[b-hebrew] Potiphar's title

Kirk Lowery klowery at wts.edu
Fri Jul 11 09:30:21 EDT 2003

Peter Kirk wrote:

 > Karl, I think you are right here, but I am not a moderator. I made
 > that comment to make the point that I didn't want to discuss the
 > issues which Walter had just raised, which were not language
 > related. The moderators usually allow some civil discussion of
 > historicity and dating when related to language, but have
 > intervened in the past when the link to language has been lost.

On behalf of the moderators, let me comment here. This list exists to
take advantage of the Internet to bring together people from all over
the world and from every imaginable viewpoint and worldview to discuss
the Hebrew Bible. Since we are a global and public list, *all*
viewpoints are allowed to be expressed. Our very first concern is that
light -- not heat -- is shed on topics discussed. The moderators do
not view themselves as judges of debate; rather, we are law
enforcement: in order for the goals of the list to be accomplished,
discussion must above all be polite, respectful and civil. If list
members follow that rule, we are *very* tolerant of violations of
subject boundaries. Long-time members will note that we rarely close a
thread on the basis of subject matter, but most often because civility
is threatened or already lost.

To the present question: historicity of the biblical text has
implications on the interpretation of the text -- and interpretation
of the text is exactly what this list is for. Yes, we begin with the
text in Hebrew with all of its linguistic characteristics; but we do
not end there. The ancients had their own worldview and
historiography; we (post)moderns have our own. Interesting things
happen at the interface of these two world views. B-Hebrew has never
been *just* about grammar, syntax and translation; it has also been
about its message, its composition...and historicity.

My point is: discussions begin with questions that lead to other
questions. That is the richness of our association. Do not feel
constrained or hindered. As long as you are civil, be free and
vigorous in your discussions; propose and defend with liveliness and
passion -- politely! As long as there is *some* relevance to the text
of the Hebrew Bible, it's fine. We moderators will let you know if
things are wandering way off-topic.

Note: it is the policy of the moderators to deal with those who
violate the rules off-list, privately. Nothing is achieved by public
humiliation. Current technology allows us to enforce the rules without
hurtful social control.

Now, go back and enjoy your discussions. Be stimulated and
enlightened! :-)


Kirk E. Lowery, Ph.D.
Director, Westminster Hebrew Institute
Adjunct Professor of Old Testament
Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Theorie ist, wenn man alles weiss und nichts klappt.
Praxis ist, wenn alles klappt und keiner weiss warum.
Bei uns sind Theorie und Praxis vereint:
nichts klappt und keiner weiss warum!

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