Tektonics Ministry "J.P. Holding"/Robert Turkel


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HOLDING (TO TWEB POSTER "STINKY"): "Now why don't you explain to us how your thesis is falsifiable and therefore actually worth consideration?"



EBON MUSINGS: "What I mean by this specifically is: Mr. Holding, what would it take for you to admit that the Bible contained errors? What would it have to say to be discrepant? Can you give an example of a contradiction that you would accept as impossible to harmonize, and that you would agree casts doubt on the Bible's overall reliability and trustworthiness? All your erudition appears to have provided you with no end of creative ways to explain contradictions away. Is there any even hypothetical contradiction that could not be resolved by any of these techniques?"

"In my experience, asking this question is the way to tell the difference between an open and a closed mind. Closed-minded theists, such as I believe Mr. Holding is, may present very persuasive-sounding arguments elsewhere, and they may appear compelling and in command of the facts, but present them with a question like this and they will not - cannot - answer it. They will bob and weave, they will evade and segue into irrelevancies, they will give long lists of reasons why the question is unimportant, they will attack the questioner for asking it, but they will not answer it. So far, Mr. Holding's behavior fits this pattern to a T."

"The first time I asked him what would convince him he was wrong, he replied only with the non-answer, 'More than you've provided.' When I pointed this out, he composed an amusing second reply in which he claimed his answer was far more than that - but still refused to say what his answer actually was. Well, such evasive maneuvers will not help him. What's so hard about answering this question, Mr. Holding? What would you accept as a contradiction? We all await your next reply with bated breath."


Holding did not offer any substantial reply to this question, so presumably his "thesis" that the Bible is inerrant is not falsifiable and therefore not worth consideration.


HOLDING: "It will become clear, however, why I have chosen my title as I have. Avalos is, like Price and Ehrman, of the worst sort of 'fundy atheist' -- an atheist who has not abandoned the black and white mentality of the fundamentalist, and so continually errs in his assessments of evidence and arguments, or else feels that it is perfectly fine to manipulate the truth in service of what he thinks the greater good. I have also chosen the title and front-page illustration for a reason, in this vein. Avalos was once a child evangelist, and he remains one to this day: An evangelist, for atheism, with the same fervor and willingness to manipulate emotions and/or truth; and a child, in that his fundamentalist mindset, still retained, has prevented him from truly growing up, being honest, and thinking critically."

growing up

being honest

thinking critically



I love Holding's lack of logic.


'No one has ever found an original copy of "Q" (though it may have existed, and its existence is not antithetical to even a conservative view of the NT) or of any of its "layers" which are supposed to have existed as well, according to some of our most recent theorists.

and Holding quotes Miller 'Remember, we have NO ARCHEOLOGICAL or TEXTUAL DATA WHATSOEVER that supports the BELIEF of 'layers'. When the NT manuscripts appear in the digs, they are FULLY FORMED as they are today (read: "NO TRANSITIONAL FORMS"!). This MUST be understood.'

and Holding writes about supposed documents before our Gospels in their current forms '... our evidence is too vague to support any definite conclusions:'

But does Holding listen to himself?


'The evidence points to an original document of some sort in Aramaic, and to a later work (perhaps a translation, but more likely a work "from scratch" by a man competent in both Aramaic and Greek) which equates with our present Gospel of Matthew which may or may not have been influenced by Mark. '

All of a sudden , we have evidence of other documents before Matthew!

Holding continues 'The "shared material" in Matthew and Luke (assuming here, for the sake of argument only, the veracity of the two-source hypothesis) seems to point towards a sort of notebook put together by Matthew which was distributed among the apostles. '

Where is this notebook, Holding? Have you ever seen a copy?

How come the evidence is too vague in one of your articles and then you pile speculation upon speculation in another article about notebooks, translations, reworked documents, two 'editions' of Matthew (one in Aramaic, when there is not ONE Aramaic Christian document from the first century - everything is in Greek), etc etc.

Holding writes in one article 'The truth is that Matthew could in no way have had a copy of Mark "at his elbow" to copy it.'

and in the other 'In this situation, he argues, a well-known Greek text like Mark would be in a position to exercise literary influence on Matthew.'

So JP (IIM) Holding ridicules dependence when it suits him to say that and argues for it when it suits him to say that, and is undecided 'may or may not have been influenced by Mark), when it suits him to say that .

But such is Christian apologetics......

But where are the Aramaic documents from the first-century, Holding? Where are these notebooks?


TURKEL: Whether they only appeared to believing Jews (cf. Acts 10.40-41) or anyone. How can we talk of witnesses if we do not know who they are or how many there were?

TILL: I love it when Turkel shoots himself in the foot.

1. In a reply to Robert Price, Turkel in his inimically sarcastic way defended the legitimacy of the apostle Paul's claim that Jesus was seen after his resurrection by "500 brethren" (1 Cor. 15:6). These "500 brethren," however, were never identified by Paul, so I will just dump the first part of Turkel's question back into his lap: How can we talk of witnesses if we do not know who they are? Does Turkel think that if the number of witnesses is known that would somehow compensate for not knowing who they were?

2. In another reply to Price, Turkel again defended the appropriateness of Paul's reference to the "500 brethren," so I will repeat Turkel's question for his benefit: How can we talk of witnesses if we do not know who they are?

We see in these examples something that I have often said about Turkel: inconsistency is about his only consistency. He plays both sides of the street, so when he needs to argue that the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus is supported by "witnesses" who saw him after he had risen, he will cite the 500 unknown brethren with no reservations about appealing to witnesses whose identities were unknown, but when faced with the problem of explaining why John didn't mention many resurrected saints who were seen by many, he will scream, "Hey, how can we talk of witnesses if we do not know who they are?" Yes, indeed, inconsistency is about the only consistency in Turkel's articles. The position that he takes in any given situation will depend on what direction the winds of controversy are blowing.


HOLDING: "...but because there is much yet to do, and because of the relative newness of this linguistic work (which we anticipate Till shall use [along with his usual machinations] as reason to discard it), we shall delve further into the matter and attack from the 2 Kings perspective."

TILL: "No, actually, what I'm going to do is ask everyone to take note again of how Turkel talks out of both sides of his mouth. He said at one point that the linguistic work on Hosea 1:4 and the meaning of 'paqad' was probably unknown to those who worked on translating the OT, because this linguistic work had been done only within the last 5-7 years; then he sarcastically referred to my view of Hosea 1:4 as a 'modern interpretation' that he rejects, and now at the end, he has come full circle and referred to 'the relative newness of this linguistic work' on which he bases his view of Hosea 1:4. So which way does he want it? Is my view the 'modern interpretation' that deserves our scorn, or is his view, which depends on linguistic work done within the last 5-7 years, the modern one? He can't have it both ways. If he thinks that the 'modernness' of my interpretation is reason to be suspicious of it, wouldn't this work both ways? I certainly know that this discrepancy between 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4 was recognized long before 5-7 years ago, so it is certainly not a view as 'modern' as his, which by his own admission depends upon linguistic work that is relatively new. I point this inconsistency out only to remind readers of the tail-chasing that we see when inerrantists undertake to "explain" biblical discrepancies. They're on this side of the street at one moment and on the other side at the next. They run in circles trying to show that the Bible doesn't really mean what it plainly says."


HOLDING: "Unlike these skeptics, I respect the knowledge of those more informed than I am (as in the hard sciences) and do not presume to know their stuff better than they do."


"That said, we are certain that skeptics have speculated a certain cognitive dissonance on my part where evolution is concerned. Not a bit of it. The reason I do not buy or sell the evolution story is that while I cannot comment upon the 'hard science' issues, when it comes to things I do know, it is all to [sic] clear that the strongest promoters of evolutionary theory could simply not reason their way out of a paper bag, even one with arrows painted inside in bright neon and a tour guide pointing to the exit."

COMMENTATOR: "Presently, it is important to recall what Mr. Holding said about those who are 'more informed than I am (as in the hard sciences) and' that he 'do[es] not presume to know their stuff better than they do.' Clearly, those 'strongest promoters of evolutionary theory' are those biologists who study it and have been offering scientifically defensible explanations for its mechanisms. Mr. Holding is clearly being hypocritical when he claims that he respects such personís knowledge as being on a higher plateau on the subject than his own when he turns around in his article and describes such people as being incapable of 'reason[ing] their way out of a paper bag, even one with arrows painted inside in bright neon and a tour guide pointing to the exit.' However, this is just part and parcel for the writing style of Mr. Holding. If he canít demolish his opponentís arguments, create ad hominems and hope no one notices his lack of argumentation."


HOLDING: That's nice, but Philo is simply reading into the text what is not there. So if I find a Jewish commentator of equal worth that says the opposite, is it a draw? If I find two, do I win? Remember that Philo is trying to promote Moses and Aaron here and would maximize their feat to the greatest extent possible.

TILL: ....Turkel wondered if he could tie or win by finding one or two Jewish commentators of "equal worth" who took the opposite opinion of Philo's. Well, first of all, let him find other Jewish commentators of equal worth to Philo who expressed an opposite view, and then we can talk about it. The primary thing in this statement, however, is Turkel's own recognition that what writers think doesn't settle anything. If this is true of Philo, then why wouldn't it be true of Provan, McComiskey, Jones, et al whom Turkel has quoted throughout his article? If I can find an equal number of writers who disagree with their position, does the discussion about the blood of Jezreel turn into a draw? If I can find more writers who disagree with Turkel's sources, do I win? I predict that Turkel will regret the day that he ever made this statement, because he has chopped off at the knees one of his primary methods of "argumentation," i.e., the citation of writers who agree with him. It is a very amateurish method of argumentation, but now Turkel doesn't even have that.


DOUBTING JOHN: "JP, Where did you learn how to draw? That image looks like a 6 yr old did it."

JP HOLDING: "I'll share your views with the Hollywood animator who said I could have made it in that business if I had wanted to. But really, it's your fault if you look like something a 6 year old would draw." 7/20/2005



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http://christianwebsite.com/...CWS Talk! > The Lobby > Open Forum > John 1:18

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