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

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Feb 16 20:24:45 EST 2001

>> It is a hypothesis.
>Yours is not?

The magic word in the statement was "a".

>> >At least much more so than Gaon, or even the Targums. From
>> >a secular standpoint, i would assume that while Matthew's
>> interpretation (or Jesus or Paul, as Hebrew Rabbis)
>> What got put into the mouth of Jesus doesn't equal what Jesus
>> said. You are historicizing literary figures.
>He promised them that the Spirit would remind them of what He'd said so
>they could write it, and He told them that people would believe on Him
>through their word (writings).

What got put into the mouth of Jesus doesn't equal what Jesus said. You are
historicizing literary figures. Do you think Shakespeare's Richard III is
the real Richard III?

>Jesus was not a mere literary fraud but a
>real, historical person according to Paul in 1 Cor. 15 (and other places).

I'm making no statements about Jesus per se. I'm talking about you deciding
what is historical without showing any means to allow you to do so.

>Authorship and integrity, if i recall correctly, of 1 Corinthians is
>accepted even by unbelieving scholarship. They don't believe it's true, but
>they accept that Paul believed it. Paul is not disputed as a historical
>character, and it's my personal opinion that he was also a man of

Hey, Paul seems kosher.

>I assume at least a minimum of historicity/integrity to something as
>even from the most critical standpoint; you *appear* to assume nothing in
>the text could have integrity if it's inconvenient for your

Actually, it's safer not to assume anything about the historicity of a text
until you can place the text in its original context.

>> >might not be final, it should at least be
>> >worthy of discussion. I can't see any scholarly reason why
>> >it should be categorically dismissed.
>> Isn't our basic job to discuss what the writers of the Hebrew
>> texts were saying? How do you imagine these writers writing the
>> materials that you want to interpret in a particular way: were
>> they cogniscent of the contents of the materials they were
>> writing? If they were, then *their* message -- as
>> writers of the texts -- is what should interest us, how it is
>> worded, who it was written for, why it was written, when it was
>> written. These things come from the text and the precise
>> historical period it was written in.
>We are in absolute, total agreement. Amazing, huh?!!

I don't believe you.

>> >Further, since such interpretations are significant to Christians for
>> >understanding the Hebrew Bible,
>> This is a statement of (obviously some form of Christian) belief which
>> not be acceptable to all on this list.
>Which is precisely what i assume in stating it. It only applies to

Subset of Christians, Dan, subset.

>> A text should be understandable when
>> one has control of all the words in the text and how they
>> functioned at the time of writing.
>> >it's actually impossible to exclude them
>> >entirely from consideration unless the Christian interpretation is
>> >dismissed/excluded a priori.
>> How does what one says a hundred, two hundred, maybe five
>> hundred years later change the meaning of the writer's text?
>It should not, cannot, and does not *change* the meaning. I'm against the
>idea that the NT writers or any other interpreter can or should change the
>meaning of any text. They may argue logical conclusions, expand, give
>implications, interpret what was formerly ambiguous or elusive in meaning,
>but they can never alter or reinterpret the meaning of a passage.

I guess then that GMk 13:26 for example, when it talks about THE son of man
coming in clouds, is not a change of meaning from the original text it
cites. Then there's the later total occultation of significance in the
second half of Daniel.

>> >If one is willing to discuss the viability of
>> >only those interpretative alternatives which are
>> non-Christian, then that
>> >should be one's own, self-imposed decision.
>> Are we not discussing what the *writers* wrote?
>> If you can establish some means of making the interpretations
>> that interest you relevant to the production of the texts under
>> discussion, it would make your case more credible.
>OK, this gets a bit theological, but since you asked, i will do that
>concisely! The "production of the texts under discussion" was not performed
>by men alone with mere human agenda to promote Judah, Israel, David, the
>priesthood, etc. I find such arguments unconvincing.

You may. But you are not doing your job by discounting things out of hand.

>Rather, that
>"production" was under the direction of the Holy Spirit as He moved men to
>speak/write (e.g. 2 Sm. 23:2, but constantly emphasized that the message
>from Yahweh, e.g. over 40X in Lev. alone), not for human agenda, but for a
>divine agenda.

Without my questioning your assumption per se, how do you demonstrate
this?? -- to a Hindu, for example.

>Thus we find a unity throughout the Hebrew Bible that is
>always designed to reveal to man the way of salvation.

Sorry, but so far you are stringing assumptions together.

>One ultimate Author
>behind the texts gives the one unified message we find;


>He had one agenda.

Yet another. Dan, you're not doing the job at all. You are not establishing
a means of making the interpretations that interest you relevant to the
production of the texts under discussion by merely a series of assumptions
and apparently uncritical approach to our texts.

>Since, according to the text, that same Holy Spirit also was behind "the
>interpretations that interest [me]" in the NT, He can't be contradicting
>Himself; He is still contributing to that same divine agenda of revealing
>the necessity and the way of salvation to man.
>Now, while many will not accept this, i only ask that you consider that for
>those who do, it's going to have some bearing on our presuppositions to the
>Hebrew text from which we cannot be asked to divorce ourselves,

This indicates to me that you are making yourself incapable of dealing with
the nude, crude text, Dan, that your presuppositions will protect you from

>and that for
>our worldview it's an *entirely* creditable view, even as we recognize that
>for those with an alternative worldview it may appear ridiculous. Others
>free to deny that they have presuppositions outside the text,

It is noble to recognize one's presuppositions, but that its only the first
step in the process.  The next is to attempt to neutralise them when doing
historical or philological work.

>but i have no
>personal desire to join such ideology. Let's just get on with the
>discussions as best we can

I doubt that the attitude you seem to espouse will get much discussion on
that which might interest you from people who are not of those convictions.


>and let the moderators sort things out at their own discretion!

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