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The Zigzagging Stripes of Bobby Turkel
by Farrell Till
 

A reply to:

Farris McTill Wears Horizontal Stripes

by Robert Turkel aka J.P. Holding



My reply to Robert Turkel's claim that "commentators of all stripes" agreed with his position on the meaning of Hosea 1:4 was originally posted on the old alt.bible.errancy forum and then posted by Joseph Joson on the Tecktonics.Org:Exposed site as "Robert Turkel and His 'Commentators of All Stripes.'" Turkel, being Turkel, posted a typically sarcastic reply to it under the title linked to in the headers above. Joson introduced my article with his own introduction, which Turkel included in his reply, so Joson is the "Mojo Jojo" in Turkel's reply. Whenever Turkel resorts to this kind of antic in his articles, I reply in kind, so I will be referring to him as "Bobby," a diminutive of his real name, which he is known not to like. As I have said before, if Bobby ever decides to debate civilly, I will be happy to reciprocate, but until then, I will respond to him in kind.

To assist readers in following who has said what, I will use the header Till to identify the material in my original article and Turkel to identify Bobby's comments on my original material and on the information in Joson's introduction. Joson will identify comments that he made in the introduction, and Till will identify my replies to Bobby's jabs at Joson and his comments on my original article.

Turkel:
The statement McTill refers to here ["commentators of all stripes"] was actually removed from my re-editing [sic] and compiliation [sic] of this debate several years ago, which is now found here, and which McTill has ignored for years after scuttling back to the safety of his Errancy List. In the meantime, interestingly, McTill has been flummoxed by one of his own Skeptical readers coming out in defense of there being no contradiction between 2 Kings and Hosea. Quite interesting.

Till:
Flummoxed? This word means "baffled" or "perplexed," so what makes Bobby think that I was baffled by having a skeptic disagree with me? Skeptics often disagree, and anyone who has followed the Errancy list, which, unlike Bobby, I will link readers to so that they will have access to the internet forum that has put so many burrs under his saddle, know that disagreement among skeptics is commonplace. Readers of Bobby's website will find in-house disagreements unusual, because they will find no open opposition in his domain, where he exercises tight controls over what they will see. I suspect that Bobby didn't mean to say that I was baffled or perplexed by the opposition of another skeptic but that I had experienced another emotion, such as dismay or distress, because if I had been truly baffled, I wouldn't have been able to rebut the skeptic's proposed solution to the Jehu problem, which, as I will show later, I was certainly able to do. The humor in Bobby's apparent misuse of flummoxed is that he sees himself as a linguistic expert, who can see "nuances" in Hebrew that escape even those knowledgeable enough in the language to participate in the compiling of English translations of the Bible, yet he so often can't even see nuances in his own native language.

In saying that the opposition of another skeptic on the Jehu issue had "flummoxed" me, Bobby "No Links" Turkel, of course, didn't bother to link his readers to the article written by that skeptic and my reply to it. Both were published in the January/February 2001 issue of The Skeptical Review. When Tim Simmons, the skeptic Bobby was referring to, let me know that he had retracted a position he had taken in an earlier article in which he too had said that 2 Kings 10:30-31 and Hosea 1:4 were irreconcilably inconsistent, I told him that I would publish any article he wanted to submit in defense of his new position. This was in keeping with my "open-door" policy--which I maintained through the 12 years that this journal was published and which I still maintain in this forum--that allowed dissenting positions to receive a hearing. (I also maintain a feedback section in this forum, where dissenting views may be posted, a policy that is completely foreign to Bobby, who maintains a closed-door forum, where readers won't have the opportunity to hear both sides of issues that he writes on.) On the date referred to above, I published "The Jehu Solution" by Simmons and my reply to it. Bobby "No Links" didn't let his readers know where they could access these two articles, because his policy is to keep his readers in the dark as much as possible on what opponents of his positions have published. Those who take the time to read the two articles just linked to will see that Simmons presented his case and that I replied to it point by point. Simmons did not submit a rebuttal article, so I assumed that he could see that his "solution" to the Jehu problem, like so many other attempts to solve this problem, was untenable.

Bobby failed to mention that Simmons pointed out in his article that he had found Glenn Miller's solution, which Turkel lauded and appropriated in his exchanges with me on this issue, indefensible and had rejected it in favor of the solution that he submitted. Those who read his article linked to above and my reply to it will see that Simmon's theory, like so many others that have been proposed to eliminate this inconsistency, turned out to be unsatisfactory. The fact that so many contradictory solutions of this problem have been proposed should be sufficient within itself to show that that this inconsistency doesn't exist just in the minds of skeptics trying desperately to find discrepancies in the Bible. It is a real problem, which has required inerrantists to lean over backwards to try to find some way to explain it.

Over the years, I have had many solutions to this problem presented to me. One of the most innovative ones that I encountered was presented by a Christian in Sri Lanka, who came up with the idea that the "son of the prophets" who anointed Jehu to be king didn't command him to go destroy the house of Ahab but had merely prophesied that he would. This apologetic theory claimed that the belief that 1 Kings 10:30-31 and Hosea 1:4 presented conflicting opinions of the massacre at Jezreel has resulted from having mistaken a prophecy spoken by the "son of the prophets" (2 Kings 9:6-10) for a mandate or a command. The Sri Lankan Christian and I debated this theory at length on the old alt.bible.errancy forum until he apparently saw that his interpretation was indefensible and dropped out. It has been posted on this website under the title "Jehu Again" so that readers can see the extremes that biblical inerrantists will go to in order to defend their misguided belief in the inerrancy of documents written in prescientific, superstitious times.

As for Bobby's claim that I "ignored" his "compilation of the debate" for years, I didn't bother to reply to it, because it was just another typical example of his "debating" style in which he (1) substitutes insults and sarcasms for argumentation, (2) selectively replies by skipping rebuttals he can't answer satisfactorily, (3) cites writers who agree with him without bothering to include enough context from his "sources" for readers to evaluate the strength of their positions, and (4) deletes from the original exchanges materials that prove embarrassing to him. In my own three-part compilation of the debate, I have inserted red-print addenda to reply to the new materials that Bobby included and to point out where the four evasive features of his compilation, identified above, occurred in his editing of the original debate. Those who read it will find that it is detailed and documented so that, unlike Bobby's unlinked tirades, sources referred to can be conveniently accessed. I link frequently to Bobby's "articles," because I want discriminating readers to see just how shallow his logic is. He doesn't link to mine because... well, I will just let readers decide why he won't link to them. This reply should give them a clue to how much time and detail I put into my rebuttal articles.

So why am I just now posting these replies to Bobby's editing of the original debate? Well, with other projects that needed my attention, I honestly couldn't see spending time writing a detailed reply to something that Bobby would treat in his usual fashion and that most of his readers would never see anyway because of his refusal to link them to the material of skeptics that he is "answering." Earlier this year, however, I received a personal message from a skeptic who claimed that he has encountered biblical inerrantists who think that I didn't reply to Bobby because I couldn't. I suppose that I am just vain enough to want to show these inerrantists that they are wrong, so this article, my three-part series linked to above, my exposure of Bobby's "commentators of all stripes" as just a couple of inerrantists trying to find a new way to explain the Jehu problem, and the debate with the Sri Lankan Bible believer are my way of showing Bobby's sycophants that they are very wrong if they think that his position in the Jehu matter is unimpeachable.

Turkel:
At any rate, this [apparently "commentators of all stripes"] is another one of those comments that McTill hopped on with his own interpretation, never getting the point that was actually behind it. We'll see in a moment. First, some words from Mojo Jojo.

Till:
Turkel's original article has been retrieved from internet archives and posted on this site, so readers can go here and 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."

Joson:
In the first Farrell Till/Robert Turkel Debate, accessible here, Turkel had tried to defend his position by quoting from commentaries that agreed with his stance.

Turkel:
Translation: by quoting commentaries that gave solid, documented reasons for their stance, which McTill couldn't answer.

Till:
An incorrect link was given to the original Jehu debate, so I have corrected it so that readers who want to see the original debate can do so with just a mouse click. In my three-part series, which began here, readers will find the original debate (which Bobby has removed from his website) imbedded between the red sections, which contain my replies to Bobby's attempts to rebut my counterarguments.

In his "translation" of Joson's claim that Bobby has tried to defend his position by quoting commentaries that agreed with his position, Bobby said that these were commentaries that gave "solid, documented reasons for their stance," but I urge everyone interested in this subject to read the entire original debate, linked to above, to see that no such "solid, documented" evidence was given. All through his so-called "reply," Bobby simply inserted bracketed references like these:

  • Although he eventually posits that it does refer to the deeds done to the house of Ahab, Mullen [Mull.DynJehu, 198-9] notes that "the stylized nature of the phrase makes it difficult to define `what is right' in specific terms...." We suggest, then, along with Provan [Prov.12K, 216] that another interpretive option is available.

  • "The writer of 2 Kings was not concerned to pass judgments of a political or sociological nature on the events he is describing." [Hobb.2K, 119]

  • Even the most basic anthropological work (such as Matthews and Benjamin's Social World of Ancient Israel) makes it quite clear that there is a world of difference between our way of thinking and that of members of Eastern Mediterranean society - and that these differences must be taken into account when considering the Old and New Testaments.
  • I have quoted here, in their entireties, all of the sources that Bobby cited in Part One of our debate. If anyone can find anything here that even remotely resembles "solid, documented reasons" for the stances that these "sources" took please point it out to me, because I honestly cannot see anything here but crass assertion. Bobby quoted nothing that gave any "solid, dicumented" reasons why these authors had taken the positions he was appealing to.

    Now let's look at the "solid, documented reasons" in all of the sources that Bobby cited in Part Two of the original debate.

  • Some of the liberal bent suggest a type of progressive revelation, in which God has set higher standards of action in Hosea's time than were set in Jehu's time, in response to the human need for growth. [see AndFree.Hos, 178; Crai.12P, 12; for reply, see Irv.ThrJez, 499].

  • Others remain content with seeing contradiction (but seldom offer any detailed work on the subject--see Wolf.Hos, 17-18; May.Hos, 28; Jone.12K, 2/473].

  • Irvine [Irv.ThrJez, 503] suggests that our 2 Kings passage (10:30-1) is a piece of imperial propaganda that was being refuted by Hosea, which would raise the question of interpolation in 2 Kings or its sources.

  • Speiser once remarked of "paqad" that, "there is probably no other Hebrew verb that has caused translators as much trouble"--and it will take only a few citations to see why.

  • The specific collocation here, we might add, appears nowhere else in the OT! [Irv.ThrJez, 497] Unique words or word combinations are nearly always problematic.

  • Andersen and Freedman acknowledge the viability of the "visit" translation and accept the same explanation of the issue as we have, as noted below. However, they stick with "punish" and reject a "visit" translation because "its vacuity misses the juridical connotations of the idiom."

  • Hosea is no less condemning of the sins of the sort committed by the house of Ahab than the Kings writer is, and "nowhere else in the book (of Hosea) are the murders at Jezreel cited as the cause of Israel's demise." [MCom.MP, 20 ].

  • Instead, it is all the usual sins that are the problem! Andersen and Freedman [AndFree.Hos, 179; see also Acht.MP1, 16-7] bring this point home nicely.

  • In this aspect, Andersen and Freedman see in Hosea's words a similarity to the situation that Israel had when entering Canaan: They entered on a promise, but when they took up the evil ways of the Canaanites, the promise was turned back upon them. Thus, regarding Jehu's actions, they write that Hosea... viewed the behavior of Jehu in a dual light; in the very act of carrying out the divine judgment against the house of Ahab, he overstepped the bounds of his mandate and showed that arrogance and self-righteousness which was the undoing of the preceding dynasty.

  • This excess, Andersen and Freedman find (as we do) in the destruction of members of the house of Judah (see below; see also Hous.12K, 293). They therefore conclude: We should not suppose that in the thought of the prophet(s) it was Jehu's sin which doomed his great-great-grandson...

  • Andersen and Freedman see the logical sense of the fact that, if Hosea condemns the same sins as those committed by the house of Ahab, how could he here be disapproving of Jehu's destruction of their house?
  • I have momentarily skipped two long quotations where Bobby "gave the floor" to McComiskey and Stuart. I will quote these sections in their entireties after we have looked at Bobby's citations in Part Three, but for now I just want everyone to look at the citations above to see if there are any "solid, documented reasons" given in support of whatever Hobbs or Andersen and Freedman et al said in the truncated citations from their books. Any honest person will have to admit that no such "solid, documented reasons" were given by any of them. Their comments were nothing more than personal beliefs that they were asserting. If Bobby really believes that he quoted sources that had given "solid, documented reasons" for the "stances" they took, he desperately needs to take a course in elementary logic.

    We will go now to Part Three to see what "solid, documented reasons" were contained in the sources that Bobby cited, and then I will return to the quotations from McComiskey and Stuart that I momentarily skipped.

  • Hosea [sic] naming his child "Jezreel" was much the same as naming a child today "Vietnam" or "Watergate" [Crai.12P, 11] - neither of which by any means requires pinpointing of/restriction to an exact geographic location for all of the events concerned!

  • Added punch in selecting "Jezreel" is the fact that in the Hebrew, a punning reference is made with "Israel" that further emphasizes the point that it is Israel that will be the subject of the "sowing." [Morr.PPH, 79]

  • Let us turn now to the account in 2 Kings, and the groups under scrutiny. "Great men" refers to the nobles of the kingdom [Jone.12K, 2/467].
  • With the exception of the two longer quotations from McComiskey and Stuart, which I will return to shortly, these are all of the citations that Bobby entered into our original debate. (If I skipped any, the oversight was unintentional.) No reasonable person can read these citations, which I quoted in their entireties, and honestly say that they contained "solid, documented reasons" why Bobby's cited "sources" took the stances that they did in the Jehu issue. They contain nothing more than the asserted beliefs of Jones, Craigie, Morris et al, and we could well imagine how unimpressed Bobby would be if I filled my articles with references to what Robert Price thinks or what Dan Barker believes.

    I will go back now to the section in Part Two where Bobby "gave the floor" to McComiskey. I will quote everything that Bobby quoted from this source, but I will interrupt from time to time to point out that the quotations contain few if any "solid, documented reasons" for what McComiskey was saying.

    (Paqad) is difficult to define. It frequently describes an action that precedes the bestowal of blessing (Gen. 21:1, 50:24-5, Exod. 3:16) or the execution of judgment (Ex. 32:34, 1 Sam. 15:2, Is. 23:7) on the part of God. Since the word may precede an act of blessing, it cannot denote the sole idea of punishment. It is best to understand it as attending to or giving heed to a person, object or situation before responding.

    Does anyone see any "solid, documented" reason here why paqad could not have conveyed the sense of punishment in Hosea 1:4? A major point that Bobby argued in the debate was that this word had a variety of applications in the Old Testament, so just because McComiskey found some places where it meant the "bestowal of blessing," which at times it certainly did, does not mean that the word was not being used in Hosea 1:4 to convey the idea of a bestowal of punishment. I quoted 36 English translations that so rendered the verse and found none that supported McComiskey's view, so it looks as if Bobby's source has been trumped on this point.

    This concept of mental apprehension is apparent in the frequent association of the word with (remember, see, e.g., Jer. 14:10). There are many other nuances, but in contexts of judgment it describes an action in which God attends to the wrong he observes by intervening with appropriate action. There are many other nuances, but in contexts of judgment it describes an action in which God attends to the wrong he observes by intervening with appropriate action.

    Yes, it did convey this concept, but I pointed out in this section of Part Two that the concept of "remembering" conveyed by paqad could be negative or punitive as well as positive and that context always determined which sense it was conveying. Just a click of the mouse button will take readers there, so I don't need to rehash that section here. I'll just ask Bobby to tell us where the "solid, documented reasons" for McComiskey's "stance" can be found in the quotations above. Bobby apparently can't tell the difference in solid evidence and mere assertions.

    When (paqad) is collocated with (upon) as well as a direct object and an indirect object (as it is here) in statements of judgment, the direct object is viewed as attending the indirect object. That is, the direct object is brought into the experience of the indirect object.

    Did anyone see any "solid, documented" evidence here to support McComiskey's claim? Any reasonable person can see that he was simply asserting an opinion. At any rate, as I also point out below, I showed in this section of Part 2 that the "collocation" McComiskey is quibbling about here was used in a punitive sense several times in the Old Testament.

    The collocation (visit upon) cannot denote punishment "for" in this context. The nation will not be punished "for" these destroyers, but "by" them. The direct object (the four destroyers) is to come into the experience of the indirect object (the nation as the object of the preposition upon).

    And the "solid, documented" evidence to support this is where? Anyone can see that McComiskey simply made assertions here. Bobby prefaced this quotation from McComiskey with a comment about Jeremiah 15:3, which said that Yahweh would "send" [paqad] three destroyers against Jerusalem: "the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy." The claim here was that the verse didn't mention a reason for sending these destroyers, and so the "collocation" couldn't denote "punishment for" in this particular context. I demolished this quibble in this section of Part Two by showing that an analysis of the broader context of this verse will show that in the verses preceding the one that McComiskey cited, Jeremiah clearly stated that Yahweh would "remember their sins and punish their iniquities," so the reason for sending the three "destroyers" was very clearly stated, and the context clearly showed the punitive meaning of paqad.

    This sense of the idiom is exists [sic] in every context where (visited upon) has two objects. On the other hand, the translation "punish for" does not apply in every context. We must not assign that sense to the collocation uncritically

    In this section of Part Two, I dismantled McComiskey's claim here by analyzing other biblical texts to show that the same collocation was used to convey an obvious sense of "punish for," so in the entire lengthy quotation from McComiskey, there was exactly nothing that could reasonably be construed as "solid, documented" evidence to support his "stance" on the meaning of Hosea 1:4. He did nothing but assert throughout.

    So now, we can go through the long quotation from Stuart to see that he too failed to give any "solid, documented" evidence to support his view.

    It should be noted that the present oracle does not per se condemn Jehu's coup at Jezreel, called for by Elisha. (Dam yizre'el) could mean "bloodguilt of Jezreel" in the sense of a great, decisive slaughter. The former connotation, "bloodguilt," is found is found [sic] for (dam) in Lev. 20:9, Duet.[sic] 19:10, 2 Sam. 21:1, etc.

    Does anyone see any "solid, documented" evidence here to support Stuart's claim that "the present oracle [Hosea] does not per se condemn Jehu's coup at Jezreel"? So far, all he said was that dam yizre'el could have meant "a great, decisive slaughter." Well, I certainly agree. It could well have meant that--and I think that it did mean that--but how does this remove the fact that Hosea said that Yahweh would visit that great, massive slaughter [the blood of Jezreel] upon the house of Jehu? How does this remove the fact that 36 translations rendered this statement in a way that conveyed the idea that Yahweh was going to punish the house of Jehu for that "great, massive slaughter" [the blood of Jezreel]?

    Readers can go to this section of Part Two to see a more detailed rebuttal of Stuart's comment quoted above.

    But the connotation "killing" or "bloodshed" is also well-attested as in (dam) "bloodshed-of-battle" (1 Kgs. 2:5) or (dam) "unnecessary bloodshed" (1 Kgs. 2:31), etc. Recognition of the use of (dam) in the context, so often associated with requital of justice in the Old Testament, should not lead to the conclusion that Hosea is condemning Jehu for fulfilling God's command.

    Any "solid, documented reasons" here? If so, I don't see them. Giving a mere scripture citation isn't "solid, documented" evidence of anything. Those who wish to see a detailed rebuttal of this quotation from Stuart can go to the section of Part Two linked to above.

    Instead, Yahweh now announces that he will turn the tables on the house of Jehu because of the real issue, i.e., what has happened in the meantime.

    Anyone can see that this statement is nothing but an assertion of Stuart's opinion of what paqad meant in Hosea 1:4, but "solid, documented" reasons for believing the assertion? They just aren't there, and the continuation of Stuart's assertion immediately below also failed to give any "solid, documented reasons" for his "stance." If Bobby thinks that the assertion quoted here is true, I defy him to show us where Hosea said anywhere that the blood of Jezreel was going to be visited onto the house of Jehu, not because of the original massacre but because of what had happened in the meantime.

    In the same way that Jehu in 842 had annihilated a dynasty feared for its long history of oppression and apostasy, so Yahweh himself will now put an end to the Jehu dynasty because it, in turn, has grown hopelessly corrupt. (emphasis in original)

    Where is the "solid, documented reasons" for Stuart's "stance" asserted here? All I can see is an asserted interpretation of the verse, maybe Bobby can point out to us the "solid reasons" that Stuart gave for his interpretation.

    And maybe pigs will fly someday too.

    This is all of the quotation from Stuart that Bobby used in his so-called "rebuttal" of my argument, and as I pointed out several times while going through it, there is nothing at all in the entire quotation that can be construed as "solid, documented reasons" for the "stance" that Stuart took on the meaning of Hosea 1:4. Bobby has grabbed for a straw and missed.

    Joson:
    In the debate he had stated, “We point out that our solution from Hosea is reckoned by ‘commentators of all stripes.’” The reference to “we” and “our,” of course, only meant Turkel.

    Turkel:
    Yep, McTill and his fans just don't like that plural self-reference I like. Too bad. I don't like their haircuts or their writing style.

    Till:
    Well, I don't know about my fans, but I have the background in English composition standards to know that using we, our and us in a singular sense is an affected style of writing, which was once popular, but is now considered outmoded by modern textbooks. It now ranks alongside the stilted style of some newspaper writers who will say, "In the opinion of this writer..." instead of just directly saying, "I think," or, "In my opinion." This usage, which is so popular with Bobby, had its origin in the days of royalty, when kings and queens used the first person plural to refer to themselves. A problem with the use of "the royal we" in writing, however, is that it can result in confusion, because when someone who uses this affected style comes to a place where we should be used in its strictest sense of first person plural, readers may think that the writer is just referring to himself. At any rate, I think that the origin of the usage of the "royal we" and its popularity with Bobby speaks volumes about his obviously narcissistic personality. An anecdote attributed to Admiral Hyman Rickover claims that he once said to a subordinate who habitually used the royal we, "Three groups are permitted that usage: pregnant women, royalty, and schizophrenics. Which one are you?"

    Bobby doesn't need to answer that question, because most of us know the answer. His habitual use of we when he means himself may very well be symptomatic of a personality disorder. I recently encountered a similar opinion in an article that was commenting on Bobby's views on evolution. The author replying to him referred to Bobby by his phony name "Holding."

    I want you to note another of Mr. Holding’s tendencies. In his writing he frequently refers to himself in the first-person plural, “we.” No one, to my knowledge, assists Mr. Holding with his writing or his website (at least he doesn’t credit anyone with such assistance if indeed he is receiving help). Therefore, his use of “we” is somewhat odd when you realize that the word is in reference to himself. I’m not sure what he is trying to do or say when he does this but it makes reading his articles a bit awkward. It is as if you are listening to a person speak who has multiple personalities and that a “dominate” one is doing the speaking for the rest...."

    I don't know whether Bobby has multiple personalities, but one can easily see illusions of grandeur in his writing. On the home page of his website, for example, he depicts himself as Superman and the Terminator, and he shamelessly boasts in an article entitled, with typical sarcasm, "Ebonic Plague" that he and Glenn Miller might be modern prophets.

    Demanding "more recent prophets" is a demand of laziness and also begs the question that I am not myself (along with others like Glenn Miller) in some sense fulfilling that function for Ebon and others.

    There is no conceit in Bobby's family, because he got it all and left none for other relatives.

    Joson:
    His mention of “commentators of all stripes” was meant to impress his readership that he had actually consulted a number of differing commentaries and they all remarkably agreed with his point of view.

    Turkel:
    Um, no. That would be Mojo's paranoia talking. The mention of "commentators of all stripes" was meant to forestall McTill's inevitable canard that the answer was only held by "fundamentalist" commentators.

    Till:
    Yeah, right! Early on, Bobby rushed to tell his readers that he was defending a view of Hosea 1:4 that is accepted by "commentators of all stripes."

    Many commentators of all stripes have suggested, based on structure and parallelism, that Hosea 1:4 is better read to express the idea that the bloodshed of Jezreel will be visited on the house of Jehu--which is to say, the verse should read, not "punished for the blood of Jezreel," but "punished by"--the reference is to the mode of punishment, rather than the cause of it (emphasis added).

    This is a ploy used by inerrantists to make their readers think that what they are defending is recognized by scholars of all kinds, from conservative to liberal. Bobby didn't make his commentators-of-all-stripes remark just to "forestall" any claim that I might make about his position being a fundamentalist one, because he ran the claim by his readers again.

    For now, a word about these sources we will be using. We point out that our solution from Hosea is reckoned by "commentators of all stripes" (emphasis added.

    He quickly went on to say in the same context.

    Of course, regarding those of "all stripes" who do seek to resolve the issue--if Till wishes to assert some harmonic conspiracy at work, that is his prerogative.

    Bobby may deny it all that he wants to, but I will never believe that he was just trying to "forestall" an objection from me. I have seen too many inerrantists use this scholars-of-all-kinds ploy too much to believe otherwise.

    Turkel:
    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.

    Till:
    Turkel apparently did learn a lesson here, because in his reworking of his original part of the debate, he left out references to his "commentators of all stripes," but that was no doubt due to my follow-up article in which I showed that his "commentators of all stripes" were just two primary sources, both of whom were fundamental inerrantists, and the others were secondary sources, who were referred to in McComiskey's and Stuart's books. Some of these secondary sources proved to be believers in the very view of Hosea 1:4 that I was defending. These exposures no doubt proved too embarrassing for Bobby to repeat his claim that "commentators of all stripes" agreed with his position. True to form, then, he deleted something that he had said that was later shown to be incorrect.

    In addition to eliminating his commentators-of-all-stripes claim from his "reworked" version of the original debate, Bobby removed other embarrassments, such as his claim that he would not reply to anything else that I might write, because I just wasn't worth his time, and his linguistic boo-boo of using the word transliterate where translate was needed. That error, by the way, appeared in a section where he was claiming the ability to recognize Hebrew "nuances" that had eluded me, and he later repeated the same mistake in this same section.

    Turkel:
    Which is much easier for McTill then getting his sorry hiney out and doing some digging.

    Till:
    Yeah, I guess I should "dig" the way Bobby did when he flipped through two "sources," McComiskey and Stuart, and then tried to pass off the secondary references in their books as scholars whom he had consulted in his research. At the end of his "reworked" version of the original debate, Bobby listed 17 "sources" whom he had presumably consulted, but anyone who knows how to evaluate writing can easily see through his kind of "research." I spent 30 years reading and evaluating writing that was supposed to show a college-level of research skills, and about 50% of it was the kind that we see in Bobby's articles. The following excerpt from Part One of his "reworking" of the original debate to eliminate embarrassments gives an idea of just how superficial his "research" is.

    Some [scholars] of the liberal bent suggest a type of progressive revelation, in which God has set higher standards of action in Hosea's time than were set in Jehu's time, in response to the human need for growth. [see AndFree.Hos, 178; Crai.12P, 12; for reply, see Irv.ThrJez, 499]. Others remain content with seeing contradiction (but seldom offer any detailed work on the subject - see Wolf.Hos, 17-18; May.Hos, 28; Jone.12K, 273). Irvine [Irv.ThrJez, 503] suggests that our 2 Kings passage (10:30-1) is a piece of imperial propaganda that was being refuted by Hosea, which would raise the question of interpolation in 2 Kings or its sources.

    We see here that, within a context containing fewer than 100 words, Bobby squeezed in seven "citations" from his 17 sources, and in so doing he gave his readers no in-depth analyses of the issues that we were supposed to be debating. Like so many of my former college students, he thinks that if throws in some bracketed references like those above, his readers will swoon in admiration, but if those bracketed references don't say anything that supports the view being advocated, what good do they do? Anybody can inject [see Smith 321] or [see Jackson 79] into a paper that says nothing as far as real supporting evidence is concerned. I saw this kind of "research" so many times in my teaching career that I finally declared war on it and gave the students who handed in such shoddy work the huge F it deserved.

    That's the grade I would give to Bobby if he had handed in a paper as shoddily researched as his part of our debate on the Jehu issue. I showed above that none of the references like those that I just cited said anything at all that could be construed as "solid, documented" evidence, and my analysis of the longer quotations from McComiskey and Stuart showed that they too did nothing but make unsupported assertions about what they thought Hosea 1:4 meant. In "Commentators of All Stripes," I also analyzed Bobby's claim that his "sources" ran the spectrum from liberal to conservative and showed that they didn't. Bobby's commentators of all stripes were for all intents and purposes two evangelical fundamentalists trying to defend their biblical inerrancy views.

    Bobby did in the Jehu debate what he has done over and over again in his "apologetic" attempts. He cites writers, usually biblical inerrantists, who agree with him and tries to pass that off as "in-depth scholarship." He tried this ploy in “Evidence of Jericho” by citing fundamentalist "archaeologists" like Bryant Wood to try to prove that archaeological discoveries support the historicity of the account of Jericho's destruction as recorded in the book of Joshua, but in "The Walls of Jericho," a detailed and carefully researched reply, Brett Palmer showed that Bobby's sources were held in low esteem by reputable archaeologists and were entirely too biased to be considered reliable. Readers should go to this article to see Palmer hand Bobby's head to him on a platter.

    As frosting on the cake, I will also mention that just as I showed Bobby's ignorance of basic biblical content in "Restroom Visits in Biblical Times" by pointing out how wrong he was in saying that no one in the Bible was ever "recorded as actually using a restroom" so Palmer exposed here more of Bobby's biblical ignorance by showing that he was wrong in saying that the destruction of Jericho had happened during or right after the harvest season. Palmer showed that, if the Bible is inerrant, the conquest of Jericho had happened during the month of Abib, which overlapped March and April.

    We will have to wait to see how Bobby tries to wiggle out of this one. And he will try, of course.

    Joson:
    In fact, in the debate, he stated, “my ‘commentators’ run the spectrum from conservative to moderate to liberal.” In the following article, published after the debate only on the alt.bible.errancy newgroup (in November of 1998) and unseen by many, Farrell Till takes a look at these “commentators of all stripes” to see just how far up and down the theological spectrum they actually ran.

    Turkel:
    Broadly enough, actually. But McTill has his own paranoia to sell; it's easier to avoid admitting you have no actual answer that way.

    Till:
    In the original debate, which is embedded in its entirety in the three parts of the Jehu debate, which begins here, I answered Bobby point by point, but he "answered" me only selectively. That is a matter of record that anyone can verify by reading the original exchanges. Bobby uses selective quoting as a way of trying to avoid admitting that he can't answer the rebuttals that he skips. Furthermore, the sections in red print that I have inserted into the articles just linked to above clearly show that Bobby has said nothing in this debate that I can't easily answer.

    It appears time to renew a challenge. If Bobby will post specific points of his, which he thinks I have avoided, I will reply to all of them at once, if he will agree to reply to all points of mine that I think he has skipped and if he will post all of our exchanges on these points on his website and agree to keep them there. Needless to say, I won't hesitate a moment to agree to post them in this forum.

    This will end the matter, of course, because Bobby isn't about to agree to do this. His refusal to accept the challenge, however, won't keep him from ranting and raving and hurling insults at me. Wait and see.

    Joson:
    I have not edited Till’s material so you will see reference to his previous unsuccessful attempts to get Turkel to come and debate him in an open forum which only recently came to pass.

    Turkel:
    An "open forum" like a public website... compared to the confined
    Errancy List with only 150 members...

    Till:
    Bobby "No Links" Turkel, of course, didn't link his readers to the Errancy list, so I have inserted a link so that those who wish to do so will know where to find this list.

    As for the membership of the Errancy list, almost all members are skeptics or atheists, so is Bobby saying that he doesn't want the opportunity to present his case to those who don't believe the Bible? Is he saying that he prefers to preach to those who already agree with him, which is basically what he is doing when he posts articles on his website?

    Turkel:
    yep...face it, folks: it's all a smokescreen McTill uses to fool the gullible like Mojo who hang on his every word. For them, McTill is the Word of God. Bind him in black covers with inscribed gold letters and leave him on the shelf.

    Till:
    This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, because no one will find a forum that tries harder to fool the gullible than Bobby does on his website, and one has only to read the sycophantic references to him in Christian forums like the Theology Web to see that the biblically ignorant think that he created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.

    Joson:
    You will also notice that halfway through the article, Till repeats himself as if recapping what he had said previously. This is because in the original format, his responses came in two different posts that were not connected as they are here.

    Turkel:
    No, this is because McTill thinks endlessly repeating himself is a way to distract readers into thinking he is saying more than he actually is.

    Till:
    Joson had it right. Anyone who wants to take the time to read the original 28 posts as they were sent to alt.bible.errancy can read the version posted on the secular web, where the entire debate was published in e-mail form as it appeared in the alt.bible.errancy forum, or even better, go to the beginning post of this debate in the alt.bible.errancy archives. This link will take the readers to "Reply to Turkel (1)," and then by typing "Reply to Turkel (2)" into the search window, the second post can be accessed, then "Reply to Turkel (3)," will access the third, and so on. If all 28 posts are read, anyone can see that I ended and began posts with brief summations for those who may have not followed the debate from its beginning.

    For Bobby to accuse me of "endlessly repeating" myself is again like the pot calling the kettle black. Those who go to the land promise debate and have the fortitude to read through all of the exchanges will see Bobby endlessly repeating sentences and entire paragraphs that he cut and pasted over and over and over and over and over obviously to distract his readers into thinking that he was saying more than he actually was. Bobby's performance in that debate was the most farcical example of evasion that I have encountered in a debating opponent, and I have debated my share of biblical inerrantists.

    Turkel:
    Do beg pardon, but we will edit that extra trash out.

    Till:
    Since Bobby routinely edits out arguments and rebuttals that he can't answer, I would hardly expect him to do otherwise, but as we will see, he edited out more than just the summations at the ends and beginnings of my original posts. I refer to him as Bobby "No links" Turkel, but maybe I should call him Bobby "Edits Out" Turkel. Bobby "Skippy" Turkel sounds appropriate.

    Joson:
    I try to maintain that sense of posting by placing a bar between the first portion Till had written and the second installment. From this, you will note that my only involvement with this article is the formatting I gave it for presentation here.

    Turkel:
    Other than, uh, the note he adds in the top middle. Yeesh, doesn't Mojo edit his articles for consistency?

    Till:
    The pot calls the kettle black again. In this section of Part One of my compilation of the Jehu debate, I showed how Bobby brayed that my quoting of some 30 English translations of Hosea 1:4 was shallow scholarship after he had in another article quoted the NIV--just one translation--to try to resolve an inconsistency between Genesis 10 and Genesis 11. At the end of that section, I pointed out that inconsistency is about the only consistency in Bobby's articles. Then in this section of Part Two of the same series, I caught him appealing again to the NIV to try to support his position on the meaning of the Hebrew word paqad in Hosea 1:4. I again reminded readers of Bobby's inconsistency and said that consistency doesn't seem to be one of his virtues.

    Later, in another section of this same article, I pointed out that after he had snidely accused my view of Hosea 1:4 of being "a modern interpretation," he turned around and argued that his interpretation of this verse should be accepted because it was based upon "the relative newness of this linguistic work," i. e., new linguistic work that had uncovered an allegedly unknown meaning in this verse. I again reminded readers of the habitual inconsistencies in Bobby's articles. Six more times in this article and Part Three, I identified inconsistencies like these in Bobby's "arguments," so it is time to dump his question back into his lap.

    Yeesh, doesn't Bobby edit his articles for consistency?

    Joson:
    In his "rebuttal" of the apparent discrepancy in 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4 concerning Jehu's massacre at Jezreel, Turkel, who writes under the pseudonym "James Patrick Holding," argued that credence should be given to his resolution of the problem, because it represented the thinking of "commentators of all stripes." In other words, he was claiming that his resolution represented the views of "commentators" who were liberal and moderate as well as conservative.

    Turkel:
    No, actually, I didn't. I was claiming that this forestalls McTill's bananas-in-his-ears attempt to say it's just a solution used by conservatives.

    Till:
    Readers can scroll up and see where I addressed this denial of his intentions when he appealed to "commentators of all stripes." His removal of this expression from his "reworked" version of the original debate speaks volumes about what he was trying to do by his appeals in the original debate to "commentators of all stripes." If his intentions were what he is now claiming that they were, why did he remove this expression from his "revision." I'll tell you why he did. My article "Commentators of All Stripes" exposed his duplicity in trying to claim that commentators of all kinds, from conservative to moderate to liberal, shared the interpretation of Hosea 1:4 that he was trying to dupe his gullible choir members into believing, and after I had shown that this claim was clearly not true, his references to "commentators of all stripes" suddenly disappeared from his version of the original debate.

    He asked above if Joson ever edits his articles for consistency, a question that I showed was another case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I have to wonder if Bobby ever edits his articles for honesty. Apparently he doesn't.

    Turkel:
    As noted, I now know that McTill doesn't care about this, and will lump any liberal into the "inerrantist" category by proxy if necessary.

    Till:
    No, I don't lump "any liberal into the 'inerrantist' category," because I know that most liberal commentators are not inerrantists. What Bobby can't seem to realize, however, is that even liberal commentators believe that the Bible is in some sense a revelation of God's dealings with men. Hence, they will generally treat the Bible as favorably as they can. Samuel Driver, for example, was about as liberal as biblical commentators can be. He recognized and admitted that the Book of Daniel was written by a second-century BC author rather than a 6th-century BC Jewish official in the Babylonian government, and he recognized that in all likelihood "Darius the Mede" (Dan. 5:31) was not an actual historical character, yet when he encountered problem passages in the Bible, he would sometimes try to explain them away by using how-it-could-have-been scenarios that were just as improbable as those postulated by dyed-in-the-wool inerrantists. In his commentary, The Book of Daniel, Driver tried the "approximation" angle to try to resolve the chronological discrepancy between Daniel 1:3-20, which says that Daniel and three of his friends were put into a three-year training program at the end of which, they were presented to Nebuchadnezzar, who was so impressed with them that he made them members of his court, and Daniel 2, which says that Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel and his friends members of his court during the second year of his reign. Driver argued that the time frame in Daniel 1 was only an approximation, and so there was no discrepancy.

    My point is that even the most liberal of Bible commentators will as often as not present views sympathetic to the Bible, but when the commentators are as flagrantly biased as we will soon see that McComiskey was, quoting or citing them in support of an inerrantist view of the Bible is an obviously ineffective way for an "apologist" like Bobby to try to defend his position. If he can't see that, he has more mental problems than I previously thought. Maybe I should call him Booby instead of Bobby. He claims that he is going to legalize his phony name. If he does and still continues to rely on insults to "answer" his opposition, I can call him Jimmy Pee Holdingtank, but for now, Booby seems very appropriate.

    Till:
    I replied to this argument in my 28-part response, so there is no need to show again that this argument proves nothing for the simple reason that there are many biblical views that are shared by liberal, moderate, and conservative Christians. That the Bible contains errors, for example, is an opinion that is shared by many liberal and moderate Christians, as well as even some conservatives, but I'm sure that Turkel would not see this as a reason to change his belief in biblical inerrancy.

    Turkel:
    No, I wouldn't. And it wasn't a reason given to change a belief about whether 2 Kings and Hosea contradict, either. McTill just assumed it was the reason, and stuck his foot in his mouth promptly, yea, eagerly saying so.

    Till:
    As usual, Bobby talks in abstractions that are meaningless to those who are not mind readers. He referred to a "reason" why the belief by many liberals, moderates, and conservatives that the Bible is not inerrant would not change his mind about inerrancy, but he gave no explanation at all of what that reason is but blabbered about how I had stuck my foot into my mouth by assuming what his "reason" was. If anyone can make any sense of Bobby's nonsensical ramblings like this, please pass it along to me. Obviously what we have in his statement above is something that I saw time and time again in student papers while I was teaching college writing. Bobby realized that he needed to say something here, but he didn't know what to say, so he just threw something together unaware of the writing adage that says that there is a difference in having something to say and in having to say something. Bobby knew that he had to say something, but he didn't have anything to say, so the incoherent nonsense above was what came out.

    Till:
    To see just how accurate Turkel's claim is that his view of Hosea 1:4 represents the theological opinion of "commentators of all stripes," I have been tracking down the sources that he cited in the article I replied to, and so I will be taking these sources one at a time to see just what kind of "stripes" they are. Turkel relied heavily on the opinion of Thomas Edward McComiskey as presented in two works: (1) The Minor Prophets, vol. 1, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992, and (2) "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.

    I call attention first to the fact that McComiskey's commentary was published by Baker Book House of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and, needless to say, this is not a publisher that is noted for objective biblical scholarship.

    Turkel:
    "I call attention first to the fact that McTill's material was published by Prometheus Books of Buffalo, New York, and, needless to say, this is not a publisher who is noted for objective biblical scholarship."

    Till:
    Uh, where did I quote or cite material that was published by Prometheus books? I very rarely quote or cite "sources" in my rebuttal arguments for the very reason that Bobby can't seem to understand. I write primarily on biblical issues, and any branch of religion will have competing doctrinal views that have been written about and rewritten about and rewritten about. I understand that whatever one's doctrinal belief is, he can always find books, articles, and commentaries that express that same belief. If one wants to write about original sin, he can always find writers who think that the Bible teaches this doctrine, but if he wants to oppose the doctrine of original sin, he can also find writers who have opposed it too. Is preterism your bag, as it is for Bobby? You can find writers who also believe it. Are you a full preterist? You can find writers whom you can quote or cite in support of this brand of preterism, which Bobby calls a "heresy." Are you only a partial preterist, as Bobby is? You can find writers to quote in support of this view too. There is no doctrine that one cannot find advocated or opposed in books and articles. Why can't Booby see this?

    I realize that Bobby was trying to be funny in what he said above, but in his failed attempt at humor, he inadvertently made my point for me. I don't quote or cite as support for my position any materials published by Prometheus books or the American Atheist, because I know that even the most dimwitted of Bible believers will dismiss them as just the opinions of unobjective skeptics or atheists, yet he expects us to swoon when he quotes or cites flagrantly biased fundamentalists like McComiskey.

    Yes, I do think that I should call him Booby.

    Turkel:
    See how easy it is?

    Till:
    Yes, I do, and that is why I try to delineate my own arguments and rebuttals rather than filling my articles with bracketed citations like those that characterize Bobby's. In my writing classes, I always emphasized to my students that the quality of one's sources is far more important than the quantity. I urged them not to cite or quote publications like The National Enquirer or other tabloids or The NRA Journal, because their unobjectivity is too widely known. If I were still teaching today, I would warn them to shy away from the "fair and balanced" reporting of Fox News. Instructors must not have taught this quality-not-quantity principle at Florida State University, or else Bobby was sleeping in class when it was presented. If he had ever heard it, he would know that one—just one—logical argument is worth a dozen citations from biased sources.

    Turkel:
    Much easier than answering McComiskey's arguments,

    Till:
    Uh, what "arguments" were these? Readers can scroll up and see again that I took them through every "source" that Bobby cited in the original debate and especially through the long quotation from McComiskey's works to show that he presented no arguments; he simply asserted. If Bobby doesn't know that argumentation by assertion is a logical fallacy, he should take down his apologetic shingle until he learns a bit more about how to debate.

    I guess it is time to present another proposal to Bobby. If he will identify real arguments in what he quoted or cited from McComiskey in the original debate, I will reply to them at once, if he will agree to (1) answer my rebuttals point by point, and (2) post both my reply and my rebuttal of his rebuttal on his website and keep them there. Needless to say, I will gladly post everything on my website, including any counterrebuttal he might care to write.

    Bobby isn't about to accept this proposal, so this will end the matter.

    Turkel:
    which McTill also did by asking why translations published before McComiskey's study didn't agree with him.

    Till:
    Here Bobby begged the question of whether McComiskey's "study" reached correct conclusions. Bobby assumed that it did and that, therefore, any translation of the Bible made before then would have incorrectly rendered Hosea 1:4, but I won't let him argue by assumption. Let him show us clear evidence that McComiskey's "study" was correct. He hasn't done that yet. He has simply cited or quoted where McComiskey said that paqad in Hosea 1:4 didn't mean what others have long thought that it did.

    On this point, Bobby's claim seems to be that there was a meaning in Hosea 1:4 that had been hidden from all Bible scholars and translators until, voilà, along came McComiskey and removed the veil that had shrouded the meaning of this verse for almost 3,000 years. Of course, the fact that McComiskey, who was employed by a radically fundamentalist institution flagrantly dedicated to biblical inerrancy, as we will soon see, in making this "discovery," just happened to "solve" a discrepancy in the Bible shouldn't be taken into consideration in evaluating the soundness of his "discovery," should it?

    At any rate, I showed in this section of the compilation of the original Jehu debate that McComiskey's "collocation" quibble, on which he based his assertion that Hosea 1:4 didn't covey the idea of punishment, was untenable, because McComiskey's claim of a special meaning of paqad here was not supported by comparisons with other texts where the same "collocation" was used, so I have rebutted McComiskey's nonargument. Let's see now if Bobby will answer my rebuttal.

    Till:
    All that one needs to do to check me on this is visit several "Christian" book stores and examine the materials on their shelves.

    Turkel:
    Ta da, just beg the question of their objectivity.

    Till:
    No, I am not begging the question of their objectivity. Anyone who examines such books as these will see that they always take the position that the Bible is "God's word" to man, and I have yet to find one that says, yes, there are indeed errors in the Bible. As long as this situation exists, I am not begging the question of the objectivity of those who write such books.

    The problem in such books as these is parallel to what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about paid preachers in his essay “Self-Reliance.”

    If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument. I hear a preacher announce for his text and topic the expediency of one of the institutions of his church. Do I not know beforehand that not possibly can he say a new and spontaneous word? Do I not know that, with all this ostentation of examining the grounds of the institution, he will do no such thing? Do I not know that he is pledged to himself not to look but at one side–-the permitted side, not as a man, but as a parish minister? He is a retained attorney, and these airs of the bench are the emptiest affectation. Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true.

    That is exactly why Bobby's sources like McComiskey are logically flawed. As I will show below, McComiskey is by virtue of his place of employment a "retained attorney," who must defend an inerrant view of the Bible. Hence, anything that he might say on the subject must be viewed with suspicion from the beginning.

    Turkel:
    "All you have to do is open a Prometheus catalog..."

    Till:
    Yes, indeed, if you thumb through a Prometheus catalog, you will find books that are openly hostile to the view that the Bible is "God's word," and that is exactly why I don't quote or cite them in my rebuttals of inerrantist articles. I appreciate Bobby's making my point for me.

    My thesis in "Commentators of All Stripes" was that although Bobby claims that commentators from liberal to moderate to conservative agree with his spin on Hosea 1:4, an examination of his "sources" shows that this just isn't true. In the first place, many of his "sources" were only secondary citations that he had found in the books of McComiskey and Stuart, his primary sources, and, secondly, these were obviously fundamentalists trying to support an inerrantist view of the Bible. I assume that everyone has noticed that Bobby is making no effort at all to deny this. He, in effect, is simply resorting to the tu quoque fallacy. This is a Latin term that meant you too, and this fallacy is committed when a debater accuses his opponent of doing the same thing that he has been accused of. In his comments above, for example, Bobby has basically said, "Well, yes, my sources were biased, but sources obtained from Prometheus Books are also biased." Be that as it may, the fact still remains that I have not relied on any sources from Prometheus to support my position. I have not relied on any other sources either. I have formulated my own rebuttal arguments and used those to reply to Bobby and his sources.

    Bobby would like very much to paint me with the same brush that I have used to paint him as an unobjective, biased defender of biblical inerrancy, but, unfortunately, the facts do not support that attempt. In the first place, I was once a biblical inerrantist who is now a biblical skeptic, but I doubt that Bobby was ever a biblical skeptic who is now a biblical inerrantist. In other words, I have been on both sides of this issue, and so my background clearly indicates that I have the objectivity to admit when my views of the Bible are wrong. Furthermore, the record I have left will show that I often take issue with skeptics who try to find discrepancies in the Bible where none exist. If Bobby doubts this, he can go here to the Errancy archives, and use the search window to type "McKinsey" + "Red Sea" to go to where a disagreement with Dennis McKinsey, begun earlier before the archive was set up, continued on the Errancy list back in November 2000. The posts identified will show that I, along with other skeptics on the list, firmly disagreed with McKinsey's claim that a geographical error was made in 1 Kings 9:26, which located Ezion Geber on the Red Sea. This is just one example of many in the Errancy and alt.bible.errancy archives that will show that I have disagreed with biblical skeptics who I thought were claiming biblical discrepancies where none really exist.

    Now just when has Bobby ever disagreed with biblical inerrantists and said he believes that some of what inerrantists call "alleged discrepancies" are actually real discrepancies? If he can show us such cases, let him do it. If he can't, he should realize that he has no room to accuse skeptics of being unobjective.

    Till:
    Besides being generally trite, much of it [materials in Christian book stores] is published by the evangelical and fundamentalist publishing companies in Grand Rapids.

    Turkel:
    Besides being generally boring and beyond my ability to comprehend or refute, much of it is published by the atheist and agnostic publishing company in Buffalo.

    Till:
    I appreciate Bobby's honesty. It wouldn't take too much depth for a book to be beyond his ability to comprehend, and I too think that much of what is published by Prometheus in Buffalo would be beyond Bobby's ability to refute. Although he showed again just how deficient his writing skills are, I understand what he meant, so I will reply on the basis of what he meant and not what he actually said. I occasionally cited such books some years ago, but for the very reason that Bobby meant, I would not use in a debate now books or articles that were published by atheistic companies, because I know that they would not be effective in convincing believers to accept my position on the Bible. The more he resorts to this tu quoque fallacy to falsely accuse me of using the same methods that he uses, the more Bobby shows that he has no sensible reply to my claim that citing biased sources is an effective way to debate.

    Till:
    This, of course, is not intended to mean that McComiskey's view must be considered wrong by virtue of what company published it, but....

    Turkel:
    "I will harp and harp on it anyway like a two-faced hypocrite"

    Till:
    No, this is just a simple recognition of the logical fact that the truth or falsity of propositions is always independent of their source. This logical principle, however, doesn't remove the fact that a debater makes a strategic bobble if he relies only on recognizably biased sources to support his proposition. After all, what good is it going to do to cite or quote sources that may be right if they are going to be viewed with too much suspicion to have any appreciable effect on those in the audience whose views are different from those of the sources cited?

    Between the lines of his tu quoque comments, I can see that Bobby knows that I am right. It no doubt galls him to know that I am right and that he can say nothing logical to defend his cite-several-sources method of debating.

    Till:
    it does give reason to suspect that the scholarship represented in it may not be objectively impartial or as profound as Turkel would have us think.

    Turkel:
    As objective as, say, uh, an issue of TSR. Of course.

    Till:
    I do at times link readers to articles that I published in The Skeptical Review, if they present the same argument needed to rebut whatever I am answering, but those articles are never the cite-an-author-who-agrees-with-me kind. They are articles in which I delineated and developed my own arguments. They are not articles that say, "Dan Barker thinks," or, "Robert Price believes," or "David Matson suggests," because I realize that this Robert Turkel/Everette Hatcher/David Conklin debating method will not impress those who oppose my position on whatever proposition is being debated.

    As for the objectivity of The Skeptical Review, I would never say that it is in any sense a bastion of objectivity. However, I do think that it is somewhat more objective than, say, Bobby's website and other inerrantist sites and publications. As I pointed out above, I was once a biblical inerrantist--of the dyed-in-the wool kind--but I rejected that position when I could no longer ignore evidence that it was an untenable belief. What can Bobby point to in his life to indicate that he has a comparable objectivity?

    Till:
    Just as one would hardly expect to find objective scholarship in The National Enquirer or the NRA Journal, so one would expect that in all probability evangelical or fundamentalist views of the Bible will be found in materials published in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Turkel:
    Uh, yeah, apples and oranges.

    Till:
    Hmm, an "argument" by assertion. What did Bobby--er Booby--say here that disproves my claim that "in all probability" fundamentalist views of the Bible will be found in materials published in Grand Rapids, Michigan? Is this a false statement? If so, let Bobby show us that it is. Why didn't he quote Book X, which was published in Grand Rapids but nevertheless presented an errantist view of the Bible? That would have been a far more effective argument than just muttering, "Uh, yeah, apples and oranges."

    Turkel:
    Stuff in the Enquirer and the NRA mag aren't written by people who are scholars with Ph. D's in their field like McComiskey has.

    Till:
    My, my, can Booby really be this simplistically naive? Just how does a Ph. D. in one's field guarantee that he is a "scholar" who will objectively follow the evidence wherever it leads? I spent 30 years in academia, so I know that a Ph. D. degree is no guarantee of scholarship. Bobby often refers to Harding University, my alma mater, as Bam Bam Bible College, but if he will check the website of its department of Bible and Religion, he will find that 15 of its faculty members have their Ph. D. degrees and two their Th. D. degrees from institutions such as Virginia Tech, the University of Nebraska, Boston College, University of St. Andrews, Baylor, Duke, Hebrew Union College, University of Arizona, Emory, University of Illinois--long recognized as one of the nation's finest--and, believe it or not, even Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Besides these, there are several others with doctor's degrees in ministry and education. With an impressive array of Ph. D. professors like these on its religion staff, I guess Bobby will now speak about Bam Bam Bible College with a little more respect. I suppose too that he will no longer ridicule the Church of Christ and will begin to teach that baptism is essential for salvation, instrumental music in worship is unscriptural, loss of salvation after conversion is very possible, that preterism and premillennialism are heresies, and that the Church of Christ is... well. the church of Christ, because all of these views have been published in articles by Harding professors who have Ph. D. degrees.

    I found something else on another page of Harding's website that I just can't resist passing along to Bobby. I had noticed before that Bam Bam Bible College was often rated by U. S. News and World Report among the top universities in the South, but I had no idea of just how many consecutive years, it had received that honor.

    SEARCY, Ark. - For the 11th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked Harding University as one of the South’s best universities. The rankings are in the magazine’s 18th annual America’s Best Colleges issue, which hits newsstands Aug. 23.

    The report also named Harding one of the “best values” among universities in the South.

    Harding was ranked in the top 25 among regional universities of the South, behind such notable schools as the University of Richmond, James Madison University, Stetson University, Loyola University and The Citadel. This year the University ranked 22nd - compared to 26th last year.

    This kind of recognition doesn't surprise me at all, because I have often said that except for the screwball religious ideas that it teaches, Harding was the academically best of the 10 colleges and universities that I attended with the exception of two European universities. I wonder how many years Florida State University has received the kind of recognition that Harding can boast about. At any rate, the fact that a university that Bobby openly ridicules is loaded with faculty members with their Ph. D. degrees, one of whom even received his from McComiskey's school of divinity, clearly obligates him to admit that a Ph. D. degree is no guarantee that one's position in religion is right. One can find professors with Ph. D. degrees in Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Seven-Day Adventist, Mormon, and all other kinds of religious institutions, so what does having a Ph. D. degree have to do with whether one's doctrinal beliefs are correct?

    Turkel:
    By the way, McTill passes right over an evaluation of where McComiskey published his thesis in JSOT. This is a peer-reviewed academic journal that can hardly be called "fundamentalist" or "evangelical". It accepts quality work regardless of the source. An inerrantist position on the Bible would be one of those views.

    Till:
    What is Booby trying to argue here? Is he claiming that if McComiskey published an article in a peer-reviewed academic journal, that means that what he said in the article must be true? If so, that is a position more idiotic than I would expect even Booby to take. If someone with a Ph. D. published an article in this peer-reviewed journal that took the position that archaeological evidence indicates that Jericho had already been destroyed by the time that the Bible attributed its destruction to Joshua, would Booby accept this as evidence that his defense of the biblical account in "Evidence of Jericho" was wrong? If someone with a Ph. D. published an article in this journal in which he took the position that there had never been a worldwide flood, would Booby accept this as proof that the biblical record of Noah's flood is at best an exaggeration? If someone with a Ph. D.... well, my point should be obvious by now. If someone with a Ph. D. publishes an article in a peer-reviewed journal that takes the position that the pastoral epistles were not written by the apostle Paul, will Booby fall in line and abandon his claim that they are authentic epistles of Paul? If someone with a Ph. D. degree publishes an article in a peer-reviewed journal that takes the position that 2 Peter was written in the second century after Peter was dead, will Booby abandon his claim that the third chapter of this epistle was referring to events that would happen in AD 70? Will pigs fly someday?

    My point is that there are peer-reviewed biblical journals all over this and other countries that publish articles by Ph. D. holders that Booby would never agree with. There are peer-reviewed journals in which writers with Ph. D. degrees blast the doctrine of preterism from here to kingdom come, but that doesn't faze Booby in the least. There are also peer-reviewed scientific journals around the world that publish articles by people with advanced degrees and impeccable scientific credentials and lifetime experience in evolutionary biology, who defend the theory of evolution, but does Booby accept what these articles say? No, he doesn't. He prefers to accept instead the "scientific" opinions of someone at Answers in Genesis who has a Ph. D. degree.

    As the scientific aspects of Creation and Flood our [sic] outside Tekton's purview, I've asked a Ph.D. scientist from Answers in Genesis for comment. So if any SAB has any complaints on those particulars, take it [sic] up with them!

    The longer Booby writes, the more he exposes his incredible ignorance.

    Turkel:
    "An errantist position..." Get it?

    Till:
    No, really I don't get it. This sounds like something that was written by Booby in one of those moments when he knew that he had to say something but didn't have anything to say.

    Turkel:
    McTill is toast.

    Till:
    I think that readers will have no difficulty seeing just who is being toasted, only I think that roasted would be a better term. Jimmy Pee Holdingtank is now being flushed down the drain.

    Turkel:
    Now Mojo has a few words to bark:

    Joson:
    I would like to comment here before Till’s article continues. In the time since this examination of Turkel’s sources was published, Turkel has written that this line of argument is fallacious.

    Turkel:
    Not sure where this is,

    Till:
    Oh, really? Well let me refresh Booby's memory. He has apparently forgotten that he actually opposed this line of argumentation before the Jehu debate when he sent a post to the now defunct CCBE internet list in response to a reference I had made on the Errancy list to Philo Judaeus's opinion about the extensiveness of the water-into-blood plague in Egypt.

    "The brother of Moses, by the divine command, smote with his rod upon the river, and immediately, throughout its whole course, from Ethiopia down to the sea, it is changed into blood and simultaneously with its change, all the lakes, and ditches, and fountains, and wells, and springs, and every particle of water in all Egypt, was changed into blood, so that, for want of drink, they digged round about the banks of the river, but the streams that came up were like veins of the body in a hemorrhage, and spurted up channels of blood like springs, no transparent water being seen anywhere" (The Complete Works of Philo, Hendrickson: Peabody, MA, 1993, p. 468, emphasis added).

    It turned out that Booby sent the CCBE list a response to this in which he said the following:

    That's nice, but Philo is simply reading into the text what is not there. So if I find a Jewish commentator of equal worth that says the opposite, is it a draw? If I find two, do I win? Remember that Philo is trying to promote Moses and Aaron here and would maximize their feat to the greatest extent possible.

    Booby clearly indicated here a recognition that (1) a writer with a biased opinion is an ineffective source to quote in support of a position and (2) writers with opposite views are readily available to quote. He has now spent years trying to backpedal on this comment, because he wants so badly to continue his practice of citing "sources" as proof of whatever doctrine du jour he is trying to peddle.

    Oh, yes, I just have to say here that the fellow who set up the CCBE (Christians Combating Biblical Errancy) list specifically to enlist the help of other Bible believers in answering examples of biblical discrepancy being posted on the Errancy list and the old alt.bible.errancy forum has since come to admit that there are errors in the Bible. He shifted to the errant-but-still-the-word-of-God position, but he did at least abandon the untenable belief that the Bible is inerrant. Booby, on the other hand, has shown that he is a slow learner. Of course, there is no money in educating people to the truth about the origins of the Bible. Who is going to click PayPal and send a contribution to someone who shows that there are errors in the Bible? Booby seems to be very familiar with the old adage about knowing the side on which one's bread is buttered.

    Turkel:
    but I agree that what McTill thought I said is fallacious.

    Till:
    This isn't a matter of "thinking" what Booby said. The quotation above is verifiable. If Booby denies that he said it, I will present the evidence that he did. I didn't just make up this quotation.

    I also recall seeing Booby admit that citing sources is not a sound way of supporting a position, but I don't remember where he said this. If I can find time to search for it, I will, but its relevance isn't worth the investment of more than a few minutes.

    Joson:
    He claims that simply because an author is published by a certain publishing house, that should not affect his scholarship. While true, I wonder how he would feel if a skeptic quoted in refutation of his material authors published by Prometheus or Shambala?

    Turkel:
    I wouldn't care one bit. I did make fun of Acharya S for publishing with a company that also does books on Atlantis, but that highlighted the uncritical nature of her publisher, not her.

    Till:
    Booby can say that he "wouldn't care one bit" if an opponent quoted authors published by Prometheus or Shambala, but not caring is different from viewing them with any degree of respect. Booby has already indicated in his ridiculing of Prometheus Books above that he would consider any references to them in a serious article to be devoid of all credibility.

    Joson:
    And does he really think that his own self-financed venture–-Tektonic Plates—-is an unbiased source for material related to biblical inerrancy? I thought not.

    Turkel:
    It would be right to think not, since T. Plates hasn't done a book on Biblical inerrancy. The one on Mormonism is "it" and that book doesn't say a word about inerrancy. As for Mormonism, is it an unbiased source on that subject? So far, the vasy [sic] majority of my Mormon contacts think so. They do not agree with my arguments, of course, but their best apologists have seen it, and "bias" isn't one of their accusations -- not that I have yet to hear, and not even in the negative review I refer to here. In fact my own former "worst enemy" in the Mormon camp, Kevin Graham, was so pleased by my objectivity and fairness that he offered to pass out copies of the book at the main Mormon apologetics conference. Seems that the LDS are a lot more mature as a whole than the Skeppies are.

    Till:
    I am aware that Jimmy Pee Holdingtank published a book on Mormonism, but I have never read it or even had it available to browse through, so I can't comment on its objectivity. If Booby's description of it is anywhere close to being accurate, I commend him and suggest that he would do well to try a little bit more of that civility and objectivity in his website articles. As I have said before, if he ever decides to use a civil approach in his articles about me and other skeptics, he will find me ready to reciprocate, but if he continues to give us just more of the same, I will continue to reply to him in kind.

    Turkel:
    Even with the reviewer noted, they know better than to use stupid arguments like, "It was published in Grand Rapids!" and we don't use stupid arguments back like, "It was published in Salt Lake City"!

    Till:
    Booby seems to forget that I have said before that the truth or falsity of propositions is always independent of their sources. The fact that a book was published in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or Salt Lake City in no way proves that the premises defended in the book are false. However, that does not negate the fact that the source of propositions do affect their credibility. If Booby sees a book--or more probably a booklet--published by The Watchtower, his initial reaction to it is not going to be, "Ah, I should read this, because this publisher puts out some good, objective, unbiased, impartial materials." I also doubt that he would expect to encounter an unbiased view of Mormonism in a book written by a Ph. D. professor at Brigham Young University. He knows that I am right about this, so nothing more needs to be said about it.

    Turkel:
    It's even more amazing that Paranoia McTill and Mojo think they can justify such a stupid tactic by saying, "Yeah, well, you'd do it too!"

    Till:
    Hmm, I believe that I showed above that Booby is the one who tried to answer my comments with the tu quoque [you too] fallacy. I have long known that he can't remember from one article to another what position he has taken on issues, but he seems to have trouble remembering even from one paragraph to another what he has said.

    Till:
    An examination of McComiskey's commentary increases suspicion that this just may not be an objective biblical reference work, because it turns out that McComiskey is a "professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Biblical Theology" at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

    Turkel:
    Which of course entirely annuls any argument he makes.

    Till:
    As I pointed out above, his employment by a fundamentalist institution dedicated to furthering the doctrine of biblical inerrancy makes it very unlikely that he would ever publish anything that is contrary to the inerrantist position. My report below of what Trinity's website says in its "statement of faith" and its "mission statement" provides additional support for my suspicion of McComiskey's "objectivity." If Booby continues to claim that he can't see my point, I will have to believe that in addition to his own lack of intellectual honesty, he is also a liar.

    Till:
    For those who may not know, this is the same "divinity school" where Gleason Archer teaches. Archer, as many reading this will recognize, is probably the chief guru of biblical inerrancy, and is known primarily for his book Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, a work that is heavily relied on by biblical fundamentalists looking for "solutions" to Bible discrepancies.

    Turkel:
    Psst, and McTill once shook hands with Al Sharpton. Pass it on!

    Till:
    Well, I never have met Al Sharpton, but I would like to. I find his political humor to be a refreshing change from the pseudoseriousness of most politicians. I still remember a short comment that he made in the presidential debates: "If Bush didn't know he was lying [about WMDs in Iraq], that's even worse." Anyway, Booby's attempt at humor here speaks volumes about his "Christian attitude" towards a minority group. I noticed in another article of his that he found humor in the tragic breakup of the Columbia space shuttle over Texas. He also used children with muscular dystrophy as a source of "humor." In a word, he has a strange concept of humor.

    His comment above about Al Sharpton did absolutely nothing to gainsay my claim that McComiskey's employment by Trinity University Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, casts tons of suspicion on his biblical objectivity. I have long known about this institution through my personal correspondence with Gleason Archer, the guru of biblical inerrancy, who taught there and was probably an associate of McComiskey. I took the time to examine Trinity's website to see if it would give any indication of biblical objectivity and impartiality. I found this Statement of Faith on it.

    1. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.
    2. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    3. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.
    4. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
    5. We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is, therefore, lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
    6. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.
    7. We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.
    8. We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head.
    9. We believe that only those who are, thus, members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
    10. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs.
    11. We believe in the personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
    12. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

    This "statement of faith" clearly presents a fundamentalist view of the Bible. Furthermore, item 11 presents an undeniable view of the second coming of Jesus that is in dire conflict with Bobby's preterist belief, so I would venture to say that McComiskey does not share Bobby's belief in preterism. Since McComiskey has a Ph. D. degree, however, and has published in a peer-reviewed biblical journal, wouldn't Bobby by the line of reasoning that he tries to peddle in his cite-the-scholars articles be obligated to renounce his belief in preterism?

    On another page of the website, I also found this Mission Statement of Trinity University.

    Trinity's calling is to glorify the Triune God as a learning community “entrusted with the gospel.” The university serves the church by preparing students to fulfill their divine calling through the study of his Word and his world. Trinity is committed to the Christian vision that laid the foundations of the great Western universities: that all knowledge is unified in Jesus Christ, since it was through him that all things were made. Trinity's schools, each with distinct educational missions, are united by their commitment to this vision for the Christian university:

    A Christ-centered community. Jesus Christ is the center of our learning and our common life as we enable men and women to serve God in their families, the church, their respective callings, and their culture.

    The authority of God's inerrant Word, Holy Scripture. His Word is our final authority in all matters—his own nature, and the world he has made—and therefore the authority for all human understanding and inquiry.

    Now how likely is it that someone employed by an institution like this is going to take any position about the Bible that would even suggest that it may have discrepancies in it? I recall the firing of an international relations instructor--who had a Ph. D.--at Harding College while I was a student there for saying in his class that in a war God is on the side that has the most guns. Bobby may think what he wants to about the "objectivity" of writers like McComiskey, but anyone who has had actual educational experience at fundamentalist colleges like Trinity know that deviation from the strict view of the Bible is not going to be tolerated.

    Till:
    In the introduction to this work, Archer gave the following advice to his readers who encounter problem passages in the Bible:

    Be fully persuaded in your own mind that an adequate explanation exists, even though you have not yet found it.

    Turkel:
    Sounds like the sort of advice a history professor might give to a student stumped by a difficulty in Tacitus... anyway...

    Till:
    Hardly! I doubt that any history professor who knows diddly about historiography would tell his/her students to accept on faith the accuracy of a passage in Tacitus that openly conflicted with other passages or with historical facts known from other sources. Historical inerrancy just isn't an educational doctrine that is taught in colleges and universities. Maybe the history professors at Florida State University teach this, so that may account for Booby's confusion here.

    Till [still quoting Archer]:

    In other words, Archer's advice to his readers is that they approach the Bible with the assumption that it is inerrant,

    Turkel:
    "The professor's advice is to approach Tacitus with the assumption that he deserves the benefit of the doubt..."

    Till:
    But do these history professors tell their students to continue giving Tacitus the benefit of the doubt after every consideration of doubt given to him still leaves them with textual conflicts that defy rational explanation? Do they tell them that no matter how perplexing inconsistencies in Tacitus may be, they must still consider his work historically inerrant, because he is, after all, Tacitus?

    Till [still quoting Archer]:

    and even when they can see no explanation to an apparent discrepancy, they should still assume inerrancy.

    Turkel:
    "...and even when they see no solution to the problem, to assume that Tacitus, because he was actually there, knew what he was talking about, whereas we were not there and cannot simply assume it." Common textual courtesy.

    Till:
    Hmm, why would a history professor with any semblance of historiography at all tell his/her students a thing like this? Tacitus obviously was not "there" when everything that he wrote about was happening. Has Booby ever bothered to read Tacitus? Tacitus was born in AD ca. 56 and wrote from around 98 to 138, yet in his Annals, he wrote about the founding of Rome in 753 BC, the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius (Caligula), and Claudius, who all lived and reigned before Tacitus was born. Anyone who reads his works will see that he obviously wrote about things that happened when he wasn't "there," so what history professor who knows anything at all about historiography would tell his/her students to give Tacitus the benefit of the doubt because "he was actually there"?

    Booby's purpose in saying this was to beg the question of firsthand knowledge that biblical authors had about what they wrote in their books. "They were there," these inerrantists say, "so they knew what they were talking about." This is such an asinine argument that it hardly deserves comment. "Moses" [snicker, snicker] wrote about the creation, the flood, the adventures of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, but he certainly wasn't "there," so he had no firsthand knowledge of what he was writing about in telling these tales, and the same was true of other biblical writers.

    Till:
    Now it may be that McComiskey does not share Archer's view of the Bible, but I suspect that he does, because it would be unlikely that he would be on the staff of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School unless he did accept the premise of biblical inerrancy.

    Turkel:
    And it would also be hard for McTill to argue guilt by assoication [sic] fallaciously to stack on top of that fallacious argument by ad hominem.

    Till:
    I am not arguing guilt by association. I am simply stating the obvious. Someone who teaches at a religious institution that declares its strict adherence to belief in the inerrancy as the Bible--as the "statement of faith" and "mission statement" that I quoted above from Trinity's own website--is not going to publish books and articles that disagree with those statements. The issue here is as simple as what Brett Palmer pointed out to Booby in this section of "The Walls of Jericho," where he showed the absurdity of Booby's acceptance of the archaeological opinions of the avowed inerrantist Bryant Wood on the dating of the destruction of Jericho. An inerrantist is an inerrantist, and I know from personal experience with them, when I was also one of their cohorts, that they will twist themselves into verbal pretzels to try to make the Bible inerrant.

    I will just ask Booby to answer a simple question. If I can find commentators with Ph. D. degrees who say that Hosea 1:4 was declaring that the house of Jehu would be punished for Jehu's massacre at Jezreel, will he then say, "Well, I guess that settles it; I was wrong"? Of course, he won't do this, but he expects everyone else to fall in line and swoon over whatever "sources" he cites in support of his positions.

    Turkel:
    All of which is much easier than finding out about the nuances of Hebrew.

    Till:
    This comment has become too idiotic to deserve further comment, so I will just remind Booby of the challenge that I have issued to him several times. Will he submit to a test administered by an expert in Hebrew to determine just how much he knows about Hebrew? This guy obviously is ignorant of many of the nuances in English, such as the difference in on and onto, in and into, transliterate and translate, cannot and can not, cite and citation, datum and data, remand and refer, it's and its, women's and womens' [which isn't even a word], signatories and signators [which is also not a word], which and who, complimentary and complementary, and too many others to list. He also doesn't understand that English prefixes like re-, non-, post-, are inseparably added to root words without hyphenation, and... well, it would take an entire article to identify what Booby doesn't know about his own native language, so how likely is it that he knows as much about Hebrew "nuances" as he pretends?

    Till:
    In examining his commentary, I saw no suggestion at all that he is not a biblical inerrantist. Indeed, everything seemed to be written on the premise that he was commenting on a book that contained God's dealings with his chosen people.

    Turkel:
    "In his newsletter, I saw no suggestion that McTill is not a Biblical errantist..."

    Till:
    Here is Booby's tu quoque fallacy again. No, Booby won't find in The Skeptical Review any indication that I am not a biblical errantist, but if he examines my work carefully enough, he will find that I have often opposed overzealous attempts to find discrepancies in the Bible. Can Booby show us where he has taken the position that at least some so-called "alleged" discrepancies are indeed real discrepancies?

    Doesn't this guy ever tire of making a fool of himself?

    Till:
    At this stage of my investigation into Turkel's "commentators of all stripes," it appears very likely that he used only two or three primary sources, even though his endnotes contained 17 listings.

    Turkel:
    Pooh, yah. Watch this:

    Till:
    I assume everyone noticed that Booby made no attempt at all to deny what I said above. I said that he had used only two or three primary sources, and he didn't even try to deny it.

    Till:
    Although I won't know until I have been able to look through all of the books that Turkel cited,

    Turkel:
    Which will be in about, oh, 745 years

    Till:
    Nah, I did it much sooner than that. Where is Booby's denial? I caught him in sloppy, high-schoolish "scholarship," and he is unable to deny it.

    Till:
    I suspect that he pulled a ploy that was very familiar to me from my days of teaching college writing.

    Turkel:
    I suspect McTill peddles pornography in his spare time. There, now, wasn't that authoritative?

    Till:
    I have presented evidence that Booby used only a couple of primary "sources" and then tried to pawn off the secondary citations in those "sources" as works that he had consulted. Where is his denial?

    Till:
    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."

    Turkel:
    Sure. 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.

    Till:
    Well, at least Booby finally made a denial, but what he says here doesn't agree with my own research. He had mentioned some time ago that he uses the Reformed Theological Seminary Library in Orlando, so when I was trying to locate his "sources" to check their content, I used interlibrary loan at the college where I used to teach. Its system lists all locations of where books requested can be borrowed, and I specifically asked the operator of the computer to check for availability in Orlando, Florida. Some of Booby's "sources" were not listed there. Anyway, Booby needs to be careful about what he claims, because the electronic age makes it too easy to check claims. There is a website where all books in the catalogs of the RTS Libraries in Orlando, Charlotte (NC), and Jackson (MS) are listed. That search has shown that none of the libraries have Mordecai Coogan's book 2 Kings, but I guess that this was one of the "couple" that Booby bought at Long's Christian bookstore. None of the articles in journals like Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Journal for the Study of the Old Testament were available in these libraries. Two articles from The Journal of Biblical Literature were inventoried, but neither of them was Mullen's article cited by Booby. Of course, he was probably able to run down to Long's and grab these off the shelf too. All three of these journals in the issues needed just happened to be on sale. This website search revealed another interesting thing. In addition to being an expert in Hebrew, Booby must also be able to read German, because he cited the commentary on Hosea by Hans Walter Wolff, and it was available only in the original German version. How was he able to cite a book written in German? Well, that is easy to do. If McComiskey or Stuart cited it, Booby could cite it too and pass it off in his endnotes as a primary source.

    Despite Booby's denial, I continue to believe that he fudged on his sources, because I saw in his article too many of the "tricks" that college students try to pull on their instructors to make them think that they broke their asses researching their papers. When such papers were checked, they invariably had "sources" not available in any regional library, but they could be found cited in some of the books and periodicals that were available locally. I suspect that Booby bluffed his way through Florida State and now continues to use the same amateurish "research" methods to fool the gullible.

    Citations from periodials in student papers would immediately set off an alarm in my head, because a popular student ploy was to cite in their papers titles of periodical articles that they had found cited in books they had consulted. The books would usually be in the library, but, as often as not, the periodicals weren't in the library's inventory. I didn't have to be a genius to figure out what had been done, because—and I will admit it—I had done the same thing when I was a college student. The fact that I had done it, however, didn't make it proper research. Booby listed among his "sources" articles from three different journals, none of which were listed in any of the RTS Library catalogs, so what probably happened? He saw them cited in some of the books that he actually checked out and then put them into his article as primary sources. It is an old student try-to-fool-the-instructor ploy, but it is poor research in an article that is claiming to speak with authority on a subject like Booby's spin on Hosea 1:4

    Turkel:
    McTill is just hauling a cheap bale of slander because he can't answer the actual argument.

    Till:
    Uh, what argument is that? Saying over and over again that McComiskey thinks and Stuart sees and Hobbs suggests, etc., etc., etc. is not argumentation. It is bald assertion. All readers have to do is scroll up to where I quoted in their entireties every reference that Booby made to his 17 "sources" and begin reading again. They will see that I analyzed all of these citations and showed that there isn't a speck of argumentation in them anywhere. Is Booby really so dense that he just can't see the difference in delineating arguments and in just quoting or citing unsupported assertions? He must be.

    If Booby really thinks that I evaded any kind of arguments that his sources presented, I will renew my standard proposal. If he will post the arguments he thinks I have evaded, I will gladly reply to them again, if he will agree to reply to them point by point and post all of our exchanges on his website.

    Once again, this will end the matter, because Booby isn't about to post on his site or link his readers to anything that will let them see that his so-called arguments are indeed being answered in detail.

    Till:
    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.

    Turkel:
    Um, yeah. A and F's commentary is on the same shelf as McComiskey's, actually. Close enough for McTill to hit them with slander.

    Till:
    Un, huh, I'll bet that this shelf is right next to the periodical file, where copies of The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and The Journal of Biblical Literature are kept. Booby should trot down and tell them that they need to update their website.

    Till:
    McComiskey cited these two, along with James Luther Mays, Hans Walter Wolff, and Leon K. Wood, as "modern commentators" who have views on Hosea 1:4 that were different from his, and this was done in a short paragraph of only eight lines. All of these names, however, turned up in Turkel's endnotes as works that he had consulted.

    Turkel:
    Mays and Wolff's commentaries and Wood's work are also on the same shelf area -- duh ah, does that make sense to McTill?

    Till:
    Right beside Wolff's comentaries in German, I suspect, and I'll bet that Booby is proficient enough in this language to breeze right through them.

    Till:
    Did Turkel actually consult all of these works, or did he just kill six birds with one stone by consulting McComiskey's commentary and then listing McComiskey's five secondary sources as works that he had also consulted?

    Turkel:
    I killed one big bird, full of baloney, named McTill.

    Till:
    I suspect that those who read all of our original debate, my follow-up article, "Commentators of All Stripes," and now this reply to Booby's farcical attempt to answer my follow-up article will have a different idea about which bird got slaughtered.

    Till:
    He may have consulted them all,

    Turkel:
    "Just in case, let me cover my butt"

    Till:
    No, this was just a simple, honest recognition that I could be wrong. Based on my 30 years experience in dealing with students who tried to pull some of the "research" shenanigans that I believe I found in Booby's article, I don't think that I am wrong, but I learned from my experience of having once been a dyed-in-the-wool biblical inerrantist whose intellectual integrity forced him to suffer the embarrassment of having to admit that what he had preached for 12 years was wrong, I learned that it isn't too smart ever to take an I-just-couldn't-be-wrong position. I don't think that Booby has ever learned that lesson.

    Till:
    but I will be better able to make a judgment about this after I have seen all of their works too.

    Turkel:
    in the year 2150.

    Till:
    Nah, it didn't take that long. If Booby would ever recognize that good writing takes time, he might spare himself the embarrassments of having his feet shoved down his throat.

    Till:
    For now, it seems at least possible that these six listings represent only one source that Turkel actually consulted in the writing of his article.

    Till:
    Booby has made his denial of having tried to pass off secondary references as primary "sources" that he consulted, but I have showed above good reasons to see this as just another one of his lies. I will leave it to readers to decide if they think that Booby went to the Seminary library and came back home with 17 books and periodicals piled up in his arms.

    Meanwhile, I will ask him some direct questions: Did you obtain and read all sections in your 17 "sources" that you cited in your article? Did you lift a cited [secondary] reference from any of these books or periodicals and present it as a primary reference?

    I'll let Booby decide how to answer these questions, if he answers them at all. If he lies, he will have to live with having violated a cardinal principle of his religion.

    Uh, no, I forgot; he can always lie and then pray for forgiveness, can't he?

    Turkel:
    "For now, leaving a slanderous accusation in your mind, gullible reader, will be sufficient."

    Till:
    Booby has the gall to talk about slanderous accusations? The king of venom, insults, and sarcasm is complaining about the "slander" of someone else? Is this guy for real? Anyway, let's wait to see how Booby answers the questions above. For his benefit, I will say that I did not use all in the biblical sense, where so many times inerrantists will claim that all didn't mean all. When I ask if all 17 of his citations were primary sources, I was asking if all of his sources were primary.

    Till:
    At any rate, it was misleading of Turkel to claim that his view of Hosea 1:4 represented the opinion of "commentators of all stripes," because of the six listed above, only McComiskey agreed with Turkel (or to be more accurate, only Turkel agreed with McComiskey). McComiskey specifically cited Andersen, Freedman, Mays, Wolff, and Wood as "modern commentators" with views that disagreed with his, so that would hardly constitute a consensus of "commentators of all stripes."

    Turkel:
    Sorry, but actually, Andersen and Freedman do agree, though for different reasons -- they come at the answer from a different perspective, but agree with McComiskey's view. They are liberal-to-moderate, so there are your stripes.

    Till:
    We are not at all interested in what kind of verbal contortions Andersen and Freedman twisted themselves into to make Hosea 1:4 not mean what it clearly says. If they thought that paqad was used here in a punitive sense, then they do not agree with McComiskey's spin on the verse, so McComiskey's view would not be one that "commentators of all stripes" agree on as Booby claimed in his article. I don't need Booby to tell me that the Andersens and Freedmans and Hobbses and Provans of the biblical world lean over backwards to make the Bible not mean what it plainly says in so-called "difficult" passages, because I know that they do this. If Booby is counting on his side just any biblical commentator who argues that there is no inconsistency in Hosea 1:4 and 2 kings 10:30, then, certainly, there are "commentators of all stripes" who don't think that there is any inconsistency here, but that wasn't what he was trying to make his readers believe. He wanted them to think that within the past 5-7 years, research has discovered a previously hidden meaning in Hosea 1:4, and that new meaning is now accepted by commentator of all stripes. One of the curious things about biblical inerrantists is the way that they will all agree that there is no discrepancy in any given biblical text but will disagree on what the text means. One will say that a text like Hosea 1:4 means something that makes it consistent with 1 Kings 10:30, another one will say that the same text means something entirely different, which is also not inconsistent with 1 Kings 10:30, and still another one will use an entirely different spin to explain away the inconsistency, and so on ad infinitum.

    I'll ask Booby to read my lips: I know that biblical inerrantists resort to these verbal gymnastics to try to explain biblical discrepancies. If, however, Andersen, Freedman, Mays, Wolff, and Wood thought that paqad conveyed a punitive meaning in Hosea 1:4, then they did not agree with McComiskey's spin on it. The truth is that of all of Booby's sources, the only two I could find who had this opinion were McComiskey and Stuart, so why did Booby try to make his readers believe that theirs was a view that was shared by commentators of all leanings from conservative to moderate to liberal? This was a deliberate effort on his part to mislead his readers.

    Till:
    In McComiskey's article in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament,

    Turkel:
    Which McTill doesn't want to tell you is a peer-reviewed journal

    Till:
    What does this have to do with the truth or falsity of McComiskey's proposition? I showed above that all sorts of religious doctrines can be found in peer-reviewed journals. As I asked above, if I found an article in a peer-reviewed journal written by someone with a Ph. D. degree who presented a dispensationalist view of biblical passages about the return of Jesus, would Booby say, "Well, my preterist beliefs must be wrong"? Of course, he wouldn't, but he seems to think that every "source" that he cites in his articles should suffice to settle the issues involved.

    Booby seems to be a bit logically challenged. Maybe he is having an identity crisis and can't decide whether he wants to be Booby Turkey or Jimmy Pee Holdingtank. A rumor going around says that Booby's identity was stolen and then given back when the identity thief found out who he is.

    Till:
    McComiskey even noted that Andersen and Freedman said on page 175 of their commentary that "(c)learly [pqd dam 'al] means to punish the house of Jehu for murder," so certainly the "stripes" of these two commentators can't be considered in agreement with Turkel's (McComiskey's) spin on Hosea 1:4.

    Turkel:
    Unless they come at the matter a different way, which they did:

    Till:
    Booby seems to have reading comprehension problems. In what I quoted above, Andersen and Freedman said that pqd dam 'al clearly meant "to punish the house of Jehu for murder," but McComiskey said that it did not mean this. Hence, we have a P and ~P situation here. McComiskey's position on this verse flatly contradicted the position stated by Andersen and Freedman, so there is no way that Booby can claim that Andersen's and Freedman's interpretation of Hosea 1:4 complemented McComiskey's. The only way they were alike is that both views resorted to verbal contortions to try to make Hosea 1:4 consistent with 1 Kings 10:30. Booby deceptively used Andersen and Freedman to make his readers think that they were part of the "commentators of all stripes" who shared McComiskey's discovery of a hidden meaning in Hosea 1:4.

    Here is exactly what Booby said in the original debate (with emphasis added).

    Many commentators of all stripes have suggested, based on structure and parallelism, that Hosea 1:4 is better read to express the idea that the bloodshed of Jezreel will be visited on the house of Jehu--which is to say, the verse should read, not "punished for the blood of Jezreel," but "punished by"--the reference is to the mode of punishment, rather than the cause of it.

    After my article "Commentators of All Stripes" was posted in response to Booby's claim that all kinds of commentators agree with his view of Hosea 1:4, he "reworked" the original debate and removed his references to "commentators of all stripes," but his claims about this are preserved in my unedited version of the original parts of the debate. After saying what I just quoted above, he came back and repeated his "commentators of all stripes" claim.

    For now, a word about these sources we will be using. We point out that our solution from Hosea is reckoned by "commentators of all stripes."

    Now that is clear enough, isn't it? Booby plainly said that "our solution"--the affected first person plural usage meaning his solution, of course--"is reckoned by 'commentators of all stripes.'" He didn't say that commentators of all stripes "came at the matter a different way" and reached the conclusion that there is no discrepancy here. He said that his solution was "reckoned by commentators of all stripes," and I have clearly shown that they didn't reckon his "solution" to be the right one. Booby intentionally misled his readers.

    Till here throws a few useful polemics in [sic] the ring. 1) He asks how it is that this nuance I have pointed out managed to "escape the hundreds of linguistic scholars who were involved" in the translations he quotes. We will give some reasons for this shortly; for now, let only this be said: Aside from the fact that this argument presumes a host of motives and directions upon teams of scholars about whom neither we nor Till knows a single thing, it should be recognized that commentaries as a rule provide much more in-depth information than mere translations, and are the products of a generally higher rank of scholarship and of much more in-depth study and analysis than the translations are. If it comes down to a battle royale between the two, commentaries should assuredly be given preference.

    In this section of Part 2 of my reposting of the original debate, I inserted an addendum from a former member of the Errancy list, who effectively demolished Booby's claim that commentaries were more reliable than Bible translations. I quoted Booby's comments here to show that he clearly took the position that his view of Hosea 1:4 was shared by "commentators of all stripes" and then removed all references to this claim after my rebuttal had stung him in the butt.

    Turkel:
    As I noted, "Andersen and Freedman acknowledge the viability of the 'visit' translation and accept the same explanation of the issue as we have, as noted below. However, they stick with 'punish' and reject a 'visit' translation because 'its vacuity misses the juridical connotations of the idiom.' In other words, they use 'punish' because of problems with the vacuity of our language - not because of the Hebrew!"

    Till:
    Turkel has cut and pasted here a section from his part of the original debate. Since I gave a detailed reply to it in Part 2 of my reposting of the original debate, I won't quote or rehash my answer here. Readers can click the link and see that Booby was making the mistake of assuming that the substance of homographs in Hebrew could not be accurately translated into English. For him or anyone to speak of the "vacuity" of the English language compared to Hebrew is linguistic ignorance gone to seed. Hebrew had fewer than 9,000 words in it whereas modern English has 750,000 words in its vocabulary and one million if scientific words are considered. Even Old English had some 50,000 words in it, which would have been over five times more than Hebrew had. English is arguably the "richest" language in the world as far as vocabulary is concerned. German has only about 185,000 words and French fewer than 100,000, which includes Franglais terms like le baby-sitting, le hamburger, le snack-bar, and many others assimilated from English [our payback for the intrusion of so many French words into our vocabulary following the Norman conquest of England in 1066].

    From having lived in France for five years, I learned the language well enough to know that there are some words in French that do not have exact equivalents in English. I have no reason to think that the same would not be true of German, Spanish, Russian, and, yes, Hebrew too. However, I know also that with the richness of the English vocabulary, the meanings of such words can be accurately conveyed in translations. It may be necessary to use an expression of more than one word to translate the meaning of a single word, but it can be done. I have previously used chez as an example of a French word that has no exact equivalent in English but which can nevertheless be accurately translated to convey what it means in French. For Booby to argue that paqad in Hosea 1:4 was translated to convey the sense of punishment because of the "vacuity" in a language with a vocabulary 83 times as large as Hebrew's is the height of ignorance. When he argues such nonsense as this, we can be assured that the only linguistic vacuity is between his ears.

    Till:
    At this point, it is obvious that the view of Hosea 1:4 that Turkel presented in his article was the opinion of only one commentator of a very inerrantist stripe, and that was Thomas Edward McComiskey.

    Turkel:
    At this point, McTill decided he could sit his sorry tuckus back in the easy chair. This was so much easier than actually proving McComoiskey [sic] wrong!

    Till:
    He who asserts must prove. I realize that Booby is logically challenged, but that is a long-standing logical principle that even he should know. I have no obligation to prove that McComiskey's assertion is false; he--or Booby, if Booby is going to appropriate it--must prove that it is true, and Booby has not done that. I quoted above everything from McComiskey that Booby quoted in the original debate and showed that it consisted only of assertions and not argumentation. Furthermore, even though I had no obligation to disprove McComiskey's assertion of a new, previously hidden meaning, in Hosea 1:4, I did take the time in this section of Part 2 of my reposting of the original debate to show that McComiskey's assertion had no biblical support.

    I will repeat my earlier proposal here. If Booby will post what he thinks is an argument in the quotation from McComiskey, which I did not answer, I will answer it again, if he will agree to reply to it point by point and post all of our exchanges on his website and leave them there. He won't agree to this, of course, and so that will end the matter.

    Till:
    On the matter of what paqad meant in Hebrew, Turkel simply parroted McComiskey's view back to his readers, and praised himself for in-depth scholarship.

    Turkel:
    And McTill simply pretended that calling it a "parroted" view was an actual answer, as he usually does when he doesn't have the intellectual cajones to give an actual answer.

    Till:
    Did Booby mean that I don't have the intellectual balls to give an actual answer? If so, why didn't he just say so? Oh, I forgot; he doesn't use "bad words" in his articles, does he?

    Now with that said, let Booby show us where he presented any substantial substance of his own pertaining to the new, hidden meaning in Hosea 1:4, which he didn't just cite or quote from McComiskey or Stuart. He did dust off his concordance and try to find passages to prove his claim that raya and yada conveyed different kinds of friendship, but at this particular point, I was referring to McComiskey's claim of finding a previously hidden meaning in Hosea 1:4, and all that Booby did here was parrot McComiskey's assertions.

    If I am wrong, let Booby show us I am wrong.

    Till:
    As I continue to receive the books that Turkel cited, I will post further evaluations of his "commentators of all stripes."

    Turkel:
    "It will take about 500 years, and my opinion is solid gold, since I have the authority and competence to judge scholars."

    Till:
    Nah, here we are just seven years after the original debate, which began on August 24, 1998, and the archives of alt.bible.errancy show that I posted my reply to Booby's "commentators-of-all-stripes" claim back on October 19, 1998. (Booby is a little prone to exaggeration, isn't he?) As we are now seeing, all he could do in response to it was remove his original claim from his website and then hurl sarcasms and insults at my exposure of his deception.

    As for the comment above that the quotations marks indicate was sarcastically attributed to me, I think that Jimmy Pee Holdingtank is trying to impute his Superman/Terminator delusion of grandeur to me, because he is obviously the one who thinks that he has "the authority and competence to judge scholars"! Why else would he constantly write articles that string together unsupported citations and then stamp his feet and scream, "Why won't you accept what my scholars say?"

    This is a good time to remind Booby of an earlier offer. If he wants to engage in hurling insults and sarcasms, I will continue to reply to him in kind, but if he should ever decide to debate issues civilly, I will gladly reciprocate. The ball is in his court.

    Till:
    In doing so, I intend to keep readers reminded of a gross inconsistency in Turkel's view on the value of quoting commentators. In his article that I answered, he repeatedly paraded before his readers that his view represented the thinking of "commentators of all stripes," and so that somehow gave more credibility to his view.

    Turkel:
    As noted, wrong interpretation.

    Till:
    As noted several times--the last time just a few paragraphs above--I did not misinterpret Booby's claim that "commentators of all stripes" shared the view of Hosea 1:4 that he was defending. Just out of spite, I am going to quote again two of the places where he clearly said this (with emphasis added again).

    Many commentators of all stripes have suggested, based on structure and parallelism, that Hosea 1:4 is better read to express the idea that the bloodshed of Jezreel will be visited on the house of Jehu--which is to say, the verse should read, not "punished for the blood of Jezreel," but "punished by"--the reference is to the mode of punishment, rather than the cause of it.

    For now, a word about these sources we will be using. We point out that our solution from Hosea is reckoned by "commentators of all stripes."

    So let Booby tell us just how I misinterpreted what he was claiming.

    Till:
    On another internet list, however, Turkel completely ridiculed the notion that quoting sources gives support to one's views.

    Turkel:
    As noted here, another Till-billy yeehaw interpretation. We'll skip the drivel where McTill rehashes all of this and applies it to the current issue; you can read about it at the link.

    Till:
    Booby's link to "here" doesn't work. [Webmaster's note: I corrected this link on March 28, 2006.] Clicking it will bring up his message about a revision of his website, which conveniently killed all links to his articles that had been inserted into replies to him on other websites, including mine. In this case, Booby's link in his own article won't work, so I have no way to tell what "here" is supposed to link to.

    Now, why don't we look at the "drivel" that Booby skipped here? I think everyone will see immediately why he wanted to skip this kind of "drivel." I will quote it in green except for a paragraph where I was quoting Booby's ridiculing of an ancient source I had quoted, which I will put in blue.

    On another internet list, however, Turkel completely ridiculed the notion that quoting sources gives support to one's views. An inerrantist member of my Errancy list founded a list of his own, which he called CCBE (Christians Combating Biblical Errancy), for the avowed purpose of forming a closed forum where biblical inerrantists could consider in secrecy the arguments of Dennis McKinsey and me and then post collective replies. The list was closed to all who did not profess to be Christians, and the owner of the list became very upset when some of his members forwarded to me some materials that had been posted on CCBE. It so happened that one of the postings forwarded to me had been submitted by Turkel.

    The issue concerned the claim in Exodus that after Aaron and Moses had changed all of the water throughout all the land of Egypt into blood, pharaoh's magicians did "so" or "in like manner" with their enchantments. Inerrantists were asked to explain how the magicians could have changed all of the water in Egypt into blood after Aaron and Moses had already changed all of the water in Egypt into blood. The collective response of the CCBE was that "all didn't mean all" and that the magicians had dug along the bank of the Nile, found water, filled some pots, and changed this into blood. This quibble was based on the claim in Exodus 7:24 that the Egyptians did dig along the river for water to drink, and so the CCBE reasoned that this was how the magicians obtained water with which to do "likewise with their enchantments."

    In responding to this "rebuttal," I noted that the text refers to digging for water to drink after it says that he magicians had done likewise with their enchantments, and I also quoted Philo Judaeus, a first-century contemporary of Jesus, who claimed that "every particle of water in Egypt" had been changed into blood and that when the Egyptians tried to dig for water, they found that it too was blood. This was where Turkel came to the rescue of the struggling CCBE members with the following statement:

    That's nice, but Philo is simply reading into the text what is not there. So if I find a Jewish commentator of equal worth that says the opposite, is it a draw? If I find two, do I win? Remember that Philo is trying to promote Moses and Aaron here and would maximize their feat to the greatest extent possible.

    Here Turkel took the position that quoting commentators proves nothing, so if I applied his line of reasoning to his reliance on the opinion of McComiskey concerning the meaning of "paqad" in Hosea 1:4, all I would have to do is quote another commentator who disagreed with McComiskey, and then we would have a draw rather than the overwhelming victory that Turkel claimed throughout his article on the grounds that his view represented "commentators of all stripes." To find a commentator whom I could quote would be simple, because McComiskey did that himself in noting that Andersen and Freedman say that Hosea 1:4 clearly meant that the house of Jehu would be punished for murder. However, since Andersen and Freedman would be two commentators, that means that by Turkel's own logic, I win two to one. Furthermore, since McComiskey identified three other commentators (Mays, Wolff, and Wood) who have different views, then it becomes five commentators against one, so I really have won (according to Turkel's logic).

    This "drivel" speaks for itself and confirms what not just I but many skeptics have said about Booby. He will selectively quote his opponents and leave out the material that he cannot give sensible replies to. Back in 1997, he was pooh-poohing the idea that anything could be supported by citing or quoting a source, but since then he has become the champion cite-the-sources apologist, although Everette Hatcher and David Conklin aren't far behind him.

    Till:
    The next one I expect to receive is Douglas Stuart's commentary on Hosea and Jonah. I noticed in Turkel's endnotes that it was printed by "Word" publishers in Waco, Texas, so I'm betting in advance that this will turn out to be another fundamentalist publishing company. We'll just have to wait to see.

    Turkel:
    The Word series is a mix. Stuart seems to be in the middle, but I'm not sure.

    Till:
    I was glad to see that Turkel is capable of civility. He should try it more often. In checking to see if Word Books really is the "Mix" that Turkel claimed, I saw indications of a conservative slant. It seems not to have its own website, but Word Books could be found here and there on Google. I spotted two of its books that had been written by Church-of-Christ preachers, and I am sure that Turkel would not think that they are "in the middle." I did find this introduction to Word Biblical Commentary.

    Intended for pastors and scholars, this serious commentary series offers readers an intense and current understanding of Scripture. Each volume begins with an extensive introduction discussing the issues of authorship, date, and purpose; each commentary presents a thorough examination of the text using the most recent critical textual scholarship as well as current findings in archaeology and discussions in theology.

    This doesn't tell us much, because no publisher of biblical works would say that its commentaries are not serious and do not offer current scholarship. I checked Google for information on some of the authors of the different volumes in this set of commentaries and found them to be consistently of, to borrow an expression from Turkel, a "conservative bent." John I. Durham, the author of the Word volume on Exodus, for example, is on the editorial board of Broadman Press in Nashville, Tennessee, which has solid ties to Southern Baptist Churches. T. R. Hobbs, who wrote the volume on 2 Kings, also wrote A Time for War, which reviews that I was able to access seemed to indicate is a defense of Yahwistic atrocities in the Old Testament. I found Peter C. Craigie, author of the volume on Psalms 1-50 and The Minor Prophets, which was one of Turkel's sources, cited in an article that was trying to explain that there was no conflict between the Genesis flood story and earlier flood myths, because they just complemented--or, as Booby would say, "complimented"--each other. John J. Goldingay, the author of the volume on Daniel, is, of course, the darling of those like Everette Hatcher, David Conklin, and Turkel, who are determined to die screaming that this book was written by a 6th-century BC Jewish official in the Babylonian government. I checked other authors too, a couple of whom I will mention later, but I found none who seemed to have even moderate leanings. These are apparently authors bent on defending the traditional view that the Bible is the inspired "word of God," so I am still looking for Booby's many "commentators of all stripes" who "reckon [his] solution" to the discrepancy in Hosea 1:4 and 2 Kings 10:30 to be the right one.

    Till:
    I will remind readers too that I have challenged Turkel to debate this issue on an open internet forum that will allow readers to see everything that both of us post on the subject.

    Turkel:
    Ahhh....there's that everything stricture McTill denies ever making....thanks, Mojo.

    Till:
    So Booby is still chanting that mantra, is he? I want everyone to notice what I said above. I challenged Booby to an internet debate that would allow all readers to see--see, see, SEE--everything that both of us post on the subject. I did not challenge him to a debate in which he would have to quote everything I wrote, but he has tried to distort the challenge into meaning that. He tried it first in our land promise debate, which begins here. His distortion of my challenge into a demand that he actually quote everything that I wrote in our exchanges turned this debate into a farce that was obviously intended to distract the readers' attention from his inability to refute my proposition that Yahweh's land promise to the Israelites had failed.

    In my first exchange with him on the land-promise issue, I set Booby straight on what my challenge had actually meant.

    Turkel apparently has yet to learn that in a written debate, neither opponent has the right to decide what should and should not be left in the published text for readers to see. If a participant sees no argument or relevance to a statement made by his opponent, he can simply cut to the chase and respond to what he thinks is relevant. Readers who see everything that both participants wrote can then judge whether a participant who skips over something is evading it, and the opponent can point out what argument or relevance is in the part that was skipped over and then ask that it be answered. A debating manual or textbook would be a useful addition to Turkel's library.

    Despite having set Booby straight on what my challenge entailed, he continues to distort it into meaning something that I really never said. He is either too dumb to understand plain English or else he is deliberately deceptive. Guess which one I think hits the nail on the head.

    Till:
    This would eliminate "selective quoting" of an opponent as Turkel has done in his articles that purported to be "replies" to my materials.

    Turkel:
    "Selective quoting" which McTill has yet to prove had any effect on his argument, other than making it less boring.

    Till:
    Well, I just showed one example of Booby's selective quoting to hide from his readers material that will show his inconsistency or in some other way embarrass him, and I will be showing another example below, where he gutted my quotation from Wolff's commentary, which clearly contradicted Booby's claim that Jehu had exceeded his "mandate." Obviously, such "selective quoting" has an "effect" on my arguments, because it prevents his choir members from seeing my complete arguments, and, in the case of his omission of most of the quotation from Wolff's comentary, the deletion kept his readers from seeing that he was patently wrong in saying that "many commentators of all stripes" have "reckoned" his "solution" to the Hosea 1:4 problem to be correct. I would say that omissions like these in his selective quoting definitely affect his opponents' arguments.

    He has to know this, and that is why I don't hesitate to call him a liar.

    I reinserted above what Booby deleted in order to show that he had once ridiculed quoting or citing sources, as in the case of my quotation from Philo Judaeus. When he posted this, he thought that quoting sources didn't prove anything, but since then he has repeatedly relied on... what? That's right, citing "sources" that agree with his position and ridiculing anyone who refuses to accept them as definitive settlements of whatever issues were involved. Booby can't seem to remember what he writes from one article to the next.

    I have found that calling Booby's bluff is the easiest way to shut him up, so here is another challenge. I will gladly post several of my arguments and rebuttals that Booby has evaded, if he will agree to reply point by point to every one of them and then post everything, including my counterrebuttal on his website and leave them there.

    End of the matter, of course, because Booby "Chicken" Turkel isn't about to agree to this. Heck, he won't even link his readers to the articles of skeptics that he claims he is "answering."

    Till:
    When readers see everything that both sides have to say, they can better evaluate the respective positions. Turkel has declined this challenge.

    Turkel:
    Mustard with that crow, McTill?

    Till:
    What crow? I just showed how Booby distorted my challenge to debate in a format where readers could see everything that we both write on the issues being debated. He is just showing his deliberate dishonesty by continually distorting what I said, but, of course, he has had a lot of practice distorting. He distorts biblical passages in practically every article he writes.

    Turkel:
    He's sorry now that he's had to sit on that everything cactus for a few weeks... in the next section McTill re-re-re-peats his findings above; we go right to:

    Till:
    Why should I be sorry for repeating a challenge that Booby is too much of a coward to accept. I will issue it here again. I challenge him to debate the Jehu issue or any issue related to biblical inerrancy in a forum that will allow our readers to see—see, see, SEE—everything that we both write on the issues.

    Now sit and watch Booby run from this challenge.

    Till:
    In addition to McComiskey, Turkel quoted at length Douglas Stuart on the meaning of "paqad" in Hosea 1:4, so I turned next to investigating Stuart's theological leanings.

    Turkel:
    Which of course, was much easier than investigating Stuart's arguments...

    Till:
    I have to ask again, "What arguments?" I also quoted above--and analyzed--everything that Booby quoted from Stuart's commentary and showed that he presented only assertions but no arguments. I will repeat my challenge again. If Booby will post Stuart's arguments that he thinks I have evaded, I will answer them point by point, if he will agree to reply point by point to my rebuttals and post everything, including my counterrebuttals, on his website and keep them there.

    Say goodbye to Booby, because he isn't about to accept this challenge.

    Till:
    From his commentary, World Biblical Commentary: Hosea-Jonah, volume 31,

    Turkel:
    World! Try "Word". [sic]

    Till:
    Yes, this was a mistake that I made. I misread the title. This is why I cited above a list of word misusages that often occur in Booby's articles. Just for spite, I will requote them here.

    This guy obviously is ignorant of many of the nuances in English, such as the difference in on and onto, in and into, transliterate and translate, cannot and can not, cite and citation, datum and data, remand and refer, it's and its, women's and womens' [which isn't even a word], signatories and signators [which is also not a word], which and who, complimentary and complementary, and too many others to list.

    I didn't link to these, because if I did, Booby would just rush to correct them, and in some cases, I would have to link to several articles to identify all of the times that some of these mistakes have been made in his sloppily written articles. Everyone will make mistakes in writing, but a person who has pride in his writing will proofread and edit enough to minimize the mistakes. Booby wouldn't believe me if I told him how much time I have spent reading this article, so I won't bother to tell him.

    So, Booby, never write womens', because there is no such word; the possessive of women is always women's. And don't speak about "complimentary accounts" when you mean "complementary accounts," unless, of course, you are talking about accounts whose writers are singing the praises of each other. And I really don't think that Booby wants to get into a pissing contest with me over mistakes that occur in our writing, because the number that gets by him is far greater than what I miss.

    Anyway, I no longer lay any claim to inerrancy. I gave that up in the early 60s when I finally found the intellectual integrity to admit that I had been sold a crock of you-know-what when I was growing up. I will leave it to Booby to claim infallibility. This is why I don't mind at all saying that I erred in putting World Book for Word Book.

    Turkel:
    If McTill can't get the title right, how can we trust him, blah blah blah blah...

    Till:
    Booby doesn't understand basic punctuation rules either, does he?

    Till:
    I learned that Douglas Stuart received his Ph. D. from Harvard University and is a professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

    Turkel:
    Oops. Darn. Means we can't say he learned at a fundamentalist Bible college like Bam Bam....

    Till:
    In response to this, I refer Booby to the quotation above from U. S. News & World Report, which for the 11th consecutive year has ranked Bam Bam in the top universities in the South.

    Turkel:
    maybe he has some other bad habits like burping in public...

    Till:
    Well, he does have a really bad habit that reflects on his probable lack of objectivity in biblical matters. He is a Congregational minister in addition to teaching at Gordon-Conwell. His biographical profile lists books he has published at Baker House, Zondervan, Eerdmans, Westminster Press, and Word Books, of course. This information about him doesn't strike me as the description of a flaming liberal.

    Oh, yes, his biography says that he has made an appearance on Mysteries of the Bible, which is about as unobjective a series as you could expect to find on TV, but if that appearance gives him any special qualifications to speak with authority about the Bible, Booby will have to put me into the same category with him, because I also made an appearance in this series back in 1994. I had let myself be duped into thinking that the producers would allow a dissenter to appear without having his comments about biblical errancy censored. Needless to say, I was wrong. Anyway, I think we can pretty well see that Stuart is probably not "in the middle," as Booby claimed.

    Till:
    The World Biblical Commentary series was published by "Word Publishers" in Waco, Texas.

    Turkel:
    Duh ah! And from this McTill didn't get the clue that it wasn't the WORLD Bilical Commentary series...now how unobservant can you get?!

    Till:
    Well, apparently not as unobservant as Booby, who lets glaring mistakes like those catalogued above get by him routinely, and that was only a partial list. If Booby is nice to me, I will tell him where he used our for are. It is right in the first sentence of an article that he obviously hacked together, and it has been there for months.

    As I said above, Booby doesn't want to get into a pissing contest with me over mistakes in our articles.

    Turkel:
    I know, I know! Ask me to pay for 90% of your website!

    Till:
    Ah, yes, the old 90% straw man that Booby kicks around when he finds himself really on the spot, where he knows that he has to say something but doesn't have anything to say. I addressed that issue here and admitted that after Booby had explained an ambiguously written paragraph in an article that--surprise, surprise--he has since removed from his site, I was able to understand what he had meant. I suppose that his writing instructors at Florida State--if he had any--never told him a principle that should be emphasized to all students trying to learn how to write effectively: Never assume that because you know what you mean, your readers will also understand what you mean. Readers will understand only if the language clearly states the ideas in the text. Those who click the link above will see Booby's 90% statement as it was originally written to someone, who at the time was a complete internet novice who barely knew how to send and receive e-mail. Another basic writing principle is that the writer should keep his readers in mind at all times and communicate on a level that will be understandable to them. A professor at a Medical School, for example, should not write as if his audience consists of other doctors when he knows that his paper will be read primarily by medical laymen. Booby doesn't seem to keep any of these principles in mind. His 90% comment was written to me as if I were an old hand at website maintenance rather than the rank novice that I was at the time. When Booby writes, his objective seems to be to crank the article out as quickly as possible so that he can get onto the next one and then boast of how much he has written.

    At any rate, I misunderstood an ambiguously written paragraph in one of Booby's articles. What does that have to do with whether the position on Hosea 1:4 that he is trying to peddle is actually shared by "commentators of all stripes"? His reasoning seems to go like this: "Till says that many of the commentators that I cited in the matter of Hosea 1:4 don't really share the view that I claimed that they did; however, he misunderstood the 90% offer that I presented in another post some time ago, so he must be wrong about the commentators of all stripes."

    That, folks, is an example of how Jimmy Pee Holdingtank reasons.

    Till:
    The publisher's very name implies a belief in the fundamentalist view of the Bible,

    Turkel:
    The name "Prometheus Books" implies what, now?

    Till:
    Well, in Grecian mythology, Prometheus was the Titan who climbed Mount Olympus and stole fire to give it back to the earth after the gods had decided to punish earthlings by taking fire away from them, but I doubt that most people, even those familiar with the myth, would recognize in this name that Prometheus Books publishes mainly skeptical and freethought materials. As I have said, however, I think that a skeptic or atheist debating a Bible believer would make a serious tactical error if he did nothing but cite or quote books published by Prometheus and similar publishers.

    So Booby's point is what?

    Till:
    but if there is any doubt about whether this is a fair conclusion, the "Editorial Preface" removed it.

    Turkel:
    And removed all validity to their arguments, too! Pfft!

    Till:
    Well, I have repeatedly shown above that there are really no "arguments" in the materials that Booby cited, but, nevertheless, I still took the time to go through everything that he cited and respond to it in detail. I wish he would do the same to my rebuttals, but I have no hope that he ever will. In the first place, he doesn't have the patience or the know-how to do it. If he actually took the time to reply point by point to my rebuttals, he wouldn't be able to crank out his usual hackword and then crow, "Wooo hooo, look at me; I have written fifteen hundred articles."

    Till:
    Speaking about their purpose in publishing the World Biblical Commentary,

    Turkel:
    Which wasn't what they published. Nah, it was the Word Book Encyclopedia!

    Till:
    The Word Book Encyclopedia? That's strange. All references I find to it say Word Book Commentary. Type this into Google and then restrict it with "Waco" and see how many hits you get that list it as Word Book Commentary. Google indicates that Word Book Encyclopedia is a secular work. Anyway, what difference does it make? This is just another straw man that Booby has set up to distract attention from his inability to show that his view of Hosea 1:4 really was shared by the "commentators of all stripes" that he cited in his part of the original debate.

    As I mentioned, however, the references to "commentators of all stripes" have been edited out of Booby's website in an apparent attempt to hide a patently false claim that he had made. Shades of George Orwell!

    Till:
    the editors said, "First, we have tried to cast a wide net to include as contributors a number of scholars from around the world who not only share our aims,

    Turkel:
    Yep, they need to go out and find people who violently disagree with 'em for McTill to be happy.

    Till:
    If the publishers cast their wide net for the purpose of finding "scholars" who shared their aims, then they intentionally tried to find "scholars" who were biased in their views of the Bible and would probably respect the traditional view. That is so obvious that nothing more needs to be said about it. I am sure that it must be painful for Booby to stand by and watch the bias of his "commentators of all stripes" be exposed, but he will just have to live with it.

    Till:
    but are in the main engaged in the ministry of teaching in university, college, and seminary. They represent a rich diversity of denominational allegiance. The broad stance of our contributors can rightly be called evangelical, and this term is to be understood in its positive, historic sense of a commitment to scripture as divine revelation, and to the truth and power of the Christian gospel" (second paragraph in the Editorial Preface). In other words, the editors of the World Biblical Commentary

    Turkel:
    Word! Word!

    Till:
    Notice that Booby said nothing at all--not one word--about the flagrant admission of the Word Book publishers that they had gathered contributors to the commentary who would have a "positive, historic sense of a commitment to scripture as divine revelation." He obviously has no way to explain how any of the writers selected by this company could write anything in their commentaries that did not reflect a belief that the Bible is a "divine revelation," so he didn't even try. He skipped this entirely--without having any effect on my argument, of course--so that he could keep kicking a straw man he had set up. My answer to his straw man is immediately below.

    Yes, I have admitted my mistake. Will Booby ever admit any of his? I doubt that he will. In this part of "Restroom Visits in Biblical Time," I pointed out how Booby had tried to cover his butt after a failed attempt at bathroom humor. In his biblical ignorance, he had asked if anyone had ever noticed that no one was ever recorded in the Bible as actually using a restroom, but someone must have told him that this wasn't true, so he went back to his article and parenthetically inserted this comment.

    (OK, it says Saul went to relieve himself, but does it say he succeeded?)

    He couldn't just say, "Boy, I really goofed here." No, that might reflect badly on his Superman/Terminator image he has been trying to create, so he went back to his article and, in effect, said that the Bible does have at least one example of restroom usage, "But it doesn't say that Saul succeeded." What a clown!

    Those who want to see many more examples of restroom usage in the Bible than the one that Booby belatedly found out was there can read the entire article linked to above.

    Oh, by the way, Booby, don't say, "(T)he document in question has it's credibility threatened," or, "(W)hatever it's location." It would be much better to learn the diffeence in it's and its.

    I will leave it to Booby to decide if he wants to stop cranking on his hackwork long enough to search his site to locate these mistakes, but I will give him a hint: Don't stop when you find these two, because the same mistake has been made several times on your site. They make using world for word look rather insignificant.

    I will advise Booby again not to get into a pissing contest with me about overlooked mistakes on my website.

    Turkel:
    Yeah, he sure read the Preface close, but forget the heck everything else, including what's inside, which to McTill is about as complex as nuclear physics!

    Till:
    Well, as everyone can see from the repeated reminders and links above, I didn't "forget the heck everything else." I went through all of the citations and quotations from Booby's "commentators of all stripes" and showed that they presented only assertions and no arguments. I did this in my compilations of the original debate exchanges, which begin here, and then I ran them by Booby again (above).

    Till:
    [In other words, the editors of the World Biblical Commentary] volumes frankly admitted that they had selected writers who had a preconceived notion that the Bible is a divine revelation.

    Turkel:
    Which of course makes all of their arguments invalid. Case closed? If not, why does McTill even need to mention it or write pages and pages about it?

    Till:
    I wrote "pages and pages about it"? That's odd, because Booby kept complaining above that I didn't "investigat[e] Stuart's arguments" or that I "sit [sic] [my] sorry tuckus back in the easy chair" instead of "answering" McComiskey. I'll ask readers to keep an eye out for similar remarks below, so from one corner of his mouth, Booby complains that I don't answer the arguments of his "sources" and from the other corner, he complains that I "write pages and pages about it." I said above that Jimmy Pee Holdingtank can't remember from one article to the next what he writes, but his memory loss seems even worse than that. He can't remember what he writes from one paragraph to the next.

    Oh, by the way, Jimmy Pee, you should take the time to learn the difference in sit and set. Hint: one is transitive and the other is intransitive. You can consult a dictionary to find out what these grammatical terms mean.

    Till:
    In the "Author's Preface," Stuart himself implied the same bias:

    Turkel:
    Bias! And McTill is 100% bias free, which means this is all he needs to do to refute every word Stuart says...

    Till:
    No, it's not all I had to do. That is why I patiently and deliberately went through everything that Booby quoted from Stuart and showed that it consisted mainly of assertions and very little argumentation. When there was argumentation, I replied to it in detail. Booby can go to this section of the second part of my compilation of the original debate and review--or more likely view for the first time--where I took readers through everything that Booby had quoted from Stuart.

    Till:
    [In the "Author's Preface," Stuart himself implied the same bias:] "I have kept in mind that preachers are the single biggest group of commentary buyers and users, and that they are best served by commentaries that emphasize lasting theological concerns in proper balance with people's immediate, practical, personal or corporate questions." Prior to this, he had said that "the only firm justification" for the existence of a commentary is that it must "constantly and carefully help its readers know what God has said and what they are supposed to do about it." Hence, it is evident from Stuart's own words that he is a believer in the traditional view that what the Bible says is in reality "what God has said," and he made it his aim to write a commentary that would simultaneously reflect this view and appeal to preachers, who are the biggest users of commentaries.

    Turkel:
    Duh, yeah, they usually don't get many buyers from the Butchers' Union... "Hosea-Jonah for Meatcutters"

    Till:
    Well, I suspect that some meatcutters do read the Bible and related books. Those bookstores like Long's, where Booby was able to walk in and buy the editions of some rather rare biblical journals that were unavailable at the seminary library, wouldn't be in business long if preachers were their only customers. The important thing that we see here, however, is Booby's evasion. I pointed out that Stuart begged the question of whether what the Bible says is what God says, and Booby didn't even try to address this. In admitting that he approached the writing of his commentary from the assumption that what it said was what God had said, Stuart revealed a lack of objectivity. Would Booby think the author of a book published by Prometheus was objective if he put a similar statement in his preface?

    The only firm justification for the existence of a commentary on biblical discrepancies is that it must constantly and carefully help its readers know that what the Bible says is not at all what God has said.

    To ask the question is to answer it, so nothing else needs to be said about Booby's comment above, which appears to be another example of his knowing that he had to say something but not having anything to say.

    Till:
    So much for the objectivity of this author.

    Turkel:
    So much for McTill actually addressing a word this author says. So much for the ashes of that straw man.

    Till:
    Hmm, after saying above that I didn't reply to McComiskey's arguments, Jimmy Pee then complained that I had written "page after page about it," and now he is back complaining that I didn't "actually address a word this author [Stuart] said." I have shown repeatedly—and provided readers with links—where I did reply in detail to every one of Booby's citations and quotations. I think it would be a good idea if he would actually read my articles before he tries to reply to them.

    Till:
    In his preface, Stuart informed readers that he would not follow in this commentary the usual practice of "giv[ing] ample space to summaries of the views of other major commentaries," because "such dialogue is terribly difficult to carry on fairly and consistently without short-changing others' arguments." Hence, he warned that he had "consciously restricted [his] summaries of other commentators' views" so that he could "maximize productive use of the space allotted to [him] by dwelling directly on explaining for the reader what [he] think[s] the biblical text is saying." In reading the commentary, one will find that this was indeed the case. He rarely quoted other commentators, although I couldn't help noticing that he would sometimes follow very closely the content found in Hans Walter Wolff's commentary on Hosea.

    Turkel:
    Sometimes? How often?

    Till:
    Well, I examined the commentaries about seven years ago, so I can't say now how often Stuart followed Wolff's content. However, if I said that Stuart did this, I have enough confidence in my intellectual integrity to stand by it. I will make a proposal to Booby. I will gladly send for both of these commentaries again and after reviewing them write an article in which I show similarities in their content, if Booby will agree to post the article on his website and leave it there.

    The matter ends here, doesn't it?

    At any rate, I am surprised that Booby wouldn't know how often Stuart had relied on Wolff's content. These were both "sources" in his "commentators of all stripes," so is he telling us now that he didn't really look at these books closely enough to notice that Stuart had relied on Wolff's content? The longer he rants, the more Booby gives us reason to suspect that I was right in saying that his examination of his "commentators of all stripes" was superficial at best. If that isn't so, then why wasn't Booby able to say, "Well, Till isn't accurately representing Stuart [McComiskey, Wolff], because he said here and here and here this and that and that, which show that Till is distorting his position"? I suspect that he said nothing like this because he wasn't familiar enough with the material to comment on it.

    Turkel:
    And why is this an issue?

    Till:
    Why is this an issue? Booby's theme song has been that the works of McComiskey and Stuart are revolutionary, because they uncovered just five to seven years ago new information about the meaning of paqad that had not been previously known, but if Stuart relied heavily on Wolff's commentary, which had been written before McComiskey's and Stuart's "revolutionary" work, that would indicate that their work wasn't as revolutionary as Booby seems to think it is.

    Keep this in mind as we continue, because Booby says below that what Wolff may have said was unimportant, because he wrote his commentary before Stuart wrote his. (I'll call this to everyone's attention when we get there.) As I have said, Booby just can't seem to remember what he writes from one paragraph to the next, and as I pointed out in my three-part compilation of the original debate, about the only consistency in Booby's articles is his inconsistency.

    Turkel:
    Does McTill think Stuart would regard Wolff as 100% wrong?

    Till:
    No, McTill wouldn't think that. Why does Booby think that I would think that? This seems to be another case of Booby's knowing that he had to say something but not having anything to say.

    Turkel:
    If the subject is the same, isn't some "following" inevitable?

    Till:
    But Booby's thesis is that McComiskey's and Stuart's work was revolutionary. If that is true, why would the latter have relied on Wolff's commentary so often? Another problem I saw is that Stuart expressed a debt of gratitude to Wolff and then "followed" many of his ideas without actually quoting him--as far as I noticed--in his commentary. That seemed a bit intellectually dishonest to me.

    Turkel:
    McTill uses this excuse to avoid answering arguments also.

    Till:
    Well, I'll be darn. And I thought that I was writing "page after page about it."

    Those who want to see that I did answer the few "arguments" that were in Booby's quotations from Stuart can scroll up to my links above. I won't repeat them here.

    Till:
    Wolff, by the way, was one of the commentators of "many stripes" that Turkel referred to in his article, and Wolff was also cited by McComiskey in his commentary on Hosea. As noted above, however, McComiskey referred to Wolff as a scholar who thought that Hosea 1:4 meant that the house of Jehu would be punished for the blood that Jehu had shed at Jezreel. In looking through Stuart's commentary, I didn't see any quotations from Wolff; however, Stuart did say in his preface that he was indebted to the "work of Mays, as well as that of Wolff, Freedman, and Andersen," all of whom were writers that both McComiskey and Turkel cited.

    Turkel:
    Wheeee, yeah. And this proves, what about the meaning of paqad in Hos. 1:4?

    Till:
    Nothing, but the paqad issue was addressed and addressed and addressed in the original debate, and Booby was shown that the spin that McComiskey and Stuart tried to put onto it was full of holes.

    I guess it is time to repeat my challenge. If Booby really thinks that I didn't address Stuart's claims about the meaning of paqad, I'll gladly compile the sections of the debate where I did address them, if he will agree to post the compilation on his website and keep it there.

    This ends the matter, doesn't it?

    Till:
    Since Stuart paid special tribute to Wolff and since McComiskey quoted him as a scholar whose opinion was worthy of consideration, let's see what Wolff said about Hosea 1:4. In Hosea, by Hans Walter Wolff, translated by Gary Stansell, Fortress Press, pp. 17-18, Wolff said the following, which I am quoting at length so that I can't be accused of quoting him out of context.

    Turkel:
    In other words, McTill is afraid of being pinned maliciously and without basis for the same thing he pins others for maliciously and without basis.

    Till:
    What the you-know-what is Booby even saying here? What exactly do I "maliciously and without basis" pin others for that Booby thinks I am afraid of being pinned for? This can't be anything but another case of where Booby knew he had to say something but had nothing to say.

    Turkel:
    Guilty conscience, McTill?

    Till:
    If Booby is referring to my quoting a full and complete context, nah, there wasn't any guilt at all involved in that. If Booby will actually examine the articles in my website without just skimming over them to pick a phrase here and a phrase there to "answer," he will see that my practice is to quote enough of the context of biblical passages or whatever else I may be quoting for readers to see that I didn't quote out of context. Booby might want to try that sometime. If he had habitually done this, he wouldn't have made the mistake of quoting just one verse out of context to try to prove that Abiathar had physically carried the ark of the covenant.

    To save readers the bother of clicking the link, I will quote below the one out-of-context verse that Booby quoted and then quote after it the broader context, which clearly shows that Abiathar had Levites with him, who had done the actual carrying of the ark.

    2 Samuel 15:29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

    Now here is the broader context that I quoted in the article linked to above.

    2 Samuel 15:24 Abiathar came up, and Zadok also, with all the Levites, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me back and let me see both it and the place where it stays. 26 But if he says, 'I take no pleasure in you,' here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." 27 The king also said to the priest Zadok, "Look, go back to the city in peace, you and Abiathar, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me." 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

    Those who want to see how Booby was hung out to dry for this quoting-out-of-context ploy can click the link above and read the entire section linked to. Booby was again in a situation where he knew he had to say something but had nothing to say. I quoted the full context of Wolff's statement so that readers could conveniently evaluate it, and Booby gutted it because he didn't want his readers to see just how badly he had misrepresented his "commentators of all stripes." He guts the articles he is "answering" and doesn't link his readers to them, and that is how he deludes his choir members into believing that he is the "king shit" of apologetics.

    Turkel:
    Most of Wolff's quote has nothing to do with the issue at hand; here is the part where we get to it:

    Till:
    Well, why don't I just insert here the part that Booby cut out to let our readers decide if it has any relevance to this debate? Surely, Booby isn't saying that something said by one of his "commentators of all stripes" is unimportant to this issue.

    In this verse the narrative makes its first main point. In the preceding verses, only passing reference is made to biographical details. But now, as though it were the intention from the outset, the narrative enlarges upon the naming of the first child. This took place immediately after his birth. "Call his name [Jezreel]." Although the mother usually gives the child its name, here the father does this at God's command. The unusual name "Jezreel," otherwise used for a place or region, must have caused lively public discussion. With such a provocative riddle Hosea's prophet ministry began, which was in the year 750 at the latest. It is not surprising that the misgivings elicited by the growing boy named Jezreel later on evoked new responses from Hosea regarding the meaning of the name. According to the narrator, Yahweh's commission to name the child included at the same time the name's first interpretation (v 4b). Since the name Jezreel, which is used as a catch word in Hosea's preaching, is inseparably linked with a person, the shadow of the incarnatio verbi is projected into the future: umbra futurorum.

    "In a short time," emphasized by its position in the sentence, sets a time limit for the fulfillment of judgment. The prophetic word assaults the "now" of its hearers. There are, at least four years left before Jehu's dynasty comes to an end....

    If Hosea's ministry covered 750 BC, then he had condemned Jehu's massacre at least a century and a half before the writer of 2 Kings praised Jehu for having done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in Yahweh's heart (2 Kings 10:30). Why wouldn't the "inspired" writer of 2 Kings have known what the "inspired" writer of Hosea had said 150 years earlier?

    At this point, Booby included a part of my quotation from Wolff's commentary where the quotation above left off.

    Till [quoting Wolff:]

    'To punish' is the meaning of PQD in this context, as the parallel 'punish' // 'put an end to' indicates and G[reek] confirms [ekdikseso 'avenge'). It is close in meaning to the word 'to revenge' [GPM], which G[reek] translates by the same word.

    Turkel:
    That's it. No word study of paqad,

    Till:
    Well, I had already done that in the regular part of the debate. If Booby missed it in his spot reading, which seems to be the way he reads his opponents' rebuttals, he can go here and review--assuming that he has yet "viewed" it at all--where I replied in detail to his attempt to peddle McComiskey's spin on paqad, in which reply I did the "word study" that Booby seems to think that I have not done. That study included an analysis of every verse in Hosea where this word was used.

    Does that refresh your memory, Booby?

    When Booby puts his foot into his mouth, I can't resist shoving it in further, so I'll just dump his indignation back into his lap by quoting [in full] some of the quotations from his sources, analyzed above, to see what kind of "word study of paqad they did.

  • Although he eventually posits that it [paqad] does refer to the deeds done to the house of Ahab, Mullen [Mull.DynJehu, 198-9] notes that "the stylized nature of the phrase makes it difficult to define `what is right' in specific terms...." We suggest, then, along with Provan [Prov.12K, 216] that another interpretive option is available.
  • That's It? No word study of paqad? Let's carry it a little bit further? What is this "stylized nature of the phrase that makes it difficult to define"? Jeeesh, no word study at all. Is that any way for a "commentator of all stripes" to write?

  • "The writer of 2 Kings was not concerned to pass judgments of a political or sociological nature on the events he is describing." [Hobb.2K, 119]
  • What! No word study? No analysis of sample passages of the writer's "dry and disconnected style" to show that this was an accurate description of his style?

  • Even the most basic anthropological work (such as Matthews and Benjamin's Social World of Ancient Israel) makes it quite clear that there is a world of difference between our way of thinking and that of members of Eastern Mediterranean society - and that these differences must be taken into account when considering the Old and New Testaments."
  • What? No concrete, specific examples of these differences. How do we know what we need "to take into account when considering the Old and New Testaments"?

    Now let's look at an entire paragraph, which I quoted above, where Booby just strung together several bracketed citations from his "commentators of all stripes.

    Some [scholars] of the liberal bent suggest a type of progressive revelation, in which God has set higher standards of action in Hosea's time than were set in Jehu's time, in response to the human need for growth. [see AndFree.Hos, 178; Crai.12P, 12; for reply, see Irv.ThrJez, 499].

    That's it! No word study or specific, concrete examples on which this idea of progressive revelation is based?

    Others remain content with seeing contradiction (but seldom offer any detailed work on the subject - see Wolf.Hos, 17-18; May.Hos, 28; Jone.12K, 273).

    That's it! We're supposed to form a judgment about this on nothing more than [see Wolf.Hos, 17-18; May.Hos, 28; Jone.12K, 273]?

    Irvine [Irv.ThrJez, 503] suggests that our 2 Kings passage (10:30-1) is a piece of imperial propaganda that was being refuted by Hosea, which would raise the question of interpolation in 2 Kings or its sources.

    That's it! We're supposed to take what Irvine said without giving any specifics to support it? I doubt that Booby meant that we should take what Irvine said here, because I suspect that Booby would consider "the question of interpolation" to be anathama. What we probably have here is just a comment from Irvine that Booby encountered while thumbing through one of his "commentators of all stripes," and he thought it would look impressive to throw it into his article, but as these examples show, Booby is the last person on earth who has any right to complain, "That's it! No word study?" because his articles have about as much depth as a bird bath.

    Turkel:
    and no consideration of the alternative meaning.

    Till:
    If Booby will click here, he can "review"--or, more likely, view for the first time--where I replied point by point to his lengthy quotation from McComiskey, which consisted only of assertions strung together--and also demolished McComiskey's attempt to make Jeremiah 15:3 a proof text for the "hidden meaning" of paqad that he thinks he has found. I showed that Mac was wrong in saying that no reason for Yahweh's "visit" [paqad] was given in this text, because the broader context of the verse reveals that earlier in the passage Yahweh had said that "sins and iniquities" of the people (14:10) were the reason why he would "visit" them with three destroyers. Booby's problem is that he just doesn't read what his opponents say. That may fly with his sycophant choir members, but discerning readers will notice the evasion.

    Anyway, I will present another proposal to Booby. If he really thinks that I have given no "consideration [to] the alternative meaning," if he will post it and support it with argumentation, I will gladly reply to it, point by point, if he will agree to.... Well, everyone knows by now what comes next, so I will spare Booby the repetition that seems to annoy him, but if he would just reply to my rebuttal points, there wouldn't be any need for repetition.

    As I have said before, this will end the matter, because Booby isn't about to let his readers see that his opponents really are answering his "arguments."

    Turkel:
    Not that we expect Wolff to discuss it; he wrote years before McComiskey.

    Till:
    Ah, yes, I forgot; the hidden meaning of paqad that lay undiscovered for centuries until McComiskey, a biblical inerrantist who teaches at a seminary dedicated to defending the inerrancy of Bible, came along and "discovered" it. Well, if Booby will click the links immediately above, he will see that McComiskey's hidden meaning was too full of lead to get off the ground.

    This, by the way, is Booby's comment that I said I would alert readers to notice. He argued above that Stuart's reliance on Wolff was irrelevant, even though Wolff's commentary was written before Stuart's revolutionary work, but here he seems to be saying that what Wolff said is unimportant because he "wrote years before McComiskey." As I have said before, about the only consistency in Booby's articles is his inconsistency.

    Now let's take a look at another part of the quotation from Wolff that Booby, er, Skippy Turkel cut out of my article that he was supposed to be "answering." This picks up where the last green section above left off. I will add emphasis to some parts to show their relevance to the issue that Booby obviously wants to sweep under the rug.

    What act of punishment is meant by the words "blood of Jezreel"? The name Jezreel, "God sows," denotes primarily the fruitful plain between the highlands of Samaria and Galilee. The ancient city of the same name, known today as Zer'in, is situated on the highland's eastern border at the entrance of the broad valley of the Nahar Jalud leading to the Jordan. There the dynasty of Omri established a second capital, probably intended especially for the governing of the tribes of Israel, in the same way Samaria primarily governed the Canaanite populace. Here "Jezreel" refers to this capital.... "Bloodguilt of Jezreel" does not imply the execution of Naboth (1 Kings 21), since for that the Omrides were responsible (2 Kings 9:7). It refers to the bloodthirsty extermination of the house of Omri in 845-4 by Jehu, one of the military officers. Many of the members of the royal families met their death including Joram, the dynasty's last representative (2 Kings 9:24), old, guiltladen Queen Jezebel (v33), and King Ahaziah of Judah (v 27).

    Notice that Wolff, one of Booby's "commentators of all stripes," clearly said here that the "bloodguilt of Jezreel" referred to Jehu's massacre of the house of Omri [Ahab], but if this is what Wolff thinks, why did Booby cite him and count him among the "commentators of all stripes," who, according to Booby, reckoned "our solution" [our to Booby means my] to be the right one?

    No wonder Booby gutted the quotation from Wolff! He doesn't want his sycophant choir members to see that he actually didn't have "commentators of all stripes" on his side.

    Well, let's continue the Wolff quotation that Booby stripped down to nothing.

    Is Jehu merely accused here of doing more than he had been commanded?

    Well, as the record of the original debate will show, that is what Booby claimed, right here, so let's see if Wolff's stripes match Booby's

    Or is his dynasty's reign principally accused of illegitimacy, as that of his successors was? Did Hosea know of the prophetic designation of Jehu (2 Kings 9:1ff) and his "zeal" for Yahweh (2 Kings 10:16)?

    Now we can understand what questions Wolff was referring to in the truncated part of the quotation where Booby picked it up immediately below. As the quotation continues below, in the few lines that Booby selected to quote in his "reply," we can see that readers will not know what "questions" are being referred to unless they have access to the section I reinserted above

    Till [still quoting Wolff]:
    With respect to these questions, only two things seem at once to be clear: (1) The bloodguilt resulting from this political struggle for power provokes Yahweh's judgment; (2) according to v 4, Hosea assesses Jehu's revolution otherwise than did the prophetic circles gathered around Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 10:30)".

    Turkel:
    And that's it. Just a summary. No answer to the detailed data provided by my sources.

    Till:
    Notice that Booby completely evaded the last statement in Wolff's quotation above: Hosea assesses Jehu's revolution otherwise than did the prophetic circles gathered around Elijah and Elisha. That is completely contrary to Booby's claim that his "commentators of all stripes" agreed with his "solution," even though some of them went different routes to arrive at the same meaning. Wolff, one of Booby's "commentators of all stripes," plainly said that Hosea assessed Jehu's revolution entirely differently from the prophets in Elijah's and Elisha's circle. How, then, can Booby claim with a straight face that Wolff is one of the "commentators of all all stripes" who agreed with his take on Hosea 1:4? Well, that is an easy question to answer. He can just lie to his choir members, knowing that most of them will click the PayPal icon on his website and never bother to investigate his claim.

    Booby challenged me above to show that his selective quoting of my articles has ever affected my arguments in any way. I have given some examples above of how his omissions of my material clearly affected my arguments, and now here is another one.

    As for Booby's reference above to "detailed data provided by [his] sources," I have to ask once again, "What detailed data"? I have analyzed and reanalyzed and replied and replied to and written page after page about Booby's citations from "commentators of all stripes" to show that they mainly asserted but offered no "detailed data" to support their assertions. Whenever there was an attempt at argumentation, I replied to it, as I did here when Booby "gave the floor" to McComiskey. His "data," what little was given, have been answered and answered and reanswered and reanswered.

    If Booby thinks otherwise, I refer him to the challenge that I have stated and restated above. He can consider it restated here too.

    Till:
    Wolff tried to minimize the obvious problem that his conclusion poses to the traditional view that the books of the Bible were "inspired of God," for he went on to say that "(w)e probably should not conclude, however, that this represents a conscious opposition to them [the prophetic circles gathered around Elijah and Elisha]."

    Turkel:
    Oh, sure! Wolff was in on a conspiracy to make McTill's life harder....

    Till:
    No, Wolff was just a bit more honest than someone I know in Ocoee, Florida, but still he had to mince his words to keep from leaving the impression that he thought that there was a [gasp!] discrepancy in the Bible. Someone in the business of writing biblical commentators just can't afford to do that.

    I have almost finished my reply to every comment that Booby made in "reply" to my article, and I keep wondering why I am bothering to go on. His hide has already been nailed to the wall.

    Till:
    He explained that this was probably what happened because "(i)n Hosea's earliest period, there was yet no connection with the prophetic traditions of the ninth century." In other words, Wolff seemed to be saying that Hosea was clearly in disagreement with the assessment of Jehu's actions in 2 Kings 10:30, but he should not be faulted for this because he didn't know that "the prophetic circles gathered around Elijah and Elisha" had approved of Jehu's massacre at Jezreel. I find Wolff's belief that Hosea was unaware of the praise that prophets had earlier heaped on Jehu to be very likely, because more than a century separated Jehu and Hosea, and the distribution of writings in that period was certainly not what it is today, not even to mention that 2 Kings was written well after the time of Hosea.

    Turkel:
    It doesn't matter to me whether they knew of one another or not.

    Till:
    Well, okay, it doesn't matter, but I wonder if it matters to Booby that I have exposed his "commentators-of-all-stripes" claim to be a lie. The spin on Hosea 1:4 that he has tried to peddle was not shared by all of the "sources" he cited. As I have shown, only a couple of them did, and they were both biblical inerrantists, who would be expected to look for some way to "explain" this problem.

    Till:
    Hence, it is very likely that Hosea didn't know that another biblical writer would later indicate that earlier prophets had approved of Jehu's massacre, but that is really beside the point.

    Turkel:
    Yes it is, but he brought it up anyway.

    Till:
    And Booby is galled by the obvious fact that he cannot sustain his claim that Hosea and the author of 1 Kings agreed on the morality involved in Jehu's massacre.

    Till:
    McDowell's claim in ETDAV was that the Bible is unique in that it is perfectly harmonious in its themes, but this is patently not so. Wolff, one of Turkel's "commentators of all stripes," has clearly expressed his view that prophetic circles before Hosea had assessed Jehu's actions entirely differently from Hosea's opinion of them.

    Turkel:
    Which fails to answer a single point against my argument.

    Till:
    Uh, what argument? If Booby will post an argument that he thinks I have not answered, I will post a reply to it, if he will agree to reply to it point by point, post both on his website, post my counterrebuttal [and his too if he has one], and leave everything there.

    This ends the matter, of course, because Booby who won't even name his opponents or link his readers to anything that will let them see how evasive and inept he is at replying to opposition arguments isn't about to accept a challenge like this.

    Till:
    That hardly constitutes perfect harmony, and it certainly shows that Turkel was very deceptive in trying to make his readers think that all of the commentators that he mentioned in his article agreed that there is no conflict between 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4. This was obviously not so.

    Turkel:
    After this McTill again describes in detail his abuse of the CCBE quote, then:

    Till:
    Notice that Booby didn't even try to deny the statement that I made above, undoubtedly because he knew that I had clearly established that the "commentators of all stripes," whom he had boasted about, did not agree on the question of whether there is conflict between Hosea 1:4 and 2 Kings 10:30.

    As for his last comment above, Booby didn't just snip my "abuse of [his] CCBE quot[ation]; he also snipped my summation. Let's take a look at that Summation.

    Summary: So far, I have found in checking Turkel's sources that of the seven I have checked so far, only two of them thought that Hosea 1:4 was not pronouncing judgment on the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel. The other five thought that the prophet's intention was to say that the house of Jehu would be punished and brought to an end because of the blood that its founder had shed at Jezreel.

    And that summation just about says it all. Booby deceptively tried to make his readers think that his "solution" to the Hosea/Jehu problem was held by "commentators of all stripes," but an examination of the "sources" he cited showed that this was not true. I may as well call a spade here and just come right out and say that Jimmy Pee Holdingtank deliberately lied to his readers.

    Just for the heck of it, I think I will reinsert his CCBE comment that he has been trying hard to forget. It will keep readers reminded of his inconsistency.

    Thus, it is appropriate for me to remind readers again of what Turkel said on a secretive Christian list about my reference to what Philo Judaeus had said about the first Egyptian plague. (For the background of this quotation from an internet posting by Turkel, readers should check my first posting "Commentators of All Stripes.")

    To save time, readers who want to review the background of this quotation can scroll about two thirds of the way to the top of this article and find where I requoted both the background and the quotation itself to refresh Booby's memory, who couldn't seem to recall when he had ever said that quoting sources wasn't an effective way to prove a point. This is what he said eight years ago about citing or quoting sources.

    That's nice, but Philo is simply reading into the text what is not there. So if I find a Jewish commentator of equal worth that says the opposite, is it a draw? If I find two, do I win? Remember that Philo is trying to promote Moses and Aaron here and would maximize their feat to the greatest extent possible.

    Yes, Booby, the king of cite-the-scholars apologetics, did say this back in 1997, and he has been trying to sweep it under the rug ever since. He calls my references to it "abuse of [his] CCBE comment," but just how have I abused it? Did he say it, or didn't he? The records show that he did.

    I have a final word about Booby's comment above. Notice that he said that "Philo [was] reading into the text what is not there" and that he was "trying to promote Moses and Aaron here." I wonder if Booby would say that McComiskey and Stuart did not try to read into Hosea 1:4 what was not there or that they were not trying to "promote" the Bible.

    Till:
    So once again we find Turkel speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Turkel:
    Once again we find McTill listening with neither side of his head.

    Till:
    It must be downright frustrating when Jimmy Pee "Superman/Terminator" Holdingtank has no way to respond logically to an argument and can only react with sarcasm.

    Till:
    When he quotes writers, he thinks that this should carry weight, but if an opponent quotes writers who disagree with his view, Turkel claims that it doesn't prove anything.

    Turkel:
    Again, this is based on McTill's miapprehension [sic] of what the CCBE quote was all about.

    Till:
    Did Jimmy Pee mean misapprehension here? If so, he needs to explain just how I misunderstood his statement. Did everyone notice that he made no attempt at all to explain just how I had misunderstood his statement? Why didn't he walk us through it and explain that he didn't really mean that if he could find a Jewish commentator of "equal worth" to Philo, who believed the opposite, we would have a draw? Then why didn't he explain to us that he didn't mean that if he could find two, he would win? No, that wasn't at all what he meant, was it? He was just throwing out some exploratory questions, wasn't he?

    Till:
    Furthermore, I have taken his own sources and shown that they disagree with him 5 to 2 on the meaning of Hosea 1:4.

    Turkel:
    No, actually, Andersen and Freedman agree with me in the final analysis,

    Till:
    In the final analysis? Who's talking about "the final analysis"? As we noted above, Booby's claim was that "our [meaning his] solution" was "reckoned" by "commentators of all stripes." He didn't say that "in the final analysis," his commentators of all stripes agreed that there was no discrepancy in Hosea 1:4. He said that his "commentators of all stripes" shared his "solution" to the problem. I have shown that this is not so, and the evidence is so overwhelming that Booby has removed this comment, which was made more than once in the original debate, from his website.

    Let's just tell it like it is. Booby lied to his readers.

    Turkel:
    so it is 4 to 3, my favor.

    Till:
    I have shown that Andersen and Freedman only thought that there was no discrepancy in Hosea 1:4, but that is not at all the same as saying that they "reckoned" the same "solution" that Booby was trying to peddle. Commentators who don't think that discrepancies are in the Bible are a dime a dozen, so what would be so unusual about the fact that Andersen and Freedman "in the final analysis" agreed with Booby?

    Jimmy Pee, however, obviously needs all the help he can get, so for the sake of argument, let's just give him Andersen and Freedman. Is a 4-to-3 count in his favor any consolation? His boast was that commentators of all stripes "reckoned" his "solution" to the problem, but if we go through these commentators and find them almost split down the middle, 4 to 3, that hardly gives him room to celebrate.

    Booby just dug his own grave here and admitted himself that his "commentators of all stripes" favor his position by only a 4 to 3 margin. Even he has admitted that his "commentators of all stripes" are almost split down the middle about what paqad meant in Hosea 1:4, and to get that almost-even split, we had to stretch imagination like a rubber band to give him Andersen and Freedman, who didn't actually agree with Booby's take on Hosea 1:4. Maybe Booby should celebrate his victory with a trip to Disney World, where he might get a chance to shake hands with Goofy.

    Till:
    Thus, by his own logic, I have "won" by showing that of his own "scholars" more of them disagree than agree with him.

    Turkel:
    Nope, he lost by a smaller margin.

    Till:
    I love it! Even Booby is having to admit that he greatly overstated his case.

    Turkel:
    And we didn't even get to see him actually confront the linguistic arguments.

    Till:
    We didn't? We didn't see all the links above--which I won't insert again, because 50 times is enough--and didn't read the sections in the original debate where I did a detailed "word study" of paqad and even shot down McComiskey's distortion of Jeremiah 15:3? These are all linked to above, in this article, so Booby should scroll up and give them a peek, but here is a warning: If he takes the time actually to read all of them, he won't be able to meet his hackwork quota of 75 articles per day.

    Till:
    This is in addition to the fact that Turkel misled his readers by leaving the impression that he was quoting "commentators of all stripes" who thought that Hosea 1:4 did not pronounce vengeance or judgment on the house of Jehu. An examination of his sources shows that this was not true.

    Turkel:
    An examination of McTill's head shows that it is empty.

    Till:
    When Booby can't refute an opponent's argument, all is not lost; he can still turn to sarcasm and insults.

    Turkel:
    No, I have the liberal-moderates Andersen and Freedman. All stripes present and accounted for.

    Till:
    As I showed above, Jimmy Pee does not have Andersen and Freedman, because his claim was that his "commentators of all Stripes" reckoned his "solution" to be the right one. I have shown that Andersen and Freedman, as well as most of the others, with the exceptions of McComiskey and Stuart, did not "reckon" Booby's "solution" to be the right one.

    Booby just never could admit to being wrong, could he?

    Till:
    I will remind readers that I have proposed to Turkel that the two of us engage in an on-line written point-by-point debate that will allow readers on both sides of this controversy to see everything that both of us post. I'm confident enough in my position and my ability to sustain it to make this proposal, but Turkel refuses to accept the challenge.

    Turkel:
    Until recently.

    Till:
    The record will show that Booby did agree to an acceptance but then quickly reneged on the conditions agreed upon. For an accounting of that acceptance and Booby's almost immediate reneging on it, readers can go to "Where Are the Links?" to see everything explained. Some people's word is as good as gold; Booby's is good for nothing.

    Turkel:
    And now McTill is saddle-sore from that everything demand and wishing he hadn't opened his mouth.

    Till:
    Hmm, that is what you would call a mixed metaphor, isn't it? Anyway, I suppose that Booby thinks that a wish that I had never opened my mouth is the reason why I keep repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating the challenge for an on-line, open, point-by-point debate, where everything we both write on the issues will be posted on both websites and kept there for everyone to see.

    Turkel:
    Arguing about where a book is published will only take you so far in an argument, but that's the road as far as McTill can drive on it.

    Till:
    Booby's statement above reminded me that he also doesn't know where to put the word only when he uses it. I wonder if he can tell the difference in "X will only take you so far" and "X will take you only so far." I doubt it.

    As for the rest of his comment, anyone who doesn't realize that, even though the truth or falsity of propositions is always independent of their sources, disreputable sources can nevertheless affect the credibility of the propositions, should be careful about telling someone else that his head is "empty."

    This is where we stand. Jimmy Pee Holdingtank boasted that he had a "solution" to the Hosea 1:4/2 Kings 10:30 problem that "commentators of all stripes" had reckoned to be the right one, but an examination of the stripes of those commentators has shown that they do not share Jimmy Pee's opinion on this. My exposure of his lie in this matter has been so embarrassing that he removed all references to the "commentators of all stripes" from his website, and, true to fashion, has ever since tried to deny that he meant that these commentators agreed with him, just as he has tried to deny that his CCBE statement, quoted twice above, meant what it plainly says. He has spent his time zigzagging here and zigzagging there to try to cover his butt in this matter, but he wound up zigging when he should have sagged, and so everyone reading this will now know that he is wearing the zigzagging stripes of a liar.



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