Friday, 3 December 2010

Dishonesty in Robert Price Vs James White Debate?

Ex Fundamentalist Christian Reviews the Debate

An entertaining review, it contains an allegation of dishonesty (discussed further below)

Was James White dishonest?

I don’t believe White can be accused of outright dishonesty. I guess it was a misdirection which will be passed off as a “debate tactic” no doubt. However, it is intellectually dishonest as it dismisses Price’s thesis in a sneaky fashion WITHOUT interacting with his argumentation. White, if he wants to indulge in serious scholarship should try and interact with the INTERNAL arguments Price has put forward to prop his claim. Just a suggestion…

Obvious! But WLC has responded..

Did Price base his article upon internal factors? Yes, he eve mentions he does not have manuscript evidence to support his thesis. . It is of interest to apologetics to note William Lane Craig has interacted on the issue – Dr Craig did not resort to such misdirection – as far as I am aware.

White: A history of debate blunder

If the reviewer was so annoyed at White’s little misdirection he can certainly empathise with Muslims who were aggrieved with James White’s two-fold shoddy scholarship. In a debate with Shabir Ally, White cites a non-existent “narration”. Still to this day I have not seen White give an explanation as to where this “narration” came from though some Muslims have found it came from a dubious Christian missionary tome. Yep, those missionaries do make stuff up – just have a look at pg 193 from Dr Robert Morey’s Islamic Invasion

The second is extremely worrying, in a debate with Sheikh Awal, White presented a claim of “Allah repenting in the Quran”. This was nonsense and he was soon denounced for such a nonsensical claim and even accused of LYING. It turned out; in his defence he cited a shoddy missionary website run by his friend as support!

Sadly, White to this day maintains he is correct and ALL the translators of the Quran are incorrect (his pal’s translation has also been shown to be grammatically incorrect in itself). By the way, his friend is notorious for amking up translations - he was caught making one such up whilst trying to convince his fellow "Bible believing" Christians that Islam "allows sec with animals!

Folks this is not scholarship; this is school boy stuff. This is a reason why debates should never be your primary station of learning. I feel sorry for the “Bible believing” Christians who swallow such fundamentalist fudging.

See here for more information with regards to the blunders:

Did James White “lie” in the Greg Stafford debate?

The reviewer makes such a claim. I have contacted him to explain such a statement. Of course we cannot accuse White of lying based on the reviewer’s say so. Perhaps those of his followers could help stimulate him into clarification…

Debates and buying/selling debates

A whole host of debate tactics (including dishonesty) and telescoping (due to time restraints) can result in serious truth seekers being misled.

James White is a career debater/apologist, thus he seems to be debating every fortnight and putting such up for sale on his site. Muslims should not be buying such material unless they are involved in serious apologetics – that means having GROUNDING in Islam first.

In my view Muslim “debaters” should NOT imitate White. How many times can one debate the same topic? Ultimately you end up making a mockery out of faith – nowadays debates are entertainment and the lay are drawn by the clash of individuals rather than the debate topic.

Debate topics, White and the rest

The reviewer accuses White of having a propensity to veer off topic in debates. Surely it is disrespectful to the audience to do so especially if they have spent some cash in purchasing the debate. I am on the cheap side so…

To be fair many debaters do the same.

Cash for ministries

The reviewer touches upon giving cash to James.

OK, I understand White seeking financial assistance but the “Christian” rabble rousers who cling onto him have no business asking for cash. Why it is “Christian” apologists on the internet think they have a God given right for finances from the “Christian” lay. I have never understood that – especially so with the “Christian” outreaches to Muslims which are full of lie, hoax and outrage. Come on, how those in White’s crew can seriously expect payment for such hate-filled nonsense as “Islam allows sex with animals”.

Really, is this “scholarship” worthy of “financial assistance”? Here is one presenting his “research” to his donors:

Christians, please think CRITICALLY

As Robert Price teaches do your OWN critical reading and don’t rely on what this person or that person is saying. Also, watch out for the misleading half-truths and blatant lies “Christian” apologists present to you. Apart from the in-your-face- type lies we expose on this blog the Christian apologist claim of having x number of manuscripts as though this somehow confirms the reliability of the document is beyond reprehensible. It, amongst other things, militates against the “God breathed” claim our Christian friends append to the Bible.

Prior to Tischendorf’s 1859 find the “Bible believing” Christians would have felt secure in reading the last chunk in Mark 16, enough said. Christians, think critically.

A quick thought on the appearance to the “more than 500”

You would imagine there to be numerous individual accounts recording such an appearance? Surely they would have told their respective stories INDIVIDUALLY and recordings made. After all, it would be deemed something to write home about, right?

Notes of interest from Robert Price’s theorizing

Walker’s (conspiracy) theory of standardization of the Pauline corpus to meet the then orthodox views is all very interesting but does away with any idea of a pre-third century manuscript existing – thus there will NEVER be MS evidence substantiating interpolation within any epistle. It puts White’s misdirection into shame – one can further understand the reviewer’s grievance!

All Price has to work with; “aporias, contradictions, stylistic irregularities, anachronisms, redactional seams”. The notion that Paul could have been a Gnostic is useful interest – perhaps further exploration is required here.

Robert Price begins talking our language with “uncertainty”. He has a point, why close off the options at two (authentic/inauthentic) – there is room for Price’s third!

Price’s big one

This, in my view is Price’s biggy, concerning 15:3: “"received / delivered" (paralambanein / paradidonai) is, as has often been pointed out, technical language for the handing on of rabbinical tradition” and THUS this contradicts 1 Galatians 1:11-12 (Paul is claiming he was not taught it and nor did he receive it from any man).

E.L. Allen cites the obvious problem; that is of the story of the (more than) 500 not being registered in the gospel narratives? Internal suspicions are cranked up further.

The appearance to James the Just (1 Corinthians 15:7) is deemed problematic. “John (7:5) and Mark (3:21, 31-35), followed by Matthew (12:46-50), are clear that he was no friend of the ministry of Jesus”. The issue here is if James was an unbeliever then surely a conversion narrative would have been appended. To be fair Luke (Luke 8:19-21; Acts 1:14), does imply the whole family were believers.

I find it interesting Wisse seems to be warning against Price-type theorizing and citing the stability of scholarship as a reason to shun it. Interesting.

“I believe the prima facie likelihood is that many interpolations occurred in those early days”

Invitation to Islam

Do you know Muslims believe in Jesus as a Prophet? Muslims also believe the Bible has been changed. Learn Islam for yourself rather than relying on some fundamentalist “Christian” bigot to teach you a load of hate-filled twaddle about Islam. Good site to get your feet wet:



Anonymous said...

Yahya Snow said...

The reviewer (Jordan) sent me this email as to my questioning on the Greg Stafford debate:

Concerning the Greg Stafford debate, yes I have rock hard proof that White lied in his debate. Dr. White believes that John 12:41 is a reference to Isaiah 6:1 (Meaning that Jesus=YHWH) and Mr. Stafford believes that it is a reference to the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. In White's cross examination of Stafford, concerning John 12:41 Dr. White asked "Could you explain why it is that in the Septuagint Isaiah 6:1 uses all the key terms found in Isaiah 12:41 [He meant John 12:41] including ειδον and δοξα...all terms NOT found in Isaiah 53". Stafford does call him out by immediately saying "Because it is NOT TRUE that those terms are NOT found in Isaiah 53"...but then Stafford goes on about the use of the verbal form of δοξα being used (δοξαζω) in Isaiah 53:13 in the Septuagint. Stafford is both right and wrong. There is no verse 13 of Isaiah 53 in the Septuagint, and I am not exactly sure what passage he is referring to in regards to the "glorification of the messiah". But Stafford was correct when he said that both terms ARE found in Isaiah 53. Both ειδον and δοξα are found in verse 2. I actually agree with Stafford on the understanding of John 12:41 referring to Isaiah 53. What John is saying is that the people (Israel) did NOT behold the Messiah's glory, but Isaiah beheld his glory in a prophetic advance. Obviously, the lie that White told is when he said that these two terms were NOT found in Isaiah 53, when in fact they are. This is a common debate tactic with many apologist. The apologist will slip in an untrue statement appended to his cross-examination question, in an attempt to cause the opponent to second guess himself and think "I thought those terms were in there, but he probably would not have said that if they were"......"Do I take a chance and call him a liar? or do I grant him the benefit of the doubt and take another route, even though he may be lying". Nine times out of ten the tactic works; and Stafford almost pulled through, but unfortunately, in this case Stafford was unable to point directly to the location of the terms. This was not a White blunder. This was not a "white lie". This was a LIE by White. You cannot even BEGIN to read Isaiah 53 without reading BOTH of those terms! He has read the passage and he KNOWS they are in there.

minoria said...

I have seen the video but from what I know the main reason Price thinks the 1 COR 15 creed is an interpolation is because it's in a different style from the rest of the letter.
That's why the consensus(agreement of at least 95% of scholars)is that it's a creed.GARY HABERMAS has stated the ones who came to that conclusion were the SKEPTICAL scholars.RICHARD CARRIER also disagrees with PRICE.

In textual analysis it is assumed a text has not been corrupted unless there is evidence.Price can't show that.I have no problem with the idea somebody gathered the letters together to form a collection after Paul's death.

Even if the creed had never been written or was a later addition in other passages in Paul you read that the first disciples of Jesus believed Jesus resurrected from the dead.

Then there is Q with the SIGN OF JONAH saying that the Son of Man would be in the "heart of the earth"(really dead).The Jews did NOT bury the dead in a hole with dirt then,but put them in caves in a sheet.They waited a year and then put the bones in a box.So the Sign of Jonah says Jesus would come back to life.

minoria said...

I have to do add that the historical reliability of JOHN is stronger ever since the discovery of the QMRAN documents.They use a mystical language similar to the speeches used by Jesus in John.This ESSENE connection or similarity is greater when we know:

1.The Essenes practiced BAPTISM for sins,like the early Christians.
2.They had a religious ceremony with BREAD and WINE,like that instituted by Jesus in the last supper.

Yahya Snow said...

Hi minoria

That is just it, it would be unlikely a new tomb would have been allocated to someone of Jesus' social stature and furthermore even the ossuaries which contained the bones would only be used after a the body had decomposed - a year in the tomb.

So is being in the tomb really similar to being in the earth?

minoria, so you acknowledge the credibility (plus reliability) of the Gospel of John is less than theq Synoptics?

BTW, I plan to reply on the Deut 22:28-9 issue