Talk:Cultural and historical background of Jesus/Archive 6

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Summary of Summary discussions/votes

Summarized by - Amgine 02:35, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC) Re-formatted to shorten TOC - Amgine 00:50, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(a) Should specific asides about things that happened to Jesus be included
3 votes in favour, 2 votes opposed
Discussion centered on issues of duplication, whether it would be better to have two articles - one avoiding the existence of Jesus in 1st century Palestine, the other exclusively on the existence of Jesus in 1st century Palestine - or a single article inclusive of all points of view.
(b) Should a section about other groups who believed in Messiah figures exist
6 votes in favour, none oppposed
Discussion consensus that messianic groups were part of the milieu therefore relevant, though a detailed listing of known movements was opposed by one speaker.
Revised text agreed to pending "tidying up a bit" (reflects all suggested edits found in Summary discussions): "Jesus is [traditionally/usually] held to have lived in the first century in Judea. Without addressing Jesus existence as an actual historic figure, this article discusses the cultural and political forces active at that time. see: Historicity of Jesus for information relating to the existence of Jesus as a historical figure."
(c) "Rabbinic Judaism" followed Phariseeism, or "Later forms of Judaism"
1 neutral vote
This issue is specifically in contention between two debaters. Neither seemed able to come up with the reverse geneological statement "Rabbinic Judaism is descended, in part, from Phariseeism", and the issue (in this section) remained unresolved.
(d) Should the area be called "Palestine"?
2 opposed, 4 in favour, 1 in favour of a qualified simple term (possibly Palestine)
Discussion revolved around historical precision, and as Roman Palestine did not exist in a reasonable formulation at precisely the time in question there were objections to its use.
(e)Is the quote below NPOV?
According to most Christians, Jesus lived in the first century in Judea, and was, at least in part, shaped by the cultural and political forces active at that time
3 opposed, 1 in favour
Discussion by opposed revolved primarily on including the term "Christians", while pointing out the issue is resolved by proposed text under (b) above.
(f) Did the Jewish people in general consider pharisees living saints?
No votes recorded on the subject
Discussion had a general consensus that "saint" was perhaps a poor word choice, including by the original contributor. No other term developed a consensus.
g) Is the phrase Son of man necessarily apocalyptic?
1 opposed, 3 examples of opposition (but not formally voted opposed)
Discussion points out that Son of Man is the authority article, and that it was used both apocalyptically and otherwise.
(h) Introductory sentence to qualify Jesus may not have been real?
5 in favour, 1 opposed
Discussion had general consensus, but split over the question of assumed existence of Jesus throughout the article. At least one call to include mention of source texts in the introduction.
(i) "at the time of Christ" or "this time"?
1 oppose "at the time of Christ", 1 in favour of "neutral text"
Both comments suggest a variety of phrases excluding specific reference to "Christ".
(j)Which of the following (A or B) is NPOV and accurate?
  • A Moreover, the followers of Jesus offered Gentiles a form of Judaism that emphasized the universal over the particular. When it became apparent that most of the Jews preferred Rabbinic Judaism (represented by the Pharisees), followers of Jesus turned primarily to Gentiles and emphasized universality even more.
  • B Unlike the Pharisees, followers of Jesus were willing to seek to convert people, and it is thought by some scholars that, during this period of mixing, Christianity adopted more universal interpretations, distancing itself from Jewish thoughts.
2 votes Neither are NPOV, 1 abstain
Discussion effectively suggests User:FT2's version of the statement should be accepted.
FT2's version: Originally the intent was to preach to the Jews. Some but not all requirements were removed, as it was felt that the new emphasis was on faith and not detailed laws. Thus there were 'Jewish Christians', Jews who believed in Christ Messiah. When the Jews as a community rejected this, the Christian message was taken to the gentiles instead. To make it palatable, and draw a line separating them from the Jews (who were by now becoming politically dangerous associates) many more of the restrictive laws were removed and the emphasis was shifted. The mesage that reached the gentiles was therefore a more universal one, in the sense that it was easier to digest, its appeal was more emotional than legalistic, and it did not contain many of the practices beliefs and rituals by which the Jews kept themselves separate from others.

Summarized Sections - 04-11-22

FT2's comments
FT2's official Request for Comments comments address the substantive issues which led to the revert war by Slrubenstein and Cheesedreams, and are themselves a summary which may be found in Archive 3. No discussion, no votes.
Summary of Title discussion
No formal voting. This section is primarily an essay by one debater to present arguments outside the initial summary above, with various additions, discussions and digressions.
Proposal to move article to Historical Jesus, 4 opposed, 1 in favour, 1 in favour of creating two additional articles (Origins of Christianity and Ancient Palestine)
Important unopposed statement (by Pedant: This article is about what its title says it is. It 1) presumes the existence of Jesus and 2)states outright that the presumption was made and refers to both the Parent article and a sister article that discusses whether Jesus existed and 3)is only about the history and culture of the region as it bears on the (real or imaginary) person: Jesus, the central figure in Christian Theology. Anything that conflicts with 1) 2), or 3) does not belong in THIS article, anything that is factual and doesn't belong here, can go in one of the other articles. Nobody here is either a "Bible-Thumping-Jesus-Freak", or "Jesus-Doesn't-Exist-Nutjob. We are all editors, we are all good at our job, we are all concerned that this article be a good one and fits the wikipedia standards.
Summary of Gerrymandering discussion
Irrelevent to the article, per se. Discussion regarding the unethical but legitimate practice of "packing the house".
Summary of Thoughts on article
In this section, addressing questions raised in previous section on title, FT2 questioned the focus of the article, most of which concerns were addressed by Cheesedreams and Slrubenstein pointing out extant articles addressing those concerns. A disagreement between Cheesedreams and Slrubenstein as to whether the initial votes should be implemented (Cheesedreams) or the article focus determined (Slrubenstein) closes this section unresolved.

Summary of Votes on outstanding NPOV queries

Jesus references
Purpose of article: Pedant's comment is that "the article, is neither about Christianity nor religion and really there is not much need to discuss who it is that does or doesn't believe Jesus actually lived, the article is about the culture and events of the 'time in which Jesus is said to have lived'" As presently titled, agree? Disagree?
5 agree, 2 disagree
Should there be asides about Jesus' life in this article or should it be pretty much a pure historic and cultural context with points only made and linked which may be needed as neutral background understanding?
3 agree, 2 asides when necessary, 1 pure context
Clarification of above question: Are direct references to Jesus' life only to be made when essential? (ie, when people might otherwise be confused why part of the background is mentioned, unless an aside is given to briefly explain its significance)
There are two different approaches: (Approach A) summarise the background to 1st Century Roman Palestine and explain in an aside if something is needed to understand Jesus' life, or (Approach B) summarise Jesus' life, and cross referencing it to historical and cultural information about 1st Century Roman Palestine?
Is the article a background introduction to a historic context, which is referenced to Jesus' life if needed, or is it more a review of Jesus' life as viewed in its historic and cultural context?
2 Approach A, 1 Approach B
Should the "Jesus" reference in fact be fully dropped and the article retitled "Cultural and Historic 1st Century Judea" instead, with no references to Jesus per se included in the article? Or is that going too far?
2 agree, 5 disagree
If the article will reference Jesus then also
Which of these would be a good basis for a NPOV introductory sentence?
(a) According to most Christians, Jesus lived in the first century in Judea, and was, at least in part, shaped by the cultural and political forces active at that time (current wording)
(b) Jesus is placed by Christian writers in 1st century Roman Palestine (an area comprising modern Israel, Palestine and Jordan), and within that region, principally in the Galilee, Jerusalem, and the wilderness and desert areas surrounding them
(c) Jesus is traditionally held by those who believe in his historicity, to have lived in the first century in Judea. Without addressing Jesus existence as an actual historic figure, this article discusses the cultural and political forces active at that time. See Historicity of Jesus for information relating to the existence of Jesus as a historical figure
2 (a), 1 (b), 5(c) [for this vote, persons giving an "or" answer were weighted twice, if splitting their vote the result would be 1, .5, and 4.5 respectively]
Do the suggestions above adequately make clear that the existence of Jesus is not being asserted in this article? If not, how else should this be done?
8 yes, and one digression.
Which is the better description of how people saw the Pharisees: living saints, or rabbis some of whom were considered holy or great men?
4 neither, 1 qualified rabbis
Is "at this time" acceptable? (no rationale was given for the alternate wording "At the time of Christ")
5 yes, 1 yes plus "at the time of Jesus", 1 yes plus "at the time of Jesus/Christ"
Does discussion of the development of Christianity subsequent to Jesus, and the way in which it was passed to the gentiles, belong in this article under its present title of history and culture, or should it belong in some related article on early christian history?
4 another article, 1 mention here, 1 briefly in conclusion
Is "son of man" necessarily apocalyptic as used? Is its apocalypticness or otherwise actually relevant to the article? If so, is it NPOV enough to simply say "some people felt ..." if needed?
4 both meanings (brief mention, link to Son of Man), 1 apocalyptic and relevant in article, 1 both meanings-relevent-not NPOV
Judea and surrounding areas, Roman Palestine, or what name for the area?
Voting as follows: all acceptable options recieved a vote, either in favour or opposed
  • Roman Palestine 7 in favour, 1 opposed
  • Palestine 1 in favour, 2 opposed
  • Levant 3 in favour
  • Judea and surrounding areas 1 in favour
  • Judea, Galilee etc. (specific) 1 in favour
  • Ancient Palestine 1 in favour
  • Southern Levant 1 in favour
Is the existence of other Messiahs or groups believing in them relevant as part of the historic and cultural context and should it be included or mentioned?
8 relevant
Important undisputed statement by User:FT2: Many historians claim that Jesus himself did not claim to be a "messiah" in any way unlike other messiahs.
Should the article say that "Rabbinic" or "later forms" of Judaism followed on from the Pharasees? Or is this actually irrelevant to the historic and cultural context of Jesus' life itself?
4 relevant, 1 irrelevant, 1 recuse
3 "later forms" opposing "Rabbinic"

Summary 04-11-11/04-11-22

Discussion of the summary

the following summary of part of the discussion is EXCLUSIVELY the work of Amgine.

Some dispute its accuracy and NPOV. (and then edited it to suit their opinion. It has been restored.) These include Slrubenstein.

The original form of this text can be found in full within Archive 3.

After the summary follows a section where those who dispute the summary express their version.

Disputed sentences are referenced and numbered in bold and in parenthesis (brackets) an example would be (0).

Amgine's Summary

Reformatting to minimize TOC and further summaries - Amgine 01:07, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Comment to Wesley
A discussion regarding the focus of the article being on "cultural and historic background", and the separation of "historical background" and "Jesus-related to-background". General agreement is expressed for an article which is not about Jesus, but not without reference to him.
Inclusion/Exclusion of Jesus
This is a historical article about a time and place, not about a person. There is no reason to mention Jesus at all. The article could even be renamed to make it more neutral.
2 support, 2 reject
This is a historical article intended to provide background about a specific historical figure, not a general article about a time and place. As such comments about how this figure interacted with his culture are appropriate. If a general article about the time and place is needed, it can be written in another place.
4 support, 1 reject, 1 qualified support if none support first
This article should be tracing Jesus' life as it appears in historical sources, leaving aside matters of faith for another article. This description of his life will necessarily add details from the current content of the page, describing how life in Judea, Galilee and surrounding areas was at the time.
3 support, 2 reject
Discussion notes an advertisement of the vote was placed in an effort to "pack the house".
Bible and other Apocrypha
Discussion/explanation of what is meant by the term Apocrypha by participants in the discussion. Comment suggesting inclusion of Jewish apocrypha for NPOV, and pointing out apocrypha is not relevant to the cultural and historical background of Jesus.
Summary of Meaning of "Messiah" and a short note on the jewish Priesthood
Important uncontested statement: In Judaism, "Messiah" means "annointed". It was the symbol of high office. There were two officers routinely annointed this way - a priest messiah, and a king messiah. The hope of a "messiah" to save them would usually have meant simply, some king or priest who would stand up to the romans or whoever was felt oppressing them at the time. The meaning of "Messiah" in christianity, that of a godhead, a unique being who would save them in the sense of salvation, was not part of Judaism, though it may have formed part of the hopes or mystic beliefs of some cults or splinter groups.
Additional discussion about other contemporary messianic beliefs with the general consensus their inclusion, as releveant, was not contested.
Discussion regarding the role of priests in the context being more administrative than all-powerful. Disagreement over generalization of their antecedents.
Saducees vs. Pharisees
A discussion regarding some of the relative differences, especially as seen by the culture at large, between these two groups in the context. A question regarding the nominal control of synagogues degenerated into irrelevancy, which colored many further sections. The net discussion found no disagreement with the concepts that Saducess had more political power, while Pharisees were more popular, and there was probably more than a little overlap between the two groups.
Further comments disputing the above paragraph's summary and supporting it devolved again to a digression irrelevant to the article.
Summary of Messianic Hopes
FT2 considered questions re: Messiah, which may have already been addressed in Messiah.
Summary of consensus building section

A section looking toward future improvements/changes to the existing, locked article.

current protected version lacks
Discussion regarding an introduction, with input from 6 contributors, developed agreement on the following two sentences:
The main record of the life of Jesus are the Gospels, in the Christian New Testament. These sources place Jesus in what became Roman Palestine (modern Israel and Palestine) during the early 1st century.
With minor disagreements on a third sentence:
If so (the article Historicity of Jesus covers these debates), then it is agreed by most Christians and by academics who hold this view that it is necessary to understand the cultural and historical background in which Jesus is thought to have lived.
And a fourth sentence as a separate paragraph generally agreed upon:
This was a volatile period marked by cultural and political dilemmas. Out of the Roman occupation of Palestine sprang two of the modern world's religions: Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.
the next version
Statements of items contributors plan to include in the next version:
  1. Messiah section
  2. the above introduction
(some irrelevant sniping)
objections to content in the previous section
  • Slrubenstein suggested changing the above agreed upon introduction, rewriting the 3rd sentence and expanding the paragraph.
  • CheeseDreams objected to only two religions.
discussion of comments above
Several varied discussions, including whether or not skeptic is disparaging.
Proposed sentence recast:
The article Historicity of Jesus covers debates regarding the existence of Jesus, but if so then it is agreed by most Christians and academics who hold this view that it is necessary to understand the cultural and historical background in which Jesus is thought to have lived.
2 in favor, 1 opposed
General discussion
Consisting entirely of Slrubenstein's addition of merging tags for Jesus and textual evidence and Historicity of Jesus, and the unanimous disagreement with same (1).
WikiProject Jesus
An invitation to contributors to join the Jesus WikiProject.
discussion Slrubenstein and CheeseDreams


An extremely verbose section which can be summed by the following dialogue:
contributor A: "Called me a name and didn't apologize"
contributor B: "Called me a name first"
Two non-combatants and the mediator pointed out the lack of relevance to the article at hand, to little avail. After which Slrubenstein suggested further changes to the introduction, and CheeseDreams stated, in accordance with policy, CheeseDreams would no longer communicate directly with Slrubenstein.

Disputed Elements in the Summary

Amgine's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (2) - An extremely verbose section which can be summed by the following dialogue: contributor A: "Called me a name and didn't apologize" contributor B: "Called me a name first"

Slrubenstein's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - <such a discussion did not occur>
  • (2) - An argument between CheeseDreams and Slrubenstein in which CD stated that a Jew should speak to issues concerning Pharisees; SLR asked CD if she meant that non-Jews have no right to contribute on this point, and stated that if this is indeed what CD was saying, it verged on racism.

The original text (abbreviated where appropriate - and indicated thus) resulting in the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) -
  • (2) -

Which of the two versions more accurately reflects the text? That's for the reader to decide for themselves.

Summarized 04-11-23

Discussion of the summary

the following summary of part of the discussion is EXCLUSIVELY the work of Amgine.

Some dispute its accuracy and NPOV. (and then edited it to suit their opinion. It has been restored.) These include Slrubenstein.

The original form of this text can be found in full within Archive 3.

After the summary follows a section where those who dispute the summary express their version.

Disputed sentences are referenced and numbered in bold and in parenthesis (brackets) an example would be (0).

Amgine's Summary

Proposed Changes to Protected Version
Relations Among Jewish parties
Slrubenstein's undisputed/uncommented suggestion for edits.
Proposed Changes to Protected Version
early relations between Jews and Christianity
in 18k of text, Slrubenstein disputes FT2's RfC, by word choice and conjecture, on the topic of Jewish Christians, which relevance to this article is questioned by others.
Summary of moving ahead
A request for FT2 to state if he believed consensus had been reached. Suggestions to hold back for a day.
New Messiah Paragraph
In 75k, an attempt to develop a compromise text without the help of the two primary feudants devolved half-way there when a competing text was proposed by one of the two primary feudants, with a disputed end result.
(part 1)
Wesley retrieves a paragraph, Amgine retrieves the revert war paragraphs and proposes compromise text. Text edited by Wesley, Pedant. Slrubenstein suggests changes.
(part 2)
Amgine restates the compromise text, incorporating edits by Wesley and some edits by Pedant, some suggestions by Slrubenstein. Extensive discussion regarding taxonomical use of "messiah", the word "many" relating to other messiah groups, and the use of citations.
(part 3)
Amgine restates the compromise text, incorporating suggestion by Slrubenstein to remove "many". Slrubenstein disputes the use of Josephus' characterization of "messiah", John the Baptist as a Mandaean figure, good faith. At length.
(part 4)
Slrubenstein proposes text. Amgine disputes the validity of the text as without collaboration or consensus.
(part 5)
Amgine restates the compromise text, incorporating suggestions by Slrubenstein to remove priest messiah and king messiah, replaced with High Priest and King of the Jews. Slrubenstein disputes the use of priest messiah and king messiah, and "tenet of faith", description of any group as messianic, Pedant's sentence regarding combined roles, the statement about the Mandaens, and considers his own text better written.
(part 6)===
Amgine restates the compromise text, incorporating suggestions from Slrubenstein re: "tenet of faith". Slrubenstein discusses kingship, citations of non-refutation, and repeats his unchanged text, and asks again about "king messiah".
(part 7)
Yet further discussion, by Amgine, Slrubenstein, and Jayjg, regarding the (no longer extant) "king messiah", as well as High Priest lineage, and citations. During this exchange of viewpoints, Slrubenstein submitted a Request for Mediation, and Amgine stated Amgine would not respond to personal challenges in this talk page at this time. Yet things did continue on a good bit beyond this.
(part 8)
Amgine restates the compromise text which [to Amgine's current surprise] has reverted to the previous version, with "priest messiah" and "king messiah". Discussion re: combined roles sentence, messiahs, Slrubenstein reiterates his dispute regarding Josephus and states this article refers to the later meaning of "messiah".
(part 9)
Slrubenstein restates his unchanged text, calling for a vote:
4 Support, 2 oppose
Amgine restates the compromise text, incorporating previous suggestions from Slrubenstein (High Priest, etc.) and Jayjg (combined roles)
2 Support, 5 oppose
It is noted that Slrubenstein has again solicited non-contributing voters, an unethical but not proscribed practice (1).

Disputed Elements in the Summary

Amgine's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - It is noted that Slrubenstein has again solicited non-contributing voters, an unethical but not proscribed practice

Slrubenstein's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - CheeseDreams complains about the vote that did not go in her favor

The original text (abbreviated where appropriate - and indicated thus) resulting in the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) -

Which of the two versions more accurately reflects the text? That's for the reader to decide for themselves.

Summarised 27-11-2004

Discussion of the summary

the following summary of part of the discussion is EXCLUSIVELY the work of CheeseDreams. She created this summary by 2 passes

  • 1st pass - cut out extraneous comments which do no more than duplicate prior comment by the same person (note, nothing is added at this point, or paraphrased) - this pass is still viewable (and declared) via the edit history
  • 2nd pass - cut out non-essential detail still remaining, and convert to prose commentary (note that in this pass, much of the wording is kept (partly due to the immense amount of time it would take to change it), merely re-arranged. Where insults are hurled, they are paraphrased into less offensive descriptions.)

Some dispute its accuracy and NPOV. (and then edited it to suit their opinion. It has been restored.) These include Slrubenstein.

CheeseDreams asserts that she did her utmost to retain the POV expressed by the persons in the text within her summary. She also accepts that the resulting summary of the discussion may show some people in a worse light, since such details are often obscured by swamps of extraneous text. She further reminds readers that the original form of this text can be found in full within Archive 4.

After the summary follows a section where those who dispute the summary express their version.

Disputed sentences are referenced and numbered in bold and in parenthesis (brackets) an example would be (0).

CheeseDream's Summary

CheeseDream's paragraph on Messianic Movements

Slrubenstein thinks that there are no scholars who support the idea that followers of John the Baptist believed him to be messiah, and neither does he think there is evidence that the Mandeans were followers of John the Baptist. (1)

Slrubenstein questions the phrase "saviour of Israel", and thinks there is very very little evidence that Jews used the term "savior" to describe the "annointed one" during this period, and that there is no evidence that among Jews in the first century there were many who looked to a messiah as saviour (2).

Wesley states that if we speak of hopes for a saviour, we should note from what exactly (or even generally) they hoped to be saved. To which CheeseDreams responds that many considered the Romans to be the judgement of God.

Less wordy please

Slrubenstein thinks that when we define the word "messiah," of course, we should say that kings and priests were anointed, but annointed king and annointed priest is not acceptable and is meaningless.

Slrubenstein also thinks that there is little evidence from that period that anyone considered John the Baptist a messiah. CheeseDreams states that the Mandaeans did not come into existance until the second or third centuries BC, which Slrubenstein disputes. CheeseDreams points out that the Mandeans is the modern term for Nazoreans (a phrase that Mandeans still refer to themselves as)

Pedant solicits drafts of the article to be posted via his talk page.

Wesley asks

  • That this remain in spirit a "daughter article" of Jesus.
  • That the article not contain "original research"

To which CheeseDreams responds that

  • Slrubenstein has admitted in the mediation request that he has not cited his sources, and only has 5/6 books, implying he is committing personal research
  • At least twice, we came to the consensus that it is not necessary to remain in spirit a daughter article of Jesus

CheeseDreams wonders whether Slrubenstein's claims to extensive and valid research should be trusted based on his claim elsewhere that Hinduism dates from the 18th century (as he claims is the majority opinion amongst historians)

Jayjg states

  • Slrubenstein's knowledge of scholarship of Jesus seems entirely accurate
  • Slrubenstein's opponents knowledge on the subject seems entirely ignorant

To which CheeseDreams responds that that is an unbalanced opinion in bad faith.

Wesley thinks that his past experience with Slrubenstein (of 3 years) has given him trust in him.

Request for mediation

There was a request for mediation on the issue of CheeseDreams and Amgine vs. Slrubenstein

Please read

The article was unprotected at this point, and FT2 tried to adjust it so as to take on board the votes, suggestions, and neutrality. A request was made that editors should, with regards to his changes,

  • review the article systematically
  • not make major edits to it
Emergence of Christianity

Wesley took strong exception to the article stating "Arianism and various other changes were only seperated during 4th century as not-orthodoxy there was no orthodoxy before" because Irenaeus and other writers imply that orthodoxy already exists. However he wonders whether anything later than bar Kochba (and certainly the 4th century) is relevant.


  • didn't put in the line about Arians
  • thinks orthodoxy wasn't established as hegemonic until the fourth century.
  • thinks something should be said about the emergence of Christianity (as the "story" critical historians have about how Christianity emerged is part and parcal with their rejecting certain (orthodox) elements of the Gospels as not historically accurate)
new round of revisions

Slrubenstein states that

  • he deleted a few paragraphs he thought were excessively wordy
  • he has added to the article
  • he has modified the organization
  • he thinks that historical and cultural contexts should be expressed together as they are inextricably linked
  • he thinks that much of the original article remaining can be deleted

CheeseDreams states that

  • she has reverted back to the version FT2 produced
  • she thinks that Slrubenstein has totally ignored the discussion over the past 3 weeks
  • she thinks that FT2s request to comment if his version of the article has met the discussion should be obeyed
  • she thinks that since there is mediation precisely because of the behaviour of some editors, those editors in mediation should not contribute

Slrubenstein thinks these statements and the reversion is out of line. CheesDreams thinks that Slrubenstein is a hypocrit.

El_C (requested to discuss the article by Slrubenstein) thinks that

  • Slrubenstein's version is superior in clarity, comprehensiveness, language and grammar.

Quadell thinks that just because a compromise was worked out, that doesn't mean it can't be improved. To which, CheeseDreams comments that improvement is DIFFERENT to Blanket replacement (3).

John Kenney, alleged by CheeseDreams (based on a reading of User Talk pages) to be Slrubenstein's mate, thinks that Slrubenstein's version is clearly massively superior (4).

FT2 comments

  • He has reviewed the additional material from Slrubenstein
  • He has organised it
  • He is trying to prevent additions such as those from Slrubenstein being ommitted if they are of quality
  • He hasn't addressed wording quality yet
  • He has cleaned the "about jesus" section
  • He wants people not to revert this attempt by him, but rather to comment here
  • He has looked at the whole archive and has merged in anything substantial
Version #1 of rewrite

FT2 requests that no-one edit the current version, which he considers neutral. This is so that issues and comments can be raised here rather than fight. He also states that as this is a collaboration, he has kept wording from others, which might look a bit od at the moment.

  • INTRODUCTION: It is incredibly hard to write a neutral introduction. The proposed introduction focusses a lot on who accepts what and whether they view it as supernatural or otherwise, and how christianity emerged. None of this is an introduction as such to this topic.
  • SIrubenstein - 1st temple era - I like, its neutral enough to stand, and informative.
  • SIrubenstein - persian era onwards - I worry if we have too much detail here. Its really needing to be an overview of history as background, rather than a full history. Some like the sanhedrin is relevant.
  • SIrubenstein - Jesus and after jesus - Some may be relevant. for example, sedition. But overall this is not really key to the article, and can be made more NPOV.

Wesley states:

  • He likes FT2s introduction as it seems to cover nearly all the points mentioned in the joint discussion.
  • (5) He has exception to the sentence by Slrubenstein which states The meaning of "Messiah" in Christianity, that of a godhead, a unique being who would save them in the sense of salvation, was not part of Judaism, though it may have formed part of the hopes or mystic beliefs of some cults or splinter groups. as he doesnt think this represents any version of Christianity very well.

FT2 states

  • He has noticed that sections cut out are more to do with "origins of christianity"
  • He has looked through the cut sections to extract material on the Bar Kochba revolt, and on jewish reactions to cults and the political implications of preaching,

John Kenney states

  • He appreciates FT2s version
  • He thinks people should ignore it and use Slrubenstein's (due to an Ad Hominem against CheeseDreams)
  • Slrubenstein's version has too much detail on history
  • FT2s version is worse
  • CheeseDreams' action in enforcing FT2s-version-for-discussion over Slrubenstein's reverting of it, is obstructionist
  • He is miserably depressed

FT2 responds

  • No material has been ignored
  • The article has been organised in line with its title
  • The article includes BOTH sets of material
  • The article has been recast to focus on its subject rather than "the gospel story"
  • Comments rather than major editing are the way forward

CheeseDreams objects to the way Slrubenstein ignores FT2s repeated requests for discussion and enforces his own version.

Slrubenstein responds "my version of the messiahs paragraph was more popular than yours"

CheeseDreams proclaims that this is the first time Slrubenstein has cared about majority voting, perhaps something to do with the fact that the vote was after Slrubenstein had packed the house in his favour

Wesley appeals against Ad Hominems

FT2's Ultimate Version

Criticism of FT2s version by Slrubenstein:

  • it is a mess
  • the way to write a good article is not to accomodate all discussants;
  • the intro is a mess
  • Slrubensteins version is concise, accurate, and NPOV
  • Mentioning the Gospels as prime historic source is NPOV
  • FT2 cut important historical contexts
  • the statement "law of the land was Jewish religious law, which was for the most part legislative and not harsh," is poorly written and unclear
  • "third, it caused religious and cultural difference to escalate into conflicts with the secular authority" is either dumb or really POV
  • if you think the Greek or Roman authorities were "secular" and had not religious and cultural agenda, you are ingorant.
  • The notion that the middle east is a "powderkeg" in which religious difference has to be contained by secular leadership just mimics the view most people today take towards the middle east.
  • Why focus on the Jewish notion that nakedness is an abomination?
  • The the real issue was that the Greeks thought circumcision was an abomination.
  • The statement "Politically as time passed, the foreign powers often came to view the wish of some Jews not to become integrated as a divisive and therefore political wish, and often considered it a personal affront to the emperor" might be true, but why not summarize Bickerman and Tcherikover's views
  • The Pearlman quote is inappropriate in in encyclopedia. He was not a scholar, he was a former Israeli army officer.
  • The view that there was a split between hellinized and "traditional" Jews is anachronistic and simplistic.
  • "Culturally the Jews were for the most part hard-working, God-fearing, deeply religious farming villagers," is tripe, how do we know what they did?
  • It is a little confusing to me to call the Hasmonean kingdom the second kingdom.
  • The statement "By 1 CE, the Roman Empire was somewhat more corrupt than it had been" is POV and unnecessary.
  • In the section "Jewish Revolt and aftermath," FT2 replaced an essential account for the background of Jesus, with a series of questions that were answered in the passages he deleted.
  • There is no evidence that the Mandeans were a messianic group in Judea (or the Galilee or Samaria) at that time -- why are they mentioned?
  • "The early Christians were often in conflict with groups they considered heretical" completely distorts the situation, and is utterly at odds with recent work by historians.
  • the sentence implies that "heretics" were not "early Christians" and that "early Christians" were not "heretics." What is really going on is that there were several groups with competing visions of Christianity.
  • To suggest that because ancient Israelites had a Temple and priests, and a Torah and scribes, and a King who ruled by divine right, that they therefore had a "dual core" consisting of a political and spiritual authority is another anachronism that ignores all current scholarship on Jewish history.
  • To say that the "Children of Israel" had the Mishnah is at best misleading, at worst very confused and sloppy. The Mishnah wasn't edited until 200 CE. The "Children of Israel" were long gone.
  • In the section on struggles with Hellenism you cut the stuff dealing with the implications of a universal God, and Greek interest in Judaism.
  • The word "apocalypse" was not borrowed from Hebrew or the Jews, it is a Greek word.
  • In judiasm the priesthood is more of an administrative role than anintermediary between Jews and God? nonesense!
  • The paragraph on the zealots makes it seem as if the sicarii were a subset of zealots, which is of course wrong.
  • To claim that Christianity is "more aeasier to digest" is just the worst kind of POV editorializing.
  • the sentence "It is hypothesised that to make it palatable, and draw a line separating them from the Jews (who were by now becoming politically dangerous associates due to their rebellion against Rome) many more of the restrictive laws were removed and the emphasis was shifted." is a poor one for an encyclopedia. Jews never believed non-Jews should obey Jewish law.
  • I have no idea what scholarship the section on Jewish reactions to cults and messianism is based on, it all seems speculative.
  • Ditto the section on the Jewish rejection of Christianity.
  • "Yohanan" is not Hebrew for Jonathan; the Baptist's name was "John" (or it's Hebrew equivalent, Yohanan).
  • The organization is an utter mess.

Slrubenstein thinks the above criticism makes things a lot easier to return to my version than to edit this version.

SIrubenstein edits

FT2 feels disrespected that Slrubenstein made major edits rather than putting the comments on the talk page. FT2 made a request on RfC rather than becoming dragged into a 3 way argument.


  • Apologises for disrespecting FT2
  • Feels that his editing was wasted
  • Feels his version is better
  • Didn't request that FT2 mediate
  • Thinks consensus is nice, but not the issue.

Amgine responds

  • He personally thinks Slrubenstein, does not seem to understand or accept collaborative process
  • Slrubenstein's version is not easy to understand by the target audience
  • Slrubenstein's version is not collaborative
  • Slrubenstein should understand that his version as such will not remain
  • Slrubenstein acted in very bad faith in the current edit

Slrubenstein responds

  • FT2s version is not understandable
  • FT2s version is more complicated
  • Scholars do not dispute Slrubenstein's text
  • FT2s version is full of inaccuracies, oversimplifications, anachronisms, sloppy scholarship, and lack of NPOV.

Mpolo thinks

  • SIrubenstein's version generally reads better
  • Slrubenstein's version is better organized
  • Slrubenstein's version lacks material (e.g., the Pharisees are never defined)
  • Slrubenstein's version should be the basis of future work.

Slrubenstein thinks the nature of the Pharisees changed over time

Disputed NPOV

With respect to Slrubenstein's version, Amgine raises points

In the opening paragraph, biblical and western historians exclusively are cited.

  • Slrubenstein justifies this apparant POV by stating that there are only three points of view: Christians, sceptics, and critical scholars (6).

The vast majority of the text in the First Temple Era and Second Temple Era sections deals with the millenia prior to Jesus, and is not specifically relevant.

  • Slrubenstein justifies this as FT2s version goes back further, in addition, Slrubenstein thinks there needs to be detailed historical introduction to the background of the Saducees, Pharisees, Temple, Monarcy, and Torah.

The First Temple Era section discusses "ancient land of Israel" exclusively as a land of the Jews for the entirety of its history, and is simplistic and generalized as POV, followed by paragraphs of unsupported conjecture.

  • Slrubenstein states that the area is not originally or exclusively Israelite, but disagrees with the assessment of the paragraph.

The article has continuous use of Judea, etc. as regional terms which are historically inaccurate and on which consensus votes had determined Roman Palestine as the most relevant compromise term.

  • Slrubenstein states he used Judea when speaking specifically of Judea, that David was king of Judea before he was king of Israel, that Israel and Judea later became separate kingdoms, and that Galilee is not the same thing as Judea.

The statement "In most ancient societies sacrifice was the only form of worship" is totally disputed and thought to be factually inaccurate and lacking NPOV.

  • Slrubenstein says that the article says "most ancient Near Eastern societies" which is accurate.

Exclusively discussing the Sadducees and Pharisees continues the misapprehension that there were only 2 primary religious groups when in fact it appears to have been a multi-party system with 4 or more larger "schools of thought".

  • Slrubenstein states that the other parties (Essenes, Zealots, etc) developed at a different time.

The use of sections such as The Hellenistic Period to discuss the Hasmonean Period, and the The Hasmonean Period to discuss merely a lineage, etc., is both misleading and non-encyclopedic.

  • Slrubenstein does not comprehend the accusation, and thinks it is not the case

Amgine contests that Slrubenstein's article is not NPOV, or is so poorly written it cannot fulfill its purpose.

Slrubenstein requests that Amgine sums up in a sentence or short paragraph what he believes the point of this article should be. And states that since this is about "historical" background he organized it historically.

FT2 States

  • Both parties were asked to read and comment. Not read and edit.
  • FT2 has quite a lot of Wiki experience at controversial articles
  • That actions that speak of an "I don't like it so to heck with you all" are not a viable way to build consensus.
  • He feels disrespected.


  • apologises for disrespecting FT2 (7).
  • Thinks his work is NPOV, and amgine needs to justify adding the NPOV warning

Amgine thinks the article should be structured

A. Introduction
1. to include exclusively those elements from consensus votes above
B. Political situation 40BCE-40CE
1. Regional rulers
2. High Priests
3. Notable military actions/uprisings/riots/rebels
C. Religious organizations
1. Major schools
2. Prophets, messianic groups
D. Later developments
1. Political control
2. Rabbinic Judaism/Christianity


  • is not satisfied that earlier discussions were resolved adequately
  • does not see why "political situation" should be seperate to "religious organizations?"
  • does not see why "notable uprisings" and "messiahs" are in two different sections
  • does not comprehend why "major schools" and "prophets" are in a different section from "political situation"

Amgine thinks it amusing that, having discarded wiki process Slrubenstein now complains he is not receiving collaborative support. In addition

  • Political Situation in this usage he meant who was actually in charge
  • The use of force to put down uprisings is inherently an element of governance
  • popular figures might be opposed for other reasons
  • The separation of political and religious is a modern one, and one which our modern audience insists upon

Amgine then satirises Slrubenstein by requesting of him (8)

  1. What do you mean?
  2. Can you explain more clearly what you mean?
  3. I don't undertand; please explain.
  4. If I misunderstood any of your criticisms, and if you feel any of my responses are inadequate, please just explain how and why.
  5. But you have yet to respond to my objections to the version you so seem to like.
  6. but if you could explain yourself more, perhaps I would understand your point.
  7. I guess after I made extensive revisions, I too expected people to comment and raise ussues before amking a wholesale re-write of the article.
  8. But it would be very helpful if he or anyone else could make a list of specific paragraphs lacking NPOV, and what the problem is. Then we can start fixing it.
  9. By the way, You still haven't responded to any of my objections to the FT2 version
  10. you haven't responded to my attempt to have a dialogue with you concerning NPOV.

Slrubenstein agrees that at least the last two points are valid complaints then says(9)

  • he advises amgine to leave Wikipedia(10)
  • he thinks it cynical to say his version is not worth critiquing
  • he thinks he has adressed Amgine's criticisms

Amgine states Slrubenstein did not feel it was worth his time to address the problems he had with FT2's version, however, Amgine is not so shallow, and rather than blanking Slrubenstein's article and replacing he has begun a discussion to develop a replacement article.

Slrubenstein responds that (11)

  • A modern audience does not "insist" on a separation between politics and religion
  • To separate the religious and the cultural from this sequence of "who was in charge" would lead to redundancies and confusion,
  • he requires Amgine justify his structure by citing scholarship in this manner

Amgine states

  • he is a published author
  • he is a former paper editor
  • he is a former journalist
  • that he comprehends what is and isn't readable at a professional level
  • Journalistic principles point to Amgine's layout

Slrubenstein thinks

  • Amgine's reasoning for his layout isn't satisfactory.
  • He will never agree that Amgine's layout is appropriate

Maureen arrives from RfC, she thinks that FT2s version is more professional and on topic than the current version. Slrubenstein questions her judgement (12). Maureen also thinks the constancy of "some people...and some people..." is unpleasent.

Process Fetishization

John Kenney thinks that

  • FT2 is acting inappropriately
  • FT2 shouldn't be allowed to request a pause in editing so that comments can be made
  • The page is hijacked by people more interested in the concept of wiki than a good article
  • Slrubenstein has valid criticisms of FT2s version.
  • Slrubenstein has satisfactorially responded to Amgine's criticism of him
  • Slrubenstein's version should be the working one

Amgine comments

  • John kenney doesn't understand "Wiki"
  • John kenney only came here when called (via user talk) by Slrubenstein

John Kenney thinks this is unjustified and Ad Hominem

Amgine points out the article Wiki states "A wiki enables documents to be written collectively...", which John Kenney does not comprehend.

John Kenney then states

  • wiki doesn't mean that one user can't make radical changes
  • everybody else then has the right to question those changes
  • Slrubenstein was in not in violation of the principles of a wiki

But FT2 states that Slrubenstein is being hypocritical over stating that one ought not to throw away the contributions of others. Slrubenstein thinks this is acceptable.

FT2 asks that if people think the article has been hijacked, then surely it must be by Slrubenstein as he was

  • totally ignoring a request for comments
  • despite knowing others did not like the version of SIrubenstein,
  • overwriting a draft for discussion
  • wrote a version that was not a product of such consultation

John Kenney thinks that this is acceptable, as the collaborative process should not be used to prevent improvements in the quality of an article.

Slrubenstein then states

  • There is the question of what is meant by "collaboration"
  • CheeseDreams and Amgine were asked several times what their sources were and they either could not, or would not, answer him
  • he has always provided reasons and sources
  • he appreciated FT2s revision and explained his changes on this page,
  • he felt there was no sense of collaborative process when FT2 went back to his version
  • CheeseDreams has never collaborated in this sense
  • FT2 is fetishizing process

Mpolo states

  • Perhaps Slrubenstein should have put his alternative version on a temp page
  • Amgine and CheeseDreams have lost good faith in Slrubenstein
  • Amgine and CheeseDreams consider editors Slrubenstein brings in as suspect
  • There should be a vote on which version to start from
  • He prefers Slrubenstein's

Slrubenstein responds

  • Voting is irrelevant (13)
  • CheeseDreams, Amgine, and FT, have suspect judgement of which is better
  • They should justify FT2s version more

Amgine responds (to Mpolo)

  • Slrubenstein has consistently failed to collaborate
  • Slrubenstein appears unable or unwilling to follow process
  • Slrubenstein has refuted prior votes

In consequence, Amgine thinks of Slrubenstein's version

  • is fatally flawed
  • nearly unreadable
  • a personal essay
  • unaccessable
  • not worth working on

Mpolo thinks

  • Slrubenstein's version has better structure as it has an historical arc
  • FT2's version has the merit of trying to incorporate everyone's input
  • FT2's version seems like an incoherent random collection of themes
Counterproductive disputes

JDG arrives, and states

  • CheeseDreams' stance is unreasonable
  • CheeseDreams' stance is obstructing Slrubenstein
  • CheeseDreams is unscholarly and fringe unlike Slrubenstein
  • CheeseDreams should edit another article, and let Slrubenstein get away with whatever he likes

Cheesedreams claims that (by virtue of reading User Talk pages) JDG is clearly Slrubenstein's mate and therefore highly biased. Slrubenstein states this is not the case as they "fought in the past".


Slrubenstein states

  • Tigermoon reverted the article from his version to FT2s
  • She is unjust in thinking Slrubenstein is unfair in replacing FT2s version
  • She did not read the article carefully when making her judgement that FT2s version was better


CheeseDreams responds that he is still not talking to Slrubenstein due to lack of apology or compliance with Civility policy (which advises such action).

Wesley thinks shunning is not appropriate, and that CheeseDreams hasn't apologised for anything herself. CheeseDreams responds that she hasn't ever accused anyone of Racism.

Slrubenstein thinks Tigermoon is a sock puppet. As does John Kenney. CheeseDreams points out that Tigermoon only had a look at the article as a favour to her.

Request to Archive

CheeseDreams requests archiving necessary due to the verbosity of some editors (15).

Disputed Elements in the Summary

CheeseDream's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) -
  • (2) - there is no evidence that among Jews in the first century there were many who looked to a messiah as saviour.
  • (3) - To which, CheeseDreams comments that improvement is DIFFERENT to Blanket replacement.
  • (4) - John Kenney, alleged by CheeseDreams (based on a reading of User Talk pages) to be Slrubenstein's mate, thinks that Slrubenstein's version is clearly massively superior.
  • (5) - He has exception to the sentence by Slrubenstein which states The meaning of "Messiah" ...
  • (6) - three points of view: Christians, sceptics, and critical scholars.
  • (7) - apologises for disrespecting FT2.
  • (8) - Amgine then satirises Slrubenstein by requesting of him
  • (9) - Slrubenstein agrees that at least the last two points are valid complaints then says
  • (10) - he advises amgine to leave Wikipedia
  • (11) -
  • (12) - Slrubenstein questions her judgement.
  • (13) - Voting is irrelevant
  • (14) -
  • (15) - CheeseDreams requests archiving necessary due to the verbosity of some editors.

Slrubenstein's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - He asked CD or others to provide evidence.
  • (2) - there is no evidence that among Jews in the first century there were many who looked to a messiah as saviour in the modern sense of the term.
  • (3) - CheeseDreams comments that improvement is DIFFERENT to Blanket replacement.
  • (4) - John Kenney remarks that Slrubenstein's version is clearly massively superior.
  • (5) - He has exception to the sentence which states The meaning of "Messiah"...
  • (6) - three relevant points of view: fundamentalist Christians, sceptics, and critical scholars.
  • (7) - apologises that FT2 felt dispected
  • (8) - Amgine accuses Rubenstein of attacking/complaining; SLR asks for examples, Amgine replies with
  • (9) - Slrubenstein agrees that at least the last two points are complaints

but that all the other remarks are reasonable questions for clarification that are a necessary part of the process.

  • (10) - If Amgine considers requests for clarification to be "complaints," Amgine may want to leave Wikipedia
  • (11) - He took the time to post a detailed list of problems with FT2s version
  • (12) - Slrubenstein asks her to explain why.
  • (13) - Voting is not an adequate substitute for reasoned discussion
  • (14) - Rubenstein asks Tigermoon to justify her actions
  • (15) - CheeseDreams requests archiving necessary.

The original text (abbreviated where appropriate - and indicated thus) resulting in the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) -
  • (2) -
  • (3) -
  • (4) -
  • (5) -
  • (6) -
  • (7) -
  • (8) -
  • (9) -
  • (10) -
  • (11) -
  • (12) -
  • (13) -
  • (14) -
  • (15) -

Which of the two versions more accurately reflects the text? That's for the reader to decide for themselves.

Summarised 29-11-2004

Discussion of the summary

the following summary of part of the discussion is EXCLUSIVELY the work of CheeseDreams. She created this summary by 2 passes

  • 1st pass - cut out extraneous comments which do no more than duplicate prior comment by the same person (note, nothing is added at this point, or paraphrased) - this pass is still viewable (and declared) via the edit history
  • 2nd pass - cut out non-essential detail still remaining, and convert to prose commentary (note that in this pass, much of the wording is kept (partly due to the immense amount of time it would take to change it), merely re-arranged. Where insults are hurled, they are paraphrased into less offensive descriptions.)

Some dispute its accuracy and NPOV. (and then edited it to suit their opinion. It has been restored.) These include Wesley and Slrubenstein.

CheeseDreams asserts that she did her utmost to retain the POV expressed by the persons in the text within her summary. She also accepts that the resulting summary of the discussion may show some people in a worse light, since such details are often obscured by swamps of extraneous text. She further reminds readers that the original form of this text can be found in full within Archive 5.

After the summary follows a section where those who dispute the summary express their version.

Disputed sentences are referenced and numbered in bold and in parenthesis (brackets) an example would be (0).

Good grief. I dispute the process, and the entire summary. The above text is apparently by some wikipedian who didn't sign their own text, imagining it to be so neutral as not to need signing, or else not wanting to own up to it. They also deleted what I actually said about the below. I don't have time to play games voting each sentence up or down, playing with colored beads. I strenuously object to my comments on this page being deleted and then "summarized" or rephrased by someone else though. Wesley 03:01, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

CheeseDream's Summary

Responses to SIrubenstein(s version)

Many people prefer FT2s intro as the more balanced, neutral, and appropriate one, Slrubenstein thinks others prefer his, and that they should be merged.

FT2 thinks the article is written from the POV of what interests Christians, which is not appropriate, Wesley doesn't think Slrubenstein is pushing such a thing, and Slrubenstein wants proof of this FT2s claim.

FT2 thinks that to understand how Jews react to Rome and Messiahs, it is necessary to go back as far as the Macabees. He also thinks that there should be mention of the commonality of child prodigies to show that Jesus' ability to converse on the law in the temple wasn't that special, just a bit cleverer than many. Slrubenstein thinks that FT2s evidence that Jesus' ability was fairly standard, and indeed partly expected, is rubbish, and 100 years too late. Wesley point out to Slrubenstein what the context is.

FT2 thinks that it is accurate to state that the lack of desire to integrate was seen as an affront. Slrubenstein states that Tcherikover claims this is not true, further, that the Romans were tolerant of beliefs but annoyed them with taxes. FT2 asks what situations did the authorities only get involved later in conflicts that jews had with non-jews. Slrubenstein replies that he doesn't know the exact details (1).

FT2 thinks it is necessary to include a quote from someone to present how jews felt rather than thought at the time. Slrubenstein thinks the quote does not reflect jews at the time, and a quote from Cohen (which does not express emotion, but does support Slrubenstein's view of the interaction between Judaism and Hellenism) should be used instead.

FT2 thinks that "X% lived in towns, Y% in villages" is demographic, and that most Jews at the time were hard working, God fearing, in villages. Slrubenstein asks for evidence. FT2 points out that in such circumstances there arent many "slackers", and that village people tended to be less hellenised than city people. Slrubenstein thinks FT2 is showing ignorance.

FT2 thinks that since early emporers thrived, but later ones tended to be murdered and were crueler, there was more corruption. Slrubenstein thinks this is not true. (2)

FT2 states that it is compromise to include the Mandaeans. Slrubenstein doesn't want them mentioned, thinking there is no evidence they existed at the time or were connected to John the Baptist. Slrubenstein attacks FT2 for not checking the validity of his edits. (3)

FT2 thinks Slrubenstein should ask first before making major changes.

FT2 state that there was always 2 sides to Judaism - temple and halakhah/prayer. Slrubenstein thinks this is thick and ignorant, as prayer is a form of temple worship, and halakhah contains ritual. FT2 states that the temple worship (though not the temple) goes back to 1500-1300BC and Halakha went back almost as far orally. Slrubenstein claims most historians dispute that.

FT2 thinks that the change of the phrase "Children of Israel" should have been made after seeking consensus to do so. FT2 thinks that "Apocalypse" should have been left until others have a chance to comment. Likewise "Hypothesised". He also thinks that "Seems speculative" translates "I dont know but I dont really want to bother finding out", which Slrubenstein thinks is evasive.

Slrubenstein thinks that the "Jewish rejection" statement is poorly written and made up, wheras FT2 thinks it is a general cultural description of factors which would have inclined the Jews to reject a variety of cults, groups and beliefs.

Slrubenstein disputes translating "Yohanan" as "Jonathan" rather than "John". FT2 points out how David's associate "Jonathan" is "Yohanan" in Hebrew, to which Wesley states that the New Testament is Greek. Slrubenstein states that "Yonatan" is "Jonathan" and "Yohanan" is "John" (4). Slrubenstein states that FT2 is a nut, and questions whether FT2 is masturbating Slrubenstein (5).

FT2 thinks that purely an historical narrative is inappropriate, and difficult to understand. Slrubenstein states that history and culture are intertwined (though not so elegantly). Wesley thinks that a pure historical narrative is less interpretive and therefore easier to be NPOV.

Slrubenstein thinks that Jews never believed non-Jews should obey Jewish law, and that as many Gentiles turned to other religions with restrictive practices, there is no reason to think that these were in the way of appealing to gentiles. He asks for what he would see as valid evidence.

FT2 states that Early Christians had not made headway with what they felt their natural audience should be, namely the Jews, so they a) felt rejected and b) turned more to spread the Gospels amongst the Gentiles, so they seperated from the Jews, by throwing away many customs and beliefs the jewish-christians had perpetuated. Slrubenstein states that FT2 is being silly (6).

FT2 states that as a clear side effect, dropping more Jewish traditions made their beliefs more palatable. Slrubenstein says that the notion is illogical.

FT2 states that this separated them more from the Jews who had mostly rejected them, who were becoming seen as a 'problem' by Rome (it was politically useful not to in fact be Jews). Slrubenstein states that this is not true, and that even after Bar Kohba, Romans treated Jews better than Christians.

FT2 states that the replacement of halakhah by pure faith alone, simultaneously made them more accessible to gentiles. Slrubenstein counters that it is offensive, as an Orthodox teacher observing halacha does not mean that students will reject lessons in algebra.

FT2 refers to Sabbattai Lev in the 1400's, to show how Jews reacted to "other messiahs". Slrubenstein asks if he means Shabbatai Tzvi from the 1600s. Slrubenstein states that consequently FT2 has no business working on this article (7).

Slrubenstein claims that first century messiahs and prophets never claimed they were divine.

FT2 asks that given that Jews were under intense pressure from Rome (and we know what pressure does to Jewish sense of Identity from the Macabbes, all the way through to 1948), what would opinions be of people preaching non-mainstream beliefs. Slrubenstein says to have some evidence from the first century CE. Slrubenstein says that the above questions above are irrelevant.

FT2 states that the Jews had considerable law on false prophets and as a group tend to be protective of their national identity and polarise under pressure. Slrubenstein states that FT2 is ignorant (8).

FT2 states that jews as a group back then tended to be conservative (confirmed in gospels and history books), sceptical of radical new interpretations, disinterested in afterlife/salvation stories (mainstream judaism, but variable), and political tensions, and since jews in this period were making all sorts of original claims, what Slrubenstein calls "the mainstream" did not clearly exist back then. Slrubenstein replies that FT2s reasoning is specious and ignorant (9).

FT2 asks to be reminded why Slrubenstein rejects his statements of reasons Jews rejected many cults. Slrubenstein states that this runs counter to the diversity of beliefs and practices that characterized the Jews in pre-Temple, first Temple, and Second Temple periods. Slrubenstein claims that FT2 is "making stuff up". Slrubenstein does not think FT2s responses are satisfactory or have valid evidence.

Appropriate sources (r.e. other messiahs)

Wesley thinks that sources should be cited as it should be the consensus of historians, not the consensus of wikipedians. FT2 states that he has also documented over 125,000 hits on Google supporting in some way his case. Slrubenstein disputes the accuracy of Google (10).

FT2 states that Josephus also supports his case on messiahs. Slrubenstein thinks that although Josephus is acceptable to cite, most historians did not think Josephus an authority. Slrubenstein also states that Josephus is his own source discounting CheeseDream's claim that certain persons were messiahs rather than prophets.

Amgine questions Slrubenstein's version's supposed devotion to historians, but has himself secured access to ATLA.

Comments on Slr's version

John Kenney thinks that Slrubensteins version

  • Takes too long to get to the time period of Jesus.
  • The emphasis should be on the general historical and cultural context.
  • Thinks that emphasising the context is odd because this was a daughter of Jesus.
  • The Hasmonaeans claiming first the high priesthood (under Jonathan) and then the kingship (under Aristobulus I) should be mentioned
  • Antipater the Idumaean ought to be mentioned, no?
  • There should be a discussion of Herod's reign
  • a lengthy discussion of the emergence of rabbinic Judaism is extraneous to the topic
  • There are various copy edits
  • The focus of the article is too much on Christianity rather than Jesus
  • There are too many citations
  • Although Slrubenstein states that bias and inaccuracy in the gospels is demonstrated by the way Christianity and later forms of Judaism emerged, there is too much detail on the subject
Comments on Mediation

Slrubenstein and John Kenney think FT2 is not a mediator. CheeseDreams states that everyone treated him as such, and he acted as such, in the past.


A self confessed Tart protected the article (11).

Suggestions for next set of revisions

Slrubenstein thinks

  • 2.4.1 is misnamed.
    • It should be "Kings, Procurators, and the Sanhedron" OR "Local Governance under Roman Occupation"
  • 2.5, on the Sicarii etc, should be made 2.4.4
  • 2.5.1, on Jesus in this context, should be simply 2.5
  • FT2's intro is poorly written, but the content is good.
  • We must state that the Gospels are the major textual source for information about Jesus to demonstrate NPOV.
  • We must explain how historiography works.
  • He shares concerns about excess of historical info
  • There could be a better transition between the 1st and 2nd temple periods,
    • which must stess that in both, the Temple and the Law were important.
    • which must stress discontinuity in "legitimacy"
  • There can be more discussion of Herod's reign
    • especially how Herod was an Idumean but also Jewish.
  • We can be clearer that the Pharisees developed under the Hasmoneans period.
  • We need to add more information about the Sicarii.
  • The major conflict was not Jews seeking political and religious freedom vs. Romans.
  • The Great Revolt was about poverty in the peasentry vs. the elite.
  • The primary target of the Sicarii were Jewish elites, not Romans.
  • The Sicarii rejected Roman rule but also rejected Jewish government.
  • There should be a section about economy and class inequality
  • There should be more (rather than less) views of historians about Jesus.
Compromise discussion

Amgine states that Slrubenstein suggested editing The Historical Jesus instead. Some agree, others think it unnecessary. Slrubenstein claims that this article was originally that article, which CheeseDreams states is irrelevant to what the article is now. Amgine then states he thinks that Slrubenstein has retracted the offer, and Slrubenstein responds that it was partly sarcasm. However, Amgine thinks it a good idea, though Slrubenstein does not see what the point to this article would be if it did not mention Jesus, as to him the title implies that the article must talk about Jesus.

Slrubenstein accepts that Amgine is acting on good faith, but not FT2 or CheeseDreams. FT2 states that he is acting in good faith, but includes that some people are doubtful about Slrubenstein's views.

Amgine asks if the article can be seperated into two, and if the factions will not edit the other's article. Slrubenstein refuses not to edit the other side's article. Wesley thinks the possibility of seperation depends on what the articles are. And opposes division by faction, as he thinks that would cause POV articles. But FT2 thinks it makes sense, although it might not stop the disputes.

Disputed Elements in the Summary

CheeseDream's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - Slrubenstein replies that he doesn't know the exact details.
  • (2) -
  • (3) -
  • (4) - Slrubenstein states that "Yonatan" is "Jonathan" and "Yohanan" is "John".
  • (5) - Slrubenstein states that FT2 is a nut, and questions whether FT2 is masturbating Slrubenstein.
  • (6) - Slrubenstein states that FT2 is being silly.
  • (7) - Slrubenstein states that consequently FT2 has no business working on this article.
  • (8) - Slrubenstein states that FT2 is ignorant.
  • (9) - Slrubenstein replies that FT2s reasoning is specious and ignorant.
  • (10) - Slrubenstein disputes the accuracy of Google.
  • (11) - A self confessed Tart protected the article.

Slrubenstein's version of the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - Slrubenstein replies by mentioning conflicts between Jews and Gentiles in Ceasaria in the first century.
  • (2) - FT2 concedes the point
  • (3) - The Temple according to the Bible was not constructed until about 1000 BCE
  • (4) - Slrubenstein states that "Yonatan" is "Jonathan" and "Yohanan" is "John".
  • (5) - Slrubenstein states that FT2 is a nut.
  • (6) - Slrubenstein asks for evidence.
  • (7) - Slrubenstein expresses a strong lack of confidence in FT2s knowledge, and competence to work on the article.
  • (8) - Slrubenstein states that FT2 is ignorant of Jewish history.
  • (9) - Slrubenstein replies that FT2s reasoning is specious and ignorant of Jewish history.
  • (10) - Slrubenstein disputes the value of the internet compared to scholarly books and articles.
  • (11) -

The original text (abbreviated where appropriate - and indicated thus) resulting in the disputed sentences in the summary

  • (1) - I don't know of conflicts where the Persians got involved, but if there were any it would have been conflicts between the returning Babylonian exiles and gentiles then living in Judea -- perhaps Philistines.
  • (2) - okay, perhaps I over stated. I am thinking of the emporers maybe 100 or 200 years later perhaps, round 200-300 CE, when rome had declined some. I'll concede this one could be inaccurate.
  • (3) - The Temple wan't constructed until 900+ BCE.
  • (4) - Yonatan is represented in English as Jonathan. Yohanan is represented in English as John. Are you making fun of me? Ar eyou yanking....
  • (5) - Ar eyou yanking my chain? ... what you are saying here is a charicature of a nut,
  • (6) - This hypothesis is so silly it is hard for me to believe. So if I am wrong and it is a legitimate hypothesis I want to know who made it. Slrubenstein
  • (7) - you cannot possible believe that Jewish belief did not change in a 1500 year period! If so, you have no business working on this article which is all about historical context.
  • (8) - You are ignorant of first century historiography and making an anachronistic claim. Slrubenstein
  • (9) - ... to dominate Jewish culture were making radical claims! Your reasoning is specious and ignorant. Slrubenstein
  • (10) - Google is no substitute for books. The best current historiography is in books and articles, not the web. Slrubenstein. Darling reader, historiography is about books. CheeseDreams
  • (11) - I've protected the article .... (Tart, knees hot)

Which of the two versions more accurately reflects the text? That's for the reader to decide for themselves.

Comment by FT2 (copied by Cheesedreams from an RfC page)

FT2s account

History of article dispute:

I have been involved in trying to help participants in this article reach consensus for several weeks now. A visible and tentative consensus was reached on several key points, and a large number of wording suggestions. Based upon those, and several weeks listening to each side, and noticing that there was no neutral version yet, I drafted a version for discussion, containing both accurate material as well as material which needed a consensus as to accuracy and appropriateness.

  • A long period of informal mediation (as in, listening to and working with both sides) produuced a large amount of compromise or consensus wording.
  • An early consensus indicated that the article needed fully recasting/rewriting in a manner which did not put the gospels first nor saw it as a historic view on Christianity.
  • A draft version was produced which was deliberately stated in the talk page to be for discussion, please let stand briefly so others can read it and comment. [1] and talk page [2]
  • It was a consensus version in the sense that it retained material for discussion by others (even where needing discussion) not just a single POV.
  • It was neutral in the sense that it was neither oriented around Jesus, nor assumed a reader had read (or cared) about the stories of him.
  • It was organised and more encyclopediac in the sense that different relevant aspects of the culture were highlighted in their own right for comment.
  • SIrubenstein overwrote it with an approach that had already been criticised by some people for being
  • POV (gospel oriented) [3] and
  • Lacking in approach (treated it one-dimensionally as a historic narrative leading up to christianity and thereafter.
  • This version was reverted and reinstated a few times.
  • Rather than an edit war, I requested an RFC on the two versions.
  • The revert activity continuing, Theresa re-locked the article.

Comments on present RFC:

That said, this RFC is not about article content primarily. It is the contributors right to edit well or poorly, and it is the right of others to revert work they feel lacking. It is about whether locking the page is appropriate. Comments:

  1. The page became unlocked to give consensus a chance
  2. Within 24 hours one of the initial disputants (SIrubenstein) had ignored a request to allow the page to stand a day for comment and consensus building, and had mass-reverted it, thus plunging the article back into an edit war.
  3. There were views both ways, some users stated they did not approve of this, or that they felt it was inappropriate or POV (CheeseDreams, Amgine, Amgine again, Maurreen). I myself feel that it was quite disrespectful, given that it was a version stated to be for comment with a request for a day or 2 for others to contribute, in order that both sides could cool down, build consensus and deal with any material lacking in merit which had been introduced or brought forward.
  4. The other contender (CheeseDreams) did not in fact add any of their own edits, but reverted it to the version for discussion, which was undone several times.
  5. After several repeats of this a different sysop (Theresa) locked the page once more.
  6. Theresa has not been involved in the page previously
  7. The page had previously been locked for exactly the same reason up until very few days ago

Based on this history, I cannot personally find fault in the decision to re-lock the page. It was clear that one of the contenders had shown little interest in others opinions as it related to consensus-building and informal mediation, even for as short a period as 24-48 hours.

I would suggest arbitration is an appropriate avenue for this article; in light of recent experience, I see little reason to believe mediation would accomplish much different. FT2 03:20, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone else, aside from Me, and FT2, think that Slrubenstein will need to go to Arbitration before he will stop trying to impose his will on the article rather than submit to consensus? CheeseDreams 23:46, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Response to FT2s Account

I vigorously reject this account. FT2 is partisan and resents criticism. He was never a mediator, I certainly never agreed to mediation with him, and often disagreed with him on this talk page. Now he distorts the history of this article and his own involvement. Here is what happened. After editing conflicts between myself and CheeseDreams, the page was protected. There was considerable discussion on this page including votes, some of which were trivial, and many of which I contested because they came after inadequate discussion. These votes were not about style but about substance, and my objections were based on the historical record. The page was unblocked on Nov. 18 and FT2 made a number of changes in his attempt to take into account the discussion. I had and have no objection to this, it is his right as a contributor. It certainly wasn't an acto fo mediation. This was the version he came up with. [4]. I read over this and had a number of problems with it. Some were stylistic, most were substantive. NO ONE protected the page or requested that editors not work on it. It was unprotects, and as far as I was concerned any editor had a right to work on it. I spent the better part of the 19th re-working it to make it read better and be factually for accurate. The result was this: [5]. There was nothing secret about this. Per Wikipedia etiquette, I posted this to the talk page to explain that I had made major revisions:

Aside from deleting a few paragraphs that were excessively wordy, I have mostly added to the article, and have modified the organization to bring together historical and cultural contexts -- they are inextricably linked. I left a huge amount of earlier material at the end of this revision. I feel much of it can be deleted, but I do not want to do that unilaterally. Certainly much of it can be moved into sections above that I created -- or perhaps put into a new section, but earlier in the article. I can work on this more later, but I wanted to wait and see if others have ideas or want to try it, Slrubenstein

I considered what I had done to be pretty common work on Wikipedia. I did not delete anything unless I thought it was obviously wrong, and I added a lot of missing information. What happened next shocked me: CheeseDreams reverted all of my work. At that time a number of people -- Quadell, El C, and John Kenney chimed in saying they thought my work was an improvement. I reverted to my improved, expanded version (which included much of FT2's work). But what happened next shocked me even more: FT2 then blocked the page and made a serious of major revisions, entirely changing the organization of the article, editing some of what I added so as to make it incomprehensible or inaccurate, and added more inaccurate passages. This was a major step backward. I certainly did not see how FT2 was acting as a neutral mediator. I had not requested or agreed to his mediation, and simply disagreed with his changes. I reverted back to the previous version (last edited by me). I also created a section on the talk page called FT2's Ultimate Version where I listed over a dozen problems with his version. At this point I expected one or two responses: either FT2 or someone else would respond to my objections to his version, or someone would generate a similar list of problems with my changes. Neither of these happened. Instead, CheeseDreams reverted all of my work again. Since that time I have continued to work on the article. I have gone over earlier discussion, different people's objections, and FT2's revisions striving to incorporate or respond to other people's comments. A number of people -- John Kenny, Mpolo, and others, have commented on the superiority of my version. I certainly have not been unwilling to compromise, and have continued to add to the article to respond to different objections. The problem, as I see it, is this: FT2, Amgrine, and CheeseDreams have done little or no research on this topic and are mistaken and ignorant about many things -- and refuse to debate matters of content. I have provided explanations and sources for all of my changes. I gave a detailed list of objections to FT2's work. FT2 has responded to some of these comments -- in some cases he agrees, in some cases he has no answer at all, in some cases his answer is inadequte. I replied to him to ask for clarification but he has yet to respond to any of my major substantive challenges to his work. I have continually invited people to spell out there objections to my work. After many days Amgine finally responded with some criticisms. Although I appreciated his willingness finally to comment on substance I felt his objections were misinformed and responed to him, and still wait for his further response. In the meantime, FT2, Amgine, and CheeseDream continue to rely on a version riddled with the most ignorant errors. CheeseDream continually harps on about some "consensus" version that I reverted. This is nonsense. There is no consensus version. There is a version FT2, Amgine, and CheeseDreams supports, and there is a version I, John Kenney, El C, Mpolo, JDG, JayG and others support. But I want to be very clear: I am not saying I have "won" because I got more votes. ALL WIKIPEDIA ARTICLES are works in progress. I continue to work on this, and others can too. What I insist is that people add material that is verifiable, and explain major edits. But FT2, Amgine, and CheeseDream don't do this. They simply revert everything I do; they provide no explanation; and they add material that has no basis in fact. This is not what Wikipedia is about. Slrubenstein

Just so that you're aware, theres a few inaccuracies up there. I haven't "resented" criticism. I have been mindful that there are many voices here and that its important to let each of them have a chance to be heard, even the ones not everyone agrees with. That means a lot of listening, on the way. But it was neither an "ultimate" version, nor a personal one. It was not "ultimate" because it was simply, a starting point for discussion, no more, and it was not a personal one, because I myself am not attached to it if a better one comes along. However i do feel it is in essence a more literal one to its subject matter. Hope that helps. FT2 10:37, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

I meant "ultimate" in the sense of "latest." Sorry for the confusion. Slrubenstein

Response to the Response to FT2s account

Dear reader, note that votes derived from Gerrymandering do not count in fair electoral process. At no point did I or any other request Amgine or Maurreen to involve themselves in this article. Wheras John Kenney, El C, Mpolo, JDG, JayG were all asked by Slrubenstein to support his case via their talk pages (some of these persons have obscured this fact by editing the said pages, though the detail is still visible in the history) CheeseDreams 01:55, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I believe the vast majority of the above discussion is a matter for the currently ongoing mediation. - Amgine 02:01, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is utterly absurd. This is not an "electoral process". It is a matter of discussion and consensus finding. If I argue logically and comprehensively, why on earth does it matter if Slr alerted me to this dispute? This kind of thing is done all the time. The behavior of CheeseDreams in this discussion has been utterly horrible, and FT2 has, I think, behaved completely inappropriately in continuing to pretend to be an impartial mediator. Neither one of them has ever explained why they believe the FT2 version is better, except that CheeseDreams seems to hate all implication that Jesus actually existed, and FT2 is fetishizing his strange view of how the wikipedia process works. I would also note that there is no "ongoing mediation" in this article, contrary to Amgine's assertion above. Could somebody else reasonable who has not been involved please please review this mess? john k 09:51, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I put it to you that it is you who is fetishising your strange view of the wikipedia process. And ongoing mediation IS going on see the request for mediation section a long way above.CheeseDreams 19:20, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You have no right or reason to exclude or dismiss ANY wikipedian from commenting on this article -- for ANY reason. No matter what the reason, all editors have a right to comment and edit. Also, as far as I know our "mediator" has yet to make an appearance on this page. The mediator hasn't contacted me at all. You insist mediation is ongoing, but what, exactly, has the mediator done? Slrubenstein

Amgine, would you be so kind as to demonstrate that contact with the mediator has occurred. CheeseDreams 20:34, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the sage comment. Obviously CheeseDreams doesn't know what the word "gerrymandering" means, and none of these people understnd Wikipedia process. I put in a request for mediation some time ago but nothing --yet -- has come from it. Do you think mediation is the key, or arbitration? If you want to make a request for arbitration, John -- or have any other ideas -- I have no objectin at all. I think CheeseDreams, FT2 and Amgine actually need mentoring on how to work in Wikipedia, but I don't think any of the old-timers want to get involved with them. I am not sure what to od. Above, I started a section on what kinds of changes are needed in the article. This talk page should be for talk on improving the article. Yet that hasn't happened at all. C, F, and A don't want to talk about content (I am not surprised as they don't know much 1st cntury history), all they want to do is repeat accusations. I am getting a headache! Slrubenstein
Darling reader, see Gerrymandering
And Vanity. CheeseDreams 19:20, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

While Slr has certainly canvassed for votes that he thought might be friendly, I fail to see how this is gerrymandering, which involves determining the borders of legislative districts - that is to say, a matter of determining who is able to vote, not merely who does vote. When I went out to Mount Airy in Northwest Philly to knock on doors in heavily African-American neighborhoods on election day, was that gerrymandering? The vanity remark is pure ad hominem. I think CheeseDreams definitely needs to be brought into arbitration. I'm not really sure about the rest. john k 06:14, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Ad hominem requires that the comment be irrelevant to the discussion of the argument it is used against. The comment was for the phrase I think CheeseDreams, FT2 and Amgine actually need mentoring on how to work in Wikipedia,
OF course this is relevant, how could it not be relevant? ~~
.... I started a section on what kinds of changes are needed in the article for which the accusation vanity is wholly appropriate. CheeseDreams 08:23, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Far from being arrogant, this is simply doing the job editors are supposed to do, and using the Talk page for precisely the reason talk pages exist. Slrubenstein
P.s. Me and FT2 already think that Slrubenstein needs to be brought into arbitration, and the only reason that I haven't taken that step is because there is ongoing mediation, a process which, with forlorn hope, some think might get Slrubenstein to learn civility.CheeseDreams 08:26, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I would like to make clear, this is not a result of any "alignment" or "taking sides". There will be other areas in which I may well feel that CheeseDreams is out of line. However in this I do feel that arbitration would be a possible help. Not because someone is "wrong", more because a definitive view would help perhaps. FT2 10:45, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

Once again, there is not ongoing mediation. That you think there is shows that Slr is completely right in thinking that you need mentoring on how to work in Wikipedia. So, go ahead with the request for arbitration, please. john k 15:11, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There IS ongoing mediation. The mediator is User:Llywrch - ask him yourself. CheeseDreams 20:40, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

SLR or johnk, please alert me if this goes to arbitration or mediation of any kind. I've been saving my energy for a bunch of edits on biological topics I've been meaning to make, but if these disputes come to a head I would like to read up on it all and join in. And, Cheesedreams, if you think this is some sort of cronyism for SLR, think again. I believe SLR is a topnotch Wikipedian and all but in no way do I fall into automatic agreement with him. Quite the opposite in fact (he and I have been on opposing sides more often than not). My loyalty is to the encyclopedia. This loyalty prompts me to oppose people like you, FT2, Amgine and all other agenda-driven editors who put pet peeves before fact. JDG 15:46, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

My apologies JDG, but I think you are under a slight misapprehension. But I have no "agenda" here, except a good article. I have at times supported SIrubenstein (when he's made a good point) and at times CheeseDreams (when he has). Mostly Ive asked a lot of questions what both think, to try and understand where they differ and if its a real difference. My ideal aim is to get the best both can do, working together. To do that, both have to listen. Right now my concern is that SIrubenstein may not be listening to others, as he would wish them to listen to him. But that is not a "side taking", it's just how it is this moment. The next moment I may have to add my thoughts in the other direction if someone else isn't listening well. FT2 10:45, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
It amuses me that you consider FT2 to be agenda driven simply because he opposed Slrubenstein's replacement of FT2s attempt at concensus and actually paying attention to the discussion. FT2 has exhibited no agenda whatsoever in this article, except that of acheiving consensus, I have absolutely no-idea where he stands on issues such as "did Jesus exist", for example. This clearly demonstrates that, counter to your claim, your loyalty is to Slrubenstein. CheeseDreams 20:40, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
FT2 does seem to be trying to incorporate the ideas of all editors equally. Unfortunately, that appears to be a horrible way to approach an article like this, mainly because it ignores principles like factuality and verifiability; he has given equal weight to well researched ideas and fringe theories. He has also tried to unilaterally invent and then impose restrictions on who may edit the article; some editors agreed with those restrictions when doing so seemed help them push their POV. Wesley 14:22, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
FT2 has given equal weight to each POV as to what (and indeed which) is a fringe theory and what (and indeed which) is a well researched idea. CheeseDreams 14:46, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And as far as I understand it, his restriction was "no-one to edit for 2 days, so that everyone can view it as it stands, and then discuss where we go from here", a perfectly reasonable and just approach. CheeseDreams 14:47, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is tantamount to protecting the page for two days, but without the authority or right to do so. If a page is not protected, editors have a right to work on it. Period. Slrubenstein

Sometimes a "right" doesn't make a thing right. One has the right to do many things which one sometimes chooses gracefully to let go of for a while, because others matter too. The logical outcome of "I have the right to edit so I'm going to. Period." is revert wars. These don't serve anyone. Does a person really need "protection" on the page before they can make a decision what's best? I think as a matter of grace and courtesy you could have found it in you to let others comment before reverting your preferences, it would do you no harm to allow others a short space (and only 48 hours was asked for) for them to think and reflect too. FT2 21:57, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

This is a fair point but I respectfully disagree. I did not "edit" or revert your work "because I have a right to ... so I am going to. Period." The reason I reverted your "ultimate" (latest) version was that I honestly felt you had made a mess of the article (and I am not at all questioning your intentions); I genuinely felt my version was closer to the NPOV and verifiable aims of Wikipedia; I really thought my version had taken into account most of the concerns others had raised on the discussion page (which i not to say I tried to incorporate all points; I rejected those my research had led me to believe were wrong -- but I really did try to respond/account for a variety of points made by others); I actually thought my version provided a better starting point for further revisions and changes for two reasons: less of my version would have to be cut or reqorded, and my version provided a structure that could accomodate other points. I know you disagree with me, but these were my reasons. In principle I agree that it is a matter of grace and courtesy to allow others time to comment. But you did not extend to me that grace or courtesy -- you did not wait two days too see how others would respond to my version. Neither did I request that you or anyone else wait two days before editing. I expected people to make changes and add to my version. What I did not expect was that someone would make major and fundamental changes, essentially rewriting the whole thing -- I expected further edits to be piecemeal, as they usually are. But let me be clear: I did not revert to my version just because I was pissed off that you had made a request for a courtesy (wait two days before changing) that you did not offer me. The only reason I reverted it was that I honestly felt it would take a great deal more effort to turn your version into an accurate NPOV article than it would take mine. I had the right to make that reversion -- "period" -- but I exercised that right for what I believed and continue to believe were good reasons. Slrubenstein

I can accept the above. I accept it was from a genuine belief and you thought about it. Only two thoughts to add, one is that you know your version was disputed, logically that suggests there may be flaws in it you dont perceive as flaws, so you should treat your honest belief it was better a little warily and not necessarily trust it as a reliable guide. And second, to clarify, I waited more than two days without reverting yours. In fact I did not revert yours at all. (can be checked in history). Your response to mine was revert/overwrite, my response to yours was leave it. FT2 18:15, Nov 29, 2004 (UTC)
Dear reader, please look up Hypocracy. CheeseDreams 12:14, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Since this issue has been brought up, I felt I should explain just how the mediation process is affecting work on this article.

First, I must apologize for my tardiness on getting this process moving. I have been sick for the last couple of days (sick enough that I had to miss my family's Thanksgiving dinner), & have not felt up to tackling this issue, let alone making any substantial edits to Wikipedia. And I'm still feeling a little light-headed as I type, & am trying hard to keep focused here.

Second, what I understand I have been asked to do is to mediate between Slrubenstein, Amigne, & CheeseDreams, in the hope of avoiding further reversion wars. Further, when one party started explaining his side of the dispute on my talk page, another started disputing those points, forcing me to find a way that all parties in this dispute can tell me their story in their own words with a degree of freedom in their speech. Unfortunately, CheeseDreams replied she/he (sorry, I'm not sure which pronoun I should use here) does not have email, which is as far as I got before my illness took hold.

However, there have been some other issues I need to sort out before we get very far in this process:

  • Do I understand what the 3 people involved want from me? If not, what am I missing?
  • Is this dispute simply amongst these 3 people, or should we draw in more participants who have editted this article?
  • Once we start this mediation, should all parties involved keep away from this article until mediation comes to an end?
(My observation: you can always walk away from an article for a while, let things cool down, then return & make your edits once again; one does not lose any credibility, nor does the world come to a firery end, by doing this. With all of the heated tempers here, this might be a good thing to do.)
  • Am I correct in saying that all parties involved need to use me as an intermediary, or should we merely have a 3- or 4-sided discussion on a Wiki page somewhere?

Lastly, this talk page has grown to a monster 220K size as I post this. Would anyone mind if I archived some of this material? -- llywrch 22:16, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

P.S. -- I just remembered this important point: Because this page is dedicated to talking about the article, please send responses to my statement to me, preferably by email, or any confidential medium. Otherwise, this page is just going to get longer. -- llywrch 23:03, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Archive makes sense, a lot of it is "personal peeve" stuff, as its been described, and relatively low value. My stance is best described above, I am not aligned to either side, my aim is to see neutrality in this article, and a good basic outline of structure, and for those concerned to learn to work together, add such information as they jointly can and make it good. A disputed article helps nobody. I've listened a lot to a lot of sides, and have tried to draft an outline of how the subject might be approached neutrally. Some liked it, some preferred SIrubenstein's version. I personally feel that it would have been productive if both sides had given the day or 2 requested for discussion, because it was not lightly drafted. Thats about it. FT2 10:51, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)


I think two points need to be responded to here as well. Firstly, you are welcome to archive the page (you may or may not have noticed that the page has been archived three times since this discussion started about a month ago).


  • the dispute is predominantly amongst the 3 people,
  • however, since 1 person has drawn virtually all the other parties in this talk page here to support their side, I personally consider them secondary parties to the dispute.
  • Maureen was not brought in, and hasn't discussed anything since Slrubenstein attacked her comments about this page (which she put in as an outside disinterested response to a referral for comment about the two competing sides for this page).
  • FT2 seems to have been treated as part of the "anti-Slrubenstein" side by the "pro-Slrubenstein" side, though I am under the impression the other 2 people (of the 3 at the centre of the dispute) view FT2 as a neutral mediator, and I think his comments are welcome, and important to mention.

CheeseDreams 23:30, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Just for the record, SLR did nothing to bring me to this dispute. I stumbled upon this Talk page in my owm meanderings and only after leaving the "Counterproductive Disputes" message above did SLR communicate to me via my Talk page. Llywrch's mediation proposals look good and since I haven't studied these issues for some time I'll wait to see how the mediation works out. But I can tell you now, Cheesedreams, you can forget about wholesale reverts of SLR's work on this topic. If the mediation turns out to be futile, I'll be here to restore the SLR material you have been trying to deep-six for weeks. JDG 01:57, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I can tell you now. If you threaten me like that you will recieve an RfC. CheeseDreams 02:16, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, and I have no hesitation in reverting the SLR material AND your material if I feel it necesssary. CheeseDreams 02:17, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Go right ahead. You're already on the fast track for some form of discipline. This will make it faster. You joined Wikipedia (at least under this name) less than a month ago and, judging from the 3 or 4 Talk pages I've clicked into (especially your own User Talk), you've already managed to alienate and offend numerous respected, longtime Wikipedians from all over the spectrum, from Sam Spade to Wetman (quite a feat, to alienate these two simultaneously). Lower your hackles a moment and read the words following this colon carefully:
It amuses me immensely that you consider Sam Spade and Wetman to be respected Wikipedians. CheeseDreams 12:05, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And yet you think of yourself as neutral and reasonable? Forgive me if I spend the next hour laughing. CheeseDreams 12:10, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
there are already at least 10 people who would jump at the chance to restrict or even ban you, you have a short time to preserve your free editor rights here, use this time to change direction. JDG 02:43, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Darling, 100% of the fundamentalists would like to ban me, because Im a threat to them as I actually am willing to stand up to them. CheeseDreams 12:05, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And I am not going to KowTow to your demands or your, pathetic, little, threats. I will retain my independance and my stances. Darling. CheeseDreams 12:07, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oddly enough, despite Sam's and Wetman's extreme worldviews, they are actually respected. Why? Because they do careful work and are capable of decent prose. Lacking these, and adding your constant hostility to (and reverts of) anyone who's not a gay atheist, you're left twisting, ready to prune.
It amuses me that you think Im a gay atheist, and also that you object to people who are. CheeseDreams 12:17, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Maybe you are just prejudiced against the word, Darling CheeseDreams 12:18, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
But I won't need to do it. I'll just be adding my vote when the time comes, which will be soon. Fire away. My next interaction with you will be over the content of this article and then the vote. JDG 04:11, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Since when was arbitration, or mediation, about popularity?CheeseDreams 12:17, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Again for the record, I have no idea what you are, so I can't object to something I don't know. You could be a pickled prune who reverts any and all contributions by editors other than yourself who are not smoked herrings. Whatever you are, I again ask you to shift gears and start playing nice with others, or to learn how to do so. This wouldn't mean you are "kowtowing" or selling out your independence. It would just mean you're subtle and wise enough to know you'll get nowhere without manners. JDG 10:32, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Ditto, darling. You started this discussion with me with a revert threat. Learn some manners. CheeseDreams 22:29, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Say what, Sweepea? I've reverted nothing. JDG 06:33, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Please read the word "threat" which was in the sentence, and comprehend the text accurately.CheeseDreams 08:41, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

And now for something completely different

Would someone please summarise the summaries, and subsequent discussion, and tell us what the important points are, and where the article goes from here? CheeseDreams 16:46, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

That's already been done, [6] Slrubenstein

Again I ask. Would someone do it

  • in a neutral way
  • who is not one of the 2 vehemently opposed persons
  • taking into account ALL the points
  • drawing up what the general feeling is OF EACH SIDE

CheeseDreams 20:49, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You imply that I am one of two sides. Please explain what the other side is (not whose side it is, but what the substantive positions are) and what points are not represented in the aforementioned section. Slrubenstein

I would also like to ask, what points made above (in the summaries, etc.) do people think are NOT (anymore) contested? CheeseDreams 23:26, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)