Re: Miscellaneous comments

Carl W. Conrad (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 10:36:01 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for your very kind words about me in the above-rubric'd heading and also for your most sensible comments on the learning and teaching of Greek. Your electrician's analogy reminded me particularly of Socrates' repeated argument about election of magistrates in terms of personality although one would not want to choose a family doctor that way. More seriously, you raise an interesting question regarding what aspects of Greek might properly be taught to people who will never have the time or commitment to master Greek (I can read the language--but I can't honestly say I've mastered it yet after some 40 years of study!). You're probably right, that theologically loaded words are something that might be dealt with. But even here one must be circumspect; there is, for instance, that very issue we dealt with a very few months ago, whether the switch between AGAPAW and FILEW in John 21 is or is not significant. Over the years I've been on both sides of that issue; I tend now to think t
hat it is NOT significant; I know you think it IS. Frankly, I'm not sure. Here comes the "agnostic" again, but to be honest, I'm not going to declare that I'm fully confident about an issue like that--and I think there are several issues in the NT that are not easily decided one way or the other. Of course, I like to think that the ones that are really important CAN be settled with a reasonable degree of confidence.

With regard to my comment squelching the John 8:58 thread, I pondered at length before I sent it and was frankly surprised at the support it drew. The next thing I did this morning was to re-read carefully the July 29-30 thread on the need for a "Board of Moderators" for the list, then "penned" a lengthy epistle to David John Marotta offering myself as a very blemished sacrificial lamb to serve as a moderator, provided that a theological liberal who tries to be kind to conservative and reactionary Christians (do smile!) might be trusted to carry out such a function. However, I suggested several other names--including YOURS--of people I thought would serve well in such a role, including Stephen Moore and Stephen Carlson along with you as considerably more conservative individuals who are not really academics (though you are, of course), adding that I also esteem highly such persons as Edgar Krentz, Edward Hobbs, Carlton Winbery, and James Tauber. I had a reply from Marotta that was gr
acious, neither a yea nor a nay, but saying that he wanted to give some thought to organizing the lists and I would hear from him about it later if not necessarily sooner. I thought I ought to let you know that I'd done this.

I gather that you and I are both back from our latest sojourns away from home. I'm not ready for the new semester yet, but it will start whether or not I am. I meet my new advisees Sunday afternoon socially, have advising appointments Monday morning--and then our classes start next Wednesday. Too soon, too soon. But I am getting inured again to midwestern heat, which is just as well, since it will be with us for about one more month before milder Fall weather sets in.

Regards, c