vendredi 30 mai 2014

It did NOT take two more years until the next TF challenge ...

1) From Mark Shea to Joseph Atwill, 2) Twelve Pieces of a Doherty Puzzle (it's Too Early to Dismiss Historicity), 3) What about Randel Helms?, 4) It did NOT take two more years until the next TF challenge ...

I looked up Acharya Sanning - because Varg Vikernes and his fan Hermann Cherusci (sic!) so much reminded me of her position.

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on a Theory of Neanderthals by "Scandinavian V." alias Varg Vikernes

So, having looked up Acharya, one note of hers on TF caught my eye.

The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock

Untangled? Was she giving a theory on how the forgery was done? Was there some stimulating mental wrestling for me to do?

I was a bit disappointed by that side when it came to the article, but rewarded in other respects.

Regarding the TF, as well as the James passage, which possesses the phrase James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, Jewish writer ben Yehoshua makes some interesting assertions:

"Neither of these passages is found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. The first passage (XVII, 3, 3) was quoted by Eusebius writing in c. 320 C.E., so we can conclude that it was added in some time between the time Christians got hold of the Jewish Antiquities and c. 320 C.E. It is not known when the other passage (XX, 9, 1) was added... Neither passage is based on any reliable sources. It is fraudulent to claim that these passages were written by Josephus and that they provide evidence for Jesus. They were written by Christian redactors and were based purely on Christian belief."

Yehoshua claims that the 12th century historian Gerald of Wales related that a "Master Robert of the Priory of St. Frideswide at Oxford examined many Hebrew copies of Josephus and did not find the 'testimony about Christ,' except for two manuscripts where it appeared [to Robert, evidently] that the testimony had been present but scratched out." Gerardus Vossius states that, since "scratching out" requires the removal of the top layers, the deleted areas in these mere two of the many copies likely did not provide any solid evidence that it was the TF that had been removed. Apologists will no doubt insist that these Hebrew texts are late copies and that Jewish authorities had the TF removed. This accusation of mutilating an author's work, of course, can easily be turned around on the Christians. Also, considering that Vossius purportedly possessed a copy of the Antiquities without the TF, it is quite possible that there were "many Hebrew copies" likewise devoid of the passage.

Well, first of all, whether TF or something else had been removed from the manuscript could pretty easily be determined by some considerations like the following:

  • If erasure was not done thoroughly, some remains of a text - like the name Iehoshua, Hebrew for Jesus - or other word relevant for context (truth, justice) may have been still visible.
  • One can see if the words after the erasure correspond to the words after the TF in the standard text.
  • One can see if the length of the erasure corresponds to the length one presumes TF would have in Hebrew.
  • And of course, if between the words preceding and following TF in standard text and erasure in two Hebrew copies, no other text variant than TF is known, that speaks very much for the erasure being TF.

Apologists will no doubt insist that these Hebrew texts are late copies and that Jewish authorities had the TF removed. This accusation of mutilating an author's work, of course, can easily be turned around on the Christians.

I have already done so - when defending TF as originally there but originally containing some antichristian stuff that Christians erased.

BUT saying Christians added sth is NOT just turning about the accusation that Jews erased something.

Adding something is rank forgery. No one can evade that evidence. Erasing something is sometimes considered as an act of piety. If, namely, as Hebrews would consider TF, the thing erased was considered as impious by the one erasing.

No, this is not so easy to turn around against Christians at all, if the mutilation is in that case addition rather than erasure. Rather, instead of turning the same accusation just around, this would be making a very much worse accusation.

So, of course I go with Gerald9 Cambrens9 on this one, and with his Master Robert of the Priory of St Frideswide at Oxford.

Also, considering that Vossius purportedly possessed a copy of the Antiquities without the TF, it is quite possible that there were "many Hebrew copies" likewise devoid of the passage.

Once the copies where TF was detected and scratched out had been recopied without the erased passage, there was no problem in multiplying copies and in destroying such as had the TF and were not needed. Vossius was a Renaissance or Baroque scholar, a Humanist, several centuries after Gerald of Wales and even more removed from Robert of the Oxford Priory.

One more question: which language did Josephus originally write in? If Hebrew, why would there by any trace of anything like TF in Hebrew manuscripts, unless it was originally there? And if not Hebrew, that takes away the worth of the many Hebrew manuscripts without the TF.

This was my first gain when looking up Acharya. But there is more.

Here is a list of her authorities - apart from the already cited scholar Yehoshua, who is Jewish and might dislike his Divine Namesake so much as to hope He was not history. I add remarks about what traditions they are from.

Sabine Baring-Gould
Sabine Baring-Gould (28 January 1834 – 2 January 1924) was an English Anglican priest, hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist and eclectic scholar. ... He is remembered particularly as a writer of hymns, the best-known being "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day Is Over". He also translated the carol "Gabriel's Message" from the Basque language to the English. His forename is pronounced 'Say-Bin'.
Charles Warburton
Charles Mongan Warburton (born Terrence Charles Mongan;[N 1] 1754–1826) was a 19th-century Anglican bishop who served two Irish Dioceses.

Mongan was originally a Roman Catholic who recanted and joined the Anglican community. His brother was a Catholic priest.Terence Mongan was Chaplain of the 62nd Regiment of Foot, before which point he was using the name Charles Mongan.
Frederic Farrar
Frederic William Farrar (Mumbai [sic! = Bombay], 7 August 1831 – Canterbury, 22 March 1903) was a cleric of the Church of England (Anglican), schoolteacher and author.
John Remsburg
John Eleazer Remsburg (January 7, 1848 – 1919) was an ardent religious skeptic in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His name is sometimes spelled Remsberg.

Remsburg was born in Fremont, Ohio, a son of George J. and Sarah A. (Willey) Remsburg. He enlisted in the Union army at the age of sixteen during the American Civil War.[citation needed] On October 9, 1870, he married Miss Nora M. Eiler of Atchison, Kansas. He was a teacher for 15 years, a superintendent of public instruction in Atchison County, Kansas for four years, then a writer and lecturer in support of free thought, his lectures being translated into German, French, Bohemian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Bengali and Singalese.[citation needed] He was also a life member of the American Secular Union, of which he was president from 1897–1900, and a member of the Kansas State Horticultural Society. [citation needed]


Role in Christ Myth debate

In recent years a list of forty-two names from the "Silence of Contemporary Writers" chapter of The Christ (sometimes called the Remsberg List) has appeared in several books regarding the nonhistoricity hypothesis by authors such as James Patrick Holding,[2] Hilton Hotema,[3] Jawara D. King,[4] Madalyn Murray O'Hair,[5] D. M. Murdock and Robert M. Price,[6] Asher Norman,[7] Frank Zindler,[8] Tim C. Leedom et al,[9] as well as appearing in some 200 blog posts[citation needed] regarding the nonhistoricity hypothesis. This Remsburg List was improved upon in 2012 with the book No Meek Messiah, augmenting the number of "Silent Writers" to 126.

[In other words, he originated the stupid argument I have been previously refuting. Which I did with quotes from the good old wikipedia he had no access to.]
Nathaniel Lardner ?
Nathaniel Lardner (6 June 1684 – 24 July 1768) was an English theologian.


Lardner made a case against subordinationism of Samuel Clarke in which the eternal Logos unites with a human body in the man Jesus, opposed to the Trinitarian view. Lardner went further to argue that the New Testament does not teach that Jesus or any element within him pre-existed Mary's pregnancy. According to Lardner the Logos of John 1, was to be understood as a divine attribute, which metaphorically “became flesh” in the man Jesus, and other traditional pre-existence proof texts are interpreted in ways consistent with Christ's not existing before his conception. Lardner analyzes the use of “spirit” in the Bible and concludes that it refers to God, or to various of God's properties, actions, or gifts.[1][2] This view was essentially Socinian.

[In other words an Apostate even from Protestantism.]
Dionysius Lardner ?
[Without citing article, just after looking on it: no. "Dr. Lardner" is pretty certainly Nathaniel, the heretic.]
Karl Theodor Keim
Karl Theodor Keim (December 17, 1825 – November 17, 1878) was a German Protestant theologian.

[Need I look at more? Liberal Protestant of Evangelische Kirche, just as the Nazi clergy of Deutsche Christen a bit later? Not unlike Adolph von Harnack, I presume? I am too disgusted to read the rest of the article!]
Rev. Dr. Hooykaas - see Leidsche Vertaling
De Leidse Vertaling (waarnaar soms nog verwezen wordt in de oude spelling Leidsche Vertaling) is een Bijbelvertaling uit het begin van de 20e eeuw, die grotendeels door professoren van de Leidse Universiteit tot stand is gebracht. Men volgde het formeel-equivalente vertaalprincipe ... De vertalers, Abraham Kuenen, I. Hooykaas, W. H. Kosters en H. Oort, behoorden allen tot de vrijzinnige richting, en beoogden een begrijpelijke vertaling die beantwoordde aan de eisen van de kritische bijbelwetenschap.

[In other words, a Liberal Protestant at the University of Leiden, also infamous for hosting Einstein: "Albert Einstein was known as a professor at Leiden University. Einstein regularly taught Leiden students for a few weeks per year. His first lecture at Leiden was about "Ether and Relativity Theory"."]
Alexander Campbell (clergyman) ?
Alexander Campbell (12 September 1788 – 4 March 1866) was a Scots-Irish immigrant who became an ordained minister in the United States and joined his father Thomas Campbell as a leader of a reform effort that is historically known as the Restoration Movement, and by some as the "Stone-Campbell Movement." It resulted in the development of non-denominational Christian churches, which stressed reliance on Scripture and few essentials.[1]:111 Campbell was influenced by similar efforts in Scotland, before emigrating to the United States.

[I this the right Alexander Campbell?]
Thomas Chalmers
Thomas Chalmers FRSE (17 March 1780 – 31 May 1847), was a Scottish minister, professor of theology, political economist, and a leader of the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church of Scotland. He has been called "Scotland's greatest nineteenth-century churchman".[1]

He served as Vice-president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1835-42.



In his St Andrews lectures Chalmers excluded mental philosophy and included the whole sphere of moral obligation, dealing with man's duty to God and to his fellow-men in the light of Christian teaching. Many of his lectures were printed in the first and second volumes of his published works.[2]

In the field of ethics he made contributions in regard to the place and functions of volition and attention, the separate and underived character of the moral sentiments, and the distinction between the virtues of perfect and imperfect obligation.[2] Religion

At his own request the article on Christianity was assigned to him in David Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. The separate publication of this article, and contributions to the Edinburgh Christian Instructor and The Eclectic Review, enhanced his reputation as an author.[2]

Chalmers's writings are a source for argument and illustration on the question of Establishment. "I have no veneration", he said to the royal commissioners in St Andrews, before either the voluntary or the non-intrusive controversies had arisen, "for the Church of Scotland qua an establishment, but I have the utmost veneration for it qua an instrument of Christian good."[2]


Gap creationism

Chalmers popularized the concept of gap creationism,[21][21] also known as the "gap theory". This is a form of old Earth creationism that posits that the six-day creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved literal 24-hour days, but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis, explaining many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth.[22][23][24] It differs from day-age creationism, which posits that the 'days' of creation were much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years), and from young Earth creationism, which although it agrees concerning the six literal 24-hour days of creation, does not posit any gap of time.

The "New College", as the Divinity School became known, was a centre of opposition to the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844). Chalmers himself did not mention the work, but indirectly attacked its view of development in writing for the North British Review.[25]
Templeton, citing Acharya now
In the modern apologist work The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel relates a passage from a novel published in 1979 by Charles Templeton, in which the author states, regarding Jesus, "There isn't a single word about him in secular history. Not a word. No mention of him by the Romans. Not so much as a reference by Josephus." (Strobel, 101) Strobel then reports the response by Christian professor Edwin Yamauchi, who claimed that Templeton was mistaken and that there was a reference to Jesus by Josephus. Yamauchi's fatuous response ignores, purposefully or otherwise, the previous ironclad arguments about which Templeton was apparently educated, such that he made such a statement. In other words, Templeton was evidently aware of the purported reference in Josephus but had understood by the arguments of the more erudite, earlier Christian authorities that it was a forgery; hence, there is "not so much as a reference by Josephus." In this facile manner of merely ignoring or dismissing the earlier scholarship, modern believers cling to the long-dismissed TF in order to convince themselves of the unbelievable.

He was not a little facile in dismissing the TF due to this "scholarship"? Anyway, Charles Templeton seems to have died as an Apostate.

 JewsAnglicansEvangelischPresb. /Calv. /Other Prot
Sabine Baring-GouldNoYesNoNo
Charles Mongan WarburtonNoYesNoNo
Frederic William FarrarNoYesNoNo
John Eleazer Remsburg NoNoNoNo
Nathaniel LardnerNoNoNoYes > No
Karl Theodor KeimNoNoYesNo
Rev. Dr. HooykaasNoNoNoYes
Alexander CampbellNoNoNoYes
Thomas ChalmersNoNoNoYes
Templeton, CharlesNoNoNoYes > No

 LiberalApostateOld Age
Yehoshua Don’t knowNo more than other JewsDon’t know
Sabine Baring-Gould Not very ?NoProbably Yes
Charles Mongan WarburtonDon’t knowYesNo
Frederic William FarrarYesNoYes
John Eleazer RemsburgNoYes? Yes!
Nathaniel LardnerYesYesNo
Karl Theodor KeimYesNoYes
Rev. Dr. HooykaasYesNoYes
Alexander CampbellNoNoDon't know
Thomas ChalmersNoNoYes
Templeton, CharlesYesYesYes

 18 th C.19 th C. 20 th C.21 st C.
Sabine Baring-GouldNoYesYesNo
Charles Mongan WarburtonYesYesNoNo
Frederic William FarrarNoYesYesNo
John Eleazer RemsburgNoYesYesNo
Nathaniel LardnerYesNoNoNo
Karl Theodor KeimNoYesYesNo
Rev. Dr. HooykaasNoYesYesNo
Alexander CampbellYesYesNoNo
Thomas ChalmersYesYesNoNo
Templeton, CharlesNoNoYesYes

I may have missed one on Acharya's name dropping list, but I saw no Catholic or Orthodox. I saw exactly one Pagan - the Japanese who did not agree with her. The list is limited to the field of Judeo-Protestantism with its offshot Atheism.

On this note it has been said that Protestantism is limited to Western Culture. Yes. So is Western Atheism. It is not just geographically another location for Atheism different from Confucian and Buddhist Atheisms, it is also different, closer to Mencian Confucianism (which was available to the Enlightenment in translation) but the latter traditionally has no ties with either prolonged antichristian polemics (though involved in persecutions of Christians) and no ties with either anarchist or other revolutionary ideologies.

It is also limited to 18:th C. to the present. Gerald of Wales and Master Robert of the Priory of St Frideswide at Oxford very clearly support TF, and if Vossius admitted to having a copy without it, he is not cited as having used this as an argument to attack TF.

Among Protestants, only Alexander Campbell surprised me totally, since he was founder of one of the Revivalist sects. No liberal. No Apostate from either Catholicism to any Protestantism or from his Protestantism to any kind of non-Christian belief.

These are unfortunately the kind of narrow company which Acharya considers broadminded and intelligent.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Day after Ascension
30 / V / 2014

vendredi 2 mai 2014

Avoiding Apostasy is Not Endorsing It

First, what do I refer to as "apostasy"? There are many apostasies, and a Christian however duty bound to avoid all of them might fail in his duty and avoid one at the expense of falling into another. So, which apostasy are we talking about?

Gary Bates, this one is for you. The apostasy I suppose you might accuse me of endorsing but which I am really very much avoiding, is one which you have been warning against. Like here:

CMI : Scientific proof we were created by aliens?
The exo-creator idea continues to gain momentum
by Gary Bates
Published: 1 May 2014 (GMT+10)

Or here:

CMI : Did God create life on other planets?
Otherwise why is the universe so big?
by Gary Bates

In a certain modern "cosmos" (or rather concept of it, since the Cosmos itself, as created by God, hardly is "modern"), every star is a sun and every sun is a star, including ours. Some of them are in this idea also endowed with planets. Every planet or at least everyone close to conditions on earth has the capacity to evolve life and every life has the capacity to evolve into sentient and intelligent beings. Another planet somewhere else - in Vega or Orion or whatever - beat us in that race and evolved far enough technologically to get spaceships launched to earth in time for our human genome to be at least partially manipulated or even totally constructed from scratch by that team. This is a very big lie. And coming to it from Christianity is apostasy.

Now, angelic movers to or in every star and planet is something other than biological life on every planet.

Stating someone is either living as the sun or carrying the sun as a lantern and doing so either way under the orders of his Creator is very much not believing in E.T.s. Same with moon, or α Centauri as with the Sun.

In the cosmos I believe to be a correct account of the real one, God created angels in the beginning and on day four gave some but not all of them heavenly bodies to carry. Sun, moon and stars - the latter subdivided into fix stars, comets and planets under the sphere of the fixed stars. What is considered as parallax is really a dance move taken by the angel carrying for instance α Centauri. This is why my idea of cosmos need not at all be as big as the idea of Chris Impey.* I can consider Aristotle with his "cosy" one million miles across the universe as not far from the mark.

That in its turn means I cannot at the same time consider even a real exoplanet meaning a nonluminous but reflective body circling one of the fixed stars as far enough to be big enough to be a real parallel to earth. If I am right the largest exo-planet would very easily be as small as the planet of The Little Prince - a ludicrous environment for evolution to take place in.

This ties in with Romans 8.**

πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις (pasa hē ktisis, ‘the whole creation’) does refer to the whole creation in Romans 8, and Paul cites this as a matter of common, accepted knowledge among his Christian audience. It includes all of non-sentient, moral decision-capable creation—i.e. excluding humans and angels, because Paul goes on in the next verse to talk about the believers’ state, and angels are excluded by οὐχ ἑκοῦσα (ouk hekousa, not willingly) in verse 20—Schreiner (Baker Exegetical Commentary, 1998), is of the view that this excludes any being with a will. So basically what κτίσις denotes in the passage is all of non-human physical creation.

First off, I suppose you mean "moral decision-INcapable creation".

If I am right, the heavenly bodies are perhaps not under the fall, since so closely identified with angelic movers as not to be meant by all creation excluding angels and men. Here is Haydock on Romans 8:19 ...***

Ver. 19. The expectation[2] of the creature. He speaks of the corporal creation, made for the use and service of man; and, by occasion of his sin made subject to vanity, that is, to a perpetual instability, tending to corruption and other defects; so that by a figure of speech, it is here said to groan and be in labour, and to long for its deliverance, which is then to come, when sin shall reign no more; and God shall raise the bodies, and united them to their souls, never more to separate, and to be in everlasting happiness in heaven. (Challoner) --- Waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. That is, for the time after this life, when it shall be made manifest that they are the sons of God, and heirs of the kingdom of his glory. Several interpreters understand all creatures whatsoever, even irrational and inanimate creatures of this world, which are represented as if they had a knowledge and sense of a more happy condition, of a new unchangeable state of perfection, which they are to receive at the end of the world. See 2 Peter i. 13; Apocalypse xxi. 1. Now every insensible creature is figuratively brought in groaning like a woman in labour, waiting, and wishing for that new and happy state; but in the mean time unwillingly made subject to vanity, i.e. to these changeable imperfections of generations and corruptions, which then they shall be delivered from. (Witham) --- The creature, &c. The creatures expect with impatience, and hope with confidence, to see a happy change in their condition; they flatter themselves that they will be delivered from the captivity of sin, to which man has reduced them, and enter into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God. Not that the inanimate creation will really participate the happiness and glory of the elect; although in some sense they may be said to have part in it, since they will enter into a pure, incorruptible and perfect state to the end of ages. They will no longer be subject to those changes and vicissitudes which sin has brought upon them; nor will sinful man any longer abuse their beauty and goodness in offending the Creator of all. St. Ambrose and St. Jerome teach that the sun, moon, and stars will be then much more brilliant and beautiful than at present, no longer subject to those changes they at present suffer. Philo and Tertullian teach that the beasts of prey will then lay aside their ferocity, and venomous serpents their poisonous qualities. (Calmet) --- Other, by the creature or creatures, understand men only, and Christians, who groan under miseries and temptations in this mortal life, amidst the vanities of this world, under the slavery of corruption; who having already (ver. 23.) received the first-fruits of the Spirit,[3] the grace of God in baptism, have been made the children of God, and now, with expectation and great earnestness, wait and long for a more perfect adoption of the sons of God: for the redemption of their bodies, when the bodies, as well as the souls of the elect, shall rise to an immortal life, and complete happiness in heaven. (Witham)

In 1859 Haydock quoted Challoner (18th C. English Catholic bishop) and Witham (17th C. dito, never set foot in England after being consecrated bishop but rather ordained Catholic priests for Martyrdom and England in Douai or Reims) as saying this applies to "corporal creation, made for the use and service of man" or according to following: "Several interpreters understand all creatures whatsoever, even irrational and inanimate creatures of this world, which are represented as if they had a knowledge and sense of a more happy condition, of a new unchangeable state of perfection, which they are to receive at the end of the world." But St Jerome actually goes on to include creatures at least he considered angelic:

St. Ambrose and St. Jerome teach that the sun, moon, and stars will be then much more brilliant and beautiful than at present, no longer subject to those changes they at present suffer.

That St Jerome of Stridon, famous as Bible translator, considered the stars as having for a kind of soul a kind of angels is clear from St Thomas Aquinas, Prima Pars, Q 70, A 3. Now, St Jerome may have considered that Sun, Moon and Stars shall shine brighter in the New Heaven and New Earth, but he may not have considered they should go through the final conflagration first, at least St Thomas did not when writing things later incorporated into the Supplement of his Summa:°

Article 4. Whether that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens?

Objection 1. It would seem that that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens. For it is written (Psalm 101:26-27): "The heavens are the works of Thy hands: they shall perish but Thou remainest." Now the higher heavens also are the work of God's hands. Therefore they also shall perish in the final burning of the world.

Objection 2. Further, it is written (2 Peter 3:12): "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat of fire." Now the heavens that are distinct from the elements are the higher heavens, wherein the stars are fixed. Therefore it would seem that they also will be cleansed by that fire.

Objection 3. Further, the purpose of that fire will be to remove from bodies their indisposition to the perfection of glory. Now in the higher heaven we find this indisposition both as regards guilt, since the devil sinned there, and as regards natural deficiency, since a gloss on Romans 8:22, "We know that every creature groaneth and is in labor even until now," says: "All the elements fulfill their duty with labor: even as it is not without labor that the sun and moon travel their appointed course." Therefore the higher heavens also will be cleansed by that fire.

On the contrary, "The heavenly bodies are not receptive of impressions from without" [Cf. Sent. Philosop. ex Arist. collect. lit. c.--Among the works of Bede].

Further, a gloss on 2 Thessalonians 1:8, "In a flame of fire giving vengeance," says: "There will be in the world a fire that shall precede Him, and shall rise in the air to the same height as did the waters of the deluge." But the waters of the deluge did not rise to the height of the higher heavens but only 15 cubits higher than the mountain summits (Genesis 7:20). Therefore the higher heavens will not be cleansed by that fire.

I answer that, The cleansing of the world will be for the purpose of removing from bodies the disposition contrary to the perfection of glory, and this perfection is the final consummation of the universe: and this disposition is to be found in all bodies, but differently in different bodies. For in some this indisposition regards something inherent to their substance: as in these lower bodies which by being mixed together fall away from their own purity. In others this indisposition does not regard something inherent to their substance; as in the heavenly bodies, wherein nothing is to be found contrary to the final perfection of the universe, except movement which is the way to perfection, and this not any kind of movement, but only local movement, which changes nothing intrinsic to a thing, such as its substance, quantity, or quality, but only its place which is extrinsic to it. Consequently there is no need to take anything away from the substance of the higher heavens, but only to set its movement at rest. Now local movement is brought to rest not by the action of a counter agent, but by the mover ceasing to move; and therefore the heavenly bodies will not be cleansed, neither by fire nor by the action of any creature, but in lieu of being cleansed they will be set at rest by God's will alone.

Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 18,24): "Those words of the psalm refer to the aerial heavens which will be cleansed by the fire of the final conflagration." Or we may reply that if they refer also to the higher heavens, these are said to perish as regards their movement whereby now they are moved without cessation.

Reply to Objection 2. Peter explains himself to which heavens he refers. For before the words quoted, he had said (2 Peter 3:5-7): "The heavens . . . first, and the earth . . . through water . . . perished . . . which . . . now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire unto the day of judgment." The entire text differs somewhat from St. Thomas's quotation; but the sense is the same. Therefore the heavens to be cleansed are those which before were cleansed by the waters of the deluge, namely the aerial heavens.

Reply to Objection 3. This labor and service of the creature, that Ambrose ascribes to the heavenly bodies, is nothing else than the successive movements whereby they are subject to time, and the lack of that final consummation which they will attain in the end. Nor did the empyrean heaven contract any stain from the sin of the demons, because they were expelled from that heaven as soon as they sinned.

Obviously, part of the consideration about stars being brighter is that now they are circling is full circle in less than 24 h., which, together with sun whose full circle defines the night-and-day and its 24 subdivisions, is how time is measured, but afterwards, time will cease insofar as this movement ceases.

This scenario is valid if you accept the Geocentric premisses and that one can do if one accepts that "apparent parallax" (or rather real movement appearing as itself, but interpreted as parallax by Heliocentrics) is caused by angelic movers. This also makes the Distant Starlight problem a non-problem.

Baker on the other hand in 1998 started out saying that stars are inanimate and mindless and therefore concluded they too must in the full sense (needing cleansing by fire) are subject to the curse of Adam.

Is someone living in α Centauri as a soul lives in a body, or holding it as a man or angel (including sometimes fallen angels acting as Poltergeists on a very much lower level) holds a lantern, it is obviously not Han Solo and so obviously does not contradict that all men descend from Adam. It is only when we say that a planet held by α Centauri as Earth is supposedly held by the Sun in its turn holds intelligent beings as Earth holds men, it is only then that we encounter any conflict with the Gospel. One which may indeed have been active in making the late John Templeton apostatise, since Chris Impey is writing on a collective blog called Big Questions which in its turn depends on the Templeton Foundation. And as explained, I do not believe that more than St Thomas Aquinas did. Or Pope St Zachary. He has been accused of having condemned the roundness of earth, when in reality he was condemning E.T.s and therefore also "E.T. phone Rome?" - a paradigm which has become popular with supposed successors of Pope St Zachary:°°

From a letter of Pope St. Zachary (1 May, 748), addressed to St. Boniface, we learn that the great Apostle of Germany had invoked the papal censure upon a certain missionary among the Bavarians named Vergilius, generally supposed to be identical with the renowned Ferghil, an Irishman, and later Archbishop of Salzburg. Among other alleged misdeeds and errors was numbered that of holding "that beneath the earth there was another world and other men, another sun and moon". In reply, the Pope directs St. Boniface to convoke a council and, "if it be made clear" that Vergilius adheres to this "perverse teaching, contrary to the Lord and to his own soul", to "expel him from the Church, deprived of his priestly dignity". This is the only information that we possess regarding an incident which is made to figure largely in the imaginary warfare between theology and science. That Vergilius was ever really tried, condemned, or forced to retract, is an assumption without any foundation in history. On the contrary, if he was in fact the future Archbishop of Salzburg, it is more natural to conclude that he succeeded in convincing his censors that by "other men" he did not understand a race of human beings not descended from Adam and redeemed by the Lord; for it is patent that this was the feature of his teaching which appeared to the Pope to be "perverse" and "contrary to the Lord".

So Ferghil was presumably aware the Earth was round (who said Irish literacy was subpar in pre-Strongbow Erin?), the Pope who came from Byzantium was not but did not condemn it as such (who said Byzantium was superior to the West?), and the crime for which Ferghil was suspected was "E.T. phone Rome" theories. No, E.T., don't bother to phone the Rome of Pope St Zachary! But then again, he had no phones there, the first phones in the Vatican came with Pope Pius XI. However, if grey ones or such had shown their ugly faces in his Rome, they would have been scared back down to Hell with holy water and exorcisms. Not quite what we see in the Rome of these days, is it? How did Rome get there? By agreeing - Pacem in Terris, Roncalli pseudopope, 1963, § 6 which is somehow appropriate - with Baker (1998, how about dividing that number by three, btw!) that stars and such are governed by mindless laws. By diminishing the guardian angels of the stars to highly evolved beings on planets around them - because denying there are, in the first place, such a thing as guardian angels of the stars.

But Pope St Zachary who warned against this even wrote his letter same date as Gary Bates his latest article on CMI.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Athanasius of Alexandria

* Whom I found here:

E.T. phone Rome?
American Morning|Added on November 13, 2009
Summit attendee Chris Impey explains why the Vatican held a five-day summit on the possibility of alien life.

** Cited by Gary Bates and Lita Cosner here:

CMI : Is the whole creation fallen?
Published: 8 March 2011(GMT+10)

*** Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
ROMANS - Chapter 8

° Newadvent, Summa, Supplement to III Part
Question 74. The fire of the final conflagration
Article 4. Whether that fire will cleanse also the higher heavens?

°° Newadvent, Catholic Encyclopedia
A : Antipodes

Pope St Zachary's letter is thus 1226 years before Gary Bates' article. Did Bergoglio complain about some being "more Papist than the Pope"? Well, if even a non-Catholic like Gary Bates can be more Papist than he (as I presume he endorses the "E.T. phone Rome" thing, he may want to correct this impression if I am wrong), being more Papist than he is not very difficult or challenging. If one is not more Papist than he, one is not getting into Heaven, I should think.