Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Jonathan D. Safren yon_saf at
Fri Feb 16 10:45:00 EST 2001

Dave Washburn wrote:
> The big question is, where do we draw the line?  And what sorts of
> criteria are used to decide?  I would prefer to err on the side of
> open discussion, but that's just me.
We draw the line when the discussion stops being philological and starts
being theological. Textual and linguistic evidence for Hebrew 'almah in
Isaiah 7:14 meaning virgin is fine; one can marshal evidence pro and con.
But claiming NT interpretation of the verse to be authoritative because
someone BELIEVES it to be authoritative is crossing the line and must be
banned on this list. Would list members like it if I were to base a claim on
the non-virginity of Mary on my Jewish belief positions? Of course not, and
I'd never do it.
As for open discussion, theological discussion is never open discussion,
because it is based on belief positions. It's disputation, and I have bad
historical memories of disputation.
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Israel

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