Monday, August 16, 2010

Resurrected fish?

John W. Loftus said...

So, Tim, Herodotus is known as the father of historical writing. Do you believe him when he writes that a whole town of people saw some cooked fish resurrected before their eyes?

Loftus borrowed this vignette from Richard Carrier. In TCD, Carrier uses this vignette as a way of daring Christians to apply the same scepticism to Scriptural accounts that they routinely apply to extrascriptural accounts.

You only have to read Timothy McGrew's brief but trenchant reply to see how utterly misleading Carrier's showcase example truly is:

It would help to focus discussion if you could provide references for such claims. I take it that the story in question is the one here, but if so, then the description you’ve given is misleading in three ways: (1) not a whole town, just a few people standing around; (2) not resurrected, just flopping a bit while being cooked; (3) not endorsed by Herodotus, but attributed to the report of the Chersonetans. You might want to be a little more skeptical of your sources next time.

Did the fish flop around a little when placed on the grill? I don’t know. Could be.


Tim said...

For the sake of those who haven't looked up the passage of Herodotus: the fish were supposed to be dead and preserved -- "corned" is the word Taylor uses in this translation -- but all that is said of them is that "the fish as they lay over the fire quivered and palpitated, as if just caught."

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