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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 11:20AM #41
Miguel_de_servet
Posts: 17,050

Embarrassing mess on "embarrassment"


Before this thread degenerates into sheer paranoia (it probably already has, and after some time), let my try to put the record straight on how we ended up in this ... er ... embarrassing mess on "embarrassment".


This is a record, which I believe objective, of the exchange between lady Adelphe and MdS, on the question of "embarrassment" (BOTH as "analytical tool that Biblical scholars use in assessing whether the New Testament accounts of Jesus' actions and words are historically accurate" AND as "emotion" —very close to shame— upon which it is rooted and from which the former obviously derives its name). The lady's merely polemical posts, and MdS's response to them, have been omitted.


♦ MdS, at post #6, linked, at livius.org, an article on Jesus of Nazareth, #6 on the list of Messianic Claimants, including this sentence:


"...The story [The Visit of the Wise MenMatt 2:1-6], which uses the messianic motive of the star (i.e., Balaam's prophecy), is neither confirmed by other sources nor embarrassing, and seems to be a later addition."


Adelphe, at post #7, objected to the above sentence, affirming that:


Numbers 24:17 "was embarrassing" — due to the "lowly circumstances" of Jesus' birth.


“... the situation with Mary which--to the outsider--appears as her claiming impregnation by some...'spirit' and Joseph's (to the outsider) gullibility are both also embarrassing.”


... whereby lady Adelphe, with her comments, blurs the borded between "embarrassment" in the obvious sense similar to "shame" and the —allegedly entirely distinct— "criterion of embarrassment"


♦ MdS, at post #8, argued against the applicability to the Canonical Gospels of the "criterion of embarrassment" for both above situations alleged by lady Adelphe as "embarrassing".


Adelphe, at post #9, made a spectacular boast of her ... er ... superior confidence on the clear-cut distinction between "'embarrassment' as emotion and 'embarrassment' as a scholarly test of authenticity", quoting ...


"Scholars usually solve the second question by invoking 'criteria of authenticity', such as embarrassment (some things are too embarrassing for Christians to be invented)" [Jesus of Nazareth, @ livius.org - 6 x Embarassed added by Adelphe, to "reinforce" her point ...]


... as though such distinction was embedded in the above quotation.


♦ MdS, at post #10, remarked that "[2] 'embarrassment' as a 'scholarly test of authenticity' is rooted precisely in [1] 'embarrassment' as emotion".


Adelphe, at post #20, asked a whole series of rhetoric questions  ...


Is royalty typically born on the way as the King and Queen travel on a donkey to register for a census in order to pay their taxes?


Does royalty typically find no room at some inn for the Queen to give birth?


Is royalty typically placed in beast of burden feeding mangers?


Do virgins typically get pregnant by "spirits"?


Do husbands typically believe their wives when they tell them they were impregnated by "spirits"?


... that, presumably, in her mind, would confirm the validity of the application of the "criterion of embarrassment" to the Canonical Gospels.


♦ MdS, at post #21, replied to the above rhetoric questions saying:


“... all the above might, according to normal human standards, be perceived as "embarrassing" (in the obvious emotional sense of the word), yet Jesus' followers, and in particular the Evangelists Matthew and Luke were NOT "embarrassed" NOR deterred in the least by Jesus' lowly beginnings, so much so that they accounted for them ...”


Adelphe, at post #22, integrally quoted from Wikipedia > Biblical criticism >> Embarrassment, with one extensive application, that of the alleged "embarrassment" of the Early Church about Adoptionism that, according to the Wikipedia text ["In the Gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus is but a man (see Adoptionism) submitting to another man for the forgiveness of the "sin of ignorance" (a lesser sin, but sin nonetheless)."], would have been fully present in the (Judeo-Christian, Ebionitic, Nazarene) Gospel of the Hebrews, and would have been gradually "suppressed or softened" (again according to Wikipedia) in the Canonical Gospels.


♦ MdS, at post #23, proved (with a thorough exam of the Wikipedia quotation from the Gospel of the Ebionites, see Epiphanius, Panarion, Volume 1, Against Ebionites, section 13,6-8, page 130) that the only "embarrassing" bits about Jesus' Baptism would have been, for the Early Church ...


[E1]  [He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and] enter into him.


[E2] ‘Today I have begotten you.’


... because they would have no correspondence in any of the Canonical Gospels ...


... BUT in fact it stands to reason that E1 and E2 were artful and deliberately distorting additions by the heretical Ebionites.


Adelphe, at post #36, affirmed that "[t]he 'baptismal embarrassment' stands whether or not one includes the 'Gospel of the Ebionites/Hebrews' for the simple reason that the sinless Jesus allows Himself to be baptized by John who is baptizing for the remission of sins."


♦ MdS, at post #37, denied that "baptismal embarrassment" in the sense of "embarrassment" due to the motivation that "the sinless Jesus allows Himself to be baptized by John who is baptizing for the remission of sins", because, while Mark and Luke actually speak of "baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) ...


The Gospel of Matthew pre-empts and voids the presumed "embarrassment" with Jesus' own motivation for his Baptism by John, in spite of John's reluctance (“Let it happen now, for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John yielded to him. - Matt 3:14-15)


Jesus recognized that John had the authority of preparing people, with his baptism of repentance, for the forgiveness that the Messiah would bestow upon them / earn for them [thread "John the Baptist and the forgiveness of sins", MdS' post #36]


Adelphe, with her posts #38 and #39, didn't respond to any of the points raised by MdS, but merely resorted with to further links and quotations that would attest, according to her, the ultimate on "how Biblical Criticism works".


MdS

Revelation is above, not against Reason

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms ...” (Deut 33:27)
“Do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9)
“By the Lord’s word [dabar] the heavens were made; and by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33:6)
“Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the arm of the Lord revealed through him?” (Isaiah 53:1)
“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38)
“For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”(Romans 13:8)
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 11:52AM #42
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,073
Although I personally enjoy your posting style, is the following succinct summary accurate?:

 

The Criterion of Dissimilarity (aka 'embarrassment') does not, solely in and of itself, vindicate the historicity of:

 

1. The humble origin of Jesus

2. The miraculous virgin birth

 

[BTW, I would agree with both of your positions on these matters]

 

Moreover, though it is somewhat more complex, Jesus' baptism by John is by no means embarrassing to the authors of Mark and Luke (if so, I agree), but I am having trouble with your exact opinion with respect to Matt and John. In any case, if something is embarrassing for one source and not to another, the criteria under discussion and its supposed utility (i.e. bolstering the probability of historicity) becomes diminished in any case, does it not?
Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 11:52AM #43
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:20AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:


Embarrassing mess on "embarrassment"


Before this thread degenerates into sheer paranoia (it probably already has, and after some time), let my try to put the record straight on how we ended up in this ... er ... embarrassing mess on "embarrassment".


This is a record, which I believe objective, of the exchange between lady Adelphe and MdS, on the question of "embarrassment" (BOTH as "analytical tool that Biblical scholars use in assessing whether the New Testament accounts of Jesus' actions and words are historically accurate" AND as "emotion" —very close to shame— upon which it is rooted and from which the former obviously derives its name). The lady's merely polemical posts, and MdS's response to them, have been omitted.


♦ MdS, at post #6, linked, at livius.org, an article on Jesus of Nazareth, #6 on the list of Messianic Claimants, including this sentence:


"...The story [The Visit of the Wise MenMatt 2:1-6], which uses the messianic motive of the star (i.e., Balaam's prophecy), is neither confirmed by other sources nor embarrassing, and seems to be a later addition."


Adelphe, at post #7, objected to the above sentence, affirming that:


Numbers 24:17 "was embarrassing" — due to the "lowly circumstances" of Jesus' birth.


“... the situation with Mary which--to the outsider--appears as her claiming impregnation by some...'spirit' and Joseph's (to the outsider) gullibility are both also embarrassing.”


... whereby lady Adelphe, with her comments, blurs the borded between "embarrassment" in the obvious sense similar to "shame" and the —allegedly entirely distinct— "criterion of embarrassment"


♦ MdS, at post #8, argued against the applicability to the Canonical Gospels of the "criterion of embarrassment" for both above situations alleged by lady Adelphe as "embarrassing".


Adelphe, at post #9, made a spectacular boast of her ... er ... superior confidence on the clear-cut distinction between "'embarrassment' as emotion and 'embarrassment' as a scholarly test of authenticity", quoting ...


"Scholars usually solve the second question by invoking 'criteria of authenticity', such as embarrassment (some things are too embarrassing for Christians to be invented)" [Jesus of Nazareth, @ livius.org - 6 x added by Adelphe, to "reinforce" her point ...]


... as though such distinction was embedded in the above quotation.


♦ MdS, at post #10, remarked that "[2] 'embarrassment' as a 'scholarly test of authenticity' is rooted precisely in [1] 'embarrassment' as emotion".


Adelphe, at post #20, asked a whole series of rhetoric questions  ...


Is royalty typically born on the way as the King and Queen travel on a donkey to register for a census in order to pay their taxes?


Does royalty typically find no room at some inn for the Queen to give birth?


Is royalty typically placed in beast of burden feeding mangers?


Do virgins typically get pregnant by "spirits"?


Do husbands typically believe their wives when they tell them they were impregnated by "spirits"?


... that, presumably, in her mind, would confirm the validity of the application of the "criterion of embarrassment" to the Canonical Gospels.


♦ MdS, at post #21, replied to the above rhetoric questions saying:


“... all the above might, according to normal human standards, be perceived as "embarrassing" (in the obvious emotional sense of the word), yet Jesus' followers, and in particular the Evangelists Matthew and Luke were NOT "embarrassed" NOR deterred in the least by Jesus' lowly beginnings, so much so that they accounted for them ...”


Adelphe, at post #22, integrally quoted from Wikipedia > Biblical criticism >> Embarrassment, with one extensive application, that of the alleged "embarrassment" of the Early Church about Adoptionism that, according to the Wikipedia text ["In the Gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus is but a man (see Adoptionism) submitting to another man for the forgiveness of the "sin of ignorance" (a lesser sin, but sin nonetheless)."], would have been fully present in the (Judeo-Christian, Ebionitic, Nazarene) Gospel of the Hebrews, and would have been gradually "suppressed or softened" (again according to Wikipedia) in the Canonical Gospels.


♦ MdS, at post #23, proved (with a thorough exam of the Wikipedia quotation from the Gospel of the Ebionites, see Epiphanius, Panarion, Volume 1, Against Ebionites, section 13,6-8, page 130) that the only "embarrassing" bits about Jesus' Baptism would have been, for the Early Church ...


[E1]  [He saw the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove and] enter into him.


[E2] ‘Today I have begotten you.’


... because they would have no correspondence in any of the Canonical Gospels ...


... BUT in fact it stands to reason that E1 and E2 were artful and deliberately distorting additions by the heretical Ebionites.


Adelphe, at post #36, affirmed that "[t]he 'baptismal embarrassment' stands whether or not one includes the 'Gospel of the Ebionites/Hebrews' for the simple reason that the sinless Jesus allows Himself to be baptized by John who is baptizing for the remission of sins."


♦ MdS, at post #37, denied that "baptismal embarrassment" in the sense of "embarrassment" due to the motivation that "the sinless Jesus allows Himself to be baptized by John who is baptizing for the remission of sins", because, while Mark and Luke actually speak of "baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) ...


The Gospel of Matthew pre-empts and voids the presumed "embarrassment" with Jesus' own motivation for his Baptism by John, in spite of John's reluctance (“Let it happen now, for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John yielded to him. - Matt 3:14-15)


Jesus recognized that John had the authority of preparing people, with his baptism of repentance, for the forgiveness that the Messiah would bestow upon them / earn for them [thread "John the Baptist and the forgiveness of sins", MdS' post #36]


Adelphe, with her posts #38 and #39, didn't respond to any of the points raised by MdS, but merely resorted with to further links and quotations that would attest, according to her, the ultimate on "how Biblical Criticism works".


MdS




Another huge red herring.


None of this changes the fact (in fact it only emphasizes EVEN MORE) that you are utterly clueless with respect to this criterion.


Go read a book.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:06PM #44
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Apr 29, 2012 -- 6:09PM, howiedds wrote:


Adelphe:


Don't be distracted with a discussion of your example of embarrassment/dissimilarity as tool of Bible criticism. His attack on your baptism example was a red herring as you described. It redirected the discussion as he intended.


His focus on the emotion of embarrassment as the reason the technique is so named has little to do with the way the phrase is now used in Bible study. He knew full well that you did not mean the writers were literally embarrassed by the circumstances but only that they would not have recorded that which would have contradicted their message or complicated their account unless they could not avoid including them


"Dissimilarity" has the advantage of not being misunderstood the way that "embarrassment" is misunderstood by the neophytes of Bible study. Since Miguel is not a neophyte, but quite experienced,



My dearest Howie, you are indeed kind.  I must say you give him far more credit than I...


(Unfortunately for me, the author at livius.org used the word "embarrassment" v.  "dissimilarity" (obviously, however, referring to the text critical concept) and I simply quoted it and continued to use it since that was our reference, never dreaming he'd consider it as emotional "embarrassment" and continuing to go off on emotion and "shame" (WTF?  LOL!) and blah and blah and blah and...the like.)


I assume that he was saying "day" because you had said "night."



True--he can always be relied upon to do that.



Give yourself a rest.




This is wisdom.


Ed's advice too.


Everyone knew what you meant.



Everyone apparently but the one who...engaged here... Wink


(((Howie))) Kiss

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:17PM #45
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:52AM, tfvespasianus wrote:

...The Criterion of Dissimilarity (aka 'embarrassment') does not, solely in and of itself, vindicate the historicity of:



The Criterion of Dissimilarity never, ever "solely in and of itself" vindicates the historicity of anything.


Moreover, though it is somewhat more complex, Jesus' baptism by John is by no means embarrassing to the authors of Mark and Luke (if so, I agree), but I am having trouble with your exact opinion with respect to Matt and John. In any case, if something is embarrassing for one source and not to another, the criteria under discussion and its supposed utility (i.e. bolstering the probability of historicity) becomes diminished in any case, does it not?




The argument here from Biblical critics is that it meets the criterion of dissimilarity, in part, because of the evolution of the account (over time)--from Mark's treatment, to Matthew's treatment, to Luke's treatment to John's...non-treatment.


(Which was also Dave's observation in #34.)

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:22PM #46
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:20AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:


Embarrassing mess on "embarrassment"




btw, do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and lose the focus on the word "embarrassment", replacing it everywhere you see it AND are tempted to use it with "dissimilarity" or "divergent pattern" or "contradiction."


Anything but "embarrassment."

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:33PM #47
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,073

Apr 30, 2012 -- 12:17PM, Adelphe wrote:


The Criterion of Dissimilarity never, ever "solely in and of itself" vindicates the historicity of anything.




Of course, I completely agree with this. I was trying to isolate one critical source of validation from other things that could be introduced into the conversation. Again, your point here is well-taken.

 

As for the evolution, I understand the critical argument regarding this, but what you are positing is usually construed as implying chronological development (i.e. evolution). Thus, if the baptism is NOT embarrassing the Mark and we accept Mark is prior to the iterations wherein the stories emphasis has been changed, the criteria is of limited use. That is because what is not embarrassing to an earlier author and is subsequently re-worked because of changing perceptions leaves us with the initial account, the 'non-dissimilar' one.
Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:53PM #48
Miguel_de_servet
Posts: 17,050

tfvespasianus


Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:52AM, tfvespasianus wrote:

[Post #42]


Before I comment on your post, so as to get rid of any possible misunderstanding, could you please confirm who are you referring to, with your expressions, "your posting style", "your positions", "your exact opinion"?


Thanks.


MdS

Revelation is above, not against Reason

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms ...” (Deut 33:27)
“Do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9)
“By the Lord’s word [dabar] the heavens were made; and by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33:6)
“Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the arm of the Lord revealed through him?” (Isaiah 53:1)
“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38)
“For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”(Romans 13:8)
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:55PM #49
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,073

Apr 30, 2012 -- 12:53PM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:


tfvespasianus


Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:52AM, tfvespasianus wrote:

[Post #42]


Before I comment on your post, so as to get rid of any possible misunderstanding, could you please confirm who are you referring to, with your expressions, "your posting style", "your positions", "your exact opinion"?


Thanks.


MdS




Sorry MdS, I did intend to append a greeting. I was asking you.

Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 12:58PM #50
Miguel_de_servet
Posts: 17,050

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:52AM, Adelphe wrote:

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:20AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:

[Post #41]


Another huge red herring.


None of this changes the fact (in fact it only emphasizes EVEN MORE) that you are utterly clueless with respect to this criterion.


Go read a book.


Apr 30, 2012 -- 12:22PM, Adelphe wrote:

Apr 30, 2012 -- 11:20AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:

[Post #41]


btw, do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and lose the focus on the word "embarrassment", replacing it everywhere you see it AND are tempted to use it with "dissimilarity" or "divergent pattern" or "contradiction."


Anything but "embarrassment."


Once again, the lady has lost all composure ... Embarassed


MdS

Revelation is above, not against Reason

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms ...” (Deut 33:27)
“Do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9)
“By the Lord’s word [dabar] the heavens were made; and by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33:6)
“Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the arm of the Lord revealed through him?” (Isaiah 53:1)
“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38)
“For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”(Romans 13:8)
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