Re: In the interest of more open discussion

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed Sep 02 1998 - 07:21:31 EDT

At 01:23 AM 9/2/98 EDT, wrote:
>Thank you for the recent post in support of open discussion. I do have a
>couple comments, however.

I agree with pretty much everything Carl and Edward said. Greg raises some
issues I'd like to respond to. My comments below are my personal opinion,
not anything official, and my opinions here are subject to change.
>So, for example, Bart Ehrman might, for obvious reasons, be more likely to
>contribute to a topic regarding NT textual criticism. Michael Palmer might be
>more inclined to participate in a thread on word-level categories, and so
>forth. I am sure these and other list participants have their own views in
>their respective areas of expertise, but the line I think you are drawing has
>to do with tolerance, and the need to discuss the issues with facts and not
>with a zealous predisposition, only. In this, I agree with what you say.

The above examples are perfectly appropriate. However, I think this is very
different from selectively posting based on a theological viewpoint, e.g.
posting only to prove the pre-trib rapture, the deity of Christ, or some
other doctrine. I myself am more likely to post on issues that deal with
aspect, teaching Greek, helps for learning Greek, etc., and I see nothing
wrong with that. However, as a Mennonite, I *would* think it wrong for me
to selectively post only on passages that involve theological points that
distinguish the Mennonite church from other churches. So if your area of
expertise is a particular approach to the text, to grammar, pedagogy, etc.,
then there's no problem. If your area of expertise is defending particular
theological viewpoints, this isn't the place for it, even if you use the
Greek to defend your views.

><<It would be helpful--and might also save us some bandwidth--if persons
>posting on a topic on which they have published views should state at the
>outset that
> their views on this topic are settled, that they have published on it and
> indicate the title(s) of such publications and the pages on which their
> definitive account of this topic may be found. >>
>That is a good idea. But just because I or someone else have published books
>on certain topics does not necessarily mean our views are settled. Of course,
>if it is clear, by means of the posts given, that the person's view is
>settled, your suggestion is a very good one, and it will keep persons who
>little interest in discussing the issues with an open mind from sending post
>after post with their previously stated position being repeated time and time
Even if your view is changing, when you are restating views that you have
already published, please tell us where you have published them. To the
extent that your views change, feel free to mention how your views have
changed since publication, how the discussion is influencing your changing
views, etc. But if your views are the same as the ones you have already
published, state them once, tell us where they are published, and let
others participate. And if your views aren't changing, then you probably do
have settled views on the topic. There's nothing wrong with settled views,
and there's nothing wrong with stating them together with the evidence for
them *once* on B-Greek. If you find yourself repeating the same information
over and over, though, put it on a web page, not on a mailing list.

>I understand your concern, and I share it. But as long as the discussion is
>focused primarily on the grammar of the text in question, those interested in
>the topic should follow the discussion and decide for themselves. Do you
I agree that those interested in the topic should follow the discussion and
decide for themselves. Part of this involves making their views welcome,
and making it possible for them to raise certain issues without being
buried by repetition of the same points from the same few individuals. I
basically agree with the below paragraph, which you wrote:

>I wholeheartedly agree with you. And I know you don't consider giving facts
>and information relevant to the subject a rehearsed attempt to choke the
>discussion. Oftentimes newcomers have not been exposed to different
>viewpoints, and those who are familiar with the issues of a particular point
>should be encouraged to share what information they have, and then leave
it at
I especially like the last sentence: "those who are familiar with the
issues of a particular point should be encouraged to share what information
they have, and then leave it at that."

>This is another good point. I have also noticed several attempts by some to
>initiate threads with questions about a text that they know will involve a
>"debate" of sorts. Some of the questions have been asked by one who
>participates on other boards, and who has clearly already made up his mind
>prior to sending a post to b-Greek, which post made it *sound* like he was in
>fact a "disinterested inquirer."
That's the sort of thing we want to control.


Jonathan Robie

Little Greek Home Page:
Little Greek 101:
B-Greek Home Page:
B-Greek Archives:

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:58 EDT