Thursday, July 27, 2023

Paulogia Attacked Tradition

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Paulogia Starting Christianity Without Resurrection (OR trying To) · Debates under That Video · Φιλολoγικά / Philologica: Is Vyasa Proof Anonymous Works Can Easily Get Authors? · back to Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Paulogia Attacked Tradition

Or perhaps one should rather say, chimed in with Protestant attacks on it. Still Evangelical? Perhaps when it comes to Anti-Catholicism. This is one way in which Atheism is a religion - it's dechristianised Protetsantism.

This Resurrection Argument Doesn't Add Up (Trent Horn response)
Paulogia, 27 June 2023

11:43 Mundane claim in the book of Mormon? But that book was never put forward as a historical narrative of the recent past society or as based on older traditions of the society that the probable authors or author lived in.

It was claimed as retrieved history - one warning flag
About a society not identified - another warning flag
Because it didn't survive - a third warning flag
And finally trasnmitted in the least mundane possible way - a fourth warning flag.

The manuscript of Adso from Melk or the Red Book of Westmarch have more mundane discoveries, and are as accessible as the Golden Plates.

Or, perhaps Tolkien's in-story claim of translating the Red book should be taken as involving the psychic information about how Adûnaic sounded, and how he came to understand it given in The Notion Club Papers. In that case, Tolkien's frame story is about equally non-mundane to Joseph Smith's ...

The Quran is an even worse example, since it is not historic narrative in form even, it is a series of prophetic sermons. They involve some allusions to history, but the allusions are not fullblown narrative for a single Sura. I pretty much do believe most of what Muslims say about Mohammed - but the life of Muhammed are another book, or other books:

Al-Sīra al-Nabawiyya (Arabic: السيرة النبوية), commonly shortened to Sīrah and translated as prophetic biography, are the traditional Muslim biographies of Islamic prophet Muhammad from which, in addition to the Quran and Hadiths, most historical information about his life and the early period of Islam is derived.

Very notably, Muhammed made no public miracles. He makes himself to his followers the single source of the statement of God speaking to him. The Sirah doesn't say God corroborated it with miracles like healings, people rising from the dead or anything.

In other words, God did not show Muhammed was his prophet. I am very thankful to mundane statements in the Sirah for that.

13:53 "community"

Good key word. Being an Apostle was something you did before a community. It was not an accomplishment you did on your own, which you could brag about, and perhaps be believed about, and perhaps the belief was unwarranted. It was something you did in the Christian community, much as Alejandra Bravo is a city councillor of Toronto, for Davenport. She is not that in ways that are open to dubious claims, she is that because she attends council meetings of Toronto on the claim of having been elected for Davenport.

Did being an apostle automatically involve preaching? I will give the Christian community from back then the credit they knew the answer to be yes.

But supposing it didn't, it certainly involved a high degree of organising a community seen as illegal. This would also involve a great risk of martyrdom. Even if 3000 people were told not to tell others who the apostles were, if they were all busted, chances are tortured or even mildly insecure people would have given their identities away.

Did the eleven organise the Church? Sorry, already twelve -Judas +Matthias.

[Acts 2] 41 They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was great fear in all. 44 And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common. 45 Their possessions and goods they sold, and divided them to all, according as every one had need.

Were people persecuted for being involved in the organisation?

Acts 6: 1 And in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.

So, were this second tier of organisers persecuted? Yes.

Acts 6: 8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Now there arose some of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. 11 Then they suborned men to say, they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the ancients, and the scribes; and running together, they took him, and brought him to the council. 13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law.

Acts 7: 56 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. 57 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. 58 And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 59 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.

If you then check chapter 8: 1 And at that time there was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea, and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men took order for Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him. 3 But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house, and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. 4 They therefore that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. 5 And Philip going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them.

And in the end Philip goes off with the eunuch of the Ethiopian Candace.

So, to resume, organising the Church was a dangerous job, Stephen got killed and Philip, while he didn't exactly run off and never get seen again, he preferred other places over Jerusalem. Nevertheless, not everyone had this luxury of following the word And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another.

15:01 his own personal credulity of tradition

It would be more appropriate to speak of your own personal incredulity about tradition.

Tradition, including but not limited to things immediately written down, is the bread and butter of how we know history that's not contemporary to ourselves.

If a man says he recalls sth he did 20 years ago, you usually won't call his memory into question.

If a community says it recalls sth that happened more than a few generations ago, why would you call that into question?

16:03 Yes, your Protestant faith built on Sola scriptura (odd to hear those words from someone saying the Resurrection is not well attested, but I know the Swedish state Church which I left for a reason, or by now former state Church, the only remaining privilege it has is, the king has to be of this confession, I am not totally surprised.

The 27 books are not random finds of cuneiform tablets never seen before an archaeologist not named Luther unearthed them, the 27 books from the first belong within the tradtion of a specific community, and the Catholic Church is one of the claimant communities of being direct continuation of that community. It may be reminded here, the credible claimants do not involve any Protestant denomination, and this means only five confessions are available as claimants.

  • Roman Catholic
  • Eastern Orthodox
  • "Monophysite A" or Copts
  • "Monophysite B" or Armenians
  • Nestorians or Assyrians.

And before you ask how we decide between these claimants, at this point you don't need to.

Peter died in Rome along with Paul as martyrs under Nero is accepted by all of these, except I think Assyrians, who claimed Peter "writing from Babylon" wrote from a literal Near East Babylon.

This latter rival claim seems somewhat refuted:

"Under Alexander, Babylon again flourished as a center of learning and commerce. However, following Alexander's death in 323 BC in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, his empire was divided amongst his generals, the Diadochi, and decades of fighting soon began. The constant turmoil virtually emptied the city of Babylon. A tablet dated 275 BC states that the inhabitants of Babylon were transported to Seleucia, where a palace and a temple (Esagila) were built. With this deportation, Babylon became insignificant as a city, although more than a century later, sacrifices were still performed in its old sanctuary."

"La période parthe voit Babylone décliner et se dépeupler progressivement, les grands centres du pouvoir s'étant définitivement déplacés plus au nord sur le Tigre (Séleucie, Ctesiphon, et bien plus tard Bagdad). Mais ses monuments principaux sont encore en activité : Pline l'Ancien écrit au début du ier siècle de notre ère que le temple continue à être actif, bien que la cité soit en ruines et une inscription en grec datable du iie siècle ap. J.-C. indique que le théâtre est encore restauré."

Wikis from English and French wikipedia. French wiki gives these footnotes:

Pline l'Ancien, L'Histoire naturelle, VI, 30
« B. Van der Spek, « The “theater inscription” »,, non daté (consulté le 15 mars 2011) »

English wiki this one:
Sayce, Archibald Henry (1911). "Babylon" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 98–99.

I had better check the Nestorians actually do make the rival claim Peter died in Babylon ... I mentioned that from memory.

16:17 "if the Church says the eleven were martyred, then the eleven were martyred"


But this is not all we mean by tradition. We also mean the Church is not amnesiac, collectively, so it is an actual collective memory.

Protestants sometimes have a very weird idea that Catholic tradition equals whatever the current Catholic leadership happens to make up, and Catholics are too gullible to even remotely double check anything, so the Church can get away with considering anything as tradition without a shred of proof.

Now, on some issues, I would argue the community Trent Horn belongs to, which I don't identify with the Catholic Church, is amnesiac. But when they are confronted with actual past utterances of Churchmen, what the tradition materially consists of, they don't go "tradition says the opposite" they usually go "oh, that was not a binding tradition" ...

20:26 I'd agree that St. Peter was probably not afforded any chance to recant, but he had a chance to flee.

The famous eposide Quo Vadis. He turned back on the Via Appia.

Agrippa gave St. Paul a chance to recant.

Robin Harwood
Where are these events recorded?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@robinharwood5044 Agrippa giving St. Paul a chance to recant: Acts. Chapters 25 and 26.

Quo Vadis episode, earliest writing, Acts of Peter, perhaps late II C.

22:28 All of Tradition, Catholic, EO, Copt, Armenian and Assyrian has the perpetual virgin story.

Why would someone be called sibling of someone else if they weren't?

Well, in case someone was in a position for what was technically a "substitute-for-sibling" marriage.

We know from Ruth, levirate was not limited to male full siblings, but could be handed on to further off relatives. The man who give his shoe to Obed was arguably technically referred to as brother of Mahalon or Chelion (or the real name of Ruth's husband, it could be Mahalon and Chelion were pseudonyms). Even if clearly he was not the son of Elimelech and Noemi.

And while US Protestants of late have been unwilling to take Church Tradition for the Perpetual Virginity, the Reformers weren't. Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, I think even Zwingli, all defended it.

But the somewhat manic undermining of Church Tradition taken by Protestants has evidently led to the de facto implicit appeal to Church Tradition involved in "willing to die" argument for sincerity of purported direct witnesses, with results like this trainwreck of an intellectual effort (the video).

24:31 The problem with referring to that video is, I have already refuted it.