Alvin Boyd Kuhn

I’m on my lunch break right now and while doing so, am reading Porter and Bedard’s Unmasking the Pagan Christ. Their book is a critique of Tom Harpur’s The Pagan Christ, which I have read and blogged a bit about (do a search on my blog for “Harpur”).
There is a brief section I wanted to share, just for the sake of it, to show the horrible foundation laid by Harpur. He used much of the writings of two would-be Egyptologists named Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn. Porter and Bedard go through each of these writers showing the serious flaws in their scholarship. One in particular that I just had to blog about was this:
“Many other problems with Kuhn’s work can be mentioned — from the mystical claim that each biblical verse totals a multiple of the number seven, even though the Bible was not versified until the year A.D. 1551” (Unmasking, 45). I actually chuckled out loud when I read that one.
I am mystified that Harpur could so use the writings of a guy like Kuhn, who is so obviously trivial in his writing. What’s the deal? I’ll blog more about this later, hopefully tonight some time. The second chapter was quite good in its evaluation of Harpur’s “foundation of sand.” Namely, the writings of Massey and Kuhn.


Filed under apologetics, egypt, reviews, tom harpur, toronto

9 responses to “Alvin Boyd Kuhn

  1. Stephen Kingston

    Hi Ian, thanks for commenting on my blog at Thanks also for this precis of the refutation of Harpur’s nonsense.

    I wrote a followup article on this that you may like to see under the heading Mythical Christianity. However, you may find my final point in that post contentious, particularly as a student of Cornelius Van Til. I have read a lot of Gordon Clark, and have some strong sympathies for the presuppositionalist viewpoint. However, I do not reject empirical epistemology entirely.

    Still, if you think you can forgive me this, how about a link swap? I have added your site to my (very short) list of interesting sites.


  2. Ian

    Trust me, it’s no big deal about the Clark thing. I’ve been having a friendly interchange with a friend of mine at Running Well ( He’s a Clarkian as well.
    I’ll add you to my blog too. Thanks for linking me, much appreciated.
    Oh yeah, I think with qualifications, empirical epistemology has it’s place. If what you’re saying is what I’m thinking.

  3. Ernest

    I do believe there is something in the New Testament about throwing pearls before swine. Obviously your limited materialist consciousness will never in this lifetime enable you to fathom the deep universal truths illuminated in Alvin Boyds writings. It’s a matter of individual consciousness my friend. Ones consciousness is either evolved enough to perceive the great esoteric truths or it is not.
    All the intellectual and scientific jabbering in the world will never explain the reason for mans existence on this planet. Just because Professor Boyd’s writings don’t fit your criteria of what acceptable scholarship is doesn’t mean his conclusions are incorrect. The intellect is a very poor tool to use when trying to investigate non-tangible realities.

  4. Ernest

    Ian, on the subject of non-tangible realities-
    Quantum physics theorizes that matter-(energy) becomes infinitesimally finer and finer.There are worlds of such tenuous matter-(energy) that it is impossible for the intellect to comprehend, let alone scientifically quantify. I am talking about the opposite of consensus reality. I am talking about the opposite of this holographic illusion that we as humans perceive as real, limited by our organs of sense.
    I propose that as the matter-(energy) gets finer and finer it is actually becoming more and more spiritualized. Therefore the finer the matter the more spiritual the environment, and the more spiritual the beings that inhabit that environment.

  5. I guess my problem is that I don’t see the relation of your statement about investigating non-tangible realities, when my original post was about Kuhn’s unreliability, especially on historical matters.
    Good for you that you can pontificate on quantum physics, but the basic point that Kuhn’s scholarship was shoddy still stands.
    “There are worlds of such tenuous matter-(energy)” – isn’t it odd? You must be using your intellect to know this, but I thought the intellect couldn’t know such things?

  6. Ernest

    I am not going to play a game of semantics with you Ian.
    Why are you fixated on some stupid historical errors. Hundreds of authors make historical errors. Kuhn is not an historian, he was a scholar of comparative religion , mythology , linguistics and language .I agree with Kuhn that most holy scriptures are written using metaphor and analogy, so who gives a shit about historical errors.The new Testament is not 100% historically accurate but that doesn’t mean we should throw it on the trash heap.
    Have you read Kuhn’s book, “Lost Light: An interpretation of Ancient Scriptures? You are missing the forest for the trees. Don’t get caught up in the minutia. Professor Kuhns main message is what’s important. Do you even know what his main message is ????
    Instead of nit-picking my ideas why don’t you give me a sample of your vast theological knowledge, being that you have a masters degree. Enlighten me as to why we are on this earth, what should we be doing while we are here, and ultimately where are we going when we die? The ball is in your court.

    • First of all, my post was about an incidental observation that I made while read the Porter/Bedard critique of Harpur’s book, which is allowable, seeing as how it is my blog and I can do as I like with it. The errors of Kuhn go much farther than just the one historical error that I pointed out. Remember, you’re the one who came on here throwing around your opinions uninvited without any semblance of consideration or cordiality. I guess that’s what happens when you get “enlightened” eh?
      Ask me why I’m validating your questions with a response, and I won’t be able to answer. But check the first question and answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism for a reason why we’re here. When we die, we either go to heaven (provided that you have appropriated the atoning death of Christ by faith alone) or hell as punishment for being “in Adam.”
      Bounce back.

    — adieu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s