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[Synoptic-L] historical place of Mk

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    Friends, Crosstalk-L has been having this long and heavy discussion about the place and location of Mk, where Stephen Carlson has been arguing against Mahlon
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 21, 2000
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      Friends,

      Crosstalk-L has been having this long and heavy discussion about the place
      and location of Mk, where Stephen Carlson has been arguing against Mahlon
      Smith and Ted Weeden.

      I must say I agree with Stephen, and I think he makes his case quite well
      for the Western provenance of Mk. Mahlon thinks Mk has been authored
      somewhere in Israel, and Ted thinks it's Caesarea-Philippi, or some other
      place close to Israel.

      Here's Crosstalk,

      http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/

      While I generally agree with Stephen, still I think that whole debate is
      somewhat superficial, because the assumption is that Mk was all written at
      once. This of course is never argued, but merely assumed. From my point of
      view it's quite clear that Mk contains a number of very late passages that
      reflect the opening of the movement to the Gentiles. These are most likely
      to have been written in the West or in Rome, perhaps as late as 140. But
      the whole thing was probably Western anyway. I think the tendency to
      dismiss the patristic tradition is overdone by many modern scholars.

      So what are the larger stakes in this whole debate, I wonder? It's obvious
      why "liberal biblical critics" like Mahlon want to date Mk very early.
      After all, 2ST demands it. But why, in addition, does Mk also have to be
      placed in Israel, in spite of so much evidence against this view? Is it
      because they want to tie Mk as close as possible to the Historical Jesus?

      Since Mk appears to be so Gentile-oriented, it seems like the "Mk in
      Israel" camp also wants to make the Historical Jesus if not quite
      non-Jewish, then at least quite open to the Gentiles. But I think this is
      not realistic. Much evidence argues against Jesus himself opening up the
      movement to the Gentiles.

      Also, I don't think it is realistic to see post-Easter Jesus movement as
      opening to the Gentiles very early. To the contrary, I don't believe that
      this opening took place until 100 or thereabouts. So this really does seem
      to present a problem for 2ST and the Jesus Seminar types.

      In contrast, the Markan posteriority view does not have such a problem.

      What do people think?

      Yuri.

      Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

      Biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - unmoderated

      The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
      equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... Would you note just what this evidence is, please? ... Gee, I m sure that the Gentile Christians in Thessalonika, Philippi, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus,
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 21, 2000
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        Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

        > Since Mk appears to be so Gentile-oriented, it seems like the "Mk in
        > Israel" camp also wants to make the Historical Jesus if not quite
        > non-Jewish, then at least quite open to the Gentiles. But I think this is
        > not realistic. Much evidence argues against Jesus himself opening up the
        > movement to the Gentiles.

        Would you note just what this evidence is, please?

        > Also, I don't think it is realistic to see post-Easter Jesus movement as
        > opening to the Gentiles very early. To the contrary, I don't believe that
        > this opening took place until 100 or thereabouts.

        Gee, I'm sure that the Gentile Christians in Thessalonika, Philippi, Galatia,
        Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome to whom Paul writes (and among whom he worked)
        before 60 and whom Clement of Rome (writing about 96), Ignatius and Polycarp
        and Barnabas (writing not long after), and other early fathers each assume to
        have been members of, and a significant force within, the Jesus movement for
        some time before them, would be very surprised to hear this.

        I'm sure that they'd be even more surprised that such a statement comes from
        someone who makes bold to say that he

        > think[s] the tendency to dismiss the patristic tradition is overdone by many
        > modern scholars.

        And then there's the wholesale ignoring of that pesky (i.e., not subject to
        interpolation theories) **archeological** evidence, noted by Grady Snyder,
        Murphy O'Connor, Donfried, Richardson, Jewett, Ascough, Oseick, Noy and
        others, that indicates the existence of Gentile Christianity and/ or a
        strong Gentile component within the Jesus movement in the last three decades
        of the first cent in almost all of the major cities, let alone the backwaters
        (like Syria/Palestine), of the Roman empire!

        Selective perception (in the service of an apriori about how Christianity
        developed), anyone?

        Yours,

        Jeffrey Gibson
        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson
        7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
        Chicago, Illinois 60626
        e-mail jgibson000@...
      • Yuri Kuchinsky
        jeffrey b. gibson wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/synoptic-l/?start=3942 ... is ... the ... This
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 22, 2000
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          "jeffrey b. gibson" <jgibson00-@...> wrote:
          original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/synoptic-l/?start=3942
          > Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
          >
          > > Since Mk appears to be so Gentile-oriented, it seems like the "Mk in
          > > Israel" camp also wants to make the Historical Jesus if not quite
          > > non-Jewish, then at least quite open to the Gentiles. But I think this
          is
          > > not realistic. Much evidence argues against Jesus himself opening up
          the
          > > movement to the Gentiles.
          >
          > Would you note just what this evidence is, please?

          This view is shared by many scholars. Here's an eloquent passage, Acts
          11:19, the passage that seems to preserve an authentic historical tradition
          because it goes against the larger editorial agenda of the author/editor of
          Acts,

          "Some early believers were expelled from Jerusalem after the death of
          Stephen and they traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, but
          telling the message only to Jews."

          This indicates that this was the earliest tradition. Surely then I don't
          see any opening to the Gentiles on the part of Jesus and his earliest
          followers.

          > > Also, I don't think it is realistic to see post-Easter Jesus movement
          as
          > > opening to the Gentiles very early. To the contrary, I don't believe
          that
          > > this opening took place until 100 or thereabouts.
          >
          > Gee, I'm sure that the Gentile Christians in Thessalonika, Philippi,
          Galatia,
          > Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome to whom Paul writes (and among whom he worked)
          > before 60 and whom Clement of Rome (writing about 96), Ignatius and
          Polycarp
          > and Barnabas (writing not long after), and other early fathers each
          assume to
          > have been members of, and a significant force within, the Jesus movement
          for
          > some time before them, would be very surprised to hear this.

          Not at all. Now, to qualify what I said, we should keep in mind that the
          Jewish tradition as such had never been closed to the Gentiles, exactly.
          Gentiles were always welcome if they agreed to follow the Torah.

          "Addressing the Gentiles" as such was not a big innovation. After all, it
          is generally known that in Hellenistic synagogues there had always been
          "God-fearers", i.e. not yet circumcised Gentiles who were attending
          meetings with a view of perhaps becoming Jews later.

          The question of opening post-Easter Jesus movement to the Gentiles is the
          central question not only for solving the Synoptic problem, but also for
          understanding early Christianity in general. All kinds of fallacies are
          likely to arise if this is taken to have happened very early.

          But here's a simple case for Yeshu and all his original followers being
          Torah-observant Jews. By studying the gospels we can learn quite definitely
          who their writers were. And then, by implication, we can go further back to
          the man who started the movement. A very important item of evidence is the
          midrashic character of the canonical gospels. In fact, it's been known
          since Bultmann that the gospels are primarily midrashic. Crossan calls this
          prophesy historicized. Also see Goulder. According to Spong,

          "The Gospels were created by the need to put into writing the oral
          tradition in which Jesus had been defined inside the synagogue
          worship life. .. So the Gospels were born -- not as chronological
          biographies describing literal events of history, but rather as
          collections of expository teaching or preaching that had been created
          in the same way that the rabbis would create what came to be called
          the midrash rabbah. They pored over the sacred texts of the past to
          discover new meanings by which they might understand and interpret
          experiences that were occurring in their present." (Spong,
          LIBERATING THE GOSPELS, 1996, p. 52).

          Seeing all this, it is very clear that the writers of the gospels all were
          very religious Jews, steeped in the Jewish Scriptures. They simply had to
          be observers of the Mosaic law.

          Obviously this process was taking place when the earliest layers of the
          gospels were written. Most scholars believe this was happening around and
          after 70. So the movement was still Torah-observant then.

          Another key problem is the Historical Paul, because tradition credits him
          with a big role in opening up the movement to Gentiles. Arguably, all 4
          gospels bear Pauline influence to some extent. So the question is How do
          we interpret the HP? And how could Pauline influence impact all 4 gospels?
          Big questions, and the consensus is elusive in this area.

          Now, assuming that all 4 gospels bear Pauline influence to some extent,
          could this impact occur early? Seems impossible. After all, Paul was still
          largely a marginal figure at the time he was killed in Rome in the 60s. He
          had nothing to do with the Jesus movement in Rome, in Alexandria, and
          (arguably) in Jerusalem -- all big and influential places. His area of
          influence was in parts of Syria and in a few other rather marginal places.
          So how did Pauline influence come to influence (and even dominate!) the
          mainstream movement in Rome, in Alexandria, in Jerusalem, etc? And when
          exactly did this happen? Big questions.

          My guess is that all this happened very gradually in the years 70-130, but
          probably especially after 130, after the second Jewish revolt was crushed
          (a time noted for antisemitism in the Roman Empire generally). From this
          it follows that the early versions of the gospels probably showed very
          little Pauline influence -- in fact I believe they showed next to none.
          Whatever Pauline influence we find in our canonical gospels now must have
          been added later, in the course of their secondary expansion well into the
          2nd c.

          As reflected in the canon, and Michael Goulder analyses this very
          competently, wasn't the main struggle for orthodoxy between the followers
          of Peter and those of Paul? If so, this must have been happening well past
          70, or after the early version of Mk was written.

          Another way to approach this problem is through analysing early rituals and
          celebrations. In particular, what is the true place of quartodecimanism in
          Christian history? There's good evidence that all early Christians were
          quartodeciman. In this area Jn seems to preserve the earliest tradition,
          but evidence also exists that the early versions of the Synoptics were also
          quartodeciman. Quartodecimans observed Easter at the same time as the Jews
          observed the Passover. It does not seem like the observance of the Easter
          Sunday was introduced in Rome before ca 130-140. This seems like an
          important turning point in Christian history, and the last explicitly
          pro-Gentile layers of Mk may date from this time. Also probably the
          eucharist was then changed to include the drinking of blood, which is
          impossible for Jews.

          > I'm sure that they'd be even more surprised that such a statement comes
          from
          > someone who makes bold to say that he
          >
          > > think[s] the tendency to dismiss the patristic tradition is overdone by
          many
          > > modern scholars.

          To the contrary. I've never dismissed the patristic tradition. I've always
          spent a lot of time trying to understand what it is trying to convey, and
          I've already reconstructed two of Paul's epistles in their original shape.
          See my webpage.

          > And then there's the wholesale ignoring of that pesky (i.e., not subject
          to
          > interpolation theories) **archeological** evidence, noted by Grady
          Snyder,
          > Murphy O'Connor, Donfried, Richardson, Jewett, Ascough, Oseick, Noy and
          > others, that indicates the existence of Gentile Christianity and/ or a
          > strong Gentile component within the Jesus movement in the last three
          decades
          > of the first cent in almost all of the major cities, let alone the
          backwaters
          > (like Syria/Palestine), of the Roman empire!

          I'm not aware of any persuasive archeological evidence that would indicate
          the existence of Gentile Christianity in the last three decades of the
          first cent in the Roman empire. Perhaps you should begin presenting some
          that you've found.

          As to a strong Gentile component within the Hellenistic Jewish religion,
          see above.

          Yuri.

          Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

          Biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - unmoderated

          The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
          equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... Oh I see. Because it is shared by many scholars, it s true? So the fact that it can be shown that many scholars accepted the view of a flat earth, the
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 22, 2000
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            Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

            > "jeffrey b. gibson" <jgibson00-@...> wrote:
            > original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/synoptic-l/?start=3942
            > > Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
            > >
            > > > Since Mk appears to be so Gentile-oriented, it seems like the "Mk in
            > > > Israel" camp also wants to make the Historical Jesus if not quite
            > > > non-Jewish, then at least quite open to the Gentiles. But I think this
            > is
            > > > not realistic. Much evidence argues against Jesus himself opening up
            > the
            > > > movement to the Gentiles.
            > >
            > > Would you note just what this evidence is, please?
            >
            > This view is shared by many scholars.

            Oh I see. Because it is shared by many scholars, it's true? So the fact that it
            can be shown that many scholars accepted the view of a flat earth, the earth is
            indeed flat?

            More importantly, may I that beyond doubting that many scholars do indeed share
            this view, it is at best secondary evidence. On what basis do lo these many
            scholars base their view? I would like to see what the **primary** evidence is.

            > Here's an eloquent passage, Acts
            > 11:19, the passage that seems to preserve an authentic historical tradition
            > because it goes against the larger editorial agenda of the author/editor of
            > Acts,
            >
            > "Some early believers were expelled from Jerusalem after the death of
            > Stephen and they traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, but
            > telling the message only to Jews."
            >
            > This indicates that this was the earliest tradition. Surely then I don't
            > see any opening to the Gentiles on the part of Jesus and his earliest
            > followers.
            >

            I note that you move very readily from the assertion that this bit of
            "evidence" "seems" to indicate X (seems to whom, by the way? and on what
            grounds?) to the conclusion that it **does** indicate X.

            In any event, I would question whether your reasoning that the "evidence" is
            valuable (i.e., that the "evidence" "goes against the larger editorial agenda
            of the author/editor of
            Acts) is sound, since -- to use your favourite argument in behalf of the truth
            of a position -- many scholars hold just the opposite, that is to say, that the
            theme of Jews first and then Gentiles **is the essence** of Luke's larger
            editorial agenda (Pervo, Fitzmeyer, Jervell, Marshall, Bock, Haenschen,
            Conzelmann, Talbert, to (do what you, despite my asking, don't do, i.e., name)
            a few of the many.

            >
            > > > Also, I don't think it is realistic to see post-Easter Jesus movement
            > as
            > > > opening to the Gentiles very early. To the contrary, I don't believe
            > that
            > > > this opening took place until 100 or thereabouts.
            > >
            > > Gee, I'm sure that the Gentile Christians in Thessalonika, Philippi,
            > Galatia,
            > > Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome to whom Paul writes (and among whom he worked)
            > > before 60 and whom Clement of Rome (writing about 96), Ignatius and
            > Polycarp
            > > and Barnabas (writing not long after), and other early fathers each
            > assume to
            > > have been members of, and a significant force within, the Jesus movement
            > for
            > > some time before them, would be very surprised to hear this.
            >
            > Not at all. Now, to qualify what I said, we should keep in mind that the
            > Jewish tradition as such had never been closed to the Gentiles, exactly.
            > Gentiles were always welcome if they agreed to follow the Torah.
            >
            > "Addressing the Gentiles" as such was not a big innovation. After all, it
            > is generally known that in Hellenistic synagogues there had always been
            > "God-fearers", i.e. not yet circumcised Gentiles who were attending
            > meetings with a view of perhaps becoming Jews later.
            >

            Is it? Certainly, it has been (up till recently) widely **supposed**. But as
            A.T. Krabel ("The Disappearance of the God Fearers", 1981) and Jerome Murphy
            O'Connor ("Lots of God Fearers?: THEOSEBEIS in the Aprhodisias Inscription",
            1992)", have shown, there is, on the one hand, grave reason to see that the
            idea of Gentiles hanging around the synagogues with a view to becoming Jews is
            wholly a Lukan construct, and not an historical reality, and, on the other,
            that the term doesn't necessarily mean what many scholars had once thought it
            meant.

            In any case, leaving Luke aside, there's to my knowledge not a scrap of primary
            evidence that indicates that the Gentile Christians Paul addresses in Rome,
            Thessalonika, etc, and that Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, Hermas, and Clement
            knew to have been the descendants of the original Gentile members of the
            Gentile congregations that they write to, were THEOSEBEIS and/or proselytes,
            let alone that they had been attached to Synagogues (ain't no synagogues in
            Philippi and, despite Acts, not much of a Jewish presence in Thessalonika or
            Galatia, and, as Bob Jewett, Wayne Meeks, Karl Donfried, P. Lampe, and (to use
            the Yurian assertion that shows and establishes something as true beyond a
            doubt) many other scholars have shown, the Gentiles Christians in Rome were,
            from the start, attached not to Synagogues, but to Gentile households owned by
            non synagogue attending Gentile patrons. Synagogues.

            >
            > > And then there's the wholesale ignoring of that pesky (i.e., not subject
            > to
            > > interpolation theories) **archeological** evidence, noted by Grady
            > Snyder,
            > > Murphy O'Connor, Donfried, Richardson, Jewett, Ascough, Oseick, Noy and
            > > others, that indicates the existence of Gentile Christianity and/ or a
            > > strong Gentile component within the Jesus movement in the last three
            > decades
            > > of the first cent in almost all of the major cities, let alone the
            > backwaters
            > > (like Syria/Palestine), of the Roman empire!
            >
            > I'm not aware of any persuasive archeological evidence that would indicate
            > the existence of Gentile Christianity in the last three decades of the
            > first cent in the Roman empire. Perhaps you should begin presenting some
            > that you've found.
            >

            I suppose I should note that because you're not aware of it, doesn't mean that
            it doesn't exist. Perhaps you should have a look at Grady Snyder's ANTE PACEM?
            Or Murphy O'Connor's reports on excavations at Corinth and Ephesus? Or Bob
            Jewett and Mark Nanos' work on the 1st century Christian graveyards in Turkey?

            In any case, instead of doing what you ask, I'll end this by proving that it's
            so by the same method that you employed at the beginning of your post to
            buttress your claim about Jesus and the Gentiles -- which you must agree,
            since you used it, settles the matter <g>--, namely, that many scholars hold
            this view.

            Yours,

            Jeffrey

            P.S. Please don't post this to your Loisy List. I am not a participant there
            and I do not wish you to make me one without my permission.
            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson
            7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
            Chicago, Illinois 60626
            e-mail jgibson000@...
          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 00-03-21 17:02:50 EST, yuku@globalserve.net writes:
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 22, 2000
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              In a message dated 00-03-21 17:02:50 EST, yuku@... writes:

              << Also, I don't think it is realistic to see post-Easter Jesus movement as
              opening to the Gentiles very early. To the contrary, I don't believe that
              this opening took place until 100 or thereabouts. So this really does seem
              to present a problem for 2ST and the Jesus Seminar types.

              In contrast, the Markan posteriority view does not have such a problem.
              >>

              Just a reminder, Yuri. Not all proponents of Markan posteriority necessarily
              think that Mark is late. I, for example, am perfectly happy with a pre-70
              date for Mark, though I would allow that a date in the 70's and 80's is also
              possible.
              Also, I don't think you have dealt effectively with the mid-first-century
              evidence, in the letters of Paul, for widespread Gentile Christian
              communities all over the Mediterranean world, and an already existing mixted
              community of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch that launched the whole
              career of Paul as apostle to Gentile lands.

              Leonard Maluf
            • Yuri Kuchinsky
              ... tradition ... author/editor of ... don t ... is ... agenda ... truth ... that the ... name) ... But Lk certainly attributes the opening to the Gentiles to
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 24, 2000
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                ----------
                > From: Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...>
                > To:
                > Cc: Synoptic-L <Synoptic-L@...>
                > Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] historical place of Mk
                > Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 3:38 PM
                >
                > Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                > > Here's an eloquent passage, Acts
                > > 11:19, the passage that seems to preserve an authentic historical
                tradition
                > > because it goes against the larger editorial agenda of the
                author/editor of
                > > Acts,
                > >
                > > "Some early believers were expelled from Jerusalem after the death of
                > > Stephen and they traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, but
                > > telling the message only to Jews."
                > >
                > > This indicates that this was the earliest tradition. Surely then I
                don't
                > > see any opening to the Gentiles on the part of Jesus and his earliest
                > > followers.

                > I note that you move very readily from the assertion that this bit of
                > "evidence" "seems" to indicate X (seems to whom, by the way? and on what
                > grounds?) to the conclusion that it **does** indicate X.
                >
                > In any event, I would question whether your reasoning that the "evidence"
                is
                > valuable (i.e., that the "evidence" "goes against the larger editorial
                agenda
                > of the author/editor of
                > Acts) is sound, since -- to use your favourite argument in behalf of the
                truth
                > of a position -- many scholars hold just the opposite, that is to say,
                that the
                > theme of Jews first and then Gentiles **is the essence** of Luke's larger
                > editorial agenda (Pervo, Fitzmeyer, Jervell, Marshall, Bock, Haenschen,
                > Conzelmann, Talbert, to (do what you, despite my asking, don't do, i.e.,
                name)
                > a few of the many.

                But Lk certainly attributes the opening to the Gentiles to Jesus, himself.
                So Acts 11:19 goes against this, and therefore can be considered
                historical.

                > > Not at all. Now, to qualify what I said, we should keep in mind that
                the
                > > Jewish tradition as such had never been closed to the Gentiles,
                exactly.
                > > Gentiles were always welcome if they agreed to follow the Torah.
                > >
                > > "Addressing the Gentiles" as such was not a big innovation. After all,
                it
                > > is generally known that in Hellenistic synagogues there had always been
                > > "God-fearers", i.e. not yet circumcised Gentiles who were attending
                > > meetings with a view of perhaps becoming Jews later.

                > Is it? Certainly, it has been (up till recently) widely **supposed**. But
                as
                > A.T. Krabel ("The Disappearance of the God Fearers", 1981) and Jerome
                Murphy
                > O'Connor ("Lots of God Fearers?: THEOSEBEIS in the Aprhodisias
                Inscription",
                > 1992)", have shown, there is, on the one hand, grave reason to see that
                the
                > idea of Gentiles hanging around the synagogues with a view to becoming
                Jews is
                > wholly a Lukan construct, and not an historical reality, and, on the
                other,
                > that the term doesn't necessarily mean what many scholars had once
                thought it
                > meant.

                So let's see what the Aprhodisias Inscription actually says.

                A monumental marble inscription in Greek, dates to approximately 210 CE. It
                records the names of over 126 individuals who built a community canteen to
                assist the poor. Of the 126 names preserved, 72 are Jewish, and 54 are
                described as theosebeis, or Godfearers. Nearly all of these 54 have Gentile
                names, so are clearly not Jews by birth.

                So which part of this evidence exactly presents problems?

                Also, how about the fact that Josephus says,

                "...the masses have long since shown much zeal to adopt our religious
                observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, ...to which our
                customs have not spread." (Contra Apion 2.282).

                Sure seems to me like there were a lot of Godfearers known to Josephus.

                Also, Prof. Salo Baron estimates that the First Century CE population of
                Jews worldwide was 8,000,000, and that roughly one-eighth of the Roman
                Empire's population was Jewish. Sure seems to me like a very substantial
                population from which early Christian missionaries could draw converts. And
                this is what they most likely did until 100 or so.

                Yuri.

                Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                Biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - unmoderated

                The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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