The difficulty now is that we have a presidential candidate operating in this manner on a national stage:
Trump and his supporters didn't like, object to the results of the election/you (Goranson) don't like, object to the letter to Theodore
Trump and his supporters thought the only explanation to his objections was that the election was fake/you (Goranson) can only explain your objections with an appeal to forgery
Trump and his supporters will accept any and all explanations for how the 'fraud' was perpetrated/you (Goranson) will similarly latch on to any published paper identifying motives for forgery (homosexuality, loss of faith, Sabbateanism, liked practical jokes)
Trump and his supporters have a cult like obsession fueling conspiracy theories/I will leave this up to your imagination
For Trump and his supporters, the ends justify the means (Trump stays in power by any means necessary)/for Goranson whatever 'takes out' the Letter to Theodore is all that matters
We've had over 50 years to come up with some proof, some smoking gun regarding forgery and Morton Smith's alleged involvement in this forgery and there is still nothing, there will likely always be nothing because this conspiracy is fueled by an emotional need rather than logic. There is very little difference between your relentless pursuit of a conspiracy theory and this lady:
For most of us in the 21st century being a homosexual is not equatable with loss of faith. Rather than seeing homosexuality as THE RESULT of a loss of 'morals' we see it as a biological condition, a sex drive, and the 'coming out of the closet' as honesty. What you call 'loss of faith' is viewed increasingly as something commendable especially in the field of religious studies. We don't want apologists, we want people who 'leave their faith at the door.' Neither do we still equate homosexuality with sin or as a motive for criminal activity. Nor do I as a Jew, see Jewish mysticism as something inherently nefarious. It all seems borderline homophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-atheistic - i.e. mistrust THESE sorts of people, THESE sorts of tendencies because they are bad, evil whatever. The whole approach seems very Trumpian just as Carlson's worldview seemed very George W Bush conservative. You might not see it of course. But that's how it always seemed to me i.e. reactionary conservative.
I needn't equate homophobic tropes with the far right but let's not forget that this 'Morton Smith was a Sabbatean' also fits as well:
This is the danger of your 'whatever works' attitude toward motive in the Letter to Theodore 'forgery.' The Sabbatean arguments approach a dangerous line. How can Smith have both had a 'loss of faith' and been a Sabbatean? It seems to me at least to invoke a traditional Christian mistrust of Jewish mysticism. It plays on fears of white Christians - i.e. that there is an atheist/Jewish conspiracy behind world events. Some other notable examples: https://books.google.com/books?id=4443e ... 22&f=false
In order to compete with the cataclysmic events of the 1790s, Gothic novelists had ‘to call upon the aid of hell itself’ (109). While several Gothic novels in England pre-dated these upheavals, it is unarguable that two particular forms of terror in the 1790s — one historical, the other fictional — were distilled into the stuff of which British nightmares were made, thus providing this genre with an unprecedented blood transfusion. News of the notorious Kannibalregiment Terror in France involving the September massacres (Brinton: 177) and the cannibalistic buveurs du sang (Singer: 163) — as the Terrorists were referred to by their enemies — set the stage for a revitalized brand of British Gothic fiction.1 This was combined with the popularly welcomed entry of the German terror-novel (Schauerroman), which blended ‘political and magical ingredients’ and focused on ‘the activities of powerful secret societies’ (Tompkins: 281). Plagued by ‘domestic unrest [and] fears of invasion from abroad’ (Punter, Literature: 61), Britain was particularly susceptible to this onslaught of terror. As E.P. Thompson relates, ‘In 1797 the invasion scare was growing, armed loyal associations and volunteer corps were formed, as much against internal conspiracy as against the French.’
None of these things should surprise you Stephen as you have expertise/taken an interest - undoubtedly professional - in anti-Jewish slurs
Stephen Goranson14TH OCTOBER 2009
March 1901 Book World 6.3. “The Empire of the Ghetto,” Adolpe Danziger, “copyright by the author 1900,” page 213:
“What ‘uptown lady’ would tolerate an “East Side kike’?”
Of uncertain relevance:
June 1902 The Era 9.6. “Aaron Levi’s Repentance,” David Felsberg, page 670:
“In the midst of the inarticulate roar, single voices were occasionally heard: ‘Shpunsh kike, shpunsh kike, ight cent a pount!’….Here was a young woman dexterously fishing for live carp in a huge tank; next to her stood a boy yelling ‘Shpunsh kike,’ and weighing a pound of that delicacy with fish scales and moisture clinging to it….”
Jan. 1909 The American Magazine 67.3. “Groping Children,” James Oppenheim, page 298:
“‘Why shouldn’t I be ashamed? look at them–kikes, Yiddish; hear their broken English; see how they live….’ ‘You!’ he added. ‘Now let me tell you something! They are Russian jews–true! But who are you?….You, too, are a Russian Jew…_polished up_!'” https://blog.oup.com/2009/10/ethnic-slurs-kike/
It's dangerous to promote nonsense like 'Morton Smith was a Sabbatean' or part of a Sabbatean plot. You know better than that. It only 'works' because of people's willingness to believe in Jewish cabals and conspiracies. In the same way you turn around Morton Smith's interest in Judaism including its mysticism someone in some future age (assuming you suddenly took on some notoriety) could turn around that post from 2009 and claim you were an anti-Semitic. Of course that's pure nonsense. You are not an anti-Semite. But these conspiracies about Morton Smith represent a slippery slope. in the same way Stephen Goranson took an interest in the word 'kike' for reasons other than being an anti-Semitic, Morton Smith's interest in Judaism and Jewish mysticism was surely similarly 'professional.' Just as you deserve to study or take in interest in whatever ever you want, so does he.
Sorry to read about the passing of your wife. I mean that sincerely. I don't want to continue this stupid discussion. Life's too short. You're a serious scholar and probably a great guy. I'd like to move on. No point in continuing this. Love is all that matters. It was a beautiful obituary you wrote. Anyone who loves like that has to be ok. Peace.
I have not written that Morton Smith was a Sabbatean, but that Smith suggested a parallel between the Jesus as depicted in the “Clement” letter and Sabbatati Sevi, which parallel, as I have mentioned, the great Gershom Scholem doubted.
I have not disputed the results of the recent US election.
By the way, there is more than one person named Stephen Goranson.
While it was outside my immediate point about the number of corrupt or forged texts among the early writings of the Church, Marcion is connected with a mystic gospel of Mark in the Philosophumena, a third century adaption of Irenaeus's Against Heresies.
Are you talking about this?
When, therefore, Marcion or some one of his hounds barks against the Demiurge, and adduces reasons from a comparison of what is good and bad, we ought to say to them, that neither Paul the apostle nor Mark, he of the maimed finger, announced such (tenets). For none of these (doctrines) has been written in the Gospel according to Mark. But (the real author of the system) is Empedocles, son of Meto, a native of Agrigentum. And (Marcion) despoiled this (philosopher), and imagined that up to the present would pass undetected his transference, under the same expressions, of the arrangement of his entire heresy from Sicily into the evangelical narratives.
If you don't accept that Marcion's system came from Empedocles, why would you accept the other parts of the description?
And for what its worth the life of Empedocles vaguely resembles the end of the gospel - especially Secret Mark:
Satyrus quotes this same Gorgias as saying that he himself was present when Empedocles performed magical feats. Nay more: he contests that Empedocles in his poems lays claim to this power and to much besides when he says:
And thou shalt learn all the drugs that are a defence to ward off ills and old age, since for thee alone shall I accomplish all this. Thou shalt arrest the violence of the unwearied winds that arise and sweep the earth, laying waste the cornfieldsº with their blasts; and again, if thou so will, thou shalt call back winds in requital. Thou shalt make after the dark rain a seasonable drought for men, and again after the summer drought thou shalt cause tree-nourishing streams to pour from the sky. Thou shalt bring back from Hades a dead man's strength.
Timaeus also in the eighteenth9 book of his Histories remarks that Empedocles has been admired on many grounds. For instance, when the etesian winds once began to below violently and to damage the crops, he ordered asses to be flayed and bags to be made of their skin. These he stretched out here and there on the hills and headlands to catch the wind and, because this checked the wind, he was called the "wind-stayer." Heraclides in his book On Diseases10 says that he furnished Pausanias with the facts about the woman in a trance ... At all events Heraclides testifies that the case of p377 the woman in a trance was such that for thirty days he kept her body without pulsation though she never breathed; and for that reason Heraclides called him not merely a physician but a diviner as well, deriving the titles from the following lines also:13
[link to original Greek text] 62 My friends, who dwell in the great city sloping down to yellow Acragas, hard by the citadel, busied with goodly works, all hail! I go about among you an immortal god, no more a mortal, so honoured of all, as is meet, crowned with fillets and flowery garlands. Straightway as soon as I enter with these, men and women, into flourishing towns, I am reverenced and tens of thousands follow, to learn where is the path which leads to welfare, some desirous of oracles, others suffering from all kinds of diseases, desiring to hear a message of healing.
... Thus Heraclides,20 after telling the story of the woman in a trance, how that Empedocles became famous because he had sent away the dead woman alive, goes on to say that he was offering a sacrifice close to the field of Peisianax.º Some of his friends had been invited to the sacrifice, including Pausanias. [link to original Greek text] 68 Then, after the feast, the remainder of the company dispersed and retired to rest, some under the trees in the adjoining field, others wherever they chose, while Empedocles himself remained on the spot where he had reclined at table. At daybreak all got up, and they questioned the servants, who said they did not know where he was. Thereupon someone said that in the middle of the night he heard an exceedingly loud voice calling Empedocles. Then he got up and beheld a light in the heavens and a glitter of lamps, but nothing else. His hearers were amazed at what had occurred, and Pausanias came down and sent people to search for him. But later he bade them take no further trouble, for things beyond expectation had happened to him, and it was their duty to sacrifice to him since he was now a god.
M. Smith, "The Descriptions of the Essenes in Josephus and the. Philosophumena," HUCA 29 (1958) pp. 273-313. Somewhere, if I recall correctly, Shaye Cohen wrote that Smith later changed his mind about this article’s proposal (about the relation of the two texts).