Paul, the New Socrates in Athens: Paul as Philosopher (Part III)

The noted philosopher of religion Marilyn McCord Adams makes the mystifying assertion that “the Paul of Acts does not pursue his mission to the Athenians, for the simple reason that he was not a philosopher.”[1]  Au contraire!  His departing Athens was by no means due to insufficient philosophical skills.   In Douglas Groothuis’s book On Jesus in the Wadsworth Philosopher Series, we see why Jesus could be called a remarkable philosopher; if this is true of Jesus, then it would be true of Paul as well.  Indeed, we have seen in my two previous blog posts on the apostle Paul that he had ample philosophical skills and the requisite suppleness of mind to show himself to be a “lover of wisdom.”

 In this piece I note, among other things, that Luke presents Paul’s Areopagus speech at Athens (Acts 17) as that of a gifted philosopher-theologian.  Luke views Paul as a Socrates-like philosophical figure.   

How so?  Paul’s activity and teaching bear a similarity to the early Greek philosopher Socrates as portrayed by his pupil Plato in The Apology, which depicts Socrates’ trial).[2]  We see three verbal similarities between Socrates and Paul:

Engaging in dialogues in the marketplace

Paul: “[E]very day with those who happened to be present,” Paul engaged in dialogues (dielegeto) in the marketplace/agora (en tē agora) (17:17). 

Socrates: “I go about the world, obedient to the god, and search and make enquiry into the wisdom of any one, whether citizen or stranger” (Apology 23).  The common place that Socrates engaged others was the marketplace: “If I defend myself in my accustomed manner, and you hear me using words which I have been in the habit of using in the agora… (Plato, Apology 17).

Proclaiming foreign deities:

Paul:  He was accused of proclaiming “foreign gods/divinities [xenōn daimoniōn]” because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection (17:18).

Socrates:  He was charged with being “a doer of evil, who corrupts the youth; and who does not believe in the gods of the city, but has other new divinities [hetera de daimonia kaina]” (Apology 24).

Presenting a new teaching:

Paul:  He was asked to give an account of this “new teaching which you are proclaiming [tis hē kainē autē hē hypo sou laloumenē didachē]” (17:19).

Socrates:  “Socrates is a doer of evil, who corrupts the youth; and who does not believe in the gods of the city, but has other new divinities” (hetera de daimonia kaina]” (Apology 24).

Luke is trying to strengthen Paul’s message by connecting him to Socrates.  As biblical scholar Walter Hansen observes, “Luke indicates the favourable reception which the [Areopagus] address should receive from his hearers in the Greek world by this association of Paul with Socrates.”[3]

Not only does Acts 17 show Paul’s philosophical prowess by connecting him with Socrates; Paul actually quotes pagan philosophers/thinkers to build bridges with his audience. 

v. 23: “I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’” Various writers like Pausanias and Diogenes Laertius [Laertes] mentioned altars to unknown gods.  Epimenides of Crete (6th cent. BC) was associated with the altars to the unknown God in Athens.

v. 28: “for in Him we live and move and exist.” This is also attributed to Epimenides the Cretan thinker.

 v. 29: as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ (This was from the Stoic poet of Soli, near Tarsus, c. 315-246 BC.)

As an aside, Paul quotes Epimenides again in Titus 1:12 (“Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons”) and Menander in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (“Bad company corrupts good morals”).

Some have compared Paul’s method of presentation to that of the Stoics—in approach rather than in exact theological content.  The Roman writer and rhetorician Cicero gave the standard outline of Stoic arguments in his work De natura deorum:  “first they prove that the gods exist; next they explain their nature; they show that the world is governed by them; and lastly, [that] they care for the fortunes of mankind.”[4]  

Being a good Jew, Paul was angered by the idols he saw in Athens.  However, he approached the Athenians graciously and calmly in an attempt to build bridges.  He took as his opening, the Altar to the Unknown God.  In the sixth century BC, Athens had been plagued by pestilence.  The despairing city leaders called to the “prophet” Epimenides of Crete (whom Paul cites in Titus 1:12) to come and help.  His solution was to drive a herd of black and white sheep away from the Areopagus and wherever they would lie down, they would be sacrificed to the god of that place.  As it turns out, the plague ceased, and, as Diogenes Laertes described it, memorial altars with no god’s name inscribed on them could be found as a result.[5]

 Paul was the consummate bridge-builder, who became all things to all people—to Jew and Gentile alike—so that he might win some.  Being the cosmopolitan man he was, he could build rapport with his hearers on many levels.  And despite their misguided worship and allegiances, he sought to connect the Athenians to their Maker, their Savior, and the Judge of all humanity. 

The Socrates-like Paul also used his intellectual brilliance—both his philosophical and theological-mindedness—for God’s glory.  He was prepared to present the risen Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  In his ministry, he wisely recognized that evangelism is a process, not necessarily an event.  Jesus affirmed that people often need to not only sit down and count the cost of discipleship; Paul likewise reasoned not only with Jews in the synagogues, but with Gentiles in the agora; he challenged his hearers to think through the logical conclusions of their own beliefs as well as the philosophical implications of the Christian faith.  Unlike many well-intentioned evangelists who “rest their case” by saying, “The Bible says…,” Paul wrapped key biblical themes into a language and context that his pagan audience could understand; Paul even quotes other “authorities” when they reflect biblical themes. 

This type of pre-evangelism illustrates the importance of establishing common ground with our hearers.  As thoughtful believers, we can appeal to common philosophical intuitions and ideals (e.g., human dignity and rights or moral ideals) as well as to empirical evidences such as the universe’s beginning in the Big Bang or the universe’s remarkable fine-tuning; we can point to the existence of beauty, objective moral values, reason, and consciousness—all of which are readily explained in a theistic context, not a non-theistic one.  In doing so, we can, by the Spirit, point people to the God “in whom we live and move and have our being”—the God “who is not far from each one of us.”

[1] Marilyn McCord Adams, “Philosophy and the Bible: The Areopagus Speech,” Faith and Philosophy 9 (1992): 146.

[2] G. Walter Hansen, “The Preaching and Defence of Paul,” in Witness to the Gospel: The Theology of Acts, eds. I.H. Marshall and David Peterson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 310.

[3] Ibid. This is contrary to what Marilyn McCord Adams asserts:  “the Paul of Acts does not pursue his mission to the Athenians, for the simple reason that he was not a philosopher.” Marilyn McCord Adams, “Philosophy and the Bible: The Areopagus Speech,” Faith and Philosophy 9 (1992): 146.

[4] Hansen, “Preaching and Defence,” 312; Bruce Winter writes: “It must be concluded in seeking to understand Paul’s approach to Stoic views held by his audience, that he may well have consciously used the traditional outline of the Stoics on De natura deorum.” Bruce W. Winter, “In Public and in Private: Early Christians and Religious Pluralism,” in One God, One Lord: Christianity in a World of Religious Pluralism (2nd ed.), eds. A.D. Clarke and B.W. Winter (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 136.

[5]  William Larkin, Acts (Downers Grove, IL: 1995), 255.  The story behind the Altar to an Unknown God is described by Diogenes Laertes’ Lives of the Philosophers 1.110.

40 Responses to “Paul, the New Socrates in Athens: Paul as Philosopher (Part III)”

  1. Dr. Copan:

    Just wanted to thank you for your thought-ful posts on Paul and his style of pre-evangelism. I agree that Paul’s approach is relevant today too, and mostly with people who are thinkers. And I believe that mere proclamation works for folks that are not given to much thinking. I agree that either approach works only when we trust the Spirit to work.

  2. Thanks, Paul, for this good reminder to look for common ground when engaging with nonbelievers. I think that sort of evangelism requires that we become good question askers, good listeners, and as Paul was in Athens—good observers. You live up to your name’s sake very well. I hope to see you in action on a university campus someday!

    And you never know, the common ground might just be birdwatching ;-)

  3. Susan:

    How do you do the smiley thing here? Thanks!

  4. Hi Leslie, I’m slow to pick up these things but it finally dawned on me that if I look at how people type things when the comments come into my email inbox I can figure out the tricks. I event wrote in boldface the other day :-D
    So, smiley face is the same as when you’re typing email, a colon followed by a parenthesis. : )……. :-) ;-) :-( I once accidentally made a smiley with sunglasses here but haven’t beed able to figure it out since!
    Lisa probably knows all the tricks.

  5. Thanks a ton, Susan! :)

  6. Don’t mention it. 8)

  7. Thanks for your comments. Glad you found these to be helpful observations about Paul in Athens. Steve, thank you for the links. You’ve certainly done a lot of work on this Acts 17 passage!

  8. It could be questioned just how much of the dialogue in Acts (if any) even happened, given the fact that we don’t even know that Luke’s claims to be the companion of Paul are true, and that there is good reason to think they were false.

    “Luke” apparently didn’t even get a chance to read Paul’s letters to double check his facts (I.e. Galations account of Paul’s vision) on major story points before writing Acts, so we probably shouldn’t be too inclined to accept his historical accuracy anyway.

  9. Thanks, Ken.

    Have you read the remarkable book by the classics scholar Colin Hemer, *The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History* (Eisenbrauns)? Once you read this meticulously researched book, you’ll see how Luke’s precision as an ancient historian is unsurpassed. He gets his facts right. I think you would not be so dismissive if you had read Hemer’s book.

    What’s more, we should be careful not to rush to judgment about alleged discrepancies between Paul in Galatians and Luke in Acts. To fully “harmonize” assumes that we have all the pieces of the puzzle the put together. Consider the book of Acts itself and how Paul’s conversion story within Acts recounted three times (Ac. 9, 22, and 26): Though captured by one author, Luke (who is quite a skilled writer and researcher), each narration stresses something different and contains different details (e.g., Paul’s blindness and mention of Ananias are omitted in Acts 26). Common themes remain throughout, though. For example, Acts 22 brings out Paul’s Jewish identity, and the account of Paul’s divine commission is delayed for dramatic effect. In Acts 26, Paul’s story is part of Paul’s defense, and it implies that “Paul’s commission is part of Israel’s commission.” So we have (a) one author (the careful historian Luke) narrating (b) the same event (c) in three different accounts (d) with varying details.

    In terms of the coherence of Acts with Galatians and vice versa, see *Rediscovering Paul* by Capes, Richards, and Reeves (IVP).

    Also, correct to “Galatians” (from “Galations”)!

    Best wishes!

  10. Paul,

    Luke was by no means a skilled ancient historian. It is nearly laughable that you should suggest that.

    The hallmark of great ancient historians was there citation and reference of unbiased outside sources. Luke fails miserably at that, and most ancient historians regard his writings as more of a religious tract than history.

  11. Wolf,

    Haven’t read Hemer either, eh?! :)

    Since when is interacting with eyewitnesses–and even traveling with the history-makers like Paul–considered bad or inferior history? Interestingly, there is remarkable overlap between Acts and Josephus on key events and persons (e.g., Herod’s death, the famine in Jerusalem during the days of Claudius, Ananias’s becoming high priest [AD 47], an “Egyptian” leading a revolt, etc.).

    Indeed, the (non-Christian) historian of ancient history, A.N. Sherwin-White argues: “Any attempt to reject [Acts’] basic historicity in matters of detail must now appear absurd” (*Roman Society and Roman Law*, 189).

    Happy Hemer-reading!

  12. Paul,

    You continue in the poor scholarly tradition of the Christian theologian… In the real academic world it doesn’t work to simply quote someone you agree with, while entirely avoiding the primary claim you are supposedly answering.

    Are you actually impressed by marker events being used in the text? That is to be expected, because those are NON-contraversial and add nothing to bolster Luke’s other, unrelated, unsupported claims. (It is uncanny how Christians think this actually helps their case).

    And what are these eye witness reports you speak of? Perhaps you are aware of textual references authored by these individuals in the early 1st century that the rest of us don’t know about? Some special version of Acts perhaps that the rest of us didn’t see in our university or personal studies?

    Surely you weren’t suggesting that just because Luke *claims* eye witness support, that this constitutes historical documentation.

  13. Paul,

    Is this a rebuttal!?

    Perhaps there was some confusion. Nobody is arguing with you about secular events mentioned in Luke’s works.

    But only a naïve individual would assume that mentioning some secular events makes a source trustworthy on matters as undocumented as resurrections, healings, fortune telling, and the like.

    As already stated, the hallmark of a great ancient historian is his use of outside references, providing actual, visible external documentation of his claims.

    Luke failed miserably on this account.

  14. Part I

    Ken and Wolf,

    I think you gentlemen would be more judicious and less cavalier and “contraversial [sic]” in your assertions if you actually *read* Hemer, which you clearly haven’t. Note that Hemer and Sherwin-White were trained classical historians, not theologians. The late German New Testament scholar Martin Hengel’s *Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity* (SCM, 1979) argues that Luke is as trustworthy as the best of the ancient historians.

    Another problem is that your standard is artificial and arbitrary. Why do you need to quote external sources when you’ve got the eyewitnesses with whom you’re consulting? No doubt, Luke was in a far better position than 21st century “university and personal study” assessments as to who and what counts for genuine eyewitnesses as he wrote Acts!

    As to Ken’s question about eyewitnesses, see the various “we” passages when Luke is traveling with Paul on his journeys; he himself is not only with the apostle Paul, but he would have had access to the Jerusalem apostles, immediately upon returning from one his trips with Paul (Acts 21:17-18).

    To be continued….

  15. Part II:

    And if, as Hemer shows, Luke in Acts is remarkably precise and accurate with regard to the fine details of these events, then, big deal about following the particular convention of quoting other authoritative sources! Furthermore, if one is also incorporating Jewish historiography (which scholars recognize that Luke is doing), then to insist on outside “authoritative” quotations becomes all the more tendentious. Why should Luke slavishly follow a certain protocol or try to fit in with a certain genre, especially when he may have theological purposes intertwined with historical ones *and* is mixing Jewish and Greek historiography? Luke is certainly aware of the Greek style of history-writing (scholars have noted parallels between Luke and Thucydides). Moreover, Lucian (*How To Write History*) insists that historians should get their facts straight, and, Hemer bears out that Luke does this quite nicely.

    Interestingly, a good friend of mine told me that he asked the Jesus Seminar scholar Marcus Borg if he had ever read Hemer’s book, and Borg replied that he hadn’t even heard of him. My friend described Hemer’s book to Borg, and Borg said that if Hemer is generally correct about Acts’ accuracy, then he would have to seriously revise his views.

    Okay, guys. Go read Hemer!

  16. Paul,

    You again succeed in playing the typical role of the Christian theologian.

    1. Quoting a source you agree with while failing to resolve the original problem does nothing, except to reveal the indefensibility of your position. (Perhaps that’s what you’re trying to achieve?)

    2. You said:
    “Another problem is that your standard is artificial and arbitrary.”

    Are you being facetious? I will grant you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you are, rather than accept the more apparent conclusion that you are blissfully unaware of how ancient history is validated. Requiring references to external, independent documentation is the *foundational* principal on which we measure the veracity of a historical source. Any class of extraordinary claims for which there is insufficient external documentation is interpreted as non-historical. This is true even for the works of the most famous ancient historians.

    This standard is especially emphasized when we suspect the author has a motivation to fabricate details for alternative purposes (such as religious apologists like Luke).


  17. Um…

    Paul, I think you again misunderstood your own historical quote. Sherwin-white meant nothing close to suggesting Luke’s miraculous or obscure claims were externally verified or trustworthy. Nor can you possibly extrapolate Luke’s secular event notes as evidence for his other claims. I’m not sure how you could even have accidentally misconstrued that.

    And does it make you feel smarter to correct the spelling errors of our brief replies? Learning how to properly cite relevant refernces might be more helpful to your cause…

  18. Cont…

    3. “Why do you need to quote external sources when you’ve got the eyewitnesses with whom you’re consulting?”

    Again, do you have something to show the rest of us what these eyewitnesses told Luke? Perhaps an Athenian describing just what Paul discussed? Or maybe a guard who was with Paul on the road to Damascus?

    If not, you have just completed an egregious case of circular reasoning.

    4. “Why should Luke slavishly follow a certain protocol or try to fit in with a certain genre…”

    He doesn’t have to. Not at all. But then the academic community has no reason to grant Luke any kind of merits for the historicity of his sundry claims.

    So what would you actually like to claim? That’s the question. If you’ve no need of historical verification then you simply neednt make a case for the historicity of the document.

    Especially not when you feel privileged to change the entire protocol of a field in which you evidently are not too experienced.

  19. Part I:

    Hi, guys. Not much time, but here goes….

    As to the spelling corrections, I guess when I saw the kinds of typos above, it didn’t inspire confidence that you had taken the relevant scholarship seriously….

    In any event, it’s becoming clear to me that perhaps the chief disagreement is not really about historical methodology so much as (a)theological and philosophical presuppositions at work. Your dismissal of the miraculous illustrates my point–which also appears to be behind the charge of my taking “the typical role of the Christian theologian.” Clearly, if a personal Creator exists, then miraculous events can indeed happen in history (I assume you would agree with this). As it turns out, the first miracle was the beginning of the universe, as prevailing Big Bang cosmology indicates (even secular astrophysicists like John Barrow and Joseph Silk and Steven Weinberg acknowledge that the picture of the universe looks like the traditional doctrine of creation out of nothing. Thus, if such an unpredictable event is possible (and its effects are empirically detectable in nature), why, in principle, can’t a miraculous event take place in the first century (most particularly, Jesus’ resurrection)? These are accompanied by facts accessible by secular and religious historians alike; the majority of scholars (as has been documented by Gary Habermas’s research of historians across the spectrum) affirm Jesus’ death under Pilate, the empty tomb, the apparent post-mortem appearances of Jesus to the disciples (whether hallucinations, projections, etc.), and the sudden emergence of the early church proclaiming belief in Jesus’ bodily resurrection. We are not discussing “supernatural facts” in doing history, but rather which interpretation of these publicly-available facts makes the best sense of what took place? This interpretation/explanation issue is determined by philosophical and metaphysical issues that go beyond historical facts.

  20. Part II:

    Also, if one can cross-checking sources, why insist on citing other sources? Cross-checking will do just fine (hence my point about the arbitrariness of insisting on *quoting* independent sources).

    Furthermore, no good historian will dismiss a potential historical source even if certain events cannot be independently corroborated. We know a lot of intertestamental and first-century history from Josephus, without whom we would be clueless about important persons and events. Yes, cross-check where you can (which can be done with the book of Acts, as I have argued). A general principle historians generally follow is that if an author can be trusted where verifiable, then we have reasonable grounds for trusting him where we cannot verify (and this should certainly not exclude the supernatural; doing so would not be on historical grounds themselves but because of philosophical bias).

    Again, I’m glad that there is an appreciation for the Hemer and Sherwin-White getting their “secular facts” right about Acts, but dismissing the supernatural in history is a metaphysical and philosophical judgment, not a historical one

  21. 1. “perhaps the chief disagreement is not really about historical methodology”

    It may be convenient to suggest such, but that is exactly what this is over.

    2. “illustrates my point–which also appears to be behind the charge of my taking “the typical role of the Christian theologian.””

    In even addressing my point you have made my point. A classical pattern of Christian theologians is poor/irrelevant “scholarship.” Your continued aversion to addressing your habitually false claims on the nature of historical analysis demonstrates this very well.

    You are not criticized for accepting miracles. It is a shame that you prefer to focus on straw man arguments.

    You SHOULD be criticized for choosing to accept improbable and unverified events without sufficient cause, though, regardless of whether they’re consistent with Christianity or physics or Hinduism or Islam or whatever else… (Especially based on such an irrelevant extrapolation from cosmological physics, in which you are even less qualified to make claims). …

    And then trying to pass it off as historically sound.

  22. Guys,

    There seems to be no point in furthering this conversation. Paul, in specific: it seems like, given the number of absurd claims and mistatements you’ve made about the nature of historical analysis, you would at least dignify your position with some relevance. But given the bait/switch, off topic response you have decided to give instead, you do very well earn the “theological” title.

    When you decide you can lower yourself to our level and actually provide relevant historical references to defend your position, please do let us know.

    As long as you actually feel justified in abandoning basic academic standards because of your religious persuasion, there’s no real point in dialogue.

  23. Thanks for the follow-up postings, guys.

    The kind of methodology I am following is rooted in historian C. Behan McCullagh’s *Justifying Historical Descriptions* (Cambridge University Press)–utilizing the standard historical procedure of inference to the best explanation. (See also his “Bias in historical description, interpretation and explanation”, History and Theory, 39 [2000], 39-66). I’ve edited three books on the historical Jesus, where this standard historical methodology is utilized and applied to the events surrounding the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.

    As to the cosmological claims, check out my coauthored book with William Craig on *Creation Out of Nothing* in which we discuss the various available cosmological models. Indeed, as agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow acknowledged, contemporary cosmology offers a remarkable confirmation of the biblical doctrine of creation out of nothing.

    At any rate, thanks for the discussion, guys.

  24. Paul,

    Citing McCullagh’s work as your basis is more of an admission to poor academic standards, bias, and historical overstatement than a defense to the contrary. But I appreciate your honesty in mentioning that.

    Without going into great detail, as this post is beginning to age, I will suggest that in the future it might be helpful to actually gain a more broad knowledge of a field before going with whichever author you happen to agree with. Also, when in discussion with high school students it may be impressive to cite a work being published by a university press house – beyond high school it doesn’t lend much credibility to your argument (nor is it necessary to cite in a blog comment, supposing you weren’t actually stretching for credulity).

    Oh, and I’m familiar with your work with Craig as well. You obviously aren’t familiar with its reputation in academic circles – especially the physicists who actually work on cosmological models.

  25. Susan,

    Lisa is too cool for tricks 8)

  26. Paul,

    I have to say. Your reputation for ignoring valid criticism, for being unaware/denying modern scholarship, and for repeating expired arguments is already bad enough – I certainly didn’t think it was this bad!

    I try and grant due respect to scholars, especially in the event that they are directly offered the opportunity to respond to brief, direct challenges… But you definitively refuse to actually respond to even the most basic challenges given by the readers of this blog.

    Then when asked how you bolster your claim, instead of actually defending your position (or even that of your favorite authors), you inform us of the work *you have authored.*

    In the spirit of good academic rigor I try to grant Christians the benefit of the doubt – supposing that somewhere there must be hiding a theologian who is actually proficient in modern research and content. Evidently I must keep looking.

  27. You guys are too much! I still haven’t gotten a straight answer on Hemer, which suggests you haven’t read him. (Perhaps you should read him, and then we could come back and converse as to whether he has done meticulous research or not. What do you say? You didn’t badmouth Sherwin-White either, whom I called in for support to make an important point that you have virtually ignored.

    I could cite Hurtado or Bauckham and Hengel and NT Wright and Craig Evans (I’ve edited books with the latter two), all of whom have an excellent reputation in the highest academic circles.

    Okay, enough. Just read Hemer and then we’ll discuss.

  28. To all of you who have been following this exchange, I wanted to include this addendum.

    In the interest of truth and clarity, Ken G = Wolf Veizer (?): What’s with the nearly identical IP addresses?

    (admin removed actual IP address from the post)

    Both IPs can be traced to Kansas; both utilize a Blackberry device; and they’re part of the same network. Hmmm….

    Is this a Samuel Langhorne Clemens = Mark Twain thing? In the case of Twain and Clemens, people knew they were one and the same. But what about you “two”? I’ve noticed a pattern of Ken G and Wolf Veizer making blog appearances not only at my Parchment and Pen post, but that of several others as well.

    The mystery question before us is this: Are Ken G and Wolf Veizer really different, or are they one and the same? Are they virtual doubles or actual doubles? Do I detect here disingenuousness in what I thought was an honest exchange?

  29. Paul,

    You know I always found it funny how those two tend to tag team off of each other. Guess you need one persona to be the expert philosopher and another to be the expert physicist and another to be the expert historian etc. etc. Actually come to think of it that’s a pretty clever tactic. I should use that sometime…….

  30. Ken G,

    The possiblity was raised here that you and Wolf might be the same person. I notice that in your last comment you deny being from Kansas, however you do not deny that you and Wolf are the same person. Since this has been brought up, would you please clarify this issue for all of us? Are you and Wolf the same person or are you not?

  31. It is amazing that if you read the posts of Ken and Wolf, the character, personality and writing style are the same. Notice the disdainful mocking. If you look back it is very prevalent throughout ‘their’ posts.
    >:-| + >:-| = >:-|
    (no angry faces available at P&P!)

  32. Oh, we definitely are one and the same ladies…

    We’re two in one.

    Call us the “twonity”… Its a very hard concept to grasp – kind of like the different aspects of water. Only those with special insight can actually understand the holy “twonity”. Many others have to just take their professor’s word for granted, thinking that somehow the “twonity” must either be one or two distinct beings…



    Smart bunch aren’t they!


  33. Wolf/Ken,

    Your tone is incredibly defensive. I don’t know if you feel backed into a corner, in over your head, or if this is simply the way you engage, but we really try to keep things civil here.

    “I have to say. Your reputation for ignoring valid criticism, for being unaware/denying modern scholarship, and for repeating expired arguments is already bad enough – I certainly didn’t think it was this bad!”

    That is simply unacceptable. As you might be aware, we love civil discussion among those who disagree, but not attacks of people’s character.

    As well, your IP evidences you are the same person. Not so sure that engaging in a debate about the truthfulness of a historical writing does any good when you are not being truthful about who you are with those whom you are debating.

  34. Well, it seems to that IP aside, absolutely refusing to answer when asked with a straight forward question is quite telling in this case! Certainly not proof positive, but grounds for very strong suspicion that Wolf and Ken are one and the same person.

    If you are not one and the same guys, why not just say so in so many words and put this matter to rest? By refusing to do so and just making a joke and a matter of mocking out of it, you will leave the rest of us thinking that there is likely deliberate deception going on here.

    And that will certainly undercut the credibility of both of you very severely!

  35. Oooo….baby! Ken the Wolf might earn TWO P&P dismissal T-shirts!…but he’ll only receive one :-/

  36. Also just to add…

    I love sound argumentation, not bare assertion.

    Ken and Wolf’s posts are nothing but bare, naked assertions.

    This generates more heat than light (as is usually the intent) and speaks not to refute an argument but merely serves to “stir the emotions” of those reading.

    In the past I would get frustrated with this tactic.

    Now I just dismiss it as the same ole same ole from Atheists.

    After all, that is all they have…

  37. Thanks to you all for your comments.

    This discovery of the identical Blackberry IP addresses of Wolf Veizer = Ken G. is quite a comical finale to a blog discussion laden with ad hominem attacks and sundry red herrings (e.g., if you haven’t read Hemer, just use the “Christian theologian” attack method).

    Like Ransom in Lewis’ space triology, maybe one of these days Wolf/Ken will give more thoughtful consideration to the other side—perhaps even reading Hemer’s book.

    Oh, and here’s the location of that IP address:

  38. Perhaps Kenwolf should be chastised but it does not mean her arguments are not valid. Careful with the back-patting and let’s all be mindful that faith and history are not the same, and that historical claims deserve to be tested when not supported by external sources.

Leave a Reply