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Author Topic:   Superiority of the 'Protestant Canon'?
Artemis Entreri 
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From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 16 of 154 (663888)
05-27-2012 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
03-11-2012 4:16 PM


I'll take a stab at it.
This thread will be for foreveryoung and others who share his view on the superiority of the 'protestant canon' (or any canon, for that matter) to defend their position and present evidence in its favor. I'd like to see the discussion follow along these lines:
uh i'm not protestant so i hope i'm not disqualified already.
First, those arguing for superiority of one of the canons will have to define that canon. This will mean listing all of the books that make up the canon as well as the versions of those books where significant variations exist.
May as well start with the old testament:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees
As determined by the Council of Carthage in 397ce. We have 46 books in our old testament Canon. The Protestants and evangelicals have 39 books in their old testament. The variation is 7 books. I'd have to look at the protestant OTC to determine which books are missing. (NOTE: Eastern Orthodox have 51 books).
Everyone agrees on the new Testament and it is the same in all the main christian churches.
4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John
It is 27 books. Also decided at the council of Carthage in 397ce (397ad). Interestingly the protestants did not drop the 7 books of the old testament from their canon until the 15th-16th century.
Second, these folk will have to define and defend the criteria behind labeling one canon as superior or better than another. What is it about a canon that would make it superior? For example, foreveryoung seems to think that supernatural inspiration is a criterion for a superior canon.
maybe just different instead of superior. We are old school and they are new school.
In our early church there was no canon, and there was no bible, it was a community of believers. the bible was the book of the church and the people in it. Whereas I see the protestants as the church of the bible. our church started from scratch, from the 12 apostles (notably Peter), The whole bible came centuries later, and thus is not nearly as important in our church. the protestants created their church at least a thousand or more years after we did, and used the book to created their church.
Us - The original apostolic church.
Them - the church of the bible.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 401 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 17 of 154 (663898)
05-27-2012 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Jzyehoshua
05-26-2012 4:42 AM


My newest writing on the subject is here:
...al criticism - CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
Essentially we have the Dead Sea Scrolls showing the Old Testament was in its current form before the time of Christ, around 250-50 B.C. The Great Isaiah Scroll in particular was even carbon dated as old as 335 B.C.
Concerning the New Testament, we have more than 24,000 manuscripts with 99.5% internal consistency showing the New Testament we have today is accurate with regard to the original autographs. No other ancient historical document has nearly this level of evidence. The closest is the Iliad with 643 manuscripts. Many documents like Caesar's Gallic Wars are considered accurately preserved with just 5-10 manuscripts dating 1,000 years or more after the originals.
However, we have manuscripts for the New Testament dating less than a century after the original documents (autographs) like the John Rylands Papyrus (P52), P104, P90, P64+67, and P98. We have complete or nearly complete copies of the New Testament dating as early as 200-400 A.D. like the Sahidic Coptic Version, Sinaitic Curiac Version, and Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
Thus, we can look at these early documents to see whether later translations (like the King James Version) were reliable translations of the original Greek/Hebrew text seen in such early manuscripts.
But this has nothing to do with what should or shouldn't be included in the canon, does it?
The Dead Sea Scrolls also contain:
(1) The Book of Enoch in the original Aramaic. This is regarded as orthodox by Ethiopian Jews, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church, but not by Protestants.
One interesting thing about Enoch is that it is quoted in the book of Jude, which Protestants do count as canonical.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
It would seem on the face of it that a Biblical literalist would have to believe that the book of Enoch really was written by Noah's great-grandfather, and was a genuine prophetic work rather than pseudephigraphic.
(2) Fragments of three copies of the Wisdom of Sirach in Hebrew. This is is the Catholic Canon, the Eastern Orthodox canon, and the Septuagint, but not the Protestant Canon.
(3) The book of Tobit in Aramaic and Hebrew. This is in the Catholic and Orthodox canons and the Setuagint, but not the Protestant canon.
(4) The Epistle of Jeremiah in Greek. This is in the Orthodox canon, the Catholic Canon, and the Septuagint.
(Of course, when one says 'the" Protestant canon, there's a certain amount of ambiguity there. Luther for example, put the Epistle of Jeremiah in his translation of the Bible into German. Now, if Luther wasn't a Protestant, who was?)
So, anyway, the point is that it doesn't matter what is or isn't in the Dead Sea Scrolls --- or if it does matter, then the Protestant canon is definitely wrong. So what does justify the Protestant canon?
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Evangelical Humanists
Junior Member (Idle past 4370 days)
Posts: 14
Joined: 05-27-2012


Message 18 of 154 (663979)
05-28-2012 7:31 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Jzyehoshua
05-26-2012 8:22 PM


Re: Please present one of the original autographs.
Josh McDowell in "More Than a Carpenter" addressed these tests for historicity (Ch. 4 I believe - need to find my copy), and by them the New Testament is more reliable than any other ancient document in antiquity.
I would hardly call the NT a reliable document. Scholars are not even sure of the authors of some of the books. Matthew, Mark and Luke practically copy each other with a few word changes here and there. McDowell as a biased opinion no doubt.
By checking McDowell's sources and consulting works of NT scholars, I was eventually able to discover that much of what McDowell presents is untrustworthy, misleading or simply incorrect.
Bob,
The above is from a rebuttal on his book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" Quite frankly christian apologists will say or do anything to prove it true and McDowell is no different.
I believe in order to establish its superiority as you say I think one would have to prove that the very person it was written about ever existed.
OFF TOPIC
AdminPD
Edited by Evangelical Humanists, : Add something.
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 19 of 154 (663981)
05-28-2012 7:58 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Evangelical Humanists
05-28-2012 7:31 AM


Topic Please!!!!!
Welcome to EvC Evangelical Humanists,
Glad you decided to add to our diversity. We have a wide variety of forums for your debating pleasure.
Your post does not address the topic of the thread. One important rule (#2) is to stay on topic. Do not respond to posts or portions of posts that are off topic.
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    Jzyehoshua
    Member (Idle past 878 days)
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 06-10-2010


    Message 20 of 154 (664051)
    05-28-2012 8:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 17 by Dr Adequate
    05-27-2012 5:53 PM


    But this has nothing to do with what should or shouldn't be included in the canon, does it?
    The Dead Sea Scrolls also contain:
    (1) The Book of Enoch in the original Aramaic. This is regarded as orthodox by Ethiopian Jews, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church, but not by Protestants.
    One interesting thing about Enoch is that it is quoted in the book of Jude, which Protestants do count as canonical.
    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
    It would seem on the face of it that a Biblical literalist would have to believe that the book of Enoch really was written by Noah's great-grandfather, and was a genuine prophetic work rather than pseudephigraphic.
    (2) Fragments of three copies of the Wisdom of Sirach in Hebrew. This is is the Catholic Canon, the Eastern Orthodox canon, and the Septuagint, but not the Protestant Canon.
    (3) The book of Tobit in Aramaic and Hebrew. This is in the Catholic and Orthodox canons and the Setuagint, but not the Protestant canon.
    (4) The Epistle of Jeremiah in Greek. This is in the Orthodox canon, the Catholic Canon, and the Septuagint.
    (Of course, when one says 'the" Protestant canon, there's a certain amount of ambiguity there. Luther for example, put the Epistle of Jeremiah in his translation of the Bible into German. Now, if Luther wasn't a Protestant, who was?)
    So, anyway, the point is that it doesn't matter what is or isn't in the Dead Sea Scrolls --- or if it does matter, then the Protestant canon is definitely wrong. So what does justify the Protestant canon?
    Good point about 1 Enoch. I was aware of its possible mention in Jude (although some dispute whether it's definite) and that's why I said earlier:
    quote:
    As for why the Protestant canon is superior, the manuscript evidence shows which books were found well preserved. 1 Enoch and Jubilees are the only non-canonical Old Testament books found in substantial numbers among the Dead Sea Scrolls:
    1 Enoch and Jubilees are the two books found in substantial numbers and thus could merit consideration. I actually wondered about 1 Enoch myself recently.
    As for who the real Protestants were, Protestantism actually goes back about 1700 years. It's a common misconception that it began during the Reformation. There's a chart called the "Trail of Blood" by J.M. Carroll for example which purports to show a lineage of groups tracing the real Christian Church back, separate from Catholicism. I've written a lengthy post here addressing it, and my disagreements with Catholicism:
    -->Update Your Browser | Facebook
    I'll quote the info about groups I think were Protestants before Luther and persecuted by Catholicism:
    quote:
    There were actually numerous groups persecuted by Catholicism as heretics long before the Reformation, a little-known fact, as seen from the "Trail of Blood" chart by J.M. Carroll, including Montanists, Novatians, Puritans (no relation to 17th century group), Cathar, Donatists, Paulicians, Henricians, Arnoldists, Albigenses, and Waldenses:
    trail of blood chart
    ======================================
    List of Christian groups persecuted before the Reformation as heretics:
    -Montanists: A.D. 150-800. Believed God continued giving revelation to the Church. They were the first to call the Holy Spirit God. They emphasized fasting and rejected remarriage after divorce, consistent with Jesus' teachings (Matthew 5:32) but angering Catholicism. Tertullian defended them.
    Tertullian : The Montanists
    EarlyChurch.org.uk: Montanism: Heresy Or Healthy Revival? by Robert I Bradshaw
    Montanus | religious leader | Britannica
    EarlyChurch.org.uk: Why Were the Montanists Condemned? by David F Wright
    History of the Baptists
    -Novatians: A.D. 254-600. Denied readmission of Christians who denied their faith and sacrificed to pagan deities. They also said remarriage was wrong after divorce. For this they were considered heretics and stamped out. According to Catholic sources, they also held similar beliefs to the Arians in considering Jesus created and subject to God the Father. They called themselves Puritans (no relation to later group in 16th century).
    http://www.reformedreader.org/...dvent.org/cathen/11138a.htm
    -Donatists: A.D. 311-750. Considered Roman Catholicism the "Church of Judas'. Like the Novatians, they said those who had denied the Christian faith under persecution should not be re-admitted, and were traitors. They rejected infant baptism, and thus practiced rebaptism, a serious crime by Catholicism's standards.
    http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/donatists
    History of the Donatists, David Benedict | The Reformed Reader
    Donatist | religion | Britannica
    Early Christian History / Controversies: Donatism
    -Arians: A.D. 320-671. Claimed Jesus was created and separate from God the Father. Catholicism instituted the Nicene Creed declaring a Trinity and that Christ was eternal and born of a virgin, in response. Their books were burned, they were killed, and much of what we know about them is written by their enemies. Judaism views them somewhat favorably because they did not seek to persecute Jews when in power.
    ARIANISM - JewishEncyclopedia.com
    -Paulicians: A.D. 650-950. They rejected worship of Mary, saints, the cross, and Mass, and believed everyone should be able to freely study the Bible for themselves. Like many others they were accused of Dualism, considering a good God vs. an evil one of the world, and opposition to the materialism Catholicism worshiped.
    http://www.carthage.lib.il.us/...hes/primbap/Paulicians.html
    History of the Baptists
    Paulician | Description, History, Beliefs, & Facts | Britannica
    -Waldenses: A.D. 800-Present. They created a non-Latin translation of the Bible, enraging the Catholic Church, who spent centuries trying to massacre them out of existence. They emphasized poverty and rejected Indulgences, Purgatory, prayer for the dead, popes, holy water, refused to take oaths, and considered Roman Catholicism the Harlot of Babylon.
    History of the Waldenses
    http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/...Waldenses.of.Valdese.pdf
    -Bogamils: A.D. 950-1900. Dualists, rejected worship of the cross and emphasis on external church buildings.
    Bogomils of Bulgaria and Bosnia
    Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc
    -Cathar: A.D. 1100 - Present. Also called Paterines. Believed in Dualism, that the God of the Bible is opposed by a god of this world, Satan (Biblical - 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31, 16:11). They believed in poverty, rejected priesthood and church buildings, and refused to swear oaths (Biblical - see Matthew 5:34, James 5:12). Despite the Albigensian Crusade, which killed some 500,000 of them, remnants have survived to the present day.
    Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc
    http://www.pbs.org/inquisition/pdf/TheCatharHeresy.pdf
    CHAPTER XIII
    -Albigenses: A.D. 1100-1350. Believed in Dualism, a good God vs. an evil one of this world, Satan, and condemned Catholic "corruption, ritualistic pomp, and superficiality". While they disagreed with Judaism, they coexisted peacefully. Were destroyed in one of the bloodiest massacres in Catholic history, the Albigensian Crusades.
    Welcome reformationhappens.com - BlueHost.com
    Albigenses
    1911 Encyclopdia Britannica/Albigenses - Wikisource, the free online library
    -Petrobrussians: A.D. 1100-1250. Also called Henricians. Rejected an outward visible church, said the real church was in the hearts of all believers. Rejected infant baptism, crucifix worship, prayer to the dead, and Mass/the Eucharist.
    THE PETROBRUSSIANS AND HENRICIANS
    A History of the Church from the Earliest Ages to the Reformation - George Waddington - Google Books
    History of the Baptists
    -Arnoldists: A.D. 1136-1200: Founded by Arnold of Brescia. Rejected infant baptism and material possessions.
    Arnold of Brescia | Italian religious reformer | Britannica
    Encyclopdia Americana: A Popular Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature ... - Google Books
    Page not found – Providence Baptist Ministries
    TBE ASNOLDIST8
    ======================================
    OFF TOPIC
    AdminPD
    Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 17 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-27-2012 5:53 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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     Message 21 by jar, posted 05-28-2012 8:34 PM Jzyehoshua has not replied
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     Message 24 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-28-2012 9:15 PM Jzyehoshua has replied
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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 34136
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 3.4


    Message 21 of 154 (664053)
    05-28-2012 8:34 PM
    Reply to: Message 20 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 8:26 PM


    Topic!!!!!!!!!
    And not one word of all that is realted to the Topic which is "Superiority of the 'Protestant Canon'?"
    Do you have anything to offer on the topic?

    Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 20 by Jzyehoshua, posted 05-28-2012 8:26 PM Jzyehoshua has not replied

      
    Adminnemooseus
    Inactive Administrator


    Message 22 of 154 (664063)
    05-28-2012 9:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 20 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 8:26 PM


    Link flood (and non-topic response)
    You know, it would be nice if you picked what you think is the best link to support each of your points, rather that giving us a bunch for each point. I think that the more links per point, the less likely any are going to get looked at.
    I'm not focused on this topic, but it appears that Jar (the first reply to your message) is correct. I detect no comparison of the "Protestant Canon" to some other canon.
    Adminnemooseus

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 20 by Jzyehoshua, posted 05-28-2012 8:26 PM Jzyehoshua has replied

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    Jzyehoshua
    Member (Idle past 878 days)
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 06-10-2010


    Message 23 of 154 (664066)
    05-28-2012 9:12 PM
    Reply to: Message 22 by Adminnemooseus
    05-28-2012 9:02 PM


    Re: Link flood (and non-topic response)
    I basically was just pointing out in the post that I agreed 1 Enoch and Jubilees are the two books that are well-sourced by the Dead Sea Scrolls separate from the Old Testament. I did get side-tracked with the mention of Protestants though. The beginning of the post was on-topic though.
    And actually, the latter part does somewhat relate to the topic since it relates to what Protestants are. By showing that Protestants have been around long before the Reformation, the information is useful in showing that Catholicism was not necessarily the preserver of the Canon through the centuries resulting in the Bible we see now.
    Edited by Jzyehoshua, : No reason given.

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    Dr Adequate
    Member (Idle past 401 days)
    Posts: 16113
    Joined: 07-20-2006


    Message 24 of 154 (664068)
    05-28-2012 9:15 PM
    Reply to: Message 20 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 8:26 PM


    As for who the real Protestants were, Protestantism actually goes back about 1700 years.
    I didn't say Luther was the first Protestant, just that he was one --- if he isn't, who is?
    So the idea of a Protestant canon is a bit dubious, and becomes more so if we throw in the other groups we mentioned. Not everyone whom we would call Protestants would have removed the Apocrypha from the canon.
    Enoch and Jubilees are the two books found in substantial numbers and thus could merit consideration.
    I don't see why you would figure out canonicity by counting Dead Sea Scrolls. Why would we assume that the people who hid the scrolls had the right canon?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 20 by Jzyehoshua, posted 05-28-2012 8:26 PM Jzyehoshua has replied

    Replies to this message:
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    Jzyehoshua
    Member (Idle past 878 days)
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 06-10-2010


    Message 25 of 154 (664069)
    05-28-2012 9:16 PM
    Reply to: Message 23 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 9:12 PM


    Re: Link flood (and non-topic response)
    I think the information I provided is useful because canonicity deals with who is preserving the canon. Too often people assume Catholics were the only religious group around that first milennia A.D. and thus the canon was constructed and preserved entirely by them. The information I provided shows groups that did provide canons and non-Latin Bibles (e.g. the Waldenses) long before the Reformation. Thus, the Protestant Canon and Protestants were around long before the Reformation. And therefore, my post was perfectly on-topic.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 23 by Jzyehoshua, posted 05-28-2012 9:12 PM Jzyehoshua has replied

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    Jzyehoshua
    Member (Idle past 878 days)
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 06-10-2010


    Message 26 of 154 (664070)
    05-28-2012 9:24 PM
    Reply to: Message 24 by Dr Adequate
    05-28-2012 9:15 PM


    quote:
    I didn't say Luther was the first Protestant, just that he was one --- if he isn't, who is?
    So the idea of a Protestant canon is a bit dubious, and becomes more so if we throw in the other groups we mentioned. Not everyone whom we would call Protestants would have removed the Apocrypha from the canon.
    Well, thing with Luther is he supported persecuting Protestants like the Anabaptists in the same way the Catholic Church did. Calvinists and Lutherans were actually right there with Catholicism in warfaring persecution and martyring of Protestants like the Anabaptists. So I've never really liked Luther as a Protestant example myself.
    quote:
    I don't see why you would figure out canonicity by counting Dead Sea Scrolls. Why would we assume that the people who hid the scrolls had the right canon?
    Well, I figure if the Bible is God's Word, and God did want it preserved, then the strongest examples of that preservation should show what that Word is. The Dead Sea Scrolls against much probability have come down to us from over 2,000 years ago, providing an accurate record with which to cross-check the Old Testament.
    So it stands to reason what they best preserve might well be God's Word, and if that includes 1 Enoch and Jubilees, well, that's more reason for me to give those two books serious consideration in canonicity. The Dead Sea Scrolls otherwise preserve perfectly all the books of the Old Testament - the scrolls best preserved are the books of the Old Testament - along with those 2 books.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 24 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-28-2012 9:15 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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    Jzyehoshua
    Member (Idle past 878 days)
    Posts: 153
    Joined: 06-10-2010


    Message 27 of 154 (664071)
    05-28-2012 9:28 PM
    Reply to: Message 25 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 9:16 PM


    Re: Link flood (and non-topic response)
    As recently as 2010, the Lutheran World Formation issued a formal statement apologizing for previous violent persecution of Anabaptists.
    Lutherans Seek Forgiveness for Persecution of Anabaptists | Church & Ministries News
    Lutherans often executed Anabaptists by beheading or drowning. Persecution of the peaceful Anabaptists in the 16th century actually exceeded the persecution of the early Christian Church by Rome. Most people just don't know about them.
    http://www.anabaptists.org/writings/excerpts/meneu-1.html
    OFF TOPIC
    AdminPD
    Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

    This message is a reply to:
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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 34136
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 3.4


    (1)
    Message 28 of 154 (664073)
    05-28-2012 9:39 PM
    Reply to: Message 27 by Jzyehoshua
    05-28-2012 9:28 PM


    Topic!!!!!!
    Topic.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing to do with a Canon.
    Why is the Protestant Canon superior to the Roman Catholic Canon, the Samaritan Orthodox Canon, the Ethiopian Long Canon, the Ethiopian Short Canon?

    Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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     Message 27 by Jzyehoshua, posted 05-28-2012 9:28 PM Jzyehoshua has not replied

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    Adminnemooseus
    Inactive Administrator


    (1)
    Message 29 of 154 (664080)
    05-28-2012 9:51 PM
    Reply to: Message 28 by jar
    05-28-2012 9:39 PM


    Your position on the question?
    Maybe I missed it upthread, but my guess your position is something along the lines of:
    1 - We have no way of telling or...
    2 - Chances are, they're all about equally good and bad or...
    3 - It really doesn't matter or...
    ???
    In all, my impression (which could be wrong) is that you're criticizing others answers without offering up your own answer.
    Adminnemooseus
    Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add an "ing" to an "offer".

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 28 by jar, posted 05-28-2012 9:39 PM jar has replied

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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 34136
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 3.4


    Message 30 of 154 (664082)
    05-28-2012 9:57 PM
    Reply to: Message 29 by Adminnemooseus
    05-28-2012 9:51 PM


    Re: Your position on the question?
    Are you posting as admin or just a participant?

    Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 29 by Adminnemooseus, posted 05-28-2012 9:51 PM Adminnemooseus has seen this message but not replied

      
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