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Old 03-06-2001, 10:03 AM   #31
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"What does it matter what they teach or what they officially studied to get a piece of paper? You are trying to show that what they said is false by attacking the man. Also known as ad hominem. What is really important- what they said, or who they are?"

Good grief. Penatis has spent most of this thread implying that Christians can't be historians, and you choose to accuse Nomad of ad hominem attacks beause he points out that a professor of german might have limitations in the rather specialized field of New Testament studies?

Penatis: "While I respect the knowledge and scholarship of John P. Meier and the late Raymond E. Brown, it should be duly noted that Meier is a Catholic priest, and Brown was also a practicing priest up until his death."

Penatis: "Meier is a Catholic Priest. Koester is an historian."

Penatis: "F. F. Bruce is not a secular scholar. No one would question his knowledge and scholarship, but he writes as a Christian for Christians."


Is this a two way street you are driving down?
 
Old 03-06-2001, 10:24 AM   #32
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[qoute]Nomad: P.S. I noticed that you had Robert Funk on your list of
Christian scholars that may not have a bias. He is actually a lapsed
Christian and a very vocal atheist.

pentatis: Do you have any evidence of this? Has he openly stated that
he is an atheist? [/qoute]


Yes he has, and quite some time ago. And here I thought you kept up on current
scholarship penatis.

From The Coming Radical Reformation:

Theology

1) The God of the metaphysical age is dead. There is not a personal god out there
external to human beings and the material world. We must reckon with a deep
crisis in god talk and replace it with talk about whether the universe has meaning
and whether human life has purpose.

Christology

6) We should give Jesus a demotion. It is no longer credible to think of Jesus as
divine. Jesus' divinity goes together with the old theistic way of thinking about God.

If this sounds like a Christian or even a theist to you, then I would love to hear your
definition of what an atheist is.


-Nomad,

First, I have to agree with sentine's last post. And second, i have to point out that atheism isn't the only alternative to theism. While I don't know Robert Funk's personal beliefs, what you quoted sounds close to some of my thoughts. However, I would not call myself an atheist. Far from it. It sounds like Funk is struggling with some of the same thoughts that Bishop Spong did in Why Christianity Must Change of Die. A key question there, which I ask you know, is "Must a Christian be a theist?" This is a really deep question and I will start a new thread with it. You can obvously gather my response to the question is a "no". but I will go into more depth as that thread develops. I will post it in the Existence of God(s) thread.

-Without wax,
Spider

 
Old 03-06-2001, 10:52 AM   #33
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Is this a two way street you are driving down? </font>
Not really. I think Nomad is evil and should be stopped at all costs, and that penatis is the second coming of Darwin and will eventually vanquish the Xian Emperial army...

Actually, I was skimming. I like reading Nomad's posts, and the argument here isn't really all that relevant to me, so I didn't spend too much time reading the to and fro. I just noticed a slip up on Nomads part, and it seems the slip up is on both sides, and is just as bad on both sides. Thank you! penatis and Nomad should clear this up!
 
Old 03-06-2001, 11:04 AM   #34
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
[b]"What does it matter what they teach or what they officially studied to get a piece of paper? You are trying to show that what they said is false by attacking the man. Also known as ad hominem. What is really important- what they said, or who they are?"

Layman: Good grief. Penatis has spent most of this thread implying that Christians can't be historians

That is bullshit! I have stated very clearly that I think Catholic priests cannot be as unbiased as those who do not have a vested interest in the documents they study; however, THEY CAN STUDY HISTORY AND COMMENT ON IT! In that sense, they can be historians.

I have not attacked any of the scholars and have not made any derogatory remarks about their works.

Layman: and you choose to accuse Nomad of ad hominem attacks beause he points out that a professor of german might have limitations in the rather specialized field of New Testament studies?

The accusation was justified. Nomad made derogatory remarks about G. A. Wells. Why do you choose to ignore this fact?


Penatis: "While I respect the knowledge and scholarship of John P. Meier and the late Raymond E. Brown, it should be duly noted that Meier is a Catholic priest, and Brown was also a practicing priest up until his death."

Penatis: "Meier is a Catholic Priest. Koester is an historian."

Penatis: "F. F. Bruce is not a secular scholar. No one would question his knowledge and scholarship, but he writes as a Christian for Christians."


Layman: Is this a two way street you are driving down?

If you can refute any statement I made about any of the commentators, do so. I said I RESPECTED the Christian NT scholars. Why did you ignore this fact? Hubzilla asked for SECULAR COMMENTATORS. My comments were for his benefit. Why did you ignore this fact?
 
Old 03-06-2001, 11:51 AM   #35
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My, my. What a victim you are.

Penatis: "Meier is a Catholic Priest. Koester is an historian."

The implication is clear. Meier is not a historian. You are drawing a contrast between the two.

As for his ability to be unbiased, you might have mentioned that Meier, althought a Catholic, finds little or no historical evidence to believe in the virgin birth, much less the immaculate conception of Mary.

Meier's A Marginal Jew series has been widely hailed for its dispassionate and unbaised historical treatment of the historical Jesus.

Penatis: "F. F. Bruce is not a secular scholar. No one would question his knowledge and scholarship, but he writes as a Christian for Christians."

This time you forgoe the implication and just come out and say what you think: F.F. Bruce only writes "as a Christian for Christians." F.F. Bruce is a respected New Testament scholar. He writes for everyone. Some of his books were written for Christian laypersons, but most were written for scholars and informed laypersons, whether religious or not. His work, "Paul, the Apostle of the Heart Set Free" is a classic in Pauline studies.

As for Nomad's references to Wells, I think they are well taken. Wells is not a New Testament scholar. The focus of his career has been German, not Greek. Language, not the religious beliefs of first century palestine. This does not necassarily mean that he is irrelevant, but it means that he is less experienced, and perhaps less equipped, than scholars such as Meier, Brown, Crossan, and others.
 
Old 03-06-2001, 12:09 PM   #36
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Nomad: Well, you keep making it simple for me penatis, so again, thanks.[/b]

You are welcome, Nomad. I keep it simple for the simple-minded.

Nomad: I'll respond to this bit, offer up why Morton Smith didn's know what he was talking about on Secret Mark, then when I get back see where we're at.

"Secret Mark" is a controversial issue. I have not made up my mind on whether or not it lends anything to NT scholarship.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by penatis:
Nomad: You mean like dating the NT Canons to the 2nd Century?

penatis: This is an ambiguous statement. Please present evidence demnonstrating the validity of your claim and clarify your meaning.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: What's ambiguous?

Your statement.

Nomad: Wells thought...

What the hell is this? Are we not dealing with what G. A. Wells THINKS? To my knowledge, vertually everyone has changed his mind a few times during his lifetime. You may be the only one who has not.

Nomad:...that the NT Canons were all authored in the 2nd Century, a postition that isn't even defensible today (not even by those that HAVE read his eccentric opinions penatis ). As for proof of this, I guess you'll have to wait for me to get back. Thus far I keep offering all of the proof however, and you mostly come back with assertions and ad hominems.

Irrelevant.

Nomad: (Luckily the latter are pretty easy to contain and rebut, so keep it up if you like).

I am waiting for you to start.


quote:
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Nomad: At least Wells has gotten over his Jesus Mythitis.
Your disparagement of Wells adds nothing to your credibility.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Actually, I consider what I said to be a compliment

Only you would.

Nomad: since Wells, once a leading Jesus Myther has now realized the error of his ways, and rejects the notion still advanced by Freke, Grady and Doherty that Jesus really was just a mythical creation.

Are you suggesting that Raymond Brown, Bruce Metzger, Robin Lane Fox, et al. have never changed their views? That is ridiculous.

Nomad: First rate thinking from Professor Wells really.

This is the type of comment that adds nothing to your credibility.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: BTW, did he learn his historical study methodology from his lessons on teaching German?
penatis: Again, your derogatory implications do nothing for your credibility.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{b]Nomad: Penatis? Relax please.[/b]

I am floating on a cushion, relaxed as the day is long.

Nomad: It is worth pointing out how an individual was trained, and how solid his credentials on a subject really are. Wells is a professor of German, and for all I know he is a very good one.

You know very little about him.

Nomad: But that hardly qualifies him as an NT scholar any more than it qualifies any of us.

Bullshit! You know very little about him. YOU HAVE NEVER READ ANY OF HIS WORKS!

Nomad: I'll take Meier, Brown, Grant, Wallace, Griffith-Jones, Dunn, Barton, Alter, Perkins, and even Borg and Crossan over such individuals any day of the week.

So what! I have the greatest respect for the writers you mentioned. I have read several of them.

Nomad: If you prefer amateurs like McDowell and Wells, tis cool, but I don't think it advances classical historical thinking.

You have a way of twisting the truth, Nomad. That is tantamount to lying.

1. Josh McDowell is a very conservative, Christian evangelical writer. If you were well-read, you would have known that fact. He is not respected by any scholar that I am aware of. I DO NOT quote him because of these facts.
2. I have read some of G.A. Wells works. They are well-written and thorough in their documentation and scholarship. I have never agreed with everything he has had to say, but he makes some excellent points with respect to issues related to the NT. You would not know this. YOU HAVE NOT READ ANY OF HIS WORKS!


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There you have it! YOU HAVEN'T READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS! I don't think you are qualified to say anything about G. A. Wells or his views.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOL! I haven't read McDonald either, so I just went through this with a number of his fans, and trust me, I already know I haven't missed much (and we'll note that you appear to be in the same boat as you admit below).

You know nothing about him, but you don't mind disparaging the man and his views. YOU HAVE NOT READ ANY OF HIS WORKS!


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: Luckily, in so doing, I have avoided many of the pitfalls reading this kind of clap trap has apparently inflicted themselves upon your thinking.
Unlike you, Nomad, I will read just about anything, and that includes the comments/works of Josh McDowell, Carsten Peter Thiede, Robert M. Grant, Werner Georg Kummel, Vincent Taylor, Floyd Filson, Albert Schweitzer, Rudolf Bultmann, Charlotte Allen, C.K. Barrett, David Strauss, Hershel Shanks, Gunther Bornkamm, Alfred Loisy, Emil Schurer, Karen Armstrong, Daniel Wallace, Bruce Metzger, Artur Weiser, Hugh J. Schonfield, Burton Mack, et al. I even have a book entitled Christian Apologetics by Alan Richardson.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Yeah, whatever.

Precisely the response I was expecting. Live and learn in denial, Nomad.

Nomad: Name dropping can be fun, but there is such a thing as discernment you know. Some stuff is first rate, and needs to be read. Other material is second rate at best, and if one has time, then it can be read as well. Personally, I prefer reading real scholars.

Personally, I would say you only read that which feeds your biases and prejudices.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I started off being a believer, Nomad. Reading the Bible, going to church, and reading the various theologically-based commentaries CHANGED MY MIND.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: And I started off a non-believer. So none of this matters much does it? You have your biases, I have mine. We have both changed them in the past. Big deal.

I treat all religious works precisely the same. Do you? If you do not, then you are more biased than I am. I only wish to find out what acutally happened in history? Do you? If not, then you are more biased than I am.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The whole Christian concept just does not make sense. Now, I just want to find out what happened in the past. It is that simple.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: And this is cool, except that your current set of prejudices make that quite impossible.

Your biased opinion is duly noted.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: So you do consider him to be an NT scholar?
I think his arguments are well-reasoned; his scholarship is good; he treats the past as history, not theology. Do I think he is just as qualified to comment on religious literature as say Raymond Brown, Carsten Peter Thiede, Josh McDowell, Charles Guignebert, Robert Funk, Morton Smith, or Burton Mack? Hell, yes!!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: I do wish you would be more discerning penatis.

And I wish you would begin to make sense, Nomad.

Nomad: Brown and Mack are in a totally different league from McDowell, and Thiede. It is axiomatic to note that some people are simply more qualified at what they do than are others.

My point went totally over your head. There are thousands of scholars commenting on the New Testamen. I will never limit myself to a handful, regardless of their respective reputations. I am ope- minded; you are closed-minded.

Nomad: And as for Akenson, I am grateful to him for his disembowelment of the Secret Gospel of Mark (especially since he is an atheist, making his findings much more credible to other suspicious sceptics like yourself).

You have no earthly idea what you are talking about. I can read Akenson, Brown, Mack, Morton Smith, Funk, Meier, et al, and attempt to make sense of their respective arguments/commentaries. THEY ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT JESUS and the NT. If they are atheist, agnostic, Catholic, Jewish, or whatever, they can still say something stupid, and they call still say something worthy of consideration. I try not to rule out any serious scholarship.
That being said, I do not find Earl Doherty's thesis convincing. There are problems with Morton Smith's "Secret Gospel." I am not convinced that Jesus was a traveling cynic, as per the Jesus Seminar's views, etc. On the other hand, I don't find convincing arguments that Jesus was the son of a god, or that he was born of a virgin, or that he performed miracles, or that he rose from the dead.
If a writer, no matter who he/she may be, makes a cogent observation, I will take it very seriously.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: Why did you apparently deny it the first time around?
The ONLY place I have denied this is in your fertile imagination.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Let me help you.

No thanks, Nomad. I will decide who I need help from. At present, you are not on my short list.

Nomad; WHEN you ask me how I decided that I thought Akenson was one of your scholars, you are by implication telling me that you do not consider him as such. The fact that you have quoted him regarding the NT tells me that you do, in fact think he is a worthy scholar.

You seem to imagine a great deal, Nomad. Hubzilla asked for a list of SECULAR commentators. I provided a list. It is as simple as that. However, you and your fertile imagination, wish to make more of it than that.

Nomad: So all you had to do in the first place is stop playing games, and admit that you like Akenson.

SAY WHAT? The issue is not related to whether or not I "like" someone. The issue is related to whether or not Akenson is a secular commentator. I DO NOT agree with everything any scholar writes, regardless of who he/she is.

Nomad: And that is cool, since I like him too. I just think it is important to rembemer that HIS particular speciallty is ancient Celt and Ireland, and should be noted.

You have suddenly grown fond of Akenson. Wow! Far out! You can "like" him if you wish. I plan only to quote his cogent observations as they relate to the Bible and Jesus.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: BTW, I am still wondering what part of his training in studying the Irish makes him qualified to be a good solid scholar in NT studies?
Perhaps it is because he makes an effort to ascertain, to the best of his knowledge, what happened in history. He doesn't have your bias, Nomad.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: If he had MY bias, he would be a Christian.

True enough!

Nomad: He is an atheist however, so he has an atheistic bias.

I can honestly state that I had no idea what his philosophical/theological leanings were. You certainly seem to KNOW who is and who is not an atheist. (I think the reality is that you think anyone who does not agree with you is an atheist and mortal enemy.) Where did you find out that Akenson is an atheist?

Nomad: That is cool, and so long as we all admit our biases, then we can evaluate what we know and say accordingly.

Everything is "cool," Dude. Groovy!


quote:
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I don't have the time or energy to read EVERYTHING, current or otherwise.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Now, this is irony in the first order. On the other hand, I already knew this. And now that I know that if you haven't read a particular book, you consider yourself to be unqualified on the subject matter, that helps a lot.

I admit that I am not qualified to say who is and who is not an atheist. You seem to be overly qualified.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nomad: From The Coming Radical Reformation:
Theology

1) The God of the metaphysical age is dead. There is not a personal god out there external to human beings and the material world. We must reckon with a deep crisis in god talk and replace it with talk about whether the universe has meaning and whether human life has purpose.

Christology

6) We should give Jesus a demotion. It is no longer credible to think of Jesus as divine. Jesus' divinity goes together with the old theistic way of thinking about God.

penatis: I wonder what CHANGED Funk's mind? He USED to be a Christian.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Read his books. You'll find out.

Finally, you admit that a Christian can become a non-Christian by reading and studying the Bible. By the way, have you never read any of Funk's works? You must be spending all your time trying to find out who is and who is not an atheist.


quote:
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Nomad: If this sounds like a Christian or even a theist to you, then I would love to hear your definition of what an atheist is.
penatis: Thanks for the information, Nomad. It seems Robert Funk is probably no longer a Christian with a Christian bias. Where did he state he is an atheist?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: In the quote I just gave you, plus the article that I also just gave to you. It is referenced (with the appropriate URL) in my last post.

When you start reading some books, I will start following up on your internet leads. The quote you gave above says nothing about atheism. For all I know, Funk believes in a different type of god than the one you believe in.


quote:
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Nomad: BTW, go to the site and take a look. His views will warm your heart penatis. In fact, he appears to share every single one of the prejudices you do about Christianity and God. Go figure.
penatis: Do you mean he has grown up and put away childish things? Do you mean he is more interested in finding out what happened in history?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: No, I mean he is just as biased as you are penatis, and happens to share all of the same biases you appear to share.

Do you mean he has grown up and put away childish things? Do you mean he is more interested in finding out what happened in history?

Nomad: Please try to read what I write, then I will not be compelled to repeat myself again and again.

I could very well have said the same thing to you.

Peace and Love

 
Old 03-06-2001, 12:29 PM   #37
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
My, my. What a victim you are.

What in the hell does that mean?

Penatis: "Meier is a Catholic Priest. Koester is an historian."

Layman: The implication is clear. Meier is not a historian. You are drawing a contrast between the two.

Yes, I am certainly contrasting the two. You are quite naive if you believe that Catholic priests do not have a vested interest in the New Testament. You continually ignore other things I have said about Meier. He can also be an historian, but not a secular one. It seems you are "stacking" the evidence, Layman.

Layman: As for his ability to be unbiased, you might have mentioned that Meier, althought a Catholic, finds little or no historical evidence to believe in the virgin birth, much less the immaculate conception of Mary.

And what precisely does he think about dead people coming back to life? What does he think about prayer? What does he think about "miracles?"

Layman: Meier's A Marginal Jew series has been widely hailed for its dispassionate and unbaised historical treatment of the historical Jesus.

See previous comment.

Penatis: "F. F. Bruce is not a secular scholar. No one would question his knowledge and scholarship, but he writes as a Christian for Christians."

Layman: This time you forgoe the implication and just come out and say what you think: F.F. Bruce only writes "as a Christian for Christians." F.F. Bruce is a respected New Testament scholar. He writes for everyone. Some of his books were written for Christian laypersons, but most were written for scholars and informed laypersons, whether religious or not. His work, "Paul, the Apostle of the Heart Set Free" is a classic in Pauline studies.

Again and again, you seem to ignore the FACT that Hubzilla ASKED FOR SECULAR COMMENTATORS. Are you aware of the FACT that F. F. Bruce is a Christian?

Layman: As for Nomad's references to Wells, I think they are well taken.

What a surprise, Layman. Let me see, now, didn't you state that you are a Christian? So is Nomad. It must be a coincidence.

Layman: Wells is not a New Testament scholar.

Who said he was? Do you deny that he comments on religious works? Do you deny that he CAN have a cogent observation or two?

Layman: The focus of his career has been German, not Greek. Language, not the religious beliefs of first century palestine. This does not necassarily mean that he is irrelevant, but it means that he is less experienced, and perhaps less equipped, than scholars such as Meier, Brown, Crossan, and others.

I certainly agree that G. A. Wells may not know Greek, but that does not mean he or his commentary on the NT should be disparaged by the likes of Nomad. Also, again, Hubzilla asked for secular commentators, i.e., those who DO NOT HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
 
Old 03-06-2001, 12:30 PM   #38
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This thread is now in the dumps...

Hope you got some interesting books to look at Hubzilla. There are some good ones in there. Just continue to be skeptical and discerning of whatever information you read (secular or otherwise).

Ish
 
Old 03-06-2001, 12:32 PM   #39
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Dar... I hate it when I double post.

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 06, 2001).]
 
Old 03-06-2001, 12:42 PM   #40
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He asked for "historical and secular" books.

Simply because a book is written by a Christian it is not automatically ahistorical or sectarian. I draft plenty of secular legal briefs even though I am a Christian. Even when my religious beliefs correlate with my legal argument, the brief remains a secular document, containing secular arguments.

You spend a lot of time complaining about bias and no time demonstrating it. You fail to explain the point that a Catholic scholar of the caliber of Meier has reached historical conclusions that are incredibly and diametrically opposed to his religious faith. Instead you simply make the conclusory point that Meier might believe in miracles, so he must be biased.

If you have a problem with a scholar, demonstrate the bias, don't just proclaim it. Have you read Meier's A Marginal Jew? If so, where has Meier's analysis been affected by his bias?
 
 

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