Thursday, 12 May 2011

Richard Carrier on a Big Bible Forgery - Mark 16:9-20

A good long while ago I completed a contract job to produce a thoroughly researched and argued case against the authenticity of the verses in Mark 16:9-20, which the mainstream consensus has long since rejected as an interpolation but fundamentalists keep trying to rescue. The final product has now finally been published at Errancy Wiki (which years ago also published a concise summary of my case for the historical contradiction regarding the date of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke: Luke vs. Matthew on the Year of Christ's Birth).

The new article is: Mark 16:9-20 as Forgery or Fabrication. Like the earlier article, which decisively proves the bible historically errant, this article decisively proves the bible textually errant. It's the most egregious and appalling case of doctoring the text of the New Testament on record. You may have often heard references to scholars having proved that the ending of Mark is an interpolation from manuscript and stylistic evidence. Well, if you are wondering exactly what that evidence is and how well it holds up, especially against any competent attempts to argue the contrary, this new article is for you. It is now the definitive treatment of the ending of Mark, being the most comprehensive summary of the evidence that I know. In fact when combined with the scholarship in its bibliography, it is the most complete treatment you'll ever find.

I discussed this issue of New Testament textual errancy in general (and the ending of Mark in particular) in a recent debate with J.P. Holding, a video of which the producers assure me will eventually become available online. I also plan to blog the case for two other interpolations (in the letters of Paul), which came up in that debate, adding even more material I chose not to present during the debate in order to open up time for other arguments.

Dr. Richard Carrier’s article:

The other resurrection story


answeringmuslims said...

NEW YORK--Two suspected 'homegrown' terrorists have been arrested for allegedly plotting to attack a New York synagogue.

Officers seized the pair, reported to be Mohammad Mamdouh and Ahmed Serhani, as as they allegedly tried to buy guns and grenades in exchange for drugs.

It is the first terror plot uncovered in Manhattan since Osama Bin Laden was killed almost two weeks ago, and will raise fears in a city already on high alert for reprisals.

One of the men allegedly bragged about his plan to attack a synagogue just moments before anti-terrorism officers swooped.

An anonymous source released their names to Fox News.

Mamdouh, of Moroccan descent and Serhani, of Algerian descent, were arrested late last night. Both are U.S. citizens and already had weapons in their possession, police said.

Serhani, in his 20s, has a criminal record for narcotics, and was allegedly trying to sell drugs to fund the gun deal.

According to a police source, both men are 'homegrown' radicalised Muslims of North African origin, a scenario law enforcement officials warned against in the wake of Bin Laden's death. (Read more.)

Anonymous said...

Its funny (and lamentable) that Carrier would spend so much time and blow his own horn on a research paper arguing for something conservative Christian scholars by and large do not disagree with and think he is scoring debate points or deciding anything vis a vis the truth of Jesus (whom Carrier rejects as do Muslims).

Jabari said...

Sorry to burst your bubble...Carrier is not a scholar of textual criticism. Mark 16 is in the Bible and you cannot prove its not orginal. Tell dR Carrier to write a paper about this

SAN FRANCISCO – The passengers sat stunned as they watched a man walk quickly toward the front of American Airlines Flight 1561 as it was descending toward San Francisco. He was screaming and then began pounding on the cockpit door.

"I kept saying to myself: 'What's he doing? Does he have a bomb? Is he armed?'" passenger Angelina Marty said.

Within moments Sunday, a flight attendant tackled Rageh Almurisi. Authorities do not yet have a motive.

While authorities said that Almurisi, 28, of Vallejo, Calif., has no clear or known ties to terrorism, the incident underscored fears that extremists may try to mount attacks to retaliate for the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last week.

Federal agents are investigating Almurisi's background. He was carrying a Yemeni passport and a California identification card, authorities said.

Yemen, a nation at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, has been a focus of U.S. officials because one of the most active branches of al-Qaida operates in the remote part of the country.

Almurisi went toward the cockpit door 30 minutes before the flight from Chicago was supposed to land on Sunday night, San Francisco airport police Sgt. Michael Rodriguez said. Almurisi was yelling unintelligibly as he brushed past a flight attendant.

Marty, 35, recalled that she and other passengers on the plane were stunned when they saw Almurisi walking down the aisle. She said a woman in a row across from her who speaks Arabic translated that Almurisi said "God is Great!" in Arabic.

Andrew Wai, another passenger, told KGO-TV on Monday that the wife of one of the men who took Almurisi down later said Almurisi was yelling "Allahu Akbar."

"There was no question in everybody's mind that he was going to do something," Marty said.

A male flight attendant tackled Almurisi, and other crew members and passengers, including a retired Secret Service agent and a retired San Mateo police officer, helped subdue him as he banged on the door, police said. The flight attendant put plastic handcuffs on him.

Anonymous said...

If Mark did not write verses 16:9-20, but some anonymous person(s) later added those verses, pretending (or erroneously believing) that Mark wrote them (as in fact they must have), then this Gospel, and thus the Bible as a whole, cannot be regarded as inerrant, or even consistently reliable. Were those words intended by God, he would have inspired Mark to write them in the first place.

The funny thing with guys like Carrier is that they don’t even take their own naturalistic presupposition into account. Sentences like the one above are flooded with assumption. What if Carriers "anonymous" person heard from Marks own mouth what those words where? He did not have to be pretending or erroneously believing.

Carrier cannot ever know for certain that God did not inspire Mark to write those words on his worldview, but this is precisely what he conveys to his readers as a solid fact, truly faith in himself and man.

Carrier uses his own definition of inerrancy and applies it to his own standard, and not the Biblical definition of inerrancy as applied to the Bible.

When Christians say that the Bible is inerrant we do not mean that it is perfectly preserved on a tablet somewhere in heaven. What we mean is that every word and syllable innerantly depicts Gods very Breath, ie the Bible is reliable in everything it records.

The ending of Mark is as inerrant as the Virgin Birth, The Sermon on the Mount, John 20.14, 21.29, or the whole Torah. It is supported by the rest of the Bible and there is absolutely nothing contra-biblical about it besides Carrier's personal speculative theory, which can be crushed just as easily as the German liberal critics and S. R. Driver's theory about the "three Isaiah’s" and the Book of Daniel were crushed when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, Lord Willing.

There is one giant difference between Muslims and Christians. When there is something to be investigated in the Christian community, Christians say "Lets Go Bring it On! We are happy to investigate it" while Muslims are actively banning research on the Sana manuscripts and forbidding archeologists to dig. Carriers "theory" is nothing new, and it is just that, a theory, a hypothesis that holds up only with giant leaps of faith in man. The fact is that so far, until new evidence appears, Carrier cannot know that Mark did not speak and write those words.

On the other hand, we have Surah al Khal and Surah al Hafd included in Ubayy Ibn Ka'b's codex, but not included in the modern Qur'an, and important missing verses on al rajm, not to even get into Ibn Mas'ud's rejection. Did someone say perfectly preserved? We also know for certain that competing sects within Islam would include their "own versions" of Surah's, complete fabrications with agendas forged for political reasons, such as the Shiite Surah al Nurayn and al Wilaya. How do we know that the rest of the Qur'an isn’t fabricated if these Surah's were deliberately inserted?

When people began converting to Christianity after Christ rose from the dead they were savagely persecuted. There was no huge political clash over sacred texts as there was in Islam between all the difference sects like the people of Basra and the Kufa, Hums and Syria. The disputes even reached the heart of Islam, Medina, at which time Uthman established his committee to control all the writings in question, to come up with a standardized text, and to destroy the rest. Some preservation, I’ll say.

While Muslims had armies and were influenced by competing politics and wars of apostasy, Christians only motive was to preach Christ crucified and be martyred for it by everyone including Jew and Gentile, later on Muslim. There was no time for forgery or fabrication, only Faith. There was no sword beside the one at the Christian martyr’s neck.

Praise God for revealing to us what He has. Praise God for the function and order of life. Praise God for directing man's steps.

Anonymous said...

"If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed."