Re: "The Climax of DOXA" thread

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Mar 30 1998 - 11:35:57 EST

At 9:41 AM -0600 3/30/98, Edgar Foster wrote:
>I appreciate your gracious handling of the issue concerning this
>thread, Carl. I just have one question I would like cleared up.
>As you know, in recent years there has been a co-mingling of GNT
>Interpretation and Linguistics. In exegeting texts, one employs
>Discourse Analysis (thus both thematic development and strand are used
>to help the reader or exegete enhance their understanding of a
>partcicular text). My initial query was a desire to understand how
>John 21:18, 19 fits in with the Johannine subtheme of DOXA. True, I
>could have probably worded it differently, but I was working at the
>text from a DC approach.
>Just so I understand you correctly, there should be no attempts to
>discern the "big picture" on this list?

I think it would be best to avoid dealing with the "big picture" in this
forum. You might want, from time to time, to raise a "big picture" question
and invite off-list private discussion from our list-members, but what
usually happens even when that's done is that people start responding
directly on the list.

Let me add two more notes here. One is that we really don't want to
maintain rigid, absolutely inviolable boundaries of discussion and rule out
in advance whole large areas from discussion. We really want to maintain as
broad as possible a flexibility while at the same time have a general
understanding about the kinds of discussion that are really extraneous or
that lead, by their own nature, to the airing of theological differences
over the way different list-members approach and interpret the Biblical
text in terms of their own faith-perspective. That's the reason why the
description in the FAQ remains as general as it is, while trying to make
clear that the focus here is on the Greek text and on the Greek language of
the Bible, not on larger issues of Biblical interpretation. From time to
time it seems useful to spell this out a bit more clearly, which is why
I've done so this morning.

My other note is that we occasionally get into matters of far-reaching
ramifications of a particular passage; I could find no better illustration
of this than the very lengthy posts of Jeffrey Gibson on PEIRAZW and
PEIRASMOS with particular reference to the Temptation petition in the
Synoptic Lord's Prayer text in Luke and Matthew. This discussion was the
sort of contribution to everyone's knowledge which, from my own viewpoint,
are sometimes the very high point of what this list can be. In general that
thread was not made a forum for the grinding of individual theological axes
but an authentic academic exploration of how the Greek word is used in
specific places and the factors bearing on how we understand the Greek word
in specific places. The last thing in the world we would want to do is to
discourage such discussions. On the other hand, it might be worth while
before posing a "broad" type of question to ask yourself the question, "Is
this the sort of question which will give list-members an occasion or
opportunity to grind their own theological axes?" If so, then it's the
wrong kind of question for this list. If you're REALLY in doubt, address
the question off-list to Edward or myself before putting it to the list, or
it will reach us at -- This is precisely
what Jeffrey did before sending his long PEIRASMOS information to the list.

I hope this helps to clarify matters a bit more.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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