Re: Recent threads

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Feb 13 1998 - 09:46:29 EST

Every once in a while, B-Greek looks like it's going to sink in flames,
there are some strong corrective posts, and we get back on track. As Carl
has pointed out, we seem to be going through that again. I'd like to make a
few comments on Carl's excellent post. These are my own personal comments,
with no official status.

>(1) B-Greek is open to persons of ALL or NO religious persuasion(s) who
>want to discuss the Greek text or Greek language of the Bible seriously.

For me, one of the reasons that I'm not offended by posts I disagree with
is that the text can speak for itself. I want to increase my sensitivity to
the text, to hear what it has to say to me. And I find it helpful to assume
that I don't already know what the text says, even if the text is a very
familiar one.

Another reason I'm not offended by posts I disagree with is that I
sometimes find, several days down the road, that they were right and I was
wrong, and these posts have helped me learn something about the text. (Of
course, there are also posts that I find silly and pretty much ignore...)

The text rewards careful attention.

>There are no religious qualifications for participation, but there is an
>assumption that participants are knowledgeable or at least in the process
>of acquiring a knowledge of Biblical Greek.

I've been really glad that B-Greek is receptive to beginners. I came here
as a beginner, and have learned a lot of what I know on this list. However,
sometimes beginners miss the fact that our focus is on specific texts,
specific Greek words, specific grammatical constructs. In most cases, it is
helpful to cite the text or Greek words in posts. If you haven't reached
the point that you can do this, you just aren't ready to post on b-greek.

(Shameless plug: one way to get started is to go to "Little Greek 101",
"". It won't get you all the way
there yet, because it isn't finished, but I think it will give you a really
good start on some things.)

>I think it is worth the effort to examine our own hermeneutical
>bias(es) and to be conscious of them.

On the other hand, pointing out the hermeneutical biases of others is
generally provocative. Let's each examine our own biases, and let others do
the same for themselves!
>(5) Finally, I'd like to underscore a point that Jonathan has made both on
>list and in some off-list notes that I know he has sent to some
>respondents. I suspect we all use the labels, "Liberal," "Conservative,"
>"Left wing," "Right wing," "Radical," "Reactionary," etc., etc. to a
>greater or lesser extent. However much we may tend to identify or label the
>stance of the poster of any one of the messages we read on the list, it is
>not only not useful but it is positively detrimental to peace and civility
>of exchanges on the list to use such labels openly in our posts.
I find that many people use these labels to dismiss others without
listening to them first. Because of this, they have become fighting words,
stances that we take, ways of identifying what it is we think without ever
having to think.

Here on B-Greek, our task is to carefully examine the text in detail. The
labels just don't help us do that.


Jonathan Robie

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