Books for Beginners

Mark Wilson emory2oo2 at
Sat May 18 11:27:10 EDT 2002

Citing a 1997 post, Carl wrote this on Mounce's book:

Another factor that
probably doesn't bother people who are theologically conservative is that
the exegetical tidbits introducing chapters are weighted in a way that
suggests that right grammatical understanding is likely to yield what one
has already decided is the right doctrine;

I'm in the process of writing an article on something related to this.
I would like for some input from list members concerning my comments
below. Please respond OFFLIST. I do not want to start a discussion of
this on B-Greek.

A translator is "theologically conservative" based on the set of
presuppositions he/she accepts. In other words, your presuppositions
will DETERMINE your theology. And presuppositions are accepted or
chosen on a volitional level. One does not come to the GNT ready
to discover the truth, even if the truth falls under another set
of presuppositions (i.e., another theolgocial system). We DO
discover truth WITHIN our theological system (whether conservative
or liberal or cultic), but we can not change over to another system
of theology UNLESS WE FIRST abandon our presuppositions. Unfortunately,
this is also done on a volitional basis, not the result of exegetical

Then, "right grammatical understanding" will be that interpretation
that is non-contradictory to your set of presuppositions. And as the
above seems to say to me, with the expression, "has already decided
is the right doctrine," is another way of saying that our theological
translations are FIRST OF ALL decided at the volitional level.

The implications of this for B-Greek are this, as I see it:

This is largely why theological discussions out here are of no
use, and even prohibited, if you ask me. We can make changes WITHIN
our set of presuppositions/theological system, but we do not change
our presuppositions, which is what would have to take place BEFORE
one can accept a competing theology. One does not cross over to
a conservative model to a cultic or liberal model based on exegetical
results. They can't in fact, since exegetical results are limited to
those consistent with our theological approach to scripture.

Mark Wilson

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