Before continuing, I must make it clear that the failure of the Dr. Barbara Thiering's Rules of Pesher, which I will demonstrate below, in no way alters the amazing discoveries of Dr. Barbara Thiering or her detailed commentary contained in the webspace: Pesher Technique. There has never been anyone who has been able to decipher the New Testament in the way that she has done. Apparently, these truths were uncovered using a more flexible set of pesher rules corresponding to those in her early books. To name just a few, there is her concept of many names that refer to the same character or her application of the Essene rules and times of marriage to demonstrate the strange attitude of Joseph to have the son of Mary put away for adoption, the proof of Mary Magdalene's marriage, the birth of Jesus' four children, and the marriage of Paul. The list goes on and on. Therefore, I hope that it is clear that the failure of the strict "Rules of Pesher" should not negate any of her findings or the usefulness of her site above. My proof only negates the scientific proof, i.e the strict "Rules of Pesher" of her findings, however the rest of my site here is devoted to the successful proofs of her premises by "Inductive Reasoning".
It has been said that no one has tested Dr. Barbara Thiering's pesher technique (see Wikipedia:pesher, subsection pesher technique) and perhaps this is true until now. Many like Geza Vermes are ready to dismiss it out of hand, but, since I have had the opportunity to study it under Dr. Thiering's guidance for five years, I felt that I was in a position to validate its veracity or not. This discussion: "Inductive Reasoning: Rules of the Pesher Disputed" is not touching on any of the"pesher techniques" from Dr. Barbara Thiering's first book: "Jesus & the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls/Jesus the Man" (reissued as "Jesus the Man: Decoding the Real Story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene" November, 2006, Simon and Schuster, New York) as they had not yet been completely formulated in her mind and contained premises only. Later on in her books: "The Book that Jesus Wrote", pp. 271-280 and "Jesus of the Apocalypse", pp. 305-310., she began to formulate the "Rules of the Pesher". These are spelled out online at Section 3: "Finding the pesher: Devices of the text" on my Infinite SOULutions webspace which I set up for her. (I need to note here that this webspace: Pesher Technique is wholly her work and approved by her.)
Now, it is my understanding that Dr. Thiering would say that the "Rules of the Pesher" are the proof of what she talks about in her books and on her webspace and that without these "Rules of the Pesher" as defined above , everything would be conjecture based on unproved assumptions. In this world of movies and books like the "Da Vinci Code", "Bloodline of the Holy Grail", and "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"; it would appear that the public is quite satisfied with the concept of fiction as fact. Perhaps religion and history are just fictions posing as fact, anyway!
However, since so much of what Dr. Thiering has discovered contains the ring of truth about it and as a consequence certain fiction writers, like those above, have felt free to adopt her findings; there must be a great deal of truth in her discoveries. Whether there will ever be a scholarly proof of her work remains to be seen. This site of mine "Pesher of Christ" has as its purpose to show by "Inductive Reasoning" that many of her findings are indeed true. However, as I intend to show here, it is not by means of her Rules of the Pesher. I have invited Dr. Thiering to refute what I have presented, but she has chosen to decline and this has inevitably led to hard feelings.
Analysis of Dr. Thiering Thiering's Rules of the Pesher Technique and in particular: Rule of the Last Referent (RLR) by examining "SRLR".
"SLRL (Significant "RLR")" are "some cases of "RLR (Rule of Last Referent)" that make a significant difference to the meaning, giving a different subject from the one that would be naturally assumed". These rules are the under-pinning of Dr. Barbara Thiering's pesher technique, which are used throughout the Pesher Technique webspace.
Since the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation have many pronouns and verbs and participles with no subject, biblical translators have used context to determine the subject or object of the sentence, as is common with most languages. Contrary to this, Dr. Thiering relies heavily on one of her surmised Rules of the Pesher Technique: the "Rule of the Last Referent (RLR)" to determine the subject or object. As a consequence of this rule, the subject or object of a verb or pronoun can be any number of verses back. Clearly the interpretation of the verse will change. Sometimes this change can be significant and this she has indicated as "SRLR (Significant Rule of Last Referent)".
Dr. Thiering explains her pesher technique in her first major book which was re-released as "Jesus the Man" in 2006, but in it she sets out six general rules that do not include "The Rules of the Pesher" (RLR). Apparently, she refined "The Rules of the Pesher" (RLR) when writing "Jesus of the Apocalypse" where she spells them out and also in her later paperback "The Book That Jesus Wrote". They are also available on her webspace above. Unfortunately, since "Jesus the Man" is the most likely book to be read, the reader may be confused about the "The Rules of Pesher" (RLR) that I am refuting here. If that is true please go to link: Rules of the Pesher Technique. Since the RLR rules are now the most important ones in the pesher technique, it would be incorrect to only use the rules in "Jesus the Man" in applying the pesher technique. However, using the looser definitions in "Jesus the Man", it was obviously possible to find out many hidden details from her amazing calendar dating, her understanding of the different sects and organizational structure together with her excellent logic of the overall situations that has allowed her to bring the characters to life. So here is the conundrum, if RLR fails, how much of her findings are negated? Unfortunately, it would appear to be most of the "Word for Word Pesher" material on the webspace.
Even though her Rules of the Pesher Technique are now spelled out in detail, there are still some rules that Dr. Thiering uses that can only be understood after the use of her lexicon. (The lexicon is so extensive that it is clearly an important part of the pesher technique.) The pronouns himself heautos, this one houtos, that one ekeinos and nominative he/she autos are treated as nouns and thus are subject to "RLR" as the last person named. However, these pronouns often do not derive from a previous "RLR" as would be expected, but rather become replaced with a name of a character that seems appropriate to the time, place, and rank (in other words out of thin air). Though this may be a correct replacement that can be checked for consistency with other sources, it is not the result of a "mechanical" application of her "Rules of Pesher" in her pesher technique. This fact tends to get lost in the complexity of her "Rules of Pesher, but it is an important distinction.
By their nature "SRLR's" are supposed to be places that reveal significant knowledge, but in my opinion they just add confusion and awkwardness. I have chosen to illustrate "SRLR" because they appear to show the greatest breakdown of the theory. Clearly, and unfortunately, with the concept of "RLR's", if even one fails then Dr. Thiering's theory of "RLR" falls apart. On Dr. Thiering's webspace on my Infinite SOULutions site, Dr. Thiering has set out her proof of "RLR" in the Word-for-Word sections. You will have to decide if her proofs are adequate.
I personally feel that Dr. Thiering often strains at the interpretation to make the "RLR" work, especially in the cases of "SRLR". As a safety net, she often resorts to a bland recitation of levels and who is superior to whom, which is completely out of touch with the action. (Perhaps, those monks, studying the pesher to relieve their boredom, had no interest in the excitement of the action and were just looking to receive a lesson in hierarchy, but I doubt it.)
If any major inconsistencies are found, Dr. Thiering has to "find" a rule exception like "Parts of the Body" and "Genitive Relationship" in (Rules of the pesher) to account for them. Then she would work back through all of the cases to make sure that this rule exception could be used consistently or, failing that, she could create an entry in the lexicon redefining the word or person.
It is my opinion that the pesher is looser than the mechanical application of Dr. Thiering's rules of pesher, which incidentally have never been found except maybe in future mystery rip-off books. However, it is probable that pronouns and word subjects would be cloaked because these people needed to be disguised to avoid signing their death sentences. All religions have an inner circle and, in this way, a person not already contemporaneous with the action, like Paul or Clement, could be initiated into the inner circle by being told of the real people involved and then they could feel special. This would explain why a key to the cloaked characters has never been found, just as the Rules of Pesher have never been found.
Without this key to the characters, the bible translators have failed to reproduce the correct and consistent story line. In addition to the cloaking of characters, many have suffered obscurity or achieved fame by manipulation of the text by different religious sects. (The blatant case is the elevation of Peter by adding chapter 21 to the end of John, but a more subtle case is the removing of Simon Magus' name from most of the action and the insertion of pseudonyms for his name such as Lazarus or Simon of Cyrene: Matthew 5:41 (he carried the cross i.e. ringleader of the bunch.)
This distinction between mechanical and loose pesher is at the heart of the premise that I make on this Pesher of Christ site. Although one might wish that there was a mechanically derived way of proving the pesher interpretation such as Dr. Thiering's "RLR", I believe that unfortunately there is not. However, a pesher does exist and it can be found using clues and common sense. "RLR" might be a means to shake up the usual interpretation, but its mechanical application results in some absurd results as shown in many "SRLR"'s in this document. What is important about the pesher is to realize that the words in the Gospels are not meant to be taken literally, but contain clues to a deeper meaning.
I have set this up so that you could actually have three windows up: this page, plus the Revised Standard Verse (RSV) in a second window and Dr. Thiering's webspace in a third. These windows can be sized to fit best on your screen. By clicking on the verse link on the left, a separate window comes up, just click select "Display Verse" to show the Revised Standard Version of the verse. By clicking on the link "pesher:xx:xx" will show that verse Dr. Thiering's webspace. (Please note that sometimes you must use the bottom slider to find the appropriate gospel column.) All excerpts from Dr. Thiering's webspace are her copyright.
Jesus' birth to Bar Mitzvah