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How Would You Respond?

Overnight, someone left a comment that really had nothing to do with the post, but vaguely related, instead, to a reference made by another commenter. I really think this guy was looking for a place to rant on about his beliefs, but couldn’t find a proper place to do so. Here’s what he wrote:

In one comment to this blog post the term “historical Jesus” is used.

The persons using that contra-historical oxymoron (demonstrated by the eminent late Oxford historian, James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue) exposes dependancy upon 4th-century, gentile, Hellenist sources.

While scholars debate the provenance of the original accounts upon which the earliest extant (4th century, even fragments are post-135 C.E.), Roman gentile, Hellenist-redacted versions were based, there is not one fragment, not even one letter of the NT that derives DIRECTLY from the 1st-century Pharisee Jews who followed the Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua.
Historians like Parkes, et al., have demonstrated incontestably that 4th-century Roman Christianity was the 180° polar antithesis of 1st-century Judaism of ALL Pharisee Ribis. The earliest (post-135 C.E.) true Christians were viciously antinomian (ANTI-Torah), claiming to supersede and displace Torah, Judaism and (“spiritual) Israel and Jews. In soberest terms, ORIGINAL Christianity was anti-Torah from the start while DSS (viz., 4Q MMT) and ALL other Judaic documentation PROVE that ALL 1st-century Pharisees were PRO-Torah.

There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: http://www.netzarim.co.il (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with “30-99 C.E.”).
Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.

Building a Roman image from Hellenist hearsay accounts, decades after the death of the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi, and after a forcible ouster, by Hellenist Roman gentiles, of his original Jewish followers (135 C.E., documented by Eusebius), based on writings of a Hellenist Jew excised as an apostate by the original Jewish followers (documented by Eusebius) is circular reasoning through gentile-Roman Hellenist lenses.

What the historical Pharisee Ribi taught is found not in the hearsay accounts of post-135 C.E. Hellenist Romans but, rather, in the Judaic descriptions of Pharisees and Pharisee Ribis of the period… in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT (see Prof. Elisha Qimron), inter alia.

To all Christians: The question is, now that you’ve been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?

I’m still down with a cold, so I don’t really want to spend the time to deal with him. Instead, I’m wondering how you would answer his claims. Any takers?

MSE

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14 Responses

  1. The question, Matt, is not how to respond, but whether to respond.

    As you note, you did not raise this matter on your blog. This poster is hitching a ride on a tangential post of another to proselytize his message to your readers.

    You, obviously, are not feeling led to respond (God knew you would have a cold when you received the post); neither should you feel obligated to encourage others to formulate a response. Without being critical of the poster (we are, after all, just as God made us), it seems he has spent much time arriving at his position. I suspect he is not seeking enlightenment as much as he is seeking to influence others.

    Engaging him in a point-by-point discussion of his issue would likely result in the same sort of futility you’d expect if Sarah Palin attempted to influence Harry Reid on the wisdom of the proposed heath care overhaul.

    My tipoff to that came from the poster’s own language. For instance:

    “There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: http://www.netzarim.co.il (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with “30-99 C.E.”). Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.”

    As you may know, Matt, many Christian scholars have made the exact examination he says they “have refused to deal with”. When you engage people such as this poster point-by-point, they will always have another question, “Who are those scholars?” You cite some, and then, “How much time did they really spend with the documents?”. If you are somehow able to satisfy him they’ve spent sufficient time, other questions inevitably emerge. “What is their scholarly background”? “Isn’t it obvious they had their minds made up even before they looked at the sources?” And so on, ad infinitum.

    The bottom line is that the scholars have not reached his conclusions, ergo, to him, something must always be wrong with their analysis.

    In closing, let’s take a look at his closing statement.

    “To all Christians: The question is, now that you’ve been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?”

    Does anyone really think the poster invites discussion? Or, rather, is he just trolling your blog for converts?

    I’d suggest you not facilitate his efforts.

    • I’m sure you’re right that the poster won’t be dissuaded from his position. I hadn’t thought about the possibility that he might re-respond though. I assumed this was more of a hit-and-run proselytizing kind of guy. So, it’s less that I want to engage the man, and more that I’m interested myself in how my readers might respond. That said, I think you’re right that the best response to him is no response.

    • The question, Matt, is not how to respond, but whether to respond.
      I absolutely agree 100%.

      I’ve had a few comments like that. I just thank them for stopping by and don’t respond to their comments.

      • You’ve only been blogging a short while, right? Odd that this is the first encounter I’ve had then. Live and learn.

      • Yeah, it was very early on. Eventually I had to give the guy a stern warning and he hasn’t been back since.

  2. Sounds like auto-generated spam. I would just delete it and pay it no mind.

    • I don’t think it is. He addresses what a previous commenter said (rather, not what he said, but two words from what he said).

  3. delete and move on

  4. It seems rather counter-intuitive, this man’s insistence that the best information we have on Jesus lies not in the four biographies of his life that have been almost unanimously accepted by his followers throughout the entire world, in a variety of sects vigorously opposed to each other on all sorts of doctrine. Instead, he seems to insist we ought to abandon material that deals with Jesus and instead assume that the man who spawned the world’s largest religion must have taught the exact same thing that all the other teachers of his day (whose teaching we also have based on copies a good deal later than those of the gospels).

  5. Everyone gets a spam comment every once in a while by someone advertising “http://www.netzarim.co.il”. But shame on me for mentioning “historical Jesus”!

  6. I have an atheist site and got the same thing. I deleted and stated [violation of comment policy] — mine is posted. and removed his link.

    Sometimes just deleting can make readers think you are a control freak. (I errored that way once), but telling why sends to help.

    Hope that helps

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