1. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 00:461 edit
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said,

    "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons."

    That testimony is true. . .

    (NRS Titus 1:12, 13)

    __________________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)
  2. Donationkirksey957
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    28 Jul '07 00:51
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    [b]It was one of them
    , their very own prophe ...[text shortened]... _________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)[/b]
    Can you say a little more about what he didn't get?
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    28 Jul '07 01:13
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    [b]It was one of them
    , their very own prophe ...[text shortened]... _________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)[/b]
    Hilarious. I never knew that came from the Bible.
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 01:21
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Can you say a little more about what he didn't get?
    Epimenides’ Paradox.

    Paul is qouting (at least loosely) Epimenides—a Cretan who said all Cretan’s are liars.

    Also known as the Liar’s Paradox.
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    28 Jul '07 01:28
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    [b]It was one of them
    , their very own prophe ...[text shortened]... _________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)[/b]
    The prophets also said about Israel that she periodically 'played the harlot,' remember. Also that the children of Abraham are a 'hard and stubborn people.'

    If that Cretan prophet's testimony was true, then Titus must have had an interesting visit...
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 02:08
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    The prophets also said about Israel that she periodically 'played the harlot,' remember. Also that the children of Abraham are a 'hard and stubborn people.'

    If that Cretan prophet's testimony was true, then Titus must have had an interesting visit...
    We Taoists always lie. Believe me. I'm a Taoist.
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    28 Jul '07 02:241 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    [b]It was one of them
    , their very own prophe _________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)[/b]
    Oh dear. Doesn't sound like he "got it".

    EDIT: Funny observation!
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    28 Jul '07 02:364 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Epimenides’ Paradox.

    Paul is qouting (at least loosely) Epimenides—a Cretan who said all Cretan’s are liars.

    Also known as the Liar’s Paradox.
    I found an article in Wiki about this, and actually it is talking about Paul's qouting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimenides_paradox

    I understand Epimenides Paradox, But what I didn't understand is what make this a problem for Paul. What he didn't get?

    EDIT: Is it because Epimenides was not believing in GOD and was believing in Zeus (I mean greek gods)?
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 03:08
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    I found an article in Wiki about this, and actually it is talking about Paul's qouting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimenides_paradox

    I understand Epimenides Paradox, But what I didn't understand is what make this a problem for Paul. What he didn't get?

    EDIT: Is it because Epimenides was not believing in GOD and was believing in Zeus (I mean greek gods)?
    Consider the following statement:

    “Cretans always lie. Trust me; I’m a Cretan.”

    The problem I have with the wiki article is its assertion that Epimenides did not know that he was uttering a paradox. I don’t think that’s clear. He could’ve written: “Those Cretans are liars...”

    Not much, apparently, is really known about him. Was he wise enough to see the paradox? Did he have a sense of humor? Was he speaking a bit tongue-in-cheek? Or was he simply being sloppy?

    Now consider Paul’s viewpoint: he quotes a Cretan who says Cretans always lie, and then says that that is “true testimony”. Basically:

    “A Cretan said Cretans always lie. That is true.”

    Well, was that Cretan lying, or telling the truth? Was he using a bit of irony? Did Paul notice the irony in Epimenides’ statement? Did Paul get the irony in his own statement? Did he think his reader (Titus) would? Or was he simply being sloppy?
  10. Standard memberNemesio
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    28 Jul '07 03:09
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There have been many arguments on here about contradictions in the Biblical texts. The following does not exactly fall under that heading (nor is it fraught with any heavy theological considerations), but struck me as interesting when I came across a reference to it.

    __________________________________

    [b]It was one of them
    , their very own prophe ...[text shortened]... _________________________

    Did Paul get it? Or not?



    (In context, I would say: not.)[/b]
    The real question is: Was the Cretan prophet making a proposition?
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 03:251 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    The real question is: Was the Cretan prophet making a proposition?
    If I say, “Cretans always lie,” is that a proposition? Here is what seems to be viewed as the original:

    They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one
    The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!
    But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever,
    For in thee we live and move and have our being.
    – Epimenides, Cretica
    — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimenides_paradox

    Is there a line in that poem that is not propositional in nature, even in poetic form?

    One might say that, contextually, it is obvious that Epimenides was excluding himself. But that assumes, at least, that Epimenides had no sense of irony—and was a sloppy writer to boot. (If I posted something like that one here, how many people would jump all over it?)

    We often seem to assume that humor and irony have no place in “religious” texts. But all we have is the cold written words. Would Cretans (who perhaps knew Epimenides) have seen the irony? Why should we assume not?

    Now, given the immediate context in Titus, it seems to me that Paul is unlikely to have caught the irony. Or the irony of his own paradoxical statement, to the effect that: “A Cretan said Cretans always lie. That is true”.

    Many religious writers use paradox deliberately—the Zen masters are famous for it!—and often humorously. Epimenides may have been bright enough to know what he was about there, or he may not have been; but I don’t think it ought to be assumed that he wasn’t.
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    28 Jul '07 03:331 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Consider the following statement:

    “Cretans always lie. Trust me; I’m a Cretan.”

    The problem I have with the wiki article is its assertion that Epimenides did not know that he was uttering a paradox. I don’t think that’s clear. He could’ve written: “Those Cretans are liars...”

    Not much, apparently, is really known about him. Was h ...[text shortened]... is own statement? Did he think his reader (Titus) would? Or was he simply being sloppy?
    I got it,

    Actually I got seconds before I read your post.

    Thank you for the explaination.

    EDIT: You didn't tell me what you think about my last post in the Hadith thread. I think you are busy !!!
  13. Standard memberRemoved
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    28 Jul '07 03:33
    FYI...
    Titus 1:12

    One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.


    [One of themselves, even a prophet of their own] This was Epimenides, who was born at Gnossus in Crete, and was reckoned by many the seventh wise man of Greece, instead of Periander, to whom that honour was by them denied. Many fabulous things are related of this poet, which are not proper to be noticed here. He died about 538 years before the Christian era. When Paul calls him a prophet of their own, he only intimates that he was, by the Cretans, reputed a prophet. And, according to Plutarch (in Solone), the Cretans paid him divine honours after his death. Diogenes Laertius mentions some of his prophecies: beholding the fort of Munichia, which guarded the port of Athens, he cried out: "O ignorant men! if they but knew what slaughters this fort shall occasion, they would pull it down with their teeth!" This prophecy was fulfilled several years after, when the king, Antipater, put a garrison in this very fort, to keep the Athenians in subjection. See Diog. Laert., lib. 1 p. 73.
    Plato, De Legibus, lib. 2, says that, on the Athenians expressing great fear of the Persians, Epimenides encouraged them by saying "that they should not come before ten years, and that they should return after having suffered great disasters." This prediction was supposed to have been fulfilled in the defeat of the Persians in the battles of Salamis and Marathon.
    He predicted to the Lacedemonians and Cretans the captivity to which they should one day be reduced by the Arcadians. This took place under Euricrates, king of Crete, and Archidamus, king of Lacedemon; vide Diog. Laert., lib. 1 p. 74, edit. Meibom.
    It was in consequence of these prophecies, whether true or false, that his countrymen esteemed him a prophet; that he was termed aneer (grk 435) theios (grk 2304), a divine man, by Plato; and that Cicero, De Divin., lib. 1, says he was futura praesciens, et vaticinans per furorem: "He knew future events, and prophesied under a divine influence." These things are sufficient to justify the epithet of prophet, given him here by Paul. It may also be remarked that vates and poeta, prophet and poet, were synonymous terms among the Romans.
    [The Cretians are always liars] The words quoted here by the apostle are, according to Jerome, Socrates, Nicephorus, and others, taken from a work of Epimenides, now no longer extant, entitled Peri chreesmoon, Concerning Oracles. The words form a hexameter verse:

    Kreetes aei pseustai, kaka theeria, gasteres argai.
    The Cretans are always liars; destructive wild beasts; sluggish gluttons.

    That the Cretans were reputed to be egregious liars, several of the ancients declare; insomuch that Kreetizein, to act like a Cretan, signifies to lie; and chreesthai Kreetismoo, to deceive. The other Greeks reputed them liars, because they said that among them was the sepulchre of Jupiter, who was the highest object of the Greek and Roman worship. By telling this truth, which all others would have to pass for a lie, the Cretans allowed that the object of their highest admiration was only a dead man.
    [Evil beasts] Ferocious and destructive in their manners.
    [Slow bellies.] Addicted to voluptuousness, idleness, and gluttony; sluggish or hoggish men.

    Titus 1:13

    This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;


    [This witness is true.] What Epimenides said of them nearly 600 years before continued still to be true. Their original character had undergone no moral change.
    [Rebuke them sharply] Apotomoos (grk 664). Cuttingly, severely; show no indulgence to persons guilty of such crimes.
    [That they may be sound in the faith] That they may receive the incorrupt doctrine, and illustrate it by a holy and useful life.


    (from Adam Clarke Commentary)
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 03:48
    Originally posted by ahosyney
    I got it,

    Actually I got seconds before I read your post.

    Thank you for the explaination.

    EDIT: You didn't tell me what you think about my last post in the Hadith thread. I think you are busy !!!
    EDIT: You didn't tell me what you think about my last post in the Hadith thread. I think you are busy !!!

    Actually, I printed it out and saved it, so I can work on it later. I also thought that I have to do some of my own research—rather than make you do all of it for me! 😉 It might be awhile, but I haven’t forgotten it.
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Jul '07 04:17
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    FYI...
    Titus 1:12

    One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.


    [One of themselves, even a prophet of their own] This was Epimenides, who was born at Gnossus in Crete, and was reckoned by many the seventh wise man of Greece, instead of Periander, to whom that honour was by them de ...[text shortened]... doctrine, and illustrate it by a holy and useful life.


    (from Adam Clarke Commentary)
    Thanks for that.

    But it still overlooks the question. (My commentaries here are much shorter, but they also seem to assume that neither Epimenides nor Paul saw the irony in the statement.)

    Paul apparently has a low opinion of the Cretans (based on his experience there?), and quotes Epimenides favorably. Now, let’s just assume that Paul did see the irony in writing to Titus that Cretans always lie, quoting a Cretan! Might not Titus get a chuckle out of that? Might not the irony take the edge off what would otherwise be what one of my commentaries calls “an ethnic slur”? Without minimizing Paul’s warnings to Titus?

    Now, given the severity of the context, maybe Paul didn’t get it. That’s my first take.

    But, I, like others, learned to read these texts with deadly dull seriousness—no humor expected, no thought of what may have been inside jokes, never a nod or a wink, never tongue-in-cheek; after all, we have the texts, but neither body-language in the case of dialogue, nor on the other hand, the kind of insight into personal relationships that would enable us to decipher whether or not particular readers of the letters would see the humor in some of them, or even what kind of humor was most employed (though Jesus seemed to have a sense of irony). Here, however, is a piece of irony staring us in the face!

    If I were to say to you: “Taoists always lie. Trust me, I’m a Taoist”, surely you would pick up on that (maybe with a little mental double-take). I would certainly know that I was being paradoxical (I hope!), and a bit facetious (I hope!).

    The question becomes, I suppose, who is slow on the uptake? Epimenides? Paul? Those of us (including the scholars!) who learned to read these texts in strictly deadpan fashion?
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