13 Aug 96 13:27:15 EDT

Fellow B-Greekers,

I have now been involved in this list for several months now,
and I would like to make a few observations and also a

We all (myself included) bring to this list a lot of theological and
methodological assumptions which, whether we admit it or not,
colour our thinking and guide our arguments and reasoning.

I don not believe that it is possible for a person (no matter who
they are) to be completely unbiased and completely objective.
We can not get away from our preconceptions but we should

I often see statements like the following:

"Remember that the writer of Timothy is post-Pauline..."

" Then again, so was John (or whoever) in the telling
of this (ideal) tale."

"John 8:58 has a parallel in Gospel of Thomas Logion 19 and reflects the
character of one of the late redactors of the Gospel of John. Sayings
used by the
original author of John do not reflect this style. The "I am" sayings in
the Yohannine
literature were the creations of the late redactor of the Gospel. This
redactor was
Greek and not Jewish, so they may not be related to early Jewish
literature and probably
not genuinely Yeshuine."

These assertions seem to be made with a lot of confidence and authority.
The fact is that they are the results of critical methods such as
Criticism, Source Criticism, Form Criticism and Tradition Criticism.

Now these methods are useful and they can and have contributed much
to biblical scholarship, but the fact is they are not exact sciences and
they more often than not are based on dubious assumptions, sparse
evidence and very readily arrive at premature conclusions. I think too
many scholars are too willing to accept the conclusions of these methods,
particularly source criticism and tradition criticism.
As I said, they can help, but their conclusions need to be weighted
to their support and compared with the conclusions of more deterministic
methods, such as historical-grammatical analysis.

This of course applies to evangelicals like myself as well. We argue from
the stand point that God is triune, Jesus is God incarnate in history and
Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God.

I admit that I argue and reason from this perspective. Those who reject
the above - well that's your choice - but make sure you make it clear
when you post, the perspective you argue from - and even better
WHY you think that way. I seek to understand why a person adopts
a different view to my own.

I get the impression that many people think only evangelicals have
theological baggage - that is not true - EVERYONE HAS IT!

Recently someone posted a note saying that they didn't agree with
much of what was being said about John 8:58 and wouldn't comment
on it because 'most of the "exegesis" happening surrounding this verse
(here) is decidedly theological and decidedly "agenda driven."'
Now I think this is most definitely an unfair statement. Firstly, this
did not say why He disagreed (he refrused to comment) and secondly
the poster did not say in what way the exegesis is decidedly theological
and agenda driven.

As Jim Maguire pointed out, the conclusion that Jesus was claiming to be
God is most definitely based on the exegesis of the Greek grammar of the
verse in question with respect to its context. The play on words with the
Hebrew name of God, the build up in the narative and the violent response
of the Jews very much to suggests that Jesus truly was claiming
to be God.

Maybe I am assuming too much but is seems that those who don't agree with
this are also those who don't accept Jesus as God.

Now I am not condemning those people - just pointing out the fact. As I
before I think it benefits everyone when we clearly state our assumptions
and theological perspective.



| Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
| Software Engineer
| British Aerospace Australia
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| What's the point of gaining everything this world has
| to offer, when you lose your own life in the end?
| ...Look to Jesus Christ