Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Contra Craig

Index post : Rebecca McLaughlin Wrote a Book

The "you" in my following comments is to the one who just spoke the seconds before my timestamp, and it's usually William Lane Craig.

A Quest for the Historical Adam: A Conversation with William Lane Craig
Sean McDowell, 22 Sept. 2021

[The first minutes have been answered in two PS' on "somewhere else" blog, also for October 10th, and this reply only concerns up to when he starts no more on Scripture but rather on science in 32:05]

4:48 "we can know with Heliocentric certainty"
= we cannot know, Heliocentrism is not certain, but rather false.

5:35 It was. Council of Trent, session V.


Celebrated on the seventeenth day of the month of June, in the year 1546.

That our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may, errors being purged away, continue in its own perfect and spotless integrity, and that the Christian people may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine; whereas that old serpent, the perpetual enemy of mankind, amongst the very many evils with which the Church of God is in these our times troubled, has also stirred up not only new, but even old, dissensions touching original sin, and the remedy thereof; the sacred and holy, ecumenical and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the three same legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein,--wishing now to come to the reclaiming of the erring, and the confirming of the wavering,--following the testimonies of the sacred Scriptures, of the holy Fathers, of the most approved councils, and the judgment and consent of the Church itself, ordains, confesses, and declares these things touching the said original sin:

  1. If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.
  2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.
  3. If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema: For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. Whence that voice; Behold the lamb of God behold him who taketh away the sins of the world; and that other; As many as have been baptized, have put on Christ.
  4. If any one denies, that infants, newly born from their mothers' wombs, even though they be sprung from baptized parents, are to be baptized; or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which has need of being expiated by the laver of regeneration for the obtaining life everlasting,--whence it follows as a consequence, that in them the form of baptism, for the remission of sins, is understood to be not true, but false, --let him be anathema. For that which the apostle has said, By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned, is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere hath always understood it. For, by reason of this rule of faith, from a tradition of the apostles, even infants, who could not as yet commit any sin of themselves, are for this cause truly baptized for the remission of sins, that in them that may be cleansed away by regeneration, which they have contracted by generation. For, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  5. If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted; or even asserts that the whole of that which has the true and proper nature of sin is not taken away; but says that it is only rased, or not imputed; let him be anathema. For, in those who are born again, there is nothing that God hates; because, There is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism into death; who walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man, and putting on the new who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to retard their entrance into heaven. But this holy synod confesses and is sensible, that in the baptized there remains concupiscence, or an incentive (to sin); which, whereas it is left for our exercise, cannot injure those who consent not, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; yea, he who shall have striven lawfully shall be crowned. This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy Synod declares that the Catholic Church has never understood it to be called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born again, but because it is of sin, and inclines to sin.

This same holy Synod doth nevertheless declare, that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God; but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV., of happy memory, are to be observed, under the pains contained in the said constitutions, which it renews.

[second decree is disciplinary]

8:01 Jesus was not per se omniscient in His Human Nature.

However, Jesus in His Human Nature profited from the Omniscience of His Divine Person, its Divine Nature united to the Human One, and very especially when it came to teaching.

There were moments when Jesus seems to not know precisely what's going on. "Who touched me" is one, since a question in and of itself seems to indicate ignorance, and also, though less clearly, His refusal to prophecy to say who had hit Him while He was blindfolded.

However, this kind of non-omniscience cannot account for believing actual errors in what He came to do, which was ... John 18:37 ...

Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.

8:26 and earth is his footstool

I hope you do not hold to Heliocentrism.

I hope you hold He knew what He was doing and was honest about it when casting out demons.

That should mean that an earlier miracle worker who bore His name also knew the truth and was honest about it when telling Sun and Moon to stand still. He didn't tell Earth to stop rotating, but Sun and Moon to stand still for a certain defined stretch of time.

9:10 "it would require you to revise"

Is the Church being required to revise Her theology compatible with Matthew 28:16 - 20?

9:18 Denial of the historic Adam would make you a heretic, since contradicting 3 of the 5 canons on Original Sin, from Trent Session V. Citing the first of them again:

If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.

11:43 Ooops ... I stated that the word "Concordism" wasn't used outside French and Malagassian languages, seems WLC is using it in English.

Here the definition is actually different from what I found on wiki.

"Concordism is trying to read modern science into the Bible"

But who is doing that? Noone, as far as I can see.

If modern science is "there was no single human couple at any time, there were always more than two" the ones who accept modern science are rejecting the Bible.

As for Young Earth Creationism, we are also not trying to "read modern science into the Bible"

a) as concerns Biblical history, we are not claiming Genesis historical because Moses could have determined the 100'th decimal of pi or of the gravitational constant, we are claiming Genesis historical like we are claiming an account from the Thirty Years War is historical

b) as far as certain branches of science as an activity, as they now stand, are determined to give alternative accounts for for instance the sequence of times or the origin of man, we do not take this "modern science" as something to read into the Bible, but we take this "uniformitarian" and "historic" type of "science" as false, and try to show how the facts it is based on do not support it.

In order to make the case that we are reading modern science into the Bible, you are arguably confusing a claim of precise and certain knowledge (as we can have of history) with a claim of modern scientific knowledge, as if that kind of academic disciplines were pioneers in precise and certain knowledge. And taking that stance is plagiarising the Scientism, which I am pretty sure you reject.

12:00 That every generation can read its science between the lines ... is a problem how?

If St. Hippolytus of Rome was flat earth and St. Augustine of Hippo a round earth geocentric, what is the problem in them reading that science into the Bible?

Complaining of concordism in this sense is complaining of the Church Fathers - which is anti-Catholic.

Trent Session IV has:

comprising among other things:

Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,—in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine,—wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. Contraveners shall be made known by their Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established.

I have kind of a Mandela effect when reading this.

I do not recall from previous consultations of this text to have seen:
— in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine,—

Even if I see a text on wikisource that has similar words:

Praeterea ad coercenda petulantia ingenia decernit ut nemo suae prudentiae innixus in rebus fidei et morum ad aedificationem doctrinae christianae pertinentium sacram scripturam ad suos sensus contorquens contra eum sensum quem tenuit et tenet sancta mater Ecclesia cuius est iudicare de vero sensu et interpretatione scripturarum sanctarum aut etiam contra unanimem consensum patrum ipsam scripturam sacram interpretari audeat etiamsi huiusmodi interpretationes nullo unquam tempore in lucem edendae forent.

Here the corresponding is:
in rebus fidei et morum ad aedificationem doctrinae christianae pertinentium

The Council of Trent, Session IV


In fact, the latest edit on the page I quoted first was Thursday 10-05-2023.

I sense the possibility of someone making an edit to suit the words of a past council to a more recent view of Scripture.

If this is after all correct, which I doubt, it cuts both ways.

On the one hand, I could not accuse anyone of heresy for disagreeing with all of the Church Fathers on the Bible. They could just say it was on a matter not pertinent to faith and morals.

On the other hand, they could not accuse me of making an own interpretation outside that given by the magisterium, since they would then have bound themselves, even against my judgement on the matter, to not consider it a matter of faith and morals.

They could at the utmost pretend to speak for "but you consider it a matter of faith and morals, so subjectively you would be countervening" ... it's just that canonic measures are not about such subjective dispositions. OK.

12:13 "how would they have been understood by the author and audience at the time when they were written?"

This is a false criterium. Why so? Because :
a) it's not the criterium of the Catholic Church;
b) it's dangerous for the end times, as it involves the impossibility of new technology to be relevant for either what the mark of the beast is or how the number of the beast is calculated ...;
c) and it's not verifiable. We have the text from back then. We do not have another text from back then telling us the understanding of the first text back then, usually.

13:20 d) reconstructining the original understanding of the original audience
i) is not a requirement for objectivity of correct understanding, Moses or St. John could have stated things in ways that went over the head of the original audience in giving us clues (though the understanding of the original audience as reconstructed per lack of knowledge of Mendeleyev or ASCII, possibly implant chip and rocketry, would have had to be at least approximately true);
ij) when it goes beyond certain very obvious limitations, it is not even possible to do so with objectivity. We can agree the first people hearing "waters above the heavens" did not know about H2 and H2O, but we cannot guarantee they took "firmament" as a solid body, an object that a coment would bounce on, if not for anything else, because we cannot guarantee they analysed it that deeply.

15:12 "from the call of Abraham in chapter 12 on, you have straightforward history"

If you refuse a YEC tweaking of carbon dates, you actually make this impossible.

Genesis 14 has an event which is dated to 3500 BC by archaeology. While it doesn't say the Amorrhaeans left Asason Tamar, neither does it deny it, and there is no later point at which they could have been attacked in Asason Tamar than the time when they left it.

Asason Tamar is En Geddi.

II Chron. 20:2
And there came messengers, and told Josaphat, saying: There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea, and out of Syria, and behold they are in Asasonthamar, which is Engaddi.

And En Geddi was empty between the evacuation of the chalcolithic settlement, thought to be Amorrhaeans, in "3500 BC" and the Iron age, which is after Abraham's time.

Now, you can't help this by putting Abraham earlier than usually thought either, not by c. 1.5 millennia, since this poses inextricable problems in other ways. Abraham's calling was 430 years before the Exodus. Putting Genesis 14 (1 - 11 years after the calling, Abraham had been in Egypt and not yet become father of Ishmael) in 3500 BC makes the Exodus happen in 3075 BC. Which is obvious nonsense.

Now this I say, that the testament which was confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred and thirty years, doth not disannul, to make the promise of no effect.
[Galatians 3:17]

So, the law on Sinai, therefore the Exodus event, happened 430 years after the promise.

15:12 - 15:40 "Genesis 1 to 11 is acknowledged by every New Testament (!)* Commentator to be apart from the rest, to be a special sort of narrative, and a peculiar genre of literature, and the classification of this genre as mytho-history was suggested to me by the Old Testament scholar ...
Bill Dernold? Bill Arnold? Bill Bernard? Bill T. Arnold!
... who teaches at Asbury."

There is no such a genre as mytho-history.

Not traditionally. Bill T. Arnold did not get it from a good knowledge of literary genres, but of his own prejudice against the straightforward classification as straightforward history.

But factuality or not of the subject matter does not constitute a genre.

The parts of Greek history that are often considered as mythology are not so, originally, for their relation to historic events, but simply for the fact that the time period in question (essentially before, up to, and very closely after fall of Troy) as rich in stories and those stories being related to the gods and their actions.

Now, there is no doubt that the stories were taken over from an earlier culture in which ascribing things to the action of gods was more fashionable, but precisely for that reason, this does not preclude these stories from reflecting real events.

Furthermore, there is a cultural break, of which the Greeks were conscious, and yes, the Classic Greeks were not fully knowledgeable about Mycenaean and early post-Mycenaean Greece, but while this is a good parallel to Genesis 1 to 11 if they are real history from for instance a post-Flood stone age in the days of Noah and Babel, what is now dated 20 000 or 10 000 before the present, it would be a very bad parallel to Genesis 1 to 11 if they were thought to be made up myths, or made up myths losely based on and radically remodelling history, and redacted first time over in the times of Moses or of Ezra.

* 19:55 Thank you! ["I didn't mean New"]

16:21 "we are talking about myth in the sense that Folklorists or Classicists use that term"

As a Classicist myself, I am not impressed. I studied examination wise counting four terms of Latin, and in fact longer, and as for Greek it was two and a half terms.

The historic or otherwise status of fall of Troy or Hercules is not a basics we agree on, like we agree on the kappa-aorist being rarer than the sigma-aorist or on Latin perfect tense reflecting both Greek perfect and many uses of Greek aorist.

It's a matter of debate, and while Bill T. Arnold may not be aware of it, dis-qualifying the factuality of such stories as are commonly termed myths is not the default position of a classicist - including of a Christian Classicist.

Lately, Classicists have tended to deny even the fall of Troy. This I could find out by going to videos by Cinzia DuBois, one of which was about the Trojan War. In her faculty teaching her classics, the Trojan War is about as historical as the Marvel Franchise Asgard. Even 20, 30 years earlier, when I was taught in Lund, this was not the case. I suspect this is due to a cultural comeback for Communism in the years after 1990, while I was breathing an atmosphere of Cold War anticommunism on some levels.

If we go back even further, Walter Leaf analysed the Iliad as containing one made up character, Hector, and one made up story, about Achilles' relations to Patroclus and Hector, to unify a by and large, though not totally historic material into one story-line. He dismisses the Greek ship catalogue as ahistoric because it contains ships from Corinth, which didn't exist in Mycenaean days, one possibility could be this being a blunder or deliberate addition on Homer's part, and another one it could refer to Sicyon, not very far from Corinth. How old is Sicyon? George Syncellus considers the kings of Sicyon began around the time of Abraham.

"In Mycenean times, according to Eusebius, Sicyon had been ruled by a line of twenty-six mythical kings and then seven priests of Apollo. The king-list given by Pausanias[2] comprises twenty-four kings, beginning with the autochthonous Aegialeus. The penultimate king of the list, Agamemnon, compels the submission of Sicyon to Mycenae; after him comes the Dorian usurper Phalces. Pausanias shares his source with Castor of Rhodes, who used the king-list in compiling tables of history; the common source was convincingly identified by Felix Jacoby[3] as a lost Sicyonica by the late 4th-century poet Menaechmus of Sicyon."

I highly doubt that Eusebius in Ecclesiastic history* actually called the line of twenty-six kings mythical ... I know for a fact that St. Augustine in City of God uses the historical account of Virgil as proof for the gods of Troy being very bad debtors.

* Should be Chronicon. Correct:
Eusebius' Chronicle
The Greek Chronicle

I am sorry for "Ecclesiastic history" should be "Chronicon" but yes, Eusebius in "Greek Chronicle" which is a subsection of it actually does NOT state these kings are "mythical" -- he only considers one of them being a son of Poseidon and a nymph as erroneous.

16:43 You conflate "myth" as traditional (usually sacred) narrative with "etiological myth" which is a subsection, and you forget that in any relevant sense, millions and billions of years are more likely to be an etioloogical "myth" in this sense (an attempt by the author, not something he simply took over) than Genesis.

"ground realities in [inaudible]* of the deep primordial past"

Why would the past be "deep"? The idea of deep time is a modern construct.

To normal Christian commenters on Genesis 3, including the Catholic Haydock, this never had to be either constructed or conveyed by prophecy, since the past never was all that deep, before Moses (possibly already Abraham) wrote it down. Here is Haydock on the global content of Genesis 3, attached at the end of his comment to verse 24:

// Concerning the transactions of these early times, parents would no doubt be careful to instruct their children, by word of mouth, before any of the Scriptures were written; and Moses might derive much information from the same source, as a very few persons formed the chain of tradition, when they lived so many hundred years. Adam would converse with Mathusalem, who knew Sem, as the latter lived in the days of Abram. Isaac, Joseph, and Amram, the father of Moses, were contemporaries: so that seven persons might keep up the memory of things which had happened 2500 years before. But to entitle these accounts to absolute authority, the inspiration of God intervenes; and thus we are convinced, that no word of sacred writers can be questioned. H. //

In other words, we are dealing with a tolerably moderate number of intermediate retellings to new people not yet familiar with it. It's no more in the "deep past" (as in a kind of "lost world" that can only be approached in dreams and fairytales) in principle than the Thirty Years' War is to us.

Haydock speaks of an oral transmission up to Moses. I'd say it was orally transmitted up to Abraham, he took down each of the stories or all of them and kept the manuscripts (papyrus or clay or whatever) in some of the bags of the caravan luggage and Moses collected these together with the originally written redactions in the Abrahamic tribe and the own vision of creation into one book. CMI even speaks of each subsection of Genesis (ending in "toledot" statements functioning as colophons) having been originally written, never depending on oral transmission, I think that goes a bit far, at least a bottleneck where Nachor and Thera allow Abraham access to the true faith only via conversations with Sarug would be a time for purely oral transmission.

* But it ended in "-ance"

18:01 I am already in horror for what's next, when I hear you are referring to Thorkild Jacobssen. Because he is a great Assyriologist. I recall what a butchery of Orthodoxy Rev. Rudolph Bandas in 1943 did based on believing the Assyriologist Archibald Sayce. 18:20 I think the reason that Genesis 1 to 11 sticks out is, most of it (except chapter 1, which was given in a vision to Moses) was transmitted orally, which, for accuracy, means you need to either add a mnemotechnic (like verse) or renounce being prolix.

I think the reason it has a resemblance to etiological myths is that God did root some permanent realities in the history of these chapters, c. 3/7 of the timeline from creation to ourselves.

And I think the reason it has a resemblance to history is, it is history.

18:32 Gordon Wenham, got you. John Collins, which of the following (except probably the first)?

John Collins (Independent minister) (c. 1632–1687), English Independent minister
John J. Collins (bishop) (1856–1934), American-born Catholic bishop in Jamaica
John Collins (priest) (1905–1982), radical Anglican canon at St Paul's Cathedral
John A. Collins (chaplain) (1931–2003), Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Air Force
John Collins (nuncio) (1889–1961), Irish bishop and diplomat in Liberia
John T. C. B. Collins (1925–2022), Anglican priest and leading figure in the charismatic movement
ah, yes, very probably:
John J. Collins (born 1946), Irish biblical studies scholar

19:33 I certainly agree on being straight forward and defining terms.

But then laity may choose between Thorkild Jacobssen and George Leo Haydock.

I chose the Catholic Church and in doing so chose Haydock. It was never my ultimate intention to chose Theilhard de Chardin.

20:41 Fantastic content does not equal figurative language.

I disagree with your overall assessment of myth, including pagan myth.

I don't know what it was that infested the Lernaean swamp before Hercules went there, but one clear option is, a demonic entity or seven demonic entities were showing an apparition of quasibiological monsters, and when Hercules, a son of a cursed pregnancy, a man on whom Satan had a claim, came there, they made an agreement.

Just so it should not even appear that Beelzebub was driving out Satan, Hercules admitted there was a still living and immortal head of hydra still around, though he had buried it.

Btw, while that hydra might not literally reappear in the end times, it could very well be the same demons that are involved in the seven heads of the Apocalypse 13 monster. Note, there I do favour a figurative language, but that is because apocalyptic literature is coded. We can't literally say it is this or this guy without any reserve before he shows off the evils of Antichrist (I have four people with a gematria of 666 on a "watch list" -- it has wavered between 4 and 3 the last decade : Sebastian Kurz out, Biden in, "Papa Bento" / "Πάπας Βενέδικτος ΙΣΤ΄" out, Charles III in, as being no longer a Welshman, technically, but at once an "ENGELSMAN" and a "skotte" in Swedish. Putin was the earliest guy on the list and is still around). Just as coding a person name as a gematria applicable to several names, coding seven princes or kings and the names of their kingdoms into figurative beasts also helps to maintain the secret until it's too late for those involved to step back.

But Hercules is not apocalyptic. There is no reason to take either his close friendship with Iolaus or his bad relation to the wives or his ridding the landscape of monsters figuratively -- unless you are bound up with an ideology which says such things cannot have literal existence (the two last works of the twelve are not figurative but literally his bragging of things he didn't know about).

0:52 "Wasn't taken literalistically, even by those who accepted the myth as authoritative for their culture"

There are examples of this in Greco-Roman myth, but this is because of a culture shift in which Epicurean and Stoic philosophy had undermined belief in even the possibility of such things with a great many (note, Christian authors are more prone than Livy and Plutarch to take "myths" from before the Trojan war literally than they were, not less).

Considering the take of Plutarch on Theseus as the original view is a bit like pretending Dean Inge's view of the Gospels was the original Christian one. William Ralph Inge. You don't take John Robinson as an early Christian exponent of Christian orthodoxy:

// Honest to God is a book written by the Anglican Bishop of Woolwich John A.T. Robinson, criticising traditional Christian theology. //

21:50 Did God speak to Abraham and wrestle with Jacob?

If yes, you have admitted God even before the Incarnation was capable of Theophanies that are reminiscent of the Incarnation.

And if so, you have no business deriding "an anthropomorphical God" -- Who arguably was the first person Adam talked with (I suppose it was God the Son).

And if you believe Balaam's donkey was literally prompted to utter speech by a kind of guardian angel, what is your beef with the Talking Snake, especially as Apocalypse tells us who was prompting the speech through those cleft tongue and fangs?

The only remaining piece of ridicule would be trees the fruit of which grant, but have you ever considered the Catholic view of the Sacraments?

You seem by now to have an ideology in which Genesis 2 and 3 could not be literally true, but I and the Catholic Church before me so far haven't.

22:18 Aesop's fables are examples.

They are literally false, but the principles which they show forth are literally often enough true.

However, no one argues that the proto-history (which has a consecrated use before some bend the phrase to mean mytho-history) is examples. It would wreak havoc with Luke 3.

24:59 "mythological" is not a literary genre. As a Classicist I can say that with one hundred percent confidence.

Myths about gods or heroes interacting with gods (which I would consider as historic legends seen through a pagan lense) come in different genres:

  • epics like those of Homer and Hesiod
  • tragedy
  • comical novels, like The Golden Ass (which is where we find Eros and Psyche).

Each of these is totally open to mundane and non-mythical, the first two mainly factual, content:

  • Pharsalia is an epic about the Bellum Civile
  • Persai is a tragedy about the Battle of Salamis (or technically about how the Persian king reacts to it)
  • Satyricon by Petronius is a comic novel far closer to Asterix and Obelix (especially to their decadent Romans) than to any superhero comics.

So, no, myth is not a literary genre.

If you wanted to add the genre of Ovid's Metamorphoses, it's arguably the genre of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura -- didactic poetry with lots of small items, each nugget enjoyable on its own. So is Ars Amandi, also by Ovid.

26:14 "just as Robinson Crusoe"

A few observations.
a) that might be fair game for comparisons, but is not so for explanations
b) the position referred to, not sure you get this, is often held by people who consider the book of Jonah is an edifying fairy-tale and that Moses - not just Noah, but Moses was a myth
c) in the case of Robinson Crusoe, we know as a fact about the composition that it is a novel only partly based on fact, and we know as a fact that the real life model, Alexander Selkirk, lived a somewhat different life, on the island as after rescue -- we also refer to this known fact, from time to time; in the absence of such knowledge, and facing centuries of comment without such allusions to fictionality, we have no reason to believe it was fictional.

The guys who made the comment had not thought the issue through.

26:53 If you show NT hagiographers cite Greek mythology, great.

But if you say none of us would want to be committed to it, well, sorry, speak for yourself.

Committing to UIysses having a frequent experience of Athena speaking to him is not committing to Athena springing from the head of "her father Zeus" ... it could be a demon, or it could be a guardian angel, or it could be his habitual way of "sensualising" his thought process.

Committing to St. John citing Apollon is not committing to Apollon being a god -- more likely a demon from Hell.

There is no theological problem in committing to the historicity of most of Greek mythology.

27:47 Jannes and Jambres or Jannes and Mambres ... to a Catholic, your comment doesn't make much sense.

Bishop Challoner on II Tim "Jannes and Mambres": The magicians of king Pharao.

Here is a list of comments in Haydock:

Ver. 8. Jannes and Mambres. The names of the magicians, who in Egypt, resisted Moses, says St. Chrysostom, and though not mentioned in the Scriptures, their names might be known by tradition. (Witham)


Since the Old Testament does not mention these magicians of Pharao, who opposed Moses, it seems probable that St. Paul either learnt their names by a particular revelation, as St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Tirinus think, or by some tradition of the Jews, agreeably to the opinions of Theodoret, Grotius, Estius, &c. Others think he might have found their names in some ancient histories, which have not reached our time; or perhaps from the apocryaphal book of Jannes and Mambres, mentioned by Origen and Ambrosiaster. Certain it is, that in St. Paul's time the names of these two famous magicians were very well known; thus it is by no means necessary in this instance to have recourse to a particular inspiration. The Orientals say there were many magicians who opposed Moses. Among others, they mention Sabous and Gadous, who came from Thebias; Graath and Mospha, from some other country. They wished, as they inform us, to imitate the miracle by which Moses turned his rod into a serpent, by throwing their canes on the ground, and ropes filled with quicksilver. These ropes began to move a little, one twisting with another, on account of the heat of the earth warmed by the sun. But the rod of Moses in a moment broke them to pieces. (Calmet)


These magicians are called by different names. The Greek has Jannes and Jambres. Some ancient writers, Jannes and Mambres; as St. Cyprian, Optatus, (chap. 7.) Born. &c. The Jews call that Joanne, or Johanna, whom the Greeks name Jannes; and that called by the Jews Jambres, the Greeks name Mambres. The Hebrews would have them to be the sons of Balaam, the soothsayer, and the masters of Moses in the sciences of the Egyptians. (Calmet)


Ver. 3-4. All eat the same spiritual food, to wit, the manna, which seemed to come from heaven, and was a figure of the eucharist, the spiritual food of our souls.


All drank the same spiritual drink, and....rock that followed them, by which is understood the stream of water, that came miraculously out of the rock struck by Moses, and which is said to have followed them, because it ran plentifully through their camp.


And the rock was Christ, a figure of Christ; for all these things (ver. 11.) happened to them in figure. (Witham)

Challoner gives:

[2] "In Moses": Under the conduct of Moses, they received baptism in figure, by passing under the cloud, and through the sea; and they partook of the body and blood of Christ in figure, by eating of the manna, (called here a spiritual food because it was a figure of the true bread which comes down from heaven,) and drinking the water, miraculously brought out of the rock, called here a spiritual rock, because it was also a figure of Christ.

30:01 "but there was no such person as Hamlet"

False. He's in Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum.

Shakespear had him from Holinshed. Holinshed's Chronicle.

The assumption "there was no such person as" if not very well born out ...

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