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

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Fri Feb 16 11:01:48 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.
> >
> Dave,
> 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.

Forgive me if I belabor this a bit.  I understand what you're saying 
about whether NT interpretation is "authoritative."  However, is it a 
legitimate form of discussion for this list to suggest that the NT 
evidence shows that at least some in first-century Judea 
understood the word to mean "virgin" in its specific sense?  I agree 
that "the NT says it, I believe it, that settles it" is out of line, but I 
honestly haven't seen that done to any real degree so far.  But it 
seems to me that the way the NT uses the HB has implications for 
philology and other related matters.  What are your thoughts?

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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