Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, April 26, 2019

John 8 and the Woman Taken in Adultery: A Faith Promoting Fabrication?

For years I've had a question mark in my mind over John 8:1-11 with its beautiful and inspiring story of Christ's merciful treatment of the woman taken in adultery. The question mark came after encountering the evidence of scholars that this passage does not occur in the earliest existing New Testament manuscripts and appears to be a late addition. Sigh. Was one of my favorite accounts in the scriptures just a fabrication from an overzealous monk adding some inspiring fake Gospel news? Ouch, that's disappointing! That has been a large question mark I've carried for some time, but without bothering to dig deeper.

I think many Christians, after reading short assessments from scholars or from those claiming to speak for the scholars, might walk away thinking that this passage doesn't belong in the Bible and simply didn't occur. It would be unfortunate to let the reasonable question marks around this passage result in complete rejection of the account or in establish of an "anti-testimony" that John 8 is a complete fabrication of late date without roots in original Christianity. It would be even more unfortunate for people to unlearn the rich teachings in that passage. It's something that many people do, unfortunately, when they face reasonable question marks about many things in the scriptures, from the Bible to the Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, Book of Moses, and so forth, there are challenges, but often helpful answers that we failed to search and find. In fact, the details are more complicated than the simple "late forgery, toss it out" assessment, and there are good reasons to accept the story as a genuine part of early Christianity, even if different ancient versions had somewhat different details and even if would best be in a different manuscript than the Gospel of John.

Interestingly, this week I had two unexpected encounters with information that helped me shrink the question mark around John 8. One came while digging into some issues related to the Book of Abraham. I was glancing at one of the handful of books (OK, suitcase or two full of books) that I brought with me to China, a book on the writings of the earliest Christian writers outside of the New Testament, the Apostolic Fathers: Michael W. Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers, 2nd ed., translated by J.B. Lightfoot and J.R. Harmer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), where I noticed that pages 308-311 discuss the story of the woman taken in adultery. You might be able to see most of the relevant section at Google Books if you look at two versions of The Apostolic Fathers: version one and version two. Or just buy the book -- it offers precious insights into early Christianity (also available on Kindle). After reading a few chapters from those early Christian writers, you'll never fall for the argument that "Mormon teachings on keeping commandments instead of relying on grace alone is a tragic departure from historical Christianity." But I digress.

Holmes presents some fragments of text related to the writings of Papias, an early Christian bishop whose main work was written around 130 A.D. From several of the fragments it is clear that he was familiar with some version of the story of the woman taken in adultery. Holmes observes that there seem to be "at least two independent stories about Jesus and a sinful woman in circulation among Christians in the first two centuries of the church, and that the traditional form found in many New Testament manuscripts may well represent a conflation of two independent, shorter, earlier versions of the incident." Here Holmes cites Bart Ehrman, "Jesus and the Adulteress," New Testament Studies 34 (1988): 24-44.

The surviving fragments conveying statements from Papias provide mixed evidence as to which of the two similar versions he knew. However, Holmes suggests that it was probably a form of the story paraphrased in a Greek document from Syria, the Didascalia Apostolorum, which mentions elders bringing a woman who had sinned before the elders, who turned judgment over to Christ and departed. Jesus turns to her and asks, "Have the elders condemned you, my daughter?" "Nay, Lord." "Go, neither do I condemn you." But Papias in Fragment 23 is also credited with knowing a scene more similar to John 8 with a trial scene and conversation with Jewish leaders, though it's not clear that the fragment properly reflects what Papias said or whether someone else has assumed that Papias was citing the more extensive version from later manuscripts. In any case, there are question marks about the details and the authorship, but good evidence that basic features of the story were known among early Christians at a very early late, even if the earliest New Testament manuscripts fail to capture it. No need to not be inspired and moved by this account of the Lord's love and mercy, in my opinion.

Then this morning I was pleased to see the story of the woman taken in adultery was the issue of the latest work of scholarship published in The Interpreter. Before sharing insights from that article, I'd like to first state that I am amazed that Daniel Peterson's bootstrap project, The Interpreter Foundation, has been able to keep publishing useful, original, peer-reviewed content every single week for years, contrary to relatively pessimistic forecasts of his detractors. Congratulations, Brother Peterson!

The latest addition at The Interpreter is Steven T. Densley, Jr., "Procedural Violations in the Trial of the Woman Taken in Adultery," Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 32 (2019): 53-76. Here is the abstract:
The story in John 8 of the woman taken in adultery is sometimes used to argue that Jesus was lenient toward sin and that we should be too. However, when placed in its broader context, we can see the story is not one in which Christ shows indifference or contempt for the law, but rather utmost respect for it.
Densley's article focuses on the implications of the text in terms of what it says about the law and process of justice. However, he recognizes that this passage in John 8:1-11, known as the Pericope Adulterae, is disputed and is viewed by many scholars as a late addition to the Gospel of John. He summarizes some related scholarship in two footnotes, which I think are surprisingly detailed and helpful. Here they are:

6. See e.g., Scott J. Kaczorowski, “The Pericope of the Woman Caught in Adultery: An Inspired Text Inserted into an Inspired Text?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 61/2 (2018): 321–337; Brown, Gospel According to John, 91–96. Metzger and Ehrman note: “The earliest Greek manuscript known to contain the passage is Codex Bezae, of the fifth century, which is joined by several Old Latin manuscripts (aur, c, e, f, f2, j, r1).” Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th Ed. (New York, Oxford University Press, 2005), 319–20. They also recognize the anomalies raised by the pericope. It was absent from a large number of diverse manuscripts, no Greek Church Father for 1,000 years after Christ referred to the passage as being part of the fourth Gospel, the style and vocabulary differ from the rest of the Gospel of John, etc. Metzger has observed that the story shows strong signs of historical veracity. See Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), 220. Yet, Metzger and Ehrman also find that “the case against its being of Johannine authorship appears to be conclusive.” Metzger and Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament, 320. This suggests the possibility of an authentic story that was not authored by John.

In contrast, Heil argued that there is strong linguistic and literary evidence that supports the conclusion that the story was original to Gospel of John. John Paul Heil, “The Story of Jesus and the Adulteress (John 7:53–8:11) Reconsidered,” Biblica 72 (1991): 182–91. Wallace responds to Heil by arguing that Heil’s literary arguments usually work against themselves and that the external evidence that the pericope was a latter interpolation into the Gospel of John is overwhelming. Daniel B. Wallace, “Reconsidering ‘The Story of Jesus and the Adulteress Reconsidered’” New Testament Studies, 39 (1993): 290–96.


7. Wayment writes, “The earliest manuscripts of the New Testament omit this verse and John 8:1–11. Some manuscripts place the story of the woman caught in adultery at John 7:36, after John 21:25, or after Luke 21:38. The story appears to have strong external support that it originated with Jesus, but it may not have originally been placed here in the Gospel of John or even to have been written by the author of the Fourth Gospel. It is placed in double brackets [in Wayment’s translation] to indicate that it has questionable textual support, but it is included in the text because it has a reasonable likelihood of describing a historical event from the life of Jesus.” Thomas A. Wayment, trans., The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints: A Study Bible (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 181.

Some evidence exists that may lead us to conclude that while the story may not have originally been in the Gospel of John, it may nevertheless be authentic. For example, Knust noted that “the pericope adulterae, or some version of it, was perceived to be ‘gospel’ — in the sense of ‘a good story about Jesus — by the late second century, whether or not it was known from a written Gospel. By the fourth century, the pericope adulterae appears as a regular proof-text among Latin-speaking Christians.” Jennifer Wright Knust, “Early Christian Re-Writing and the History of the Pericope Adulterae,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 14:4 (2006): 489. Knust added, “The story remained less known in Greek Christian traditions, though it appears in a commentary of Didymus the Blind, is depicted on a few fifth- and sixth-century Egyptian pyxides [a cylindrical box], and is discussed in the writings of one anonymous sixth-century Greek chronicler.” Knust, “Early Christian Re-Writing,” 490. While perhaps not original to the Gospel of John, there is some evidence that it may have been included in the Gospel of the Hebrews. “According to Eusebius, Papias, a second-century bishop of Hierapolis, knew a story involving a woman of sins before the Lord, a story that Eusebius (and maybe Papias?) also found in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Eusebius writes that ‘[Papias] has put forth also another story concerning a woman falsely accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews.’” Knust, “Early Christian Re-Writing,” 495. Of course, the pericope adulterae in John involves a single sin, and there is no indication in the text that she had been falsely accused. So this may be referring to a different story, or perhaps Eusebius or Papias remembered it incorrectly.

Interestingly, Didymus the Blind described a story “in certain gospels” of a woman “condemned by the Jews for a sin” who was taken before the Savior to be stoned. Christ is quoted as saying, “He who has not sinned, let that one take a stone and cast it.” Knust, “Early Christian Re-Writing,” 499–500. This sounds very much like the story in John. Scholars are unsure of what is meant by the phrase “in certain gospels” and debate whether Didymus meant various copies of John, or that he found it in various gospels perhaps including John and the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Knust, “Early Christian Re-Writing,” fn. 47. In any event, there is reason to believe that the story was circulating among the believers fairly early and certainly before it appeared in the Codex Bezae.

J. Duncan M. Derrett suggests that one reason the story may not have been included in some of the early texts was that it may have been offensive to some who would rather not give the impression that Christ was lenient toward sin. See J. Duncan M. Derrett, “Law in the New Testament: The Story of the Woman Taken in Adultery,” New Testament Studies 10 (1963), 1–2.

Some of the basic issues on this pericope are also discussed in what strikes me as a balanced essay at Wikipedia: "Jesus and the woman taken in adultery." Also of keen interest is a recent book review: Kyle Dillon, "The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research,"  Allkirk Network: Where Presbyterian faith meets postmodern culture, Alkirk.net, June 23, 2018. Dillon reviews a book with essays for and against the authenticity of the pericope. Dillon feels that arguments presented against authenticity as a part of John have the upper hand, though not as strong an upper hand as he expected. But he also recongizes that there must have been an early tradition with this account for it to have been included so widely in the later manuscripts. Or, as I would put it, it might not belong in the Gospel of John, but many early Christians knew and accepted this story, or at least related versions of it.

So I've still got a question mark, but in much lighter ink, maybe just pencil, now a little smaller, and much less distracting from the beauty of this text.

Got big question marks over the scriptures or other aspects of the Gospel? We all do. But hang in there and keep searching and learning with faith and patience. There may be helpful answers along the way.



27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeff, why would you use the words “just a fabrication” in this post? If the periscope in John 8 is fictive, does that render it any less meaningful? Any less beautiful? Any less inspirational?

You and I can probably agree that the story of the rich man who takes the poor man’s lamb, the parable of the prodigal son, etc. are “fabrications,” that is, stories, but I would hope neither of us, nor any thoughtful reader, would call them “just stories,” no more than one would say War and Peace is “just a story.” Storytelling is a wonderful way of communicating profound truths — as Jesus of Nazareth, among others, well knew — and I’m surprised to see you deprecating it like this.

Your early response to learning that John 8 is “just” a story seems very much like a child’s initial disappointment upon learning of the fictive nature of Peter Rabbit. Except, of course, the child quickly outgrows that disappointment rather than writing lengthy blog posts defending the historicity of Peter’s adventures.

It just strikes me as really weird that so much of your faith seems to hang on the historicity of certain stories rather than the meaning of those stories. It seems, frankly, childish, and pretty much guarantees a lifetime of unnecessary anguish.

— OK

Anonymous said...

OK 9:46 - While most people who are not Mormon, and do not believe the BoM is historic, see value in Mormon principles and see it as just another group of highly disciplined and well intentioned individuals, Mormonism does not see it self that way. You see for Mormons, everyone else has faith, therefore for Mormons faith is not enough, they must "know", otherwise they would be as immoral as everyone else. The Historicity of their truth claims is a major keystone to their "knowing". Take away the historicity and they would be immoral people by their own standard.

To quote Jeff, "We are very serious about the Book of Mormon: if it is false, then Joseph Smith was not a prophet." Of course, most non-Mormons who respect Mormons think this silly reasoning on the part of Mormons. Jeff received his answer "that the Book of Mormon was indeed a divine testament of Christ, a second witness for His divinity. And yes, that meant that somehow, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God." Of course most non-Mormons who read the book of Mormon for the first time do not dispute that it testifies of Christ, and therefore is a testament of Christ. Believing in Christ does not make something historic. Now that the LDS Church has agreed with the critics that Jeff indeed confused the Spirit's answer to him, the principles of Book of Mormon do not make it historic, Jeff is doubling down on his personal need for historicity, because without it, he has already stated that Joseph Smith would be a false prophet and everything Jeff has done all these years is immoral by his own standard.

Anonymous said...

Jeff wrote "Dillon feels that arguments presented against authenticity as a part of John have the upper hand, though not as strong an upper hand as he expected. But he also recongizes that there must have been an early tradition with this account for it to have been included so widely in the later manuscripts. Or, as I would put it, it might not belong in the Gospel of John, but many early Christians knew and accepted this story, or at least related versions of it."

What amazes me is the Jeff seems to miss the uncanny parallels to the BoM. Arguments against having the clear upper hand and with early frontier American Mormon converts accepting many the premises of the BoM before they even heard of it or at least related versions of the premises.

Anonymous said...

Jeff hangs on to historicity claims they way intelligent designers hang on to intelligent design. Just as Jeff doesn't believe in intelligent design, the truth is he does not belief in historicity claims, he just a playing a game, it is his past time.

Ramer said...

Now that the LDS Church has agreed with the critics that Jeff indeed confused the Spirit's answer to him, the principles of Book of Mormon do not make it historic...
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.

Just as Jeff doesn't believe in intelligent design, the truth is he does not belief in historicity claims...
I think you commented on the wrong blog. Neither of these statements replies to Jeff Lindsay in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

Ramer - You are wrong.

Ramer said...

Can you show me examples that show how I am wrong? The Church very much does not "agree with the critics," nor do they say that "the principles of [the] Book of Mormon do not make it historic." Jeff has not "confused the Spirit's answer to him," and judging from his blog posts on the subject, he definitely believes in both intelligent design and historicity claims.

Of course, one could easily say something similar about you - something like, "the truth is you believe the historicity claims, you're just doubling down on your personal need for it to not be historical."

Anonymous said...

Yes I can show how you are wrong. But what would be the point in that? One day you will be intellectually and emotional mature enough to figure it out for yourself ....

Jeff believes in Intelligent Design, only if you count renaming evolution to be Intelligent Design, where some intelligent entity takes credit for each stage of evolution. The trick of abusing language by redefining things and using the language a way no one outside of Mormonism uses it is something you do out of imitation and immaturity, but Jeff does it out of blatant deceit. According to the traditional usage of "Intelligent Design", Jeff does not believe in Intelligent Design. https://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/science.shtml#age

The principles of the BoM being true does not make it historic. The principles of Jesus's parables can be true without the parables being historic. This is just a simple statement of fact. Mormons trusted the LDS Church to interpret the profound moments of feeling the Universe's Love that most members of humanity experience at some point in the life. For most, this interpretation included the historicity claim that the Laminates were the principle ancestors of the Native Americans. As you know, the LDS Church declared that all these Mormons were wrong to trust the Church and interpret the Spirit's answer this way. Jeff has clearly "confused the Spirit's answer to him," as his own description does not mention details of historicity claims and he is pursuing interpretations that even the LDS Church say do not matter. The LDS concedes that it is possible the paypri inspired the BoA vice being a direct translation, much like it has conceded that the plates in the Book of Mormon were never used in its "translation".


Can you show me how: "the truth is you believe the historicity claims, you're just doubling down on your personal need for it to not be historical."? The BoM may or may not be historic. As far as I know Nephi and family were transported to a Galaxy far far away and all the events took place there. Six of one, one half dozen of another, doesn't really matter either way. What I do know is that the theories that they occurred in Earth's Western Hemisphere are no more scientifically valid then Ignatius Donnelly's Atlantis theories. But hey, another theory may be Atlantis and the Nephites hung out with each other? Does it matter?

Jeff Lindsay said...

While life is endowed with mechanisms that make change and evolution possible, I believe the intricacy of the machinery and of the physics of our existence defy any attempt to paint it as purely random. Their is overwhelming evidence of an intelligent designer. That doesn’t mean I accept all the statements of particular movements. But miracles like ATP synthase, the spliceosome, the coincidences that make stars efficient carbon engines, the balance between the fundamental forces of physics, etc. cry out for recognition of the majestic intelligence that made all this glory possible.

Always curious how critics like to tell us what we actually think and believe.

Ramer said...

But what would be the point in that? One day you will be intellectually and emotional mature enough to figure it out for yourself ....
Objection - ad hominem attack.

...only if you count renaming evolution to be Intelligent Design, where some intelligent entity takes credit for each stage of evolution.
Objection - false dilemma.

The trick of abusing language by redefining things and using the language a way no one outside of Mormonism uses it is something you do out of imitation and immaturity...
Objection - ad hominem attack.

Mormons trusted the LDS Church to interpret the profound moments of feeling the Universe's Love that most members of humanity experience at some point in the life.
Objection - appeal to ridicule.

For most, this interpretation included the historicity claim that the Laminates were the principle ancestors of the Native Americans.
Objection - fallacy of composition.

Everything else is just unsourced claims, flat-out falsehoods, or irrelevant comparisons.

Can you show me how: "the truth is you believe the historicity claims, you're just doubling down on your personal need for it to not be historical."?
Apparently you missed that I pointed out that this was a hypothetical situation, but if you can show me how Jeff "does not belief in historicity claims, he just a playing a game, it is his past time," then I will show you how you actually believe the historicity claims and are just doubling down on your antagonistic behavior because you need the claims to not be true. Until then, though, I'm not going to waste any more time talking with you.

Ramer said...

And for the record, I have no problem believing that intelligent design and evolution can coexist.

Anonymous said...

Yet Another Strawman: "Always curious how critics like to tell us what we actually think and believe." Why so much hate?

I have never heard of anyone that disagrees with "cry out for recognition of the majestic intelligence that made all this glory possible."

Jeff Lindsay said...

OK, I recognize you feel your role is to belittle a religion that offends you, but I am sorry for your apparent inability to understand why people of faith care deeply about historical issues. If Christ never existed or if he was just a popular rabbi and not the Son of God, if the Resurrection were a hoax, however “inspiring,” then the power and joy of the Christian experience is radically lessened. Why live and sacrifice all for that? Failure to understand the power of faith and the significance of historic events in a faith strikes me as one of the unfortunate fruits of the hostile attitudes toward traditional faiths in modern education. It’s not just a matter of appreciating lovely fiction.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Thanks, Ramer. Claims of historicity do matter to me, in spite of what learned mind readers think they see in my mind as they stare into a very dark and deep hat.

Jeff Lindsay said...

“Why so much hate?” What on earth are you talking about. You define “hate” as disagreeing with you?

Anonymous said...

Objection - ad hominem attack.
If you do not like the answer, why ask the question?

Objection - false dilemma.
Wrong. Never claimed it was either or. Claim it was a deliberate, deceitful abuse of language.

Objection - ad hominem attack.
Statement of fact, Mormons use language differently and expect everyone to adopt their wiggly language. You in fact do it out of imitation. If you do not wish to grow up, that is your prerogative, but why ask for my help then? You asked, and I oblige, and now you are claiming offense. That is in fact immature.

Objection - appeal to ridicule.
Nope. If the claim is most of humanity experiences it, how is that ridicule? I understand you are frustrated, but ridicule?

Objection - fallacy of composition.
Denial. A useful self defense mechanism. What threatens you?

Everything else is just unsourced claims, flat-out falsehoods, or irrelevant comparisons.
Look who is talking.

I'm not going to waste any more time talking with you
You throw the gauntlet down, and running away is how you admit defeat.

Anonymous said...

Jeff - "You define “hate” as disagreeing with you?"

What on Earth are you talking about. Disagreeing? As far as I can tell we are in violent agreement. I define hate as labeling someone a "critic" just for exposing you and resorting to strawmen to make your self feel better, as I already explained. So why so much hate?

In case you are confused, which I doubt, that which we call a rose my any other name is still a rose. You can call evolution Intelligent Design if it makes you feel better, but it is still every bit as beautiful and awe inspiring regardless of what ever re-name you have deep need to give it.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, there are plenty of Christians and Jews who find their religious beliefs strengthened, not weakened, by letting go of the fairy tales of their youth. And plenty of them have lived great lives and made great sacrifices in the service of those beliefs. One doesn’t need to believe that some God-man literally gave up his life (for a few days only, mind you!) in order to be inspired to make sacrifices for a better, more just world. You’re no better in that regard than millions of atheists and liberal Christians and Jews and others. Don’t be so arrogant.

— OK

Anonymous said...

"faith" is "knowing", "fullness" is "the only valid priesthood", "evolution" is "Intelligent Design", "translation" is "revelation", "revelation" is "the already known" .... and it goes on and on

Those that patiently explain that Mormonism is an abuse of language are anti-Mormon critics?

The pastime game is called semantics, those that refuse to play are out, the exclusion is what is being called hate.

Anonymous said...

Ramer - 
Suggesting a few Mormons never believed the Laminates were the principle ancestors of the Native Americans and therefore Mormons in general never trusted this interpretation of the Spirit, is not only a dubious claim, it is the fallacy of composition.  Assigning your fallacy of composition to others is known as transference in psychology. Not only is it unsourced, flat-out falsehood, and irrelevant, it appears to be the root of your ridicule of humanity, Pharisee-esque antagonism, and general hate towards others.
 
Addressing this is the place to start if you truly seeking help with sincerity and real intent.  Also, when something matters, it has consequences.  The historicity does not matter to Jeff and I because the historicity one way or the other has no consequences.  Time and again, when historicity is debunked, it has no consequences for Jeff, whether it is the conceded fact that the plates were not used in the “translation” which is  now a “revelation”, or Laminates are not principle ancestors, etc.  Historicity only matters to Jeff in his continued game of semantics which he engages in to entertain himself and slow the progress of the weak minded who are struggling with their “testimonies”.  Refusing to play semantics is what we call integrity.  Semantics or integrity, either path, we will all eventually get to the same good center, semantics is just a slower way there.  Choice is yours, our religion and God allows you to engage in the pursuit of happiness as quickly or slowly as you chose.

Anonymous said...

Jeff I think you should know that your transparent antics here over the years have been integral in pushing me further away from the church and its nonsensical claims. Probably not what an armchair apologist would ever want to hear, but it's absolutely true. You twist words and obvious meaning in the name of defending Joseph and his contemporaries, but you're only fooling yourself. You ignore so much obvious and glaring evidence. Your latest few weeks of BoA posts have really done it for me. I don't trust what you say and I'm done looking for any shred of authentic intellectual examination on this blog. Look around and wake up. No one else in the so-called Mormon apologist community is taking such a strange and lonesome stand any more. The wagons are circled but you're still out on the range, heading for battle.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Ramer promised to show "then I will show you how you actually believe the historicity claims" and then ran away? So, Ramer we are all waiting, how were you planing to show that the Anon actually believes the lamanites are the principal ancestors of the Native Americans, etc?

Ramer said...

If you'll read my comment, I said I would show how Mormography (the anon) believes historicity claims "if [he] can show me how Jeff 'does not belief in historicity claims, he just a playing a game, it is his past time.'" Notice the "if." I have yet to see any evidence that Jeff is just playing games or doesn't really believe what he's talking about; all I've seen so far from Mormography is ad hominem attacks on both me and Jeff. That's not evidence.

And this might sound a bit immature, but Mormography made his claim first, so he should provide his evidence first.

Anonymous said...

There you go again with your unsourced claims and flat-out falsehoods.

Abundance of evidence given above, now it's your turn. As already stated, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, Jeff in fact does not believe that the lamanites are the principal ancestors of the native Americans, that the plates were actually used in the quote translation unquote that the Abraham facsimile is not translated according to what modern Egyptologist believe etc, there is an abundance of evidence that Jeff does not believe in the historicity claims.

what you have just admitted above is you were never intending and honestly answering your proposed solution. You're admitting that you lacked all sincerity and real intent in the matter, and that you were just playing games, The game everyone else knows is called semantics. that fact may make you uncomfortable but you're the one that asked help with your discomfort. I expressed no discomfort that requires help.

I like I said, what is the point, you were just going to behave this way anyways. And now you have proved me right yet again

Ramer said...

I don't know how you do it, Mormography. How are you able to pack so many falsehoods and ad hominem attacks into that small of a space? I can't find a single thing you said in that comment that's true. That cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

You obviously known how to pack falsehoods and ad hominem attacks into a small space because you do it all the time. You don't how I do it, because I can't. Yes it is funny how jealous you are about that.

Anonymous said...

There it is again folks. Plenty of evidence that the LDS Church now agrees with the critics, ex: the Church now agrees with the critics that the Lamanites are not the principal ancestors of the Native Americans, the BoA facsimiles only inspired a revelation, etc. Jeff Lindsay has provided not a singular item, that if debunked, he will start giving his 10% to an actual charity instead of the LDS Church, meaning the historicity does not matter to him. Historicity studies are in fact not Jeff’s full-time employment, his activities in historicity are at a hobby level of entertainment, and a decade plus of evidence here that Lindsay’s defense of Mormonism isn’t even a defense, it consists of merely changing the English language.

The extent of Ramer’s 11:22 opening was to say liar liar pants on fire, with zero intellectual backing. Given that this was the intellectual level Ramer wished to operate, simple response given “you are wrong”. Then Ramer suggested he wanted to try a higher intellectual level. His attempt included none of the promised evidence, but merely consisted in throwing terms like “false dilemma” and “fallacy of composition” around without even looking these terms up and using them correctly. Abandoning all hope of intellectuality, Ramer retreated to his low brow level of liar liar pants on fire, just as predicted.  Following Jesus’s example of humoring the Pharisees, we have humored Ramer.