Re: Principles and BG-Netiquette

From: Glen Riddle (
Date: Fri Oct 03 1997 - 09:56:46 EDT

Ward Powers wrote:
> Fellow Greekers:
> I have been pondering Carl's posting about BG-Netiquette, which clearly he
> felt it was necessary to say to us in reminder.
> I am not questioning his comments about the two particular threads to be
> closed down, concerning which he writes. But I want to address the wider
> question of principle.
> Carl is in effect telling us that we should not discuss on-list those
> issues about which we feel strongly, because these will also be issues
> where list members differ from one another, and we are incapable of
> differing from each other in loving and respectful tones, so that a vicious
> flame war is likely to be the outcome.
> I find this very sad. VERY sad.
> I have been a Christian for 50 years come next February 14, and in that
> time I have had many of my early views clarified and confirmed, and many
> others challenged and modified. While some of this has happened through my
> putting myself under the teaching of others and through my own study and
> research, much of it has come about in a context of vigorous discussion -
> yes, even debate and argument. Iron sharpens iron, the Scripture says.
> I like to hear an opposing view propounded by someone who firmly believes
> it and who can put up the strongest case for it. Usually, also, I like the
> opportunity to respond in kind, with the goal of explaining my position
> clearly to my brother. (Note, I do not say, to my opponent.)
> Now, through listening to a different viewpoint I may actually come to
> change my own. (This happened to me personally on one issue as recently as
> the Australian and New Zealand Society for Theological Studies annual
> conference in Brisbane a couple of months ago.) But it is not the primary
> goal. The primary goal is that we should each end up with a better
> understanding of a viewpoint which we do not hold - and thus a better
> understanding of each other.
> Surely on b-greek we are mature enough to be able to handle the vigorous
> discussion of different strongly-held views without interpreting this as a
> personal attack or a flame war!?!
> If some areas are out of bounds on b-greek because they are not really a
> discussion of Greek, that is one thing, and fair enough too. But if some
> things are out of bounds because of the fact that people on the list have
> firmly-held opinions on both sides, then indeed and truly, I find that sad.
> Let me say this emphatically: if you see a post on b-greek over my name,
> you are very welcome to disagree with me as strongly as you like, and I
> will not take it amiss. I may respond by defending my view, but that will
> not be an attack upon you. I will almost certainly learn something from the
> exchange and maybe others will also. Certainly, I will never attack or
> impugn you because you differ from me, and if you argue against me I will
> not take this as a personal attack.
> That's a promise.
> Ward
> Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
> 10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
> SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

I think you missed the point Carl made. He in no way put down
disagreements. What he was responding to was an endless diatribe over
the issue of whether or not contradictions in the biblical text are
acceptable or not. This issue involves epitemology and theology. It had
really gotten far off the track of Greek grammar and gone deep down in a
rabbit hole.
I don't think you'll be able to go back in the archives and find Carl
ever complaining about differences of opinion over the significance of
the middle voice, the use of a genitive case, etc.
The issue is "to b-greek" or "NOT to b-greek". Given that we stick to
greek issues on b-greek, I think we can have knock-down-drag-outs all
day long....and enjoy and profit from it.

Your grammar is a welcomed addition to my collection of 250 Greek
grammars. If you're ever at JBL or ETS meetings, would love to get it
glenden p. riddle

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