I was sad to see that rather than correct his quotation of a spurious work attributed to Athanasius, the man who Steve Ray has set forth to defend Mr. Ray’s miscitation of a spurious source (Mr. William Albrecht) has continued his campaign of misinformation and insult (link to video). Mr. Albrecht spends the first two minutes of his video complaining about “poor scholarship” by Alpha and Omega Ministries and complaining about it “getting to the point that it is almost tiresome dealing with arguments that are so weak.”
However tired or confused poor Mr. Albrecht must be, that is no excuse for his shoddy misrepresentation of the facts. Mr. Albrecht claims that “TurretinFan has made himself the King of Athanasius’ quotes [sic], and he claims that this piece of work, that is attributed to Saint Athanasius, he claims [sic] is spurious not because any scholar or group of scholars claim it is, but because he is the Lord over Athansius’ writings.”
This kind of dishonesty is shameful: Mr. Albrecht should be ashamed of himself, and Mr. Ray should be ashamed of promoting this level of discourse. From the beginning I have appealed to scholars in the field rather than to any credentials of my own. I have named scholars and appealed to a broader scholarly consensus. However tired Mr. Albrecht may be, there is no excuse for his attempts to distort the facts.
And this isn’t the only time I noticed Mr. Albrecht bending the truth:
- When cornered on the issue of the fact that the manuscript wasn’t discovered in the 20th century, he claims he never hinted anything to the contrary.
- Rather than just admit that he didn’t research the origin of the manuscript, he claims that there is no definitive knowledge on the subject.
- Mr. Albrecht tries to suggest that we are arguing that there is an “infallible canon” of Athanasius’ works that “all agree on.”
- Despite trying to argue that the manuscript is not in any standard corpus of Athanasius’ writings, Mr. Albrecht tries to pull the “ask your opponent to prove a negative” ploy that we see so often in Sola Scriptura debates with advocates of Catholicism. He asks me to prove that the document went unnnoticed by the Coptic church through the centuries. This sort of absurd request just demonstrates Mr. Albrecht’s unwillingness to defend his own position with real evidence.
- Although Mr. Albrecht previously claimed Le Muséon says the work is authentic, Mr. Albrecht now tries to claim that I “admit” that Le Muséon doesn’t take a position on the authenticity of the work.
But – since the scholars I already named aren’t enough for Mr. Albrecht, I’ll add one more, Mr. Angelo Gila. Mr. Gila is not only a doctor of theology, whose doctoral thesis was a study of the Marian writings of Severus of Gabala, but Mr. Gila is also a Servite friar – a friar in the order of the Servants of Mary – as well as a resident of the Turin area of Northern Italy. In a scholarly article published in the “Theotokos” (one of Mr. Albrecht’s favorite words) journal, (Theotokos VIII (2000) 601-631), at page 613, Mr. Gila correctly identifies this work as Pseudo-Athanasius.
But, of course, Mr. Albrecht who apparently has no scholarly credentials and who has misrepresented the facts without spending the time to thoroughly research the issue, concludes differently. And he complains of “poor scholarship”?
Or perhaps Mr. Albrecht will try to make silly claims like the idea that Friar Dr. Gilo just tries to “erase” this work because it is inconvenient for him, or flood the friar’s work with insults. As usual, Mr. Albrecht’s bluster is no match for the facts.
For background on this debacle see my previous response (link) and my original article (link).