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    dwashbur's Avatar
    dwashbur Posts: 1,420, Reputation: 175
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    #1

    Nov 17, 2022, 09:18 PM
    Father Forgive Them
    Today's question: them who?

    Luke 23:34 is missing from many of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts we have. Bruce Metzger, in the Textual Commentary to the 3rd edition of the UBS Greek New Testament, discusses the idea that it was "a deliberate excision by copyists who, considering the fall of Jerusalem to be proof that God had not forgiven the Jews, could not allow it to appear that the prayer of Jesus had remained unanswered."

    From the first time I really considered those words, I understood that he was talking about the Romans. They had no idea what a Messiah was, so they could hardly be held culpable for killing him. The idea that he was talking about the Jews never occurred to me until I read that, and I'm not sure I buy that interpretation.

    What do you all think? Were them the Jews or the Romans?
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    Wondergirl Posts: 39,024, Reputation: 5431
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    #2

    Nov 18, 2022, 11:42 AM
    I think the "them" were BOTH Romans and Jews. I found a very interesting article that gives good evidence for that. Please read the entire article from the link at the end of this response.

    ***Polytheistic Roman leaders didn’t care about what the Jews considered blasphemy. However, they took threats to Roman power seriously. Jesus was far from the only person gathering a following in Palestine during the first century, and Rome was more than happy to brutally put down any potential uprisings.

    This Roman dedication to quelling uprisings was not without cause. A few decades after Jesus’ death, major uprisings took place in Judea, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and the eventual destruction of the Temple in AD 70. The area was notoriously prone to rebellion.

    Jesus had the dangerous ability to gather a crowd. Thousands at once came to hear Him speak. An especially poignant moment came when Jews from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, filling the city with crowds.

    When He rode into Jerusalem for the Passover — during which He would be betrayed and executed — the people shouted praises to Him, waved palm branches, and laid their cloaks on the road.

    Though not bedecked with gold and the spoils of war, the procession was similar to the Roman Triumphs held for conquering Roman generals and emperors — a concerning sign that these people saw Jesus as a king (Matthew 21).***

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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #3

    Nov 18, 2022, 11:51 AM
    I'm perfectly willing to accept the idea that the remark was not in the original and so likely was never uttered. Its exclusion would remove nothing from Christian doctrine, and there are a number of scholars (Peter Gurry, for instance) who see it as not original. But to your question, it does seem likely that it would have been a reference to the Jewish leadership and not to the Romans who would have scarcely seen Jesus as anything other than a common criminal. Well, at least until, "Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" At that point, of course, it was too late.

    As to the destruction of Jerusalem being judgment, I've always more connected it to this.

    “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

    Or this.

    And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”

    Perhaps it was not judgment so much as the end of an age.
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #4

    Nov 18, 2022, 11:58 AM
    Bruce Metzger, in the Textual Commentary to the 3rd edition of the UBS Greek New Testament, discusses the idea that it was "a deliberate excision by copyists who, considering the fall of Jerusalem to be proof that God had not forgiven the Jews, could not allow it to appear that the prayer of Jesus had remained unanswered."
    That seems difficult to believe. It could explain its absence from SOME early manuscripts, but from ALL? And then we would have to explain its subsequent reappearance. The collaboration needed for that would have been substantial. But I confess that I would not care to argue the point with Metzger.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #5

    Nov 18, 2022, 02:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    An especially poignant moment came when Jews from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem
    This part seems a little excessive. From "all over the world"?

    Anyway, I always took it as a general admonition re forgiveness. Forced to think about it, I would probably come up with the same answer as WG - it referred to BOTH Romans and Jews. Certainly, Jesus would have been aware of the role the Jewish leaders played in his crucifixion and that Rome was simply the party carrying out the executioner's role.

    I would suggest the larger question is the part the Gospels play in the ongoing problem of anti-semitism in the present day.
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    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #6

    Nov 29, 2022, 04:43 AM
    Could this be the same Jesus asking his father to forgive them as the Jesus that the Gospel writers had condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber??
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #7

    Nov 29, 2022, 06:24 AM
    the Jesus that the Gospel writers had condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber??
    Age old strategy. By casting doubt on one part of the Gospels, doubt is thus cast on all parts of the Gospels. For after all, if a Gospel writer would lie about one passage or event, then he would have continued to lie, and at the end you can't tell which parts are lies and which are true, so your only reasonable alternative is to discount all of it. It's like discovering that someone had put poison in your cake mix after the cake is baked. What part would you care to eat?
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #8

    Nov 29, 2022, 09:15 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Age old strategy. By casting doubt on one part of the Gospels, doubt is thus cast on all parts of the Gospels.
    Strange answer with a strange conclusion. "All parts" of the Gospels are hardly cast in doubt. The fact of the Gospel being edited over centuries is certainly indicated.

    For after all, if a Gospel writer would lie about one passage or event, then he would have continued to lie, and at the end you can't tell which parts are lies and which are true, so your only reasonable alternative is to discount all of it. It's like discovering that someone had put poison in your cake mix after the cake is baked. What part would you care to eat?
    Another strange conclusion. And an even weirder example. Creating examples and citing "reasonable alternatives" are not your strong suits.
    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #9

    Nov 30, 2022, 06:17 AM
    Strange answer with a strange conclusion. "All parts" of the Gospels are hardly cast in doubt. The fact of the Gospel being edited over centuries is certainly indicated.
    My disagreement was based upon your wording of, "...the Jesus that the Gospel writers had condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber??" It sounds as though you believe the Gospel writers were writing material they knew to be untrue. If that is the case, then it shows that they made up portions of the Gospel accounts, so no part can be reliable. After all, why should anyone believe a liar?

    Now if you have good documentation that shows certain parts were simply "made up", then that's different. So far you've had none.

    Another strange conclusion. And an even weirder example. Creating examples and citing "reasonable alternatives" are not your strong suits.
    I think it's a very easy to understand comparison and one that is accurate. What is it about this statement that you find so complicated that you can't get it? "...and at the end you can't tell which parts are lies and which are true, so your only reasonable alternative is to discount all of it." It's similar to the poisoned well principle in law, known here as the poisoned cake principle. Same idea.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #10

    Nov 30, 2022, 09:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Now if you have good documentation that shows certain parts were simply "made up", then that's different. So far you've had none.
    You're deflecting again, Jl. That's YOUR "strategy"! Avoid answering by going off on a tangent. Here's the question for you once more:

    Could this be the same Jesus asking his father to forgive them as the Jesus that the Gospel writers had condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber??

    If you don't like the words "fiery torture chamber", fell free to use words of your choice for that place.
    jlisenbe's Avatar
    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #11

    Dec 1, 2022, 01:39 AM
    Could this be the same Jesus asking his father to forgive them as the Jesus that the Gospel writers had condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber??
    Jesus is both Judge and Savior.

    John 3. ...that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting.


    Is. 45 “Declare and set forth your case;
    Indeed, let them consult together.
    Who has announced this from of old?
    Who has long since declared it?
    Is it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no other God besides Me,
    A righteous God and a Savior;

    There is none except Me.
    22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
    For I am God, and there is no other.

    Rom. 3 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    And then of course there is the Matthew 25 passage that you reject for no other reason but that it offends you.
    You are again implying that the "Gospel writers" were liars, since they portrayed Him as, "condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber," when, in your thinking, that is not true. Now that I have answered your question, it is time for you to answer that. Why do you imply they were liars?
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #12

    Dec 1, 2022, 05:48 AM
    I will answer your reply point by point. I expect a point by point reply from you except where noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    Jesus is both Judge and Savior.
    The question is not whether Jesus is both Judge and Savior The question is whether Jesus would condemn people to suffer a horrible existence in a fiery torture chamber for all eternity.

    John 3. ...that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting.
    Again, the question is not about belief but being condemned to hell. See #1 above.

    Is. 45 “Declare and set forth your case;
    Indeed, let them consult together.
    Who has announced this from of old?
    Who has long since declared it?
    Is it not I, the Lord?
    And there is no other God besides Me,
    A righteous God and a Savior;

    There is none except Me.
    22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
    For I am God, and there is no other.
    For the third time (!), this has nothing to do with the question.

    Rom. 3 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
    Not a single word about fiery punishment in hell.

    And then of course there is the Matthew 25 passage that you reject for no other reason but that it offends you.
    No, I reject it because it doesn't ring true for a perfectly-loving God to do such a thing to a creature of his own making. There is also the question of its being a later addition to the Gospel, not to speak of the faulty translation of the words. But I'll leave the last two reasons for another discussion, and stay with the first one for now. No reply necessary.

    You are again implying that the "Gospel writers" were liars
    I am implying no such thing. All the implying here has been done by YOU.

    since they portrayed Him as, "condemning people to spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber," when, in your thinking, that is not true.
    Now THAT is true!!

    Why do you imply they were liars?
    I made no such implication. YOU have made the implication. I do not think the gospel writer was a liar. I think he believed what he wrote.

    now that I have answered your question, it is time for you to answer
    Same to you - now that I have answered you, it is time for you to answer me.
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #13

    Dec 1, 2022, 06:20 AM
    No, I reject it because it doesn't ring true for a perfectly-loving God to do such a thing to a creature of his own making. There is also the question of its being a later addition to the Gospel, not to speak of the faulty translation of the words.
    The "ring true" system of verifying a passage is entirely subjective and therefore of no practical use. There is no evidence at all that the Mt. 25 passage was a later addition, and to suggest we have a "faulty translation" is foolishness since we have dozens of translations and they all tell the same account. All of this is just grasping at straws.

    I made no such implication. YOU have made the implication. I do not think the gospel writer was a liar. I think he believed what he wrote.
    So you believe the Gospel writers were writing what they believed to be true? Interesting that you are convinced that Matthew, who was with Jesus daily for three years, wrote the rather lengthy Mt. 25 passage and yet was wildly incorrect in his account. The obvious problem with that idea is that if Matthew was that careless and inaccurate in that passage, how would you be able to rely on any other passage in his Gospel? Now you have pictured him, not as a liar, but as a careless, inept bungler. How can you then tell which passages are accurate and which ones are inaccurate? You still have rendered the entire book of Matthew as suspect.

    Oh yeah. I forgot about the "ring true" method of textual criticism.

    The point about both the Is. and Romans passages is that they present God as being both "just", which is to say a God who carries out justice, and a "justifier", or a God who saves by justification. So the many passages that refer to judgment as well as the many passages which refer to salvation and love are all accurate. God is both a God of salvation and a God of judgment.

    The question is not whether Jesus is both Judge and Savior.
    That's exactly what the question was about. It uses different terms but is the same idea.

    To quote you in a different post, "When you are continuously stumped by comments from others here, it is time for you to rethink your positions."
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #14

    Dec 1, 2022, 07:27 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    The "ring true" system of verifying a passage is entirely subjective and therefore of no practical use.
    Using the same principle for you, your system of reading the Bible is entirely subjective and therefore of no practical use. What you have consistently failed to grasp is that ALL mental processes are the result of subjective thinking via the brain. Intellectual, rational, emotional, etc., ALL. When you claim the meaning of the Bible words as literally written or intended by God or the author of the Gospel, you are INTERPRETING the words. You dismiss that the Bible has come down to you over two thousand years in many languages and in many editions, yet you insist they are the words of God straight from his mouth to your ears. We have been over this dozens of times and that is why I noted "No reply necessary", but you failed to honor even that. It is your fallback position for anything you can't answer, and I'm tired of it.

    There is no evidence at all that the Mt. 25 passage was a later addition, and to suggest we have a "faulty translation" is foolishness since we have dozens of translations and they all tell the same account. All of this is just grasping at straws.
    Your "dozens of translations" are from centuries after the fact. CENTURIES! The grasping at straws is all yours.

    So you believe the Gospel writers were writing what they believed to be true? Interesting that you are convinced that Matthew, who was with Jesus daily for three years, wrote the rather lengthy Mt. 25 passage and yet was wildly incorrect in his account.
    Yawn. No one but you thinks Matthew wrote the Gospel. It is well understood that the gospels carry the names of figures associated with the story of Jesus and are attributed to them for that reason. This is all old stuff with you and you are getting WAY off the track with your wanderings.

    The obvious problem with that idea is that if Matthew was that careless and inaccurate in that passage, how would you be able to rely on any other passage in his Gospel?
    Very simple. You study each passage on its own to determine its provenance. That's what Biblical scholarship is all about, and has been for centuries.

    Now you have pictured him, not as a liar, but as a careless, inept bungler.
    Dear Lord - How far will you go to misrepresent what I write? There seems no end to your nonsense.

    How can you then tell which passages are accurate and which ones are inaccurate?
    There is a world of good Biblical information on the internet. Start there. Others here have spent a lifetime doing just that in schools and learning languages and cultures. It's done all the time. Protestantism itself began from that very activity of examining the Bible.

    You still have rendered the entire book of Matthew as suspect.
    Maybe in your mind, but nowhere else. I'm not that powerful.

    The point about both the Is. and Romans passages is that they present God as being both "just", which is to say a God who carries out justice, and a "justifier", or a God who saves by justification. So the many passages that refer to judgment as well as the many passages which refer to salvation and love are all accurate. God is both a God of salvation and a God of judgment.
    None of that explains the fiery torture chamber under discussion.

    That's exactly what the question was about.
    Wrong! The question was about hell. Go look again.

    It uses different terms but is the same idea.
    Let's see. Justify, judge, love, savior, all mean the same idea as a fiery torture chamber for eternity as punishment. How about a vanilla ice cream cone? Does that also mean the same thing?

    If you want to continue this specifically about the original question in post # 6, I'm game. If you want to support your position by other passages, then connect the dots to prove your point. Otherwise, include me out.
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #15

    Dec 1, 2022, 07:50 AM
    Using the same principle for you, your system of reading the Bible is entirely subjective and therefore of no practical use. What you have consistently failed to grasp is that ALL mental processes are the result of subjective thinking via the brain. Intellectual, rational, emotional, etc., ALL. When you claim the meaning of the Bible words as literally written or intended by God or the author of the Gospel, you are INTERPRETING the words. You dismiss that the Bible has come down to you over two thousand years in many languages and in many editions, yet you insist they are the words of God straight from his mouth to your ears. We have been over this dozens of times and that is why I noted "No reply necessary", but you failed to honor even that. It is your fallback position for anything you can't answer, and I'm tired of it.
    A long-winded way of saying that no text is reliable and everything is subjective. It's a plainly ridiculous idea since, if it was true, then even your own statement would have no objective meaning.

    You dismiss that the Bible has come down to you over two thousand years in many languages and in many editions, yet you insist they are the words of God straight from his mouth to your ears.
    Actually, I don't dismiss that at all.

    Yawn. No one but you thinks Matthew wrote the Gospel.
    Well, me and the early church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (185 AD), Irenaeus of Lyon, (180), Justin Martyr (150) and Papias of Hierapolis (125) who with one voice said that Matthew wrote a gospel. So not a single early church leader ever questioned the traditional authorship of the Gospels. Not one. There is no compelling reason at all to believe that Matthew is not the author. Not one.

    Very simple. You study each passage on its own to determine its provenance. That's what Biblical scholarship is all about, and has been for centuries.
    But that would violate your pinciple stated in the quote above. Besides, can you name any reputable scholar who disputes the Mt. 25 passage as being genuine? Every major translation, the work of hundreds of scholars, includes the passage. You and your "ring true" principle stand alone against them.

    There is a world of good Biblical information on the internet. Start there. Others here have spent a lifetime doing just that in schools and learning languages and cultures. It's done all the time. Protestantism itself began from that very activity of examining the Bible.
    Another use of the, "I have no idea, so why don't you look it up?" strategy. And besides, since "ALL mental processes are the result of subjective thinking via the brain. Intellectual, rational, emotional, etc., ALL," then how could anyone rely on the activity of "examining the Bible"?

    Wrong! The question was about hell. Go look again.
    Read again and think this time.

    If you want to support your position by other passages
    I've done that before with about 25 passages. You ignored them since, I suppose, they did not "ring true".

    Either Matthew was a reliable writer of the life of Christ or he was not. Make up your mind. You say he was not a liar and not an inept bungler, and yet you refuse to accept Mt. 25 because, to you, it doesn't "ring true". No reason derived from study or scholarship, but just a general appeal to a subjective feeling. You need a lot more than, "I don't agree with it, so it must not be genuine."

    Otherwise, include me out.
    Even though you have done this in the past, meaning simply disappearing, I would hope you would stay. Perhaps we can have a respectful, productive dialogue.
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #16

    Dec 1, 2022, 11:26 AM
    Perhaps we could start here. Does the New Testament actually have any objective meaning? You contended a long time back that the Greek word translated as eternal (aionios) does not mean everlasting but rather something more limited, possibly "ages-long" or something to that effect. But if everything is subjective, then we can't really apply a set meaning to any particular word, nor can we draw any settled, established meaning from any sentence or paragraph. So how do you reconcile what seems to me to be a genuine conflict? Perhaps I have misunderstood your meaning.
    Athos's Avatar
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    #17

    Dec 1, 2022, 12:13 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    if everything is subjective, then we can't really apply a set meaning to any particular word, nor can we draw any settled, established meaning from any sentence or paragraph..... Perhaps I have misunderstood your meaning.
    No perhaps about it. You do not understand what is meant. This is a stumbling block for you, although this is not the first time it has been explained to you. Get off that literal horse, and try opening your mind.

    No point in continuing. I should have known better. Like all the others here, I find it frustrating to have any kind of fruitful dialogue with you.
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #18

    Dec 1, 2022, 12:52 PM
    No perhaps about it. You do not understand what is meant. This is a stumbling block for you, although this is not the first time it has been explained to you. Get off that literal horse, and try opening your mind.

    No point in continuing. I should have known better. Like all the others here, I find it frustrating to have any kind of fruitful dialogue with you.
    As I feared. You don't like being questioned, so when you are asked to explain what on earth you're talking about and you can't, then it's always someone else's fault, and you run off in a huff. Unfortunate. Still, I wish you the best. Perhaps another day.
    Athos's Avatar
    Athos Posts: 1,088, Reputation: 55
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    #19

    Dec 1, 2022, 01:20 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jlisenbe View Post
    As I feared. You don't like being questioned, so when you are asked to explain what on earth you're talking about and you can't, then it's always someone else's fault, and you run off in a huff. Unfortunate. Still, I wish you the best. Perhaps another day.
    That was TOTALLY predictable. I even considered posting it for you - save you time. I don't believe for one second you wish anybody "the best". That's completely out of character for you, someone who supports the idea that "sinners" will spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber. Why do you love it so? (Rhetorical).
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    jlisenbe Posts: 4,619, Reputation: 156
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    #20

    Dec 1, 2022, 01:43 PM
    Am I to take your comment as strictly subjective, which you say is true of everything, or is there an objective element to it?

    That's completely out of character for you, someone who supports the idea that "sinners" will spend eternity in a fiery torture chamber. Why do you love it so? (Rhetorical).
    I've never claimed to "support" that idea, and certainly don't love it. But I only mean that if you meant your remark to be taken literally.

    I absolutely do wish you, and everyone else here, the best. I think it's unfortunate you get so frustrated and angry. I'm simply asking you to dig into your own thinking. I'm certainly open to the idea that I've misunderstood your meaning. I don't think it's likely, but it is possible. You are welcome to explain the problem.

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