophets. The passage may have originally been something like the following based on Whiston:

"And now it was that a great sedition arose between the prophets that inhabited the sanctuary, and the priests who dwelt there also, concerning their equal right to the privileges belonging to the sanctuary; for the prophets claimed the pre-eminence, because Moses their prophet was the founder of the tabernacle, and because he was by birth a Levite. Now the priests did not deny what was alleged about Moses; but they said that the tabernacle was formerly the altar of burnt offering, and that then there was not one Levite."

This would suggest that the priests claimed their authority from the time of Abraham when sacrifice was practiced, and before Levites were on the scene.

The writings attributed to Josephus are not what they seem.

February 11, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Well, well, Geoff Hudson made the 100th comment. What were the odds?

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger steph said...

I think he's aiming for 200

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

N.T. Wrong and Steph,

Well, lah-dee-dah, as Annie Hall might say. Such language. I once got an email from someone who said he admired my ability to restrain myself when abuse is heaped on me. I told him it was not a matter of restraint. I don't respond in kind because the facts are on my side and that is all I need.

I got you very right, Mr. Wrong or Sir Wrong or Bishop Wrong or whatever appellation people have used for you. It does not matter whether Judas was a real person or a fictional character. My point still stands. Luke 6:16 is irrelevant. It is evidence for one thing and one thing only: Once upon a time such an accusation was made, once upon a time some people believed this (which may or may not include Luke). But was it true or was it slander? It cannot be used to demonstrate which.

Was Judas a real traitor? Was he a fictional traitor? Was he a real person who was slandered as a traitor? Or was he a character in a story about someone who was falsely maligned? Luke 6:16 cannot be used to answer any of these questions. I have no idea what Luke was thinking in reporting this. He could have known it was slander and repeated it for good or bad reasons, for all anyone knows. All we do know is that Judas was eventually considered a traitor. But when did this start? In my book, I argue that the allegation started very early before Mark was written, but it co-existed with a story of Judas as an innocent man who was libeled. So which would be the original, true story? It had to have been the one of his innocence. The most rational argument leads to this.

By the way, Luke 6:16 is completely irrelevant even if you otherwise had a strong evidentiary case against Judas. It would be like a prosecutor who succeeded in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty and then summed up as follows: "So here is all the evidence which proves the defendant did it ... and, of course, you can also use the Judge reading the charges as more evidence." He would be disbarred for an absurd statement like that. Luke 6:16 is a weighty factor for nothing and it tells us nothing about what Luke thought he was doing (that he was reporting slander is another possibility).

In the last supper scene, none of the Gospels (and that includes Luke) give us anything to conclude a story of a traitor. They all fail to use the Greek word that definitely means betray, they give Judas no motive, there is no conflict Judas has with others, and, to cap it off, they are all missing the minimum detail that you would expect in any story of betrayal — no one curses Judas out after the supposedly dastardly deed was done. Even that is missing. If you want to talk seriously about a story of betrayal, where is it? There is nothing in Luke anymore than there is in any other Gospel. It is absurd. There is no story of betrayal. It is all told in ambiguity (and Mark is actually perfectly ambiguous in his telling). Why such ambiguity? All we actually have is Judas leaving the table and returning with authorities. More ambiguity. There could have been a perfectly innocent reason for this. Every scholar assumes betrayal and reads it into the text. This is not rational scholarship. (Judas could not have been a real or a fictional traitor. Fictional is the worst possibility of all. There is no evidentiary argument to support fiction.)

It is not just Wrong. What all scholars are doing is using Luke 6:16 to create an aura of evil around Judas and, on the basis of this aura, then claim that Judas did something very bad (in a real history or in a fictional story). You don't need evidence when an aura is enough for you. Even the charge of the devil-made-him-do-it in Luke and John is ambiguous evidence. To lie about what the evidence says and make a claim that Luke 6:16 is a weighty factor when it is clearly not — such things would not be tolerated in any other field. Only theological NT scholarship encourages this. It is a heinous thing to do.

As for Steph, you, like so many others, continue to misrepresent ancient Jewish culture. Your ideas about law and obedience to the law are Christian theological ideas that have nothing to do with 1st century Pharisaic/rabbinic Judaism. Arguing that Jesus advocated obedience to the Law or arguing that he opposed such obedience — either argument is Christian theology and has nothing to do with Jews. The Pharisees believed in Torah as a Consitution given by God which God himself wanted Jews to use to rationally figure things out for themselves. It was a Living Constitution open to interpretation. Jesus shared this belief. Is there evidence for this in the Gospels? You betcha. Does anyone care about this evidence? Absolutely not.

By the way, my comment way above "Well, here I am" was in response to the post immediately above which asked "Where is Leon?" I thought it would be pretty funny if someone read it out of context. You have gratified my hopes.

As to whether I am humorless, as someone above suggested, I have no idea. All I can say is this: If you read everything I have said in this post in a French accent, you will find it incredibly hilarious. A real knee-slapper, I tell you, a knee-slapper. You all do have knees, don't you? You slap them from time to time, don't you? Or is it only me you slap around? Have a field day. Who said nobody expects the Spanish inquisition?

Leon Zitzer

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

Leon,

I suspect that the historical Judas was really the head of the disciples. His name clearly signifies "Judah," the head of the 12 tribes, and so the head of the 12 disciples.

So Yeshua would have been his commander. And Peter would have been a lump of Dead Sea bitumen that they kicked around, rather like first-century hacky-sack. And Thomas was their tank engine, who provided a passage to India.

All of this is determined by the pesher method, which is the only scientific way to understand the text. And then the whole thing was redacted by the Flavian historians.

No other scholar has seen as far as I. Gosh I am good. Oooh, ooooh, ooooh... oh yeah baby.

Yours sincerely
N.T.W.

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger N T Wrong said...

I'm a bit embarassed to mention this, after all of this discussion, but it the 'fisting' thing was just a typo. What I really meant to type for my secret hobby was 'fasting'.

I fist and pray regularly.

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

ROFL, anti!

February 12, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

Leon - yup I know you were responding to Geoffy - it still represents your illusion of omniscience - and yes you are humourless.

NT: I believe you (but not the fasting) - I knew you'd crack the code! It's all so logical!

Mark: You cynic! :-)

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

It's strange how Leon's style has drifted into i_am_really_Jeffrey_Gibson's_style, but you can understand just about as much of his noise as if it was Farmer Wink. Jimmy boy wrote on his weblog that I am insane, but as I wrote back (he always deletes my posts): I am not so insane that I think I am someone else.

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

What I had not fully realised until yesterday, was that the prophets derived their authority from Moses, and the priests from Abraham. But Moses did say,

"Now listen you Levites! Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near to himself to do the work at the Lord's tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near to himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too."

The conflict between priests and prophets went back a long way in the records. So when I read about a quarrel between the 'Jewish' and 'Syrian' inhabitants of 'Caesarea' (Ant.20.173), I can join Mark Goodacre ROFL.

Psst, Jeffrey Gibson is Josephus redivivus.

February 12, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

leon - you see nothing, hear nothing so I wish you'd say nothing too. Can't you read?

NT says "I pointed out that Luke did in fact use the nominal prodotes in Luke 6.16, and that this verse clearly states that Judas will become a “traitor”. My conclusion was quite limited and specific: My point addressed your specific claim. The inclusion of this word in Luke is a strong indication that at least Luke considered Judas to become a traitor when he handed Jesus over to the chief priests. It is a weighty factor in favour of considering Judas a traitor in Luke’s Gospel.

So all that I concluded was that Luke's story presented Judas as a traitor. And what have you done? You have completely ignored what I actually said, and treated my statement about Luke's storytelling as though it were a statement about some historical 'Judas' (as "a weighty piece of evidence against Judas" [sic]). It wasn't. You have completely ignored my careful qualifications and limitations in the post, for no other purpose but to regurgitate your pet theories about the Gospels. I restricted my comment to Judas's portrayal in Luke. That is, just to make this clear to you, I only concluded that Luke's story made out Judas to be a traitor. That's all. Yet, you badly misread me as making a statement about the 'historical Judas' (if there was one). And this, despite the fact that I already explained that I was not talking about any real Judas. In fact, I explicitly expressed my doubts as to the historicity (in fact) of the trial scene:..."

Yet leon, you respond "What all scholars are doing is using Luke 6:16 to create an aura of evil around Judas and, on the basis of this aura, then claim that Judas did something very bad (in a real history or in a fictional story). You don't need evidence when an aura is enough for you. Even the charge of the devil-made-him-do-it in Luke and John is ambiguous evidence."

Oh really?

What would not be tolerated in any other field leon, is your blatant misrepresentation of scholarship and unsubstantiated speculation. Where is the evidence for your pre Markan story of Judas as an "innocent man", let alone evidence for pre Markan allegations that he wasn't. What "facts"?!!!

As for "Jewish culture" - do you care about evidence? Absolutely not. And yes, it's only you - celebrate your persecution. You know you love it.

By the way I always think of a book these days as something having been published and printed and reviewed and read. I wasn't aware you had written a "book".

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Steph in black and Steph in blue. I knew there was two.

But here we have Jeff
pretending to be Steph,
disputing with Leon
Jeff again, I'm not kiddin.

So who is Jeff gonna be tonight?
I guess he'll wanna be N T Wright.

And you good folks of Chicago
Watch out for the looney on the go
You might see him waving his fist
Don't worry he's only pis...
But he has a problem with his wrist.

You might think he's going to hell
But actually he'll be on his way to SBL.

Where all night long they pray and think
led by pastor Jimmy Wink

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

It is incredible what passes for wit and humor on the Internet. And the sheer arroagance of telling lies about ancient Jewish culture. All scholarly blogs should be sub-titled "The Importance of Being an NT Scholar". Or maybe "The Importance of Being Hostile and Abusive". Monty Python please come back. There is so much material here.

Leon Zitzer

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Just looking at your quote of Life 39 James on page 46 of your book Why Christianity Happened.

I suggest that in Life 39 it was originally the oasis city of En-gedi (not Sepphoris) that had previously been made a present by Nero to Agrippa junior. I was then oocuppied by prophets. Upon En-gedi's submission of itself to the priests (not the Romans), the prophet's (not royal) library and archives were removed.

The prophets had their own library and archives confiscated by the priests.

Again in Life 39

"he added that this was the time for them to take arms, and join with the Galileans as their confederates whom they might command, and who would now willingly assist them,"

is fairly obvious interpolation to convince the reader that the events were in Galilee when really they were in Judea.

February 12, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

Now this has certainly been a sad exposition. It sort of takes me back to my days in junior high school in New York City or is it more like seeing a grand opera with prima donna or primo don scholars forming a sort of Lucia di Lammermoor Sextet with one quite vulgar counter tenor to amuse crowds. It is rather interesting that no known woman has entered this fray. It's a purely macho put-down foray.

What I'm wondering is, could George Hudson actually be NT Wrong? Could they possibly be the same person with one of the personalities preferring more vulgar expressions? How easy it is to be vulgar when no one knows who you are. But of course, only if you are really vulgar.

And so many erudite scholars teaming up to insult civil Leon because of his merely wild assertions and claims, as if wild assertions were a rarity among scholars. And who ever thought that biblical scholars could not also be slobs? Well, you know better now. We've come a long ways from Oscar Cullmann or Guiles Quispel. Shame on you.

Probably a good idea would be to forget about arguing whether or not Jesus existed and just take a little advice from him on how to be.

Peace.

February 13, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Muck-spreading is something farmer Wink and NT Wrong have in common.

As for taking the advice of Jesus,
there are plenty of wrecks around who have, or more likely who have taken the advice of those who claim to know what Jesus said.

February 13, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Whoever N T Wrong is, that person has chosen the cowards's way of writing rubbish under a false name all with the approval of some in the academy. How anyone can have respect for that is beyond me.

February 13, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

congratulations jose. You've completely missed the point - shame on you!

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

Missing a point is nothing to be ashamed of. Being a vulgar slob is something to be ashamed of. I'm afraid you missed that point Anonymous. Best for you to remain anonymous so that any students you may have don't recognize you.

February 14, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, missing the point means you haven't bothered to read or were incapable of understanding what you are responding to - a classic case of misrepresentation and dishonesty. If you want to whinge about slobs and preach about Jesus, why don't you write a post on your own homophobic blog.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

Anonymous, you have made no point and really made no sense. You sound rather infantile. Be well. Bye, bye.

February 14, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've missed the point, not understood what you were responding to and now not understood what I said ... maybe English isn't your first language. Au revoir. Shalom.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

And now Anonynous you stoop to making ethnic slurs and expose your bigotry. I'm sure you are not even conscious of how vile you sound to someone who has known blatant discrimination. Is there any thing decent or sensible that can come out of your mouth?

Nothing that is particularly esoteric has been said. Nothing difficult to grasp. But the vile and vulgar slob comments that are truly disgraceful to hear from any educator are crystal clear. Shame on you.

February 14, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

What an outburst :-) Out of my mouth? It is clear you do not understand what has been said (which has been neither esoteric nor complicated) so two possibilities might explain that - either you were too lazy to read what you are responding to or you have not understood what was said. If English is not your first language that might explain the latter possibility. Your comment does not relate to what has been said and finally, this was not a debate as to whether or not Jesus existed. If it upsets you so much, don't read it.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Jeffrey you really must stop having conversations with yourself, otherwise you might have a visit from men in white coats.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

Steph, I'm trying to be helpful so that you clean things up. You can do better. I never implied it was a debate about Jesus' existence. Where on earth did you get that from? I pass through these blogs seeking some information about biblical studies, earliest Christian history, etc., and I come across this. Haven't you read the numerous highly critical comments that have been made? They are in the same line as mine. Do I question if your first language was English? Apparently numerous scholars are missing the point but you single my comments out and reinforce the same bigoted insinuation made by Anonymous. I know what motivates that denigrating comment. I've heard it many times from bigots. Are you a teacher? Do you talk this way to your students? I am a teacher and if student missed a point I explain it to him. I do not play arrogant hide and seek games.

The fact is that there are many points and we are making a point about the vile and vulgar expressions that have been made. I can understand your wishing to evade the point we are making. It is quite an embarrassment for biblical scholars. If you wanted to demonstrate some decency you should be attacking the vile manner in which NT Wrong attacked Leon. I disagree with Leon and many others but I wouldn't think of talking to another human being that way. But rather than criticizing the vulgar slob comments you enhance them with your own attack on Leon talking about "your regurgitated verbal diarreah [sic]. . . . You are 'so awfully tragic and sad' Leon."

You can't escape having made these vulgar slob comments and being amused by Wrong's profanities. That my point Steph. It's that language and attitude that many of us are criticizing. We're telling you in plain English. It is shameful and you disgrace the entire profession of biblical scholarship.

Any decent academic blog should have immediately deleted such trash regardless of how much Greek or Subakhmimic the person may know. It's an arrogant intellectual elitism that imagines one needs to condone vulgar slob commentaries. "We are so learned we have a license to be slobs."

Mark had the decency to note: "My general rule about blogging is that I avoid saying anything that I would not say in the classroom." Academic blogs are or should be classrooms. Indeed, they reach out much farther than any walled classroom and the entire profession is judged by what goes in them.

David Ker recognized the vulgarity problem early and devoted an entire essay to the it on his blog. Don't try to bury your head in the sand Steph, I won't use Wrong's expression. We are reading the simple interview and comments clearly and we are making the point that needs to be made.

"It’s one thing to slaughter a pig on the sacred altar . . . . It’s quite another to fall down and worship it."

February 14, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

I don't think anyone really cares Jose except maybe Leon. It's only a blog for goodness sake...

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Mathematical identities:

Jose = Steph in black = anonymous = NTW = JG

Doherty, Doherty, JG's black pen,
It writes lies for academic men.
Scholars come every day
To read the lies JG's pen doth say
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Doherty, Doherty, JG's black pen.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

I hesitate to add anything. But this has to be said. The ad hominem attacks and vulgar language which Steph and others are so fond of, serve three purposes: 1) to cover up the ignorance and/or lack of interest in the evidence of the attacker; 2) to silence the one attacked by trying to humiliate him; this is what you will get if you continue to try to bring attention to certain pieces of evidence; and 3) most importantly, as a warning to others not to take an interest in anything this person says; if you follow in this person's footsteps and attempt to discuss evidence we have forbidden, then you too will get a taste of this humiliation.

In the world of NT scholarship, it seems to be a very effective tactic. The abuse and hostility serves to obscure and prevent any engagement with the evidence. I won't say I have no feelings and am invulnerable to this disgusting barrage (it is like people collectively spitting in your face), but I will say it has zero effect on my desire to bring attention to the evidence and to rescue ancient Jews, including the authors of the Gospels, from the injustices that continue to be imposed on them.

Leon Zitzer

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

I much prefer reading your comments Geoff when you're comical than when you take yourself seriously. I must grant you a touché. I brought it on myself by observing a similarity between you and N.T. Wrong. At least you haven't sunken to relying on vile expletives.

Steph, having finally realized what the point is, now comes out with his bizarre assumption: "I don't think anyone really cares José except maybe Leon." And this from a person who talks about reading abilities and makes bigoted comments about English language skills.. I just finished listing those who have clearly spoken out against the use of vulgarity on biblical scholarship blogs. They should save those vile comments for when they enter lowlife Las Vegas bars. Even if Leon were the only one who cared, and he certainly isn't, that doesn't validate anyone's descent into vicious vulgarities.

I come to these blogs to obtain some objective knowledge of the Bible and early Christian history. I grew up in the ghettos of New York and through lots of hard work and study pulled myself out of the slums. And here, of all places, I encounter the same slum mentality. I can almost excuse the slobs of the slums but what I suspect I'm finding here is spoiled, silver-spoon-in-the-mouth brats who giggle at how cleverly they can insult someone or be sensational. Shame on you. Hope this helps in your maturation process.

Peace.

February 14, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

I meant to add Geoff that your poetry is rather funny. It reminded my English wife of an old English rhyme: "Higgledy, piggeldy my black hen, she lays eggs for gentlemen. Sometimes nine and sometimes ten, higgledy, piggeldy my black hen."

February 14, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

You'll get over it Jose. A 'scholar' can manage his blog as he likes.

Leon proclaims his theories and simultaneously throws blanket abuse over the entire field of NT scholarship without engaging honestly with it. He announces that *all* biblical scholars are unscientific, antisemitic, and liars. Scholars are engaged in a witch trial against Judas. Zitzer laments that "Biblical scholars suppress debate ... they create a faux science so they will appear to be scientific. But real science is forbidden by virtually every scholar as far as I can see. If that seems like a strong statement, I should tell you that it is an eminently provable statement...I seem to be all alone in this. That’s how it goes with science." People tend not to take this seriously. Don't be too precious. Shame on you :-)

February 15, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

The question Steph is whether you'll get over it, that is, the vulgar and bigoted attitude. What's this garbage about "don't be too precious?" And then you add "Shame on you." We're supposed to be ashamed because we don't emulate vulgar bigoted slobs? I've read Leon's rants. They do not offend me. He's an apologist for Judaism, including Judas. But you are personally nasty and offensive. You attack and try to humiliate human beings. Will you grow out of it? Maybe after this lesson.

Love you. I do have you in my prayers.

February 15, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

Quite a rant Jose. Calm down :-) The point is that Leon misrepresents scholarship. Nobody is involved in a "witch trial" against Judas. NT Wrong for example describes Luke's storytelling of Judas, not the historical Judas. Leon chooses to ignore this. Nobody suppresses debate but it is difficult to debate with someone who doesn't engage with what you say. Leon may not offend you but misrepresentation offends me.

My procrastinating time wasting period is officially over. Go on, hurl your final sanctimonious abusive rant at me. :-)

February 15, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

I think I have said all that I need to say regarding the vulgar and shameful tirades that some have unabashedly expressed on an open blog of scholars. It is hoped that by my so-called "rant" this language and abuse is not repeated even though a blogger has the right to sink to whatever level he wishes on his own blog.

Although I do not agree Leon, with some of the things you have said—indeed, I can hardly understand how you can claim some of the things you do—I have no reason not to respect you as a decent human being worthy of full respect. You have no doubt spent many years engaged in your studies. Those that have maligned you in the most vicious terms owe you a complete apology. Will they have the decency to do so?

Shalom.

February 15, 2009

 
Anonymous Rebecca Martin said...

Aw - ain't that cute! Birds of a feather ... (although it's probably Leon who owes the apology :-)

February 16, 2009

 
Anonymous Sean said...

I think Mr Crossley should think about moderation; the cyber bullying on here is shameful. Especially those who get particular excited by having back up.

February 17, 2009

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Yeah, especially when its all coming from the same person.

February 17, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

My thanks to Christopher, José, and Sean for realizing the dangers of abuse, ad hominem attacks, and bullying. There is really nothing one can say to people like Steph because she is so enraptured by her own verbal abuse. It covers up her own lack of knowledge and serves as a warning to anyone who would focus on the evidence — you too will get all this hostility if you raise evidence that makes us uncomfortable; you too will get this if you tell us historical truths about Jewish culture we do not want to hear. The abuse is aimed at silencing all non-conformity to the standard line.

I should note that I answered Sir Wrong's claim above that he was looking at the story of betrayal in Luke. His response was to recite gibberish which in his mind passes for wit. As I have said, it does not matter whether you view Judas as really historical or fictional. An accusation such as Luke 6:16 proves nothing. Even as fiction, we could be dealing with a story of a man who was slandered as a traitor. Luke 6:16 cannot be used to decide anything about this. It is only a record of an accusation. When I tell people in other fields that NT scholars will use an accusation as a piece of evidence to prove either the truth of the accusation or the meaning of the story, they are shocked. And when I tell them that incredible abuse is the scholarly answer to anyone who objects, they are sickened. If Steph is a student of Dr. Crossley, she is a very poor reflection on him. I hope he realizes that. It is beyond me how anyone can countenance this kind of behavior.

Leon Zitzer

February 19, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

Greetings Leon:

Wrong speculation - no, she is not a 'student' of James. Lucky James eh! But she can't tolerate someone who constantly attacks every biblical scholar (in comments on blog posts) without engaging with what they actually say, misrepresenting them and preferring to announce that *all* biblical scholars are "unscientific", "antisemitic", "liars", and "suppress debate". I don't see any evidence for "all biblical scholars" being like this although I see claims such as these things are "eminently provable".

(And you still haven't heard what NT Wrong said on Luke 6.16, not that it matters really...As Christopher says, "In any debate the 'real' debate takes place between those who engage with the points made, and those who do not do that are not partaking in or contributing to the real debate")

February 19, 2009

 
Blogger José Solano said...

". . . Judas Isacriot, who became a traitor." Lk. 6:16

". . . Judas Iscariot, the [one] also betraying him." Mt. 10: 4

". . . Judas Iscariot, who indeed betrayed him." Mk. 3:19

". . . And of you one a devil is. Now he spoke [of] Judas [son] of Simon Iscariot; for this one was about to betray him, one of the twelve." Jn. 6:71

(Above translations from the literal interlinear.)

"Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: 'Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?' Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein" Jn. 12:4-6

"Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? Mt. 26:14-5

"And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them. Who hearing it were glad; and they promised him they would give him money. Mk. 14:10-1

"And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and convenanted to give him money. And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude." Lk. 22:3-6

Matthew 27:3-5 offers a full confession and repentance by Judas. "I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood." V. 4

And there is much more evidence. Case closed. The objective judgment: The biblical story of Judas leaves no room whatsoever for any other interpretation than that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus.

Now if we wish to argue that the Scriptures are all fabrications and distortions or the works of conspirators, that's another story. It is not what the Scriptures clearly tell. What they actually say about Judas Iscariot is crystal clear.

(Nice to see people communicating more civilly.)

Shalom.

February 19, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

Steph and José,

Steph keeps repeating certain lies about me which she has copied from Loren Rosson's blog, so I guess I should say something here as well. I never use the word antisemitic to describe scholars. It is not word I am fond of and use it only occasionally when talking about historical relations between Christians and Jews. For scholars, I prefer words such as anti-Jewish and prejudiced, and I never use them in a blanket way. Blanket condemnation is Steph's specialty. I am always very specific and give specific examples. A scholar could be anti-Jewish in certain ways but not in other ways. To constantly present ancient Judaism as a religion of externals, while ignoring the really profound accomplishments of the Pharisees, is a very prejudiced thing to do. I know there are Christian scholars who would agree with this (e.g., E.P. Sanders, who gets some things about the Pharisees right and some things wrong).

I never blanket condemned scholars as all liars or unscientific. I give specific exmaples of lies and unscientific reasoning. But Steph will go on making her broad accusations because it serves as a substitute for evidence and because it serves as a warning to others not to investigate this or we will heap abuse on you too.

I got Sir Wrong very right. He wants to argue that Judas may have been a fictional creation and Luke 6:16 is a part of a pattern that indicates Luke was telling the story of a traitor. But Luke 6:16 cannot be used to prove any such thing. That verse could equally well be part of a pattern in a story about a man who was slandered as a traitor. Luke 6:16 proves nothing either way. Lawyers, historians, and scientists would be horrified to hear that there is a field where many scholars think an accusation can be used to prove anything. I know very well that Dr. Crossley gets my point about Luke 6:16. It is impossible that he is as prejudiced as so many others are about this.

As for José's latest comment, we have discussed this elsewhere. You are a traditionalist and wish to defend the traditional view. But my work is more fauthful to the Gospels. I am not arguing here that Judas did not betray Jesus (I do that in my book). I am only arguing for correct presentation of the evidence. The evidence does not support only one interpretation of the Gospel story of Judas. That is unfair to what the Gospels actually say. I never claim that the Gospel authors made a lot of stuff up. I always argue they were accurate in most (not all) of their details but scholars keep reading things into the details.

Most of the evidence you presented above is ambiguous and some of it is irrelevant. The accusation itself (made only once in all 4 Gospels at Lk 6:16) proves nothing and the charge of demonization likewise (in history, demonizing someone is often done to innocent people; demonization never proves a thing, expect possibly some bad intention on the part of the demonizer). The most incredible thing about the Gospel story of Judas is that every single definite feature of a story of betrayal is missing (and I am not going to keep repeating these details). This is not even a new insight. The 19th century scholars, despite the fact that they were more blatantly prejudiced against Jews than current scholars, knew very well there were problems with the story of Judas and admitted it. They called his story a mystery — by which they meant that there was no clear story of betrayal with clear evidence to support it. They insisted Judas was still a traitor, but they acknowledged the evidence did not really make that clear.

And the other evidence is quite ambiguous. You cited Mark 14:10-11. Mark does not use the Greek word for betray. Even if betray is a secondary meaning of "paradidomi", which some scholars claim (while most disagree and say it does not mean betray at all), the point is that convey is another possible interpretation. Mark does not say Judas asked for the money and he never says why the priests were glad that Judas would convey Jesus. It could have been for a positive reason. The point is that Mark's words are vague enough that another interpretation is possible. Vagueness is the hallmark of most of the details in Judas' story. And again: accusation and demonization prove nothing.

So more than one interpretation is possible. The irony here is that another interpretation is no threat to Christianity and will in fact benefit Christianity.

Leon Zitzer

February 19, 2009

 
Anonymous steph said...

Take a look at your comments on James' June 23 2008 post on Popery in Nottingham. I could make a list but that would be boring, so I took a stab in the dark and came up trumps. You make blanket derogatory statements about biblical scholars. I cited Loren in my first reference to those quotations, because while Loren had carefully collected them, I have seen you make those claims over the last couple of years. As to criticising particular scholars, the only one I can remember you identifying on this blog in your criticisms of biblical scholarship, is William Arnal.

You are the self identified lone maverick making blanket criticisms against biblical scholars, not me. It's OK to be a maverick though. Augustine was, among others.

February 23, 2009

 
Blogger Leon said...

Katherine Hepburn probably gave the best advice: I don't care what they say about me as long as it isn't the truth. Hard to live by but worth a shot every once in a while.

March 05, 2009

 

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