Which part is Cecil's reply and which part is C K Dexter Haven's?

In the column “Followup: the last you’ll ever read about the Ark of the Covenant!” it reads,

I’m having trouble determining which part of the column was written by Cecil and which was written by Dex. Dex’s signature does not appear in this column and I can’t for the life of me figure out who wrote what. Is Cecil Jewish? Is he apologizing for his current reply or is it Dex apologizing for his previous reply? Who knows, I can’t tell who wrote that.

Unless Cecil = Dex, but I thought Cecil = Ed?

~Max

For those interested, there is much useful discussion of the Ark(s) in The Ark of the Covenant by Grierson and Munro-Hay.

I guess the cited column was a follow-up to this one, which claims

It is hardly a consensus view that “the Ark vanished during the Babylonian conquest.” Many think it was already gone by the time of King Josiah.

I continue to believe that the likeliest hypothesis is that Levites removed the Ark during the reign (which began circa 697 BC) of the heretic King Manasses. I think this follows from a critical reading of the accounts of Josiah’s restoration of the Temple, and the Jewish religion more generally. This is described in 2 Chronicles chapters 34-35 and 4 Kings chapters 22-23. Surely the Ark — if its whereabouts were known — would figure prominently in an account of the restoration of the Temple. Yet the account in 4 Kings mentions the Ark not at all, and 2 Chronicles has only a cursory mention (for which I show two translations):

Did the Levites obey the order? If they did, surely there would be an elaborate ceremony to report: the preceding chapter didn’t spare details of more mundane restorations. Why did the Levites have the Ark anyway? — It was supposed to be kept in the Temple.

I think the order to the Levites, coupled with the ensuing silence, is a cryptic hint that the Ark was missing, written by someone who didn’t want to write that explicitly.

It’s all the work of Dex, our CKDexterHaven.

When the columns went through the WordPress conversion mill (about the 4th or 5th time they had been migrated into Something Else over the life of this site) many of the original Straight Dope Science Advisory Board Mailbag/Staff Reports attributions got changed to “Cecil Adams.”

(Stuff happens in a mass migration, dammit.)

I’m fixing them as I find them, but that one had got past me. I’ll fix it now.

Thanks for catching that for us.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

It’s all the work of Dex, our CKDexterHaven.

When the columns went through the WordPress conversion mill (about the 4th or 5th time they had been migrated into Something Else over the life of this site) many of the original Straight Dope Science Advisory Board Mailbag/Staff Reports attributions got changed to “Cecil Adams.”

(Stuff happens in a mass migration, dammit.)

I’m fixing them as I find them, but that one had got past me. I’ll fix it now.

Thanks for catching that for us.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

Mystery solved!

As always, thanks to you and mods for everything you do to keep this place up and running.

~Max

Thanks, I might check that out some day when the libraries open again. Interesting stuff.

~Max

[quote=“TubaDiva, post:4, topic:854878, full:true”] (Stuff happens in a mass migration, dammit.)
[/quote]

Monarch butterflies have mass migrations. As do the Sand Hill Cranes.

What if we have Exoduses ? Exoducci ? Exodii ?

Exoduses. Or, if you insist on going back to the Greek root, Exodoi.

Unless I misremember (always a possibility) there was a second portion to the Followup where Cecil responded too and countered the comments and criticisms of Dex, but probably due to the aforementioned migrations, that content seems to be gone. As I recall, he basically backed Dex 100%, and indicated that he felt Dex was being more than fair in expressing his own bias and being patient with the non-ending pushback on the subject of the manna. I don’t know if that piece is gone for good, or was actually included on a different Column. But since the column included the phrase “(Comment from Cecil Adams follows Dex’s reply)”, I think it was indeed this one and is just missing in action.

@Max_S

This had been sticking in my brain for whatever reason after I sent my best recollections, and since I was home sick (not with COVID I’m pretty sure) I figured I’d dig it up for you. Hail the Glory of the WaybackMachine! It was indeed as I remembered, the part you have is the response from DEX, the missing information can be found in the link below.

https://web.archive.org/web/20000817034110/http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mark6.html

Since it is super slow to load, I’ve copied Cecil’s response in it’s entirety.

Cecil Adams replies:

Normally I don’t comment on Mailbag items, but John Brown’s beef is so spectacularly off base that I feel obliged to respond.

I don’t edit the contributions of the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board (Little Ed does that), nor do I read them before they are posted. I read them all eventually, however, and I have re-read Dex’s ark commentary just now. In my view he has handled a complex and frankly pretty esoteric topic with extraordinary thoroughness, fairness, and tact. I would have done very little different had I answered the question myself, although I doubt I would have shown the same patience with the insufferable attitude displayed by some of the Teeming Millions, in particular John Brown.

Let me put the matter plainly. At the Straight Dope we try to explain the facts as completely and accurately as we can. This does not mean we are “objective,” whatever that means, and only a fool, or someone who has never read the Straight Dope, would think otherwise. On the contrary, I have argued as forcefully as I could for various positions over the years, and to a lesser extent so has the SDSAB. Naturally one considers all sides, weighs the arguments, etc. But in the end, when possible, a judgment is made. This is what Dex has done in his articles about the Ark of the Covenant.

Now comes some churl with the temerity to complain that Dex, who has never made any secret of the fact that he is Jewish, has not considered the “whole” Bible, in particular a passage from the New Testament–and this in reference to a matter having to do with the Old Testament. My instinct would have been to say: The New Testament is not part of the Jewish Bible, you idiot. Dex, in contrast, showed remarkable restraint in making only a jesting reference to “that appendix that you call the New Testament.” The affronted John Brown then shoots back, “Who is Dex to say the New Testament is not the Bible?” The answer, of course, is: He is a Jew . How hard is this to understand, you twit? He is a Jew . He is not obliged to think the NT is part of the Bible just because Christians think it is. Nonetheless he has done a commendably evenhanded job of addressing the NT issue, and I am well pleased with him. There is someone here who owes a public apology, but his name is not Dex.

Awesome.

~Max

" There endeth the lesson. "

Unca Cecil retired, and the country went straight to hell. Coincidence? I don’t think so. America is crying out for another savant who can lay the royal smackdown on woo, sloppy thinking, and bullshit like the Perfect Master could.

I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have QAnon, the Flat Earth Society, and 5G/Bill Gates/Covidiocy if Cecil were still wielding his pen. But I’m not saying we would, either.