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 Post subject: Suns of God and Josephus
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:09 pm 
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On page 386 of Suns of God there are some arguments as to why the Josephus passage is an interpolation.

Number 9 says:

9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of Jesus and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?

It reads to me like it's saying (via Dr. Lardner) that Josephus wrote about a specific Jesus whom he did not believe was the son of god. I think I read that Josephus wrote about a number of Jesus' so was Origen referring to a specific one?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:57 am 
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oliver wrote:
On page 386 of Suns of God there are some arguments as to why the Josephus passage is an interpolation.

Number 9 says:

9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of Jesus and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?

It reads to me like it's saying (via Dr. Lardner) that Josephus wrote about a specific Jesus whom he did not believe was the son of god. I think I read that Josephus wrote about a number of Jesus' so was Origen referring to a specific one?


First let's get one thing clear. To say Christ is to mean Messiah, which meant annointed "as in a King" or preist-king (likely with the legendary superpowers akin that given the equally fictitious MOSES or the legendary attributes of the equally fictitious characters David and Solomon). Judeans were looking for a Messiah, or a King sent by THEIR "god" to save them from the subserviance to religious and national foreigners, and who would bring them into their kingdom ruling over all others (as per the promise made by Yaweh--"I will raise you above all nations etc."). What Christ means to you is not the same as what "Messiah" meant to them.

Simply said, Josephus did not mention ANY "jesus" as THE Messiah expected by the Judeans. That is all Origen is saying, because nowhere is it mentioned by Josephus, who was interested in the Messianic movements, that there was any "jesus", james, John or any person recorded as being a Messiah or THE Messiah from among the Messianic cults prevailing.

If you read her book, you will have noted that the Josephan passage referring to the "wonder-worker" JESUS (seeming to equate to the Jesus you know)---is a fraud, an interpolation made by later Christians. No mention of this "wonder-man" existed or was quoted as if it existed in the original for 300 yrs. In other words, how could Josephus reject such a " Jesus the Christ", which did not exist for him as a living and thorough historian of the times, when he and the wonder-worker Messiah (Christ) "JESUS" were said to have lived.

Origen is stating that Josephus did not believe the "Jesus" believed in by the Christians of his OWN time was the Messiah/Christ, because there simply was no mention of this "Jesus" in Josephus works until those word's referring to a wonder-worker named "Jesus" were inserted into copies of his Histories long after Origen lived.

Hopefully you see the simple logic in this somewhat repetitive explanation from me. READ CAREFULLY, Enjoy the read and THINK. Such questions as simple as this will answer themselves if you take the time to pay attention to detail and put such statements in the context of the "rest of the story". Don't jump to conclusions so quickly or get ahead of yourself and you will come to a genuine understanding, that transcends any belief you held in a historical "Jesus" as man, god or both.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 8:33 pm 
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What an abrupt shut down!

Nice work SkullnBoner. 8)

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The Jesus Mythicist Creed:
The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional composite of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple "people" is no one.

The celestial Origins of Religious Belief
ZG Part 1
Jesus: Hebrew Human or Mythical Messiah?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:40 pm 
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Tat Tvam Asi wrote:
What an abrupt shut down!

Nice work SkullnBoner. 8)


Thanks Tat. I usually don't care to answer these kinds of questions, esp. from people who are claiming to read Acharya's or any one's work. I find some of these people are too lazy or not really motivated to look for answers, and understand what they are reading, except for the desire to conform to their long-held beliefs. I get impatient with them, because everyone has a mind, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE USING, rather than allowing assumptive beliefs to blind them to simple matters, which are often explained quite clearly, if they but remove their mental block.

I find that is a problem in the everyday world of news and views also. People have NO critical factor, no desire to develope a wide-scope background in enough issues to see through the propoganda they are fed through mainstream media. They just simply TRUST what is put before them as fact--ie. "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". They would be on their way to being as cynical as I, if they were to question everything they read or hear via. Picture or Print media in whatever form and to question from a basis of knowledge that is also outside the "wrestling ring", which so many fools are convinced is real life drama.

:lol: Should I feel bad if I blow someone's emotional entanglement with the drama of "show-wrestling" when I tell them, that such and such wrestlers are just acting and are really good buds sharing drinks and laughs at the pub?!

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 2:29 am 
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The kindest butcher has the sharpest knife.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Oliver has a legitimate question here, and there is no need to "butcher" him over it. In fact, Rene's response seemed rather kneejerk and defensive, which is understandable in consideration of the vitriol slung this way. However, when someone has a legitimate question, and there's a perfectly good answer, there is no need for this sort of response. I believe you may have misinterpreted Oliver's question and motives. Perhaps we need to step back a bit before responding to some of these questions. Let us be careful that we do not gain a reputation like that of the IIDB and other places that rabidly chase off innocent individuals looking for clarification. This forum exists precisely for the purpose of such edification.

The point to the Origen comment was not whether or not Josephus believed the gospel character of "Jesus Christ" existed but whether or not the Testimonium Flavianum was genuine to the original MS of Josephus. If the TF states that Jesus is Christ, yet Origen says that Josephus did not specifically mention that Jesus was Christ, then in Origen's time that phrase could not have been in Josephus and must be a Christian interpolation. The argument could be made, therefore, that at least some part of the TF is legitimate but that it had been Christianized, which constitutes the "partial interpolation theory."

Josephus, of course, was aware of some 20 Jesuses, but that doesn't mean that he had ever heard of the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. To which "Jesus" was Origen referring? That's the good question. Let us not forget that there was a very prominent Jesus in the Old Testament - Joshua, deemed Jesus in the Greek translation called the Septuagint - and that it is clear that he was considered by many to have been the "Messiah" who brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. Indeed, as also in Suns of God, it appears that there was a long-standing pre-Christian "Jesus cult" composed of ardent followers of Joshua as Messiah, essentially being "Jesus the Christ." It is possible that Origen was complaining that Josephus was not a member of this faction who believed that Joshua was Messiah.

It is my opinion that this Joshua/Jesus faction - composed of northern-kingdom Israelites, Hebrews and Samaritans - had a significant role in the creation of Christianity.

I would submit, therefore, that Origen was referring to Josephus's discussion of the Old Testament hero/messiah Joshua.

oliver wrote:
On page 386 of Suns of God there are some arguments as to why the Josephus passage is an interpolation.

Number 9 says:

9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of Jesus and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?

It reads to me like it's saying (via Dr. Lardner) that Josephus wrote about a specific Jesus whom he did not believe was the son of god. I think I read that Josephus wrote about a number of Jesus' so was Origen referring to a specific one?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Butcher knife aside, :lol: the more correct way of looking at the original question proposed would then look like this if I'm understanding Acharya correctly:



"9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that "Joshua" (Jesus) was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of "Joshua" (Jesus) and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?

It reads to me like it's saying (via Dr. Lardner) that Josephus wrote about a specific "Joshua" (Jesus) whom he did not believe was the son of god. I think I read that Josephus wrote about a number of "Joshua's" (Jesus') so was Origen referring to a specific one?"


And the answer being that Josephus appears to be referring to the old testament "Joshua" who comes after "Moses". Of course later we see this playing out in the new testament as "Aries" (Moses) turning into "Pisces" (Joshua/Jesus).

_________________
The Jesus Mythicist Creed:
The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional composite of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple "people" is no one.

The celestial Origins of Religious Belief
ZG Part 1
Jesus: Hebrew Human or Mythical Messiah?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:49 am 
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Thor

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skullnboner wrote:
everyone has a mind, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE USING, rather than allowing assumptive beliefs to blind them to simple matters, which are often explained quite clearly, if they but remove their mental block.


it's irony on a base level but I like it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:06 am 
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Well now..I apologise to Oliver if I indeed misinterpreted his question and motive. Only Oliver can answer to that. My reaction was kind of knee jerk, but I saw the question as being simplistically naive and wanton in seeking an explanation for the existence of "Jesus the Christ".

I went to that page and others before it, the passage that he quoted and I could not see for the life of me what was so difficult to understand about what was revealed there. It was not my intention to exactly cut him up, because I answered his question, if with some impertinence and impatience.

I clearly understood from the evidence you presented that Origen was saying that Josephus did not believe JESUS was the CHRIST, as Origen would have received it in his day--a very long time later than Josephus' own day when "JESUS the Christ" was said to have existed. Again, you have made it clear in your books concerning this passage in TF, that it was not in existence before 300 CE or others would have mentioned this "Christ" passage had it existed before their time.

Here is how Oliver posed the question:
Quote:
Number 9 says:

9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of Jesus and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?


If Oliver had not read the pages before, even the other numbered passages on that page of yours, he could not or should not have failed to see how Origen's statement of HIS "Jesus the Christ" was correctly not believed or accounted to and by Josephus' in his literature of the time Origen made the statement about "Josephus not believing in Jesus the Christ". At the very top of that page of yours, it is written that NO where else had Josephus referred to anyone or any Jesus as "the Christ".

So I berated him for not having done his homework and/or not reading it closely enough. I saw this as an indication of an attempt to undercut the argument of the "interpolation" of this peice of TF by using this Origen statement all by itself. It was either obligingly naive or knowingly deceptive. I may be wrong on that interpretation of his question and motive, but he could have come back at any time to clarify it.

No one should be intimidated by a little testiness on my part with a little fatherly admonishment and disappointment for lack of use of their intelligence to understand what it is they are reading.

Come on back to answer the charge Oliver and if I was wrong about your motives etc., I will personally apologise to you. I am a little ruff around the edges sometimes. That's because people too often disappoint me for their lack of studiousness, which other's here, including myself and Acharya have spent a great deal of time researching (in my case for myself) and in Acharya's case as a missionarising author of academic standards trying to reach people like yourself, putting up with a lot of personal attacks, and subterfuge from apologetics (whether they are true believers or not).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:32 am 
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Like I say, Rene, in consideration of the fact that I get bombarded on a daily basis by "lovebombs" from religious fanatics, it is easy to assume that one is being attacked.

I see no evidence that Oliver is a troll - is there another thread demonstrating such a contention?

His question was entirely legitimate: Origen's statement implies that, if Josephus didn't refer to Jesus as Christ, he did refer to a Jesus of some sort or another - which one was it?

I believe my answer was adequate, although I'm sure that I could spend hours more studying the subject and writing reams.

I further maintain that we need to step back sometimes before assuming ill intent - believe me, I'm all too well trained in this exercise.

As concerns "doing your homework," well, my groups and forums have always existed in large part for the precise purpose of providing a place for people to ask such entirely legitimate questions. Another intention is to build community. I do not want to scare people off with barking! Now, if they come here and start attacking me personally, as we have seen in the past, with all manner of disrespect, calumny and vitriol, then they can expect trouble. But Oliver has not demonstrated anything of the kind. Let us not frighten off innocents who may genuinely be interested in the issues at hand. I detest these other forums and lists where such behavior is the rule, rather than the exception. Demeaning someone's intelligence and chasing them away for asking questions - and not even stupid ones in this case. Oliver's question is of the type I encounter myself along the way when I am crafting an argument.

But even the stupid questions should be addressed without getting insulting and demeaning - unless, of course, they are meant as a personal attack. Then, Rene, you are welcome to do your stuff, as I certainly am not interested in engaging such characters.

I hadn't realized that this thread was over a year old! :shock: Wondering why Mr. Bridger resuscitated it. But I'm glad he did, because, again, it's a legitimate question - and one I feel is important.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:32 am 
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Isis

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oliver wrote:
skullnboner wrote:
everyone has a mind, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE USING, rather than allowing assumptive beliefs to blind them to simple matters, which are often explained quite clearly, if they but remove their mental block.


it's irony on a base level but I like it.


Aha! I see we posted at about the same time here. I am not sure what irony you are referring to. Do you feel vindicated? Did I or did I not answer your question to your satisfaction and if not, why did you not come by to clarify until now, with such a short terse statement that explains or gratifies nothing I or anyone else here has said. Explain yourself clearly.

As Tat said, perhaps the passage according to Acharya's explanation to the question you put should have been thus:
Quote:
"9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that "Joshua" (Jesus) was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of "Joshua" (Jesus) and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?


However, that is not what Acharya wrote in Suns of God, nor what you correctly quoted from it. To be precise it said "JESUS was not the Christ". There is no allusion to Joshua in these pages concerning that passage from Josephus.

So are you still missing something? Does that 'something missing' still not jive with the "never existed" arguement? What didn't you understand?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:42 am 
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Rene, that was TAT's response you are quoting below, so why are you using it to chastise Oliver?

Please quit the snapping at the end of the leash! I've a book to finish here, and I can't be watching the playground all the time. :evil:

skullnboner wrote:
oliver wrote:
skullnboner wrote:
everyone has a mind, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE USING, rather than allowing assumptive beliefs to blind them to simple matters, which are often explained quite clearly, if they but remove their mental block.


it's irony on a base level but I like it.


Aha! I see we posted at about the same time here. I am not sure what irony you are referring to. Do you feel vindicated? Did I or did I not answer your question to your satisfaction and if not, why did you not come by to clarify until now, with such a short terse statement that explains or gratifies nothing I or anyone else here has said. Explain yourself clearly.

As Tat said, perhaps the passage according to Acharya's explanation to the question you put should have been thus:
Quote:
"9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that "Joshua" (Jesus) was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of "Joshua" (Jesus) and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?


However, that is not what Acharya wrote in Suns of God, nor what you correctly quoted from it. To be precise it said "JESUS was not the Christ". There is no allusion to Joshua in these pages concerning that passage from Josephus.

So are you still missing something? Does that 'something missing' still not jive with the "never existed" arguement? What didn't you understand?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:17 pm 
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skullnboner wrote:
I am not sure what irony you are referring to


The irony was in the paragraph I quoted... your paragraph about assumptions and mental blocks. Kind of like how you assumed I was a Christer trying to persuade you (not you specifically) that Jesus was real.

Quote:
why did you not come by to clarify until now, with such a short terse statement that explains or gratifies nothing I or anyone else here has said.


Because the thread sat there dormant for over a year. Clearly, you answered a different question to what I asked - which is more a fault of the OP than anything I think. I only came back in because of the new activity.

Quote:
What didn't you understand?


I admit the question was not exactly clearly written and rather terse, but basically

1) Josephus wrote in (lets say) ~95CE and made no mention of "Jesus" (as in the Gospel Jesus)

2) I'm assuming Eusebius added his extras in ~315CE and they included the apologists favourite passage

3) Origen must have been reading/quoting Josephus in in ~250CE

If Origen was searching for "proof" in Josephus' works then he clearly didn't find it, presumably not by being slack.

So, we come to the statement in Suns of God:

Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ

Does this mean that Origen wrote that Josephus knew about Jesus (of the Gospels) and rejected him (seems unlikely as this would also be claimed as evidence by the 'Jesus existed' folks).... or maybe he was referring to a different Jesus.

I was guessing that Origen was coming from a position where he assumed Jesus of the Gospels was real and because Josephus didn't mention it, it proves that Josephus did not believe.... but I was wondering if that understanding was mixed up somewhat

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Isis

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Acharya wrote:
Rene, that was TAT's response you are quoting below, so why are you using it to chastise Oliver?

Please quit the snapping at the end of the leash! I've a book to finish here, and I can't be watching the playground all the time. :evil:

skullnboner wrote:
oliver wrote:
skullnboner wrote:
everyone has a mind, WHICH THEY SHOULD BE USING, rather than allowing assumptive beliefs to blind them to simple matters, which are often explained quite clearly, if they but remove their mental block.


it's irony on a base level but I like it.


Aha! I see we posted at about the same time here. I am not sure what irony you are referring to. Do you feel vindicated? Did I or did I not answer your question to your satisfaction and if not, why did you not come by to clarify until now, with such a short terse statement that explains or gratifies nothing I or anyone else here has said. Explain yourself clearly.

As Tat said, perhaps the passage according to Acharya's explanation to the question you put should have been thus:
Quote:
"9. Origen, in his treatise against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that "Joshua" (Jesus) was the Christ

What am I missing here? Isn't that saying that Josephus was aware of "Joshua" (Jesus) and rejected him? How does that fit into the "never existed" argument?


However, that is not what Acharya wrote in Suns of God, nor what you correctly quoted from it. To be precise it said "JESUS was not the Christ". There is no allusion to Joshua in these pages concerning that passage from Josephus.

So are you still missing something? Does that 'something missing' still not jive with the "never existed" arguement? What didn't you understand?


Yes...I used Tat's quote in response to yours about Joshua as another form of Jesus, when he posed Oliver's question with that in mind then. I am not chastising Oliver with that at all. Just stating what was written in your book and what Oliver correctly quoted had nothing to do with Joshua, but "Jesus who was called Christ" (the wonderworker?).

My problem is that Oliver never responded for so long until this time and yet has not qualified himself one way or the other as to his posing of the question or the answer he got from me (albeit mildly knee-jerk reaction as you put it. You have seen me be less kind...lol!). I wish Oliver to respond to me and either explain himself or put the boots to me for taking him the wrong way, if such is the case. That's all.

Now to you...did I answer the question twice now correctly or not? Perhaps I am missing something, because I don't see Origen's statement as referring to any Jesus, but the Jesus he knew of as "the Christ". Just because he refers to Josephus not believing in "the Christ" he knew of, doesn't infer that Origen was referencing Josephus' works about any other Jesus, Joshua, Joseph or Mary Dona (lol!). How could Josephus (without the interpolation of "the wonder worker called the Christ) have known about Origen's conception of "Jesus the Christ" a hundred years later?!

Now I am not so steeped in the minutia of this subject as obviously you and others are, so maybe I am missing something myself. That is why I resist answering some of these questions myself, because they are no longer important to me as they were way back. I understand why you need to be and others also. Perhaps I will refrain from answering these types of questions in the future.

Now get that book published! I am waiting impatiently...grrrr! :P

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:42 pm 
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We got to stop meeting like this Oliver...lol! Alright, it WAS how you posed the question that threw me off. However, I am still not getting how you might suppose that Origen's reference of "Jesus called Christ" (or Jesus the Christ) could indicate he might have have mixed it up with another Jesus (which I understand there were many in Josephus' works and a common name like Rene..lol!). As far as I know, he only refers to "Jesus THE Christ" as it would have been known to him as not having been historicised by Josephus.

Sorry if I patronised you, but if you follow the posts in this stream, you should understand why I react the way I do sometimes. Often it is how a question is posed, or the lack of dialogue for further explanation or re-phrasing of the question in the case of misinterpretation. I was under the impression that I had answered your question and no one came along for the longest time (yourself included) to qualify anything I said was incorrect, albeit patronising or admonishing as I admit.

Please accept my apology? :)

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