Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smashing Vern Miroth's arguments into itty bitty pieces

Yesterday, Vern Miroth made two claims on our You Tube that I utterly destroyed.

First, he claimed that the link between the celebration of Christmas and the Roman festival of Saturnalia is undeniable [sic]. I stipulated that if it was undeniable, he should have no problem proving it.

He then began to talk about the so-called fact that Christmas day was chosen to coincide with Saturnalia. This is nothing but conjecture on his part- there has never been any evidence produced to support this specious claim. As paranoid theories go, this one has a serious gaffe in it. Saturnalia was a 7 day Roman festival of debauchery that started on December 17th and continued to December 23rd. Christmas, on the other hand, is a season that extends from December 25th to January 6th. The date December 25th was chosen because we know that the Angel appeared to Zechariah on Yom Kippur 3 BC (September 25th). Elizabeth was then in her 6th month when the Angel appears to Mary (March 25th) and Jesus birth is 9 months later (December 25th). This was as good an estimate as you could get and the clear evidence shows it was a direct hit.

Juxtaposing Saturnalia against Christmas is quite a stretch. Vern tries to do this by stating that gifts are exchanged on the 23rd and implying that that is the definitive link.

Really? Gifts? That is your proof?

Then Vern dares me to deny the similarities between the two days. If you look long enough, you can find similarities between any two things. A green 1977 Ford pickup has something in common with a green 2012 Chevy Camaro but that hardly makes them connected.

Vern doesn't understand the foolishness of setting his own burden of proof to an unreachable standard. There is no demonstrable link between the practice of Saturnalia and the practice of Christmas, much less an undeniable one. Vern loses this debate by his own standard. Hoisted by his own petard, as it were.

In his second claim, he says that the celebration of Easter is undeniably connected to the worship of Ishtar. It is undeniably not the case. Ishtar was the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility. The truth is that Easter means from the East. It is derived from an Anglo-Saxon term Ēostre that came to be known as referring to the month of April and the Pascha or Paschal celebration.

The term was first adopted by English speaking Christians about the 10th century, centuries after the term Ēostre had referred to an anglo-saxon goddess of which little is known except that her name means "of the east". There is no connection between this goddess and Ishtar, nor is there any connection between the etymology of the word and the adoption of the term from the east as the English illiteration of the celebration of the Resurrection. A word adopted is codified by what it means, not what it may have meant centuries before.

Here is an example. The word Saturday is derived from the Roman it is.... Saturnalia.  This point really is undeniable. Yet, Vern insists that Saturday is the Sabbath of the Lord. Here, Vern is assigning a pagan-derived word to a God ordained commandment.

Vern is, again, hoisted by his own petard. Saturday, today, refers to the seventh day of the week.

Now the clincher. Vern starts his rambling diatribe off with the claim that everything he will say is a refutation of the arguments I have made, then proceeds to argue this;

He starts of by quoting from Deuteronomy 4.

“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.

 This is ironic enough because he adds the term Jehovah-Elohim (a term wholly absent from Scripture) in place of each instance of the word God. In his zeal to impress all of us (yawn), he uses a false transliteration of God's name that first appears in 1270 by Spanish Monk Raymundus Martini. It appears nowhere in Scripture or any commentary on Scripture before then. So, Vern is adding to scripture and is now, thrice, hoisted by his own petard.

Next, Vern leaps from Deuteronomy 4 to the entire canon of Scripture, asking when was the canon of scripture closed? The answer is that it was closed in 398 AD by the Catholic Church.

Vern is attempting to claim that the Catholic Church added 1 John 5:8b to the Word of God and that it is not scripture and this disproves my argument.

There are so many problems with that argument that I can hardly count them. First, the Catholic Church is the one and only authority on what is and is not Scripture. Vern has no credentials to speak on this matter whatsoever. If he did, he would produce them.

Now, to the matter at hand. 1 John 5:8b.

1 John 5:8 b is a disputed text that has come to be known as the Johannine gloss or Johannine Comma. Here is how it is rendered in the original protestant King James Version;

[in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth], the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

This proves that the King James was translated from the Catholic Bible and not from the original greek as liars like George Lujack and Vern Miroth attest. The part in red above is a disputed text and does not appear in early Greek manuscript earlier than the sixteenth century that we know of. However, it did appear in the first Bible ever made (the Vulgate 393), the first English Bible (The Douai) and the first Protestant English Bible (The KJV).

Most scholarship rejects it today and it is not in virtually any modern day translation, including the Douai.

All of this is very interesting stuff except for one thing. You see, I have never once used the Johannine Comma as a proof-text to support any argument. However, Vern is making a grave fallacious error here. To prove that the Catholic Church added to Scripture, Vern would have to prove that;
  1. The Johannine Comma is an addition.
  2. The Catholic church knew it was an addition in 393 AD
In other words, Vern is commiting the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam, arguing that something is false because it cannot be proved true. At this point, we don't know. 

This would be bad enough for Vern if not for the fact that he goes even further and claims that this refutes my defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. Let me get this straight. Vern is claiming that he has refuted my arguments in support of the Trinity by contradicting a claim I never made in the first place?

I stopped listening at that point. That was strike 3 for poor Vern. 

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