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[XTalk] Re: recipients of HMt

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  • Robert M Schacht
    Yuri, I am reluctant to engage in this debate ; I think the responses made by Jack Kilmon and Jeffrey Gibson have been cogent and reasonable, as well as more
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 2, 2000
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      Yuri,
      I am reluctant to engage in this "debate"; I think the responses made by
      Jack Kilmon and Jeffrey Gibson have been cogent and reasonable, as well
      as more convincing than your arguments have been. I will confine myself
      to only one of your remarks:

      On Sun, 2 Jan 2000 16:12:17 -0500 (EST) Yuri Kuchinsky
      <yuku@...> writes:
      > ...
      > OTOH what I feel I have to show here is merely that HMt is _plausible_
      in
      > the context of ancient Jerusalem. Once this is established, then no
      > serious obstacles will remain in the way of recognizing HMt as
      ancient....

      This is a very strange argument: If something might be true, than it must
      be true?
      There are serious obstacles indeed, and Jack has outlined many of them.
      You have chosen either to ignore his arguments, or twist his words, or to
      reply with speculations and opinions rather than substantive evidence.

      At best, you have made a case that *some parts* of HMt *might* be
      ancient. Of course, if the ancient parts merely repeat what is already
      known, then HMt has no interest. It is only of interest if it offers
      independent testimony that differs in some way from other ancient
      manuscripts of GMatt, and that those differences are both independent and
      early. By this I mean only to grant that the bare possibility exists-- a
      long shot, say 1:25 against, and I am being generous to grant even that
      much. But mere possibility is not the same as plausibility, which you
      have, IMHO, failed to establish. And even plausibility is not the same as
      probability or likelihood, as you suggest. In other words, on a scale of
      0 to 100, where 100 represents certainty, and 0 represents no evidence
      whatever, your case seems to be in the 0 - 5 range, IMHO.

      So unless you can offer better *evidence* (not mere speculation or
      opinion) than you already have, and have more substantive
      counter-arguments to those that Jack has raised, this subject has little
      interest for me, and I will have nothing further to say about it.

      Bob
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... Wow. At least two logical fallacies (an appeal to authority, an appeal to [alleged] popularity, an appeal to pity -- and then later on, but snipped here,
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 2, 2000
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        Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
        Dear Jeffrey,

        I must confess that I'm often unable to understand parts of what you wrote
        below, or what points you're trying to make. It seems reasonably clear
        that you're very unhappy with my arguments and methodology, but it is not
        always so very clear why.

        So maybe I should try to explain my position a little bit now.

        I certainly don't feel that I need to _prove_ that Hebrew was widely used
        in Jerusalem in 1 c., or that gospel origins were lectionary, or that
        gospels were based on prophesy historicised, etc., etc. Great many
        articles and books have been written on all these subjects, and many
        highly reputed scholars hold these positions. What new can poor little me
        contribute in these areas, except for a little note here and there, a
        little brick for the wall that's already been built? We all stand on the
        shoulders of giants, so to speak, as someone better than me remarked so
        pithily. So your demands that I should instantly provide detailed studies
        and reviews in all these areas sound a little strange. Surely such things
        take time?

        OTOH what I feel I have to show here is merely that HMt is _plausible_ in
        the context of ancient Jerusalem. Once this is established, then no
        serious obstacles will remain in the way of recognizing HMt as ancient.
        Wow. At least two logical fallacies (an appeal to authority, an appeal to [alleged] popularity, an appeal to pity -- and then later on, but snipped here, an argument ad ignorantiam tantamount to " You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does.")  AND a factual error (in the misrepresentation  what I've been asking you  to do with respect to certain claims you've been making and which are the presuppositions of the "HMt is ancient" thesis) all in the space of  a a couple of paragraphs!

        But leaving all that aside,  I note that from a methodological point of view,  this is hardly all you need to do since you were NOT arguing that each or any of your theories, the truth of which are the necessary and sufficient conditions for the validity of the "HMt is ancient" thesis,  were **only** plausible. You were claiming that they, and not  the alternatives I was suggesting, were actually historically **the case**. So in this instance, showing plausibility is not enough. One must also show that the were what you claim them to be.

        Let me put it this way. The "HMt is ancient" thesis can be regarded as tentatively plausible IF, as it assumes must have been the case, Hebrew was a language that was  spoken at the time HMt was purportedly written and IF the Hebrew in which it is written is the Hebrew that allegedly was spoken in this time frame. Therefore it is incumbent upon anyone who wants to make the case for the antiquity of HMt not just to state or to argue that it can't not be demonstrated (argument ad ignorantiam -- see http://www3.ca.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/burden-of-proof.html), but to **show** that the conditions upon which the validity of the thesis rests are more than just suppositions. But in  the absence of **some** evidence (and THAT was all I was asking for) that Hebrew **was** spoken

        (and there **are**, as Fitzmyer notes in his "The Languages of Palestine in the First Century A.D." [see also A. Dupont-Sommer, _Les arameens (L'orient ancien illustre. 4; Paris, 1949; F. Altheim and R. Stiel, "Jesus der Galilaer", _Die Araber in der Alten Welt, Berlin, 1966] , lots of things that we should, and could reasonably,  expect to see if your claim were indeed the case, the having of which would validate the claim, and the palpable dearth of which makes the claim suspect,  i.e., first century inscriptions on sarcophagi in Hebrew rather than (as we have them) in Aramaic or Greek, first century non Biblical literary works (ala Josephus') in Hebrew rather than Aramaic or Greek, writing on pottery in Hebrew rather than Aramaic and Greek, official and governmental communications in Hebrew rather than in Aramaic or Greek, non literary Jewish texts [letters, receipts, bills, house records, inventories] in Hebrew rather than Aramaic or Greek,  prayer books and lectionaries in Hebrew rather than (as we have them) in Aramaic or Greek, biblical commentaries in first century Hebrew rather than Aramaic or Greek, reports from Gentile ethnographers about how common Hebrew was in all strata of Jewish society or amongst Jews in Jerusalem, etc.)
         
        not only is your claim mere (wishful?) speculation, but  the "plausibility" (not to mention the validity) of the thesis that is based upon it is highly suspect.

        In any event, it is not at all clear to me that you have shown even that the very claims you make to support your thesis are themselves. The arguments you have been using have all been circular. More importantly,  your conclusion that once you show the plausibility of your thesis about the antiquity of HMt, the antiquity of HMt follows as a certainty and  as a matter of fact, is an affront to reasoning and sound historiography. In historical argument, establishing that X is plausible (given the validity of certain  assumptions -- which themselves need to be demonstrated) does NOT establish that X was historically the case. There are, I note, lots of "plausible" accounts of who shot JFK (plausible, of course **once** you accept certain assumptions). But that they are plausible does not mean that any of them are true. To use the language of logic (of which you claim to be so well versed), it means that their proponents have provided only one of the necessary  but NOT the sufficient conditions for those claims' truth. That you have have confused the two conditions  does not bode well for your claims, made repeatedly in your posts on this thread, that of all the contributors to the discussion, you are the only one who has been employing sound historical methodology.

        JG
        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson
        7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
        Chicago, Illinois 60626
        e-mail jgibson000@...
         

      • Yuri Kuchinsky
        ... Well, thank you, Bob, but so far we only have your opinions. I would like you to deal with evidence, please. ... Sigh... You misunderstand what I said. My
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 3, 2000
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          On Sun, 2 Jan 2000, Robert M Schacht wrote:

          > Yuri,
          > I am reluctant to engage in this "debate"; I think the responses made by
          > Jack Kilmon and Jeffrey Gibson have been cogent and reasonable, as well
          > as more convincing than your arguments have been. I will confine myself
          > to only one of your remarks:

          Well, thank you, Bob, but so far we only have your opinions. I would like
          you to deal with evidence, please.

          > On Sun, 2 Jan 2000 16:12:17 -0500 (EST) Yuri Kuchinsky
          > <yuku@...> writes:
          > > ...

          > OTOH what I feel I have to show here is merely that HMt is _plausible_
          > in > the context of ancient Jerusalem. Once this is established, then
          > no > serious obstacles will remain in the way of recognizing HMt as
          > ancient....
          >
          > This is a very strange argument: If something might be true, than it
          > must be true?

          Sigh... You misunderstand what I said. My words stand on their own, and
          your interpretation of them is incorrect.

          Why is it so difficult for you to understand, Bob, how my general argument
          is structured?

          1. I have now proven that HMt could not have been a medieval translation.

          2. I have now demonstrated, or will do so in the future, that no serious
          objections to HMt having been composed in ancient times exist.

          3. Therefore, the balance of probabilities points to HMt being ancient.

          Any questions?

          > There are serious obstacles indeed, and Jack has outlined many of
          > them.

          For example?

          > You have chosen either to ignore his arguments, or twist his words, or
          > to reply with speculations and opinions rather than substantive
          > evidence.

          Your opinions only. I'm waiting for the evidence.

          > At best, you have made a case that *some parts* of HMt *might* be
          > ancient.

          Thank you.

          > Of course, if the ancient parts merely repeat what is already
          > known, then HMt has no interest.

          You seem to have neglected to read my posts on the subject. And, seeing
          how you're now speculating about the contents of HMt, obviously you
          haven't even read HMt yet. I wonder why then are you in such a haste to
          offer us your unsupported opinions here?

          > It is only of interest if it offers independent testimony that differs
          > in some way from other ancient manuscripts of GMatt, and that those
          > differences are both independent and early. By this I mean only to
          > grant that the bare possibility exists-- a long shot, say 1:25
          > against, and I am being generous to grant even that much. But mere
          > possibility is not the same as plausibility, which you have, IMHO,
          > failed to establish. And even plausibility is not the same as
          > probability or likelihood, as you suggest. In other words, on a scale
          > of 0 to 100, where 100 represents certainty, and 0 represents no
          > evidence whatever, your case seems to be in the 0 - 5 range, IMHO.

          These are unsupported opinions again. Is this all I'm getting from you?

          > So unless you can offer better *evidence* (not mere speculation or
          > opinion) than you already have, and have more substantive
          > counter-arguments to those that Jack has raised, this subject has
          > little interest for me, and I will have nothing further to say about
          > it.

          Your post is content-free. I invite you to deal with the long post full of
          evidence I've posted yesterday. Here it is,

          http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/3407.html?

          Why are you running from the evidence, Bob? Is this the scientific
          appproach that is expected in a scholarly discussion? Your approach,
          hardly inspires confidence.

          Please try to offer something more than unsupported opinions in the
          future. Why do I have to beg people to deal with my arguments? The
          situation is very strange indeed. This is the group think and
          dogma-hugging of the worst sort, I'm afraid.

          Yours truly,

          Yuri.

          Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

          You never need think you can turn over any old falsehoods without a
          terrible squirming of the horrid little population that dwells under
          it -=O=- Oliver Wendell Holmes
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