Skip to comments.Joe Sobran, R.I.P. [Joseph Sobran, 1946 - 2010]
Posted on 09/30/2010 7:54:18 PM PDT by Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo
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Actually looking back at your post that wasn’t what you said so I apologize.
That's a fair point, they're not all anti-Christian. So then on the obverse what charges can a Christian level against the Talmud,Judaism and Jews without being called an anti-semite?
All of this is off topic though and to the original post: Joseph Sobran - Vechnaya Pamyat.
There’s nothing wrong with saying that one disagrees with Jewish theology. What people mostly object to is making up fake Talmud quotes or distorting existing ones for unsavory goals.
The Talmud is absolutely hostile to Jesus Christ, blasphemes him....
Now, how about Christians who fundamentally disagree with Zionism? Are they anti - semitic or just like the 85% of American Jews who by their political philosophy also disagree with Zionism?
What was your FR screen name the last time you got zotted?
I just gave to the Freepathon, have you?
He was a neo-Nazi?
Typical troll response. Try being honest for once in your life...what was your FR name the last time you got zotted? Come on, show me you have a little self respect.
Good riddance to Nazi rubbish.
It would be interesting to know how many of those who quote it as evidence of insidiousness can actually describe themselves as proficient in rabbinic Hebrew or late Aramaic.
One has to also keep in mind that Jews don’t regard the Talmud as Divinely inspired. It’s filled with debates and exposition from various sources.
According to Muslims, the Koran is not just divinely inspired, but divinely dictated word for word in the Arabic tongue. It is the normative standard for belief among Muslims. Only a tiny minority of Muslims argue that the Koran need not be taken literally, and this school of thought is quite recent.
and quotations from the New Testament are used to damn Christians. During the "Passion of the Christ" debate, many people took issue with the gospel accounts themselves and deemed the narrative to be unacceptable.
As I recall, quite a few of those misguided critics were self-professed Christians themselves. And Christians are indeed required to defend the whole text of the New Testament, since we hold it to be divinely inspired and to be normative for belief.
The Talmud enjoys no special protection from criticism. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
The Talmud is not Scripture, let alone the normative Scripture of Judaism. The Torah is. That important distinction being made, there is another point: how do you critique the Talmud? The Koran and New Testament are texts that make declarations and assertions about absolutes. The Talmud is an enormous collection of debates and commentaries about the Torah, usually in the form of disputes over whether interpretation A by Rabbi X is better or worse than interpretation B by Rabbi Y. Very often there is no clear answer. A random quotation from the Talmud, devoid of any context, completely ignores the nature of the text.
Not even close. First, there are plenty of critical translations of both texts that have been produced by adherents of both faiths that allow non-adherents access to scholarly editions. Also, the New Testament is about 400 pages of text and the Koran is about 250 pages in translation. A non-adherent can pick up a translation and read it in a day and get the sense of it, without becoming an expert of course.
Moreover there are more than a hundred million people who can read the Koran in the original with comprehension and at least ten million who can do the same with the New Testament. Plenty of critiques of both texts come from people who are very proficient in the languages - one of the most prominent critics of the New Testament is Bart Ehrman, a former Christian who is considered to be an expert in the text to the extent of having assisted in the editing of the standard text.
When it comes to the Talmud, there is no standard translation. The closest is the Steinsaltz, which is recent. The Talmud is written in Rabbinic Hebrew (a different dialect than the Biblical Hebrew that so many Christian scholars have studied), Eastern Aramaic (a different dialect from the Biblical Aramaic that has been studied by a smaller number of Christian scholars), and even a large amount of transliterated Old French. Moreover, the Talmud is not written discursively like the New Testament and Koran, but in a very technical jargon full of abbreviations and references. Add to this the size of the Talmud, probably 4000 pages in full translation, and you have a text that very few non-Jews have the education or the patience to read in full even in translation. Certainly only a small minority of self-professed Jews have the education or the patience themselves.
The reality is that those who quote the Talmud to "damn" Jews have no concept of what the Talmud is, what it is for, how the text works, how accurate the supposed translation they are using is, or whether the supposed quote is in context.
It is much more likely that a critic of the New Testament or the Koran has a clue about what they are discussing. I have never heard of a critic of the Talmud who had any clue at all.
Many Jews don’t even read the Talmud. It’s primarily read by the highly orthodox only. The average Jewish family who Bar Mitzvahs their son and goes to Temple on the High Holidays most likely never set their eyes on it.
Muslims regard Jesus as a Prophet (though not divine) whereas he holds no role in Judaism.
So you claim.
You can whitewash it away by saying that is only a collection of debates, however the discussions about Jesus Christ are not in that context.
That's the only context the Talmud has.
There are plenty of translations of the Talmud.
No, there aren't. If there are "plenty" please cite 5.
All of them contain the same basic comments when discussing Christ.
Bold claim. Why don't you find a passage in the Talmud you consider to be blasphemous toward Jesus, and cite it in 5 separate translations.
A Christian only needs to see the blasphemy of Jesus Christ once to know that there is great antipathy towards him.
The issue here is what is actually seen. Anyone can go on the Internet and find quotes from any neo-Nazi site they like purporting to be Talmud passages. How many Christians have bothered to even read the original? Despite your magisterial tone, I can tell you certainly haven't.
Even the Muslims don't speak about Christ in such a manner.
The theology of Islam says that Jesus was a lesser prophet whose role was to proclaim the great prophet Mohammed. This was part of Mohammed's conversion strategy: absorb Abraham, Moses and Jesus into his narrative in order to convince Jews and Christians to follow him. So Islam speaks sweetly about Jesus, but in doing so calls all Christians liars who have betrayed Jesus and diminishes Jesus into a mere man subordinate to Mohammed. Jews do not see conversion of all Christians to Judaism as one of the purposes of their religion.
In point of fact, there are only two translations of the Talmud into English available on the Internet. One isn't a very good translation: it' s based on a flawed text, and no site seems to have the entire text.
This is because there are, as opposed to your claim of "plenty" of translations available, only four translations of any completeness or value: the Steinsaltz, Soncino, Schottenstein, and the Neusner - only one of which is available online.
You can't just make outrageous claims and say: "I don't need to back up anything I say - just google it." You made the claims, so cite specific passages that substantiate those charges.
If a Jew said: "Christianity says horrible things about the rabbinic Sages, so Christianity is just objectionable" and you asked which Christians said what things about these sages, and the response you got was: "Just check the Internet, dude. There's like a ton of Christian stuff on there that's all nasty and stuff" - well, you'd be pretty unimpressed by the quality of the scholarship.
You made a claim. You said there are "plenty" of translations, you cultivate an air of being conversant and cultivated in the knowledge of Talmudic blasphemy.
Give us one citation, just so we know you're not a complete fake.
Of the 4 given, there are really two: the Soncino (Slotki is one of the Soncino translators, the Gutenberg looks to be a tiny selection of passages from the Soncino) and the Rodkinson. Rodkinson is not very good, the Soncino is generally good.
However, the full Soncino is several thousand pages long. Care to indicate which pages contain the material that substantiates your claim?
The claims I made are common knowledge.
Oh, of course they are. That's why no one can find them anywhere.
Every known copy of the Jerusalem Talmud
There are plenty of known copies of the Jerusalem Talmud, which is a different work from the Babylonian Talmud you linked to. The Babylonian was the popular one in the European world, and the Jerusalem one was not well-known or used much outside of the Holy Land. The Church's destruction of the Babylonian Talmud (not the Jerusalem, which was not mentioned) was based on the claims of converts not actually substantiated by any specific blasphemous references that any prelate cited in any specific document.
Why do you defend blasphemy?
That's the equivalent of asking "when did you stop beating your wife?" You're alleging blasphemy, but have so far proven completely incapable of substantiating your claim. If I'm defending blasphemy, please show me precisely which blasphemy I am allegedly defending. Slander is a sin.
I just googled the matter and came up with primarily kook sites making those claims and a few other sites refuting them.
That assertion is rank nonsense.
Of course it isn't. The New Testament canon is precisely that: a canon, or rule of faith.
What Christian community has ever rejected the Pauline corpus?
Even the tiniest, unaffiliated nondenominational congregations recognize the canon of the New Testament as inviolable.
Every other Christian denomination - Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc. includes the whole New Testament as a foundational element of their faith.
You made the claim, back it up.
Why would Christians find comments, that as far as you can ascertain don't even exist, offensive?
It wasn't "unfair."
Joe went around the bend a few years back and pretty much alienated his audience. It seemed like almost overnight that he went from a sober, deep, engaging writer to a shrill, hysterical one, and after the transition he was basically never heard from again.
I always had a feeling that his sudden shift was more medical than intellectual.
After making all this noise and then coming up with exactly nothing to substantiate it, I am forced to consider whether BTM is trying to get me to give hits to neo-Nazi sites to follow his baseless assertions down the rabbit hole.
I don't see Christian sites making these claims.
I see two sets of sites: neo-Nazi sites parroting BTM's claims (or, more likely, BTM is the parrot in this analogy) and fringy atheist sites claiming that the lack of concrete Talmudic references to Jesus is proof He didn't exist.
Just to pick one ... Consider the Epistle of James, which Luther derided as "the epistle of straw." Still, it's generally accepted as part of the Canon of Scripture. Are you suggesting that Martin Luther, in rejecting it, belonged to a different religion than Christianity?
Had he insisted to the contrary, even after being corrected by his colleagues, then he would have belonged to a different religion.
That a man so deeply egotistical and headstrong as Luther would bow on this point is testimony to how essential the canon is.
I understand and appreciate what you are saying. I guess when I said “unfair,” I meant the extent and manner of the ostacization, not the rationale for it.
Who is "Teresa of Lourdes"?
Beyond Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John [and a tiny handful of others], it's all just hearsay.
Luke tells us the history of Paul in Acts, including Paul's personal encounter with Jesus.
If we are to discard Paul, we must also discard Luke as an unreliable witness.
And that would create further difficulties.
I would also point out that much of the Gospels is inescapably "hearsay" because all four evangelists relate events at which they themselves were admittedly not present.
The problem was that Joe flouted the First Law of Holes, which is to stop digging once you find yourself in one.
Sobran used to be one of my must-reads. I remember being shocked at the time, when Sobran's tone suddenly changed, and it became evident that it wasn't just a one-off rant. After not too long, I crossed him off my list, and I was far from alone in that.
I checked Sobran's writings a couple of years later, just to see, and it just as shrill, and (understandably) a whole lot more bitter. That was it -- I was through.
Still, RIP to Mr. Sobran. I hope in his final days he found the peace he needed.
Maybe they meant Teresa of the Andes?
The last time I saw Joe — which was, perhaps, at the incipience of his fall — he seemed morose, but over the edge. Do you think he developed a drinking problem?
Please be compassionate. Often, one of the first signs of serious illness is a person’s change in thinking and personality. I was not aware of what was making Joe sick, but many cancers may begin with deep depression and such changes, if you review medical literature. May God rest his soul.
That would cause many a man to simply snap.
That goes too far (as did the previous post to which I objected).
You seem to be setting up an either/or test for Scripture (and by extension, to Christianity as a whole), that is not needed and possibly harmful.
I see the point -- but I think it's possible to take such points too far.
No clue -- I only knew him through his writing. It just seemed to me that such a sudden change in tone, and such tenacity in defending it, wasn't something a healthy man would do.
Excluding Paul from Christianity is going too far.
If insisting on Paul is too strong, what then would qualify as being too weak a standard?
That road leads to Jesus Seminar land, in my opinion.