Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Possible References to the Deuterocanon (aka "Apocrypha") in John and Acts (RSV)

By Dave Armstrong (7-13-05)

Derived from pp. 800-804 of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th edition (Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine), published by Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; see the web page from Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin, which reproduced the list. NT passages listed in Nestle-Aland will be in blue, and Deuterocanonical passages in red. Alleged references listed by verse only at the end were deemed (by myself) dissimilar and questionable or non-convincing enough to not reproduce.

[Bible passages were retrieved from the RSV Bible, with Apocrypha, from the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center]

Recently, a Reformed Protestant wondered aloud what the purpose of collecting these possible references would be (if not apologetic in nature, as some sort of "proof" of the canonicity of the Deuterocanonical or so-called "Apocryphal" books). I agree with Jimmy Akin's comments in the above-cited web page:

I get a lot of requests for a list of the references the New Testament makes to the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. Unfortunately, giving a list is not such a simple affair since it is not always obvious whether something is a genuine reference.

Hebrews 11:35 is an indisputable reference to 2 Maccabees 7, but many are not so clear as there may be only a single phrase that echoes one in a deuterocanonical book (and this may not be obvious in the translation, but only the original languages).

This is the same with New Testament references to the protocanonical books of the Old Testament. How many New Testament references there are to the Old Testament depends in large measure on what you are going to count as a reference.

As a result, many scholarly works simply give an enormous catalogue of all proposed references and leave it to the individual interpreter to decide whether a given reference is actual or not.

I will follow the same procedure . . .
So will I. This project is not, strictly-speaking, an exercise in apologetics, but rather, an aid in Bible study or a Bible "reference" tool, as I explained in my reply to this "critic" (Part One / Part Two / Part Three).



1a) John 1:3

all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

1b) Wisdom 9:1

"O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things by thy word,

2a) John 3:8

The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit."

2b) Sirach 16:21

Like a tempest which no man can see, so most of his works are concealed.

3a) John 3:13

No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.

3b) Baruch 3:29

Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds?

4a) John 5:18

This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.

4b) Wisdom 2:16

We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.

5a) John 7:38

He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, `Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"

5b) Sirach 24:30

I went forth like a canal from a river and like a water channel into a garden.

6a) John 8:53

Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?"

6b) Sirach 44:19

Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations, and no one has been found like him in glory;

7a) John 10:20

Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?"

7b) Wisdom 5:4

"This is the man whom we once held in derision and made a byword of reproach -- we fools! We thought that his life was madness and that his end was without honor.

8a) John 14:15

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

8b) Wisdom 6:18

and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality,

9a) John 15:9s

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.

9b) Wisdom 3:9

Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.

10a) John 17:3

And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

10b) Wisdom 15:3

For to know thee is complete righteousness, and to know thy power is the root of immortality.

11a) John 20:22

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

11b) Wisdom 15:11

because he failed to know the one who formed him and inspired him with an active soul and breathed into him a living spirit.

See also (from Nestle-Aland list):
John 3:8 and Wisdom 18:15s
John 3:28 and 1 Maccabees 9:39
John 3:32 and Tobit 4:6
John 4:9 and Sirach 50:25s
John 4:48 and Wisdom 8:8
John 6:35 and Sirach 24:21
John 8:44 and Wisdom 2:24
John 10:22 and 1 Maccabees 4:59


1a) Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
1b) Sirach 48:12
It was Elijah who was covered by the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit; in all his days he did not tremble before any ruler, and no one brought him into subjection.
2a) Acts 4:24
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
2b) Judith 9:12
Hear, O hear me, God of my father, God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all thy creation, hear my prayer!
3a) Acts 5:39
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!"
3b) 2 Maccabees 7:19
But do not think that you will go unpunished for having tried to fight against God!"
4a) Acts 10:26
But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man."
4b) Wisdom 7:1
I also am mortal, like all men, a descendant of the first-formed child of earth; and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,
5a) Acts 10:34
And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality,
5b) Sirach 35:12s
Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it; and do not trust to an unrighteous sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him is no partiality.
6a) Acts 10:36
You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
6b) Wisdom 6:7
For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of any one, nor show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike.
6c) Wisdom 8:3 etc.
She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her.
7a) Acts 17:26
And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation,
7b) Wisdom 7:18
the beginning and end and middle of times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons,
8a) Acts 17:27
that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,
8b) Wisdom 13:6
Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him.
9a) Acts 17:29
Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man.
9b) Wisdom 13:10
But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are the men who give the name "gods" to the works of men's hands, gold and silver fashioned with skill, and likenesses of animals, or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.

See also (from Nestle-Aland list):

Acts 1:10 and 2 Maccabees 3:26
Acts 1:18 and Wisdom 4:19
Acts 2:11 and Sirach 36:7 (?)
Acts 2:29 and Sirach 24:32
Acts 5:2 and 2 Maccabees 4:32
Acts 5:12 and 1 Maccabees 12:6
Acts 5:21 and 2 Maccabees 1:10
Acts 9:1-29 and 2 Maccabees 3:24-40
Acts 9:2 and 1 Maccabees 15:21
Acts 9:7 and Wisdom 18:1

Acts 10:2 and Tobit 12:8
Acts 10:22 and 1 Maccabees 10:25, 11:30, 33 etc.
Acts 10:30 and 2 Maccabees 11:8
Acts 11:18 and Wisdom 12:19
Acts 12:5 and Judith 4:9
Acts 12:10 and Sirach 19:26 (?)
Acts 12:23 and Judith 16:17, Sirach 48:21, 1 Maccabees 7:41, and 2 Maccabees 9:9
Acts 13:10 and Sirach 1:30
Acts 13:17 and Wisdom 19:10
Acts 14:14 and Judith 14:16s
Acts 14:15 and Wisdom 7:3
Acts 15:4 and Judith 8:26
Acts 16:14 and 2 Maccabees 1:4
Acts 17:23 and Wisdom 14:20, 15:17
Acts 17:24, 25 and Tobit 7:17 (?), Wisdom 9:1,9
Acts 17:30 and Sirach 28:7
Acts 19:27 and Wisdom 3:17
Acts 19:28 and Daniel 14:18, 41
Acts 20:26 and Daniel 13:46
Acts 20:32 and Wisdom 5:5
Acts 20:35 and Sirach 4:31
Acts 21:26 and 1 Maccabees 3:49
Acts 22.9 and Wisdom 18.1
Acts 24:2 and 2 Maccabees 4:6
Acts 26:18 and Wisdom 5:5
Acts 26:25 and Judith 10:13 (?)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On the Ethics of Replication of Music, Books, Movies, Software, Etc.

By Dave Armstrong (2003)

The following is based on an actual dialogue I had with an atheist friend, two years ago, over the ethics of replication. The original context was a discussion of software. It then branched out into a larger discussion. I've added a few clarifying additions here and there.

* * * * * 

Is it "stealing" to buy a used record or CD? I don't think so. Is it stealing to rent a video at Blockbuster rather than buy one or go to the theatre? No. Or to tape something off the TV rather than buying the video for $29.95? Or to buy a used book rather than a new one? No to all, in my opinion. I think the ethics depends (largely, but not solely) on whether someone was going to buy a product in the first place. People are taping things on VCR's and tape recorders and now on CD's from the Internet all the time (I use Napster -- which is perfectly legal and determined by courts to not be a violation of copyright law --, for $9.95 a month). If this is massively immoral and unethical, then why do VCR's and tape recorders and CD burners exist in the first place?

The ethics of software is confusing because most of these things are available for free at some point. Two years ago, I needed Word 97 in order to send in the manuscript of my first book. I couldn't afford to buy it new and I wouldn't have, anyway. So is borrowing it from someone else who wanted to enable me to be able to send in my manuscript "stealing"? I don't see that it is. Now, it's true that (like most people) I didn't read the license or whatever. I just knew that I wasn't able to buy the software, so that Microsoft wasn't being deprived of my contribution to their profits. I acknowledge that there is some room for discussion here but I'm not convinced that any of this is "stealing," given the fact that everyone is reproducing stuff all the time, whether audio, video, or software. I think it is a hard case to make, that no one can make a tape of a record or of a show on TV. What are we supposed to do with VCR's and DVD player / recorders, and tape recorders and (now) iPods?

The only sense I can make of this is whether a person would have, and was able to, buy something in the first place. I was not able to, so Microsoft was not deprived of anything by my in effect) borrowing the software from someone else. I don't believe I have "stolen" anything, per the above reasoning (and much more, below). I do think it's confusing and that the reasoning behind reproduction is tangled and confused. Maybe you'll convince me that I must go spend the money to buy Word 97. I would be very interested in your reply to this, as [a mutual friend] never adequately answered my counter-reply when we talked about this years ago. He said it was wrong to tape albums from someone else. I said that it wasn't wrong to tape an album from the [local] library. They rent them out to do just that (someone bought those records; they weren't stolen). And I argued that it wasn't wrong to tape a show off the TV or buy a used book or record. As far as I know, [our mutual friend] does all that stuff. He borrows videotapes from me. So I wasn't convinced by his reasoning at all. It may be that it is a different argument with software.

I would like to hear your reasoning. If you argue strictly from what the license says, that might seem clear-cut, but my argument hinges on the ethics of other people using or reproducing what someone else has bought, and how that works ethically, with software, as well as with music and video and written materials.

In fact, my own computer was put together by a friend of mine. It was his old computer. I assume it had some programs in it already, like Windows 98 and so forth. Does that mean I had to delete Windows 98, go buy it, and re-install it? It was already bought! It's like buying a used car. I can't afford a new car and I couldn't afford a new computer. I'm only a "starving writer." My friend was nice enough to donate his old one, and that was for the purpose of my website, which offers over 500 web pages free of charge to the public. I've written twelve books, and that is the only for-profit part of what I do. This is the problem I have with this reasoning. It becomes a reductio ad absurdum, because the logical chain seems to have no end, and winds up being absurd if applied consistently.

I think that a legitimate, non-relativistic ethical argument can be made on these matters: that it is not stealing. That's what I believe. It may be that you can convince me otherwise if you can offer a cogent reply to my questions above. I respect the fact that you are taking a position on this, and I'm sure you have thought it through, because I see that you are a conscientious thinker.

Your friend,


When this stealing happens (in particular instances) is what remains to be solved here, as well as what "make use of wrongfully" means. E.g., say that a US spy had "stolen" Nazi plans to construct a nuclear bomb. Would that truly be stealing or would it have been completely ethically justified? For that matter, would an individual knocking off Hitler be a murderer?

My friend then asked whether I disagreed with "the concept of intellectual property rights."

No (I'm an author and purveyor of ideas myself; I certainly accept this notion); rather, I am confused as to what constitutes "stealing" by any standard definition, given the massive reproductive resources available today: VCR's, tape recorders, downloads of music from the Internet, used records and books, used cars, etc. It's not so much that I am asserting a point of view definitely, as you are, but that I am confused about this and would like to see it clarified. Obviously, I am not convinced at all that what I did was stealing, or I wouldn't have done it. I would like to think that I am a principled person, especially in matters of ethics, and Christians have all sorts of guidelines as to what is moral and ethical and what is not. If I am convinced by your reasoning, I will go and buy the software as soon as I am able.

My argument was essentially one of analogy: since all these things occur, how does one determine when their uses constitute stealing, and where does one draw the line? I pretty much assume the things you assert. My problem arises from difficulty of application of what is assumed by most parties, in a world where sharing of all these things occurs regularly and routinely, and where loans and gift-giving are not regarded by most human beings as unethical or immoral activities. Actually it is both an analogical argument and an argumentum ad absurdum, simultaneously.

He replied that the creator of intellectual property has rights which include "control of replication." One can buy a book, but not obtain the copyright for that book, and a CD, but not music publishing rights, or a car, but not the rights to its design.

Given these premises, how, then, would you view the ethics of the following three situations (which get to the heart of my difficulty and confusion concerning your position)?:

1. Someone gives me a gift of a car (say, a Cadillac), that they bought.

2. I then use the car to do deliveries and make a profit (I did delivery for ten years, in fact, using my own vehicle, though I did buy used vehicles on an average of every two years).

3. Did I then "steal" a Cadillac because I didn't buy one at a car dealer? Is this car theft? Am, I furthermore, wrong in an additional sense because I am now using the gift that I didn't pay for, to receive further profit and an income?

[this is most analogous to my situation because I am writing books to make a living and utilizing Word 97 to do it]

I. Someone gives me a gift of the movie Gone With the Wind, that they bought.

II. Or (alternately) I taped it off of the TV.

III. Did I steal the movie? Did I deprive Blockbuster of their due recompense because I didn't rent the movie from them, or did I deprive or steal from whomever puts out the movie on video (MGM or whatever), or from some movie theatre that may show it again?
A) Someone buys my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, used (used copies are, in fact, available on right now).

B) I don't get royalties for such a purchase, because it is a "secondary" transaction. I only get royalties from the purchase of the book when it is new.

C) The person who bought the used copy thus saves $5 or $10, and I get no return from his purchase. Furthermore, the person who re-sold it makes a few bucks, whereas I do not make anything.

D) Did, then, the person who bought a used copy of my book, "steal" what is my intellectual property (I have copyright, after all, and I produced these ideas in the particular fashion in which they were arranged in my book) by purchasing my book in this manner, seeing that I got not one red cent from his transaction, and because his buying it used thus enabled him to receive the information without buying it new, in which case I would have received recompense?

E) The same exact situation (with regard to the principle under consideration) occurs when someone buys a book, reads it, and then gives it to someone else, or when a library (including my book) is inherited or otherwise donated as a gift while the owner is still living, or sold to a used bookstore which then makes further profit on these books, or at sales at libraries, getting rid of unwanted books for a pittance, or at yard sales and Salvation Army stores which sell old books, etc.

I trust that the analogy to Microsoft Word 97 is obvious (if not, then I would have to be shown how some difference of principle that I have overlooked, obtains). It seems to me that there is also a "right" of the owner of a purchased product to dispose of it as he wishes, loan it, give it as a gift, or whatever, as long as he isn't making a profit on another man's labor. Whether it deprives the creator of the product (or whoever holds rights, patents to it, etc.) of his due might arguably depend (it seems to me) in part on whether the person who receives the gift or replication would have bought it otherwise.

But then that would mean that at least the people who bought my book used, who would have bought it new if that were the only way to obtain it (new rather than not at all) -- by your logic -- would be engaged in stealing and theft, as would anyone who buys a used book (at least one not in public domain), or reads a library book, or buys a used record or CD.

Thus (following this reasoning through to its logical conclusion), used bookstores and music stores which sell used CD's are engaged in one massive enterprise of wholesale theft. Blockbuster Video and all video rental places like it are one big racket, as they are depriving makers of movie videos from profits. Etc., etc.

This is where I see that your argument breaks down to absurdity; i.e., if your principle is followed through consistently, all of these other consequences would result, and they appear to me to be absurd, at least on their face, without further analysis of the ethics involved in all this (which is where I am hoping you can help me better understand your reasoning). I do think it is probably a relevant ethical factor, then, whether a person would have bought something new if he couldn't obtain it used or free as a gift. But even then, absurdity results if every time such a person purchases a used item, he is stealing. I don't buy it. Not until I see how these difficulties in consistent application of this principle are explained in a plausible, believable, coherent way . . .

I'm not denying owner's rights, but asking (the more I think about it) how "purchaser's rights" operate: what is right and wrong in their case. I'm not advocating going to COMP USA and stealing products off the shelf. But I am asking what is ethical and unethical for the owner of a product (i.e., one who has purchased it) to do with that product? I'm asking how your principle deals with VCRs, tape recorders and CD burners (instruments of replication and used purchases which do not further enrich creators of products). I think I have shown above (or at least offered some thoughts worthy of some small consideration) how this is relevant to the overall ethical question. By all means, please tell me what is "legitimate" and "illegitimate" use of these items, and by what criteria? The legitimacy of gun use [which my friend brought up as an analogy] is clear (for most people): self-defense or just war or police work or hunting are legitimate uses: murder is not. In the case of VCR's and used goods and so forth, the lines are not nearly so clear. And the fact that they are rather fuzzy is precisely why I am not convinced by your argument.

Does someone need permission to give Microsoft Word 97 as a gift? No . . . You say that "A car manufacturer sells you a car, not the design of the fuel injection system." Sure, of course. So a person can sell a used car or give one as a gift (e.g., they accept cars as gifts at various charitable operations). This is selling the product and not the design or "ideas" for the product. I'm not interested in auto engineering when I get a new (used) vehicle (or even in further profit as a result of potential knowledge of same), but in transportation: how to get from point A to point B. Likewise, Word 97 could be loaned or given as a gift as a product, not as the design or patent for the product. And if it cannot, I need to be informed of some difference of principle between Word 97 and a used car or a used book or CD. Are you gonna tell me that you have never bought anything used? Or that if you did, you now consider those purchases instances of theft and stealing? If not, what is the ethical difference of principle?

When I wrote, "I couldn't afford to buy it new and I wouldn't have, anyway," I was expressing the relevant ethical consideration, because in this instance I was not depriving Microsoft of anything they would have otherwise received: they would not receive a profit either way, just as I don't receive a profit (royalties) when someone buys my book used, and I don't receive one if they don't buy it at all. But if they bought it used where they would have otherwise bought it new, then arguably it is an ethically different situation because in that act they have "deprived" me of my royalty (whereas if they would only have bought it used and not new, they did not do that: the consequence for me remains the same in either case). So again, I think that if you wish to press this principle, then you need to apply it across the board and consider what it means for all used purchases.

My friend asserted that borrowing from libraries or friends does not entail "replication."

Even if I grant that, it still does not explain the ethics of used purchases and gifts. Also, this is simplistic in that it doesn't take into account the "replication" by the brain. For example, there are people who could memorize whole books. So would it then be unethical to loan them a book, knowing that they had the capacity to memorize it and make it (literally) part of their own brain? Would that not be "replication"?

He then argued that use of a product entails the creator's "right to compensation."

Ah! Precisely! That would apply to every used purchase as well, which would mean that a person who buys my book used owes me about $4.00. That would mean that every time I buy a used CD (I recently bought Pink Floyd and the Beatles) I would have to send a check to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison (and/or Capitol Records, the music publishers and so forth), and the four guys in Pink Floyd (and/or the copyright owners -- however all that works). I've never bought, e.g., the album Let it Be new. I taped it on cassette from my sister's record in the 70s. A while back I bought a used record version of it. And last week I bought it as a used CD (for Fathers' Day) [since then I also purchased the remastered and rearranged Let it Be . . . Naked used]. So have I stolen it four times? My Fathers' Day gift was a bootleg that I stole (thus constituting two immoral acts)?

I was then charged with utilizing the ad populum fallacy (appeal to large numbers of people doing something).

It's not an instance of the ad populum fallacy because (in its proper context) I'm not appealing to what people do per se, as some sort of argument in and of itself. I agree that taking a head count is not the way to ascertain truth or principles. My argument hinges upon what constitutes legitimate replication, borrowing, and what the owner of a product is entitled to do with it: including gifts, libraries, willed estates, etc.

My argument is, rather, argumentum ad absurdum (which is not a fallacy, and a rather effective and powerful argument, generally speaking), showing that your principle, followed through consistently, would mean the abolition of libraries, used bookstores, used car dealers, used clothing shops, Moms-to-Moms sales of baby clothes and items, used CD stores, video rental places, VCR's, tape recorders, the Trading Times, yard and garage sales, eBay, MP3 downloads (which have consistently been legally warranted in the courts), many charitable efforts such as the Salvation Army of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which rely on donated items then re-sold.

The result is absurd (and, I think, extremely few people who aren't so rich that they needn't worry about buying cars, etc., live consistently in such a way). Therefore, one must question the errors in the premises of the point of view which would result in such an absurd scenario. And this I think I have done. Or at least I have shown by argumentum ad absurdum that the premises need to be questioned and are suspect, even if I haven't hit upon exactly what it is that is in error. I suspect that would come down to "purchasers' rights" (whatever such a concept might mean, after scrutiny and thought).

I respect people who take a stand on principle, whether I disagree with them or not. I don't expect to agree with everyone, but I expect (too often, unrealistically, I'm afraid) that people I am talking to are able to defend their points of view. You do that, so you have my respect, and none of this offends me at all. We simply differ on principle. You see it clearly one way and I see it clearly another way. I'm willing to be persuaded, as always, but (as in theology or philosophy or any arguments I engage in) one has to answer my questions which I think are relevant to the discussion, as explained. I can't be convinced if my deepest objections have not been overcome, as far as I am concerned.

My computer was itself a gift that included Windows 98, so that is an ethical issue again. It's not like I haven't bought anything. I purchased Netscape Communicator, which is what I use to create all my web pages. I pay for space every month for my website, to my ISP. I bought Compuserve software, which I still use to store letters. I bought scanner software which I use, even though the scanner itself quickly broke. I bought Fighter Plane and NASCAR games. I've bought dozens of computer games and educational stuff for the kids (I haven't downloaded a single game from the Internet -- on the other hand, people have also given us many kids' computer games, too). Internet Explorer (which I now use to browse) was a free download.

My friend stated: "With respect to your copy of Word 97, its validity would hinge upon the usage agreement. Based upon what I know of Microsoft licensing agreements, I believe you could rightly possess Word 97, without purchasing it, if the person who made it a gift gave you the installation media and your installation was the only installation."

You seem to think this is mostly a "legal"-type conversation (what might be called "contractual hyper-literalism" for lack of a better term), whereas I am approaching it more from a "larger ethical" or "spirit of the law" perspective (one might say that incorporates natural law at some point). My argument was that the viewpoint you are espousing leads to a reductio ad absurdum, thus calling into question a premise somewhere.

My copy of Word 97 came through [a friend]. It was a copy associated with a pro-life group that he works with. As I mentioned before, I got Windows 98 when this present computer was given to me by a friend, after he bought a new computer. This is the third time he has done this (he also gave my kids a computer). So it would fall under the overall category of purchase of a used item (except that it was a gift).

All you have to do is respond to my specific scenarios and tell me why you think such scenarios constitute theft. That's at least how I envision the discussion proceeding forward. I have no other arguments to give, and am quickly losing interest in this. What I presented were "ethical quandaries" which I think need to be addressed. If they are not, then I cannot be persuaded because my most specific objections were not specifically addressed. So if we both think the ball is in the other guy's court, I guess this discussion is exhausted and wound up a "stalemate" or simply unresolved. That's fine, if so. Discussions have to end somehow.

You have not explained, in my opinion, why my counter-examples do not succeed, in the proper depth for me to be persuaded of your position. Brevity, over-generalization, vagueness, or simple appeal to legal-type considerations are not sufficient (at least not for me). I still do not know exactly why you don't accept my counter-examples. Maybe I am dense or something, but whatever the reason, I remain unconvinced, and the goal of any good argument is to convince the one who initially disagrees with it.

You said that "use of the product" was reason for the producer to receive compensation. That is not the case whenever a used car is sold. Nor do I have the information of how to build a Cadillac. I simply have a car to get from point A to point B (which is what the car was designed to do, functionally-speaking). Likewise, if I get a copy of Microsoft Word I don't have the technology or information used to make the product, but the product itself. Say someone sold it to me used, then Microsoft would not receive their compensation. But to say that no one could give it to me as a gift or as a used purchase would be to rule out all used purchases (and gifts, which were bought by the person giving them, and in some cases, already used by them and then passed on, as with used cars), it seems to me.

And people could then use gifts or used purchases to make a further profit. The car takes me from place to place to make deliveries, so as to make a living. If that is "stealing" from GM, then we ought to shut down every used car lot in the country. Analogously, if I use the Word 97 to write my books to sell, I still produced the product. I did the work to make the profit. So I still say that you are not applying the principle consistently. The reductio ad absurdum applies, as far as I can see.

My friend stated, regarding my Blockbuster Video analogy: "Neither Blockbuster, the distributor, nor the movie theater company own the copyright. The copyright holder was compensated for a single copy by your benefactor. The fact that he passed ownership of the cassette on to you is irrelevant. If you taped a broadcast, then the broadcasting company compensated the copyright holder."

Okay; I'll do the analogy word-for-word to show you why I think that the same thing is taking place:

This situation is not theft nor is intellectual property at stake. Neither the pro-life group, nor my friend own the copyright (or rights, or whatever the proper term) for Microsoft Word 97. Microsoft was compensated for a single copy by my benefactor. The fact that he passed on the program to me is irrelevant. If he copied Microsoft Word 97 onto my computer, then the purchaser of the copy loaned to me compensated Microsoft, the producer.

What is it that isn't analogous?

I'll do the word-for-word comparison again, regarding people buying my book used:

This situation is not theft nor is intellectual property at stake. Neither the distributor (i.e., the individual who sold my book used), nor the used book company own the copyright (I own the copyright). The copyright holder (me) was compensated for a single copy by the person who bought my book new. The fact that he passed ownership of the book to a used bookstore, who then made a profit by re-selling it to someone else (while I received no compensation by the second owner getting my book and its information) is irrelevant. If someone bought a used copy of my book, then the original purchaser of the book (new) compensated me.
My friend thought it was "absurd" to think that my analogies constituted theft.

And it is also absurd to think that they are not analogous to gifts or loans of computer programs.

He then claimed: "if more instances of an actualized idea exist than the creator was compensated for, then somewhere a theft was committed."

That's exactly what happens in used purchases!!!!! You precisely prove my point. Thanks. My books are out there being bought used. I am not compensated for those purchases. But the person who bought the book is compensated, and so was the used bookstore. It is absurd. All you can do is to ban all used sales whatever to avoid the absurdity in application of the principle. Otherwise you are left with a scenario where (as I mentioned before) I stole Let it Be four times because I taped it, and I bought it as a used record and a used CD (twice). Thus, four times I obtained the final product without compensating its creator or publisher or record company, etc. Is that really what you want to argue?

He then appealed to an "ideal situation," in which the creator receives compensation every time his product is used by someone.

"Ideal" is a key word here, and is central to what I perceive as a profound ethical ambiguity or confusion. This creates several problems. If you want to argue that the actual should be the ideal, that is one thing. It obviously isn't (I think we agree). Or you could say the ideal is the equivalent of the legal. That is a position held by many (perhaps also by you): some sort of "legal positivism," but I also see that as self-evidently false. The most notable historical instance of the falsity of this is the Dred Scott decision concerning slavery in 1857. Pro-lifers like myself also cite Roe v. Wade as a gross distortion of the fundamental right to life of all human beings (before one even gets to the Christian objection: abortion was equally revolting to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek pagan father of medicine). Many other examples could be brought forth, from whatever perspective one comes from.

To use a recent example: homosexuals objected to the former Supreme Court ruling (in 1986) against sodomy. So for them that was an "unjust" or "unethical" law. Now the court has stated otherwise, and they are overjoyed. But obviously the court itself couldn't be the standard for what was right and wrong, because it contradicted itself and reversed itself. Sodomy can't be both right and wrong at the same time, and if it is right (or wrong), it always was that; it was not one or the other simply because nine (or five) people on a court said so. I trust that we can agree on this . . .

But anyway, I believe in ideals. The problem here is: who determines what these ideals are?; how are they concretized in law and legislation (and by what epistemological criteria)?; what is their relation to right and wrong?; are there ethical absolutes?, etc. As you noted early on, these are all large questions that we were trying to bypass in a broad agreement upfront. I don't wish to pursue any or all of these now (maybe sometime in the future). I am simply noting in passing that I see complexities abounding in just this one sentence of yours concerning the "ideal" (and it is only one of many such "magisterial" statements you have made throughout this discussion). In other words, I don't think it is nearly as simple of a discussion as you seem to think it is.

The moral fuzziness between the "ideal" and the "actual" (especially when one considers a great many particulars) is closely related to my objection and point of view (insofar as I have one concerning this issue). The complexities brought about by actualities and their conflict with your "ideal" bring into question your principle and make consistent application of it well-nigh impossible, in my opinion. And if it cannot be sensibly or consistently applied then we have grounds to question the principle itself, or at least some aspects of it. Therefore, I continue to hold that something is not theft if it is the ethical / logical equivalent to all my counter-examples (gifts, used purchases, etc.), which you yourself acknowledge as perfectly acceptable transactions and not "theft" or "stealing" (and which society and law have long since acknowledged as perfectly acceptable). My argument has been that there is no distinction whatsoever between such things. This is what I think (with all due respect) you have failed to overcome. I will again show you below in more detail why I think this is the case. Your moralistic "should" does not work in reality, given used purchases, libraries, VCR's, music downloads (themselves upheld by law), etc.

If it can be shown that may analogous examples are not theft (which you already agree with), because no disanalogy has been established, and there is no discernible ethical difference, then downloading Word 97 is not theft either, by analogy. I continue to maintain that if downloading Word 97 is theft, then so are these other instances. This is the inconsistency and (ultimately) the absurdity (or, to use a milder description: the "utter unworkability") in your position. You have not overcome it by simply asserting "ideal" principles in legalistic language and skirting over the very real issues in reality that bring the principle into question, in terms of application.

That's not to say that we should adopt ethical relativism. I am an ethical absolutist (I believe you are, too, if I understand your objectivist position correctly). I'm not denying your principle per se (right to ownership of ideas, etc.), but only the way in which you apply it to real life. The application of laws is as much a legal question and pursuit as the drafting of legislation or rulings from courts. Interpretation and application is everything, not simply words on a page.

Otherwise, the Constitution would have been self-evident, with no need for any further discussion. The courts apply its principles to real life situations. And it is an evolving (or developing) understanding to some extent. In this instance, the courts have ruled that downloading MP3s does not violate copyright law. It has to do, apparently, with the rights of people to share what they have purchased with others.

There is scarcely any distinction between borrowing and possessing, in many cases. For instance, most people read a book once, and then oftentimes they will pass it on to someone else, or a used book place or church rummage, and so forth. That being the case, if they borrow a book from a library and read it, then this is hardly different from purchasing it and reading it. If the same library lends out CDs, a person could take it out for two weeks and listen to it 15 times. Since many people (if they're like me, and I think I am a fairly typical music fan) don't listen to purchased CD's hundreds of times, but rather, usually maybe five to ten times total, then it is quite possible to enjoy the same experience by borrowing a CD from a library or a friend, rather than purchase it. If 150 people borrow the same CD from the library, then that is 150 less times that the publisher and/or artist receives royalties for it. As an author myself, I don't care for that scenario, but it is reality, and I fail to see how it can be overcome, short of forbidding lending libraries, used stores, and any lending between friends at all.

What breaks down in your logic (to cite just one of several instances) is use-of-a-product as compared to ownership of it, and that use in relation to compensation or remuneration of the original owner or creator. One could argue that use of it (by replication or borrowing) is the moral and ethical equivalent of ownership insofar as the borrower or "duplicator" has not compensated the owner/creator and indeed will not do so because he no longer has a need to in order to use the product (or else couldn't have afforded to do so in the first place, as often in my case). This applies to libraries:

1. A library buys a copy of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (my first book).

2. Over 15 years, say, 2064 people take out the book and read it.

3. This is multiplied by the instances of libraries carrying my book.

4. Each instance of borrowing my book (up to thousands, and theoretically up to a conceivable near-infinity of borrowers) involves (in terms of the actual use of the reader and information gained therefrom) a violation of your principle of "one-to-one correspondence between particulars in existence and compensation received by the creator of the universal." It makes no difference that only one reader at a time had the book, or whether they even owned it or not. Each one read it without me (the author and creator) receiving one thin dime. Therefore it was "replicated," ethically-speaking, because in these acts of borrowing and reading it, people received benefit and information from my product that they could have only gotten otherwise by purchasing it themselves (thus giving me the benefit of a royalty). So the library has deprived me of royalties (arguably) most times someone borrows my book. They have "stolen" from me (in your logic).

In fact, it just occurred to me that libraries (and places like Kinkos) probably have computers which include Word 97 in them. I could go rent those computers, use the Word 97 to write a manuscript for a book, then sell the resulting book, and this would all be perfectly ethical and legal according to your reasoning, because the library bought the Word 97 program and a "one-to-one correspondence" was maintained, and the library or Kinkos was fully entitled (legally and ethically) to do what it did. But you neglect to see that it was the library which benefited from buying that and renting it out. Shouldn't Microsoft get a royalty for each instance of this, according to your ethical scenario? Instead, the library profits, rather than Microsoft, and I profit by using its computer, without having to purchase the program, but Microsoft gets nothing by way of further compensation.

And say (since you are fond of infinites) that every author in the world had the means to transport themselves to this library (maybe with Star Trek technology) and use the computer with Microsoft Word 97 to write their manuscripts (all perfectly legally), up to millions of people, or an infinite number of authors (God forbid!). The library (or Kinkos) profits every time; the authors save the cost of purchasing Word 97; Microsoft does not receive one additional penny beyond the original library purchase. What, then, becomes of your "one-to-one correspondence"? It would seem to me that both library and authors / computer users have violated that left and right. Yet you (to my knowledge) have not come out against libraries.

So either libraries or your principle-as-stated have to go. I opt for your principle-as-stated, as I rather like libraries (and I like Kinkos), and so do most thinkers and readers. The only difference between this and a pro-life group loaning me their copy of Word 97 is that the pro-life group didn't charge me a rental fee. Thus, the library (in your view) would be more an accessory to crime than friends who loaned me the copy, as the library made a further profit, and directly assisted in and benefited from a "theft," whereas the friend did not make anything.

What is the logical or ethical difference between the following two scenarios?:

1. It is the library's "right to do whatever it wishes with the tangible property (CD) and the single instance of Word97 it compensated Microsoft for." Part of this "right" is the right to loan it out for library users. They then use it to write books or papers without Microsoft being compensated.

2. It is an individual person's "right to do whatever it wishes with the tangible property (CD) and the single instance of Word97 it compensated Microsoft for." Part of this "right" is the right to loan it out to friends. They then use it to write books or papers without Microsoft being compensated.
What is the ethical difference? Do not both things violate the "one-to-one correspondence between particulars in existence and compensation received by the creator of the universal"? How is "justice satisfied"? There is indeed a difference between the library and the friend's loan inasmuch as when the friend loans it, it is then downloaded onto another computer. But I don't see this as an ethical difference, particularly within the framework that you have set up for yourself, because the key for you is compensation to the creator. And in both instances this is lacking in terms of the author or beneficiary of the loan / gift using it without further compensation to Microsoft. That was my point all along: there are many instances of products being distributed without the owner and creator receiving compensation for it. This is true regarding my own book whenever it is purchased used.

At the library or Kinkos people are still using Word 97 (or other computer programs) without paying for it except for a nominal user's fee which benefits the library or Kinkos and not Microsoft. What you neglect to see is that there is no ethical distinction between what might be called "serial replication" vs. "simultaneous replication." When a person has something does not affect the fact that they have it at some point. So you set up this scenario where Person A has to uninstall Word 97 in order for Person B to ethically use said program. This is irrelevant ethically if the primary consideration is whether Microsoft receives further compensation for use of Word 97. It does not. So what Person A does after he loans it out is irrelevant, except according to some arbitrary "ideal absolute" that exists "out there" but has little relation to ethical reality or right to compensation, as it does not affect it. For Person B could simply uninstall Word 97 and pass it on to another person, up to an infinite number of users.

Each one has the "right" to do with it as he wills, because you have informed us that the initial owner has the right to do what he wills with it, being the owner. Once owner x gives it to beneficiary y, y is now the owner and has the right to do whatever HE wills, and so on, to infinity. So ten million or more people could benefit from Microsoft Word 97 without paying for it, and receiving a loan which continues in a perpetual chain (much like a library, again). Thus, you have cut off the branch you are sitting on. The position reduces to absurdity any way you look at it. The only way to avoid it is to also consider gifts, loans, libraries, and used purchases as unethical and instances of "stealing." You say they are not, but cannot show me any significant difference of principle. Therefore, your position collapses, and it does because your principles are inherently self-contradictory, as shown.

I see no significant difference between shared downloads and use of the same technology at a library (except for the library making a profit from it). For the author, Word 97 is only a means to an end. It is important only insofar as it enables him to do what he wants to do: write a book and make it look nice and impressive. I can do that at a library without purchasing it (I can also do it by borrowing a friend's computer, perhaps with Word 97 on it, for that matter; is that "stealing" too?). And if the library has a "right" to do with it as it wills, and make a profit from it, then I can do what I wish with the loan of the Word 97 that the library legally gives to me. It has given me all that I needed from it: the technology to do the book. If not, then you have to show me how what the library does is ethical, while a friend loaning it out (and not making a profit) is not. The same logic applies to used purchases as well. You create a problem by setting up contradictory "rights" and "principles." Something has to be discarded to regain coherence and consistency in your view.

No one is saying that Microsoft should be subjected to having its goods stolen off the shelves. But I am trying to show that the application of your principles involve contradiction and absurdity because you won't admit that used purchases and libraries and other instances of replication (or deprivations of royalties and profits to creators) of one sort or another, are unethical. I can see why you would be reluctant to make such an admission. But it seems to me that you must either do that or make a serious modification of your original claims.

My position is that I don't see that these principles can possibly be consistently applied without eliminating also all the good things I have mentioned; therefore I question the premise and do not consider downloads theft until I am shown that there exists some difference of principle. You have not shown me one, as far as I am concerned. But your position is based on all these absolute principles (themselves not absolutely unquestionable) that have been shown to contradict one another. The tension is in your position, not mine, because you have come out and stated that downloads are theft, but have been unable to show why, without libraries and used bookstores and Kinkos and the Tradin' Times and used record and CD stores and car lots and second-hand clothing shops and yard sales and church rummages going down in flames as well.

If a friend gives me a computer with Word 97 and Windows 98 installed and then his friend gives him the same (which scenario involves no contradiction of your principle), and so on onto infinity with everyone giving computers with purchased programs to someone else (like the Three Stooges passing the dollar bill around, settling all loans), then this is perfectly acceptable; meanwhile Microsoft makes no further profit at all? It all follows from your stated view. In my case, Microsoft Word 97 was simply a medium to create a book. I was also enabled to do that when I was taught to read and write, and when I learned theology and apologetics and philosophy and English literature and grammar. Do I have to compensate all the people who taught me those things, too, because I use those skills when I write a book, just as I use Word 97?

Whether you can overcome my latest analogies and logical difficulties raised, will be most interesting to watch. I don't think you're the type to run when asked hard questions anymore than I am, which is why this is so intellectually stimulating and fun. You appear very confident to me, and I am too. Like you said earlier, most such discussions would have long-since degenerated into insecure name-calling, but we have allowed this one to get to some real substance and meat, where it is all the more challenging. I'm very impressed by that on your part.

[that was the end of our discussion]


I remember reading somewhere that musicians and music publishers have actually made a greater profit as a result of Napster and other downloading services. It's easy to understand how and why that is, with a bit of reflection. Many people might not hear a certain musician or band at all, but for these services (if they don't listen to a lot of radio, or keep up with the latest music, etc.). With this new development, they can be introduced to a great many new musicians.

Also, on Napster, many tracks have to be purchased individually (for 99 cents). The artist thus receives royalties in those cases. The exposure will then make it more likely that the person may buy a CD from this person or group in the future, whereas before he may never have done so. It becomes a form of advertising and exposure, which is, of course, the name of the game for any product. The market is a dynamic, not static entity, or a "zero sum game". The music stores have started doing a similar thing by allowing customers to listen to excerpts of albums in the store. does the same thing with their short music file excerpts of tracks.

The ambiguities and complexities of copyright law have been dealt with in the courts, which is the system we have for sorting out disputes of this sort. They have decided that Napster and services like it do not violate copyright law (whereas plagiarism of literary or musical material is). If the musicians and publishers don't like that, then tough. We wouldn't expect them to. Everyone is self-interested. I don't like the fact (at some level) that my own books can be bought used, thus depriving me in some cases of a royalty from a new book bought. But this is reality, and we are a society of laws. I say that if all of this replication is supposedly immoral and "theft," then the people claiming this ought to get consistent and make CD burning and DVD replication and libraries and all used venues illegal. Until they do, downloading is no more illegal or unethical than going to the library: a time-honored American tradition. The argument against these things is, in other words, a distinction without a difference, and thus must be discarded.

Response to Kevin Johnson's Criticisms of Home-Schooling

By Dave Armstrong (7-12-05)

This is a reply to a blog post by Reformed Protestant Kevin Johnson. His words will be in blue. I have cited his article in its entirety. My wife home-schools our four children, and has done so since our oldest child (born in 1991) was old enough to be taught (around 1995).

* * * * * 

It is interesting of course that many if not most “anti” public school advocates are products of the very system that they criticize.

Indeed. I should think that puts them in a position to know a few things about the matter. Having been brought up in that thoroughly secular milieu (I attended all Detroit public schools), those of us with that experience would be in a very good place to know firsthand how damaging such an education can be, as it included no spiritual or religious element whatsoever, and very little even in the way of moral or character formation (and was deliberately planned to be such: going back to Horace Mann and John Dewey, who designed the American public school system). My parents were nominal Methodists, so I didn't receive any particular theological or spiritual formation at home. The public schools, of course, have gotten much, much worse, since 1976 when I last attended one. With all that secular rot that I learned, is it any wonder that I emerged as a good little, secularist, pagan? What else would you expect if that was the main input of learning in one's life? You are what you eat, after all . . .

My wife, by the way, was raised Catholic, and went to a very liberal Catholic high school (which is another whole discussion). We are just as opposed to being taught religion badly, as to not being taught it at all. In fact, I would contend that the former is even more harmful than the latter, because mocking various Christian doctrines and beliefs is worse than being ignorant of them. At least if one is totally ignorant they are in a better place to hear both sides of an argument, if they ever get to the point where they encounter them, whereas the one brainwashed with liberal bilge is already predisposed to accept that viewpoint.

Are we to believe that they are among the few that have escaped without damage

I was severely damaged (in the larger sense: not simply the three "r's", etc.) by my early education. If I hadn't undergone an evangelical conversion and studied on my own, and sought some different, more "traditional" or "conservative" or religious opinions on my own, by God's grace, I would have continued on as a political and social liberal for my entire life, as multiple millions do and did. Majoring in sociology and minoring in psychology in college did nothing to change this bad trend, either.

or is it possible that this debate is prejudiced from the beginning?

If you wish to argue that there is nothing wrong enough in the public schools to justify some folks pulling their children out of them (on the basis of both a superior education obtainable elsewhere, and the demands of raising Christian disciples), if they are able to provide an alternative of home schooling or parochial or private Christian schools, then please do so. If I am "prejudiced" against public schools, it is the same kind of "prejudice" I have against secularism and atheism. Some things are negative influences and deficient, and ought to be opposed. Therefore, it is rational to reject them if one is in a place to provide a much better alternative for one's children.

There is nothing in the Bible that tells us that a Christian education is merely about the schooling a child receives from 8am to 3pm.

I agree.

The Bible’s view of education is much more comprehensive than that and I would argue that it does in fact include having normal contact with the community and culture that Christian children find themselves in.

Of course. That doesn't mean, however, that we must expose our children to all sorts of harmful, deleterious moral and ideological influences (as if that helps them). Some will be able to handle it (I never got into serious trouble, despite all the bad influences I received), but many won't. I don't criticize good friends of ours who choose to do exactly this: their children attend public schools, but they are also extensively taught good morals at home. That's one option, and I have no problem with it (as long as it's actually done). So why is it that we home schoolers get a lot of unjust criticism from our friends who don't home school? Why can't y'all live and let live? We have a disagreement here, but there is no need to get legalistic about it. Above, you seem to pit the Bible against home schooling, as if it is intrinsically inferior to a public school education. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I submit that you either don't know much about home schooling and those who undertake it, or that perhaps you may have your own "prejudices."

Homeschooler advocates seem to assume a certain culture should be in place to effect their optimal understanding of education–Father works, mother educates children at home while she stays at home, etc.

Plenty of even secular research shows the high benefits of mothers staying at home with their children. That's the ideal situation. We also know the harmful effects of daycare, from many scientific studies of that unfortunate phenomenon. Not everyone can do this, but that doesn't mean that it isn't the ideal family setup. Historically, usually both parents were at home all day, doing their work, with children around. And most children were home-schooled. It wasn't the case that both parents went away to work. So if anything, having one at home is closer to the historical (and ancient Hebrew) norm than having both work, or sending the child off to some public school.

I think that many would be able to do this, if they would live a simpler lifestyle, and order their finances and priorities differently. Many women want to stay at home, whether they have children or not, or whether they home school or not. They are often forced to go and work outside the home for financial reasons, but if the budget could be changed so that a family can make it on one income, I think that is much better and to be preferred. If my family can do it, on an apologist's and author's income, I think most folks could. We're paying our bills here. Not that it is always a piece of cake, but it is well worth it to make sacrifices in order to have more quality family time and closeness together.

The problem is that this isn’t necessarily reflected as the biblical model

. . . which would be (as an ancient agricultural society) both parents being home. If you want to go that route and talk of "biblical model," then you have to understand that the current widespread situation is only about 140 years old: since the industrial revolution. Most of us have to go elsewhere to work (by the nature of cities, since we can't work our own farm or sell some product from home -- though the Internet is helping to make that more possible), but we can try to maximize time with family, by all means possible. The "biblical model" is also that parents are responsible for making sure that their children are Christian disciples, able to eventually go out and make a real difference in our fallen world.

nor is it necessarily in line with today’s cultural model in terms of how Christian parents should run their home and educate their children.

The Bible is not against 1) parents spending as much time with their children as possible, or 2) Parents being involved as much as possible in their children's education, whether it is home-schooling, supplementary Christian education (through Sunday schools, Bible reading, videos, etc.), choosing good private or parochial schools, or a high involvement in parent-teacher conferences, and so forth.

Daniel and his friends didn’t object to the education they received at the hand of the pagan Babylonians (though they did the diet!)

Since they were in no place to have any alternative, they made the best of what they had. This is a rather weak argument.

and were obviously used of God because of it.

God can use anyone. But again, that doesn't mean that we choose the "least common denominator" because God can use kids who were taught in public schools. Of course He can. He also chose to talk through a donkey once. That doesn't make "donkey-talking" His normative way to communicate to man. Children are children. Often, they don't yet have the discernment, wisdom, and maturity to avoid bad knowledge and influences. There is the issue of peer pressure, which is huge, and of personal safety in some environments. Part of the parents' job is to shelter children from harmful influences. Once they are older, then it is a different story. We certainly need good Christian kids (and teachers) in public schools, to exert a positive influence. But that will be the exception. Most kids aren't strong enough to resist all the overwhelming sinful influences in public schools. They would have to be very confident and quite educated in a Christian worldview to be able to resist all that.

It appears that they not only took advantage of the education but they excelled beyond their peers in “all kinds of literature and learning” (Dan 1:17). Moreover, this is an education, by a pagan state, that the text of Scripture says “God gave them”.

This proves too much. We don't just sit back as parents and say "God will teach my children while they are subject to lots of stuff in the public schools which run contrary to our Christian faith." Our responsibility is to provide our children with the most Christian education we can give them. That could be home-schooling or private Christian schools or parochial schools, or public schools with a serious supplementary religious education.

It may be wiser to take a step back and consider all the Bible has to say about education, the family, and its relevance to our day and age instead of relying on the handful of overly simplistic arguments coming from either side of the fence.

Here we go with the "simplistic arguments" charge again. We just saw how you were mistaken with regard to my papers on possible deuterocanonical references. Now you're going after home schooling, which I happen to be a strong advocate of. If my arguments here are so "simplistic," Kevin, then why don't you respond to them and we can make this a truly substantive discussion, between a home-schooling advocate and a critic of same? I would be more than happy -- delighted -- to make my case on this score and to interact with yours. You can have equal space and time on my blog anytime you like. And that goes for any critic of home-schooling out there. There are all kinds of myths and ignorance surrounding home-schooling. Whatever I can do to counter that is fine with me.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Possible References to the Deuterocanon (aka "Apocrypha") in Mark and Luke (RSV)

By Dave Armstrong (7-9-05)

Derived from pp. 800-804 of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th edition (Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine, published by Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; see the web page from Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin, which reproduced the list. NT passages listed in Nestle-Aland will be in blue, and Deuterocanonical passages in red. Alleged references listed by verse only at the end were deemed (by myself) dissimilar and questionable or non-convincing enough to not reproduce.

[Bible passages were retrieved from the RSV Bible, with Apocrypha, from the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center]

* * * * * 


1a) Mark 4:5

Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil;

1b) Sirach 40:15

The children of the ungodly will not put forth many branches; they are unhealthy roots upon sheer rock.

2a) Mark 4:11

And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables;

2b) Wisdom 2:22

and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls;

3a) Mark 5:34

And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

3b) Judith 8:35

Uzziah and the rulers said to her, "Go in peace, and may the Lord God go before you, to take revenge upon our enemies

4a) Mark 9:48

where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

4b) Judith 16:17

Woe to the nations that rise up against my people! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment; fire and worms he will give to their flesh; they shall weep in pain for ever.

5a) Mark 14:34
And he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch."

5b) Sirach 37:2

Is it not a grief to the death when a companion and friend turns to enmity?

6a) Mark 15:29

And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,

6b) Wisdom 2:17s

Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;


1a) Luke 1:17

and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Eli'jah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

1b) Sirach 48:10

you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.

2a) Luke 1:19

And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.

2b) Tobit 12:15

I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One."

3a) Luke 1:42
and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

3b) Judith 13:18

And Uzziah said to her, "O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies.

4a) Luke 1:52
he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;

4b) Sirach 10:14

The Lord has cast down the thrones of rulers, and has seated the lowly in their place.

5a) Luke 2:29

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;

5b) Tobit 11:9

Then Anna ran to meet them, and embraced her son, and said to him, "I have seen you, my child; now I am ready to die." And they both wept.

6a) Luke 2:37
and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

6b) Judith 8:6

She fasted all the days of her widowhood, except the day before the sabbath and the sabbath itself, the day before the new moon and the day of the new moon, and the feasts and days of rejoicing of the house of Israel.

7a) Luke 6:35
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.

7b) Wisdom 15:1

But thou, our God, art kind and true, patient, and ruling all things in mercy.

8a) Luke 7:22
And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.

8b) Sirach 48:5

You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High;

9a) Luke 9:8
by some that Eli'jah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen.

9b) Sirach 48:10

you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. [Elijah: see v. 4]

10a) Luke 10:19

Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.

10b) Sirach 11:24 [incorrectly listed by Akin (or Nestle?) as 11:19]

Do not say, "I have enough, and what calamity could happen to me in the future?"

11a) Luke 12:19
And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.'

11b) Tobit 7:9 [incorrectly listed by Akin (or Nestle?) as 7:10]

So he communicated the proposal to Raguel. And Raguel said to Tobias, "Eat, drink, and be merry;

12a) Luke 12:20
But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'

12b) Wisdom 15:8

With misspent toil, he forms a futile god from the same clay -- this man who was made of earth a short time before and after a little while goes to the earth from which he was taken, when he is required to return the soul that was lent him.

13a) Luke 13:27
But he will say, `I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!'

13b) 1 Maccabees 3:6

Lawless men shrank back for fear of him; all the evildoers were confounded; and deliverance prospered by his hand.

14a) Luke 13:29
And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.

14b) Baruch 4:37

Behold, your sons are coming, whom you sent away; they are coming, gathered from east and west, at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the glory of God.

15a) Luke 14:13
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,

15b) Tobit 2:2

Upon seeing the abundance of food I said to my son, "Go and bring whatever poor man of our brethren you may find who is mindful of the Lord, and I will wait for you."

16a) Luke 18:7
And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

16b) Sirach 35:16-17 [incorrectly listed by Akin (or Nestle?) as 35:22]

He whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and his prayer will reach to the clouds. The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and he will not be consoled until it reaches the Lord; he will not desist until the Most High visits him, and does justice for the righteous, and executes judgment.

17a) Luke 19:44b
. . . because you did not know the time of your visitation."

17b) Wisdom 3:7a

In the time of their visitation . . .
18a) Luke 21:24
they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
18b) Tobit 14:5
But God will again have mercy on them, and bring them back into their land; and they will rebuild the house of God, though it will not be like the former one until the times of the age are completed. After this they will return from the places of their captivity, and will rebuild Jerusalem in splendor. And the house of God will be rebuilt there with a glorious building for all generations for ever, just as the prophets said of it.
18b) Sirach 28:18
Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen because of the tongue.
19a) Luke 21:25
"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
19b) Wisdom 5:22
and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them;
20a) Luke 24:4
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel;
20b) 2 Maccabees 3:26
Two young men also appeared to him, remarkably strong, gloriously beautiful and splendidly dressed, who stood on each side of him and scourged him continuously, inflicting many blows on him.
21a) Luke 24:31
And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.
21b) 2 Maccabees 3:34
And see that you, who have been scourged by heaven, report to all men the majestic power of God." Having said this they vanished.
22a) Luke 24:50
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
22b) Sirach 50:20s
Then Simon came down, and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and to glory in his name;
23a) Luke 24:53
and were continually in the temple blessing God.
23b) Sirach 50:22
And now bless the God of all, who in every way does great things; who exalts our days from birth, and deals with us according to his mercy.
See also (from Nestle-Aland list):

Mark 1:15 and Tobit 14:5
Mark 6:49 and Wisdom 17:15
Mark 8:37 and Sirach 26:14
Mark 9:31 and Sirach 2:18
Mark 10:18 and Sirach 4:1 (?)
Luke 10:17 and Tobit 7:17 (?)
Luke 10:21 and Sirach 51:1
Luke 13:25 and Tobit 14:4
Luke 15:12 and 1 Maccabees 10:29 [30]
Luke 15:12 and Tobit 3:17

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Most Influential and Meaningful Books In My Life

By Dave Armstrong (7-7-05)

This survey or "meme" has been making the rounds, and everyone's doing it, so here is my shot (I'm curious about your answers, too; please share):

How many books do I own?

. . . virtually all used or purchased at a deep discount; I once got a bunch for free from a Catholic library which was scaling down. I've been attending the AAUW used book sales every year since 1985, and we also have some great used bookstores around here, such as the one mentioned below. A Baptist pastor friend of mine used to have a great used Christian bookstore, too.

The most spectacular purchase I ever made was at a suburban library sale that I only attended this one time. It was about ten years ago, and they had a complete set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1985 edition) for $75. Wow!

Another great "book story" occurred two years ago at one of the AAUW sales. I was particularly looking for primary Luther works, and the Lord provided, as He so often has these many years, book-wise (knowing that I couldn't afford new books, and that I needed books for my apologetics and research purposes). Sure enough, after I waited a good hour and a half to get near the front of the line at the beginning, I looked down and there were thirteen volumes from Luther's Works, the 55-volume set in English. I had never seen any of them used before. So I swooped them up. I was sitting on the floor looking through them and a lady came up to me and asked me who Luther was. Then I noticed that they were not priced. So I asked one of the workers what they would cost. She told me $1.00 each. We had to pay cost-and-a-half the first day, so each cost $1.50 for a big, long hardcover (even many other similar books at the same sale were priced $5 or more). They go for about $20-$25 used on the Internet. I got 13 of 'em for $19.50: less than the price of one new hardcover. Now that is good stewardship of one's money!

What’s the last book I bought?

The Beatles: Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn, 1988 (used for $15; like new condition, at the marvelous John King Books in Detroit, which has four floors and 900,000 or so books)

What’s the last book I read?

Chrionicles, Vol. 1, Bob Dylan, 2004.

What an amazing poetic and "romantic" mind . . . When you see how the man thinks and describes things, you realize the extraordinary imagination he draws from, for his lyrics. He makes connections between things and free associations that would never have crossed my mind in a million years. That's why, of course, the book was so interesting to me ("I couldn't put it down"), because of trying to enter into another mind so different from mine. I definitely have a romantic and semi-mystical outlook, too, but I could never put certain non-rational, ethereal aspects of it into words as Dylan does. That's the genius of poetry: to give word and expression to deep longings and feelings of a non-rational sort. The closest I can get to that deep wellspring is in certain nature photographs I have taken (some of which I have posted on this blog).

What are the five books that mean the most to me?

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis (1952)

Lewis is my favorite writer. I read this in the late 70s, before I seriously started my own apologetic writing and evangelism. It has influenced so many. The role it played in my own life was to give me a simple but thoughtful introduction to a "thinking man's Christianity." Thus it was a key step prior to apologetics proper; rather, it showed me how rationality and faith were not antithetical to each other (one of the foundational principles of the apologetics enterprise). At the time I was in college and was attending an evangelistically oriented Lutheran church, which was great for newly-committed Christians of the low church evangelical variety (this particular church was far more "evangelical" than Lutheran) but not quite as good for developing the Christian mind (though it did have a great little bookstore of numerous Lewis and Bonhoeffer books). Moreover, the book influenced my nascent ecumenism, since it was an attempt to present what all Christians had in common. This always stuck with me, in my Protestant days, and since my conversion to Catholicism. I have emphasized ever since (it has even become one of my leading "themes") that ecumenism or Christian unity and apologetics are harmonious and complementary, not in contradiction.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell (1972)

. . . the book that atheists and agnostics love to hate (and also some Christian apologists or apologist-bashers who mock it because it is introductory in nature). But an introduction is just that; one shouldn't expect more from something than what it purports to be. Everyone has to start somewhere, so I find such attitudes rather condescending and unappreciative. As it was, this book (which I read in 1981) almost singlehandedly provoked an explosion of interest on my part, in historical apologetics (previously I had read only the more philosophical style of apologetics, of C.S. Lewis, and Francis Schaeffer in 1980 when I was attending Inter-Varsity in college: Wayne State University in Detroit).

Thus, this work profoundly influenced what turned out to be my career. After I read this, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Before that time, I didn't, at age 23 and with a relatively worthless (both ideas- and job-wise) degree in sociology nearly completed. 15 years later, I completed my first book of Catholic apologetics, entitled A Biblical Defense of Catholicism. It was originally modeled (especially in its early version, which compiled a lot of other peoples' apologetics) after McDowell and also James Cardinal Gibbons' book, Faith of Our Fathers. It was intended to provide "biblical evidence for Catholicism" (the name for my website, begun in 1997), in the same way that McDowell had marshaled historic evidence on behalf of Christianity in general, because people think the Bible is opposed to Catholicism, the way they often think that history disproves Christianity itself.

The Gravedigger Files, Os Guinness (1983)

In the vein of Lewis's wonderful Screwtape Letters, this book by a brilliant evangelical thinker takes the concept of that book one step further by applying a searing analysis to various pitfalls and shortcomings in modern Christianity, from a profoundly Christian and historically long-sighted sociological perspective (influenced a lot by the well-known Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger). When I read this in the early 80s I was already involved in cult research and apologetics and street apologetics. In 1982 I had written an extensive critique of the "name-it-claim-it, hyper-faith / God always heals movement in charismatic circles (now on my website). I had also majored in sociology in college, so I could relate to the analysis. But the courses I took were thoroughly secular. Needless to say, Christian sociology is infinitely more thought-provoking and explanatory (not to mention, interesting) than the secular variety.

The Spirit of Catholicism, Karl Adam (1928)

The best introduction to Catholicism, in my opinion, if one is looking for a treatment of wide scope and vision (also the assessment of Lutheran-then-Orthodox historian Jaroslav Pelikan). It draws you in and doesn't let you go. It's irresistible. I doubt that an anti-Catholic would allow himself to be thus enraptured, but for someone with an open mind on the subject, this book will provide a sense of the majesty and profundity of the Catholic Church's teaching. It played a key role early in my journey towards the Church in 1990. I described it in my conversion story in Surprised by Truth as "a book too extraordinary to summarize adequately. It is, I believe, a nearly perfect book about Catholicism as a worldview and a way of life, especially for a person acquainted with basic Catholic theology."

Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, by John Henry Cardinal Newman (1845)

This is the book which put me over the edge and convinced me to become a Catholic. It is widely considered the leading treatment on the subject of development of doctrine (my favorite area of theology, and a large emphasis in my apologetics), particularly in its Catholic application or interpretation. I wrote about this book, too, in my published conversion story:

This book demolished the whole schema of Church history which I had constructed. I thought, typically, that early Christianity was Protestant and that Catholicism was a later corruption (although I placed the collapse in the late Middle Ages rather than the usual time of Constantine in the fourth century).

Martin Luther, so I reckoned, had discovered in Sola Scriptura the means to scrape the accumulated Catholic barnacles off of the original lean and clean Christian "ship." Newman, in contrast, exploded the notion of a barnacle-free ship. Ships always got barnacles. The real question was whether the ship would arrive at its destination. Tradition, for Newman, was like a rudder and steering wheel, and was absolutely necessary for guidance and direction. Newman brilliantly demonstrated the characteristics of true developments, as opposed to corruptions, within the visible and historically continuous Church instituted by Christ. I found myself unable and unwilling to refute his reasoning, and a crucial piece of the puzzle had been put into place -- Tradition was now plausible and self-evident to me.

In another paper recounting my conversion from a more technical theological / historical perspective, I wrote, following Newman's analogical reasoning:

One need not posit an absolute break of continuity in order to equate the present Catholic Church with the "Church" of the early centuries. One need only understand the true nature of development, whereby doctrines can grow in the sense that they are more clearly understood, and more deeply and thoroughly explicated, while not undergoing any essential transformation. But Protestantism requires a radical change of principle, and hence, fails the test of what constitutes a true development, in Newman's analysis. Besides, corruption can just as easily consist of subtraction as addition. Corruption entails a departure from normalcy and precedent.

Furthermore, it is instructive to realize that what we now consider orthodox in early Christianity, is simply the position of the Roman apostolic see, which was proven right again and again on this score, far beyond coincidence, given the multiplicity of heretical sects in the early centuries, and the thousands of competing Christian denominations today.

Honorable mention: G.K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy, (written, incidentally, 14 years before GKC's conversion to Catholicism), Louis Bouyer: The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, Thomas Howard: Evangelical is Not Enough.