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On Josephus in the Biblical Errancy newsletter: McKinsey: “This passage is so obviously spurious that it is astonishing to find a single theologian left in our time . The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy has 34 ratings and 4 reviews. Josh said: Anyone who claims themselves to be Christian needs to read this book, and b. This important new volume is the most comprehensive critique of the Bible ever written. Author C. Dennis McKinsey believes that Americans.

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This is one of the most expensive Skeptical books on the market 60 dollars aside from a related volume by McKinsey that sells for dollars! McKinsey has no qualifications whatsoever in any Biblical field in issue 4 of ibblical newsletter he says that he has “a bachelor’s’ degree in philosophy and a master’s in the social sciences”knows no Biblical languages, and has no relevant training; he works only with his “plain reading” of the texts to offer his critiques.

In a few places McKinsey disdains the use of extra-biblical sources to aid in understanding the Biblical text, and often quotes more than one English version to prove his point, without any concern for what might be reflected in Greek or Hebrew. McKinsey is also skilled at debate tactics, which he uses to obscure his errors and lack of cogent argumentation.

For this review, we will provide some general comments to start, followed by a chapter-by-chapter “answer key. On the other side, his Christian sources are mostly “anti-contradiction” pieces by the authors like of McDowell and Henry Morris, but even these he barely uses, only quoting points that he agrees with and seldom responding to their arguments.

For example, he quotes the introductory material in John Wenham’s Easter Biblicql in regards to the difficulties of harmonizing mckihsey resurrection xennis, but does not even deal with the harmonizing data that Wenham offers – much of which answers objections that McKinsey brings up. His chapter on the secular references to Jesus egrancy all of the mistakes we pinpoint in our material hereplus many more that are rather obscure.

On Josephus, McKinsey opts for the “interpolation” theory ertancy both passages, adopting the “all or nothing “approach derided by Charlesworth. There is no hint that McKinsey is aware of the works of Thackery, Feldman, or any other Josephan scholar. Item 8 simply quotes Joseph Denniz opinion that “it is astonishing to find a single theologian left in our time who accepts the passage as genuine.

McCabe is no more qualified to assess a Josephan text than McKinsey is. Item 10 notes the Arabic version of the Testimonium and says that it “bring s the validity of the entire passage into doubt,” which is exactly the opposite conclusion asserted by Josephan scholars, who take the Arabic version as a confirmation of authenticity.

Item 12 objects that the Testimonium is “not found in early copies of Josephus,” which is false as stated: Item 14 cclaims that “in the edition of Origen published by the Benedictines it is said that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius.

Mckinsey reports that Edward Gibbon and “many theologians” think the Testimonium is a forgery. Aside from being merely an argument from authority, we can ask: Is Gibbon, an 18th-century writer, and unnamed, unnumbered “theologians” any basis for authority here? On the small passage, regarding James the brother of Jesus, McKinsey registers 4 objections.

Two of these we have covered in our major essay linked above. Item 3 claims that “it is extremely doubtful that James is understood by Josephus to be the physical brother of Jesus, since brotherhood might very well mean only that he belonged to the Jesus sect or was one of the brethren. McKinsey has provided no support such as parallel usage of “brother” by Josephus in other citations. Item 4 simply lists four “Christian scholars” who think that the passage is a late interpolation.

Biblical Errancy: A Reference Guide – C. Dennis McKinsey – Google Books

If this is an argument, we could name 20 times as many who are of the opposite mind. Item 1 says that “the worshippers of the sun god Serapis were also called Christians and could be referred to. But an alert reader has informed me that the ultimate source for this argument is a work by Robert Taylor called the Diegesiswhich quotes an alleged letter of Emperor Hadrian to his brother-in-law Servianus, which states:.

This cite has many problems with it. First, it is generally dated around AD — much too late to prove what McKinsey wants it to prove.

Second, there is more to the quote: It goes on to speak of rulers of Jewish synagogues, Samaritans, and presbyters of mckinsej church, and Hadrian says that there are none of these “who is not either an astrologer, a soothsayer, or a minister to obscene pleasures,” and though they proclaim allegiance to either Serapis or Fennis, their only real god is money. Hardian’s objection is about a syncretistic, huckster environment and offers no evidence of a bona fide use of the term “Christian” by Serapis-worshippers.


Dennis McKinsey

mckindey Finally, there are many problems with the authenticity of this letter: An authority as liberal as Walter Bauer who would have loved to have used this letter for his case for a diverse Christianity notes that this letter is actually quoted by Flavius Vopiscus a historian writing in ADwho in turn is said to be quoting Phlegon, a freedman of Hadrian.

Bauer himself says the letter is of “uncertain value” and regards it as “spurious. Item 2 objects that Tacitus nowhere else refers to Christians. This is hardly meaningful: Tacitus was not writing a history of Christianity; he was concerned with Roman denhis history and the deeds of the Emperors.

Why should Tacitus have made further mention of Christians? Although a fragment preserved in Sulpicius Severus indicates that Tacitus did mention Christians in a part of his Histories now lost to us.

Item 4 objects that there is no record of the Crucifixion in Roman records. McKinsey fails to mention that we have no Roman records from the time of Jesus concerning any judicial execution performed by a provincial governor — or for that errnacy, any record of anything from a provincial governor’s office. Item 5 then objects oddly that there would have been no need to mention an insignificant event like the Crucifixion in Roman records.

This may or mmckinsey not be true, but it is beside the point, and no barrier at all to Tacitus’ proficient research capabilities. Item 6 says that “most scholars admit that the works jckinsey Tacitus have not been preserved with any degree of fidelity.

Who are these “scholars”? Not the Taciteans, who have said no such thing. Item 7 objects that the confessions the Christians made was to setting the fire, not being Christians, so that the issue “is probably not one of persecuting Christians for mfkinsey they believed but it was a mere police procedure.

Tacitus makes it clear that the Christians were singled dennsi precisely because they were hated for what they did as members of a new system of belief.

Item 9, referring to the fennis delivered unto the Christians, says that “death by fire was not a form of punishment inflicted at Rome in the time of Nero,” so McKinsey asserts that the descriptions of Christians being used as living torches has “little title to credence, and suggest s an imagination exalted by reading stories of later Christian martyrs. McKinsey is clearly unaware of the fact that, according to the Roman law for arson, being burned was the proper punishment, in line with what was prescribed in the Ten Tables.

The newsletter adds the objection that “[t]he victims could not have been given to the flames in the gardens of Nero, as Tacitus allegedly said. According to another account by Tacitus these gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned and were full of tents and biblicap sheds. It is hardly probable that Nero would have incurred the risk of a second fire by his living torches. Even assuming this cite to be correct, fire was always needed for light at night errzncy for cooking.

They assuredly had the technology to contain a fire to a limited area. The erracny also adds, “Suetonius, while mercilessly condemning the reign of Nero, says that in his public entertainments Nero took particular care that no lives should be sacrificed, ‘not even those of condemned criminals. At the gladiatorial show, which he gave in a wooden amphitheatre, erected in the district of the Campus Martius within the space of a single year [58 C.

Item 10 objects that “the Roman authorities had no reason to inflict special punishment on the new faith. There was plenty of social reason why authories and many others would persecute Christians.

But let us recall as well that at this time, Nero was not in the most reasonable frame of mind. Item mciinsey responds to the idea that the passage in Tacitus mkinsey be an interpolation because it is in perfect Tacitean style and language.

McKinsey asserts that “there is no ‘inimitable’ style for bilical clever forger, and the more unusual, distinctive, and peculiar a style is, like that of Tacitius, the easier it is to imitate. Not even the cleverest forger could achieve such a likeness to Tacitean style as would be required for this biblicl.

The newsletter adds, against Tacitean scholarship and with no support at all, that the passage “has bibpical distinctively Tacitean about it”. McKinsey doesn’t even credit his source.

Item 4 objects that “the mckinseg implies Trajan was not acquainted with Christian beliefs and customs” even though there were Christians in Rome. It implies no such thing; perhaps McKinsey thinks that Pliny’s detailed descriptions indicate that he is trying to inform Trajan’s ignorance; but why should the fact that there were Christians in Rome mean that Trajan boblical to know what they believed?


Even if Trajan was informed enough, Pliny here, recall, is recounting in detail what he did because he is not sure if he has done the right thing – so you can bet he was going biblicl get VERY detailed in order to keep himself covered.

Item 6 objects that this letter “is found in only one ancient copy of Pliny the Younger. That we have only one ancient copy of Pliny’s letters period? If we’re trying to say that this passage is a forgery, then McKinsey will have to do a lot better than citing reputed “experts” from the 16th century as he does in Item 7 who said that the letter was forged.

McKinsey adds that the age before Tertullian was “notorious for Christian forgeries” – let me add to that, that the 16th through 18th century was notorious for “experts” declaring this or that ancient document to have been forged.

The entire works of Tacitus were once regarded as such. In Item 2 McKinsey says, “if this passage is referring to Christians, then it is also saying that Christians sold the flesh of their sacrificial victims. He gets it by quoting the letter of Pliny exactly as follows:. The ellipses in the middle cover a ddnnis of sins, however. Here’s what McKinsey left out of the quote. After a further word about the proceedings, Pliny writes:. The indication here is that pagans are the ones doing the sacrifices – not bibliczl Christians.

McKinsey has so badly handled the sense of this letter that he must either be making a deliberate fabrication or else he did not consult his primary source. This cuts straight against McKinsey’s intent. McCabe cites no scholarship in the Josephus section mckindey, not even those he finds astonishing in its support. In the Introduction by E. Halderman-Julius, an atheist, we read “THE scholarship, immense and convincing, of the present edrancy will enlighten any reader” – how’s that for false advertising!

Thus McKinsey is using deceptive sources, which furthers the deception. Several of McKinsey’s points on Josephus are simply copied from Remsburg, and several from the Tacitus section are from the Diegesis without citation.

Tacitus 15 BE newsletter — Tacitus mckkinsey also made to say that the Christians took their denomination from Christ which could apply to any of the so-called Christs who were put to death in Judea, including Christ Jesus.

Most of it is culled from the Diegesisit is rather obvious since no one but Taylor would translate “nominis” as “denomination”. McKinsey makes several points in his newsletter from the Diegesis regarding Mkinsey de Spire and how the fidelity of the passage rests on him, etc, item 24 – he says the passage erranncy “first published in the annals of Tacitus in the year ” – well he’s wrong, it wasn’t called “the Annals” then, it was called “the Cornelius Tacitus” and comprised both Annals and Historiesand the two works were split in the following century – only when they were recognised as separate works was the text where our passage is found termed the Annals.

Now about manuscript origins: Taylor in the Diegesis says that the manuscript de Spire worked on was eighth century p, although Taylor cites no source for the date and appears slightly doubtful about its age – JW Ross’ argument was that Poggio Bracciolini forged the entire thing in the s, so to use both Hochart relying on Ross AND Taylor, despite the latter’s doubts, shows McKinsey contradicts himself.

Bibliczl fact that he uses brief statements without arguments 4 c on Justus is word for word from Remsburg and arguments by authority e. Miscellaneous Summary On the Canon: Mckinsey devotes less than five pages to the canon and its bibliczl.

We are offered mckimsey statement by an author of unstated qualifications, Schmuel Golding, who says that in AD, “the church fathers compiled the New Testament They decided by vote which of the books out of the collection they had made should be the word of God and which should not. Aside from neglecting the other complexities and problems with the JEDP theoryMcKinsey here makes a basic category error: We do not have originals of either one, but we do have copies of the latter.

All we have of the former is a theory – there are no mckindey or originals.