Thursday, November 22, 2018

Herman Hoeh's Muddled Quoting of Irenaeus (1955)

In his article, "The Astounding Truth About Easter," (Plain Truth, April 1955, pp. 3-6, 16) Herman Hoeh twice quoted the second Century church leader, Irenaeus, but misleadingly implied that his two quotations were taken from the same piece of writing when, in fact, he was quoting from two different sources, the first of which is not given any citation.

This fact may be seen below (pp. 6, 16).
Irenaeus wrote even more regarding the observance of Easter at Rome and elsewhere as follows: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church of Smyrna . . . He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus”- bishop of Rome around 154 A.D.- “caused many to turn away from the . . . heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles . . . ” While at Rome, Polycarp discussed the matter of Easter with the Roman bishop.  
Irenaeus continued: “For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it”--the passover--“because he had always observed it with John the disciple of our Lord, and the rest of the apostles, with whom he associated; and neither did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, who said that he was bound to follow the customs of the presbyters before him” (Quoted from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, book V, chap. 24, in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 ).  
The highlighted quote is from Irenaeus' polemic, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, Section 4. Irenaeus wrote this book around AD 184 in order to combat Gnosticism.

In the second paragraph, right after he wrote "Irenaeus continues", Hoeh then switches to quoting Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter 24. That quote is from a book written over a hundred years after Irenaeus' life. That passage quotes a now lost letter written by Irenaeus.

Hoeh does not disclose the source of the first quote. He misleadingly implies both quotations were from the same piece of writing when says "Irenaeus continues" after the first quote.

Hoeh's statement that "Irenaeus continued" is quite galling. What possible explanation is there for Hoeh to mislead his readers in this way? Hoeh speaks so confidently in this article of various sensationalist assertions he makes about Easter and yet he strangely presents quotations from two different books as though he himself saw them placed together.

Was this was a malicious lie? Of course since Hoeh died in 2004 he is not able to explain or defend himself. It is not possible to make definitive conclusions about why he muddled his quotations here.

If it was a malicious lie it is hard to determine why he misleadingly implied that a quote from Irenaeus' Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, Section 4 was from Eusebius' work or why he failed to note the source of the first quotation.

But we should take that these quotes are from two different books, written by different authors, one of which was written over a century after Irenaeus' life. When Hoeh encountered these passages he likely would have seen them in different books or maybe even different parts of the same volume. It is hard to imagine him seeing these passages together.

And yet right after he finishes quoting from Against Heresies he writes, "Irenaeus continued", but then quotes from a book written a century after Irenaeus' death. Hoeh even cites Eusebius' book but never mentions Irenaeus' Against Heresies.

Later in 1973 HWA's organization began to publish a booklet entitled "The Plain Truth About Easter." The author was listed as Herbert W. Armstrong. However a long section of the booklet was plagiarized from Herman Hoeh's 1955 article, "The Astounding Truth About Easter." This section contained the muddled quotes discussed above. There the error remained uncorrected.

So many thousands of people had put their trust in Herman Hoeh's writings, many of whom did not know he could muddle quotations like this. People need to know about problems like this in the writings of HWA's organization.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Overview of the November 2018 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released a new issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet (November-December 2018). Let us see what PCG's 1% have to say now.

This issue was published just a few days before the midterm elections in which Democratic Party legislators gained control of the House of Representatives. Since this is a monthly publication there is no mention in this issue of the so-called MAGABomber or the massacre against Jews in Pittsburgh, the most deadly attack against Jews in US history, in this issue. These topics have been discussed by PCG's 1% elsewhere.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 266,160 issues. This is a decrease from the October issue which had a circulation of 276,182 issues. The September issue had a circulation of 262,346 issues. The August 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,448 issues. The July 2018 issue had a circulation of 264,040 issues. The May-June 2018 issue had a circulation of 262,750 issues. The April 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues. The March 2018 issue had a circulation of 247,749 issues (which happens to be exactly the same as the April 2018 issue).

Gerald Flurry has a personal article in which he proverbially bites the heads of nails over the widespread opposition to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court even though it was always quite likely that the Republican led Senate would approve whoever was nominated by President Trump (with the aid of the Federalist Society).

Flurry insists that political activity by liberals seeking to affect who should happen to be elected to the Supreme Court constitute some sort of attack on America by Satan himself.
Why would controlling the Supreme Court be so important to the devil? ... Now, 31 years have passed since the Bork debacle. Over that time, Satan’s evil influence has gotten progressively stronger. America has lurched much further down the path of lawlessness, poisoned politics, crippled government and bitter division. 
The Kavanaugh confirmation process exposed just how much worse this trend has grown. ... More importantly, that process gave us an astonishing look into the depths of Satan’s mind! In fact, many recent developments in America expose Satan. ( (Gerald Flurry, The Kavanaugh Hearings Reveal America's Lawless Spirit, November-December 2018, p. 2.)
Also Gerald Flurry insists that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent of the accusations of sexual assault that have been made public even though he is no position to prove that.
The nation’s attention became fixed on trivialities like high school yearbook entries and crass teenage slang. ... Three weeks after President Donald Trump nominated him, a California Democrat named Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party 36 years ago. ... Ford did not claim that Kavanaugh raped her, or even came close. ... After a public prosecutor determined that Ford’s account was inconsistent, vague and uncorroborated by the people she said were at the party, Democrats looked for other accusers. They found three more women who accused him of sexual misconduct during high school and college, including absurd allegations of his being involved in gang rapes! ... 
With zero proof that Kavanaugh was involved in any sexual assault, because of unsubstantiated accusations, Democrats demanded that his name be withdrawn. ... Democrats piled on Kavanaugh, universally treating Ford’s uncorroborated account as proof of a career-ending crime, and ripping this man apart! ... America’s sexual standards are horrific—and sexual predators should be arrested and brought to justice. (And I don’t believe for a moment that Brett Kavanaugh is one of them.) (Gerald Flurry, The Kavanaugh Hearings Reveal America's Lawless Spirit, November-December 2018, pp. 1-2.)
For PCG's 1% the Republican Party is the party of (the Armstrongite) God.

Joel Hilliker has an article discussing the severe troubles in Venezuela to demonize the political left in general. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Jeremy Corbyn are disparagingly presented as preachers of "socialism" (whatever Hilliker means with that word,) in an article that is supposed to be about Venezuela. Hilliker's message seems to be that adopting left wing policies is a bad idea but that message is diluted by saying that Venezuela's current crisis is caused by a drop in the price of oil back in 2014.
Less than a year after the inauguration of Chávez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro, the inevitable happened: The price of oil dropped. Suddenly the real costs of socialism became obvious. ... With the easy oil money dried up, Venezuela had to now stand on the strength of its other industries, its economic resilience and the free enterprise of its people. But Venezuela had none of that. So it fell. (Joel Hilliker, What the World Needs to Learn from Venezuela, November-December 2018, p. 6.)
Was it the leftist policies or the drop in the price of oil that produced Venezuela's woes? America and Britain are simply not as dependent on oil as Venezuela has been therefore it is unlikely that those more prosperous nations would face that particular problem. Hilliker seems unaware that admitting the drop in the price of oil weakens his message that left wing politicians will lead society into catastrophes just like Venezuela.

Jorg Mardian has an article saying that eating good foods will improve your mood.

Wik Heerma has an article giving advice on how to maintain a harmonious family.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article insisting that somehow Iran and Syria will one day soon turn into adversaries. Back in 2011 Gerald Flurry changed PCG's teaching regarding the Middle East and began to teach that there would be two rival alliances dominating the Middle East in the end times, namely the "king of the south," meaning Iran, and another alliance of nations which he calls "the Psalm 83 nations" which will be allied with the future German led European Empire and oppose Iran. Gerald Flurry insists that Syria is fated to join these "Psalm 83 nations" and thus oppose Iran in the near future. Considering how indebted the Assad regime is to Iran for maintaining itself through the ongoing civil war this prediction sounds extremely unlikely to occur.

Warren Reinsch has a little article insisting that the Hagarenes mentioned in the Old Testament is a reference to modern day Syria. And so the Armstrongite habit of casually assigning ancestries to multitudes of people to make their (false) prophecies seem persuasive continues.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article scare mongering about famines. It is illustrated with photos of malnourished children from Syria and Somalia. Both nations have long endured and continue to face severe political and social turmoil which are major reasons that such tragic things have occurred. Waiting for PCG's predictions to occur helps no one in such tragic situations.

The Infographic seeks to support Jacques' scare mongering about famines.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering about Germany and Russia by recounting the long history of relations between these nations which has shifted from peaceful to hostile states over the centuries.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article encouraging his readers to practice self discipline.

Brad Macdonald has a little condemning the dehumanization of other human beings, which is quite ironic considering how PCG's 1% unceasingly criticize and condemn Democratic Party legislators and officials. Gerald Flurry, in his personal article, insists that Democratic Party opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is inspired by Satan. We need to look beyond such hollow words.

WorldWatch discusses German MPs complaining about Chancellor Merkel; Sweden having trouble forming a new government; a call for increased funding of the European Border and Coast Guard from Brussels; President Erdogan's state visit to Germany; Germany sending military instructors to train the Iraqi Army; Iran sending ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq; Russia and China holding joint war games exercises; and India and Pakistan sending personnel to participate in a military drill named Peace Mission 2018 in Chebarkul, Russia on August 22-29 under the sponsorship of the Shanghai Cooperation Council.

SocietyWatch discusses the escalating trade war with China; that there are now simply eighty-one ships belonging to the merchant marine fleet; and condemns the State Department for recognizing same sex unions.

There are letters. This time the editors of this recruitment magazine focus on letters about looking back through old issues of PCG's recruitment magazine.

Considering the many false prophecies that PCG's 1% have made over the years it is clear that there is no need for anyone to fear or otherwise give heed to PCG's dire predictions of catastrophe.