[b-greek] Avoid doctrinal discussion on B-Greek, please!

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 06:01:41 EDT

A key element in our list-protocol that is mailed out to all new
subscribers is the following:

"D. Netiquette:

     "1. Respectful discourse: Those who participate in the conference
represent a wide range of theological and denominational perspectives,
perhaps even including some whose interests are purely academic. Deep
religious convictions surely characterize many, perhaps most, of the
list-participants, and some of these convictions bear directly upon how the
Biblical text is to be understood. At the core of our discussion, however,
is not what our convictions are but what the Greek text may legitimately be
understood to mean. If discussion of this nature is to succeed, proper
respect and courtesy to other list members is important. While scholarly
debate, including disagreement, is encouraged as a goal of this conference,
attacks upon the character, intelligence, or faith of those participating
are not acceptable. Criticism must focus upon the arguments of others; it
may not be directed to the individual. Those who violate this policy will
be contacted politely by the B-Greek staff and requested to conform to
these guidelines. Those who continue to violate the policy will no longer
be welcome in the conference. ..."

From time to time list-members have, deliberately or without thinking about
it, injected into discussions of particular passages from the Greek
Biblical text questions or comments bearing on the theological/doctrinal
implications of such passages. As a matter of policy the list-moderators
have urged and even warned list-members to steer clear of comments that go
beyond explanation of legitimate possibilities of understanding the Greek
text, whether such comments be attacks upon or defenses of doctrinal
positions that are or might be held by other list-members, and the closing
of threads that have crossed over that line has been consistent with such
policy. We are aware that some list-members resent and chafe against this
policy but we are satisfied that the health and best interests of the list
are served by enforcing it.

The current discussion of the range of possible understandings of PANTAS
ANQRWPOUS in 1 Tim 2:4 has crossed over that line: perhaps the lack of
clarity in the original question opened the field to such comments, but
whatever the reason, it is evident that some responses have reflected a
sense that one or more list-members' particular "oxen" have been "gored."
That is how flame-wars start, and we don't want them on B-Greek. For that
reason I ask once again that list-members conscientiously refrain from
comment or discussion of matters theological, doctrinal, or hermeneutical;
PLEASE keep the focus on the legitimate interpretation of what the Greek
text itself is saying in terms of morphology, syntax, or diction; PLEASE DO
NOT make discussions on this list a springboard either to defense of or
attack upon doctrinal stances that may be based upon a particular text
under discussion.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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