mercredi 27 mai 2015

And Mark Shea bungled Mythical with Allegorical ... *sigh* ...

1) Was St. Jerome Calling Genesis a Myth, and if so in what sense?, 2) And Mark Shea bungled Mythical with Allegorical ... *sigh* ... 3) History or Myth ... how do YOU describe a "story which really happened" but has "mythical" coherence and greatness?

Mark Shea* :
How can Genesis use figurative language, but still affirm a primeval event? It can do it because mythic language is precisely the best way to affirm such an event, an upheaval that inflicted incalculable spiritual damage to the whole of the human race. It’s exactly what the prophet Nathan does when he confronts another spiritual progenitor whose sin inflicts incalculable damage on his descendants too:

Quotes Holy Bible:
And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his morsel, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man. Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house.

And returns:
Is Nathan’s story of the rich man and the ewe lamb false? No. It is a perfectly true account, but it is not told using newspaper language. Genesis’ account of the fall does the same sort of thing.

My comment:
Mark Shea has nothing to teach me about what allegory means.

And what Nathan did was make an allegory.

He used an allegory instead of a straight account for a specific purpose : letting King David judge without letting King David's personal bias about what was being judged disrupt his good judgement.

There are ways in which all of OT history is allegorical, it is a prophecy about Jesus and about the Church and even about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Here there is someone more sinister than King David who had to be kept in the dark.

If God had revealed His plan for saving mankind in so many direct words instead of allegorically, mostly, Satan would have known better than to plot the killing of God and the descent of a soul belonging to the II. Person of Holy Trinity into Hades. Even Satan could figure out it would be ruinous to his domination over the captives whom he was keeping out of Heaven for Adam's Sin.

So, in the account of Creation Week we do find hints about what was going to happen and these are allegorical.

The Church was going to be born from the opened side of Christ on the Cross.

Hence God created Eve from the opened side of Adam.

That was day six, a Friday.

Christ was going to reject the synagogue of Pharisees for bride as so many mooing bulls of Bashan. Also on Good Friday.

Hence Adam had to name the beasts before he went to sleep.

And Christ fulfilled this allegory to the fullest, he named the taunting Pharisees and their crowd of adherents "bulls of Bashan" by citing the apporopriate Psalm of David.

So, the allegory had to be there fully too.

Adam had to be literally one man and literally naming animals created before him.

On the Eve, sorry for pun, or perhaps not, Christ's disciples had been divided into the faithful who were going to Heaven and the traitor who was going to the abyss.

So on day five, God had created both fish which belong down and fowl which go up.

And the traitor had appointed a sign for recognition of the one he was going to betray. He was going to sell the Sun of Justice for the Moonshine of silver coins - thirty, one more than a natural month.

Hence God had on day four (the day of Wednesday on which Judas the Traitor went to the Priests) created both Sun and Moon and appointed them as precisely signs.

I mean, Satan was so busy on these days plotting against the death of the Messiah that he didn't notice he was fulfilling allegorical prophecy.

But even someone as busy as all that might have noticed something if the prophecies had gone like:

"Satan will make Judas Ischariot sell Christ for money on a wednesday, he will part company from the faithful on Thursday and Christ will be killed on Friday and gain His victory precisely when sleeping the sleep of natural death on the Cross."

That is the reason why Old Testament is often allegoric about Christ.

But that doesn't mean the Old Testament is allegoric about its own events.

And allegory isn't the same as myth.

And the reason for allegory was not "this is the best way to tell a story", but "this is the best way to tell the kind of story that someone must not notice being told".

So, if God wants to tell us about Creation, is allegory the best way to tell us it?

Not really.

We often learn about creation as small children, well before incurring the kind of guilt where King David would have been tempted to judge falsely had he been told the story in the straight fashion.

And Satan had himself watched the creation and so had no need to be kept in the dark about it either. In fact, this is where he showed himself as stupidly tripping himself up by his eagerness to damn and kill, that he forgot to take into account that the crucifixion he was plotting corresponded allegorically to the sleep of Adam.

The one perk of Creation story being also allegorical about creation as such, is when you want to replace the creation myth of Genesis with the creation myth of Darwin and company. Or invent a creation story with Big Bang to replace one in which Earth was created same moment as the most basic space and reality of the universe.

Neither by referring to 390 of the illnamed Catechism of the Catholic Church, nor by referring to the Orthodox, can either Mark Shea or Michael Flynn motivate this new take on the Genesis account.

Catechism of Pope St Pius X would not have any hint whatsoever that Genesis account was figurative or allegorical about its own events, and Orthodox come in two packages.

The ones who reject Creationism are usually referred to as Neohimerites.

In certain national Orthodox Churches most now celebrate Christmas when we do, according to Gregorian calendar. They are called Neohimerites - new calendarists. A minority among them holds fast to celebrating Christmas according to Julian calendar, which by now has diverged 13 days from Gregorian one - when the latter was introduced in Papal States and Spain, the difference was only ten days which it suppressed - so that their December 25 is when we have January 7. Back in 19th C. (before there were any Neohimerites) difference was twelve days, giving rise to canular they celebrate Epiphany instead of Christmas. Now, a Neohimerite is often against Creationism. A Palaeohimerite is usually not. On the other hand, a Neohimerite is often more open to Catholics than Palaeohimerites or Old Calendarists are.

When I was a Roumanian Neohimerite for a few years, my purpose was NOT to be against Creationism, but simply to hold out one hand to Palaeohimerites and one hand to FSSPX and similar Catholic Trads. It failed. I had underestimated both the Neohimerite, imposed by Communism, hatred of Creationism, and the undercurrent of Palaeohimerite objections to Catholicism as something unchristian.

But if you refer to Orthodox in this debate, please to recall the "Orthodox" support of "science" and of a purely "allegorical" or (sometimes they will so abuse language as to mean allegorical when saying) "mythical" understanding of Genesis 1 and 2, is NOT the Orthodox tradition any more than "John Paul II" kissing a Qoran or taking a Tilak on his forehead is traditional as per what Pope St Pius X considered appropriate. Or Pope Urban VIII (need I mention this Geocentric Pope would have most probably been Creationist?) or before he became Pope the Saint Robert Bellarmine.

Mike Flynn has his own problems on the referred to page, he seems to think that "1/2" and "1/4" and "1/8" are numbers, when in reality they are ratios.

Here is first from his post:**
"There is, after all, no first number after zero, and however small the sapience, one can always cut it in half and claim that that much less sapience preceded it."

Then my comment:
First off, what do you mean by "after zero"?

Zero is not a number.

Second, there is a first number. Either one or two or three. Some would say one, but others deny it the quality of manifold which they consider essential to number. Some would say two, but others say two has not the three essential parts of a number, beginning, middle and end.

So, no, as far as NUMBERS are concerned, there is certainly nothing which is a number and is yet less than ONE.

There are things which cannot be taken apart and divided in halves. Geometric shapes are not among them (and their measures are not numbers!) but having a rational soul very much is among them. Like existing, like living./HGL

I bid my readers farewell for today.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Venerable Bede

Read more (or don't, at your discretion) : New Catholic Register, Does Evolutionary Science Disprove the Faith?
by Mark Shea 09/14/2011

The TOF Spot : Adam and Eve and Ted and Alice

1-IX-2011 (and not 11-IX-2001 as the other disaster).

vendredi 22 mai 2015

Calcium? How About This Solution, Pavle?

First of all, I need to introduce Pavle I. Premović. He gives a scenario for what happened after Cretaceous. I think it is a good scenario for what happened at Flood above Cretaceous biotopes - if I understood it correctly. Here is the link:

Experimental evidence for the global acidification of surface ocean at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary: the biogenic calcite-poor spherule layers

Doesn't look TOO pretty, but it was requested to use this html for blogging* ... it was not designed for a blog theme like "scribe" with brown and beige colours ... but anyway, here is the abstract:

QUOTE: The massive amount of impact-generated atmospheric CO2 at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary (KPB) would have accumulated globally in the surface ocean, leading to acidification and CaCO3 undersaturation. These chemical changes would have caused a crisis of biocalcification of calcareous plankton and enhanced dissolution of their shells; these factors together may have played a crucial role in forming the biogenic calcite-poor KPB spherule layers observed at numerous oceanic sites and marine (now on land) sites in Europe and Africa. Experimental data and observations indicate that the deposition spherule layer probably lasted only a few decades at most. END QUOTE.

So, very far from a certain process, not sure if it is identical to the one depositing so much limestone over Cretaceous biotopes, taking "millions of years", it must have lasted "only a few decades at the most."

Only a few decades if slow? How about a few months during the Flood, if quick?

I will mail Mr. (Dr.?) Premović this challenge and if he responds, our correspondence will be published on my Correspondence blog. Blogposts linked to from here and linking back here.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Sts Faustin, Timothy
and Venustus, Martyrs in Rome

* I even had to correct it due to extra space before the words "volume 8".

vendredi 15 mai 2015

Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide

1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle

Here is a paragraph where Statham quotes Hooykaas:

Hannam also places little emphasis on why science failed to flourish in ancient Greece, but arose instead in Christian Europe. Reijer Hooykaas is much more helpful. In pagan thinking, nature is to be worshipped and feared, whereas the Bible implies it can be understood and mastered. To pagan thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, the world was an organism that was deified, but to Christian thinkers such as Descartes, Boyle and Newton, it was a mechanism that could be examined and understood. In Greek thinking, nature is constrained and must conform to certain philosophical rules, whereas in biblical thinking, the God of creation needed to obey nothing and was free to make laws as he willed. Consequently, in Christian thinking, the appropriation of scientific knowledge necessitates experimentation. To the Greeks, pursuit of science was considered displeasing to the gods, whereas biblical scholarship led people to see the study of nature as a legitimate means of learning about God. The elite Greek thinkers despised manual work, whereas the Bible respects craftsman whose work is so necessary in facilitating the manufacture of apparatus for scientific experiments.

Next one he quotes Dom Stanley Jaki:

In pagan thinking, the belief in many fickle gods implied an unpredictable natural world, but in Christian thinking, the belief in one unchanging God implied a world with immutable laws which could be studied. Stanley Jaki argues that science was stillborn in all the pagan and Islamic cultures because they failed to muster, in sufficient measure, faith in progress, confidence in the rationality of the universe, appreciation of the quantitative method and a depersonalized view of the process of motion.

Let us break this up a bit!

Hannam also places little emphasis on why science failed to flourish in ancient Greece, but arose instead in Christian Europe.

Not quite. He mentions pretty clearly a double starting point : first getting hold of Greek philosophy, then getting beyond it.

In pagan thinking, nature is to be worshipped and feared, whereas the Bible implies it can be understood and mastered.

In what pagan thinking? Hinduism? Platonism? Shintoism? Aristotelianism?

Obviously both Hinduism and Shintoism go some way to meeting description (if I were preaching to Shintoists, I would tell them good kamis don't want our worship, bad ones don't deserve it and the one we should worship, with his good kamis, can protect us from the bad ones - that is about all or most of what they would need to learn about kamis, oh, sorry, one more, the real angelic beings have no sex drive - unless you accept angelic theory of Genesis 6).

But however much or little Plato and Aristotle shared with these, none of them was exactly a Pantheist as Hindoos are, they did think nature should be understood so as to conform to it.

They did believe nature should teach us lessons about morals.

The Holy Bible does tell us nature can be understood and mastered fully by God.

It equally tells us, it cannot be fully understood and mastered by man.

See the book of Job on this one.

To pagan thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, the world was an organism that was deified, ...

No, that is Hinduism.

But to them it was a "cosmos" - a harmonic whole - therein like the human organism.

Either created by God (Plato), or self-creating by intense love of God (the late Aristotle).

These two and the successors Plotinus, Porphyry and a few more did make mistakes about theology, notably accepting idolatry.

But St Augustine in chapter 10 of De Civitate finds it worthwhile to refute their mistakes - as if their general understanding of things was enough harmonic with Christianity as to merit consideration.

... but to Christian thinkers such as Descartes, Boyle and Newton, it was a mechanism that could be examined and understood.

THIS is totally referring to Modern Age science and nearly totally bypasses Medieval science.

A Medieval might look at the universe between fixed stars and us as a kind of clockwork, by its regularity, but only as the kind of clockwork that Emmanuel Kant was in Königsberg : persons acting their dance or walk with a very great regularity.

As to a clockwork one is able to wind up and watch doing itself, well, they invented such, to reflect perfect workings of universe, much like one may today construct computers to draw things or work out things more perfectly than one could by hand, but they did not regard the universe as such. God was not a clock maker, but at one and same time buth the harp maker and the harpist.

In Greek thinking, nature is constrained and must conform to certain philosophical rules, whereas in biblical thinking, the God of creation needed to obey nothing and was free to make laws as he willed.

The contrast may be overdone.

Bishop Tempier was not exactly saying that Greek scholastics were wrong in saying there were philosophical rules which always held true about the world, he was only saying that Paris University Averroism was drawing these rules too tightly so as to deny God the freedom which according to Holy Bible He has.

But indeed, the condemnations by Bishop Tempier are part of the process here alluded to.

Consequently, in Christian thinking, the appropriation of scientific knowledge necessitates experimentation.

This point has been made over and over again, both by Duhem, and by Dom Stanley Jaki, and by Hannam and by his popularisers.

And the fact this was realised and carried out more intensely after the condemnations of Laetare Sunday "1277" as we now say (while back then 1277 started somewhat later in spring, not in winter). But more generally, reasoning scholastically (and always defending scripture against any necessitism found in pagans) helped.

There are points where scholasticism must conclude sth like "either solution would work, so we must look up which one is true" - in Holy Bible when it comes to Theology (as well as in Doctrine Summaries and Church Fathers, and as well as in Canon Law), and in experiment when it comes to nature.

St Augustine denied one could either from philosophy or from Holy Writ know whether stars are progressing in themselves, each on its own, through empty space, or progressing with space and only some of them doing own movements in relation to the daily one of space.

Modern relevant experiment, if you are still geocentric, would be geostationary satellites. They work if they have a movement eastward equal to and opposite the ether's movement westward - or if they and earth are both turning eastward at same rate. But hardly if they are standing still in empty space above a spot on earth, then they would fall down.

To the Greeks, pursuit of science was considered displeasing to the gods, whereas biblical scholarship led people to see the study of nature as a legitimate means of learning about God.

The first is really somewhat obscure.

If you were an inventor or scientist, as a Greek you would be worshipping Hermes, as a Roman Mercury and as a Norseman (supposing we had inventors) Odin (poor Hermes/Mercury, poor Odin, btw : one magician and one false god, two lost souls!)

Biblical scholarship lead you to believe studing nature was a way to learning about God ... well, but so did Platonic Philosophy!

Just as a lazy person could get to understand a few points about diligence while patiently and lazily studying ants (Biblical), so a person could learn from fixed progression of stars in same order, either day after day as in constellations, or in periods like for sun and moon among stars, that the laws for our behaviour are as fixed eternally as the stars, and breaking them is as bad manners cosmically as "when Phaeton took the sun carriage too low over Africa" ... in other words, catastrophic.

The elite Greek thinkers despised manual work, whereas the Bible respects craftsman whose work is so necessary in facilitating the manufacture of apparatus for scientific experiments.

I agree on the last one on manual work, but not quite the way as stated.

Manufacturing apparatus was not beyond Greeks. Inventor drew design on paper or explained otherwise, and a slave executed the design in the necessary materials. Much as a Troubadour or Trouvère was a Composer, who left the singing performance and playing performance to a Joglear/Jongleur. And, when it comes to scientific apparatus, very much as it is produced today.

What is more to the point is, that a man with the social standing to be a scientist (any which gives him free time and access to what apparatus he needs, not just a high or noble one) may have learnt something from doing some handiwork if he did such things rather than despising them as a Greek and leaving that to slaves (who had no free time).

In other words, the élite person in Middle Ages or later would be better off understanding certain things with his hands, as he might be an amateur potter or macramist.

In pagan thinking, the belief in many fickle gods implied an unpredictable natural world, but in Christian thinking, the belief in one unchanging God implied a world with immutable laws which could be studied.

Plato and Aristotle were a pretty far way off the belief in many fickle gids and an unpredictable natural world. Indeed Aristotle and Averroism in Paris overdid the predictability aspect, believing for instance that all things on earth are immutably caused by the stars, according to laws on what must happen when Jove and Mercury meet etc. And this is part of what Bishop Tempier condemned.

Stanley Jaki argues that science was stillborn in all the pagan and Islamic cultures because they failed to muster, in sufficient measure, faith in progress, confidence in the rationality of the universe, appreciation of the quantitative method and a depersonalized view of the process of motion.

"confidence in the rationality of the universe, appreciation of the quantitative method"

Good things, which Medievals did muster and so did Plato and Aristotle before them. But Medievals did it better.

"faith in progress, ... and a depersonalized view of the process of motion"

I can't see how either is relevant for good science.

A depersonalised view of the process of motion may be precisely the origin of the Atheistic Methodology in Science which CMI is usually decrying rather than praising. That is at least my assessment.

And "faith in progress"? How is that relevant one way or the other? When Medievals and for that matter some non-Baconian moderns too made discoveries, it was as often as not, in a way of looking around things which were presumed as normally known the right way, just taking an extra look at detail. Not like "once they thought π was a rational number" (false, I think : when they said numbers are all rational they were not counting π as a number, that is all there is too it, but as a size relation, which it also happens to be).

If any of my own discoveries of, not new observed facts, not new useful machines, but simply of argument, has any validity, it was discovered while I was overhauling my Young Earth Creationist argumentation by debating. Not by any idea of progressing beyond YEC or any preconceived idea of progressing more in it than I had learned or was learning.

So much for what I had to object to in Dominic, but I do share his objection against James Hannam's exegesis of Job 38:13.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

lundi 11 mai 2015

Natural Law is Constant : St Augustine Presumably Refuting Sarfati on Sibling Marriages [after second generation of mankind]

1) Creation vs. Evolution : Natural Law is Constant : St Augustine Presumably Refuting Sarfati on Sibling Marriages [after second generation of mankind] · 2) New blog on the kid : Moral or Ceremonial : Was it Against Moral Law to Eat Porc Between Moses and Jesus or St Peter? · 3) HGL's F.B. writings : Overpopulation Still Falsehood

Here is the solution given by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati:

Clearly God had not written any laws against sibling intermarriage on the human heart at the times of Cain and Moses. ... Thus sometime between Abraham and Moses, God was writing on human hearts that brother-sister intermarriage broke these now-set boundaries, so was now immoral. So God inscripturated His new standard in the Mosaic Law.

In other words, he presumes and even says the Natural Law is not a constant. It is.

CMI : Is brother-sister intermarriage intrinsically immoral? Published: 29 September 2012 (GMT+10)

The moral law against full sibling intermarriage in generations later than that of Adam's and Eve's children (an obvious dispensation) is eternal in God's mind and eternal in the heart of created man, since man is created in God's image.

The dispensation for that first generation after the first parents has not only an obvious motive, but also a reasonable possibility. Here is St Augustine, De Civitate Dei, Book 15*, Chapter 16, first half:

As, therefore, the human race, subsequently to the first marriage of the man who was made of dust, and his wife who was made out of his side, required the union of males and females in order that it might multiply, and as there were no human beings except those who had been born of these two, men took their sisters for wives—an act which was as certainly dictated by necessity in these ancient days as afterwards it was condemned by the prohibitions of religion. For it is very reasonable and just that men, among whom concord is honorable and useful, should be bound together by various relationships; and one man should not himself sustain many relationships, but that the various relationships should be distributed among several, and should thus serve to bind together the greatest number in the same social interests. "Father" and "father-in-law" are the names of two relationships. When, therefore, a man has one person for his father, another for his father-in-law, friendship extends itself to a larger number. But Adam in his single person was obliged to hold both relations to his sons and daughters, for brothers and sisters were united in marriage. So too Eve his wife was both mother and mother-in-law to her children of both sexes; while, had there been two women, one the mother, the other the mother-in-law, the family affection would have had a wider field. Then the sister herself by becoming a wife sustained in her single person two relationships, which, had they been distributed among individuals, one being sister, and another being wife, the family tie would have embraced a greater number of persons. But there was then no material for effecting this, since there were no human beings but the brothers and sisters born of those two first parents. Therefore, when an abundant population made it possible, men ought to choose for wives women who were not already their sisters; for not only would there then be no necessity for marrying sisters, but, were it done, it would be most abominable. For if the grandchildren of the first pair, being now able to choose their cousins for wives, married their sisters, then it would no longer be only two but three relationships that were held by one man, while each of these relationships ought to have been held by a separate individual, so as to bind together by family affection a larger number. For one man would in that case be both father, and father-in-law, and uncle to his own children (brother and sister now man and wife); and his wife would be mother, aunt, and mother-in-law to them; and they themselves would be not only brother and sister, and man and wife, but cousins also, being the children of brother and sister. Now, all these relationships, which combined three men into one, would have embraced nine persons had each relationship been held by one individual, so that a man had one person for his sister, another his wife, another his cousin, another his father, another his uncle, another his father-in-law, another his mother, another his aunt, another his mother-in-law; and thus the social bond would not have been tightened to bind a few, but loosened to embrace a larger number of relations.

Meaning, the relation of full siblings had already a generation after Cain and Seth got their wives, become immoral by the circumstances. When Cain married his wife, Adam and Eve from being their parents became also their parents in law, to same couple, but not uncle and aunt. When children of Cain and his wife were born, these were father and mother as well as uncle and aunt, so in-law parents should not be added to that.

Abraham and Sarah**, example given, were only half siblings, and when Abimelech heard she was a sister, not specifying half sister yet, he presumed it was not his wife.

Ver. 12. My sister, or niece, according to those who say she was daughter of Aran, who thus must have had a different mother from Abraham; (Menochius) or, as we rather think, Sara was truly his half-sister, born of Thare by another wife. His adding truly, seems to restrain it to this sense; and we know that in those countries, marriages of such near relations were allowed, though not when both had the same parents. Why should we not, therefore, believe Abraham, who certainly knew the real state of the question, and who would not tell a lie, rather than seek for improbable and far-fetched solutions? Said, who lived eight hundred years ago, mentions the name of Jona, Abraham's mother, as well as that of Tehevita, who bore Sara to Thare. The Hebrews, in general, give this explanation. (Calmet)

By calling Sara his sister without any addition, Abraham intended that the people should conclude he was not married: therefore he did not say she was his half-sister, as this would have frustrated his design, if, as St. Clement of Alexandria, asserts, such might and did marry under the law of nature. (Haydock)

Philo observes, the Athenian legislator, Solon, sanctioned the same practice, which was followed also by the Phœnicians. (Calmet)

Next part, however, St Augustine does seem to give some support for Sarfati:

And we see that, since the human race has increased and multiplied, this is so strictly observed even among the profane worshippers of many and false gods, that though their laws perversely allow a brother to marry his sister, yet custom, with a finer morality, prefers to forego this license; and though it was quite allowable in the earliest ages of the human race to marry one's sister, it is now abhorred as a thing which no circumstances could justify. For custom has very great power either to attract or to shock human feeling. And in this matter, while it restrains concupiscence within due bounds, the man who neglects and disobeys it is justly branded as abominable. For if it is iniquitous to plough beyond our own boundaries through the greed of gain, is it not much more iniquitous to transgress the recognized boundaries of morals through sexual lust? And with regard to marriage in the next degree of consanguinity, marriage between cousins, we have observed that in our own time the customary morality has prevented this from being frequent, though the law allows it. It was not prohibited by divine law, nor as yet had human law prohibited it; nevertheless, though legitimate, people shrank from it, because it lay so close to what was illegitimate, and in marrying a cousin seemed almost to marry a sister—for cousins are so closely related that they are called brothers and sisters, and are almost really so. But the ancient fathers, fearing that near relationship might gradually in the course of generations diverge, and become distant relationship, or cease to be relationship at all, religiously endeavored to limit it by the bond of marriage before it became distant, and thus, as it were, to call it back when it was escaping them. And on this account, even when the world was full of people, though they did not choose wives from among their sisters or half-sisters, yet they preferred them to be of the same stock as themselves. But who doubts that the modern prohibition of the marriage even of cousins is the more seemly regulation— not merely on account of the reason we have been urging, the multiplying of relationships, so that one person might not absorb two, which might be distributed to two persons, and so increase the number of people bound together as a family, but also because there is in human nature I know not what natural and praiseworthy shamefacedness which restrains us from desiring that connection which, though for propagation, is yet lustful and which even conjugal modesty blushes over, with any one to whom consanguinity bids us render respect?

However, this power of custom must not be so far driven as to deprive certain who might licitly marrying from marrying at all. Only as to make limits about whom one may marry. Such limits can also only be changed when the primary purpose of marriage, i e procreation, remains observed.

He might just possibly have meant that full sibling marriages might have been tolerated a generation or two later, but hardly up to flood, as questioner rightly observes:

If God said that “the nations are defiled which I cast out from before you” it would mean He considered incest to be immoral (wickedness) before the law be given as well.

The argument as given by Ham and Sarfati, yes, it is thus refuted. However, St Augustine had given another explanation - which means that incest between siblings only became really incestuous when people at least as far off as first cousins were available on earth. But here St Augustine really had prefuted an interpretation of his following words as if only custom made sibling marriages illicit only later on. Adam and Eve were not siblings, so did not become uncle and aunt as well as father in law mother in law, father and mother of the next generation.

Some lilmits then for how much natural law can change. One cannot raise marital age so much as to make abstinence up to marriage a shocking proposal. And one cannot allow men to marry men or women to marry women, or human beings to marry beasts - since that is no marriage. Precisely as what Bill Clinton said about a similar act: "that is not sex."

Modern states*** require "age 18", and though when this was introduced it was attractive in parts of the world where juveniles required parental authorisation, it has since lead to a shocking consequence : sex before marriage is seen as an "of course", its not being intended for procreation is seen as an "of course" and to many accordingly its not being restricted to one man and one woman is also seen as an "of course". The 18 limit, the coeducation, the rock concerts available for not yet marriageable youth have all contributed. These things are NOT "Thus sometime between [Voltaire and us], God was writing on human hearts" that young under 18 cannot marry.

Now, there is a difference between men in general and faithful:

The sexual intercourse of man and woman, then, is in the case of mortals a kind of seed-bed of the city; but while the earthly city needs for its population only generation, the heavenly needs also regeneration to rid it of the taint of generation. Whether before the deluge there was any bodily or visible sign of regeneration, such as was afterwards enjoined upon Abraham when he was circumcised, or what kind of sign it was, the sacred history does not inform us. But it does inform us that even these earliest of mankind sacrificed to God, as appeared also in the case of the two first brothers; Noah, too, is said to have offered sacrifices to God when he had come forth from the ark after the deluge. And concerning this subject we have already said in the foregoing books that the devils arrogate to themselves divinity, and require sacrifice that they may be esteemed gods, and delight in these honors on no other account than this, because they know that true sacrifice is due to the true God.

A Christian society should take this difference into account.

But the difference does not mean the faithful alone are bound by the moral law, which God has written in the hearts of men. It does not mean Christian youth should be vertuous enough to stay chaste till 18 and other youth have licence to have sex before marriage and condomns to protect it from having consequences beyond the day or moment. BOTH are bound to abstain to marriage according to natural law, BOTH can be tempted (and I, who was Christian, was) by having to wait too long to marriage. BOTH are bound to remain clean from foiling the procreative purpose of sex by adding such and such a method, even I think Natural Family Planning, if meant for avoiding children altogether.

Even a secular society has no right (insofar as it could exist for practical purposes°, even) to dispense or even oblige even non-Christians against important aspects of the natural law.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Sts Philip and James, Apostles

*The City of God (Book XV)

** GENESIS - Chapter 20
Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

*** Not all of them, thankfully, but doing it is criminal and unduly infantilising on teens. I am obviously no fan of the non-Christian organisation Unicef. Nor of the CEDAW committee, whatever that is, which I found in a paper by Unicef, a footnote saying : "The term “child marriage” is meant in this Paper to cover marriages of those under the age of 18. The minimum age of marriage has been prescribed by the CEDAW Committee as being 18 years of age." It is unduly demonising of teen marriages between puberty or mean age of puberty (14 for male, 12 for female contrahent of marriage, as through centuries by Catholic Church, and equally by Russia previous to Revolution, it would seem, also as per Roman Law since 2000 years ago). It is also unduly exonerating for real child marriage, such as extremely low ages of puberty (nine) being allowed among Muslims or even earlier "marriages" as to contract being made by Hindoos.

° Actually the practical purposes would be more accurately met by a state recognising more than one religion in case important populations in it belong to a false one than by being secular. So it is moot if a secular society has a right to exist.

mercredi 6 mai 2015

Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong

1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle

Well, maybe Dom Stanley Jaki did so before her. I don't know. However, here are a few quotes from her book:

“The second magisterial statement was at local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen [II] Tempier of Paris who, on 7 March 1277 [a k a letare iherusalem Sunday 1276, 1277 beginning then a few days later, like 25 March] condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.“

They very much did outlaw a deterministic and necessitarian view, not just of creation as a whole, but also of each part of it. They clearly outlaw the kind of view in which God is a watchmaker who sees the universe he wound up unfold exactly deterministically after the conditions he freely constructed and meant then to work out themselves deterministically, without interfering.

Also, whether or not he thought they were Aristotelian, they very little concern Aristotelic views held by St Thomas Aquinas, despite rumours to the contrary back then.

In fact, when Stephen III 48 years later helped to prepare canonisation of St Thomas, he did so by revoking condemnations “insofar as they may concern theses held by Thomas Aquinas”. And I would not be surprised if the collection we have of 219 syllabus errors is a compromise from then, by deleting a thesis 220 from the list, since too close to St Thomas to stand for the revocation.

The theses belong rather to “Sorbonne Averroism”, which seems to have had ties back to a sect in Orléans, where 13 men were burned for heresy, and forward into both Protestant and Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution etc. ideologies.

“The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature [and its workings in detail!] and so God was free to create this particular for of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary for of existence and so has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational, and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Thus the contingency and rationality are like two [of three!] pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.”

Third pillar is of course its total and totally passive dependence on God, except insofar as God gave certain creatures a certain real activity, namely free will, though of course other things also have a real nature and causality.

Under God, men and beasts and plants and minerals and elements depend on angels. Under God and angels, human body depends on freewill and lower things on man usually via his use of his body.

“The philosophical vision of the Christian Middle Ages perceived the cosmos as demythologized, free from the capricious whims of pantheistic voluntarism reified in Pagan Deities.”

And St Thomas would, along with Stephen Tempier be asking “quiiiiiid dicis?” amounting roughly to a Mexican “quééééé?”

Here is where you get it all backward.

Whether voluntarism is capricious or not, and in this case rather not, actually, a contingent cosmos which is also contingent in its details (i e these are not necessitated in all respects by the cosmos they are put in) is very clearly dependent on voluntarism or at least will of its Maker, not just once back long, long, long ago, when it began, but every single moment.

Also, “demythologised” would very much NOT have made sense to the medievals.

To them, Hesiod’s mythology of the gods was just one of the partly erroneous, mostly non-mythological Pagan philosophies – which are also partly correct.

Also, it is wrong on every level to consider Shamanism, Shintoism or Greek Mythology as Pantheistic. Pagan Deities were, if not on all, at least on many levels perceived by Pagans like these as real persons.

And if “sun” was a real person to Greeks, so he was to author of Book ascribed to Henoch, or at least the author of the astronomical chapters. St Augustine would not call all of the book a forgery, he admitted it could go back to Henoch – but warned it could have been altered. And “sun” remained so, remained a real person to St Francis of Assisi. I e, not that the sun-DISC is a person, but that a real person, invisible to human observers on earth, is involved in moving it.

Nothing in Stephen Tempier’s condemnation of 219 theses contradicts this and in St Thomas we find clear support of it. The famous “secondary causes” which modern Pseudo-Thomists invoke so often to defend a modern pseudo-science which is deterministic as to detail in relation to cosmos (against the condemnations of Tempier!) are, principally, creatures endowed with freewill, first angels and under them men.

If I were to speak as a Missionary to Shintoists, my best words would not be: “science has shown your kamis don’t exist” and then to top that with “science comes from Catholicism”. My best words would be: “you are right, there are kamis, there are good kamis and evil kamis. The good ones do not really want your worship, and the evil ones do not deserve it. The good kamis were created and not born of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and remain loyal to God, one God in Three Persons. The evil kamis were also created, but rebelled against their maker and Lord.”

Apart from the mistake of making kamis independent, Shintoists are fairly close to exactness on relation between these and visible inanimate objects, plus between them and populations of irrational life.

Of course, the “sungoddess had” no “children”, but I think I have traced both their Tennos and Aeneas too back to Puduhepa – a priestess both of a love goddess and of a sun goddess. With some lacunae, but I would say the ones who took Puduhepa for an avatar of the love goddess or of the sun goddess she was priestess to considered the birth of “Aeneas from Venus, with Anchises as father” [Roman mythology would be skipping perhaps a few generations, the husband of Puduhepa was a Hittite Emperor] as a verified fact did so because confusing the priestess with the goddess, just like Odin was both “priest of Odin” and (in his, but possibly not Puduhepa’s case) claming to be Odin.

Pantheism is a totally different thing, far more sophisticated, though a Pantheist Pagan will usually admit phenomena resembling Shinto type kamis or their manifestations. Pantheism as a philosophical theory is part of Hinduism and in part also of Sorbonne Averroism and was equally condemned by both St Thomas with arguments and Stephen Tempier putting such tehses on syllabus. It has nothing to do specifically with cosmos of Greek gods.

And modern determinism in scientific method, though often camouflaged to Christians by the word "rational" cosmos, has very much more to do with Pantheism condemned by Stephen Tempier than with Stephen Tempier condemning it.

What do they teach them in these schools, these days?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St John Evangelist
surviving Martyrdom in Boiling Oil

Amazon : Science Was Born of Christianity, Paperback – June 16, 2014
by Stacy Trasancos (Author), Paul Haffner (Foreword)

Upcoming, not this series, but this blog, a rfutation of some points she made in a recent article called "“First Human” Discovered in Ethiopia: What It Means For Catholics".

lundi 4 mai 2015

What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism!

1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle

I read this on a site pretending to be "Orthodox":

The earlier patriarchs comprise the antediluvian group, and those who are placed between the Flood and the birth of Abraham. Of the former, the Book of Genesis gives a twofold list. The first (Gen. 4:17-18, passage assigned by critics the so-called "J" document) starts with Cain and gives as his descendants Henoch, Irad, Maviael, Mathusael, and Lamech. The other list (Gen. 5:3-31, ascribed to the priestly writer, "P") is far more elaborate, and is accompanied by minute chronological indications. It begins with Seth and, strange to say, it ends likewise with Lamech. The intervening names are Enos, Cainan, Malaleel, Jared, Henoch, and Mathusala.

The fact that both lists end with Lamech, who is doubtless the same person, and that some of the names common to both are strikingly similar, makes it probable that the second list is an amplification of the first, embodying material furnished by a divergent tradition. Nor should this seem surprising when we consider the many discrepancies exhibited by the twofold genealogy of the Saviour in the First and Third Gospels. The human personages set forth in these lists occupy a place held by the mythical demi-gods in the story of the prehistoric beginnings of other early nations. It may well be that the chief value of the inspired account given of them is didactic, destined in the mind of the sacred writer to inculcate the great truth of monotheism which is so distinctive a feature of the Old Testament writings.

Holy Trinity Orthodox School : Textbooks :
Holy Scriptures : "The Old Testament Books, Part 1, an overview,"

They give TWO reasons:

1) "The fact that both lists end with Lamech, who is doubtless the same person"

OK, there are two Henoch and two Lamech, does this make it the same list?

Of course NOT!

The Cainite Henoch may well have been the one after whom the Sethite Henoch was named. He may have been some maternal grandfather or greatgrandfather. My own second name "Georg" is after my maternal grandfather, "Gustav Georg". And my own first name is after his father, "Hans Petter". One can be named after males in maternal ancestry. It happens. It is not unheard of. And similarily there are two Lamech for a very probable similar reason.

And therefore, the Lamech in each list is NOT the same, but doubtless a DIFFERENT person from the one in the other list.

The rest of this reason is the kind of guesswork, the guessing about "return path" based on content, rather than reasoning about content based on "return path", which is so prevalent in modernist thinking, if you can even call it thinking. It's an acquired automatic reflex in some academics, and though I spent what adds up to most of a decade in Lund, I avoided to acquire that mindset, very studiously. Mathusael and Mathusala are also not the the same person.

It is not a conflation of divergent traditions into a tradition about divergent series of facts.

But they try to back up this view with a second argument:

2) "Nor should this seem surprising when we consider the many discrepancies exhibited by the twofold genealogy of the Saviour in the First and Third Gospels."

If a certain bishop was knocked on the head by Communists a few years too many and admitted "discrepancy" between the genealogies of St Matthew and St Luke, he might be forgiven, like Pope Liberius for signing the formula of Sirmium.

But it is not Pope Liberius, but St Athanasius who is a Saint and a confessor of the true faith.

The author of these lines very certainly was NOT poor Tikhon of Moscow, if he was responsible for introducing such false exegesis into the Russian Communion. And if he was, he deserved no canonisation in 1989. The author of these lines did NOT have the excuse of torture by Communists!

Again, there is no such thing as a discrepancy between genealogies of which at least one is going backward, on condition that one person may be considered to have one real father and one stepfather.

Each linear rather than branching genealogy, backwards from the latest or forwards from the earliest, is usually a selection of genealogy. And St Thomas Aquinas gave the answer as to the two fathers or grandfathers of St Joseph, will look up when going to site which it was:

Sorry, can't find it in Summa, here is Haydock. One "discrepancy" I note first, in passing, as apparent but not real is omission of three generations:

Ver. 8. Joram begot Ozias, three generations are omitted, as we find in 2 Paraliponenon xxii; for there, Joram begot Ochozias, and Ochozias begot Joas, and Joas begot Amazias, and Amazias begot Ozias. This omission is not material, the design of St. Matthew being only to shew the Jews that Jesus, their Messias, was of the family of David; and he is equally the son, or the descendent of David, though the said three generations be left out: for Ozias may be called the son of Joram, though Joram was his great-grandfather. (Witham)

It is thought that St. Matthew omitted these three kings, Ochozias, Joas, and Amazias, to preserve the distribution of his genealogy into three parts, each of fourteen generations; and, perhaps, also on account of their impiety, or rather on account of the sentence pronounced against the house of Achab, from which they were descended by their mother Athalia. (3 Kings xxi. 21.) (Calmet)

Now, there is another reason which makes the "three parts, each of fourteen generations" more than just an artifice. Ochozias walked in the ways of his mother Athalia, the house of Achab.

Women mentioned in the genealogy are four, two gentiles and two adulteresses:

Ver. 5. See Josue, chap. ii. & dein. We nowhere else find the marriage of Salmon with Rahab; but this event might have been known by tradition, the truth of which the divinely inspired evangelist here confirms. (Bible de Vence) Rahab was a debauched woman, preserved in the pillage of Jericho, where she had been born. In this genealogy only four women are mentioned, of which two are Gentiles, and two adulteresses. Here the greatest sinners may find grounds for confidence in the mercies of Jesus Christ, and hopes of pardon, when they observed how the Lord of life and glory, to cure our pride, not only humbled himself by taking upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh, but by deriving his descent from sinners, and inspiring the holy evangelist to record the same to all posterity. (Haydock)

Thamar, Rahab, Ruth, she who had been the wife of Uriah (Baathsheba).

So, should St Matthew have said "and Joram begat Ochozias of Athaliah"? No. Athaliah had to be omitted even here.

Her son Ochoazias was omitted because walking in her evil ways, and because mentioning him would have meant mentioning his mother.

Her grandson Joas was omitted for having his grandmother executed (though she deserved it), and after she cursed him committing later the murder of a prophet, the Zacharias who had been his comrade (was it Zacharias now?). And then another generation is omitted. So, the omission fits the command of Moses (which St Matthew the Levite knew very well) to consider God as visiting the sins of the fathers up to the third or fourth generation.

Her greatgrandson was Amasias:

And he did what was good in the sight of the Lord: but yet not with a perfect heart.

Reason enough why he was omitted. Plus his being - according to the Old Law - a generation "still on probation" before God.

Therefore, the omission was more than a mere artifice to make it 14 three times over. It was obedience to one aspect of the Law he and his Lord were born under and which was valid during the time concerned by chapter one of his Gospel. It was a "condemnatio memoriae", not such as to amount to lying, but to avoid saying overly evil things in connexion with the ancestry of Our Lord. As a man who has been in prison for a real crime, it is merciful once he is again in honour not to mention his being in prison, so also with a family to pass over these members.

So also Jehoiachim is individually omitted.

But the greater apparent discrepancy is who is father of St Joseph:

Sextus Julius Africanus, in his 3rd-century Epistle to Aristides, reports a tradition that Joseph was born from just such a levirate marriage. According to this, Joseph's natural father was Jacob son of Matthan, as given in Matthew, while his legal father was Eli son of Melchi (sic), as given in Luke.

A more straightforward and the most common explanation is that Luke's genealogy is of Mary, with Eli being her father, while Matthew's describes the genealogy of Joseph. This view was advanced as early as John of Damascus (d.749).

These quotes are from wiki.

St Thomas as I recall, accepts both traditions, but Eli is the grandfather of the Blessed Virgin. So Eli is direct ancestry to St Mary AND legal ancestry to St Joseph. Here is the explanation of Haydock, which as I recall is the same as the one of St Thomas, though In forget in what exact context:

  • The difficulties here are:

    • 1. Why does St. Matthew give the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary?

    • 2. How is it inferred that Jesus is descended from David and Solomon, because Joseph is the son of David?

    • 3. How can Joseph have two men for his father, Jacob of the race of Solomon, and Heli of the race of Nathan?

  • To

    • the 1st it is generally answered, that it was not customary with the Jews to draw out the genealogies of women;

    • to the 2nd, that Jesus being the son of Joseph, either by adoption, or simply as the son of Mary his wife, he entered by that circumstance into all the rights of the family of Joseph; moreover, Mary was of the same tribe and family of Joseph, and thus the heir of the branch of Solomon marrying with the heiress of the branch of Nathan, the rights of the two families united in Joseph and Mary, were transmitted through them to Jesus, their son and heir;

    • to the 3rd, that Jacob was the father of Joseph according to nature, and Heli his father according to law; or that Joseph was the son of the latter by adoption, and of the former by nature. (Haydock)

All apparent discrepancies solved, no real discrepancy left.

Why did I earlier say that any two linear genealogies of which one is going backwards to origin, are not really discrepant?

Because, any genealogy going backward is branching and not just one line. A person has a mother as well as a father. Four grandparents, usually four different persons, exceptions to which principle were in the grandchildren of Adam and Eve, where they were parents both of father and of mother to each grand child, but also, far later and this time sinfully, among Egyptian Pharaos and others practising incest, which by now has also become genetically dangerous by accumulation of mutations. And eight greatgrandparents, usually though not always among Hebrews of OT, not always among Arabs, eight different persons. This means that going back over fathers would be picking the ancestors who according to Sosa Stradonitz are 1 (oneself), 2 (father), 4 (paternal grandfather), 8, 16, 32 ... while a full genealogy is much more detailed. The paternal and linear genealogies are there because they resemble king lists.

In Sweden among the Palatine dynasty, we are concerned with Charles X Gustaf, his son Charles XI, and this king's son Charles XII, while the latter's sister practically ends the dynasty. Grandfather, father, son/grandson. Ignoring all other descendants of Charles X who did not rule Sweden, ignoring also mother and three of four grandparents of Charles XII, who also did not rule Sweden. Those three were the ones reigning. In France Henri IV, Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII are also a dynasty patrilineal only, and this time even with lacunae. Generations are omitted between Louis XIV and Louis XV as well as between Louis XV and Louis XVI. And such king lists are exactly what both genealogy of Christ in St Matthew and Genesis genealogies also resemble.

In the post-Flood time, there is a "second Cainan" (but this time a Cainam and not a Kenan) omitted in Genesis after Arphaxad - in the Hebrew version. Septuagint inserts him again, as does St Luke. The reason is that Greek culture was not familiar with omitting a generation because it is sinful. So, here the LXX adds to the text, but not without warrant, it translates a cultural phenomenon. This must not be imitated by later Bible translators, the Seventy made this under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Be that as it may, the acceptance of this general view helps greatly to simplify another difficult problem connected with the Biblical account of the early patriarchs, viz. their enormous longevity. The earlier account (Gen. 4:17-18) gives only the names of the patriarchs there mentioned, with the incidental indication that the city built by Cain was called after his son Henoch. The later narrative (Gen. 5:3-31) gives a definite chronology for the whole period. It states the age at which each patriarch begot his first-born son, the number of years he lived after that event, together with the sum total of the years of his life. Nearly all of the antediluvian fathers are represented as living to the age of 900 or thereabouts, Mathusala, the oldest, reaching 969.

These figures have always constituted a most difficult problem for commentators and Bible readers; and those who defend the strict historical character of the passages in question have put forward various explanations, none of which are considered convincing by modern Biblical scholars.

Modern Bible scholars do not constitute the episcopate. Neither in Biology, nor in Higher Criticism do scholars if pronouncing themselves in consensus enjoy the infallibility of Bishops in full Union with the Church when pronouncing themselves in union all over the world.

So, this appeal to "modern Bible scholars" is an appeal from Scripture which the Church accepts as Inspired by God, to a fallible corpus of men who are not the universal episcopate.

The reason modern Bible scholars (as opposed to contemporary anti-modern ones!) that is people who should rather be termed Modernist Bible scholars or Bible fuddlers, do not accept the real explanation as convincing is that they start with the wrong outlook. If they had the right outlook, they would accept that people lived ten times as long before the Flood. But they are apostates.

Kent Hovind among non-Catholics and Sungenis among Catholics, among others, fortunately are contemporary but not modern Bible scholars, who do believe the long ages of the Patriachs, which the Church has always believed.

Let's go through the explanations that "modern Bible scholars" according to site consider "none of which ... convincing":

1) "Thus it has been conjectured that the years mentioned in this connation were not of ordinary duration but of one or more months. There is, however, no warrant for this assumption in the Scripture itself, where the word year has a constant signification, and is always clearly distinguished from the minor periods."

The rejection is perfectly in order and the position was also rejected by earl Church Fathers up to St Augustine who in De Civitate is rejecting it. And of course defending the literal longevity of the antediluvian patriarchs.

2) "It has also been suggested that the ages given are not those of individuals, but signify epochs of antediluvian history, and that each is named after its most illustrious representative. The hypothesis may be ingenious, but even a superficial reading of the text suffices to show that such was not the meaning of the sacred writer."

Thank you! I also reject that position totally.

3) "Nor does it help the case much to point out a few exceptional instances of persons who in modern times are alleged to have lived to the age of 150 or even 180. For even admitting these as facts, and that in primitive times men lived longer than at present (an assumption for which we find no warrant in historic times), it is still a long way from 180 to 900."

If we consider people have lived and died without apparent violence from without as long as 180 or as short as 50, in observed modern times, it helps some that the line which we descend from was infected by a genetic change lowering longevity, just as families like the Gonzaga princes in Mantua in Italy are very much less longlived than a family of Jansenists in France.

This I know from genealogical and other historic studies of groups of people, to ascertain on my part that Middle Ages were not unusually short lived people nor have we "evolved" to greater longevity since, despite modern prejudice to the contrary.

Now, if humanity had been reduced either to the longlived family or the shortlived family, the post-bottle-neck humanity would obviously be either more shortlived or more longlived according to which family was chosen.

If Noah himself lived to 900 years, or 950 (rather!), the shortlived gene may have come in from his wife or from his daughters in law. It may have originated as a curse of God.

We are a post-bottle-neck humanity with the longlived genes gleaned out by now.

4) "Another argument to corroborate the historical accuracy of the Biblical account has been deduced from the fact that the legends of many people assert the great longevity of their early ancestors, a circumstance which implies an original tradition to that effect. Thus the first seven Egyptian kings are said to have reigned for a period of 12,300 years, making an average of about 1757 years for each, and Josephus, who is preoccupied with a desire to justify the Biblical narrative, quotes Ephorus and Nicolaus as relating "that the ancients lived a thousand years." He adds, however, "But as to these matters, let every one look upon them as he thinks fit" (Antiq. I 3:in fine)."

Josephus notes that very rightly.

The Egyptian Kinglist has been added to in years, and the first seven kings probably represent a claim to descend from the Cainite line, bypassing the Flood : people who flee away from the true God unto false ones may try to flee from memories of his punishments too. The years are inflated, as Origen and St Augustine note.

One thing here when we come to Josephus, the author of this illboding passage says "and Josephus, who is preoccupied with a desire to justify the Biblical narrative," - but "preoccupied" as usually used is a bad word, a synonym for "anxious". It detracts from the dignity of Josephus and others (including St Augustine in De Civitate) who have taken time to justify the Biblical narrative.

Precisely as such detractors also detract from dignity of Fundamentalist Apologetics in these days. Because they have none themselves, having apostasised as clearly as if St Athanasius had followed the orders of Pope Liberius.

Unless of course the author claims he is himself under torture, like Liberius was in Sirmium.

5) "On the other hand, it is maintained that as a matter of fact there is no trustworthy historic or scientific evidence indicating that the average span of human life was greater in primitive than in modern times."

a) "No trustworthy historic evidence" = rejecting Holy Scripture as such = apostasy.

It also means rejecting totally the evidence of other Pagan cultures, which, though falsified, are not totally untrutsworthy either.

For instance if both Egyptians and Babylonians and Chinese say the earliest kings lived thousands of years (thus beyond "same day" = "same thousand years", thus denying fall of Adam) and both Egyptians and Babylonians limit this to exactly seven this refers in a garbled, but not in a totally fabled, way to people living longer before the Flood and to Cainite dynasty having seven generations, and also to these civilisations denying the Flood (as St Peter prophecied scoffers will repeat these days), rather than to Sethite one, accepted as the real ancestry it was of those faithful to the tradition from Noah.

b) "No trustworthy scientific evidence" = forgetting that Jack Cuozzo, a scientific dentist, has found Neanderthal features in adults are results from great longevity.

Forgetting equally you cannot test longevity in dead persons or animals when either you have no sample or the samples are misunderstood.

Forgetting moreover that the evolutionist "scientific community" has a vested interest in evolutionism and in preaching progress.

6) "In this connation, it is customary to cite Gen. 6:3, where God decrees by way of punishment of the universal corruption which was the occasion of the Flood, that henceforth the days of man "shall be a hundred and twenty years." This is taken as indicating a point at which the physical deterioration of the race resulted in a marked decrease in longevity. Despite the critical considerations which bear on this passage, it is strange to note further on (Gen. 11) that the ages of the subsequent patriarchs were by no means limited to 120 years. Sem lived to the age of 600, Arphaxad 338 (Massoretic text 408), Sale 433, Heber 464, etc."

Here is Haydock:

Ver. 3. His days shall be, &c. The meaning is, that man's days, which before the flood were usually 900 years, should now be reduced to 120 years. Or rather, that God would allow men this term of 120 years, for their repentance and conversion, before he would send the deluge. (Challoner)

He spoke therefore to Noe in his 480th year. (St. Augustine) Those who suppose, that he foretold this event 20 years later, think with St. Jerome, that God retrenched 20 years from the time first assigned for penance. The Spirit of the sovereign Judge was fired with contending; or, as others translate it, with remaining quiet as in a scabbard, and bearing with the repeated crimes of men. He resolved to punish them severely in this world, that he might shew mercy to some of them hereafter. (St. Jerome, 9. Heb.) (Calmet)

If we suppose, that God here threatens to reduce the space of man's life to 120 years, we must say, at least, that he did it by degrees: for many lived several hundred years, even after the deluge. In the days of Moses, indeed, few exceeded that term. But we think the other interpretation is more literal, and that God bore with mankind the full time which he promised. (Worthington)

7) "The one ground on which the accuracy of all these figures can be defended is the a priori reason that being contained in the Bible, they must of a necessity be historically correct."

Homer can be substantially correct on Iliad and on either Odyssey or the parts excluding what could have been what he bragged to Phaeacians; though he was wrong on theology and not inspired.

And YOU are claiming a text can be the inspired word of God and not even historically correct?

7 b) "The older commentators maintain this position generally."

Thank you for this admission that Patristic Consensus is for Biblical Inerrancy!

8) "Many scholars, on the other hand, are agreed in considering the genealogical and chronological lists of Gen. 5 and 11, to be mainly artificial, and this view seems to be confirmed, they say, by a comparison of the figures as they stand in the Hebrew original and in the ancient versions. The Vulgate is in agreement with the former (with the exception of Arphaxad), showing that no substantial alteration of the figures has been made in the Hebrew at least since the end of the fourth century A.D."

But they could have been made between translation of the seventy and translation of St Jerome. Especially in the generation following apostasy of Jewry when rejecting Christ.

8 b) "But when we compare the Massoretic text with the Samaritan version and the Septuagint, we are confronted by many and strange discrepancies which can hardly be the result of mere accident. Thus, for instance, with regard to the antediluvian patriarchs, while the Samaritan version agrees in the main with the Massoretic text, the age at which Jared begot his first-born is set down as 62 instead of the Hebrew 162. Mathusala, likewise, who according to the Hebrew begot his first-born at the age of 187, was only 67 according to the Samaritan; and though the Hebrew places the same event in the case of Lamech when he was 182, the Samaritan gives him only 53. Similar discrepancies exist between the two texts as regards the total number of years that these patriarchs lived, viz. Jared, Heb. 962, Sam. 847; Mathusala, Heb. 969, Sam. 720; Lamech, Heb. 777, Sam. 653."

The Samaritans may have changed their Genesis while apostasising against King Solomon's Son Rohoboam.

8 c) "Comparing the Massoretic text with the Septuagint, we find that in the latter the birth of the first-born in the case of Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Malaleel, and Henoch was at the respective ages of 230, 205, 190, 170, 165, and 165, as against 130, 105, 90, 70, 65, and 65 as stated in the Hebrew. The same systematic difference of 100 years in the period before the birth of the first-born appears likewise in the lives of the postdiluvian patriarchs, Arphaxad, Sale, Heber, Phaleg, Reu, and Sarug. For this list, however, the Samaritan agrees with the Septuagint as against the Massoretic text."

I know, and this may very well be because Jewry inspired by some demon changed the text under Kaiaphas and Hannas.

Precisely as Samaritans did under Jeroboam.

I will not quote the difference of years before Flood this makes when using Usher's method. But I will note that the difference explains rather much the difference between Usher and St Jerome. The former, as is well known placed Birth of Christ in Year of the World 4004. Less famously outside Roman Catholics who hear it said every Christmas, in the Vigil, Our Lord is born 5199 after God in the beginning created Heaven and Earth.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Monica

Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology.

1) Creation vs. Evolution : Hans Küng is Lousy in Ecclesiology. · 2) What Utter Stupidity in Exegesis, This Modernism! · 3) Stacy Trasancos Gets Condemation of 219 Theses Wrong · 4) Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : With James Hannam on Whether Bible and Fathers Agree or Not on Shape of Earth · 5) Creation vs. Evolution : Dominic Statham and Reijer Hooykaas Wrong on Christian - Pagan Divide · 6) Correcting CMI on Aristotle

Citing Küng via CMI :

Furthermore, the distinguished Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Küng opined, “A theologian should not cast doubt on a scientific consensus, but see how he can deal with it”, by which he means the theologian must conform theology to the current scientific consensus.

Source : Heneghan, T., Don’t Preach to Scientists in Evolution Row, Küng,, 2006.

Via (an essay alas citing Galileo as providing scientific truth):
CMI : Why consensus science is anti-science
by Jerry Bergman

Perhaps, if Jerry Bergman had looked up the source, then looked up its footnotes, then checked in the publications of Küng, he might have found, on the one hand more ideas to refute, and on the other hand the fact that Küng was not precisely in good standing with the Holy See or, in case the line from John XXIII to Benedict XVI is invalid, even with apparent Holy See. As to "Pope Francis" not being a valid Pope, that is already shown. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, when he pseudocanonised to probably also non-Popes and definitely NOT Papal Saint back in 2014.

So, citing the guy as "the distinguished Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Küng" is throwing discredibility points on Catholicism among Creationists who are not Catholics and might think "the distinguished Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Küng" was distinguished by sth better than by NOT being in good standing with the Church or apparent such, and in fact he shares such "distinction" with men like Loisy or (somewhat milder case, perhaps) Rosmino.

Hans Küng is completely an apostate, his words do not represent Catholic Doctrine.

BUT with a red herring like this out of the way, I'd like to refute him from Catholic ecclesiology on the point.

The Church is Infallible.

The Church exercises the Infallibility by the Pope, when he speaks such forms that show he means to be infallible on the occasion. Like after how Bergoglio expressed himself in 2014, either he is not Pope, or "John XXIII" and "John Paul II" are infallibly canonised. Since one of them convoked a council which he regretted on the deathbed and which he convoked for pretty petty motives, compared to councils convoked to set aside a particular schism (C. of Florence) or to condemn particular errors as heresy (CC. of Trent 1545-1563, and of Vatican 1869-1870) and the other took the tilak and kissed the Qoran, that is impossible.

The first also has one miracle too few, at least, since "Pope Francis" wavered criterium of a second miracle (it used to be a second and a third, the first recognised one sufficing for beatification but not canonisation), by stating "Vatican II was a miracle" which it was not. The earlier miracle is not known to me. The other has two healing miracles which could neither of them have been recognised in Lourdes : one was incomplete or not totally definitive, the other one not sudden enough to be clearly from God.

Now, the Church is also infallible when she is in her Bishops and Abbots covoked in a legitimate Council and making canons and anathemata, except for disciplinary canons which are not binding for ever. However, neither can they be directly contrary to the faith.

But third, the Church is also infallible when Pope and Bishops and Abbots without much ado very clearly all of them everywhere all over the world teach the same doctrine, perhaps in same and similar, pershaps in different words.

Now, this brings us to Hans Küng's confusion on ecclesiology.

He seems to think that, just as bishops all over the world are infallible when agreeing (but not without the true Pope, remember!) so also scientists are a kind of episcopacy who enjoy if not infallibility, at least a provisional "incontradictability" as if infallible, when speaking with consensus. The idea of consensus science is thus a misplaced borrowing from the domain of theology into the domain of natural philosophy, which used to be a domain of free controversy.

Now, Hans Küng might of course state that if "all the bishops around the world, in moral union with the Pope" state that scientific consensus has a provisional infallibility, then they must have so, since the Church would infallibly be teaching it. However, the consensus of bishops was quite as infallible back when it was a creationist (basically mostly six-literal days, definitely young earth) and a geocentric consensus.

Two mutually contradictory propositions cannot both be infallible. And the infallibility of the Church is not provisional up to further, since Revelation was finished when the last Apostle, St John, left the mortal life as a man living on earth.

Therefore, of the two episcopal consensuses, one historically verified over centuries, one presumed today by discounting bishops, possibly abbots, and even papal claimants (rivals to "Pope Francis" and condemning him as a heretic) who do not agree on it, one must be erroneous.

But the Church acquired its infallibility through Christ. Therefore it is not the former, longstanding, still not quite broken one which was fallible, but the new one having exceptions still clinging to former consensus, which is so. Therefore also, the Evolutionist and Heliocentric "consensus" among not all, but most, scientists, simply cannot stand as having any kind of infallibility from the Church even.

Hans Georg Lundahl
UL of Nanterre
St Monica