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Response to intaglio (Reply #55)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:50 PM

57. Please. Let's be accurate.

Intaglio,

You claim that what I wrote about Jefferson “is a very concise description of the practice of Apologetics as performed by a Deist.” But that's simply not true.

What I wrote was the following:

Jefferson was merely pointed out the "lovely benevolence" of the universally true words of Jesus, and he edited out and rejected and refuted all the "corruptions" and supernatural elements in the doctrines and dogma in the church canon.”


A Deist believes in the existence of God on the evidence of nature and reason, and rejects the supernatural and dogmatic elements and myths of certain organized religions. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a "revealed" religion, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, like Jefferson, Deists can and do respect and even honor much of the wisdom expressed by the founders of those religions, as I’ve pointed out.

Your claim that “Deists perform Apologetics” is not true. As I’ve pointed out before, Apologetics is the defense of unverifiable religious claims, dogma, doctrines, myths and beliefs based on faith, such as Paul’s theology of Christian Apologetics or other forms of religious Apologetics. But Deists are not Apologists.

Now about Issa, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Notovitch which cites its sources, there are a number of critics and accusers of Nicolas Notovitch who have indeed said what you have said about him. However, your argument is based only on the claims of critics and accusers and “debunkers” who have actually been debunked, and you ignore the evidence that supports Notovitch.

It should be acknowledged that the name "Issa" is derived from the Sanskrit "Isa" which means the Lord, and the Arabic name Isa is used in the Qur’an or Koran to refer to Jesus.

Even those who have rejected Notovitch’s account and accuse him of perpetrating a hoax have to admit the undeniable fact that Notovitch had been in Leh. One critic accusing Notovitch was a “Professor J. Archibald Douglas of Agra,” in June 1895, who had to admit that Notovitch had been to Leh, but Douglas’ accusations included a claim that the chief lama of the Hemis monestery at Leh repudiated the statements ascribed to him by Notovitch, and declared that no such work as the "Life of Issa" was known in Tibet. And some other critics and accusers claim that the story of his visit to Hemis was simply an idea borrowed from H.P. Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled, which speaks of a traveler with the broken leg was taken in at Mount Athos in Greece and found the text of Celsus' True Doctrine in the monastery library.

But in fact proof was found that Notovitch was in Leh and Hemis, and there is proof that the Tibetan document about Issa was real.

For example, according to James W. Deardorff, a Professor at Oregon State University at
http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/ecumensm.htm

The findings of the Hindu monk, Swami Abhedananda, support Notovitch's discovery in practically all respects. ... Having learned of Notovitch's find and read his book, he decided to take his own trip to Himis monastery to check it out, which he did in 1922, accompanied by some others, including an expert translator from Leh. They persuaded a lama to show them a manuscript containing the Isa verses, which he read to Abhedananda and his interpreter, who then translated them into Bengali. The Himis manuscript was in Tibetan; the original was said to have been written in Pali and to exist in the monastery of Marbour near Lhasa, all of which confirms what Notovitch had learned, and indicates that J. Archibald Douglas (a critic and accuser) had either been hoaxed into confirming the conclusions he was looking for, or had engineered such a hoax himself. We have much in writing about Abhedananda and who he was, but nothing about this ‘Professor Douglas.’ Abhedananda wrote his book containing their travelogue and a fresh version of the Isa verses in stages, with the help of an assistant and a later editor; in 1987 it was finally translated into English.”

“The Swami ordered and numbered his set of Isa verses after the manner of Notovitch's set; however, the set he presented contained far fewer verses than the 244 within Notovitch's set, which is consistent with Abhedananda mentioning that his set was derived from just one book at the monastery, while Notovitch had mentioned a second book or manuscript being involved also. In addition, however, Abhedananda omitted publication of many verses, apparently because they contain material that could be deemed offensive to different branches of Hinduism. Comparison of those verses that are common to the two sets of Isa text indicates little difference in substance but very appreciable differences in sentence structure and detail, as is to be expected from different translators and languages of translation having been involved
.”


In 1893, Notovitch's work was first presented at an international forum in Chicago by Shri Virchand Gandhi, an important delegate to the First Parliament of the World's Religions. Shri Virchand Gandhi is credited for originally translating and publishing the same work in English in 1894 from an ancient manuscript found in Tibet. This version is available online.

According to Ramakrishna Vedanta Math at http://www.ramakrishnavedantamath.org/swamij.html
One of the skeptics who personally investigated Notovich's claim was Swami Abhedananda, who journeyed to the monastery determined to either find a copy of the Himis manuscript or to expose it as a fraud. His book of travels, entitled Kashmir O Tibetti, tells of a visit to the Hemis gompa and includes a Bengali translation of two hundred twenty-four verses essentially the same as the Notovitch text,corroborating the existence of the documents.

In 1925, the Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich also journeyed to the monastery. He apparently saw the same documents as Notovitch and Abhedananda. There is a documentary and a book on this subject, by Richard Bock, who seems to believe Notovitch's claims (book and film 1976-77, DVD released 2007).An extended publication regarding the years spent by Jesus in India, with extremely detailed historical accounts and pictures, is contained in the best selling book "Jesus lived in India" by Holger Kersten.

You can continue, if you wish. But if I were you, I would make adjustments.
.

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