Monday, April 3, 2017

I Failed J P Holding's Test - But Let's Look at his Criteria

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : With jpholding/tektontv on Inerrancy · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : I Failed J P Holding's Test - But Let's Look at his Criteria · Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : Notification to Mike Licona (not answered)

The TektonTV Christian Religious Knowledge Test

I am here not commenting on intro, which is fairly basic.

TektonTV / JPHolding made an own test for religious knowledge, here I am taking the quiz.

  • 1) In rhetoric the portion of an argument in which a writer like Paul provides examples of what he wants to prove is called:

    • a) peroratio
    • b) probatio
    • c) refutatio
    • d) exordio

    There is no such thing as is "called an exordio", since "is called" requires nominative and nominative of the word is exordium. a and d are probably the least likely place to see a list of examples, unless very reduced to simple namecalling - or if the speech (or epistle or whatever) is not very example based, it just possibly couldn't be there at all, as normally. Exordium is beginning of a speech or epistle, peroratio is ending. In exordium (in Latin : in exordio!) you usually want to just catch the hearers' or readers' goodwill. And in peroratio (in peroratione in Latin) you mostly want to drive through the main point with some emotional colouring, possibly highstrung. I recall a speech by Lysias and how the Greek Lector raised his voice at the final words, of which I still recall the "dikazete!" - "get on judging". An exordium can be high strung too. "Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? (...?) quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?" - "Hey, what do you think you are up to, punk!" (translated to JPHolding's vocabulary).*

    So, omitting the option which was omitted here, namely narratio - a kind of story telling intro to the main point, as JPHolding did with a narrative, but which can take the form of an inductio (a list of examples), the second most likely place to find lists of examples (or first?) would be either probatio, in which after stating the main point the speaker gives supporting evidence to the point of positively proving it beyond reasonable doubt if possible, or, refutatio, where he is doing the inverse about the inverse point.

    Giving full weight to the words "of what he wants to prove" this would narrow the possibility away from refutatio and down to probatio.

  • 2) The Arian Heresy claims that Jesus:

    • a) had one rather than two natures
    • b) was a white man, not a Jew
    • c) was a created being
    • d) is the same person as the Father.

    Let's discuss each:

    • a) had one rather than two natures - nope : purely human would be ultra-arian, not arian. More Moslem than nearly Christian heresy. Purely divine would be either Docetist or Monophysite. A non-Arian couple of heresies.

    • b) was a white man, not a Jew - nope, you think of Aryan, with an y, an idea espoused by Deutsche Christen. In the form that Jews in His time were more "white" or "Aryan" than now, it is not even necessarily heretical.

    • c) was a created being - this would be the one.

      But misstated - it says He is a created being and therefore a created person. Christianity admits He is since about 2017 years ago a created being also - but remaining an uncreated person.

    • d) is the same person as the Father. Nope. This is an earlier and opposite heresy, called Patripassianism. Modalism. Also known - had to look it up for a reminder, in wiki - Sabellianism.

  • 3) - Wrote a hand book of rhetoric. None of the following if you really meant your spelling.

    Otherwise, Quintilian, one L, is perhaps what 3 b is meant to allude to. De .... oratorica, forgot the noun. De praeparatione oratorica? Hmmm ... could check it in wiki. Institutio Oratoria - honestly did not check before picking the answer.

    Actually, I am not sure of Lucanus and Lysanias, but if they did, their works are clearly inferior in impact to Quintilian's work, which Erasmus was looking back to when he wrote Opus de Conscribendis Epistolis.

  • 4) - I really and truly do not know enough Egyptian mythology to know which of the given gods is considered a hypostasis if any, but if so, it is in another than the Christian sense.

    Ma'at could be considered a personification, since she means a human quality.** I did not know there were people who said hypostasis instead of personification, if that is "who" you meant.

    And perhaps Osiris could be considered an Avatar of Ra, but also did not know avatars were called by some hypostaseis.

    So, beyond all guesswork, I don't know.

  • 5) Which of these is classically associated with the thesis that Peter and Paul represented an early split in Christianity?

    Ruling out a) David Strauss and d) David Hume and narrowing down to either b) Baur (best known for Leben Jesu, a "demythologised" version of the Gospels) or c) Bultmann, illfamed for his participation in Higher Criticism (and duly denounced for that by C. S. Lewis in Fernseed and Elephants).

  • 6)

    I Philo died AD 37 and II Josephus was born that year, while III (or IV?) Tacitus was born later. I don't know when Cassius Dio was born, but I think he was even later than Tacitus.

  • 7) Death penalty reserved to citizens : a&b - beheading by sword.

    Since St Paul was a Roman Citizen, he was beheaded on one June 29, under Nero, same day as St Peter was crucified upside down.

    [That is, St Peter was not a Roman Citizen.]

  • 8) Theodosius made Christianity the State religion, outlawing Paganism and confirming how Judaism got secondary status by Constantine.

    Constantine had not made Christianity the State religion in this sense, but made it legal religion, but also leaving pagan official cults legal. It was Theodosius who erased the Pagan temples and said "if you want to go on praying to Venus and Bachus and Mars and that rabble, do so at home".

  • 9) In my view the leading writers on Christian Pacifism are Chesterton and C. S. Lewis - they rejected Pacifism and rejected its title to being Christian.

    If you want to know who is the leading misleading writer on it, arguing for it, I really can't tell between the four, that is not my Christian culture!

  • 10) I knew beforehand book of Job WAS ANE dialogue literature, so guessed first that The Man Who Was Tired of His Life could be a modern novel. Nope, on wiki it seems it is a dialogue between a man and his ba, Egyptian religious sense, one of the souls.

    I don't know.

  • 11) I really don't know what the difference between orthodox and heterodox preterism is.

    COULD BE authority of Apocalypse (an orthodox preterist admitting its inerrancy despite the difficulties in reading), could be timing of the final resurrection (but that is rather the difference between millennialism and amillennialism), could be nature of the parousia ... could not be the person of Jesus, since even a heterodox preterist would be a Christian and therefore have Christian views on the matter.

  • 12) I don't know who authored the "premier study" on the word "soma", I know Bultmann was early, but not how early the other ones are.

    [Nor do I know if Bultmann made any kind of study on that word.]

  • 13) I presume Biblical codices were used before the codex iuris civilis and contributed to them, unless it was liturgic books that did so.

    A codex is a book you turn pages in, as opposed to a volumen which you scroll down and up while reading, rolling out from around one and in around another pin. (Torah scrolls however roll sideways).

  • 14) Sejanus [Was the benefactor of Pontius Pilate]. He was still in favour with Tiberius in AD 30, when Velleius Paterculus wrote book II of Roman History.

  • 15) I had no idea there were any Greek words in the book of Daniel.

Checking my score:

Test Answers
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, on Tekton Forge

1) b) probatio - got it I
2) c) Jesus was a created being - got it II
3) b) Quintillian, - got it III
4) a) Ma’at - gave it a one of two
5) b) F. C. Baur - gave it a one of two
6) Philo, Josephus, Tacitus, Cassius Dio - got it except being unsure of placing of Cassius Dio IV
7) b) beheading - which was by the sword, so got it V
8) d) Theodosius - got it VI
9) b) John Yoder - I had no idea
10) d) The Wise Man, the Artisan, and the Slave - did not know
11) b) the timing of the resurrection - ok, was not sure
12) a) Robert Gundry - I had no idea
13) c) codex - I got it VII
14) d) Sejanus - I got it VIII
15) b) musical instruments - I might have thought of it ....salpinx? kithara?

So, score 8 out of 15.

If generous, 10 of 15, if you add the one out of two.

If severe, 6 out of 15, if you take away the got it when it was twice qualified.

Certainly not 12 out of 15.

My turn.

Classic languages and literary devices would certainly be useful knowledge for assessing what anything in NT refers to, if unclear.

Church history also. Whether difference between diverse heresies or what Emperor made Christianity a state religion.

Dito for simple Classical history and literary history, as with Philo, Josephus, Tacitus, Cassius Dio.

Knowing Egyptian mythology might be useful if dealing with claims about Christianity borrowing from Egyptian religion (it is arguably easier to see ANE Paganism traced in Odinism than in Christianity, and I am, as most Swedes, knowledgeable on that topic).

But it is clearly less of a core issue.

Knowing exactly what academic high brow came up with exactly what kooky idea about early Church history is an asset, but I think it is sufficient to be able to state why they are wrong. No matter how much they may have contributed to studying a word like "soma".

Knowing what orthodox preterism is might be more interesting if you are very much into preterism. I am more into "through Church history" so that at the time of the final tribulation little is left to be fulfilled ... words of St Caesarius of Arles.

Knowing about Christian pacifism is perhaps more interesting if you are a Christian pacifism - as I said I am not and reject the concept. Avoiding wars if possible is a great thing - but not at any and every cost. Saying those who do war or self defense or executions of legally condemned criminals are sinners is another matter. As the doctrine is one I reject, its authors are less interesting to me.

And presence of Greek words in book of Daniel is supposed to prove exactly what? That book of Daniel was written after Persians had had their first contact with Greeks? Sure, but not sure how that could change anything unless you know from other sources when that was. Even if all other sources are later, which testify Greeks and Persians had contact, book of Daniel would simply be the earliest source testifying to such contact.

Or, perhaps that point is, it proves Daniel had been in Persia and not just Babylon?

Or, is Ma'at being a "hypostasis" relevant to Trinitarian and Christological quarrels of councils?

Let's check, if hypostasis was the Greek word for personificatio, and if council decisions had been only in Greek, perhaps so.

But in reality we have perhaps three meanings with two different words in each language of Latin and Greece.

  • υποςασις (if so?) - personificatio***
  • υποςασις - persona
  • προσωπον - persona

The use of υποςασιςin Greek rules out the meaning of persona=προσωπον and the use of persona in Latin rules out υποςασις=personificatio.

We are not dealing either with Trinitarian persons or Incarnation being allegories for human states of mind, as in personificatio and we are also not dealing with them being masks or roles that a single υποςασις takes on as προσωπα. We are dealing with υποςασις or persona as single instances of a thing which can think and chose, know and love. There are three instances of that thing, but unlike men, where three instances of man are three different men, in God its three instances of the very same God.

Introducing υποςασις as other meaning personificatio (if that was an Ancient Greek meaning) could only be a blunder a very minor side issue to the debates.

So, if we divide my score into what I think relevant or less so or not at all, where I know in advance J. P. Holding disagrees, here is my division of the test:

  • Relevant classical/ancient : 8 out of 9

    • 1) b) probatio - got it I, 1
    • 2) c) Jesus was a created being - got it II, 2
    • 3) b) Quintilian, - got it III, 3
    • 6) Philo, Josephus, Tacitus, Cassius Dio - got it except being unsure of placing of Cassius Dio IV, 4
    • 7) b) beheading - which was by the sword, so got it V, 5
    • 8) d) Theodosius - got it VI, 6
    • 10) d) The Wise Man, the Artisan, and the Slave - did not know, 7
    • 13) c) codex - I got it VII, 8
    • 14) d) Sejanus - I got it VIII, 9

  • Less relevant ancient knowledge 1/2 out of 2

    • 4) a) Ma’at - gave it a one of two, 1
    • 15) b) musical instruments - I might have thought of it ....salpinx? kithara?, 2

  • Irrelevant modern knowledge 1/2 out of 4

    • 5) b) F. C. Baur - gave it a one of two, 1
    • 9) b) John Yoder - I had no idea, 2
    • 11) b) the timing of the resurrection - ok, was not sure, 3
    • 12) a) Robert Gundry - I had no idea, 4

You see, doing a real good job in relevant knowledge and doing a particular set of studies to acquire that relevant knowledge are two different things.

If J. P Holding means I have not done the same studies as he, he is right. And he has not done the same studies as I, either.° If from there he wants to conclude I am not qualified to discuss what I am discussing, that is an opinion which is fairly self serving with one who has been critical of him. Note, on very many issues he is even excellent. If I weren't sometimes obliged to recommend tektontv, as a fellow apologist, I would feel no relevance in criticising him either.

But even if he were to consider me as "not qualified", he could not call me an academic fraud°° : by discussing sth on internet you are not automatically claiming to have a certain background. Also, I don't like the general idea of dividing opponents into "incompetent"/"academic frauds" and "worthwhile". Someone who is real stoooopid as a ... well, I'm omitting comparisons ... will be worthwhile responding to if there are others sharing his stupidity.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Monday after
I:st Passion Sunday

* A more literal rendering is "whereunto, O Catilina, wilt thou yet abuse our patience, (...?) to what end will thy unleashed audacity vaunt itself" (not sure if the phrases are consecutive or I left sth out, check for yourselves in Cicero's III Speech against Catilina). ** A quality, which, though human, is not lacking in God! Measure! *** If hypostasis basically means persona, Greek terminology is terse enough for the word to be used for personificatio too - but I don't claim to know it is so used. ° "exordio" in nominative, "Quintillian" with double L = > NOT a Latinist. °° Actually, the test was made for atheists.

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