HALT IRRELEVANT BICKERING

 

Frank Russo

 

(Investigator 92, 2003 September)

 

The current Investigator debate about evolution is saying little about evolution.

 

On the creationist side I would expect information on points like:

 

·         Darwin believed that all current and past species are linked by vast numbers of intermediate species—but the fossils have not been found;

·         Of 200 alleged non-functional vestigial structures in humans it seems all have function. Even so-called “junk DNA” may not be “junk”;

·         Ernst Haeckel’s teaching that embryo development “recapitulates phylogeny (i.e. evolutionary history)” now appears false.

 

On the pro-evolution side I would expect elaboration on points like:

 

·         Major geological eras had different living things—only a few species existed in multiple eras and survived millions of years;

·         Geneticists can measure gene frequencies in the “gene pool” and demonstrate change. Genetic change can commence with mutations and, nowadays, by deliberate human intervention;

·         Fossils, intermediate between some major categories of classification, are now known.

 

However, such points are not being elaborated.

 

J Holman quoted from among the minority of scientists (perhaps 7%) with whom he agrees. Subsequently Holman:

 

1.        Raised concepts irrelevant to evolution such as his dishwashing, humility, democratic rights and rock-solid convictions;

2.        Claimed he need give no evidence since the evidence is on the Internet;

3.        Berated his questioners rather than “substantiate”.

 

Is Mr Holman dodging or blowing a smokescreen or what?

 

The evolution “debate” smacks of schoolboy bickering and brings little credit to its highly educated participants! “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise…” (Proverbs 17:28) Think about that.

 

Of course I have views too and these can be read on my website at: www.frankrusso.net

 

Rebuttal of his response:

 
1 – Most of his response revolves around my "interpretation" of a passage from
the Bible! (Prov. 17: 28). Actually mine is not an "interpretation" at all! It's his comments that represent an interpretation! Out of my 83 different Bibles that I possess, he has chosen the worst one which I never use or read … I have only contempt for it! The only reason it's in my house at all, it's because, I saw it in excellent condition at a give-away price, in a second-hand Lutheran Book-shop! I would NEVER attempt to prove anything with that "garbage"! Any Bible-scholar of substance, would know that it's a 'PARAPHRASE" edition … in other words, it's a rendition of what someone considers the Bible to be saying in "his own words": and my version being a "Red Letter Edition" is oxy-moronic to say the least … it goes to all the trouble of colouring J.C.'s words in red, when as I've just explained, they are somebody-else's words! (?)
 
This Bible is usually insisted upon by Trinitarians – not even JW"s with
their own version, resort to translating what they "think the Bible is saying"! The only other Bible which comes close to being as bad as the "Living" (from my collection), is the Amplified Version: which, as the obvious name implies, has extra meaning included to explain the text … THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT IS NOT DONE AS FOOT-NOTES NOR AS obvious elucidations, but rather  as part of the actual original! This once again, is a special tool mainly used by Trinitarians!
 
In the original, the other half of the verse is conveying the identical message of the rest of the verse: if a scholar is familiar with Hebrew poetry via its thought parallelism, he would not attempt to contrast the two against each other!
 
2 – I am afraid that whilst Holman may be genuine in what he is saying,
the notion that "creationists … based on more plausible, pure logic"! (???) … is totally misguided, it is good for a Christian to be reminded that Christianity is based all on CREDULITY! That's the real meaning of faith, as opposed to "PURE LOGIC"!
 
3 – My critical comments from issue # 92 were balanced … showing both sides, some of
their  deficiencies – I did not take sides as I actually blend both sides together – my ideas are completely eclectic!
 
4 – Mr Holman's conclusion that he responds, to
the criticism of whether he is "dodging" or "blowing smokescreen", is actually a somewhat insincere statement, (probably sub-consciously): because he goes on to leave us in the dark, as to what he is actually doing!
 
Frank P Russo:
www.frankrusso.net

 

FEED-BACK:

 

            Which Bible was that? I think the NWT is total shit.  It's loaded with wooden literalism, it becomes such a chore

             and a bore to read !  

Thanks for pointing that out. I forgot that some people would not be aware, of the Investigator Journal's text: the version Holman used was the "Living Bible".
 
You're right, the NWT is a very literal Translation: however, for any translation to remain "accurate”, it has to be somewhat "literal"! To attempt to convey a poetic, (or very "flowing" style), would destroy the accuracy: I mean if you ever did any translating, (i.e. English/Italian), you would know what I mean!
 
Regards and Best Wishes: Frank.

Yes certainly, but at the same time you have to convey the message, not the words!  I have translated from Italian to English and vice versa, and when you try and be literal with the words and not the message, you mess everything up and the message actually becomes distorted or unclear.  I guess that's why most scholars despise the NWT, it's so wooden... and I guess that's why the WTS constantly "reminds" us to read their bible everyday... because few really sit down and read it... it really is a chore.

and as far as "adding" to the bible or making it fit one's belief system, the WTS has got GUILTY written all over them... I mean last night AR gave a talk on why the Tetragrammaton exists in the new testament of the NWT.  The only argument he had (as does the WT) is that New Testament writers often referred back to First Testament writers.  Is that a fair enough argument? perhaps so, for they were referring or quoting to the first testament.  But at the end of the day, if God had inspired them to write "Adonay" or Lord... why are they inserting YHWH??  It's obvious, because using Lord instead of the Tetragrammaton will weaken their defence of their Unity of Jehovah and Jesus, and it helps them explain away the trinity.  And by the way, they have inserted YHWH many more times than just when New Testament writers were quoting Old Testament writers!

Cheers

 

If you think that reading a couple of anti-JW books, miraculously converts one into a scholar, you’re mistaken! For a start I’ve got over 70 dictionary volumes of all sorts! The contrast was between a paraphrased version and a literal version! Now in some dictionaries, there can be over 10 shades of meaning for a given word! It would be very instructive for you to go and read the prefaces of the “Young’s Literal Translation”, which is an early one. You must think that Bible Translators are pretty dumb, to even compare any RUBBISH from the A. Congregation etc. – their ‘scholar’ did not even finish elementary school, let alone Primary School! When it comes to Bibles, a literal translation usually means, that one will always stick to the meaning of the INSPIRED words, unless a deviation is obvious.

 

Where one does deviate, is obviously where there is an idiomatic meaning: and one must bear in mind that the Bible Languages are usually referred to as the DEAD Languages … so don’t imagine that any idiom will stare the translator in the face! Often one can’t even pick the literal word, let alone work out what ancient minds might have perceived! For a start, there are homonyms with totally different meanings; furthermore, there are many words which have no precise meaning: the actual vowels were added in towards the end of the first millennium AD … and chapters, verses, lower-case and punctuations much later! Furthermore, a great many of the SENSE-meanings, as you put it, are mere modern interpretations: e.g. thecamel-gate” for the “eye of the needle” … in actual fact if you investigate, you will find that in Aramaic, rope and camel are written exactly identically, hence I scholarly would prefer, rope to camel any day … even in Koine’, there is only one letter that is discordant between the two words (i.e. camel and rope)!

 

Hence a literal translation, is one that sticks to the inspired words, wherever this is deemed advisable. Whereas a paraphrase, is like some Watchtower-answers, where one turns everything inside-out changing often, meanings, words, contexts, etc.

As far as the NWT, just because one changes his ‘spots’, does not make the NWT bad … remember bitter people, who hate anything to do with JWs, will be labelled as VINDICTIVE! What you should do is choose a camp – do you want a Trinitarian view of things, or not? Then choose the sort of Bible to read! One example of an idiom which JWs cannot be criticised for, is my discovery that when the Bible mentions “thousand”, that usually means, family, clan or tribe … hence the massively large numbers in the Bible!

 

As far as God’s name you’re mistaken, JWs use Jehovah rather than YHWH!  This issue is somewhat complicated and may need appropriate tools to digest! In this area, you may be surprised that one should deviate from the “LITERAL”!

 

Regards:  Frank.

 

Ps – you may have something to learn from Randy: he changed his name from “Bethel Ministries” to “Freeminds”.