Request for an apology from C Isbell

Polycarp66 at Polycarp66 at
Wed Mar 27 04:07:20 EST 2002

In a message dated 3/27/2002 2:56:05 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Peter_Kirk at writes:

Charles, I strongly object to this personal attack! I am happy to leave
the subject if that is the consensus of list members - though so far
only two members have called for a halt and a considerably larger number
have joined in the discussion. But I cannot accept this kind of baseless

I especially resent your statement that I do not know a bit of grammar.
I would ask you to read my postings to this list over the past five
years in which I have demonstrated a reasonable, and I hope increasing
though certainly not perfect, knowledge of Hebrew grammar. If I have
misunderstood the grammar of Genesis 1:1, I would appreciate your
insights on how to understand it better. But such a generalised attack
is simply offensive.

In attempting to practice exegesis rather than eisegesis, I have sought
to find the oldest understanding of the Hebrew text and so quoted a
source more than 2000 years old. Is that why you say I am 2000 years
behind the times? Are you saying you want me to look only at the
evidence of modern interpreters and at the grammatical understanding of
modern Hebrew speakers? Surely that is eisegesis, the reading into the
text of more than 2000 years of interpretation and language change.

I accept that I don't know exactly what BERESHIT means, because there is
not sufficient evidence to be certain. If you do, and have evidence for
it, please tell us. If not, please withdraw your allegation.

Charles, I expect a public apology (on the list) from you.

Aren't "we" being a tad bit thin-skinned here?  In asking for an apology, you 
are opening yourself up to the possibility that Charles might decide that he 
wishes to DEMONSTATE that there is a lack of understanding of the Hebrew 

As one of those who has from time to time commented in this ongoing brawl I 
might say that my comments have been frequently added with the understanding 
that this will continue with or without my participation or approval.  You 
and Ian have been periodically sparring with one another for practically the 
entire time that I have subscribed to this list.  A certain amount of it is 
even of interest.  The problem is that neither of you seems to know when to 
give it a rest.  It seems to degenerate into:

#1 Yes it is
#2 No it isn't
#1 It absolutely is
#2 It absolutely is not

This is tiresome.  Could we please move on.  If there isn't anything new to 
add, find a new subject.  Surely there are other areas where the two of you 
disagree  - so far there seems to be no dearth of disagreement.

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