Talk:Ferenc Dávid

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Use of Chambers's Encyclopaedia as a source[edit]

Donbodo, sorry, reverted:

Scholars still have to address fully Ferenc David's Hungarian works for a satisfactory assessment of his beliefs.[1] In his early years as a Nontrinitarian, Dávid supported prayer to Christ and held that the existence of Christ began when he was conceived by the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Spirit, as can be seen in his answer to Peter Melius, the Refutatio scripti Petri Melii (‘Refutation of the writings of Péter Méliusz’, Alba Iulia, 1567)[2] Later sources generally state that like Joseph Priestley, Dávid eventually came to reject the virgin birth, many miracles and inerrancy of the Bible.[3] However, these views were not held by the majority in the Unitarian Church of Transylvania in his lifetime.[4]
  1. . Chambers's Encyclopaedia isn't a reliable source, an edition may be dated 1968, but the original article could have been unrevised since 1874.
  2. . Scholarship on Hungarian Unitarianism is appalling bad - or at least was until Mihály Balázs.
  3. . There's a revisionist tendancy in late 19th Century sources to anachronistically impose late 19th Century Unitarian views over 17th Century Unitarians. The same, except not quite as bad, as Universalist historiography anachronistically claiming late 19th Century views for anyone from Origen to Hans Denck.

Btw - I'm a bit concerned that you've been editing the Socinianism page too - since your own personal convictions are anti early Unitarianism. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:19, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

In fact the more I look at the above edit the more concerned I am. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:35, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
In ictu occuli, unfortunately just because 19th century Unitarians COULD have imposed their views on David, this does not prove they they DID. You can't just assume wrong until proven right. You must provide a reference to establish the facts. And just because the scholarship about Hungarian Unitarianism is not up to snuff in your own opinion or in the opinion of someone, this does not mean that Hungarian Unitarian scholarship must automatically be thrown in the trash. Wikipedia wants its articles to reflect the current state of scholarship. No innovations or new ideas. My edit reflected exactly what the sources state. I accommodate all of the sources. Note my wording: "Later sources generally state...." You cannot argue that this is an inaccurate statement. Do the later sources say this? Yes, they do. Even you know that they do. So my words are correct. Your edit, on the other hand, takes sides. It claims that certain sources are wrong without proving it. It picks and chooses which sources it feels like believing and reads far more into the existing sources than what is there. --Donbodo (talk) 23:16, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Beyond primary sources we now also have modern scholars such as Mihály Balázs. I don't have time to keep an eye on your edits. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:22, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Reverted. Donbodo, a Latin source David in David's own words + a modern source 2010 trump Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism (Cambridge, 1952), p. 67 - however if you can check p.67 and see if Earl Morse Wilbur provides a source for Ferenc David having shared the "Judaizing" section of the Byelorussian brethren's view on the virgin birth then by all means cite here on Talk the source Earl Morse Wilbur gives, if he gives one, if in fact he says that. In general it would be better if you did some basic study about this period before trying to rewrite anything that you're only just learning about. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:30, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Dear In ictu occuli, please address the following points:
1. Name the exact sentences in my edit that are inaccurate or which violate Wikipedia guidelines.
2. Name the exact sentences in your edit that you object to being changed.
3. Are you familiar with the Wikipedia guideline that disputed source references are to be tagged rather than removed? If so, what is your justification for removing my Wilbur reference?
If you will not address these points, my edit will be restored.--Donbodo (talk) 06:52, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
1. see 2.
2. Your removal of the observation that modern research and Latin primary sources do not support the view that Ferenc David shared the views of Szymon Budny.
3. My justification is 1. and 2. but also that it is a simple request. Given your unfamiliarity with this historical period, and given that the edit is wrong according to (i) David's own words (ii) the Hungarian bishops writing after David such as Mihály Lombard de Szentábrahámi, (iii) the Transylvanian credo, and (iv) the most recent research, it is reasonable to ask you to provide the text from p.67 and resolve the issue. It should take you 1 minute to go over to the bookshelf and give Earl Morse Wilbur's footnote to what source he is using. I won't have access to the book for another 6 weeks. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
First of all, I know more about this historical period than you do. But be that as it may, you did not answer my question #1. I already know that you are accusing me of being wrong. I asked for the exact statements that were wrong. You did not state them. So let's go through them one by one:
1. "In his early years as a Nontrinitarian, Dávid supported prayer to Christ and held that the existence of Christ began when he was conceived by the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Spirit, as can be seen in his answer to Peter Melius, the Refutatio scripti Petri Melii (‘Refutation of the writings of Péter Méliusz’, Alba Iulia, 1567)" Is this statement false? Yes or no?
2. "Later sources generally state that like Joseph Priestley, Dávid eventually came to reject the virgin birth, many miracles and inerrancy of the Bible." Is this statement false? Note that it does NOT say what David believed. It says only what later sources STATE. The truth of their testimony is not commented on. So is this statement true or false?
3. "However, these views were not held by the majority in the Unitarian Church of Transylvania in his lifetime." By "these views" I meant the denial of the virgin birth, miracles and inerrancy of the Bible. So here I am stating that such views were NOT held by the majority. In other words, the majority believed in the virgin birth, miracles and inerrancy of the Bible. Is this statement true? Yes or no?
There is no doubt that ALL of these statements are true and backed up with sources. So they have now been restored. Please follow Wikipedia guidelines and add tags where you think they are needed or make additions, rather than delete entire paragraphs. --Donbodo (talk) 15:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
The important reason for a revert is that you deleted the Hungarian Unitarian statement of faith
1. No, "in his earlier years" is not true, that implies he changed his mind. When?
2. No, it is not true, since the best modern sources in Hungarian and German, and now Balázs' bio of David is in English do not say this.
3. No, it's not true. Because "the majority" is all. During this period the views of Szymon Budny were only found in Belorussia/Lithuania.
4. Why did you delete the Hungarian Unitarian statement of faith? Restored
Now will you please supply p67 of Earl Morse Wilbur 1967 so I can follow the source he cites back into Latin, rather than wasting any more time theorizing. As I said, I will not have access to this book for another 6 weeks, so can you please do it. Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:25, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I think we could perhaps resolve this point by reference to the online text at . I assume that is the book in question. It is posted in chapters, rather than paginated, though, so please could we have the chapter reference; so that a reference in parallel could be set up. This could clarify what the point is here. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:36, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Charles. Donbodo, would you follow up on this please. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:05, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
In ictu, in response to your points:
1. My statement, "in his earlier years," accurately reflect the source from 1567. That was from his earlier years. The statement is true. If you provide a source from his later years, then we can change it. Note this quotation from Wilbur (p. 64): "Dávid, however, having an inquisitive mind, was much more inclined to pioneer in fresh fields than to rest content in those already won, and he was open to the stimulating influence of able and independent scholars teaching in the school at Kolozsvár. Of these, Johannes Sommer had been called in 1569 to take the chair vacated by Károli three years before, and he served the Unitarian cause with great ability and energy until four years later, when the plague carried off both his family and him. A yet more striking character was Jacobus Palaeologus, whose previous career in Poland has been related in connection with the history there. He seems to have gone from Poland to Con­stantinople for a visit, and then to have returned to Transylvania and for some time to have been busy with his pen on various theological works; also with lecturing in the Kolozsvár school, where he took an active part in the work of reform. Here he served for a brief period as interim Rector after the death of Sommer, perhaps late in 1572, until the appointment of Hunyadi in 1574, and after that he still continued his residence there apparently for several years. In the judgment of Dr. Squarcialupi, one of the court physicians, he was very learned, a great philosopher and theologian, an accomplished debater, acute, daring, persistent and e1oquent. Before coming to Kolozsvár he had been one of the leaders in the non-adorantist movement in Poland; and according to Socinus he had been the first of all to teach in Poland ‘the very wicked and detestable view that Christ should not be adored or invoked.’ It will be remembered that just before this time this ques­tion had been very hotly discussed among the Polish Brethren, and that the majority in Little Poland, following the leadership of Paulus and Czechowicz, had adopted the conservative view, rejecting that of Budny and Palaeologus. Knowledge of this controversy will of course have reached Biandrata, who kept in touch with the brethren in Poland; while at Kolozsvár Palaeologus no doubt found a sympathetic ear in Dávid as he laid before him the view that he had unsuccessfully advocated in Poland."
2. Provide the sources, and there will be no dispute. You can't make arguments based on what no one but you has seen.
3. Then why were there supporters of David and the other radicals at his trial? See the quotation above.
4. What are you talking about? I deleted no sources. I never do. Deleting sources is your calling card, not mine.
5. From page 67 of Wilbur: "It is evident that soon after the accession of Stephen reports of in­novations in the Unitarians’ religion began to be heard at court, and in the Diet at Torda in 1572 the Prince reported that some of the pastors were said to be carrying Dávid’s faith too far, and denying that it was right to invoke Christ; whereupon it was voted that he be authorized to call the Superintendent and Dávid before him to ascertain whether they were departing from the religion that they held in the time of the late King; and that if so they should be excommunicated or otherwise duly punished. It is not of record what action followed, but the evil was evidently spreading, for further warnings were decreed at the Diets of 1573, 1576, and 1578, the last especially sharp in its terms. Evidently the orthodox enemies of Dávid’s church were keenly on the watch at court for vulnerable points to attack; for to them it was not simply a matter of violating a law, but of spreading a doctrine which, if accepted, would strike at the very heart of the Christian religion."--Donbodo (talk) 03:45, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
1. please explain: how does your statement that David "in his earlier years" believed that the existence of Christ began when he was conceived by the Virgin Mary through the operation of the Holy Spirit,find support in the quote from p64 above which neither mentions "virgin" nor "birth" etc? Where exactly does p64 say that he changed his mind on the virgin birth?
2. The Andrew James book, given as a ref provides its own refs, as does the English translation of Balazs volume on David. These refs will have been "seen" and are preferable to ... to what?
3. His trial was on the invocation issue. Nothing to do with the virgin birth/preexistence. Your point?
4. That's a serious charge. When/where have I ever removed a WP:RS?
5. Why did you again delete the Hungarian Unitarian statement of faith? In ictu oculi (talk) 06:21, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
In answer to your questions:
1. I never wrote nor claimed that David changed his mind about the virgin birth. My edit simply made an effort to accommodate all of the sources that were included in the article. It would not be proper for me (or you) to delete source material or discredit it without providing evidence. Instead I simply explained what the various sources that were in the article said. Your problem is that you want to the article to say certain things without your having to provide any citations to demonstrate it. All claims must be backed up by sources. Come on, you know that.
2. Seen by whom? If they are not cited here, they do no one any good. The only citation from Balazs in this paragraph is used to show that research on David in the past has been poor. Where are the references for the other points you want to make?
3. My point is that you made the claim that David did not change his mind on anything since 1567. Obviously that is not true. So why, then, do you think that a quotation from 1567 is sufficient to show David's theology for his entire life?
4. When you reverted my edit, you deleted my Wilbur reference.
5. Oh, I thought you meant a footnote, not a link to another Wikipedia article. Even though it has nothing to do with David and wasn't even from his time, I'll put it back in, if you like. --Donbodo (talk) 22:05, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
1. Then please, go back to the article again, and rewrite your edit so that it doesn't read that he did. Thanks.
2. Sorry, but with respect I'm not running to your timetable. When I have time I will expand this article - and the stubs I've created on various other Hungarian Unitarian bishops. And I will try and find sources that have been translated into English so they can be shared. But in the meantime, I'm allowed to correct things widely known to be wrong - such as the Chambers article.
4. I thought the Wilbur reference was already in the article. I certainly wouldn't delete the most reliable and notable 1960s Unitarian historian knowingly. Though as above, he doesn't say what you had him saying.
3. Because David's changes on various positions over a very short period of time are well documented. There is no source evidence that he ever adopted Symon Budny's Ebionite/Psilanthropist ideas.
5. No the Hungarian Unitarian credo isn't from David's time, but it is Szentabrahami's summation of David's teaching, and is still the official statement of faith of the Hungarian/Romanian Unitarian Churches today.
In ictu oculi (talk) 02:30, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
In answer to your points:
1. My edit NEVER said he changed his mind about the virgin birth. My edit said only that one source claimed that he did.
2. I didn't give you a deadline. But you cannot complain if someone calls into question an unsourced claim. In fact, we are supposed to do that. Plus, you are contradicting yourself. First you say that scholarship on this point is poor and that only Hungarian sources show the Chambers encyclopedia is wrong, and then you say it is "widely known." Make up your mind.
3. I never wrote that David adopted Budny's psilanthropist ideas. I only wrote that the Chambers encyclopedia said so. --Donbodo (talk) 22:47, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Use of self-published sources[edit]

I see that a book published on is being cited in this article. Since is an online self-publishing house, that appears to be in contradiction of the comment on WP:RS that such sources are "largely not acceptable". Charles Matthews (talk) 16:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi Charles, that is correct. However this is unusually good for a Lulu book, and as far as I can remember seems to be sourced largely from the four Hungarian-into-German volumes of the Bibliotheca dissidentium, 1 of which, on David, is I recall also now available in English. At some point in time someone needs to replace the Lulu book with the original German page numbers. But for the time being, it is one of the few English language sources which reflects the last 20 years of Hungarian Unitarian scholarship, everything else is in Hungarian, and some in German, and Balasz' David biography in English. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

"Love alike" quote[edit]

I have asked at q:Talk:Ferenc Dávid whether anyone has earlier attributions. As things stand currently in the article, the matter is phrased somewhat awkwardly. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:59, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Mihály Balázs Early Transylvanian antitrinitarianism (1566-1571): from Servet to Palaeologus 1996 Page 27
  2. ^ Andrews, James Ferenc Dávid and the search for Bible truth in Transylvania 2010 Lulu
  3. ^ Chamber's encyclopaedia‎ 1968 p103
  4. ^ Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism (Cambridge, 1952), p. 67