Subject: Re: yeshiva and dissertation updates
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 09:00:00 -0600
I think that it is worth noting some information that I received from one of the elders of our congregation. It is apparent that James was circulating the document used for his dissertation long before his claim to a doctorate. And that this manuscript was examined by leaders in the Denver Messianic community (though admittedly not by scholars) and found seriously lacking.
Before recieving this information, I personally offered to arrange for a review of his scholarship by scholars from a local seminary. At the time I did not realize that his version of B'Sorot Matti was his dissertation. This raises several important precepts. The purpose of a dissertation is to prove to established scholars independent scholarship worthy of a doctorate, which is the mark of a scholar capable of independent research. A document which was completed and published with the intent of sale prior to commencement of a doctoral program would not be considered suitable scholarship. Furthermore, a document which was simply a translation from a known document in a known language would be spurious at best for dissertation material. Now I understand why James refused my request to review his dissertation.
The readers of this mail, who are interested in the history of James Trimm might find this included email of interest:
----- Original Message -----
To: ----- "Removed"
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 12:22 AM
Subject: B'sorot Matti
> "I finally remember why the name, James Trimm seemed so familiar. I just
> found my copy of B'Sorot Matti: The Good News According to Matthew form An
> Old Hebrew Manuscript by James Scott Trimm, pub. May 24, 1990. (In this copy
> he makes no claims to educational credentials.) This was given to me
> personally by a young man (appeared to be in his early twenties) calling
> himself James Scott Trimm soon after he published it. He was visiting
> Congregation Yeshuat Tsion on his way through town. I was helping Chaim
> Urbach to lead services at the time, so he probably thought that by giving me
> a copy, I would recommend the book to the members. He gave one to Chaim
> also. In the book he has photocopied the complete handwritten 4th century
> Hebrew text which he claims is not the same as the Baal Shem Tov manuscripts.
> Upon reading the Hebrew I immediately noticed that the first reference to
> Yeshua is spelled yod, sheen, vav which is yesu, which is a Rabbinic curse
> upon Yeshua, not simply a misspelling of His name. Most of the subsequent
> mentions of His name where also spelled as this curse version rather than the
> correct spelling of Yeshua. After carefully looking through the book that
> week, Chaim came to the conclusion that this was a flawed Rabbinic copy with
> definite mistakes in the manuscript produced by anti-Messianic rabbis, and
> would definitely NOT recommend it to Messianic believers. As you know Chaim
> is a sabra (native born Israeli), expert in Hebrew, whose judgement on this
> Hebrew text should be beyond question. I do not remember if Chaim said
> anything else about the English version of the text other than it was based
> on a flawed Hebrew version, but he did not recommend it either, since there
> were already better versions available. In the book James also makes many
> assumptions about the dates of the majority type (including textus receptus)
> texts which are common mistakes among the liberal theologians of the school
> of "higher criticism". These are all completely refuted in the book, Forever
> Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible by Dr. Jack
> Moorman, as well as many other books by those who are really experts on the
> history of the Holy Scriptures. One mistake is thinking that the oldest
> manuscripts disagree with the Received Text - they don't.
> Your brother in Messiah,