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Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

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Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby maryhelena » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:06 am

On the Gullibility of Bart Ehrman & the Asscrankery of Tim O’Neil


''As someone recently clued me to, the indomitable asscrank Tim O’Neil had posted a comment on Ehrman’s blog back in 2013 lambasting my peer reviewed article on the James passage in Josephus, to which Ehrman responded “Terrific comments!! Many thanks.”

........

First up:

    ''To begin with, for the Jesus at [Jewish Antiquities] XX.9.1 to be the same person as the later mentioned high priest “Jesus, son of Damneus”, we have to believe that Ananus executed this son of Damneus’ brother and then very soon afterwards uses rich gifts so he “cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest”. So we’re supposed to believe that within months of seeing Ananus kill his brother, the son of Damneus was cosying up to his brother’s murderer thanks to some gifts? This makes no sense.''

Um, no, Mr. O’Neil. I think you’ve got the wrong Ananus''.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/9991
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby timhendrix » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:42 pm

Carrier has a bit of a funny relationship to peer reviewed literature. On the one hand he considers peer review as an important feature of his own writings, in particular when addressing people without professional historical training. On the other hand it seems to impress him very little when he goes contrary to established results from literature outside his area of expertise.
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby Secret Alias » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:35 pm

Exacto.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby MrMacSon » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:37 pm

timhendrix wrote:Carrier has a bit of a funny relationship to peer reviewed literature.

to? with?

timhendrix wrote:On the one hand he considers peer review as an important feature of his own writings...

Peer-review is application of a standard that all authors of non-fiction should adhere to(?)
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby Secret Alias » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:53 pm

He applies a different set of standards to himself than he does other people.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby maryhelena » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:59 pm

Carrier on O'Neill: ''Nor can he establish anything would actually have been odd about privately paying restitution for an inter-family murder. Nor can he even establish that the brothers James and Jesus even liked each other.''

    ''Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace … But as for the high priest Ananias, he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner. For he was a great hoarder up of money: he therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest [i.e. Jesus ben Damneus], by making them presents. … So the other high priests acted in the like manner.''

''Notice there are a whole lot of high priests here. Which Ananus are we talking about then? Certainly not the one who was just condemned and disgraced by everyone in power. That would not agree with the statement that he kept “increasing in glory every day.” No. This is the Elder Ananus, whose glory has been tracked by Josephus across several passages so far. His only setback was the disgracing of his son, the Younger Ananus (the one “bold in his temper, and very insolent”). Whom he evidently renounced, to court the reigning high priest who replaced him. Probably, indeed, precisely because he now did not have a son controlling the position. Politics has always been dirty. (Though Josephus’s interpretation may have been cynical; paying restitution to the victims of one’s kin to normalize relations, rather than unleash an inter-family feud, was not uncommon in antiquity.'')

---------------------

The point that hits me here is the argument re paying restitution, by Ananus the Elder, to the High Priest Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus for the killing of his brother James. The killing being by the son of Ananus the Elder, i.e. Ananus the Younger. (running with Carrier's argument that the brother of James was Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus.

    O'Neill: ''So we’re supposed to believe that within months of seeing Ananus kill his brother, the son of Damneus was cosying up to his brother’s murderer thanks to some gifts? This makes no sense.''

Apart from the fact that O'Neill seems to have muddled up the two Ananus figures, his basic argument is that the family of Ananus the Younger, via Ananus the Elder, payed some sort of restitution to the brother of the man his son killed - the brother now being the new High Priest, Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus.

Perhaps one would take gifts from the family of someone who had murdered ones brother - but it seems, to me, that it would display a certain amount of insensitivity from both parties...

Methinks, Carrier is getting himself tied up in knots over his James is brother of Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus..
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby MrMacSon » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:11 pm

Secret Alias wrote:He applies a different set of standards to himself than he does other people.

As do most people; especially you.

In many ways Carrier disses himself with his blogging style, especially when attacking his opponents.

But at least he has several peer reviewed publications and sought peer-review for OHJ.
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby timhendrix » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:41 pm

Mrmacson: i am not trying to lessen the significance of his work. I just noticed that he often brings up peer review when arguing with critics, presumeably to point out a view found in peer reviewed litterature should be taken more serious, however at other times when he goes against common knowledge outside his area of expertice he does not appear to be as impressed with the mainstream view.
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby MrMacSon » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:51 pm

maryhelena wrote:Apart from the fact that O'Neill seems to have muddled up the two Ananus figures, his basic argument is that the family of Ananus the Younger, via Ananus the Elder, payed some sort of restitution to the brother of the man his son killed - the brother ..being the new High Priest, Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus.

Perhaps one would take gifts from the family of someone who had murdered ones brother - but it seems, to me, that it would display a certain amount of insensitivity from both parties...

Methinks, Carrier is getting himself tied up in knots over his "James is brother of Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus"...

Well, gifts as restitution; as you say previously.

I have also been uncomfortable with the proposition that “James the brother of the Jesus called Christ” was originally 'James the brother of Jesus ben Damneus', though Carrier argues the case reasonably well; other than the fact his sniping at someone (in this case O'Neill) clouds Carrier's argument i.e. such sniping often makes his arguments harder to follow -

in my article I propose the text in fact originally read “James the brother of Jesus ben Damneus” and the scribe, believing a dittographic error had occurred (from the following line that contained “Jesus ben Damneus”), transposed the marginal note “the one called Christ” into its place, believing that to be the intended correction.

Thus, in no way does my “contrived ad hoc work around" 'require' proposing Josephus left that out. Though he may well have; Josephus is not as fastidious as O’Neil claims ...

... it is also the supposedly consistent practice of Josephus to explain the introduction of new terms alien to his audience, thus he could not have said “James the brother of the Jesus called Christ” without explaining what a “Christ” was or why it was relevant to the story —or, if O’Neil is such a fool as to believe the Testimonium Flavianum was written by Josephus, without providing a back reference. Notably, I make both points in my article: that Josephus typically does either, and often does both (and I give examples!). So by O’Neil’s own logic, Josephus cannot have written “James the brother of the Jesus called Christ.” Hm. What then did he write? Three guesses.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/9991
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Re: Carrier on Ehrman and Tim O'Neill

Postby GakuseiDon » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:04 pm

One criticism by O'Neill is how Dr Carrier ends his article “Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200”

O'Neill writes:

    Carrier is a polemicist and this article shows it. And his final paragraphs where he pompously declares that all future discussion on the topic must now bow before his mighty findings are are hilarious as they are fatuous.

To which Carrier responds:

    The closing joke is when O’Neil complains of my article’s closing section, concluding “his final paragraphs where he pompously declares that all future discussion on the topic must now bow before his mighty findings are are hilarious as they are fatuous.” This is quite funny. Because it proves O’Neil is an amateur. Many journals require us to write these statements. And indeed this was one such case: the article I submitted had no such section. The peer reviewers insisted that I write it. To oblige them, I did.

This was the pertinent passage at the end of Carrier's article that O'Neill was criticising. Carrier wrote:

    The significance of this finding is manifold, but principally it removes this passage from the body of reliable evidence for the fate of Jesus’ family, the treatment of Christians in the first century, or Josephus’s attitude toward or knowledge of Christians. Likewise, future commentaries on the relevant texts of Origen and Josephus must take this finding into account, as must any treatments of the evidence for the historical Jesus. Most pressingly, all reference works that treat “James the brother of Jesus” must be emended to reflect this finding, particularly as this passage is the only evidence by which a date for this James’ death has been derived.

Is Carrier's response reasonable? Are such statements framed that way required by peer-reviewers? In peer-reviewed articles, I've seen statements at the end summarizing the impact of the findings in the field, but "All reference works that treat 'James the brother of Jesus' MUST be emended to reflect this finding" (my highlighting) seems over-the-top. But is Carrier's impact statement above typical?
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