I’m moving my blog to tumblr for now. I will also maintain my self-studying blog.
(from Diplomacy World #1)
In November 1971, Hoosier Archives published the Lepanto Opening which started a mad craze to name and create new valuable openings for the various countries. Following in that tradition, we have had the Baltic Opening, the Ionian Gauntlet, the Churchill Opening and a host of the more popular and classical openings moves. Each one outlines in careful steps the various ways to go about a specific national or personal objective in the best style given a certain set of diplomatic relations.
With the appearance of the Illyrian Opening, we see the craze going past its usefulness and disintegrating to a naming fest.
The diplomatic relations for this opening rested on the early Italian-Austrian alliance in 1901-02 with the agreement that Italy was to use the convoy to Syria or the Lepanto Opening to take down the Turks. The Italians are convinced that they must stab the Austrian in 1902 (spring) for whatever reason he holds dear to his heart.
The proposed moves were then, Spring 1902:
Italy–F Nap-Ion, F Ion-Adr, A Tun H and A Ven-Tri. It is assumed that Venice will sail unopposed into Trieste.
I hold that this is a less than optimum stab and that the “correct” or maxi-stab would be to substitute: A Tun-Alb, F Ion C A Tun-Alb, A Ven-Tri, F Nap-Apu. This leaves the Italian player in a much stronger tactical position than the suggested moves by Lipton and gives the Italian player an offensive position from which he has the option to make supported attacks against either Serbia or Greece.
These attacks, or potential attacks, on Serbia and Greece give the Italian player greater flexibility in dealing with both Turkey and Russia, a diplomatic position one does not have in the more defensive stance brought on by the move to the Adriatic.
One of the critical things to remember in all stabs, and one can see this in the above example, is that a stab is an offensive move and you must not take a defensive position on the initial thrust if it is to be an effective demoralizing blow. The stab, to be ideal, must hit initially and then continue to threaten and take further centers in the next move to keep the enemy reeling from the blows and forcing him to use a defensive stand rather than a counterattack.
This will gain you diplomatic leverage and the elimination of your target. And that’s what a stab is all about anyway.
I thought this would be fun, and once I started I didn’t want to stop. As it turns out, it has become quite the helpful exercise:
1. You can’t prove Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
2. We give gifts on Christmas. This practice had to come from somewhere outside ourselves!
3. So many other people on the planet all practice this, that shows the existence of Santa has some truth to it!
4. I feel the Christmas Spirit each December and you can’t explain that to me outside of a universe with a Santa Claus in it.
5. If we could see Santa Claus pouring gifts down chimneys or flying by in his sleigh, that would ruin the whole effect.
6. Mankind should give Santa Claus cookies because he first gave us presents.
7. There are just too many examples of families who are not well-to-do somehow managing to get their child a gift for Christmas. That gift had to come from somewhere and I just don’t think a non-Santa worldview can explain that.
8. Santa is the most benevolent and cheery being you can think of, so he must exist.
9. I feel Santa Claus’s presence in my day-to-day life.
10. I write Santa Claus letters and I believe he answers my requests (from time to time).
11. Santa Claus revealed himself to us through his human representation on earth, Scott Calvin, in the film series called Santa Clause. The popular scholarly opinion of the day is that this is a fictional work or simply an allegory (because impossible things purportedly take place in the narrative), but I believe that this film is the truth, that these miraculous happenings are proof of its trustworthiness, and that it illustrates the need in the human condition for a Santa Claus.
12. Humanity cannot treat one another well without an example to show us how. / Santa Claus’s standard for naughty and nice lists is the only way we could have systems of morality.
13. Humans are naturally inclined to believe in Santa Claus: it’s built into our make-up.
14. I have had contact with one of his elves.
15. There’s no harm in telling your child that Santa Claus is real.
16. Some version of Santa Claus has been in human history for a very long time; this points to one true Santa Claus that all the other versions (St. Nicolas, Kris Kringle) acknowledge and seek to understand.
17. Believing in Santa Claus is what works for me and it’s been in my family for generations and it’s how I’ll instruct my family!
18. There has to be some source for abstract qualities like love. I believe this source is Santa Claus.
19. Santa Claus and Christmastime give me purpose in life. Your life has no purpose and never can or will since you don’t believe in Santa Claus.
20. Santa Claus is our source of knowing what good is, as he is responsible for all the good in the world.
21. Santa Claus holds our universe together. Without him fulfilling this function, everything in nature would fall apart.
22. I can’t: love my kids/wife, raise my children, or do another part of my life to which I attach extremely personal emotions unless I love Santa Claus first.
23. My parents believe(d) in Santa Claus and taught me to. Are you saying they aren’t trustworthy?!
24. I believe Santa Claus currently rules over a kingdom we cannot see in the North Pole from whence he controls all of the contents in this universe, and one day he will reappear before our eyes to become the sole ruler over all the people that inhabit this planet. This is a day I cannot wait for!
25. People who don’t believe in Santa are evil / eat puppies / cuss at infants / commit atrocities, etc.
26. Believing in Santa Claus is better than not believing in Santa Claus, because if he’s real then I’ll get presents, and if he’s not then I have nothing to lose by believing.
27. Belief in unproven/unprovable entities is good in itself.
I have argued in the past that a single, centralized federal government is begging for unlawful increases in power, and can never be changed by voting as a result of its massive size; a single citizen’s vote cannot count toward anything. What this eventually boils down to is that she has absolutely no sovereignty over her own life, nor any say in her government. “We should just shrink it,” I used to argue, “to a smaller size… for example, since our states are somewhat like the size of whole, sovereign countries in Europe, we could just make states sovereign and have the people of Texas deciding what Texas does, rather than being a part of the decision concerning what happens to residents of Maine and Oregon.”
In light of these thoughts of mine, I want to give you some perspective on voting, and how much your vote counts.
We will use me as an example, in the scenario that the United State makes voting compulsory, as it is in Australia and Malta (I hope my math is right on all of these!):
When I vote in a federal election, I am 1 of roughly 307,006,550 people.
My vote in a federal election is worth: 0.000000325% of the vote. That’s about equal to being one of the seconds in a period of 9 years, 8 months, and 12 days. That means, approximately, that that first second on October 18, 2000 is you, and just right now (June 30, 2010), was the last second of the amount you are part of.
Okay so that’s way too big to mean much, so we should have just states govern themselves! Then I would vote for the happenings of my state and it would be fairer since there would be way fewer people voting on stuff they don’t know about (namely, how to run my state when they live in Alaska)… right?
When I vote in a state election (Georgia), I am 1 of roughly 9,829,211 people.
My vote in a state election is worth: 0.00001% of the vote. That means you’re close to one ten-millionth of the population (by the way, a meter is one ten-millionth of the distance from the Equator to the North Pole… an atom is about one ten-millionth of a millimeter across).
Wow, I didn’t know I was that insignificant, even in a state election… I really don’t have any say, even over what the governor and the state legislator do? I always thought that was really small! …All right, fine, let’s go even smaller, what I thought was microscopically small: local government.
When I vote in my home county’s election (surely, I get a lot of say in this!), I am 1 of roughly 789,499 people.
My vote in a county election is worth: 0.00012% of the vote. That’s one one-millionth (1.2E-6). A micrometer is one one-millionth of a meter… which means a hundred of you are the width of a strand of human hair (100 μm wide). You and seven of your friends count as the diameter of a red blood cell (8 μm), setting winning 100% of the vote at a whole meter.
Wow, so I can’t even influence my county’s government that much? That’s such a tiny portion of the vote!! That’s hardly anything at all! What am I even voting for?
Now, now. We could make each city sovereign, where only the people within that city vote for what they want. Since our example guy lives in a pretty small city (about 11,000 people), let’s see how much his one vote means in the scheme of things for voting for the mayor. I’m sure it makes a difference.
When I vote in my home city’s election, I am 1 of about 11,307 people.
My vote in a city election is worth: 0.008% of the vote. “Wow! That’s pretty sizable!” you might say; but remember, we have been comparing to your molecular droplet in the ocean of others voting for things that you don’t want to be law, but that still apply to you and can send you to jail.
Even at such a “small” level, you’re still only about seven seconds in a whole day of other people.
“Then,” you might be saying, “that’s why it’s so important that I get a lot of other people to vote the way I do, so the country goes in the right direction [meaning, the way I want it to]!”
All right! Sounds good, let’s do it. Suppose I do some serious campaigning or bribing or threatening and everyone in my city votes for, say, a third party candidate that no one knows about but us. That’s still only .0036% of the vote, which means my entire city and I together are only about 10 feet high, compared to the line called the Kármán line, which defines the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
Well that’s not very high at all… that’s hardly anything compared to the whole distance, huh?
But let’s be crazy! Somehow voting has got to be the best way to govern ourselves! Let’s think outside the box and imagine that, somehow, you have managed to get the whole state of Georgia to vote for a certain presidential candidate! Wow, wouldn’t that be crazy! What a huge number of people that is, isn’t it? Certainly a lot; imagine that they all went in and ticked the right guy. What progress!
If everyone in Georgia voted for the same candidate, that is worth 3.2% of the vote. Everyone living in my entire state voting for one guy would still only be an inch toward the yard that is the election.
You may conclude from this, as I have, and as 43.2% of Americans of voting age did in the 2008 election (which was the biggest voter turnout since 1968!), that it’s probably just not worth it to cast my single little vote. After all, how much is my say really even worth?
Even in the most recent voter turnout, which was about 56.8% of Americans of voting age, as a single one of them, the difference you make is only .00000075% of the vote… making you still only about the width of a hemoglobin molecule in the distance between the floor and the top of a doorknob. In other words, you’ve gone about the width of a human finger (21 mm) in the entire length of Interstate 95, which stretches from Houlton, Maine, to Miami, Florida (about 3 megameters). You’re the weight of an adult lion against the collective weight of the entire human population of earth.
So at least, I guess, we can be happy that not everyone votes!
After all, it means you’re worth (a microscopically tiny amount) more.
But, in all likelihood, I’ll keep voting, since even though it’s not true to any extent that we can reasonably measure microscopically, it’s nice to think that when the results are announced, you’re a part of them.
Again, prompted by an article by Mr. Daniel Florien, I will examine the question, “When did the temple veil rip?“
That Mark, Matthew and Luke give different times of the tearing of the temple veil, and thus contradict each other — Mark says after Jesus dies, Matthew says during or after, and Luke says before.
“Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:37-38, NRSV)
(This “and” (και) must mean to Mr. Florien an explicit ‘after,’ when in fact the two events are not given a straightforward time relation, which would indicate they happened simultaneously or possibly that the second happened directly after, for example, as a result of the first.)
“Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:50-51, NRSV)
(The NRSV does indeed read “at that moment,” but this is a superfluous addition to the original Greek, which reads ιδου — which is not at all a measure of time, but rather it is a verb in the imperative, meaning behold or lo. Young’s Literal, which was more painstaking in its care not to add anything, does not add this “at this moment,” which is not in the Bible. What is there, ιδου, suggests a simultaneous occurrence or one that is a direct result (he died and behold! this happened). So far, so same.)
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:44-46, NRSV)
(Again, this “then,” which does appear in the NRSV, is not in the Greek. The actual Bible says “and” (και) again, just like it did in Mark. His telling the events in a different order is not problematic, especially if the two events happened simultaneously. More on the “how did they know” below.)
Now, the following are from Young’s Literal Translation:
Mark 15:37-38. 37And Jesus having uttered a loud cry, yielded the spirit, 38and the veil of the sanctuary was rent in two, from top to bottom,
Matthew 27:50-51. 50And Jesus having again cried with a great voice, yielded the spirit; 51and lo, the vail of the sanctuary was rent in two from top unto bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent,
Luke 23:44-46. 44And it was, as it were, the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land till the ninth hour, 45and the sun was darkened, and the vail of the sanctuary was rent in the midst, 46and having cried with a loud voice, Jesus said, `Father, to Thy hands I commit my spirit;’ and these things having said, he breathed forth the spirit.
It is hoped that after looking, everyone will see the difference between the Literal Translation of the Greek and the NRSV that Mr. Florien is dismissing, as well as see the lack of a difference between the gospel stories.
Florien then asks how the gospel writers would have known the time the veil tore in two, since they didn’t have watches, there was no video, and the veil wasn’t near Jesus.
One possibility is that, since the temple sanctuary was a very sacred and very important place to the Jews, the area behind the veil the holiest, for it to be rent in two would be sensational to them; it would be the talk of the town, at least for a while (until the veil gets replaced, at the very least). They would have learned about it from all over; the people, for a while, would be talking about the day the temple tore in half and what time it was and what they were doing when it happened. It would not be difficult at all for the apostles to realize that it happened at the same time their Teacher died. Also, the strangeness of its tearing from top to bottom and, as Mr. Florien says, its being 4-inches thick and just ripping, would add to the sensation.
Because the first written mention of the veil ripping in two is in the Bible, and no Jewish or Roman sources mention it, Mr. Florien dismisses the possibility of its occurrence.
The translation which Mr. Florien criticizes for being inconsistent is a mistranslation. The accounts in the Greek say the same thing on this matter — it is the NRSV, not the Bible, which contains the “at this moment” and the “then” which have caused him to come to the conclusion of a contradiction in the timing of an event. The basis of his argument is an erroneous English translation; what he is criticizing is extra-Biblical, not written by the Evangelists.
Prompted by an article written by Mr. Daniel Florien, I am considering the question “When was Jesus crucified?“
In the following writing I hope to answer this challenge by attempting to use the original Greek texts of the writers of the gospels in setting out to satisfactorily prove that the Bible is authoritative and non-contradictory on this matter, as in all matters; I say “attempting to use” because my source is, obviously, not personal knowledge or fluency in Koine Greek, but rather the assistance of a very helpful and profoundly indexed comparative Biblical Greek text website.
Again, all English translation quotations are pulled from YLT, Young’s Literal Translation. It is in the public domain.
The claim made by Mr. Florien is that Mark and John give different times of Jesus’s death (in fact, different days): that Mark says it was “on the day after the Passover Meal” (Mark 14:12, Mark 15:1, 25) and John says it was “on the day before the Passover Meal” (John 19:14). For these he quotes from the NRSV.
He then quotes a book called Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, by Bart Ehrman, saying it is the best explanation he has heard: namely, that John, knowingly falsifying the historical accuracy of his account, changed it on purpose to score a theological point — namely, to verify his message, unique among the gospels, of Jesus as Lamb of God.
It is necessary to look at what the Bible says about these events and their timing in order to clear up any contradiction Mr. Florien believes to have found therein. The following quotes are from the YLT (from BibleGateway.com) and from the Greek, which was obtained from Great Treasures.
12And the first day of the unleavened food, when they were killing the passover, his disciples say to him, `Where wilt thou, [that,] having gone, we may prepare, that thou mayest eat the passover?’ [...] 1And immediately, in the morning, the chief priests having made a consultation, with the elders, and scribes, and the whole sanhedrim, having bound Jesus, did lead away, and delivered [him] to Pilate; [...] 25and it was the third hour, and they crucified him;
(Mark 14:12, Mark 15:1, 25, YLT)
Strictly from the YLT we can see it is a bit different from the NRSV, which for 15:25 gives “It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.”
And as for the Greek:
Mark 14:12. Καὶ τῇ πρώ¦τῃ ἡ¦μέ¦ρᾳτῶν ἀ¦ζύ¦μων, ὅ¦τε
τὸπά¦σχα ἔ¦θυ¦ον,λέ¦γου¦σιν αὐ¦τῷ οἱμα¦θη¦ταὶ αὐ¦τοῦ·
ποῦθέ¦λεις ἀ¦πελ¦θόν¦τεςἑ¦τοι¦μά¦σω¦μεν ἵ¦ναφά¦γῃς τὸ πά¦σχα;
Mark 15:1. Καὶ εὐ¦θὺς πρω¦ῒσυμ¦βού¦λι¦ονἑ¦τοι¦μά¦σαν¦τες οἱἀρ¦χι¦ε¦ρεῖς
με¦τὰ τῶνπρε¦σβυ¦τέ¦ρων καὶ τῶνγραμ¦μα¦τέ¦ων καὶ
ὅ¦λοντὸ συ¦νέ¦δρι¦ον,δή¦σαν¦τες τὸν Ἰ¦η¦σοῦνἀ¦πή¦νεγ¦καν
Mark 15:25. ἦν δὲ ὥ¦ρα τρί¦τη καὶἐ¦σταύ¦ρω¦σαν αὐ¦τόν.
Looking at the Greek, the clear lines of importance are those concerning the day and time of the action and the action itself.
και ευθυς πρωι συμβοωυλιον ετοιμασαντες οι αρχιερεις μετα των πρεσβυτερων και των γραμματεων και ολον το σθνεδριον, δησαντες τον Ιησουν απηνεγκαν και παρεδωκαν Πειλατω.
(the portions parsed below are bolded in the quote)
/and/ /immediately, directly/ /at-morn/, [...] /the-nom./ /chief-priests-nom./ /with/ [...all the others that the YLT lists...] /having-bound (δέω)/ /the-acc./ /Jesus-acc./ /they-carried-away (ἀποφέρω)/ /and/ /they-did-betray;hand-over/ /Pilate-dat./
This after our nearest mention of the day, which is quite nearby: Mark 14:12:
και τη πρωτη ημερα των αζυμων, οτε το λασχα εθυον, λεγουσιν αυτω οι μαθηται αυτου που θελεις απελθοντες ετοιμασωμεν ινα φαγης το πασχα;
/and/ /the-dat./ /first-dat./ /day-dat./ /the-gen./ /unleavened-gen.-pl.-adj./, /when/ /the-acc.-s./ /passover (pascha)/ /they-were-killing;sacrificing (θύω) 3rdp.-impf.-act.-indic./ [...]
which roughly becomes ‘and to the first day of the unleaveneds, when they were killing the pascha,’
The events of the rest of Mark 14 are the Last Supper and Jesus’s capture, which took place the night before what Mark tells us is the morning of the day Jesus was crucified.
Mark indeed does set the day before the events of the crucifixion as the first day of the unleavened (when Jesus’s pupils — μαθηται, mathetai, a fascinating word — were killing the pascha).
By the way, Luke 22:1 attests to Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened being the same thing (“And the feast of the unleavened food was coming nigh, that is called Passover,”). The tradition of eating the Passover Seder is observed on the first night of the Passover week.
ην ((én) [...] he, she, or it was.) δε ωρα τριτη (de, conjunction of antithesis, particle transitioning to something new; (h)ora, instant, season, hour; trité, third.)
The translation of ωρα is given the following definitions: “instant,” “any definite point in time,” “a certain definite time or season,” “a day,” “a twelfth part of the day-time, an hour, (the twelve hours of the day are reckoned from the rising to the setting of the sun, Jn. 11:9.” This last mentioned practice is what led modern translators to say 9:00am, for sunrise is at 6:00am, and three hours thence would indeed be 9:00am; therefore, Florien seems to be right about the time mentioned in this passage.
και (kai, and.) εσταυρωσαν (estaurosan, [3d pl aorist active indic] they staked, from root σταυρόω, stauron, to stake, to drive stakes) αυτον (auton, [3d sing acc] him).
The action which takes place at this hour is clearly the staking of Jesus (to qualify, as against his death or any other occurrence).
Mark says that the staking of Jesus took place at the third hour after sunset (Mark 15:25) — making it 9am (John 11:9) — on the day after the first day of the unleavened (Mark 15:1, following 14:12 and the subsequent events).
First, our literal English translation:
14and it was the preparation of the passover, and as it were the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews, `Lo, your king!’
(John 19:14, YLT)
And, the Greek:
John 19:14. ἦν δὲπα¦ρα¦σκευ¦ὴ τοῦ πά¦σχα, ὥ¦ρα ἦνὡς ἕκ¦τη. καὶ λέ¦γειτοῖς Ἰ¦ου¦δαί¦οις·ἴ¦δε ὁ βα¦σι¦λεὺςὑ¦μῶν.
John’s account is disconcerting for Mr. Florien, because, as he says:
…in Mark, Jesus was nailed to a cross at 9am the day after the Preparation of the Passover. In John, Pilate is about to send Jesus to his death at 12pm on the day of the Preparation for the Passover.
Those timelines just don’t add up. At least one is false; both cannot be true.
(“When Was Jesus Crucified?”, by Daniel Florien)
Should he be disconcerted? Let’s examine it. First things first, the Greek and the parsing.
ην δε παρασκευη του πασχα, ωρα ην ως εκτη. και λεγει τοις Ιουδαιοις ιδε ο βασιλευς υμον
/it-was/ /”now”-conj./ /making-ready-at-hand;preparation-sing./ /the-gen./ /passover (pascha)/, /hour/time/ /it-was/ /as;(with numerals=about)/ /sixth/. /and/ /he-lays (λέγω)/ /the-dat.-m.-pl./ /Jewish-adj.-dat.-pl./ /behold-2nd-sing.-aorist-active-imper. (εἴδω)/ /the-nom.-s.-m./ /king;ruler (βασιλεύς)/ /your-pron.-2nd.-pl.-gen./
which essentially becomes: it was now the preparation of the pascha, the hour was about sixth. and he [Pilate] lays/relates to the Jewish behold the ruler of ye.
This verse says during the preparation of the pascha, at about the sixth hour, — 12 noon — Pilate, who is standing next to Jesus, lays (says) to the Jewish, behold the ruler of ye.
By “cursory,” I mean only at Young’s Literal Translation, and not at the original Greek.
Matthew says the crucifixion took place the day after Jesus ate Passover with his disciples. Matthew 26:17 says “on the first [day] of the unleavened food came the disciples near to Jesus, saying [...];” Matthew 26:20 says evening came; then the Last Supper happens; then v.30, they go to the Mount of Olives, then v.36 to Gethsemane; the cock crows marking a new day and Peter’s lie; Matthew 27:1 says morning comes, making this the day after they eat Passover together; it does not give a time of Jesus being staked to the cross. Verses cited here.
Luke says the crucifixion took place the day after Jesus ate Passover with his disciples. Luke 22:7 says “And the day of the unleavened food came, in which it was behoving the passover to be sacrificed;” Verses cited here.
As for the time of day: Mark says that at 9:00am Jesus was staked, and John says that at noon Jesus was paraded by Pilate as “the king of ye.”
In short, the Bible says Jesus was crucified at two different times; there is no way around this. Which of the two given times is true? As Mr. Florien rightly said, “Both cannot be true.”
Well, John writes in the original Greek the word ως (related to ωσει hōsei 5616), both of which are defined as “as if,” “as though,” “something like,” or “as it were” — “as it were” is what how Young literally translated it. This word that describes John’s time-of-day is not one of clarity or certainty — it probably holds a symbolic meaning, such as that it seemed like noon, meaning the sun was so hot that it felt directly overhead, even though it was earlier in the morning.
Even if that interpretation is unsuitable, and it does indeed mean ‘about noon,’ the way it is translated in these verses, it still remains anything but an expression of certainty and should not be taken as one.
Now, here’s why I think Mark and John are talking about the same day:
1. In relation to the other events (Jesus eating the Last Supper/Seder with his disciples the night before the crucifixion), and the number of days in between it and other events, it is clear that the two writers are referring to the same occurrences and mean the same day.
2. Because “as early as the 1st century, it was commonly held among Pharisees that the Feast of the Unleavened Bread started the day following the Passover feast, and lasted seven days:”
“The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the passover, and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues seven days, wherein they feed on unleavened bread; But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first “partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them,
(Antiquities of the Jews Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 5).”
(all from the Wikipedia page about Passover)
Therefore, Passover Feast (Last Supper) and then day one of the Unleavened Bread. Probably, by the time John was writing his gospel, which was years after Mark wrote his, this change in the definition of the Passover Week had come; this could be one reason that the uncertainty is there as to which day.
Because of faulty, or more gently, less concise/accurate/creative English translations* read only about, with no sense of the meaning “as it were” or “something like,” this passage is assumed to be saying “around the sixth hour.” I’m convinced that, after examining the original text and the meaning of that word in plenty of other places in the Bible — “as though” — John simply meant that it was as though it were noon.
Another possible explanation, if the first one isn’t sufficient for you, could be that the authors use different time, such as the New American Standard Bible and the God’s Word Translation suggest*, with the purpose, perhaps, of appealing to a different audience — Matthew (Jews), Mark (probably Romans), Luke (Theophilus and, perhaps, all Gentiles), John (Gentile, Christian audience). The source of these probable audiences, Ken Palmer, also says in the same writing that Mark used Roman time rather than Hebrew; this is something to consider.
The third and most liberal explanation I heard/read offered is that the time of John’s gospel is different because of a lack of interest on John’s part of maintaining exact accuracy in the time of day; either John preferred to write “about theology, not history” (as this Dennis Bratcher article argues) or he did it on purpose to make Passover coincide with Jesus’s death, and show the Lamb of God picture more clearly to his readers. This is the explanation that Mr. Florien said was the best he ever heard; I disagree here, as I think the Greek word and the separate audience are both stronger. Nevertheless, it is an explanation that has been offered for the seeming contradiction here.
*KJV, NIV, NLT, CEV, ESV, NCV: “about,” NASB: “about,” with a footnote reading “perhaps 6 am,” GWT: “about six o’clock in the morning.”
All quoted material, unless otherwise noted or attributed, are taken from Short Definitions, New Testament. ©2008 Great Treasures. This is a new, electronic by-Greek-word edition of Bullinger’s lexicon, adding: massive reorganization into “By Greek Word” ordering (the original was organized “By English Word”); transliterations; reference (Strong’s) numbers; and Unicode Greek characters. All rights reserved worldwide.
A response to “Is Objectivism Merely a Disguised Materialism?” by Jonathan Dolhenty.
The reason for Peikoff’s insistence that Objectivism is not a form of philosophical materialism is well explained in the paragraphs following the very page Mr. Dolhenty cites, found in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. I quote from it here:
This does not mean that Objectivists are materialists.
Materialists . . . champion nature but deny the reality or efficacy of consciousness. Consciousness, in this view, is either a myth or a useless byproduct of brain or other motions. In Objectivist terms, this amounts to the advocacy of existence without consciousness. It is the denial of man’s faculty of cognition and therefore of all knowledge.
Ayn Rand describes materialists as ‘mystics of muscle‘ — ‘mystics’ because, like idealists, they reject the faculty of reason. Man, they hold, is essentially a body without a mind.
— (OPAR, p. 33, emphasis added)
Seely’s definition of modern materialism seems to exclude Peikoff’s main objection to the philosophy: the abnegation of consciousness as “unnatural” or as “unscientific on the grounds that it cannot be defined” (OPAR p. 34). Peikoff then contends that “there is no valid reason to reject consciousness or to struggle to reduce it to matter; not if such reduction means the attempt to define it out of existence” (OPAR p. 35). Dolhenty’s description of materialism, “which believes all reality is material and only material,” is more like Peikoff’s than Seely’s is.
Dolhenty is correct in his identification of the philosophy of Objectivism as non-idealist. However, his description of one of its potential categories, “moderate Realism,” as accepting of a “nonmaterial or immaterial reality” is facetious, evidently an attempt to corner Peikoff later in the article to include the possibility of some sort of God-figure. Objectivism is, indeed, not Idealism, and for the reason above, not Materialism; it then could be (circumlocutorily) described as a “moderate Realism.” There is also a need to mention Dolhenty’s straw man, which takes the form of a fictional Peikoff who answers in a way he imagines, to which he then responds.
The allowance for — or rather, acknowledgement of — consciousness in Objectivism is not an allowance for nonmaterial reality which cannot be perceived by either introspection or extrospection. Both means are accepted in the Objectivist philosophy; the former for the perception of material entities (to use Peikoff’s example, the eye), the latter for the perception of consciousness.
Peikoff goes on to call the acceptance of consciousness and the mind, which separates his philosophy from materialism, the acceptance of reason. In any case, the sought-after grounds on which Objectivism distinguishes itself from materialism are made clear in the subsequent paragraphs of Peikoff’s treatise.