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Bobby Does Another "Tack-On" Job

Trying to Joke Away His Foot-in-Mouth Apology Demands
by Farrell Till

Other projects, especially the articles I recently posted in my Daniel series, have kept me from replying to Robert Turkel's latest attempt to save face in his demands that I apologize for having accused him of padding his list of sources consulted in writing his article "Till We Meet Again." Those who click the link will find that it is posted on TSR Online rather than on Turkel's site. We have it here, because Turkel deleted it from his website, after some of the material in it proved embarrassing to him, and replaced it with an edited version that had removed the embarrassing statements, such as his now discredited claim that his position on the meaning of Hosea 1:4 was shared by "commentators of all stripes" and his pledge to his readers that he would never again "dignify" any of my articles by replying to them, because I was not worth the time it would take to do so. His website now speaks for itself, because he has since then filled it with articles that "dignified" mine by replying to them or rather I should say "trying" to reply to them. At any rate, these deletions from his reworked article underscore a familiar Turkel tactic: If he publishes in haste materials that turn out to be embarrassing to attempts to present himself as a first-rate apologist who deserves the PayPal support of Bible believers, he will delete those materials from his website.

He now uses a "tack-on" tactic to try to save face. Instead of posting a separate article to reply to articles that rebut those that dared to take issue with his "apologetic" attempts, he will simply tack onto the end of his original article blurbs that appear to anticipate what critics of his positions may say in reply to them, as he did here in his attempt to resolve the problem of biblical inconsistencies that say that "God" both does and does not live in temples. He recently did this again in "Time to Hang Him Out to Dry," the article in which he demanded that I apologize for having accused him of inflating in his endnotes the number of "sources" that he had "researched" in writing his commentators-of-all-stripes article. In "Bobby Wants an Apology?" I replied to this demand to show that I have nothing to apologize for. Turkel's response? Well, he tacked onto his original article a few face-saving comments that I will now reply to. In doing so, I will also point out my rebuttal arguments that Turkel completely ignored.

I may as well begin with two of my rebuttal points that Turkel has now had at least three opportunities to address but has chosen instead to ignore: (1) Instead of addressing his discredited claim that his position on Hosea 1:4 is shared by commentators of all stripes, he has tried to deny that he ever meant it in the way that I have interpreted it. Besides the link just given, readers can go here and here to judge for themselves whether I have misrepresented what Turkel said about the approval of his position on Hosea 1:4 by "commentators of all stripes." (2) He has left completely unaddressed why he has devoted so much space on his website to my articles after having said in his original Jehu article that he would not "dignify" anything else I write by taking the time to reply to it. As I go through his comments tacked onto his original apology article, I will drop occasional reminders of his evasion of these two points, and at the end of this article, I will list, with links, my major points that he has left completely unaddressed throughout this controversy.

Turkel's style, of course, is to use ridicule in replying to his opponents, so he began the tacked-on section of his apology demand with the derogatory cartoon below, which, of course, answers none of my rebuttal points that he has evaded in this controversy.

As I have said in the past, if Turkel should ever decide that he wants to engage in serious debating, I will gladly reciprocate. All he has to do is dispense with his sarcasm, ridicule, and insults, and I will reply in kind. Otherwise, I will continue to show him that I have some talent for mudslinging too. As I usually do, I will use the headers Turkel and Till so that readers will be able to follow who has said what.

If you did hold your breath, keep holding it. We didn't expect any apology from Till's quarter, for as he admits himself, he is and has been quite the skilled rationalizer....

This is a good example of the duplicitous distortion that Turkel will resort to when trying to discredit an opponent. After I had quit the ministry, I received so many requests from people asking why I had rejected belief that the Bible is the "word of God" that I wrote an article entitled "A Long Day's Journey into Light," which I could send in answer to those requests. I don't remember now exactly when I wrote this article, but it was about twenty or so years ago. In this article, I told of my determination to learn the Bible by heart, a determination that required such intense studying that the opposite effect of what I had wanted eventually resulted. I began to see so many inconsistencies, contradictions, and outright absurdities in the Bible that I could no longer believe that it was the inspired, inerrant "word of God," as I had been taught all of my life to believe.

Those who have had this kind of experience--and literally thousands of former Christians have--will be quick to tell you that one doesn't just immediately quit his church affiliations when he begins to see that the Bible isn't at all what he was taught to believe. One will go through a period of denial and rationalization to try to reach some kind of mental accommodation that will permit him to remain a church member in good standing with relatives and friends whom he doesn't want to disappoint, so in the article linked to above, I described that period in my journey from preacher/foreign missionary to outright skeptic and eventual atheist. It was in this section that I made the statement below, which Turkel duplicitously distorted to try to leave the impression that I, at the present time, admit to being a "skilled rationalizer."

As a missionary "home from the field," I had the opportunity to fill vacant pulpits on the weekend in churches within driving distance of the Bible college I was attending. This would provide a source of income that I desperately needed, so, to my discredit again, I took advantage of it. By this time, I had become a skilled rationalizer. Although I no longer accepted the biblical inerrancy doctrine, I believed--and still do believe--that some excellent moral principles are taught in the New Testament, so I rationalized that it would be all right to accept these weekend preaching assignments if I related all of my sermons to biblical principles that I could personally accept. During this period, I preached a lot of "doing-good" sermons, i.e., loving one's neighbor, going the second mile, visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and such like.

The article went on to explain that the church members tired of this kind of "preaching" and demanded hell-fire-and-brimstone sermons and give-'em-hell denunciations of "denominations" that disregarded the truths that the Church of Christ boasted of having a monopoly on. The article told of how when I disregarded an order from the church "elders" to change my sermons to the kind just described, I was fired and left with no means of supporting a family of five. I got us through this hardship by taking whatever temporary jobs were posted each day at the student employment office and by borrowing money, which took several years to pay back, but Turkel, of course, didn't mention that part of the article, because it would have conveyed the image of someone who was so dedicated to principles and concepts of truth at this time in his life that he was willing to risk his livelihood for what he thought was right.

Those who have been through the experience of suffering complete disillusionment with his childhood religious indoctrination will tell you that what I did at this point in my journey from Bible-thumping believer to skeptic was nothing at all unusual. I recall a trip to Alabama a dozen or so years ago when I found myself in the company of a man who, I learned through our conversations, was an ex-Lutheran preacher. As we talked about our experiences and the emotional difficulty of coming to terms with loss of confidence in one's religious training, he told of a period of transition almost identical to mine. "I preached a lot of love-thy-neighbor sermons at that time," he said, and I knew exactly what he meant. To try to explain to Turkel the emotional trauma that one goes through in times like the ex-minister just referred to described would be a complete waste of time, because it would be beyond his ability to comprehend. I would have better luck trying to teach a baboon how to ballet dance.

Turkel has his opinion of me, and I definitely have one of him. I think that he no more believes most of the stuff that he recycles on his website from books and journals than he believes that cows can jump over the moon. He does what he does for the m-o-n-e-y. He apparently lacks the charismatic personality--and certainly the physical presence--to become a successful megachurch pastor, who could dazzle the gullible from the pulpit and really rake in the loot, as do the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, James Dobson, etc.; otherwise, we would be having The Hour of Sarcasm beaming from Orlando and adding to the religious pollution of the airwaves. Hence, Turkel has had to settle for a much smaller piece of the pie baked from the fruits contributed by naive Bible-believers who deprive themselves of money most of them need themselves so that they can give millions of dollars each year to charlatans like him. As long as he can be the big fish in a little pond, he will no doubt continue to crank out internet hackwork that will give him at least a nominal PayPal income that will enable him to doodle in church during the sermons, spend only five minutes per day reading the Bible and five seconds praying at meals, while he sits in front of his computer at home munching on the little piece of the pie that the PayPal-take from his choir members has brought him that day.

but we have some comments on what was offered, and further comments on our disposition of Till himself. More on that anon.

We have some comments? Our disposition? Is Turkel at last bringing in someone else to give him the help he badly needs to write sensible replies to his opponents? Oh, duh, how stupid can I be! I keep forgetting that Turkel's opinion of himself is so inflated that he habitually refers to himself with plural first-person pronouns.

In terms of reply, we will ignore the bulk of Till's ranting rattles, as usual.

Turkel has always ignored the "bulk" of my arguments and rebuttals, so I really didn't expect anything different from him this time. After I have replied point by point to what he did selectively refer to in my article, I will list points that he has deliberately omitted from his "replies" to me on this "apology" issue.

There is no lack in this, for the bulk are (as usual) things that have been replied to before (but he wouldn't know, since he's 874 years behind in replying to us....

Turkel keeps wagging out this claim that I am behind in replying to "us," but as I have said to him more times now than I can remember, anyone who looks at our exchanges can see that I take the time to reply to him point by point and to give readers specific links to places where they can verify my supporting details, whereas he quotes me selectively and skips far more than he tries to "answer." Writing detailed, leave-no-stone- unturned replies to an opponent and giving readers specific links to support and verify one's major points, as I do in my replies to Turkel, take considerable time, but hacked-out, off-the-cuff replies like his, which skip much more than they answer and link readers to none of the opponent's material, can be thrown together quickly. The number of "replies" to me that he has posted may outnumber mine, but my replies to him contain far more specific, detailed substance than his cranked-out hackwork has in them. I could give readers several links here to places where I have offered to reply to anything of Turkel's that he thinks I have skipped if he will reciprocate and reply to my lists of points that he has evaded. The last time I presented this offer was here in my first reply to his demand that I apologize for having accused him of padding his list of works consulted. For the convenience of the readers, I will quote the most relevant section.

he is as of this date many years behind on replying to our material,

Within a week, I could easily reply to all of the articles he has written about me if I did no more than he does in his selectively quoted "replies" to mine. As I have explained, however, when I reply to an opponent, I reply to everything he tried to argue. I use a leave-no-stone-unturned approach to debating. Obviously, Turkel doesn't, so "our material" that he brags about is really nothing but a long list of evasive nonreplies.

I will repeat here an offer that I have previously made to Turkel here and here and here. If he will identify specific points of his that he thinks I have evaded, I will immediately reply to them point by point, if he will agree to reply in kind to all points of mine that I think he has skipped and then post all of our exchanges on his website, and keep them there. Needless to say, I will gladly post everything on this website.

For some strange reason, Turkel has ignored this repeated challenge. I wonder why?

Turkel isn't about to accept this challenge, because he doesn't want to run the risk of having his readers see how much he ignores or skips in the detailed articles that he claims to be "answering." Why, he won't even identify me by name or link his readers to what he is "replying" to, so he certainly isn't going to accept the challenge, quoted above, that I have presented to him numerous times. If he really thought that he was cleaning house and kicking butt, he would want to link his readers to what he was "answering" so that they could see for themselves just how weak his opponents' arguments are. I am always careful in my replies to him to give readers links to exactly what I am replying to and whenever possible direct links to the specific places in his articles where he said what I am replying to. I do this, because I want them to see just how flimsy his apologetic evidence is and, most of all, how shallow his logic is.

and still working on that personal reply to Simon Greenleaf

I have no idea what Turkel is referring to here. He seems to be saying that I have said that I would personally reply to Simon Greenleaf, presumably to Greenleaf's absurd claim that the testimony of the "witnesses" to the resurrection would be accepted as reliable testimony in modern courts of law. I did a site:theskepticalreview.com "Simon Greenleaf" search on the internet, which indicates that I have never even mentioned Greenleaf in any articles on this website. I did a search of all articles published in The Skeptical Review and found that I had referred to Simon Greenleaf in "Where Is the Objective Evidence?" (July/August 1998), which I wrote in reply to an attempt by Dr. James Price of Temple Baptist University (now just Temple University) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to prove the fulfillment of Jeremiah's seventy-year prophecy. Here is what I said.

Greenleaf's Principle: To support his claim that Jeremiah is an authentic work, Price cited Simon Greenleaf's opinion about the genuineness of ancient documents. For those who may not know, Greenleaf was a 19th-century professor of law, whose Testimony of the Evangelists has become a popular reference work in Christian apologetics, because he took the position that the "testimony" to the resurrection in the gospel accounts would be accepted as evidence in any modern court of law. That any professor of law would seriously argue that second- and thirdhand hearsay testimony would be acceptable in modern courts of law says more about Greenleaf's determination to defend a personal religious belief than it does about his credibility as an unbiased authority on rules of evidence, but his apparent willingness to sacrifice legal scholarship to further personal religious biases has made him popular with modern Christian apologists. Greenleaf's statement that Price quoted claimed that "[e]very document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine," but what Price conveniently ignores is that the book of Jeremiah does bear on its face "evident marks of forgery." It is precisely because of those marks that a significant body of biblical scholars consider the book of Jeremiah to be a collective work rather than the product of a single writer. To prove his proposition, Dr. Price, by his own admission, must show beyond a 95% level of certitude that the scholars who hold to a view of multiple authorship are wrong.

I honestly don't see here any promise to write a "personal reply to Simon Greenleaf," but if I am overlooking a forgotten promise to do this, I will present to Turkel an adaptation of my challenge quoted above: If he will show where I made such a promise, I will write that personal reply, if he will agree to publish it on his website, along with any exchanges on the subject that we may afterwards make, and leave them there as long as his website is maintained. Needless to say, I will gladly post them here.

I predict that this will end Turkel's complaints about my failure to write a "personal reply to Simon Greenleaf."

and making plans now to attend the first Super Bowl),

No, not really. I wouldn't attend the Super Bowl even if I were given free tickets, and I would watch football on television only if someone paid me a salary to do so.

and it is likely that only an exceptional sadomasochist would subject themslves [double sic] to Till's incessant blather anyway, or else, someone else who holds an equitable stake in the local funny farm.

Here, of course, is a familiar Turkel tactic. When he can't answer an opponent, all is not lost, because he can always hide his inability to refute arguments under a camouflage of sarcasm and insults. If he just calls his opponents' detailed arguments and rebuttals "incessant blather" that would be read only by someone "who holds an equitable stake in the local funny farm," he knows that his sycophantic choir members, lacking any critical-thinking skills, will react with, "Hey, look how our man is pulverizing Till." That he would resort to hiding his inability to reply to me beneath an insult that refers to a mental institution and the problems that it treats as "the local funny farm" speaks volumes about the deficiencies in Turkel's Christian ethics. Such misguided attempts at humor are not at all unusual in his articles, as is evident here, where he used children afflicted with muscular dystrophy as a metaphorical insult hurled at one of his opponents, and also used the scattered wreckage of the Columbia space shuttle as another metaphorical claim of what he had done to the same opponent's "butt." Sarcasm and insults are his stock-in-trade, and in this "tacked-on" part of his "apology" article that I am now answering, he forgot to tack on any attempt to reply to this section of my first rebuttal article, where I took the time to show in detail that the insulting language that Turkel constantly hurls at those who dare to oppose him violates some very fundamental Christian principles taught in the New Testament. This section contained a lengthy quotation from my article "Seasoned with Salt," published in the November/December 2002 edition of The Skeptical Review, in which I contrasted the incessant sarcasm that Turkel hurls at his opponents with what the New Testament says about what the speech of Christians should be in conversations with non-Christians, i.e., "those who are outside" (Col. 4:5-6). Turkel has yet to address this section of my rebuttal article. No doubt, he considers it part of my "ranting rattles," the "bulk" of which he admitted above that he would be ignoring.

When it finally gets to answering the charges above, however, the rationalizations fly like spittle from Till's mouth during a debate:

See what I mean? Even when Turkel selects something from an opponent's article to "answer," he will begin by trying to discredit it, not with arguments, but by sarcastically referring to it as "fluff" or "blather" or "spittle." He knows that the noncritical thinkers in his choir loft will eat up these kinds of personal insults.

At any rate, he did tack on some selectively summarized rebuttals from my first article on the apology issue, so I will answer them and conclude this point-by-point reply by identifying at the end my rebuttals that he has completely ignored.

"Duh ah, sure, all these sources may be IN the library, but that doesn't prove he actually used them!" Of course, I admit I didn't. I was actually getting my information from the Pope and his little friend the Roswell alien, right after we had our little excursion in the Lovre planting subliminal messages in da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" such as Eat more tripe and putting "backwards masked" lyrics into the latest Dr. Dre album that would encourage people to subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens.

See what I mean? Turkel thinks that sarcasm is a successful refutation of an opponent's arguments. What he said above in no way proves that he consulted all of the "sources" listed in the endnotes of his article. Anyone can make a false claim, but I will be saying more about that below to show evidence that Turkel has indeed falsified some of his claims about the extent of his research in the Jehu matter.

"Duh huh, you ignored my extra stupid questions of the week!" Till asks two questions he thinks I refused to answer, though I did clearly enough for anyone with the most limited comprehension and critical thinking skills, but since Till is a low-context Neanderthal, let's spell it out for him:

Hmm, that's strange; Turkel's usual position is that ancient people lived in "high-context" societies, so if I were really a Neanderthal, wouldn't I be a high-context rather than a low-context individual? At any rate, Turkel has been riding a high-context/low-context hobby horse for years now. Readers can go here to see that in my first reply to Turkel's demand for an apology, I once again showed that he doesn't have a clue to what the high/low context linguistic theory really teaches.

Turkel has used his "high-context" quibble to try to justify various ambiguities in the Bible, so as an added feature here, I will inform readers who may not have read them that I have exposed here and here and here and in other articles too that Turkel is quite ignorant of the concept of "high context" as it applies to linguistic communications. Among other things, I have had to point out to him that this concept applies more to oral than to written communications. In the former, those listening have the advantage of hearing voice tones and inflections and seeing facial expressions and other gestures that can communicate as well as what is actually being said, but in the latter, one must decide meaning solely on the basis of the words that have been written. In the last article linked to above, I gave several examples of biblical passages that clearly dispute Turkel's claim that people in biblical times lived in "high-context" societies in which "extended explanations" were unnecessary. I cited biblical examples where despite specific, detailed information, those involved in the situations didn't understand some rather clear statements, such as when Jesus told his disciples that he, the "son of man," would "be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again," but his disciples "did not understand what he was saying" (Mark 9:31-32). His disciples must have flunked High-Context Communications 101.

Those who click the links in this quotation will see just how ignorant Turkel's understanding of the high/low context linguistic theory actually is. Even though I showed that this theory applies more to oral than written language, Turkel ignored all of my supporting evidence, brushed off his now discredited claim about high/low context languages, and tried to slip it by us again.


1. Did you obtain and read all sections in your 17 "sources" that you cited in your article?


Duh, yes? Really? I guess we should believe this, even though it was said by someone who first claimed that he had gotten all of his sources from the Reformed Theological Seminary Library except for "a couple" but later insisted that he had gotten all of them from this library. Here is where he said that he gotten all of them but a couple from the library.

Every one of my 17 sources for that work was at the Reformed Theological Seminary library in Orlando, except for a couple I found at the Long's Christian bookstore in Orlando. McTill is just hauling a cheap bale of slander because he can't answer the actual argument (emphasis added).

And here is where he "insisted" that he had obtained all 17 of his sources from the RTS library.

I insisted that all 17 of my sources for the matter had been found at the Reformed Theological Seminary library here in Orlando.

In this section of my first reply to Turkel's demand that I apologize, I pointed out this inconsistency and asked him to tell us just when he was telling the truth in the matter of how many of his "sources" he obtained from the RTS library? Did he obtain all of them, as he is now claiming, or did he obtain all of them "except for a couple" that he found at a local book store? That section of my first reply to his apology demand was, of course, skipped by Turkel. No doubt it was just part of the "incessant blather" that he earlier said he was going to "ignore" in the "bulk" of my article, because it would be of interest only to someone "who holds an equitable stake in the local funny farm." Yeah, right! He is ignoring this part of my article because he knows that he has been caught in a lie. He should remember something I told him in the section that he skipped: The problem with lying is that one has to remember everything he has said about the lie in order to keep his story straight. Obviously, Turkel was not able to do that.

This has proven to be true of Turkel. He just can't seem to decide what story he wants to stick to. As I just showed, he first said that he had obtained all but a couple of his sources from the RTS library, then he "insisted" that he had obtained all seventeen of them from this library, and as we will soon see below, he switched back to his all-but-a-couple story. He just can't keep his story straight, and he wonders why we don't just automatically accept as gospel truth anything he says.

If he should reply to this article, he will, of course, skip all of this again as just more incessant blather that doesn't need a reply.


2. Did you lift a cited [secondary] reference from any of these books or periodicals and present it as a primary reference?


Everyone should remember here that I have already caught Turkel in one lie (just documented above), so we have to wonder why he thinks that we should believe him now when he says that he didn't try to pass off any cited [secondary] reference as a primary one.
We must also wonder why he ignored a part of my first "apology" article that discussed my reasons for believing that he did fudge a bit in listing his primary sources. That section can be accessed here, but for the convenience of the readers I am going to quote the most relevant part so that readers can see just how much "bulk" Turkel ignores in his "replies" by calling it "incessant blather" that would interest only someone "who holds an equitable stake in the local funny farm." Please notice the parts that I emphasize in bold print.

The fact that all 17 "sources" that Turkel listed can be "found" in the Reformed Theological Seminary library does not prove that he actually dug through them to find information that he thought was suitable for his article. Even if he checked out all 17 of them, that wouldn't prove it either. As I explained here in "The Zigzagging Stripes of Bobby Turkel," my examination of Turkel's "sources" showed that he actually relied primarily on three of them: Thomas McComiskey's The Minor Prophets, vol. 1, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992; McComiskey's "Prophetic Irony in Hosea 1.4: A Study of the Collocation [PQD AL] and Its Implications for the Fall of Jehu's Dynasty," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 58, 1993, pp. 93-101; and Douglas Stuart's World Biblical Commentary: Hosea-Jonah, volume 31. I found in going through these sources cited by Turkel that they had just happened to cite sources that Turkel also cited in his article, and what Turkel cited in his article just happened to be the same things that McComiskey and Stuart had cited in their works. I pointed this out here in "Commentators of All Stripes." I will quote the most relevant part of the section just linked to. Notice in particular the final sentence emphasized in bold print.

Although I won't know until I have been able to look through all of the books that Turkel cited, I suspect that he pulled a ploy that was very familiar to me from my days of teaching college writing. It was quite common for students to find two or three primary references that contained within them quotations or references to other works and then try to present the secondary references as works that they had consulted in researching their papers. In such cases, a bibliography of 20 entries may represent only two or three books that were consulted during "research." McComiskey, for example, referred to the opinions of Francis Andersen and David Noel Freedman, and so in Turkel's "rebuttal" of my article, he mentioned the same opinions of Andersen and Freedman that McComiskey had cited, and then Andersen and Freedman were listed in Turkel's endnotes.

This finding left me with two possible conclusions: (1) Turkel had consulted the works of Francis Andersen and David Noel Freedman and had by coincidence cited their same opinions that McComiskey had referenced, or (2) Turkel had used the same ploy that college students use to try to con their teachers into thinking that they had engaged in heavy research before writing their papers. I decided that the latter was more likely, because it provided a better explanation for something else I had discovered in checking Turkel's "sources." I had to obtain them through interlibrary loan, so, as I explained in a section of my article that Turkel has truncated below, I used the library of the college where I had been a writing instructor and, as explained in the truncated quotation below, learned that some of Turkel's sources were unavailable at the RTS library.

Readers can click the first link in the quoted material immediately above to see the section of my first article on this issue, which Turkel truncated in his "reply." Suffice it to say that I have given ample evidence to cast serious suspicion on Turkel's present claim that he obtained all 17 of his "sources" from the RTS library and consulted all of them to get the information cited in his article. Here, then, are a couple of other "extra stupid questions of the week" for Turkel to dismiss as something that will be clear enough for "anyone with the most limited comprehension and critical thinking skills."

  1. Was it simply an accident that your three primary sources [works by McCominsky and Stuart] just happened to cite in their books/articles the same information that you cited from your other sources?

  2. You didn't fudge on these even a little bit?

Come on, Turkel, humor my low-context Neanderthal brain and answer the questions.

Now would Farrell also like for us to strain his beets for him and change his diaper?

See what I mean? When Turkel can't answer an opponent, all is not lost; he can always camouflage his failures and evasions under a canopy of sarcasm and insults.

"Duh ah, well, maybe those photocopied title pages aren't real. I could obtain a copy of Coogan's commentary, photocopy it, and then take a book with a stamp from my local library on the title page, photocopy its title page, and with a little splicing together make a copy that would appear to "prove" that my local library had Coogan's commentary available.

Yes, folks, Till REALLY does suggest this was done. Really.

Yep, I really did suggest it, and if Turkel had had even a tenth of my experience in academia, he would know that such tricks will be tried by those who are too lazy to do their academic work but want to make others think they have. Anyway, I have since acknowledged here that Mordecai Cogan's commentary is indeed in the RTS library. I failed to find it in my internet search, because Turkel himself had misspelled the name as "Coogan" here and here. I made the mistake of assuming that he was at least intelligent enough to know how to spell a short name in his list of "sources." He, of course, didn't mention his spelling error in his "reply." I suppose that he would have considered it "fluff," or more likely he just can't bring himself to admit that he could make a mistake of any kind.

Do I really need to say much more?

Yes, indeed, he needs to say much, much more. Much, in fact, would be an inappropriate word to apply to his evasive "replies," which skip and ignore far more than they answer. There is an obvious reason why I have called him "Skippy" in the past.

The much more that he needs to say would include a plausible explanation of why his independent research just happened to cite the same references that McComisky and Stuart, his primary "sources," had cited in their books and article. What are the odds that this would happen in researches conducted independently of one another?

I don't, but we'll say some more at the end after we finish with the skinning:

Hmm, from my perspective, all of the skinning is taking place on my end.

"Duh ah, well, I didn't find some of that stuff in the catalog." Well, we're sorry Till is so stupid sometimes, but let's give him some hints. The reason he can't find periodical titles is because he doesn't bother to look around before he runs his mouth. Go here and you'll notice a little tab in the top graphic that says, "Periodicals". That's where things like Catholic Biblical Quarterly are listed -- not in the catalog. So let's paint a big, red STUPID on Till's forehead and move on.

Sorry, but Turkel will have to forego the paint job. I had noticed this "tab" when I was consulting the RTS's website for listings, but the problem for Turkel is to explain why when this "tab" is clicked and "The Threat of Jezreel"--which was the title of Stuart Irvine's article cited in the endnotes--is typed into the search window, the response is "No Titles were found for this search." Turkel quoted entire paragraphs from his obviously primary sources, McComisky and Stuart, but didn't quote suspected secondary sources like Irvine's article just referred to, but on the assumption that if Turkel had actually read this article, he would have probably used at least some of Irvine's language in his citations, I went through both of his references to Irvine's work and selected key terms like unique words or specific collocations or imperial propaganda, but using them in the search window brought me either listings where these terms were used in other works or the notice that "Nothing was found for your search." This research has given me ample reason to think that my suspicions about Turkel's endnote padding are justified.

"Duh ah, when I looked for Wolff's book back then only a German version was listed." Sorry, I don't buy that. There's no German version listed in the catalog at all. In the end, though, once we're past the three journals, Till has to admit that 11 of the remaining 14 are in the RTS library;

The fact that they are in the library doesn't prove that Turkel consulted them. If he did indeed consult them enough to claim them as primary sources, why doesn't he address the problem that I quoted above from my first article on this issue. Was it just sheer accident that Turkel's three primary sources [works by McComisky and Stuart] just happened to cite the same information from Turkel's other "sources" that he cited in his article? This oddity smacks of a cheating tactic that I encountered many times in student papers when I was teaching college writing, so until I see evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe that Turkel is capable of the same. The fact that I have caught him first claiming that he found all of his "sources" except two in the RTS library but later "insisting" that he had found all 17 of them in the library is a clear indication that he isn't above stretching the truth.

Why, then, should I believe that clear evidence of having fudged in the listing of his "sources" doesn't mean... well, doesn't mean that he actually did fudge? Why after having said that he had obtained all but two of his "sources" from the RTS library did he later "insist" that he had obtained all 17 of them from the library?

As for the German version, the on-line catalog of the RTS library does not now list a German version of Wolff's commentary, but it did when I consulted it to write my first reply to Turkel's demand that I apologize. One of the few talents that Turkel seems to have is an ability to do internet research. Knowing this at the time of my first article, why would I have lied about something that I would have known that he could easily check? At any rate, since Turkel's same citations of Wolff's commentary just happened to be in the primary sources [McComiskey and Stuart] that he actually quoted in his article, that brings us back to the suspicion that I have referred to above: Why did Turkel's independent research for his article just happen to cite the same references found in the books and article of McComiskey and Stuart, which were obviously his primary sources? As I have explained, When I found this kind of "research" in students papers, I concluded that it was an attempt by the students to pad their endnotes with titles that they didn't really consult. Of all the times that I made this charge to the students involved, I can recall only one who ever denied it. Since we have seen that Turkel can't get his story straight about how many of his sources he obtained from the RTS library and how many he obtained from a local bookstore, why should we not think that he is capable or misrepresenting details about his "research"?

of the three that remain, two (Achtemeier, Garrett) were those that I had said I found in a local bookstore, and one (Morris) he allows to be a match by virtue of the title.

So we are back again to Turkel's conflicting stories about where he obtained his "sources." We have noticed here that he first said that he had gotten all of them but "a couple" from the library, but later, as noted here he "insisted" that he had obtained all 17 of them from the library. Now he has gone full circle and returned to his first story and is claiming that he had to get two of them from a local bookstore. And he wonders why I don't just automatically believe everything he says.Turkel:
"Duh ah, Turkel deleted his article answering me!" No, I didn't. I moved it to my cartoon website here which is now where I put nearly all of my responses to extraordinarily stupid people like Till.

I suppose this was another one of Turkel's face-saving gestures. On 7/3/05, I posted "Farris McTill Wears Horizontal Stripes" on this website, because I could no longer find it on Turkel's site. At that time, Turkel had not yet begun his "parody" site at Tektoonics.com. If memory serves me correctly, he began this in November 2005, so where was the "Horizontal Stripes" article before then? At any rate, Turkel surely isn't going to deny that he deletes material--and sometimes entire articles--that prove embarrassing to him after he has posted them. I put "Till We Meet Again," his original article on the Jehu issue, on TSR Online, because I could no longer locate it on his website. There is an article by this title on his website, but it has been so reworked and reedited that it only remotely resembles his original one, which I have posted on TSR Online, as noted above. Among other things, he omitted all of his references to the claim that "commentators of all stripes" agreed with his position. In quoting me where I sometimes referred to his having said this, his comments ignored completely that I had shown the claim to be untrue.

At any rate, if Tektoonics.com is where Turkel now puts "nearly all of [his] responses to extraordinarily stupid people," shouldn't consistency require him to post his own articles there?

Anyway, I realize now that I erred in referring to "Farris McTill Wears Horizontal Stripes" as the article in which he originally made his commentators-of-all-stripes claim. He actually made the claim here in "Till We Meet Again," which is currently posted on this website, because it seems to have disappeared from Turkel's Tektonics site. It was also in this article, here, that Turkel said that he would no longer "dignify Till's machinations by devoting further significant time and server space to refuting him." He went on to say that there would be "no sport" in "continu[ing] the attack upon an enemy too impenetrable to realize that he has been beaten." He further said that in his one article ("Till We Meet again), he intended to show in this one instance "the insufficiency of his work, so that our readers may know that Till offers no threat whatsoever to the facts of the Christian faith--and that he may be safely ignored in future works from his keyboard as one who has little or no comprehension of the ground he treads." Since then, however, Turkel seems to have made me Christian enemy number one on his website, because he has written article after article to reply--or rather wave in passing--at mine. No wonder, then, that he removed this article from his website.

By the way, Turkel's reworking of "Till We Meet Again" also omitted all references to his having said in the original version that he would not "dignify" anything else I wrote by responding to it. As I have said many times, when statements that he makes prove to be embarrassing to him, he will delete them from his website articles.

Turkel does have perhaps one defense of the number of articles directed at me on his website after having said that he wouldn't "dignify" me with any more responses, because he went on to conclude that section of his original "Till We Meet Again" with the following notice to his readers: "Should Till deign to reply to what we offer here, we will not offer another counter--unless Till demonstrates sufficient understanding and scholarship to make such reply worthwhile. If we remain silent after this, it will only be because we do not consider what Till says to be worth the effort." Perhaps, then, Turkel recognized after writing this article that I had "demonstrate[d] sufficient understanding and scholarship" to warrant his replying to my articles. If he doesn't admit now that this is the reason why he has so often posted articles about me, he will have to explain to us what he meant in the statements quoted above where he said that his one article was going to be the extent of his time devoted to replying to someone as dumb as I am.

At any rate, as I said above, "Till We Meet Again" was his article that I should have referenced when I said that he had removed from his website an article containing statements he had made about me that had later proven to be embarrassing to him. His article "Farris McTill Wears Horizontal Stripes," which he now informs us has been moved to his buffoonery site that he calls Tektoonics.com, was an article in which he tried to put a face-saving spin on his commentators-of-all-stripes statement.

The mention of "commentators of all stripes" was meant to forestall McTill's inevitable canard that the answer was only held by "fundamentalist" commentators. Since then I have learned that this, as stated, is pointless to note in discussions with McTill, since if you quote a moderate or liberal with the same view, McTill will just say they are "thinking like an inerrantist". [sic] In other words, darned if you do, darned if you don't.

So we see that just as Turkel is able to make the Bible not mean what it clearly says, if what it clearly says presents a discrepancy, he is also able to make his own articles not mean what they clearly say, if what they clearly say, turns out to be embarrassing to him.

"Duh ah, no, you apologize to ME for saying I went to a lousy college!" Pish tosh. Till is so busy getting himself out from the plot we buried him in that he missed my anwser [sic] to this.

I guess I did miss it, and maybe I missed it because his "anwser" just isn't there. I did a site:tektonics.org "Harding" Google search but found nothing about Harding that could be construed as an "anwser" to why he would so often refer derogatorily to one of the consistently top-rated universities in the South as "Bam Bam Bible College." I also did Google searches using other key words like Bam Bam but still found nothing that could be construed as his "anwser" to why he has so consistently and derogatorily referred to this top-rated southern university. Of course, I have noticed in the past that Turkel will lie about having previously answered my arguments/rebuttals, so maybe he will excuse me for not necessarily believing that I have missed a previous "anwser" that he gave to this matter.

I don't care how high a rating his college got from US News and World Report recently;

Well, Harding... er, Bam Bam has received this rating for eleven consecutive years. Eleven years ago wouldn't exactly be "recently." Turkel just can't own up to it when he shoots himself in the foot, can he?

we're not talking about what and who is there NOW but what the school was all about THEN when he went, back when he was still writing replies directly to Greenleaf himself. Only the stupidest sort of person thinks that appealing to data from the 90s has any bearing on what happened in the 40s or 50s when it comes to rating a college.

I enrolled at Harding, which Turkel has derogatorily referred to several times as "Bam Bam Bible College, in 1952. I returned in 1961 to complete a Master's degree. Information that I have received about Turkel claims that he was born April 24, 1968. That means that he was not even born until six years after my final affiliation with Harding. He claims expertise in documenting his articles, so I wonder if he would care to tell us what data he relied on to evaluate what this institution was academically when I attended it. He consulted no data of course, because if he had, he would have learned that this college was accredited by the Northcentral Accrediting Association when I attended it, and this accrediting association has very rigid requirements that must be met before an institution will be approved by it.

If he sticks to his claim that he was using "Bam Bam Bible College" to refer to what Harding was then, when I was there, and not what it is now, he will have to explain to us why certain articles at Tektonics.com have cited as reputable sources apologetic works written by people who were associated with Harding back when I was a student there. In "Archaeologists of the Christian Faith: Ancient Evidence for the Bible… in Spades," an article by W. R. Miller, currently on the Tektonics site, contains a section on Biblical Scholarship and Christian Origins, which lists the credentials of scholars who have written reputable works on behalf of Christian apologetics. In his list of these scholars, Miller included Jack. P. Lewis, who was a professor of Bible at Harding "back when I was a student there." Although Miller's listing of Lewis's credentials begins with Lewis's tenure at the Harding Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, he was associated with the main campus in Searcy, Arkansas, when I was a student there, before the Graduate School of Religion was moved to Memphis. Miller's listing of Lewis's credentials is, to say the least, impressive.

Jack P. Lewis / Jack Pearl Lewis

American scholar. Minister, serving in churches in Texas, Rhode Island, and Kentucky, 1941-54; Harding Graduate School of Religion, Memphis, TN, associate professor, 1954-57, professor of Bible, 1957-89. University Christian Center, Oxford, MS, member of board of directors, 1966. Church of Christ, White Station congregation, elder.

Jack P. Lewis has a reading knowledge of German, French, Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. He has led more than thirty tours to the Holy Land. Since his retirement from Harding Graduate School of Religion in 1989, he has given lectures, written, and served as elder in his church. He has also served as the Honorary Dean of the Japanese School of Evangelism in Tokyo, Japan. Education: Abilene Christian College (now University), B.A., 1941; Sam Houston Teacher's College (now Sam Houston State University), M.A., 1944; Harvard University, S.T.B., 1947, Ph.D., 1953; Hebrew Union College, Ph.D., 1962.

Member: Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, National Association of Professors of Hebrew (membership secretary, 1986), Evangelical Theological Society (chair, southern section, 1969-70).

Awards: American School of Oriental Research (Jerusalem), Thayer fellow, 1967-68; Christian Education Award, Twentieth Century Christian>, 1968; Distinguished Service Award, Harding College, 1979; senior fellowship, W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (Jerusalem), 1983-84; a festschrift published in Lewis's honor, Biblical Interpretation Principles and Practices, was published by Baker Books in 1986; Distinguished Christian Service Award, Harding University, 1988, and (with wife) Pepperdine University, 1991; Honorary Dean, Japanese School of Evangelism, Tokyo, Japan, 1989; Distinguished Work and Practical Christian Service (with wife), Freed-Hardeman University, 1998.

Author: The Minor Prophets, Baker Book, 1966. The Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, E. J. Brill (Leiden), 1968. Historical Backgrounds of Bible History, Baker Book, 1971. Archaeology and the Bible, Abilene Christian University, 1975.

(Editor) The Last Things, R. B. Sweet, 1976. The Gospel According to Matthew (commentary), R. B. Sweet, 1976, reprinted in two volumes, Abilene Christian University, 1984. Archeological Background to Bible People, Baker Book, 1981. The English Bible from KJV to NIV, Baker Book, 1981, 2nd edition, 1991. Leadership Questions Confronting the Church, Christian Communications, 1985. Exegesis of Difficult Passages, Resource Publications (AR), 1988. Interpreting Second Corinthians 5:1421: An Exercise in Hermeneutics, Edwin Mellen, 1989. Questions You've Asked about Bible Translations, Resource Publications, 1990. Also author of Archaeology and the Bible, 1975. Contributor of articles to Journal of Bible and Religion, Journal of Evangelical Theological Society, and Biblical Archaeologist. Member of editorial board, Restoration Quarterly, 1957, and Journal of Hebraic Studies, 1969. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2005.

We have to wonder why Turkel would have on his website an article that recommended the works of a fellow like Jack Lewis, who was a professor at "Bam Bam Bible College" back when I was a student there. Can we expect Turkel to remove the recommendation of Lewis's books from this article now that he knows that Lewis was a professor of Bible at Harding back when it was "Bam Bam Bible College"?

This same article by Miller also listed John Robert McRay as another scholar whose works on archaeology and Christian evidences he recommended to his readers. McRay was a professor of Bible at Harding University from 1958-1966. Hence, McRay was a professor at "Bam Bam" at the time that I was working on my Master's Degree there. This section of Miller's article pointed out that in his book The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel twice quoted McRay.

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), quoting McRay, p. 97.

“The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian. He’s erudite, he’s eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say.”

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), quoting McRay, p. 100.

“Archaeology has not produced anything that is unequivocally a contradiction to the Bible. On the contrary, as we’ve seen, there have been many opinions of skeptical scholars that have become codified into ‘fact’ over the years but that archaeology has shown to be wrong.”

My goodness, I would think that Turkel would exercise better editorial scrutiny than to allow a guest writer to recommend the works of those who were faculty members at Harding back when it was "Bam Bam Bible College." Does Turkel have no more respect for his editorial skills than to let something like this get by him?

If Turkel wasn't impressed with the quality of academic work at "Bam Bam Bible College," his guest writer apparently was, because Miller cited in a second article the works of still another graduate of Harding, who went on to become a professor there. In "Scientists of the Christian Faith: A Presentation of the Pioneers, Practitioners and Supporters of Modern Science," Miller recommended Michael Faraday: Man of God-Man of Science, a book by Phillip Eichman, who received degrees in both religion and biology-education from "Bam Bam." The following biographical statement is at the end of Eichman's article "Michael Faraday: Man of God-Man of Science."

Phillip Eichman received his B.S. in Biology-Education from Wright State University. He holds two Master's degrees from Harding University, one in Bible and Religion and the other in Biology-Education. He also has a Master's degree in Biology (Animal Physiology) from Purdue University, and received a doctorate in Biology from Ball State University. Dr. Eichman has taught from elementary through university levels and is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at Harding University in Searcy, AR.

Eichman's association with Harding apparently began in the 1970s when he was a student there, so knowing Turkel, I suspect that we will see him quibbling that by the time Eichman had become associated with it, Harding had begun to become what it is now and therefore wasn't what it was then, when I was a student there. Such a quibble, however, will not explain why he has an article on his website that praises the credentials of Harding professors who taught there back when it was "Bam Bam Bible College." No, folks, Turkel's comment about what Harding University is now compared to what it was then, when I was a student there, is just another example of Robert "Motor Mouth" Turkel's habit of speaking before he thinks. Will somebody in the Orlando area go by 2609 Greywall Avenue in Ocoee and pull Turkel's foot out of his mouth before he chokes to death?

Now a few words in close [sic].

We've been ignoring 90% of Till's output lately, and expect to continue to ignore it to that level.

Lately? Turkel has been ignoring 90% of my "outlay" ever since he agreed to debate me on the internet. He never has tried to answer all of my points or even come close to doing so.

The level of rationalization engaged in above, which verges on the sort that would be offered by Acharya S, speaks for itself.

I wonder if Turkel is going to fall back onto his pledge to his readers that he will never again "dignify" any of my articles by replying to them, because I was not worth the time it would take to do so. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

But the real reason we'll be ignoring him is that we've discovered Till's secret: He's not actually human. He's actually an anthropomorphic spy from the Planet Goombah. And we offer the following as proof:

  • No human, none at all, could possibly be this stupid.

  • We have a photograph of him morphing into a Goombahite:

    As I have often said, when Turkel can't answer my arguments and rebuttals, all is not lost, because he can always camouflage his failures beneath a canopy of sarcasm and ridicule. His extensive use of such ridicule is why we have appropriately presented him here on this website as a jackass that by night "morphs" into a knuckle-walking Homo habilis to so annoyingly confirm the scientific fact of evolution, which he so ignorantly opposes.

    I will repeat here my previous offer, made several times, if Turkel should ever decide that he wants to dispense with sarcasm and insults so that we can engage in serious debating, all he has to do is let me know. Until he does, however, I will continue to respond to him in kind.

    Oh, and the rest of you can start breathing again. You have our permission.

    Those, however, who have been holding their breaths until Turkel actually answers my rebuttals can't breathe yet. Well, on second thought, I had better give them permission to breathe too. I don't want them to suffocate.

    I said earlier that I would end this article with a listing of my arguments in "Bobby Wants and Apology?" that Turkel has systematically evaded in his so-called replies to my rebuttals of his article "Time to Hang Him Out to Dry." I first posted my rebuttals in response to his commentators-of-all-stripes claim that he originally made in his "Till We Meet Again" article, which has since been deleted from his website. The link just given is to the original version now posted at TSR Online, so readers should not be misled by an article of the same title on the Tektonics website, because this is a drastically reedited version of the original article in which, among other things, Turkel deleted both his claim that commentators of all stripes agree with his interpretation of Hosea 1:4 and the promise to his readers that he would not "dignify" anything else that I write by taking the time to answer it. His demands that I apologize for having wrongly accused him of exaggerating the number of sources that he consulted in writing "Till We Meet Again" (just linked to) have been pathetic attempts to hide his evasions of my major rebuttal arguments behind a façade of feigned affront at having had his integrity questioned. All of his whining in Time to Hang Him Out to Dry about an insult that I should apologize for has been a smoke screen that Turkel has laid down to distract attention from his repeated evasions of my rebuttals of his claim that commentators of all stripes agree with his take on Hosea 1:4. He has used this smoke screen to try to hide his evasions of the following points.

    1. I presented clear evidence here that, rather than being a cross section of biblical scholars ranging from conservative to liberal, Turkel's "commentators of all stripes" were primarily biblical inerrantists or authors who were committed to the traditional belief that the Bible is "the word of God." Throughout all of his clamoring for an apology from me, he has ignored his own need to apologize for having misled his readers about the biblical philosophies of the "sources" he cited.

    2. He has ignored my offer made here to reply to all points in his articles that he thinks I have evaded if he will agree "to reply in kind to all points of mine that I think he has skipped and then post all of our exchanges on his website, and keep them there." I promised to post on this website everything that we would exchange if he should accept this proposal. Needless to say, he has not accepted it, but he continues to make snide comments about how far behind I am in replying to him. If he is so concerned about a perception that I am "years behind" in replying to him, why doesn't he accept my proposal?

    3. In response to his abstract allegation that I have committed "several enormous gaffes that would send more honest men to the confessional booth," I identified with specific links several glaring gaffes that he has made in his exchanges with me, but those examples have been met with a long silence from Ocoee, Florida. Instead of addressing them, he has continued to whine a demand that I apologize for having said something about him that appears to be evidentially true.

    4. As an extended example of just how glaring Turkel's gaffes have been, I cited overwhelming evidence that Turkel grievously erred when he tried to resolve the discrepancy between Mark and John over the time when Jesus was crucified by claiming that John had used the Roman system of time, which, like ours, he said, reckoned "hours" from midnight, which would have made John's "sixth hour" 6:00 in the morning. I quoted reference after reference that flatly disputed this and showed that in Roman time, the sixth hour would have been midday. Turkel's reponse to this had been an extended silence, but shouldn't he apologize to his readers for having misled then by recycling an old inerrantist claim that has been repeatedly discredited?

    5. After establishing that Turkel had obviously erred in saying that the Romans reckoned hours from midnight, I then showed that after having had his error pointed out to him, Turkel revised some articles on his website to leave the impression that this was a mistake that had been made by the authors of Social-Science Commentary on John, a source quoted in his article, and not by him. This exposure has also been met with silence so that Turkel could concentrate on a demand that I apologize for having wounded his pride.

    6. Turkel has ignored my exposure of his ignorance of what the high/low context theory of linguistics really teaches and still continues to cite this theory as evidence of something that it doesn't prove.

    7. He has ignored my exposure of his complete disregard for what the New Testament teaches about the way that Christians should speak (seasoned with salt) in their conversations with non-Christians (those who are "outside"). He flagrantly ignores a clearly stated Christian responsibility but wants me to apologize for a perceived insult.

    8. He has not explained why he has given conflicting stories about the number of his "sources" that he obtained from the RTS library. One time he said that he obtained all of them but a couple from this library, and then he later "insisted" that he had obtained all 17 of them from the library. Then later, he returned to his original claim and said that he had gotten all of them but two from the library.

    When a guy can't keep his story any straighter than this, why should we think that he is telling the truth when he claims that he didn't pad his "sources" in his endnotes? Since he has said that his policy "lately"--which is really what his policy has always been--is to ignore 90% of what I write in my articles, I guess it would be expecting too much to think that he might actually try to answer all of these rebuttal points that he has repeatedly evaded. Instead, I suppose we can expect to see him tack a few more sarcastic comments onto his "Time to Hang Him Out to Dry" article and call that a "reply."


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