mercredi 9 avril 2014

Neither Sungenis nor Palm is totally right on Psalm 18 (Sungenis is less off)

1) Creation vs. Evolution : If some pseudo-orthodox thinks Patristic and Literal interpretation of Genesis are incompatible ..., 2) CMI on Allegorical Method - Answered, 3) Literal Sense vs Literalistic Approach, Allegoric Sense vs Figurative Approach, 4) Great Bishop of Geneva! : Congratulating Lita Cosner on agreeing basically with StThomas Aquinas, 5) Mark Shea's Understanding of Scripture, 6) HGL's F.B. writings : Neither Sungenis nor Palm is totally right on Psalm 18 (Sungenis is less off)

"Posted by galileowaswrong on Jun 18, 2013 in Blog" ? June 18, 2013? Hmmm ...

Debunking David Palm, Phase 8
The Literal Interpretation of Scripture

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
Psalm xviii. (Cœli enarrant.)

Ver. 6. Sun. Here God seems to reside, (Ferrand) and the magnificence of his works shines forth, insomuch that almost all nations have offered divine honours to the sun, and even the Manichees adored it, imagining that it was the very body of Jesus Christ. (St. Augustine, contra Faust. xiv. 12., and xx. 6.) --- Hebrew, "For the sun he has place a tent in them," the heavens, (St. Jerome; Haydock) or the ends of the world. The Jews supposed that the heavens rested, like a tent, upon the earth. (Calmet, Diss.) --- The Hebrew preposition l, may have (Haydock) different meanings, ad solem posuit, &c. "He placed a tent in them, at or for the sun." The idea of the Vulgate is more noble, but we would not exclude the other, which is very good, (Berthier) and obviates the gross mistake of the Manichees. (Amama) --- The Vulgate may admit the fig. hypallage, (M. Geneb.) as good authors say dare classibus austros, and thus it may signify "he placed the sun in his tent." (Haydock) --- This vast body stands in need of no vehicle, or tent, but itself. (Diodorus) --- It was placed in the firmament at first, (Genesis i. 16.) and still performs its revolutions exactly. (Haydock) --- Giant. Moderns would render "a strong man;" and Bythner remarks that the bulk of a giant would render him less fit for running, as if the stoutest wrestlers were not often the most active. (Berthier) --- The sun is represented as a hero at some of the ancient games. St. Augustine and St. Jerome explain all this of Jesus Christ, who diffuses the light and warmth of his grace throughout the world. (Calmet) --- He always resides with the Church, and is never divorced from her. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Circuit. So the Hebrew word is rendered "revolution." Septuagint and Vulgate, "meeting" occursus, may insinuate that the sun is found in the centre, while the earth moves daily and yearly round it, according to the Copernican system. But we must be more attentive to the life and motions of Jesus Christ, in whom the Deity resided corporally. (Berthier)

New Advent > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 19

6. « In the sun has He set His tabernacle. » Now that He might war against the powers of temporal error, the Lord, being about to send not peace but a sword on earth, Matthew 10:34 in time, or in manifestation, set so to say His military dwelling, that is, the dispensation of His incarnation. « And He as a bridegroom coming forth out of His chamber » Psalm 18:5. And He, coming forth out of the Virgin's womb, where God was united to man's nature as a bridegroom to a bride. « Rejoiced as a giant to run His way. » Rejoiced as One exceeding strong, and surpassing all other men in power incomparable, not to inhabit, but to run His way. For, « He stood not in the way of sinners. »

7. « His going forth is from the highest heaven » Psalm 18:6. From the Father is His going forth, not that in time, but from everlasting, whereby He was born of the Father. « And His meeting is even to the height of heaven. » And in the fullness of the Godhead He meets even to an equality with the Father. « And there is none that may hide himself from His heat. » But whereas, « the Word was even made flesh, and dwelt in us, » John 1:14 assuming our mortality, He permitted no man to excuse himself from the shadow of death; for the heat of the Word penetrated even it.

My ensuing comments, quoting Sungenis directly and Palm via Sungenis:

"neither Augustine nor any of his patristic colleagues allegorized Joshua 10."

Wrong. Sun standing still so that Joshua's men can beat Amalekites is an allegory for Christ as Sun of Justice giving us the light to beat our vices. A standing allegorisation of Joshua 10 since Origen.

However, this allegorical take has nothing to say against the historical one.

"Psalm 19 could only be categorized [I read allegorized] as phenomenal language [if etc.]"

You need to check up [unless he wrote categorized where I read allegorized] on what Allegory means, Robert Sungenis! Even Jonathan Sarfati, who rejects it, could help you out.

Taking any words as "phenomenal language" is only possible while strictly talking of the Literal Sense.

CMI : Mutilating Miller*
by John Woodmorappe and Jonathan Sarfati
A review of Finding Darwin’s God
by Kenneth R. Miller
Cliff Street Books, New York, 2000

Quoted and corrected by me in:

Creation vs. Evolution : CMI on Allegorical Method - Answered

"Miller’s inconsistent thinking comes through in many other ways. Like a compromising evangelical, he misrepresents Augustine and Basil (p. 255), and states that the Days in Genesis were supposed to be understood as long periods of time. But Augustine thought that Creation was instantaneous, and so he erred in the diametrically opposite direction. He was a member of the Alexandrian school that fancifully allegorized almost all Scripture (which did not necessarily deny its historicity but tried to seek additional meanings), and was not a Hebrew scholar."

[Those were the words about Miller, back to Palm and Sungenis, this time Palm:]

"Attribution of emotions to the sun reminds us that we are still firmly in the realm of metaphor."

Palm totally misses and Robert Sungenis upholds not the parallels Baruch 3 and Job 38:7 (the Song of the 3 young men in complete versions of Daniel 3 could be construed as a quasi-psalm).

May I remind that Pagan Greeks in St Augustine's day were far more likely to tout Plotinus than Heliocentrism, so if an idea is found in Plotinus, before we conclude it is erroneous, what about checking if the Church Fathers contradicted it or not?

Oh Palm ...

"And finally the psalmist emphasizes the sun’s heat, which would confine his description to the daylight hours."

The Sun is as hot on Australia when we have night in Paris as it is hot on Paris while they have night in Australia!

That was so NOT an argument for phenomenal language!

"First, what Mr. Palm doesn’t understand is that, from the geocentric model, Psalm 19:1‐6 can refer either to a daily or an annual cycle. That is because in the geocentric model the sun travels with the universe on a daily basis and completes a circle, but the sun also completes another circle of its own because it lags behind the stars by about 1 degree per day, which then makes the sun travel through the Zodiac in one year. The heliocentric model has no such movement of the sun. So, Mr. Palm wants to take it as a daily movement, but also insists that the language is merely metaphorical of a sunrise and sunset. We thus refute him on the basis that the passage does not refer to a sunrise or sunset. It refers to an orbit, even on a daily basis. On an annual basis, there is also an orbit, and one that is more specifically related to the sun itself since the annual orbit is independent of the rotating star field, whereas the daily orbit of the sun comes from the fact that it rotates around the Earth with the rest of the universe."

That is true of the Greek Geocentric model, with a round earth. Not quite so of the Hebrew Geostatic (and often conceived by Rabbis as Flat Earthed) one.

Chrysostom: And again, David saith of the sun, that “he is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.” Seest thou how he places before thee the beauty of this star, and its greatness? For even as a bridegroom when he appears from some stately chamber, so the sun sends forth his rays under the East; and adorning the heaven as it were with a saffron‐colored veil, and making the clouds like roses, and running unimpeded all the day; he meets no obstacle to interrupt his course. Beholdest thou, then, his beauty?

Gregory Nazianzus: The sun is extolled by David for its beauty, its greatness, its swift course, and its power, splendid as a bridegroom, majestic as a giant; while, from the extent of its circuit, it has such power that it equally sheds its light from one end of heaven to the other, and the heat thereof is in no wise lessened by distance.

St Gregory Nazianzus is not [necessarily] thinking about circuit as in terms of Hebrew words that can also mean year.

Each day-and-night (nychthemeron, Swedish has the word "dygn" which derives from dag=day) the sun is in fact making two semicircles or a full circle. From easter horizon to western one during daytime, and from western horizon to eastern on the antipodes during nighttime.

"The only one who is going to run screaming for the hills is Mr. Palm, since his whole essay is nothing but historiography, not history."

History is what happened, or more properly diligent research into it. Historiography is a bad or good writing down of it.

"Be that as it may, perhaps Mr. Palm doesn’t realize that, in the geocentric system, in order to make an annual orbit the sun has to go through 365 daily orbits. So, as fast as it requires the sun to travel for the daily orbit is as fast as it goes for the annual orbit."


In Greek Geocentrism as per Aristotle et al. the quick motion is attributed to the Primum Mobile. Sun is moving both along it, passively, and against it, actively, slower in the course of a year.

So in this view the yearly movement is 365 times slower than the daily one.

In Hebrew view, as per Josephus on Abraham, each star is moving with physical independence of the other ones (making God choreagrapher and mover by giving orders to angels rather than physical mover). This means the Sun itself is making a very swift movement (on the Greek view this would be true of the compound movement, heaven's movement minus sun's own) but a little less quick than that of Sirius, Aldebaran, and so on.

[That mere difference of speed adding up to full circle in one year.]

"The sun does not rise vertically and then trend lower, and it does not form a “complex wobbly spiral.” Rather, the whole universe is swaying between the 75 million mile margin created by the 23.5 degree angle made between the line from center of the Earth to the center of the sun , which then carries the sun in its motion. As such, the sun will always complete the same circle it began with, since it always moves in the same plane."

Still, even if this were the true physical explanation, phenomenally it is seen from earth as zenits rising higher in summer and sinking lower in winter. Except on equator where the high points are spring and autumn months (as per other parts of world) and the low points summer and winter points.

The most obvious and simple explanation of this, without resorting to Heliocentrism, is that Helios is driving his chariot in an interesting way, even if he is doing so much more in order to obey God who wants all parts of the Earth to have seasons.

"The idea that we can reach firm conclusions about scientific details of the universe by reading such a text looks increasingly ludicrous."

The question is what Palm means by detail.

If it is unimportant detail, why is Palm bothering to answer Sungenis as if the matter were important?

If it is NOT unimportant detail, but a vital matter, would Palm admit we can in THAT case find scientific truth in the Bible? Or would he find that as ludicrous as his Atheist friends would?

"In the geocentric system is the sun’s “course” or “circuit” literally from horizon to horizon? No, in that system its “course” or “circuit" literally is a circular/elliptical orbit that has no end points."

Nevertheless its passing by horizon make convenient "end points" quoad nos. Even very convenient ones.

"Once we speak of end points then even from the geocentric vantage we are unambiguously in the realm of phenomenological language. And if it’s only the language of appearances then it cannot be claimed to contribute any concrete knowledge about actual, physical motion."

If that were true of the descriptions in the INDICATIVE third person about the Sun, it can hardly be so for a command in the IMPERATIVE, second person to the Sun. Which is what we find in Joshua 10.

Providentissimus Deus:

To understand how just is the rule here formulated we must remember, first, that the sacred writers, or to speak more accurately, the Holy Ghost "Who spoke by them, did not intend to teach men these things (that is to say, the essential nature of the things of the visible universe), things in no way profitable unto salvation." Hence they did not seek to penetrate the secrets of nature, but rather described and dealt with things in more or less figurative language, or in terms which were commonly used at the time and which in many instances are in daily use at this day, even by the most eminent men of science. Ordinary speech primarily and properly describes what comes under the senses; and somewhat in the same way the sacred writers -- as the Angelic Doctor also reminds us -- "went by what sensibly appeared," or put down what God, speaking to men, signified, in the way men could understand and were accustomed to.

  • Problem: a miracle worker would not be in the same position. IF the Pope referred to Geocentrism/Heliocentrism debate.

  • Problem 2: if he did, why did he not simply name it?

    We are NOT obliged to take every hint and allusion from the Pope, in matters where he dare not speak up loud and clear.

  • A non-problem - the Pope thereby does explain why Atomism vs Continualism is not treated in Scripture.

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