Monthly Archives: September 2018

Circular Reasoning: Mark 16:9-20

(courtesy Exposing PseudoAstronomy -WordPress.com)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

The Textus Receptus, on which the KJV was based, was supported by a few late MSS gathered by Erasmus. See information on Desiderius Erasmus.

These Byzantine manuscripts (MSS) contain this longer ending. The earlier Alexandrian text-type does not contain this longer ending. This is exemplified in the Codex Sinaiticus.

clip_image004

Matthew 6:4-32 (Codex Sinaiticus) (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Most modern translations follow the older Alexandrian text-type and we find some comment like this from the English Standard Version after Mark 16:8, ‘[Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20.]’1

1.  An issue with Mark’s long ending

I was directed to this article ‘to clarify for any who are confused [over the short vs long ending of Mark 16]. Interesting that some “scholars” muddy the waters and some clarify them. As always, careful research is needed’.

The article by James Snapp Jr is: ”Mark 16:9-20 – Sorting Out Some Common Mistakes . When I did some ‘careful research’ on Snapp Jr’s article, I discovered the following:

2.  Reasonable discussion shut down: Circular reasoning

A greater problem for me is the begging the question logical fallacy (or circular reasoning) Snapp committed.

What is a begging the question fallacy?

Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. Many people use the phrase “begging the question” incorrectly when they use it to mean, “prompts one to ask the question”. That is NOT the correct usage. Begging the question is a form of circular reasoning

Logical Form:

Claim X assumes X is true.

Therefore, claim X is true (source: Logically Fallacious)

This is how he committed the begging the question fallacy:

2.1  Beginning of the article

He began the article from this perspective:

They [preachers] approached their trusted commentaries and found . . . a spectacular mess. The amount of misinformation that continues to circulate about these 12 verses is staggering. Here are 12 claims about Mark 16:9-20 that should not be taken at face value.

To support Mk 16:9-20, he spoke of those commentaries that excluded these verses that contained ‘a spectacular mess … of misinformation’. So, he wants us to understand the opponents of the long  ending as supporting this mess of misinformation. 

Therefore, I  can fill in the first part of the …

Logical Form:

Claim X is that the commentators supporting the short ending contain ‘a spectacular mess …  of misinformation’. This assumes that the long ending is true if the objections are a mess of misinformation.

2.2  Ending of the article

How does Snapp’s article end?

If we deduce (in agreement with J. Rendel Harris, T. C. Skeat, and other researchers) that Sinaiticus was made at Caesarea, and if we also notice that when Eusebius of Caesarea commented about the ending of Mark, he displayed no awareness of the Shorter Ending (even when the subject invited and even demanded mention of the Shorter Ending, if it had been known), we may conclude that the alternative text in the minds of the copyists of both.

Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, when they produced the anomalous features at the end of Mark in their manuscripts, was verses 9-20.

Here, Snapp supports the longer ending of Mark 16, as he does in the following paragraph. So the  

Logical Form:

Claim X (part 2) is: Therefore, the long ending of Mark 16 is true. 

The complete Logical Form is:

Claim X is that the commentators supporting the short ending contain ‘a spectacular mess … of misinformation’. This assumes that the long ending is true if the objections are a mess of misinformation.

Therefore, Claim X, the long ending of Mark 16, is true. Snapp began with the presupposition that Mark 16:9-20 is Scripture and represents the correct ending of the book. How did he conclude his article? Mark 16:9-20 is the truth of how Mark 16 ends.

When discussing logical fallacies, we are not dealing with the information or facts relating to the topic. We expose the erroneous reasoning used.

If I begin a message, stating that the Bible is the word of God (claim X, part 1) and conclude that the Bible says it is the word of God (claim X, part 2), I have committed a begging the question (circular reasoning) logical fallacy. I have not provided evidence to support this claim.

Logical fallacies prevent reasonable / rational conversation. Why?

3.  Logical fallacies do not deal with the issues

They divert attention from the topic being debated to some other topic for various reasons.

We see it in this example of circular reasoning. James Snapp Jr started with the presupposition that Mark 16:9-20 was the true ending of that chapter and reached the same conclusion after his research.

Whether or not Mark 16:9-20 ought to be included in Scripture is not determined by a begging the question fallacy. Fallacies sidetrack discussions by spinning the wheels on a topic or distracting to another topic the person is more comfortable in addressing.

Whether Mark 16:9-20 is true or not is determined by research into various areas of transmission of the text, called the bibliographical approach.

There are a number of matters that need investigation on any topic. Using a logical fallacy turns the topic to other content. It prevents reasonable conversation on that topic.

(courtesy Ram Pages)

Notes

1The ESV adds this footnote: ‘Some manuscripts end the book with 16:8; others include verses 9-20 immediately after verse 8. A few manuscripts insert additional material after verse 14; one Latin manuscript adds after verse 8 the following: But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Other manuscripts include this same wording after verse 8, then continue with verses 9-20 ‘.

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 October 2018.


Is it a fake news beat up about Senator Fraser Anning?

Australian politicians & mass media join forces

(an unusual alliance)

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.kap.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/20180145_03_Anning_Fraser.jpg?resize=566%2C378&ssl=1

(Senator Fraser Anning, courtesy Katter’s Australian Party website)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

A shorter edition of this article is published in On Line Opinion, 3 October 2018, as: Fake news! The Senator Fraser Anning saga

The Collins Dictionary’s word of the year in 2017 was ‘fake news’. Its definition was, ‘false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting’ (Collins Dictionary 2018. s.v. fake news).

U S President Donald Trump uses the description, ‘fake news’. One example was:

Trump tweeted about his July 20 [2018] meeting with Sulzberger [New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger], saying, “Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, “Enemy of the People” (Schwartz 2018).

Egypt has enacted ‘fake news’ legislation, as have France, Belarus, Russia, and Singapore (Schwartz 2018)

See:

darksun6 Egypt: Anti-fake news law kicks in

darksun6 Belarus Passes ‘Fake News’ Legislation

darksun6 French Parliament passes law against ‘fake news’

darksun6 Russian ‘Fake News’ Law Would Punish Social Media Platforms

darksun6 New Malaysian government repeals law banning ‘fake news

darksun6 Singapore set to tackle fake news with new law

1.       Definitions

What is fake news?

I’m using it in this Collins Dictionary sense: ‘false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting’ ‘The BBC defines fake news as false information distributed deliberately, usually for political or commercial purposes….’ (BBC News 2018).

So, fake news is false, sensational reporting of information that is supposed to be news’ journalism. But it is deliberately used for political or commercial purposes.

How could fake news be crafted in Australia or elsewhere? I’ll use an Australian example of how I propose that fake news has been developed.

I stress that I’m not supporting all of the content about which Fraser Anning spoke. This is an article to show how I see ‘fake news’ developing before our very eyes.

2.       Four steps to fabricate fake news

Image result for clipart 4 stepsHow is fake news created? I understand there are 4 simple steps:

Step 1:   Somebody makes a statement about an issue.

Step 2:   Others breed false information about this statement.

Step 3:  This false information is spread through the media as newsworthy journalism. Members of Parliament (MPs) also have spread fake news.

Step 4:     Conclusion: Fake news is created.

Let’s follow these Anning steps.

2.1   Step 1: Senator Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution for immigration’

This article is not about whether I agree or disagree with the content of Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in the Australian Senate on 14 August 2018.

His speech can be read at: Full text: Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech (SBS News 2018).

In my view, some of the news sources below have fallen into this ‘fake news’ trap with making Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech[1] in the Australian Senate on the ‘final solution for immigration’ parallel to Hitler’s ‘final solution’.

What did Senator Anning state in the Senate in regard to immigration?  The Guardian reported:

He “didn’t even think about” the historical connotations.

Anning claimed the speech had been taken “completely out of context” and his remarks had “nothing to do with” the Nazi party’s Final Solution.

“The fact is all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said. “I don’t regret anything … I’m not going to apologise or regret anything I say” (Karp 2018).

2.2       Step 2: The ‘final solution’ beat up

Senator Pauline Hanson (Anning was formerly a senator with Hanson’s One Nation party) admitted on Q&A ‘she didn’t know what the term “final solution”’ meant (McMahon 2018).

Also on the same programme, Bob Katter MP of the Katter Australian Party (KAP) could not have been clearer about his support for Senator Fraser Anning (KAP) and the content of his maiden speech:

Mr Katter claimed his senator had “absolutely no idea” the term was used in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler to describe the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe.

“He didn’t get to a university to know the significance of all these words,” Mr Katter said. “He’s smart, but he hasn’t read all the history books. He doesn’t know what any of this means. And nor will he spend any time finding out.

“I’m sick of you lily pad lefties coming at us on some absolutely ridiculous technicality that has nothing to do with the issues.”

Mr Katter said his party was resolutely pro-Jewish and wanted to protect Jewish people in Australia from “the persecutors” being brought in from the Middle East under Australia’s migration program (McMahon 2018, emphasis added).

In Cairns, Bob Katter said of Anning: ‘His speech was absolutely magnificent. It is everything that this country should be doing’ (Karp 2018).

2.3       Step 3: False information spread

This is only a taste of what the media and MPs have been reported as saying.

2.3.1  Hype by MPs and Senators

Image result for Hitler's Final Solution(Image courtesy Haiku Deck)

Concerning Anning’s ‘final solution’ statement:

 

3d-red-star-small      Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull: ‘We reject, we condemn racism in any form, and the remarks by Senator Anning are justly condemned and rejected by us all’; it was a ‘shocking insult’ to the Jewish people (Karp 2018);

3d-red-star-small      Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition, ‘repugnant and disgraceful’ (Karp 2018).

3d-red-star-small      Senator Pauline Hanson of One Nation said she was ‘appalled’ by Anning’s comments, adding that the speech was ‘straight from Goebbels’ handbook from Nazi Germany’ (Karp 2018a).

3d-red-star-small      The energy and environmental minister, Josh Frydenberg, a Jew, labelled the comments ‘extremely ignorant’ and ‘hurtful, divisive and unacceptable’. He added in an interview with Channel 9:

“Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments, but he should immediately go and visit a Holocaust museum and hear first-hand from survivors, how raw the pain is, and hear about and see the destruction and devastation caused by the Nazi killing machine,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“You see, 10 million people lost their lives to the Nazis. Six million were children.

“It’s totally unacceptable for an Australian member of parliament, let alone any Australian, to utter those words and he should retract them” (Karp 2018).

3d-red-star-small      Former treasurer (now Prime Minister), Scott Morrison MP, said: ‘Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments. “What the terrorists do is they say to young people who live in Sydney, in suburbs and places like Lakemba… ‘come and fight with us, because all those Aussies don’t want you, don’t like you’ (Financial Review 2018).

3d-red-star-small      The leader of the Greens followed the other political rhetoric:

“Referring to immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, with the same language that the Nazi’s used to discuss the extermination of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust is vile, racist, bigoted and has no place in out (sic) society, let alone our parliament,” Senator Di Natale said (Lewis 2018).

Not all parliamentarians were against Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution for immigration’ terminology. ‘The Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm called the response a “ridiculous overreaction” to a phrase that could have “multiple meanings”’ (Karp 2018).

2.3.2   Hype from the mass media

3d-red-star-small  SBS News (2018a) reported: ‘Senator Anning used the Nazi-associated phrase “final solution” and called for a ban on Muslim immigration’.

3d-red-star-small On the Today Show, Anning was asked by host, Georgie Gardner, ‘about using the Nazi term “final solution” in his speech’. He said he ‘didn’t even think’ about whether it would be offensive.

“All I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said. “That has nothing to do with the ‘Final Solution’”, the thought police got onto that….

“Claims that the words meant anything other than the ultimate solution to any political question is always a popular vote are simply ridiculous,” Senator Anning said in a statement.

“Anyone who actually reads them in context will realise this….

“If people want to take it out of context that’s entirely up to them. It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community and it’s (sic) two words and if that offends anyone unfortunately that’s the way it has to be” (Graham & Farr 2018).

3d-red-star-small ABC News began an Opinion piece with:

On the surface, Fraser Anning’s use of the term “final solution” in Parliament can be attributed to two explanations.

The first is that he is ignorant of the historical significance and weight behind the term and its association with the Nazi regime in Europe.

The second is far more sinister — it is dog-whistle politics to the ever present racist undercurrents in Australian society (Masters 2018).

Then Masters proceeded to give us a graphic history lesson on the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. No adjectives are adequate for me to describe the genocide inflicted on 10 million (including 6 million children) by Hitler and the Nazis during World War 2.

In the Killing Centers

Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection. [LCID: 77255]Jewish women and children upon arrival in Auschwitz

Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection. Auschwitz camp, Poland, May 1944.

However, the ‘final solution’ of the Holocaust was not the topic of Fraser Anning’s speech.  However, it sure got the ABC and other media outlets on board with their inflicting another meaning to those two words.

3d-red-star-small The Sydney Morning Herald’s headline on the day after Anning’s speech was: ‘Fraser Anning achieves what he deserves: denunciation from the ages’ (Wright 2018).

3d-red-star-small The New Daily’s article on the Anning speech had the headline, ‘Unapologetic Fraser Anning under fire from all sides after ‘final solution’ Senate speech’ (McCulloch 2018).

2.4       Step 4: Fake news has been created

We’ve moved from,

matte-red-arrow-small  A person making a statement, to

matte-red-arrow-small  Other people placing another spin on the statement.

matte-red-arrow-small  The new spin is spread by mass and social media.

matte-red-arrow-small  So, the fake news has been generated.

In the Aussie example, what was the original statement?

3.       What did Senator Fraser Anning actually say in the Australian Senate?

In his maiden speech in the Australian parliament, Senator Anning stated:

  • ‘My most immediate concern is saving agriculture in this country’.
  • ‘My next biggest concern is rural infrastructure development. First and foremost, my priority is water…. My first solution is to build the Bradfield scheme’.
  • ‘The next critical problem that we need to address is immigration. Australia currently has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world’.
  • ‘Finally, it should go without saying that, as a nation, we are entitled to require that those who come here not only have useful work skills and qualifications but also the commitment to work and pay taxes’.

It was in the paragraph of the ‘finally’ statement that Anning fired up those who took his comments out of context and beat up politicians + mass media fake news hype – in my opinion. 

Part of what he stated in the final point was:

In the days of Menzies, immigrants arriving here were not allowed to apply for welfare and that attracted exactly the right sort of hard-working people this country needed. We should go back to that and ban all immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive. The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here. Whitlam didn’t ask the Australian people whether they wanted wholesale non-European migration when he introduced it and neither has any subsequent government. Who we allow to come here will determine what sort of nation we will have in the future, so therefore this isn’t the right of any one government to decide. It’s too important for that. Instead, we need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims or whether they want to return to the predominantly European immigration policy of the pre-Whitlam consensus. I for one will be very happy to abide by their decision (SBS News 2018, emphasis added).

  (Asylum seekers boat off Christmas Island, courtesy ABC News, Brisbane Qld) Image result for photo deaths boat Christmas Island

In this 35.10 mins speech, Anning acknowledged he was a ‘conservative Christian’. The sentence that got on the goat of politicians and the mass media and has led to fake news being perpetrated by them (in my view) was: ‘The final solution to the immigration problem is a popular vote’ (SBS News 2018).

  Anning did a round of interviews on Wednesday morning [15 August 2018] claiming the use of the term “final solution” – used by the Nazi regime to describe a genocidal policy of exterminating Jewish people – was inadvertent but refused to apologise because he claimed the outrage was solely coming from political opponents (Karp 2018).

4.       The final solution: Queensland Premier reacts

The Queensland Premier used her ‘whip’ to try to punish the Qld division of KAP over something that was said in federal parliament:

Annastacia Palaszczuk has ripped up a deal allowing the Katter’s Australian Party five extra staff, on the back of Senator Fraser Anning’s widely condemned maiden parliamentary speech….

The Labor leader renewed criticism of the KAP’s support for Mr Anning’s inflammatory speech, which praised the former White Australia policy and suggested a plebiscite as the “final solution to the immigration problem”.

Nazis referred to the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe and beyond as “the final solution to the Jewish question” (Crockford 2018).

I refer you to Fraser Anning’s intention in what he said in the Senate (see below).

The ‘thought police’ have been in action; fake news came out of a comment that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Nazi ‘final solution’.

Speaking on the Today Show [Channel 9], Mr Josh Frydenberg said the remarks were “extremely ignorant, hurtful, divisive, unacceptable”.

“Fraser Anning should not only retract his comments, but he should immediately go and visit a Holocaust museum and hear first-hand from survivors, how raw the pain is, and hear about and see the destruction and devastation caused by the Nazi killing machine,” Mr Frydenberg said….

“You see, 10 million people lost their lives to the Nazis. Six million were children.

“It’s totally unacceptable for an Australian member of parliament, let alone any Australian, to utter those words and he should retract them.” (Calcutt 2018).

5.       Fraser Anning’s intent in what he said

Bob Katter responding to the controversial first speech by William Fraser - Anning in the Senate. Frame grab courtesy of ABC News (Bob Katter photo, courtesy The Examiner, ABC News)

Bob Katter MP, leader of the Katter Australian Party (KAP), said he ‘supports his colleague Fraser Anning “one thousand per cent”’ (Jackson 2018).

Anning’s response to the fuss over what he stated about ‘the final solution’ in his maiden speech was:

The comments were “taken out of context” and he hadn’t even thought about their significance.

“The fact is, all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he said.

“That has nothing to do with the final solution. The thought police got onto that.

“I’m a strong supporter of the Jewish community, and always have been. For everyone to take it out of context is a joke and an attempt try to shut down debate.

“It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community and it’s two words and if it offends anyone, unfortunately, that’s the way it has to be” (Calcutt 2018).

The context was what to do about immigration policy in Australia’s intake of migrants and he wants the Australian people to decide with a vote. He confirmed that his ‘final solution’ had nothing whatsoever to do with Hitler’s ‘final solution’ in the Holocaust of World War 2.

It sure sounds like the MPs and media have taken Anning’s comments out of context and made them mean what he did not intend. That’s how fake news is developed and promoted (based on the definitions above).

6.       Threats to Katter’s Australian Party

Because of the association of Fraser Anning’s speech with the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ in World War 2, there have been some threats made to the KAP.

6.1       Qld Premier’s threat to cut KAP staff numbers

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP has threatened to refuse funding some current Katter’s Australian Party staff. The Guardian reported:

Palaszczuk told the Labor state conference in Brisbane on Sunday [2 September] she would not (sic) longer fund the extra staff after the KAP failed to denounce the senator for his remarks.

“We have the right to free speech in our parliaments, but that free speech is not free of consequence,” she told party faithful.

“So because his party will not denounce senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party”….

“I am withdrawing the additional staff I granted to Katter’s Australian party because it tolerates the intolerable and it defends the indefensible, and senator Fraser Anning’s statements are indefensible,” she said on Sunday [2 September]….

Robbie Katter said Anning’s words had been twisted and taken out of context (Australian Associated Press 2018).

The North West Star, Mt Isa, reported:

KAP State Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has referred Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission following her decision to strip the KAP of four staff.

“On Tuesday I sent a letter to the CCC asking them to formally investigate the matter,’’ Mr Katter said.

“I’m asking the Premier to step down while the CCC considers our complaint.”

The call comes a day after the Premier made the decision to strip the party of staff over the row about KAP Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in Federal Parliament last month.

Mr Katter said Queenslanders were appalled to see political power wielded as a weapon to shut down opposing views.

The Premier tried to use the threat of withdrawing resources to get us to behave a certain way in Parliament. We wouldn’t, so she removed them,” he said.

“It seems like a pretty clear case of using threats to influence the free will of a Member of Parliament. If she gets away with it the implications are massive for our democracy in Queensland.’’

Mr Katter said LNP members had also been referred as a result of the pressure they placed on the Premier (Barry 2018).

What would a civil libertarian say about what Palaszczuk did to KAP?

Queensland Council of Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman says while Senator Anning’s speech was “appalling”, the government’s action is contrary to one of the pillars of the Fitzgerald report.

He says stripping KAP of their staff allocation is reminiscent of the Bjelke-Petersen government’s stifling of their Labor opposition (AAP 2018).

6.2   Consequences of fake news: Threats to withdraw funding

Troy Gray, the secretary of the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union, which gave KAP $100,000 between 2011 and 2013 said he ‘totally disagrees’ with Anning and Katter’s position on immigration. His view was that he would be ‘staggered if anyone in the union movement would support the party after those comments’ (Karp 2018b).

What about support from the CFMMEU (Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union)?  Bob Katter responded to The Sydney Morning Herald:

Mr Katter, 73, told Fairfax Media he planned to recontest his seat of Kennedy, which he has held for 25 years, but reserved the right to change his mind. He said no one from the CFMMEU had contacted him about Senator Anning’s speech or his subsequent statements.

“I can’t think of any reason why they would,” he said. “We are being undercut by massive migration into Australia [and] the only people fighting against that are ourselves [KAP] and the CFMMEU” (Koziol 2018).

7.  Conclusion

It seems to me that the ‘fake news’ definition from the Collins Dictionary has been played out before my eyes in Australia in August 2018:

  • A newly elected, Senator Fraser Anning, made a maiden speech in the Australian Senate and spoke of the ‘The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy’.
  • MPs, Senators and mass media picked up two words, ‘final solution’, took them right out of context and applied them to the Nazi ‘final solution’ to exterminate 10 million Jews in the Holocaust of World War 2. They bred and fed false and sensational information about a simple statement about immigration. One doesn’t have to agree with Anning’s content, but what the MPs and Senators made of those two words was fake news, in my view.
  • These falsely generated particulars were spread through the mass and social media.
  • So, fake news about immigration in a Senator’s maiden speech was developed into ‘real’ news about Fraser Anning promoting a ‘final solution’ to the immigration problem that was parallel to Nazi’s ‘final solution’.

Image result for fake news photo public domain

(courtesy Dreamtime.com)

8.  Works consulted

AAP 2018. KAP considers going to CCC after staff cut. 5AU (online), 3 September. Available at: https://www.5au.com.au/sharenews/173590-kap-considers-going-to-ccc-after-staff-cut (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Australian Associated Press 2018. Palaszczuk cuts Katter party staff over Fraser Anning speech. The Guardian (online), 2 September. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/02/palaszczuk-cuts-katter-party-staff-over-fraser-anning-speech (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Barry, D 2018. Robbie Katter refers Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to CCC. The North West Star (online), 5 September. Available at: https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/5627256/robbie-katter-refers-premier-annastacia-palaszczuk-to-ccc/ (Accessed 15 September 2018).

BBC News 2018. Spotting ‘fake news’ among the real stories (online), 14 March. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/education-43404254/spotting-fake-news-among-the-real-stories (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Calcutt, L 2018. Fraser Anning speech: Senator says final solution comments ‘taken out of context’. 9News (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.9news.com.au/2018/08/15/08/21/fraser-anning-speech-muslim-migration-final-solution-politican-reactions (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Crockford, T 2018. Premier rips up Katter deal after Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. Brisbane Times (online), 2 September. Available at: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/premier-rips-up-katter-deal-after-anning-s-final-solution-speech-20180902-p5019b.html (Accessed 7 September 2018).

Financial Review 2018. Queensland senator Fraser Anning refuses to apologise for ‘final solution’ speech (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.afr.com/news/queensland-senator-fraser-anning-refuses-to-apologise-for-racist-final-solution-speech-20180814-h13zby (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Graham, B & Farr, M 2018. ‘While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims,’ Senator Anning said. news.com.au (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/while-all-muslims-are-not-terrorists-certainly-all-terrorists-these-days-are-muslims-senator-anning-said/news-story/c0753644cfccdda0394619e6f9dc01b5 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Jackson, E 2018. Katter supports Anning after Senate speech. The Examiner (Cairns), 15 August. Available at: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5587566/katter-supports-anning-after-senate-speech/?cs=9397 (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018. MPs widely condemn Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. The Guardian (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/15/mps-widely-condemn-fraser-annings-final-solution-speech (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018a. Fraser Anning speech ‘straight from Goebbels’ handbook’, says Pauline Hanson. The Guardian (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/15/fraser-anning-speech-straight-from-goebbels-handbook-says-pauline-hanson (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Karp, P 2018b. Union drops Katter support as recording claims Fraser Anning aimed to ‘hit nerve’. The Guardian (online), 16 August. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/16/union-drops-katter-australian-party-support-leaked-recording-claims-fraser-anning-aimed-to-hit-nerve (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Koziol, M 2018. ‘Almost certifiable’: Bob Katter pays political price for backing Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 16 August. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/almost-certifiable-bob-katter-pays-political-price-for-backing-fraser-anning-s-final-solution-speech-20180816-p4zxun.html (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Lewis, R 2018. Shades of Pauline Hanson in Fraser Anning’s first speech. The Australian (online), 14 August. Available at: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/shades-of-pauline-hanson-in-fraser-annings-first-speech/news-story/abdd9495e797a1153076403f6ff736f9 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Masters, A 2018. Fraser Anning’s ‘final solution’ speech points to a more dangerous threat to Australia (Opinion). ABC News, Brisbane Qld (online), 16 August. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-15/fraser-anning-final-solution-more-dangerous-threat/10123350 (Accessed 17 September 2018).

McCulloch, D 2018. Unapologetic Fraser Anning under fire from all sides after ‘final solution’ Senate speech. The New Daily (online), 15 August. Available at: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/08/15/fraser-anning-final-solution-unapologetic/ (Accessed 17 September 2018).

McMahon, N 2018. Q&A recap: Pauline Hanson says she had no idea what ‘final solution’ meant. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 28 August. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fraser-anning-s-final-solution-speech-absolutely-magnificent-says-bob-katter-20180815-p4zxme.html (Accessed 4 September 2018).

SBS Mews 2018. Full text: Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech (online), 15 August. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/full-text-senator-fraser-anning-s-maiden-speech (Accessed 4 September 2018).

SBS News 2018a. KAP refers Qld premier, LNP leader to CCC (online), 4 September. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/kap-refers-qld-premier-lnp-leader-to-ccc (Accessed 15 September 2018).

Schwartz, J 2018. Trump’s ‘fake news’ rhetoric crops up around the globe. Politico[3] On Media (online), 31 July. Available at: https://www.politico.eu/blogs/on-media/2018/07/donald-trump-fake-news-rhetoric-crops-up-around-the-globe-media-social-media-foreign-affairs/ (Accessed 17 September 2018).

Swan, J 2013. Jewish MP to put religion before politics. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 30 January. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/jewish-mp-to-put-religion-before-politics-20130130-2dkmr.html (Accessed 4 September 2018).

Wright, T 2018. Fraser Anning achieves what he deserves: denunciation from the ages. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 15 August. Available at:  https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fraser-anning-achieves-what-he-deserves-denunciation-from-the-ages-20180815-p4zxm3.html (Accessed 17 September 2018).

9.  Notes

[1] Fraser Anning is now a senator for Katter’s Australian Party (SBS News 2018).

[2] The Romani, Romany or Roma are gypsies in Europe, the sub-continent and the Americas.

[3] This website deals with ‘politics, power and media in Europe’ (Schwartz 2018).

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 September 2018.

 

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Reader-response methods: How meaning can be stripped from biblical texts

Child And Book

(courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

In searching the Internet for more information on reader-response ways to deconstruct any text, I was attracted to Dr Jeremy Koay’s1 brief article, ‘What is reader-response theory?‘ (2017) This is an exceptional overview of a method that is overwhelming the reading of documents of any kind, whether narrative, poetry or interpretation of art.

Even though the article was published in December 2017, no comments had been made to it, so I forwarded my response.

1. Problems with reader-response: From the article

I find that a major problem with read-response theory is that it cannot consistently interpret literature. You stated, ‘The idea of pure literal meaning is contestable because our culture, experiences and worldview shape our understanding of words’. Is that how you want me to read your article? Or do you want a literal reading (which includes figures of speech)? Can I engage in postmodern, deconstruction, reader-response techniques with your article to make it mean what I decide it means?

Could you imagine the recorded history of Emperor Nero, George Washington, Hitler and the Nazi concentration camps, Captain James Cook circumnavigating NZ and sailing up the east coast of Australia being interpreted by reader-responses?

Did Emperor Nero, George Washington, Hitler and James Cook say and do what is recorded in their journals and history about them or is that open to the readers’ interactive deconstruction with our reader-responses from our century and cultures?

That’s what we are dealing with in examining any writing from the past or present. I wouldn’t interpret the articles in the Brisbane Times (BT) that way.

Imagine my reading your writings with that view? Surely you want me to read this article so that I understand the content of what you mean, within the bounds of English grammar and syntax, rather than imposing 21st century Brisbane environment and my reader-response on your text.

If I read the BT like that and passed on my postmodern, reader-response, interactive, contemporary interpretation of today’s BT stories to the people in my community, they would think I was going over the edge mentally.

EduMaxi chose not to publish my reply, so I sent this inquiry: ‘I submitted a comment on 28 August 2018. It has not been published. Are there reasons  for this delay or non-acceptance of the comment?’

2. Email rather than online reply

Dr Koay chose to reply by email rather than publishing my letter on the EduMaxi website’s target readers are primarily language teachers (not philosophers)’. So he considered my reply was philosophical.

I won’t publish his email because he has not given me permission to do that. However, you’ll pick up some of his content in my response, sent by email on 13 September 2018. I use ‘you’ and ‘your’ in referring to Dr Koay.

From your content, I raise five concerns:

2.1 ‘Pure literal meaning is contestable’

You say that this is because culture, experiences and worldview shape our understand of words. I don’t disagree with that perspective. However, I contend that my current worldview cannot be used to deconstruct the meaning of, say, John Milton’s Paradise Lost (Stanley E. Fish tried to do it in Surprised by Sin and came to an understanding that, I think, would cause John Milton to turn over in his grave).

OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast

Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,

Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,…. (Paradise Lost, Bk 1)

I consider that I would be cheating Milton to use my culture, experience and worldview to place my meaning on Milton’s poetry written in the seventeenth century. I need to understand the language and concepts he used and the biblical worldview to which he referred. Uncovering the intent of the author is my primary task as an interpreter of any document from your article, to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, or to the Bible. This is done by listening to the ‘plain meaning’ of a text.

I don’t use the language of ‘pure literal meaning’, so I don’t know how that differs from taking a text – narrative or poetry – at face value. I obtain the meaning from the text and not from my creative invention (reader-response, pesher method, allegorisation) of the text.

I have great difficulty in refusing ‘pure literal meaning’ when I investigate Captain James Cook’s circumnavigation of NZ and sailing up the east coast of Australia in HMS Endeavour in 1770:

A three-masted wooden ship cresting an ocean swell beneath a cloudy sky. Two small boats tow the ship forward.

HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c. 1794

How is it possible to use a reader-response interpretation dealing with the Endeavour when Captain James Cook’s name is associated with an ocean-going ship, The Endeavour? Pure literal meaning applies as much to Jacinda Ardern’s being Prime Minister of NZ and Scott Morrison’s recent ascension to the PM of Australia. Is plain reading of a text the same as ‘pure literal meaning’ to you?

You stated ‘ This theory rejects the structuralist view that meaning resides solely in the text’. Do you consider that structuralism (meaning because of the language system) has been superseded by postmodern reader-response methodology?

I can’t walk into a local fish and chips shop and give a reader-response interpretation to the menu and expect to get what I ordered. I had to ask for clarification when some friends and I had lunch at a local tavern. My friend ordered whiting for the fish dish. He discovered his fish was NZ whiting and not Australian whiting. Questions for clarification are not equivalent to reader-response hermeneutics whether in the supermarket, at Centrelink (social security), reading The Sydney Morning Herald or the Bible.

I endorse the perspective that readers engage with a text to question concepts raised, discover etymology of words, cultural divergence from contemporary culture, etc. However, that is not the position you advocate as a theory: ‘Readers, as much as the text, play an active role in a reading experience (Rosenblatt, 1994)’.

It is my understanding that readers do not create content of a writing; authors do that. Readers may disagree with the content and provide reasons for such, but creating meaning is not their roles. Readers may develop personal or group applications from the text, but this is not part of the author’s intended meaning.

2.2 ‘I regard the theory as a theory – nothing more and nothing less’

I commend you for treating this reader-response literary device as ‘a theory’, which means it has yet to be proven.

However, that is not the view of many promoters of the reader-response approach. They use it as a method of hermeneutics. Take these eminent promoters of reader-response views:

According to Wolfgang Iser, ‘the meaning of a text … is not inherent in it but must be produced or actualized by the reader’ (Iser in Culpepper 1983:40, 209).

Iser explained the supposed ‘vacant pages’ and ‘gaps’ in a text that a reader uses in active and creative ways. His perspective was that ‘the gaps, indeed, are those very points where the reader can enter into the text, forming his own connections and conceptions and so creating the configurative meaning of what he is reading…. From the given material [the reader] must construct his own conception of the reality and hence the meaning of the text (Iser 1972:40, 276, emphasis added).

‘While the meaning of the literary work remains related to what the printed text says,… it requires the creative imagination of the reader to put it all together’ (Iser 1980:142).

‘More recent research (Eco 1985 and 1994; Iser 1980; Ricoeur 1992) has accentuated the creative role of the reader in interaction with the text. Intertextuality is a component of this dialectical process’ (Zumstein 2008:135 n. 17).

John Dominic Crossan: ‘‘This, then, is my working definition of history: History is the past reconstructed interactively by the present through argued evidence in public discourse’ (Crossan 1998:20; 1999:3 emphasis in original).

That aborts my research as an historian and historical Jesus’ scholar. It would cause my examination of the historical HMS Endeavour, Captain James Cook, and the historical Jesus, to be a contemporary mish-mash of historical evidence and personal, contemporary, public deconstruction. Historians should hang up their historical credentials and become innovative writers of historical fiction if they pursue reader-response methodology.

While you state reader-response is a theory for you, it is not so for many other postmodern writers.

2.3 ‘My father drove me to school’

In using this example, I consider you have confused the ‘gaps’ in reader-response theory with committing An Argument from Silence logical fallacy.

The logical form to your argument is:

Person 1: The boy claims his father drove him to school (a truthful statement) and then remains silent;

Person 2: Then, it is true his father drove him to school (but the boy leaves out a lot of evidence that Person 2 creates about the vehicle).

You state that you ‘do not equate this to a “pure literal meaning”’. Is ‘my father drove me to school’ literally true? If so, then it conforms to a ‘pure literal meaning’.

However, what you have called an example of reader-response theory in action is really fallacious reasoning:

The reason this technique works so well, is because imagined reasons are often more persuasive than real reasons.  If someone wants to be convinced, this technique works like a charm. However, to the critical thinker, this will not fly.  Silence is not a valid substitute for reason or evidence (Bennett 2018).

You also use an Argument from Silence fallacy in your statement: ‘For me, the fact that you (not other readers) commented on my blog suggests that you and other readers may have ‘read’ it differently’. Do you have evidence to prove this statement?

2.4 ‘… I do not and cannot expect that to happen’

Image result for clipart Literal Interpretation

(image courtesy Exegetical Tools)

You don’t expect readers to understand the intended content of what you wrote because of their different worldviews?

I find this to be ambiguous. Because I may have a different worldview to yours, that does not mean I cannot objectively (but imperfectly) examine the words, grammar, syntax and content you wrote so that I could respond online to your article. That is what I did originally and is what I’m doing now to your email reply.

I observe that you were able to deal with the content of what I wrote – without any difficulty – so you could email me your response. I did not observe any creative, reader-response of filling in the ‘gaps’ in your reply. You did clarify what you wrote in response to my ‘comment’ to your article.

2.5 Ultimate truth

You gave statements about those who do and do not agree with ultimate truth because of their differing worldviews. One was: ‘ Others believe that since we can’t objectively assess an ultimate truth, they subscribe to the idea of versions of realities’.

Because you dealt with the generic ‘some’ and ‘others’, it makes it difficult to respond when there is a lack of specifics. However, in my research (480pp dissertation in New Testament, University of Pretoria, South Africa) I noted that some deconstructionist, reader-response promoters reject any examples of absolute truth (e.g. Iser, Crossan, Derrida, etc.).

Your statements included those who believed, ‘Since we can’t objectively assess an ultimate truth, they subscribe to the idea of versions of realities’. Are they absolutely sure of this belief?

That should be shattered on the absolute truth that driving rules in New Zealand and Australia require that we drive vehicles on the left-hand side of the road. Any other side is an aberration by those breaking the law or for legitimate reasons (e.g. road works). With this denial of absolute truth in Aust and NZ, does it include a denial of the moral view that it is wrong to murder and steal?

3. Works consulted

Bennett, B 2018. Logically fallacious (online). Available at: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies (Accessed 13 September 2018).

Crossan, J D 1998. The birth of Christianity: Discovering what happened in the years immediately after the execution of Jesus. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco.

Crossan, J D 1999. Historical Jesus as risen Lord, in Crossan, J D, Johnson, L T & Kelber, W H, The Jesus controversy : Perspectives in conflict, 1-47. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International.

Culpepper, R A 1983. Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel. Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press.

Fish, S E 1980. Is there a text in this class? London and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Fish, S 1987. Surprised by sin: The reader in Paradise Lost. New York: Macmillan.

Iser, W 1980. The act of reading: A theory of aesthetic response. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Koay, J 2017. What is reader-response theory? EduMaxi, 5 December. Available at: http://www.edumaxi.com/what-is-reader-response-theory/ (Accessed 13 September 2018).

Zumstein, J 2008. Intratextuality and intertextuality in the Gospel of John. In T Thatcher & S D Moore (eds), Anatomies of narrative criticism, 121-136. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

4. Endnotes

  1. 1Dr Jeremy Koay is a New Zealand-based Independent Researcher and a Research & Development Consultant at EduMaxi. He obtained his PhD in Applied Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington in 2015. His research interests include Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis and TESOL (Koay 2017).

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 14 January 2019.

Ten Commandments Old Testament versus New Testament Commandments1

 

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(courtesy
OpenClipArt)

 

Prepared by Spencer D Gear PhD

Do all of the OT Ten Commandments appear in the New Testament? I can discern only one change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant and that is with the Fourth Commandment. NT Christians no longer are required to worship on the Saturday Sabbath. Instead, they worship on the Lord’s Day (Sunday).

I refer you to my articles:

Flower24 No Sabbath-worship for Christians

Flower24 Sunday or Saturday worship for Christians?

Here is my comparison:

Old Testament Ten Commandments

New Testament Ten Commandments

First Commandment OT: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me‘ (Ex 20:2-3 NIV).2 First Commandment NT: ‘Jesus answered, ”It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”’ (Luke 4:8)
Second Commandment OT: ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments’ (Ex 20:4-6) Second Commandment NT: ‘Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry’ (1 Cor 10:14)
Third Commandment OT: ‘You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Ex 20:7) Third Commandment NT: ‘ Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.….”’ (Matt 6:9)[1]
Fourth Commandment OT: ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy’ (Ex 20:8-11). Change of Fourth Commandment NT: The transfer of the celebration of divine worship from the Saturday Sabbath to the Lord’s day, Sunday, is demonstrated by these passages from Paul’s writings and ministry: 1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7ff; Rev. 1:10. Christians are not to observe days and even Sabbath days according to the following Scriptures: Romans 14:5ff, Galatians 4:9-11; 5:1-15 and Col. 2:16-17.
Fifth Commandment OT: ‘Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you’ (Ex 20:12) Fifth Commandment NT: ‘For Moses said, “Honour your father and mother,” and, “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’(Mark 7:10)
Sixth Commandment OT: ‘You shall not murder’ (Ex 20:13). Sixth Commandment NT: ‘You know the commandments: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother’ (Mark 10:19).
Seventh Commandment OT:You shall not commit adultery’ (Ex 20:14). Seventh Commandment NT: ‘‘Which ones?’ he enquired. Jesus replied, ‘“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony….’ (Matt 19:18).
Eighth Commandment OT:You shall not steal’ (Ex 20:15). Eighth Commandment NT: ‘You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.” (Lk 18:20)
Ninth Commandment OT:You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour’ (Ex 20:16). Ninth Commandment NT: You know the commandments: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother’ (Mk10:19).
Tenth Commandment OT: ‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.’ (Ex 20:17) Tenth Commandment NT: ‘The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Rom 13:9).

1 With help from ©1998 Truth On The Web Ministries: Brian Hoeck. Available at: http://www.truthontheweb.org/nt10com.htm (Accessed 8 September 2018).

2 Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

 


 

[1] This citation is from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

 

Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 8 September 2018.

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