Please remember that my tongue is occasionally in my cheek.

From: David John Marotta (
Date: Tue Jul 30 1996 - 11:24:44 EDT

>Although I recognize the list owner's right to maintain a list for a purpose
>of his own choosing, I was deeply shocked, offended, and hurt by this
>declaration. I felt I had a home, of sorts, on B-Greek and B-Hebrew, and now
>find, instead, that I have been a boorish and unwelcome guest. Apparently,
>instead of doing my best to learn and, where possible, teach the Bible in a
>scholarly environment, I have merely joined a group of interlopers who
>had taken over the lists for their own purposes. Ah, but what interlopers,
>men and women who see the world not only in black and white, not just in
>shades of grey, but in colors. People who encourage intellectual
>development, even of their opponents, believing intelligence and education
>have the potential to unite those divided by a myriad of backgrounds.

I had hoped that my previous posts on the list, and my periodic policing
of the list for the past 5 years would not require me to state the
obvious, that the list is a scholarly list with no assumption of any
religious belief.

If I had said that the board must either be a scholar or be sympathetic toward
scholars you would have cause to worry! For then I would be viewing the
scholars as the interlopers. This was crystal clear to me when I wrote
these things. Clearly it was not clear to several others.

>I think the beauty and utility of
>non-sectarian, scholarly discussions of the Bible are firmly established by
>what the lists had become in opposition to the desire of the list owner to
>achieve a much more modest goal -- providing an atmosphere to encourage
>budding evangelical scholars. I hope that someone, somewhere will use
>this unhappy occasion to establish a list for those of us who can only feel
>increasingly alienated by the narrow, sectarian limits established for the

Non-sectarian, scholarly discussions of the Bible has always been the
goal which I have worked hard at for 5 years. Having said that, I have
some experience running lists like these which you do not. The majority
of people looking on the Internet for something associated with the Bible
are not looking solely for academic study. Having a group of people
who are able to bridge the world of acadmics and personal faith is an
important asset to the list as a whole. That these people need to understand
scholarship and the purposes of the list was always a given.

I am not certain why this poster was shocked, offended, or hurt, for I
found little in his view of what the list ought to be that I did not

>increasingly alienated by the narrow, sectarian limits established for the

Is requiring those on the board to be able to have more than tolerance
but rather sympathy toward those whom they will be correcting the
appropriateness of their post is narrow sectarian limits on the list?
I really think that this is widly overstated. It is at least partly
the attitude toward evagelicals as unwelcoming people who see no
colors nor even shades of grey and do not encourage intellectual development
that I am trying to guard those who must correct them against.

I think that this post shows the difficulties associated with recruiting
people to help police the list who are not sympathetic toward evangelicals
perspectives. Some of you may remember the early days of the list
(before the BIBLE list was created to seperate two very diverse groups)
When the flames rose particularly high. The odd part was that the
flames came from both groups, scholars and evangelicals alike. With the
actions of many of the scholars on the list at the time, it was
definitely not a high water mark for believing intelligence and education
have the potential to unite those divided by a myriad of backgrounds.

>Apologies are certainly in order, for I have argued vehemently on and off
>list against those who would turn the lists into "another little list about

I am sorry that my corpus as a whole was not clearly taken into account
when I gave my criteria for assistance. I assumed things would be understood
and that caused some confusion among the list.

>I agree with Leonard Berkowitz that a more honest statement of goals in
>the list description is in order.

I have been very honest in my statement of goals for the list. Please
take my reasoned and thoughtful formulation of the lists purposes
over a misunderstanding of a single post. Exegesis would suggest this
is the appropriate response.

If anyone has any further fuel to add to the bondfire please save it for

David John Marotta
List Owner of B-GREEK and B-HEBREW
Shaped into a paragon of academics
despite my influence.

David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET:
Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg PRODIGY: KCMR45A
C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax IBM US: usuvarg8

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