[b-hebrew] Doctorates (PhD or ThD?)
chsavelle at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 5 19:45:16 EDT 2005
While I don't care to get involved in the broader discussion concerning the
value of a doctorate or not, several comments that you make appear to be in
need of clarification or correction.
It seems the avoidance of anything that undermines a presupposed theology.
Such as that the Bible has one author: God.
I think that we need to be clear that we all have a presupposed theology. We
come into the discussion not as blank slates but with presuppositions. I
think it is naive to suggest that only Evangelical seminaries have an agenda
so to speak. Indeed, a rejection of divine authorship of Scripture for
example, is a presupposition many critical scholars bring to the text.
Sure he could. He would just have to get a "doctorate" from some Bible
college. A "theological seminary" of some sort. They tend to put theology
first and foremost. Whatever Greek and Hebrew they learn must come
prepackaged so that it doesn't offend their theological sensibilities. The
"education" they receive is tainted with theological persuasion.
I think that this gross misrepresentation of a biblical/seminary education.
While I can't speak for all seminaries and Bible colleges, I am a product of
both. What is your experience? While I can't speak for all programs I can
tell you that in my experience we often used the same books as
non-Evangelical institutions. We were required to use the standard language
tools such as BDB, HALOT, DCH, BAGD (now BDAG), TDNT, TDOT. LSJ and so
forth. Furthermore, especially in the OT, we were required to interact with
critical commentaries and special studies. We were required to parse verbs
and memorize paradigms and vocabulary (to the chagrin of many students!)
just like anyone else.
I'll give you a perfect example of what I'm talking about. A couple of years
ago I was discussing the Gospel of John with a student from Dallas
Theological Seminary. He insisted the Bible teaches that God is not
anthropomorphic, metaphysically, because John 4:24 demands such an
interpretation. I pummeled him with scholarship indicating how
anthropomorphism was the norm for the Ancient Jewish understanding of God,
and how it passed over to the early Christians. He went further to say that
the "rules of Greek grammar" insisted on his interpretation, and he said
this was something he learned from his Greek professor at DTS. Now this is
something you could only learn at a "Bible college."
While this may have been your experience, Im not sure anecdotes are the
best way to go here. Otherwise we can trade personal bad experiences from
either camp. By the way, if what you mean by anthropomorphic that God has
human characteristics and form, I think a good biblical case can be made
that God is in essence immaterial in nature. I wonder what you mean by the
norm for the Ancient Jewish of God. You seem to suggest that there might be
a monolithic static view of Judaism. I also wonder what you mean by
pummeled him with scholarship. I would suggest that you dont win the day
by appealing to scholarship in general. There is good scholarship and poor
scholarship. You make your points through evidence and sound argumentation.
I might also add, that you are mistaken by referencing his Greek professor
at DTS, and then asking, Now this is something you could only learn at a
"Bible college. Surely you must know the difference between a graduate
school such as DTS and a college. By the way, DTS has not offered a ThD for
some time now, but rather a PhD.
I could go on but I will resist the temptation for now. But this is my two
Center Point Bible Institute
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