Update: Till has thrown out another effort while rummaging through the attic and while trying to buy time from responding to other materials where he has erred even more egregiously,
If anyone is buying time, it has to be Turkel. His "replies" to me have turned into colossal evasions that either repeatedly cut and paste evasive comments, as in the land-promise debate, or snip and skip my principal arguments to lead the debate into tangents about imaginary Till/McKinsey conversations (which readers will see further along). I'll have to do massive reinserting of my skipped arguments so that everyone will be reminded of just how much Turkel is snipping and skipping, bobbing and weaving, and ducking and dodging.
As for buying time, I am just patiently and steadily working to reply to Turkel. Since I don't do hackwork, I put substance into my replies, obviously much more substance than Turkel can handle, and so he snips and skips, bobs and weaves, and ducks and dodges his way to almost total evasion. His hide has been nailed to the wall on the Abiathar issue, but he still tries to huff and puff his way around the predicament he has gotten himself into by positing a completely indefensible explanation of the Abiathar problem.
By the way, Turkel is doing his best to hide his second-round reply from his readers, because he tacked it onto his first reply, so the two parts don't have separate URLs. I had heard that he had tried to answer my rebuttal of his Abiathar explanation, but when I went to his site, I couldn't find it listed in "What's New." This page simply mentioned "another effort" on Abiathar, but when the link is clicked, his first article comes up. The reader's first assumption is that "another effort" on Abiathar was his "Dear Abiathar" article. I happened onto what I am answering now when I finally went back to the URL of his first reply to see if he had a link there. Since he puts his links at the end, I scrolled down and finally noticed that his second reply had been tacked onto his first. It's confusing, to say the least, and I suspect that this is the way that he wants it, so that some of his own readers will react as I did and think that there is nothing new at this site. As we go through his bobbing and weaving below, we will see plenty of reasons why he would want to keep his second-round reply as secretive as possible.
such as saying we argued that the priests expected Jesus' body to ascend.
If I misread Turkel on the matter of what the priests expected, I will gladly admit that I did when I reply to that part of Turkel's attempt to explain why the disciples were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead. What the priests may or may not have expected is not crucial to the debate, because there is ample evidence that, on the grounds of what the gospels claim that the disciples heard Jesus say about his resurrection, they should have been anticipating it.
As before we'll just ignore his request that we quote EVERYTHING (which he now denies making, which makes the history of the last several years rather remarkable) and cut to the chase found in the 5% of his work that actually argues anything.
I have never at any time requested that he quote everything in a debate that would link his readers to everything that I write on the subjects being debated. This distortion of my position was answered repeatedly in the land-promise debate, so I will delay exposing Turkel's distortion of this until he brings it up again further along in this debate.
Turkel's repeated repetitions of this distortion of my position leaves me with no alternative except to conclude that he is being intentionally dishonest. I have to wonder if my reconversion to Christianity would make me like him. If so, I think I'll stay where I am.
Farrell begins by admitting that, yes, "high priest" is not used as a title in the OT.
I "admitted" this? In the past, I have presented the anachronistic reference to the office of "high priest" as another example of a mistake in Mark 2:26ff. I'm tempted to offer Turkel a substantial wager that long before this debate began I wrote articles and prepared debate notes in which I pointed out that there was no office of "high priest" in the Old Testament, but if I offered the wager, he would no doubt piously claim that he won't engage in gambling.
While I am at it, I'll ask Turkel a question that I would appreciate his answering.
Is it your position that the office of high priest did not exist in Old Testament times?
Shazam! The revelations come pouring down!
No, Turkel is the one who believes in revelations. I knew long ago--and I wouldn't even try to estimate exactly when I became aware of it--that the reference to Abiathar as a "high priest" was a biblical anachronism. I have a notebook of biblical errors that I compiled decades ago before my first debate on the subject, which classified types of mistakes in the Bible. One section was "anachronisms," and this was one of the examples I put into that section, along with the anachronistic reference to priests in Exodus 19:21-25..
But that puts him in a bit of a bind. "Why the term was used in Mark 2:26 is anyone's guess," he mumbles in astonishment at this new revelation.
In checking Turkel's website today, I noticed that he still needs to find 76 people who are dumb enough to contribute $70 to $80 per year to help him meet his goal to become a full-time "ministry," so maybe a wager would appeal to him. He can let me know.
We of course tell why it was used, and we'll see what he mumbles in reply in a wee bit. Farrell prefers to suppose rampant stupidity ("perhaps [Mark] thought that since the office of high priest existed in his time, it had also existed in the time of David" -- even as he says it was never used in the OT as a title, not even by Aaron!) but that's the inevitable resort when a skeptic has his back against the wall: Just call everyone gullible and stupid and be done with it.
I'll reply to Turkel's explanation [such as it was] for why "high priest" was used when I come to it. Unlike him, I don't evade an opponent's arguments and rebuttals.
Farrell then defies us to "cite a single passage of scripture that even implied that Abiathar had any special prominence at the time of the incident at Nob." We don't have to.
I'll translate this for readers who may not be accustomed to the evasive language that biblical inerrantists use when they can't answer an argument. Turkel is saying that he now realizes (Shazam! The revelations come pouring down!) that there are no passages in the Old Testament that attribute to Abiathar any special fame for being a "renowned priest whose name invoke[d] honoring the law," and so now he has to pretend that textual evidence of Casey's claim (which Turkel gullibly bought without checking into it) isn't important.
I'll challenge him again to quote the Old Testament passages that teach that Abiathar was especially "renown" for being a "stickler for the law." I'm sure readers understand that if there were such passages, Turkel would have found them by now and quoted them. The bottom line is that he made an assertion, which he now realizes that he cannot support with textual evidence. Hence, he has to claim that textual evidence isn't important.
As our answer, derived from Casey, shows, the key issue is:
1. Abby was a renowned priest, one whose stature and time in office suggests a successful priest who followed the law.
And the textual evidence for this is what? I defy Turkel again to produce a single passage of scripture that indicates that Abiathar was recognized as a "renowned priest" who followed the law with any special fervor. If Abiathar was such a stickler for following the law, one would think that he would certainly have wanted to follow Yahweh's wishes, so why did Abiathar oppose Yahweh's choice of Solomon to succeed David on the throne?
Readers will see, as we go through Turkel's ducking and dodging, that he snipped and skipped my rebuttal arguments on this point. He's good at this. That's why I call him Robert "Snip-and-Skip" Turkel.
2.Obviously, for Abby to be such a decent priest, he could not be born in a vacuum. He had to have been influenced by people before him (as well as influencing people after him, but that is another issue that doesn't come in here).
Notice that Turkel is begging the very question he is obligated to prove, i.e., that Abiathar was "such a decent priest." What textual evidence can Turkel quote that would prove that Abiathar was any more "decent" in respect to following the law than were other priests at the time?
Why won't he post that evidence?
3. Therefore, the purpose of citing "at the time of Abiathar" is to show that this was a time when the law must have been closely followed and highly respected.
Yes, this was Casey's assertion, but where is the proof? I will defy Turkel again to quote a single passage of scripture from the Old Testament that indicates Abiathar was recognized as a "stickler for the law" and a "renowned priest whose name invoke[d] honoring the law."
I assume readers realize that there is no such passage or else Turkel would have found it by now and quoted it. Thus, his "explanation" of why Jesus referred to Abiathar as the priest whom David encountered in the house of God is nothing more than a bald assertion for which he cannot present a shred of supporting textual evidence.
Now our man Till wastes a great deal of time to start on nitpicky comments about non-data. When I note that Ahimelech may have ranked high as well, Till proffers the comments that, "Ahimelech was the priest whom David dealt with at the time of the incident. If he had not ‘ranked highly' at the time, then surely he would not have made such an important decision on his own when he gave aid to David but would have consulted with whoever was the ‘ranking' priest." Well, that's Farrell anachronizing with fond memories again. We have absolutely no idea what sort of rank and authority structure was held by the priests of this day;
Turkel is a fine one to talk about "comments about nondata." If readers want to see the champion of nonessential comments, they should read "Where's the Land?" and take notice of his repeated cutting and pasting of evasive comments.
He is also a great one for snipping and skipping in hopes that readers won't remember what was said in previous exchanges, so I will quote below what he was referring to above.
To begin, the description of Abiathar as "high priest" is not titular. Neither Ahimelech nor Abiathar are ever given the title in the OT, though it is clear that Abiathar served as a leading priest (along with Zadok), and Ahimelech may have ranked highly as well.
So my comments that Turkel summarized above were directed at his attempt to make Abiathar into a "leading priest" at the time of the Nob incident. I have pointed out that Abiathar became David's priest after this incident and that he was never even mentioned in the Old Testament prior to it. Therefore, there is no basis at all for Turkel's claim that at the time of David's entry into the "house of God" Abiathar was a "leading priest," who was a "stickler for the law," and so this is why Jesus referred to him instead of Ahimelech.
Furthermore, I stand by my claim that Ahimelech at this time surely had some ranking in the priestly hierarchy at Nob, because he was the one who made the decision to let David have bread that only priests were permitted to eat. If he was not in a position of authority, why would he have made such a decision in highly superstitious times when people believed that crossing Yahweh in even trivial matters could unleash his wrath? Turkel is saying a lot about implications (because he has no direct textual evidence at all on his side), but the implications are far greater that Ahimelech was in a position of authority at this time than that Abiathar was a "leading priest."
Saul had 85 priests massacred at Nob and, in typical fashion for the times, threw in all the women, children, "sucklings," oxen, asses, and sheep (1 Sam. 22:18-19), but Abiathar got away. Why would those in charge of this massacre have been so careless as to let the big dog get away?
we do not know how much freedom low-ranking priests were given, and in what circumstances. I do consider it likely that Ahmy ranked high, but it's not one of those sure-fire, we-got-his-drivers-license-and-resume-on-file things, so it's hardly an issue to say that he may have been high-ranking. Short of uncovering the Nob Org Chart, or the Nobbie Operations and Procedures Manual, we simply don't know and have no further evidence.
What I quoted above from sections of past exchanges that Turkel snipped shows that he very clearly was trying to imply that Abiathar ranked higher than Ahimelech at this time, but I agree that there isn‘t enough information to determine the priestly hierarchy at this time. There is, however, ample information to determine that Ahimelech and not Abiathar was the priest whom David went into at this time. Hence, either Jesus made a mistake or the writer of Mark made a mistake in saying that the priest was Abiathar, and as I will show later in this round of my replies, the mistake would ultimately have been an error made by the Holy Spirit, who presumably "inspired" Mark as he was writing
That doesn‘t bode well for Turkel‘s belief that the Bible is inerrant.
What's happening here is that Till is furiously desperate for anything he can try to catch me on, and that is why he is resorting to an egregious and baseless nitpick. This is the sign of a desperate man trying to scratch out any victory he can.
I'm desperate? I'm not the one trying to argue that Mark 2:26 did not mean what it clearly said. Turkel reached all the way out into left field for an explanation that he no doubt thought sounded good when he read it in Casey's book, but he made the mistake of recycling it without taking the time to see if it could be sustained by textual evidence. Now he is putting himself through all sorts of verbal contortions to try to extricate himself from the predicament he is in. I have some questions for Turkel, which he will of course ignore.
1. Did Mark 2:26 say that Jesus said that David went into the house of God to Abiathar?
2. Is there anything in the Old Testament account of this incident that even implies that Abiathar was in the "house of God" at this time?
He does try to find a way to promote Ahmy, though:
Till [quoted by
Furthermore, when Saul heard what had happened, he called Ahimelech, not Abiathar or anyone else, before him to give an accounting of what he had done. No other priest was questioned at this time except Ahimelech.
Well, yowsa! Ya don't suppose Saul asked for Ahmy becase Doeg the Edomite saw Ahmy talking to David, do ya (1 Sam.22:9)?
How many have noticed that when Turkel has no evidence to offer in support of his position he tries to joke his way around it? Certainly, Saul would have called Ahimelech onto the carpet on the grounds that Doeg the Edomite had reported that Ahimelech gave assistance to David, but if there was a top dog in the priestly hierarchy, who ranked above Ahimelech, surely Saul would have demanded an accounting from him. The drawback to being top dog in a hierarchy, whether educational, political, religious, or whatever, is that the one in charge has to assume responsibility for what goes on under his watch.
Either way, like I say, Ahmy MAY have been a top dog; he may also have been a janitor in charge for the night shift.
As I just noted, when Turkel has no supporting evidence, he tries to joke his way around whatever his problem is. Does Turkel seriously think that Ahimelech's duties at Nob were nothing more important than janitorial duties? Such levity as this should be enough to convince Turkel's staunchest supporters that he cannot extricate himself from the predicament he has gotten himself into by postulating that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar in order to invoke the name of a "renowned priest," who was known as being a "stickler for the law," and so he must resort to amateurish levity to try to make gullible readers think that his mistake was of no consequence.
In the land-promise debate, I have been emphasizing to readers that Turkel wouldn't cooperate in negotiating a set of guidelines before the debate began. Two of the guidelines that I proposed to him were these:
5. Each participant agrees to reply to all arguments and rebuttals made by the other.
6. If a participant overlooks an opponent's argument or rebuttal, he will reply to it after receiving notification that the argument/rebuttal was not answered.
These guidelines that I proposed, which Turkel would not cooperate in negotiating, puts to rest his repeated claims that I have demanded that he quote everything I say in our debates. If that had been my intention, I would have proposed a guideline that flatly said this, but my proposal clearly shows that I was asking him only to agree that he would reply to all of my points. That is not the same as asking that he quote everything I say. The fact that he is skipping some of my major points tells me why he wouldn't negotiate this agreement. He didn't want to have his signature on a paper that required him to reply to all points made by his opponent.
Anyway, the guidelines quoted above are standard rules in formal debate, so I will ask Turkel to respect them. He has repeatedly ignored my request to quote a single passage in the Old Testament that indicated Abiathar was "renowned" in his day as a priest who was a "stickler for the law." He has refused to quote any, and, of course, he has not quoted any because he now knows that there aren't any. At the time he posted Casey's "solution" to the Abiathar problem, Turkel probably thought that it would pass muster, but now that he knows better, he doesn't quite know how to extricate himself from the predicament he is in.
I won't ask him again to quote an Old Testament passage that presents an example of Abiathar's fame as a priest "whose name invoke[d] honoring the law," because if I did, he would just say, as he did above, that he doesn't have to. Instead, I will ask him another question.
Do you know of any passage in the Old Testament that addresses the fame of Abiathar as a "stickler for the law" and a priest "whose name invoke[d] honoring the law"?
Yes or no, Turk? It's a simple question. If you don't answer it, maybe even some of your admirers will finally realize that you're not quite as impressive when confronting informed opposition as you are when you preach to the choir on a closed website.
Yes or no, Turk? If you skip this question, as you skipped other parts of my rebuttal that I will be reinserting, I will just ask it again.
We just don't know. It remains that Till is grasping at straws trying to preserve an argument and score points against a non-essential in context -- playing a "how it must have been" game that the Church of Christ could use to make Monopoly boards out of.
It may surprise Turkel to learn that I probably have less use for the Church of Christ than he has. I also don't have much use for the Baptist Church either, but at least the Baptist Church didn‘t inflict serious emotional damage on me. Anyway, this is just another straw man that Turkel has set up to distract attention from his inability to sustain the claim that he made in recycling Casey's explanation of the Abiathar problem. He says that I am playing a "how it must have been" game, but I'm the one who is just taking at face value what the Bible says both in Mark 2:26 and in 1 Samuel 20-22. Turkel is the one playing the how-it-could-have-been game. After all, who is the one claiming that at the time of the incident at Nob, it just could have been that Abiathar was a "renowned priest" whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law"?
I believe that Turkel is the one who has postulated this how-it-could-have-been, isn't he?
Who is the one who has postulated that it just could have been that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech because it just could have been that Abiathar was a "renowed priest," at the time of the incident, whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law"?
I believe that Turkel is the one who has postulated this how-it-could-have-been, isn't he?
Where is his textual evidence?
Turkel, are you going to post an Old Testament passage that gives information about Abiathar's priestly pronouncements that would justify your, uh, Casey's claim that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech because Abiathar was known to be a "stickler for the law" at the time of the incident at Nob?
Are you going to snip this part, Turk? If you do, I'll simply reinsert it into my next reply. I'm not going to let it go away.
Showing further how uni-dimensional he is, Till burps, "...but Abiathar 'escaped and fled to David' (v:20). It wouldn't have been very likely that Saul, who was bent on killing every priest at Nob, would have allowed the ‘ranking' priest to escape." Well, we said zip about what rank Abby might have had,
You did? Aren't you the one who has been claiming that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech, because Abiathar was a renowned priest at this time whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law"? Well, instead of wondering, why don't I just quote what you said?
(A)s Casey notes in Aramaic Sources of the Gospel of Mark, 151, there was a very clear reason for Jesus to mention Abiathar. Abiathar was a renowned priest whose name invokes the honoring of the law. Jesus mentions Abiathar in order to say, in effect, "In the time of Abiathar, who was a real stickler for the law, and we would expect the law to be followed, David and his friends were allowed to do this; yet you say now that we can't do something similar? Are you a better judge of the law than Abiathar was?"
Is this what Turkel thinks is saying "zip about what rank Abby might have had"? Of course, he will quibble that being "renowned" would not have meant that he "ranked," so I'll just quote again something else Turkel said about Abiathar.
Neither Ahimelech nor Abiathar are ever given the title in the OT, though it is clear that Abiathar served as a leading priest (along with Zadok), and Ahimelech may have ranked highly as well.
He tried to slip this one by without bothering to mention that Abiathar served with Zadok after the incident at Nob, and I was the one who had to point out his duplicity. The fact is that Abiathar wasn't even mentioned in the Old Testament until after the incident at Nob.
Anyway, I'll ask Robert "Don't Answer Any Questions" Turkel to tell us how likely it would have been that Saul, as angry as he was over the assistance given to David at Nob, would have been so careless that he would have allowed a leading priest to escape the massacre. Doesn't this carelessness on Saul's part at least suggest that Abiathar was not the center of Saul's attention at this time?
You won't forget to answer these questions, will you, Turk?
but anyway, this assumes that Saul a) knew where Abby was at the time; b) that Abby was not smart enough to escape anyway (Saul doesn't show much in the way of a reasoned ability at times! -- this is a man in the grips of an obsession and perhaps paranoia, not exactly winner of the Clear Thinking Trophy); c) that Saul was familiar enough, or cared enough about, the Nobbie organizational chart to know who he should go after; d) that the Nobbies had such an org chart in the first place. Till has a long way to go before he makes his "hichbing" scenario anything more than fluff in a pan baked to hold up an argument.
Hmm, Turkel seems to be arguing from implication here, doesn't he? So argument by implication seems to be a valid way of arguing when it suits his needs, but when it doesn't, it becomes a no-no. Anyway, let's take his points one at a time. (I don't skip an opponent's argument, so maybe my example will eventually wear off on Turkel.)
A. I am assuming that Saul knew where Abiathar was at the time.
Well, the biblical text (which is inerrant, of course) says that "the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests who were in Nob" (1 Sam. 22:11). I assume that Turkel understands that "sent to call" means that Saul didn't go himself but sent men to bring Ahimelech and the other priests to appear before him. If Abiathar at this time was a "renowned priest," then surely the men whom Saul sent to bring the priests to him would not have overlooked one of the big dogs. That's what you call implication.
B. I am assuming that Abiathar was not smart enough to escape anyway.
Turkel will have to explain how he arrived at this conclusion about what I was assuming. As this story was told, which I don't necessarily assume was historically accurate, Abiathar was obviously smart enough to escape, because somehow he did escape (if the incident is actually historical). I would think, however, that his escape would indicate that he was not considered one of the big potatoes, or else Saul's men would have done a better job of watching him. We notice, for example, that Ahimelech didn't escape, and it is reasonable to assume that he couldn't have escaped because he was known to be the one that Saul wanted to see.
C. I am assuming that Saul was familiar enough, or cared enough about, the Nobbie organizational chart to know who he should go after.
See what I mean about the way that Turkel tries to joke his way around the problems he confronts in a debate. Anyway, the text quoted above (1 Sam. 22:11) says that Saul sent for all the priests at Nob, so he obviously cared enough to seek vengeance by trying to kill all of the priests.
D. I am assuming that the Nobbies had such an org[anizational] chart in the first place.
I never made any such assumption. Turkel is the one who has tried to argue from an assumed position of priestly rank. I have argued only that Ahimelech and not Abiathar was the priest whom David went into at Nob during his flight from Saul. Jesus presumably said that he went into Abiathar, and so Jesus, if he said this, erred. If Jesus didn't say it, then the writer of Mark erred in saying that Jesus said it, and as I show later on in my reply, if Mark erred, it was really the Holy Spirit who erred. Otherwise, Mark wasn't inspired by the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit didn't know how to give proper inspiration guidance to his chosen ones.
Those are the facts in the case, and no amount of levity on Turkel's part can change them. The more he resorts to this kind of tactic instead of trying to answer my arguments, the more obvious it is that he knows he has been hammered flatter than a cow patty on this issue.
After whinnying a bit for the gullible skeptical readers about my reference to the "high priest" as it stands in Greek (and saying nothing in the process that answers my point), we again get to actual argument with this diversion:
I didn't say anything in the process to answer Turkel's point? Well, he is a fine one to talk about someone not answering a point, but, anyway, let's just take a look at what Turkel skipped over hoping no one would remember what was said. First, this is what he said.
The word for "high priest" is archierus, a combination of hierus, or priest, and arche, a word most often meaning "beginning" but also meaning supreme in rank or order.
Now exactly what was there to answer here? This was just another example of Turkel's attempt to impress readers by... well, let's look at what I said in response to his statement above.
Turkel has made references to Greek again. Isn't everybody impressed? Now all he needs to do is explain to us what he has proven. Would anyone deny that the term "high priest" as it was used then designated the priest who was supreme in rank? That's part of the problem in this passage. Abiathar obviously wasn't the priest who was supreme in rank at this time. If he was, then Saul allowed the top dog at Nob to get away when the massacre started. Furthermore, Abiathar was Ahimelech's son. In view of the importance that the "Hebrew mind" attached to patriarchial prominence at the time of this incident, it is unlikely that a son would have ranked higher than his father in the priestly order.
Since it is the responsibility of both parties in a debate to answer their opponent's arguments, I will again invoke a guideline that Turkel refused to negotiate and ask him to address the following points that were in my statement above.
1. Please tell us what point there was in your statement about the Greek word for "high priest" that needed a response.
2. Do you have any textual evidence from the Old Testament that would verify that Abiathar was the priest who was "supreme in rank" at this time?
3. How likely would it have been that the priest who was "supreme in rank" would have escaped Saul's massacre?
4. Since Abiathar was Ahimelech's son, how likely was it that Abiathar outranked his father in the priestly hierarchy?
You won't forget to address these points, will you, Turk? If you do, I'll just ask them again. When my debating opponent is hanging onto the ropes, you can be sure that I intend to keep him there.
Well, first of all, Casey assumes that the incident in Mark 2:26 even happened.
Oh he does, does he! And there's something wrong with that?
There certainly is. In a book filled with tales about a man who was born of a virgin; made water from wine; walked on water; fed multitudes with just a few scraps of food; cast out "devils" from people who were possessed; healed the crippled, the blind, and the deaf; raised the dead; and rose from the dead himself, it is rather simplistic to think that everything said in it is historically accurate.
Now with that thought in mind, I'd like for Turkel to give us some kind of reliable evidence that would corroborate Mark's claim that this incident actually happened. Matthew's and Luke's versions of the story don't count, because scholars in general agree that they used Mark as their source. Furthermore, Matthew and Luke both omitted the reference to Abiathar, which would indicate that they probably recognized that their source had made an error here, and so they corrected it.
Think about this last point for a moment. Turkel has said that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech, because he wanted to invoke the name of an Old Testament priest who was renowned as a "stickler of the law," and whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law." That, according to Turkel, er, Casey, was the reason why Jesus referred to Abiathar rather than Ahimelech, yet Matthew and Luke, both presumably inspired by the same "Holy Spirit" who had guided Mark to record Jesus's intentional reference to Abiathar, omitted this all important reference.
So yes, there is something very wrong in assuming that a statement is historically true just because it can be found in a book that has "Holy Bible" embossed on the cover.
Well, when Till proves that other private conversations recorded in works like that of Tacitus or Josephus even happened, then maybe we'll entertain his little historiographical fantasy that this is a worthwhile argument and not just a diversion.
If Turkel will promise me that he will reply to them, I will gladly quote several statements in the writings of Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius, and other ancient writers and give my reasons for rejecting their historical accuracy. It is question time for Turkel again.
Do you believe that every statement in King Mesha's inscription on the Moabite Stone is historically accurate?
If not, why not?
If Turkel will answer the last question, he can save me the trouble of explaining to him why I don't just automatically accept everything that was written in ancient documents.
Like I said, this is a desperate man grasping at straws. He's ticked to the max and scurrying for any way to save his reputation, even to the point of throwing a blanket of "how do we know" over every mattress.
The only one I see grasping at straws is Turkel. I could never express how pleased I have been with these exchanges with Turkel. At long last, I have gotten him into a forum where his readers will have easy access to what his opponent says. These debates aren't going well for Turkel at all, and he knows it.
However, I am not going to go away. As long as he keeps his promise to put links to my articles on his website, I will continue to keep nailing his hide to the wall.
That's fine. It helps keep other people outside his circle from listening to him.
Of course, that works both ways. Turkel's flagrant evasion in our debates is obvious to everyone except perhaps those in his inner circle. He has received cc's of messages that have been sent to me about our exchanges, so he knows that his evasion isn't fooling anyone.
Before going on to Turkel's next quibble, I will reinsert the rest of what I said about Turkel's "high priest" point to show readers that, contrary to what he said above, I did answer his "point."
There is no way to prove that it [the incident in Mark 2:25-26] did [happen], so the only matter of concern is whether the incident as recorded in Greek is consistent with what is said elsewhere in the Bible about David's encounter with Ahimelech. Anyway, I urge everyone to keep in mind Turkel's reference to Casey's speculation about "an Aramaic description" that was perhaps behind a statement that was rendered in Greek, because you will see Turkel whining and complaining later about "Till-spins" that I allegedly put on texts "to make [my] case sound worthwhile."
What about Turkel-spins or Casey-spins? Are we supposed to assume that spins are all right just as long as they aren't "Till-spins"?
Now I will exercise my right as a participant in a formal debate and ask Turkel to reply to the point that I made above. Since there is no way at all to establish that Jesus ever made the statement above in Aramaic, the only relevant matter in this debate is whether the incident as recorded in Greek is consistent with what is said elsewhere in the Bible about David's encounter with Ahimelech.
So when is Turkel going to quote textual evidence from the Old Testament account that would show that Casey's "solution" to this problem is consistent with the biblical text?
Now as to my actual point, via Casey, that the Greek word is derived from an Aramiac [sic] description that means "great priest," not the titular "high priest,"
Fine! Now all that Casey and Turkel have to do is prove that Jesus ever made this statement in Aramaic, so I'll ask Turkel to bring out the evidence that would prove this was an actual historical statement made by Jesus.
and is a case of an overliteral translation by Mark as a bilingual (a much simpler "mistake," as Casey does call it and which we have no problem calling it, than supposing that Mark was too dumb to not see that the title was never used in the OT!), Till throws this out:
Say what? Mark, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this account about an incident in the life of Jesus, made an "overliteral translation"? That would mean that this "simpler mistake" was made by the Holy Spirit and not by Mark, wouldn't it?
If not, why not?
I'll be returning to this point later when I reply to Turkel's claim that forgiveness in biblical times didn't entail "psychological healing," and so there were no feelings of guilt then. I will show then that if a mistake in "overliteral translation" was made in Mark 2:26, it wasn't Mark's mistake but the Holy Spirit's.
For continuity purposes, I will reinsert below an introductory comment that Turkel cut from my statement immediately below.
Till [in 2nd rebuttal]:
[Turkel introduced Greek into this discussion, so let's take that ball and run with it. The Greek word used in Mark 2:26 in reference to "Abiathar" was archiereus, and] this was the same word that was used thirty-eight other times in the New Testament in reference to either Annas or Caiphas, or both, as "high priest." I can find no other term in the New Testament that was used to refer to this office.
Not bad, scout!
So we finally agree on something.
No other term is used of the man in that office, but -- er, excuse me. We have another phone call from our friend Hyper the Literalist, who is phoning from poolside at the C. Dennis McKinsey School of Biblical Exegesis. Did you have a comment, Hyper?
Turkel again tries to joke his way out of a problem, but before we look at what he said, I'll take the time to point out that it is generally known on internet lists and groups where biblical inerrancy is discussed that I am very much in disagreement with McKinsey's approach to "proving" errancy in the Bible. My opinions about his works are a matter of record that can be shown to anyone who thinks that I endorse his methods. On alt.bible.errancy, I have been a frequent critic of a biblical skeptic named Wallack, who is probably more extremist in this respect than McKinsey, and on the very day that I wrote this section, I posted on my own errancy list my disagreement with an attempt to make the listing of bats with birds in Leviticus 11 a case of biblical errancy.
These are things that Turkel doesn't know about me, of course, because he avoids like the plague any internet forum in which he would have to confront informed opposition in his attempts to prove harmony in the Bible. I once joined a list that he was a member of, but after I posted a reply to a posting from him, he disappeared and wasn't heard from again. The list, which was maintained by a biblical inerrantist, soon folded.
I will expect his avoidance of such forums to change soon, because I have prepared a reply to his "Chicken Challenge" in which he promised to join the internet list of anyone who would take any article from his site and reply to it with even 20% success. Since I have attained a much higher percentage of success in replying to him, I will expect him to keep his word and join a list that I am a member of. I look forward to going head to head with him in whichever forum he joins.
"Yeah! Till is losing his shorts as usual, because he doesn't know how to really spot errors. The man needs to retire and let Dennis take over, because he's really flubbing things. Why one day I saw him going out of Wal-mart with a bag full of Jelly Bellies, and I asked him -- "
Um, can you get to the point, Hyper? Till has an almost 1 meg reply from us to deal with now, and he has to quote EVERYTHING in it, so...
The "1 meg" reply from Turkel is, of course, a reference to his second round in the land promise debate. I urge everyone to read it and take special notice of how much of this "1 meg reply" consists of cut-and-pasted evasions like the following.
This is merely a distraction still, a diversion from the subject of "Yahweh's Land Promise," and our opponent still cannot, and never will be able to, explain why such superfluous commentary requires quotation and/or reference from a respondent, other than to score debate points with a skeptical readership.
Clearly, our opponent still cannot, and never will be able to, explain why such superfluous commentary requires quotation and/or reference from a respondent, as all he can offer is a suggestion that we simply quote the material and say nothing needed reply, because it did not pertain to the issue of whether the land promise prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled as predicted.
At any rate, we should note that this and the list that follows has nothing to do with the issue of "Yahweh's Land Promise" and is merely, as we predicted, a distraction, which should be treated as evidence of lack of capability to address the subject at hand, and of a need to provide a distraction from the central issue, for no other purpose than to conceal incapability on the primary subject by changing the discussion to another subject never addressed in the original article.
At any rate, we would add that this still has nothing to do with the issue of "Yahweh's Land Promise" and is merely, as we predicted, a distraction, which should be treated as evidence of lack of capability to address the subject at hand, and of a need to provide a distraction from the central issue, for no other purpose than to conceal incapability on the primary subject by changing the discussion to another subject never addressed in the original article, as well as provide a "pep rally" for skeptical readers.
Here our opponent has merely dodged the question, that is, why it [sic] necessary to quote this in a reply, and why such superfluous commentary requires quotation and/or reference from a respondent, and given a non-answer [sic] that distracts from the question, thus ensuring the [sic] his skeptical readership will be satisified [sic] in spite of the obvious dodge and non-reply [sic].
And it goes on and on like this. I didn't waste time counting, but I would estimate that about 75% of Turkel's part of the "1 meg reply" consists of cut-and-pasted evasive comments like these. I suspect his tactic is to try to overwhelm me with so much material that I won't reply to him, but, if so, that shows how little he knows about me. I have already written over 100,000 words in reply to him, which are in the process of being posted, and I will continue until I have gone through all of his "1 meg reply." What has been posted so far can be accessed at The Skeptical Review Online in the Articles Index. Those who take the time to read my replies will see that, unlike Turkel, I am putting substance into my replies.
However, I do not have to "quote everything" in his reply, because we never negotiated any agreement that required this. He has tried to distort a complaint that I made some time ago about his "selective quoting" into a demand that he quote everything that I say when he replies to me. My replies to him provide documentation from personal e-mail messages to show that this is a flagrant misrepresentation of my request.
Turkel [continuing his attempt at humor]:
"Yeah, yeah, all right. Here's the thing. I got some verses to quote, OK?"
Matthew 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded owhere [sic] Christ should be born.f [sic] them
Mark 10:33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:
Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
All right, Hyper, what's your point?
"The point is, Till is missing a huge bonehead error in all of the Gospels. It refers to "chief priests" -- heck, check your Greek, Holding, you're so blinkin' expert at it. The word behind ‘chief priests' is just another form of the one used for Abiathar. Plural, I guess, but it starts with the same letters, the ‘arche-" [sic] thingamajig. So the Gospels are telling us that more than one man was occupying the same office. Ridiculous."
Um, Hyper, Till does say later that more than one person could hold the title, what about that?
"Buncha malarkey. That's just him giving in to the pressure, like he did on that Ezion-geber thing. He's in the palm of the fundies' hand and eating out of it like a swallow, and trying to baffle people with BS. He needs to --"
I started to urge Turkel not to quit his day job and try to make his living as a comedian, but I forgot that he has lost his day job as a prison librarian, so I suppose I should urge him not to set up a comedy website and solicit people willing to contribute $70 to $80 per year so that he can become a full-time comedian. On second thought, however, he has had some success in attracting contributions to his "ministry," and since he is worse at apologetics than comedy, maybe he should go for a full-time career as a comedian. It's a decision he'll have to make.
At any rate, if Turkel spent half as much time trying to answer my rebuttal arguments as he spends on distractions like this, he would make a much better impression on readers. They would at least know that he is trying. As it is, the only thing he is now trying is trying to evade arguments that he can't answer.
In his hypothetical conversation above, he overlooked an important detail. The word archiereus is singular, and when it was used in its singular form, it denoted the office of the "high priest." Its plural was used to denote members of the Sanhedrin and other prominent priests, and Turkel, who talks so much about Greek, can surely recognize the difference in the singular and plural forms. Its singular form always referred to the office known as "the high priest," and in the time of Jesus, the only two individuals it was applied to were Annus and Caiphus, with the exception of the application of the word to Jesus by the writer of Hebrews, but even here the word was also singular. Does Turkel wish to dispute any of this?
His character "Hyper" gives us an example of how Turkel will shoot off his mouth about things that he knows nothing about. "Hyper" said that I had given in "to pressure" on the Ezion-geber thing, but the records will show that I voluntarily introduced this matter as an example of McKinsey's overzealous desire to find errors in the Bible. When Free Inquiry asked me to write a review of McKinsey's Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy, I cited his take on 1 Kings 9:26 as an example of a nonerror that McKinsey had tried to make into a geographical error. There was no pressure on me to do this. I could have, in fact, taken the easy way out and given the book nothing but praise, but I chose to point out what I consider to be a problem in the skeptical community, which is uninformed skeptics who try to find errors in the Bible where no real errors exist.
My review miffed McKinsey, and when he later mentioned it, this precipitated a heated debate on the Errancy list, where in my opinion McKinsey suffered a resounding defeat and severe damage to his reputation. This debate, however, did anger two subscribers to The Skeptical Review, who later canceled their subscriptions. The pressure, then, was for me to agree with McKinsey for the sake of "unity" in the freethought movement, but I refused to do so, because I believe that truth is more important than an artificially imposed unity. Records from internet forums that I have participated in will show that I consistently oppose efforts to manufacture errors in the Bible.
Turkel has been found again popping off about something that he knows nothing about.
OK, thank you, Hyper, you can go now. Well, anyway, Till still hasn't actually answered the issue here. The arche- prefix does mean first in sense, either in order, time, place, or rank. Till bellows back based on the other uses that there "is no reason to think, then, that the word used in reference to Abiathar had any intended meaning other than the meaning of the word when it was applied to the high priests officiating during the period covered by the gospels and the book of Acts."
I replied to this above. The word archiereus [singular] was always used in the New Testament to designate the office of the "high priest" and, as I noted, to indicate that Jesus had become the "high priest" of Christians. If Turkel wants to claim that the word as Jesus used it in reference to Abiathar meant only that Abiathar was an important priest in the sense of the "chief priests" mentioned in the gospels, let him produce his evidence.
Oh, I forgot; Turkel doesn't have to present evidence. We are supposed to bow to every arbitrary meaning that he assigns to words.
There is every reason to think this: There were no titular high priests at the time of Abiathar or Ahimelech, and positing rampant stupidity by Mark isn't an answer.
This is Turkel's "every reason to think this"? Anyway, who said anything about "rampant stupidity"? Being ill informed on some matters doesn't make one rampantly stupid, but there are examples that indicate that the writer of Mark wasn't exactly an authority in Jewish matters. When Mark, for example, attributed to Isaiah a statement that Malachi had actually said, was this not an indication that Mark's knowledge of the Old Testament wasn't exactly perfect?
Malachi 1:1 Behold, I send My messenger,and he will prepare the way before Me.
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of Yahweh. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight....'"
It is easy to see that "Mark" attributed to Isaiah a statement that had been made in part by the prophet Malachi, so "Mark" certainly wasn't immune to making mistakes. If Turkel would care to see other gaffes in the gospel of Mark, I'd be glad to accommodate him, but that shouldn't be necessary. Even Turkel admits immediately below that "Mark" wasn't exactly a paragon of perfection in his writing.
The simpler answer --
Does Turkel want to talk about Occam's razor? I hope he does.
one that works within Mark's status as a bilingual translating from Aramiac [sic] to Greek -- is that he overliteralized the Aramaic words "great priest" into something that was just like "high/chief priest" in a titular sense.
This was addressed above. First of all, Turkel has no point unless he can prove that this statement was ever made in Aramaic. To assume that it was is an attempt to prove inerrancy by assuming inerrancy, but there are too many problems in the book of Mark for anyone but diehard inerrantists to claim that it was inerrant. Second, Turkel is assuming that if Jesus ever did make such a statement as this in Aramaic, he knows exactly what words were used in the statement. I personally don't know Aramaic, and I'm pretty sure that Turkel doesn't either, so to make his point, Turkel will have to prove that (1) Jesus made the statement in Aramaic, and (2) specific Aramaic words were used when he made the statement. How is Turkel going to prove this?
I'm going to quote something that Turkel said above and use it to make a point about his inconsistency.
It remains that Till is grasping at straws trying to preserve an argument and score points against a non-essential [sic] in context -- playing a "how it must have been" game that the Church of Christ could use to make Monopoly boards out of.
Now isn't Turkel doing the very thing that he accused me of doing? Does Turkel know that Jesus ever made this statement in Aramaic? No, he doesn't. Does Turkel know what the very words of Jesus would have been if he had made this statement in Aramaic? No, he doesn't. Isn't Turkel, then, playing a flagrant "how it must have been" game to try to resolve this problem?
What about it, Turk? Why don't you answer the question and explain to us why you are entitled to play "how it must have been" games? You're a bit inconsistent, aren't you?
Finally, two consequences must necessarily follow Turkel's claim that Mark "overliteralized" what Jesus may have said in Aramaic: (1) Mark's gospel isn't entirely free of mistakes, because, by Turkel's own admission, Mark made the mistake of overliteralizing in 2:26. (2) If a mistake in overliteralizing was made, this would actually have been a mistake made by the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit was "inspiring" what Mark was writing. (I'll be saying more about this later on.)
Just look at the problems that these consequences pose for Turkel. Number one would establish that I have been right in arguing that the Bible is errant, because by Turkel's own admission, there is at least one mistake in the Bible. Those who have followed my debates on the internet know that my position is that a mistake is a mistake, so if Jesus's reference to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech is not a mistake, that doesn't matter as far as my position on biblical errancy is concerned, because a mistake was made in "overliteralizing" in the same verse. If a mistake was not made in saying that men were with David at Nob, that doesn't matter to my position, because a mistake was made in "overliteralizing" in the same verse. I could be wrong in every other attempt I have ever made to establish errancy in the Bible, but still my position would be sustained, because by Turkel's own admission, a mistake of "overliteralizing" was made in Mark 2:26.
Number two must inevitably follow the claim that the Holy Spirit "inspired" those who wrote the books of the Bible, because if "inspiration" of the Holy Spirit did not serve to protect the writers from error, then what was its purpose? Perhaps Turkel will want to explain this to us. If he wants to deny that Mark was guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he wrote 2:26, then he should tell us to what degree "Mark" was "inspired" by the Holy Spirit and also to explain what the purpose of this inspiration was if it didn't protect Mark from mistakes like "overliteralizing." Was "Mark" inspired by the Holy Spirit when he said in 6:14 that Herod was king when records of the time, corroborated by Matthew (14:1) and Luke (9:7), show that Herod was a "tetrarch," which was a rank lower than king? Was "Mark" inspired by the Holy Spirit when he said in 6:17 that Herodius had been the wife of Herod's brother Philip, when the records of the time show that Herodius had been the wife of another of Herod's brothers?
Do you want to talk about the reliability of the text of Mark, Turkel? If so, let's have a go at it.
So much for Turkel's "simpler answer" to the problem of Jesus's reference to Abiathar as a "high priest."
Let's make a broader point of this where Till's overall methodology is concerned. Till will moan to the max as he often does about "how it could have been" scenarios (as he talks from the other side of his mouth using them freely!).
The pot calls the kettle black, because I just showed (above) that Turkel's "Aramaic" solution is a flagrant how-it-could-have-been for which he has exactly no supporting evidence.
As we noted in another context, what Till calls "hichbing" and "speculation" is really nothing but historical detective work. A classic example of this, in a non-Christian context, is David Ulansey's work on the origins of Mithraism, in the observation of the procession of the equinoxes. Ulansey has no Mithraic document saying, "We started this because of the procession." He pieces together evidence that converges in time and space and reaches a conclusion. This is just normal historical detective work.
What does this have to do with the issue we are debating? I think I will borrow a couple of comments that Turkel cut and pasted into the land-promise debate umpteen times and adapt them to what he is doing now.
This is a very interesting accounting of something David Ulansey did, but it is still nothing but space filler. It is not necessary to quote this in a reply, and my opponent cannot, and never will be able to, explain why such superfluous commentary requires quotation and/or reference from a respondent.
At issue here is not whether or not the historical detective work of David Ulansey is accurate or not, but whether it is necessary, and why it is necessary, for this to be quoted in a response. As it is, our opponent merely uses this to evade a rebuttal argument, which has nothing to do with the issue at hand in this context (Jesus's claim that Abiathar was high priest at the time of the Nob incident), and my opponent still cannot, and never will be able to, explain why such superfluous commentary requires quotation and/or reference from a respondent.
As I have said before, consistency isn't one of your virtues, is it, Turkel?
Obviously some "hichbes" are not as valid as others. As we suggested, we can posit many reasons why the woman at the well in John 4 was there at noon:
She was a social
could not come at the ordinary time for getting water.
She spilled her water supply that morning and was thirsty.
She didn't want to miss The Bold and the Beautiful at 1:00.
Every one of these is a "hichb" scenario, because none of them are specifically stated. So how do we decide? We draw on converging lines of evidence. #3 is obviously out, because The Bold and the Beautiful came on at 2:00 in Palestine. Till, if he had some reason to argue and our case was supported by #1, would probably choose #2 and fume onward and upward about how we are "reading minds" or "speculating" to arrive at #1. Of course #2 isn't something that is impossible by any means. But #1 is supported by the social data offered in John 4, namely, the woman's many relationships with men that would cause her to suffer social ostracism from the other women of the community. Till may then spit more stuff about "reading minds" and "you're only assuming that happened," blase squase, etc etc.
Well, two can play Turkel's how-it-could-have-been game. I can posit many reasons why Mark said that Jesus said that David went into Abiathar instead of Ahimelech.
1. Mark was
unfamiliar with the
details of the story in 1 Samuel 21 and made an honest mistake.
2. Mark was actually an enemy of Christianity, and so he purposefully tried to discredit it by putting recognizable errors like this into his book.
3. Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech, because he knew that Abiathar was a "stickler for the law" and that his name would "invoke honoring the law."
Number 2, although accurate in stating that errors are in the book of Mark, is too inconsistent with passages that show the writer's intention was to present the life of Jesus favorably, and Number 3 has already been soundly refuted. There is nothing--absolutely nothing--in the Old Testament to justify the premise that number three rests on, because no passages can be found that in any way indicate that Abiathar was a "renowned priest" whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law."
That leaves number 1 as the most probable reason for the mistake in Mark 2:26. It is reinforced by other mistakes in Mark, which indicate that the writer was prone to errors.
Well, at that point, he's already roadkill. When the resort is to endless and pointless questions, that's where the terminus is and Till is running his gator in a darkened room where the party ended 6 hours ago.
I've been aware for some time that Turkel doesn't like questions, because they expose the holes in whatever inerrancy position he is trying to defend. I hate to disappoint him, but I'll have to ask him a question that he has repeatedly evaded.
Is there any Old Testament passage that establishes Abiathar's reputation as a "stickler for the law," whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law"?
If so, please quote it. if not, try to be honest and just admit that there is none.
It's rather like this:
TILL: I went to the dentist today and had a tooth pulled.
MCKINSEY: I don't believe it. I think you had that tooth knocked out in a fight.
T: WHAT! Where do you get off with that?
M: I think you're just covering up something and don't want to admit you got bested in a fight.
T: Baloney! Do you see any other bruises on me? How could I have been in a fight?
M: You probably lost after one punch, ya wimp!
T: OH YEAH! Well, here's a card from my dentist showing I had an appointment today, plus the lollipop he gave me for being good. So what do you say to that?
M: Big deal. You can get a lolly from any candy store and say it came from a dentist. And you could swipe a card from his desk and write your own appointment in it.
T: Well, this is his handwriting! I can prove it! Here's a letter from him with the same handwriting.
M: You probably paid him off to make that stuff, to get out of the embarrassment of being bested in a fight. Or maybe you're a good forger. Or you hired one. Heck, you probably even paid your dentist to say you were there today. You'll do anything to get out of jams like this, just like you did with Ezion-geber.
Absurd? Not at all.
The word "absurd" isn't quite strong enough to describe what Turkel has been doing in this round of the Abiathar debate. That he would resort to such nonsense as this underscores his inability to provide textual evidence to support his, er, Casey's solution to the Abiathar problem. They have asserted that Jesus intentionally referred to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech, because he knew that Abiathar was a "renowned priest," whose name would "invoke honoring the law." I have asked him to quote Old Testament passages from the time of Abiathar that would sustain this assertion, and he has posted exactly none. I am sure that readers know that Turkel has posted no passages to support his claim because he now knows that there are none. Too proud to admit that he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he has resorted to McKinsey-Till scenarios in an apparent hope that he can ridicule his way out of the corner he has painted himself into.
I'll just ask my question again. What passage in the Old Testament presented Abiathar as a "stickler for the law," whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law"?
Turkel could settle this matter very easily. All he has to do is just cut and paste the passage into the blank space after his ID marker that I am typing below.
What we will see is that while our answer derives from relevant background data,
And what relevant background data is that? Just cut and paste the relevant Old Testament passages into the space after your ID marker below. If Abiathar's reputation as a "renowned priest" whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law" was established to the degree that you claim, you should have no trouble finding supporting passages.
Till's attempts to counter are rooted in hooking or crooking any excuse he can make --
No, Till's attempts to counter are rooted in accepting what the Bible says on the subject and in accepting that the Bible simply does not say anything to justify Turkel's/Casey's claim that Jesus purposefully referred to Abiathar because Abiathar was a renowned priest whose name invoked honoring the law. If there is any basis for this claim, it would be in what the Old Testament says about Abiathar, so I'll ask Turkel again to just cut and paste below the OT passages that confirm the reputation that he and Casey have claimed for Abiathar.
even to the point of making a sociological bungle that will send him to the corner for weeks. Now let's get to that.
To begin, Till misses our comment, "That much is obviously true," and takes it as a reference to "that the word archiereus was used in reference to Abiathar" --
Well, I'm just contrary enough to quote the passage Turkel is referring to so that everyone can see that I didn't misrepresent him.
Casey sees behind this language an Aramaic description too literally rendered in Greek: It does not mean Abiathar was "high priest" but indicates that he was a great priest, a renowned priest. That much is obviously true.
To show that I didn't misrepresent him, I'll have to quote also my response to this.
Why is it "obviously true" that the word archiereus was used in reference to Abiathar only to indicate that he was a "great priest or a renowed priest"? Are we just supposed to take Turkel's word for this?
Oh, I forgot, I forgot! We have Casey's word for it too. But wait a minute. Casey was the one who thought that the reference to Abiathar was just Jesus's way of telling the critics of his disciples that Abiathar was a "stickler for the law" and "a renowned priest whose name invokes the honoring of the law," but Turkel's appropriation of this "explanation" of the problem was conspicuously lacking in any kind of textual evidence to support this claim. What did he say later about "Till-spins"?
I challenged Turkel to cite just one example of any kind of priestly decision that Abiathar had ever made that would justify the claim that he was a "stickler for the law" and "a renowned priest whose name invokes the honoring of the law."
Did everyone notice that Turkel's reply, which I am now answering, didn't even attempt to give this information? The reason it didn't, of course, is that there is nothing--absolutely nothing--in the Old Testament to justify Casey's claim that Abiathar was held in such high esteem. We can just write this off as a "Casey-spin."
Until Turkel comes up with something better than what we have so far seen from him, this answer is sufficient to rebut Turkel's claim. I'll ask him again to cite just one example of any kind of priestly decision that Abiathar ever made that would justify Casey's claim that he was a renowned priest whose name invoked honoring the law. How many times have I asked Turkel to quote such a scripture? How many times has he evaded this request?
I'm just contrary enough to ask him for it again. He can cut and paste it after his ID marker below that I am providing for his convenience. All he has to do is put the relevant passage there.
we follow this phrase with a description showing how Abby would be a renowned priest,
So let's take a look at the "description" that showed how Abiathar was a "renowned priest." Here it is.
I shot this "carrying the ark" as a sign of renown full of holes, as I will be showing again later on.
We have reached a point where I will have to be reinserting a lot from my second rebuttal that Turkel skipped over. That is his style. When an argument or rebuttal is embarrassing to his position, he just ignores it. I want to keep people reminded of what he is ignoring.
and it is his "renown-ness" that we say is obviously true.
Okay, I'll just grant that this is what Turkel meant. [Incidentally, renown is a noun, so the suffix "-ness" is just another sign of linguistic ignorance on the part of the would-be apologist who knows all about Hebrew, Greek, and now Aramaic, but doesn't do too well with his own native language.] If what he says is correct and that it is "obviously true" that Abiathar's renown was obviously true. He should be able to quote the Old Testament scriptures that support his claim that Abiathar‘s renown had given him the reputation of being "a stickler for the law," whose name "invoke[d] honoring the law," so I'll ask him to cut and paste at least one Old Testament passage that addresses Abiathar's fame as a "stickler for the law." He can paste it after his ID marker below.
Till claims we gave no answer to this, but then gets to our answer: "Abiathar served David for the entirety of his reign of 40 years and had the privilege, along with Zadok, of carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the most sacred Jewish religious object."
Keep in mind that I pointed out with scriptural corroboration that priestly affiliation with the ark of the covenant wasn't necessarily a sign of "renown" for being "a stickler for the law." I cited the example of two "renowned" priests who were entrusted with the ark of the covenant, but their renown was quite the opposite of being sticklers for the law. It looks as if I will have to reinsert that section into the debate, because Turkel didn't even mention it. That's his style. If an argument or rebuttal is embarrassing to his position, he will just ignore it.
Those who HTML-ize my articles for posting on the website have asked me to keep my articles under 14,000 words. Since my complete reply to Turkel this round exceeded 20,000 words, I have chosen this spot, which was about halfway through my complete reply, to divide it. The reply will continue in Part Two.