[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 61, Issue 13

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Jan 29 19:44:27 EST 2008

Karl wrote in reference to Ibn Ezra:-

>When I studied DH, my professors and books I read did not mention him.

Given that Ibn Ezra is important let me propose an alternative
possibility. I'm guessing your professors were either genuinely or
nominally Christian.  For that reason they ignored not just Ibn Ezra but
lots of other very fine Jewish scholars as well.

Of Jacob Neusner Karl wrote:-

>This sounds like post modernism, where everything is true, and nothing is
>true. Or did I misunderstand him?

One last word and then I will shut my electronic mouth. Rather than
throwing out these kinds of accusations based, as far as I can tell, on
pretty much nothing, it would be better to first actually come to
understanding of what Jacob Neusner has to say. After all, he's prolific
writer, his works are often profoundly insightful and they are not
difficult to get hold of. However, he is Jewish and I was under the
impression he was an ordained Rabbi, but I may be mistaken on that last
point. Over the years in which you've been objecting to various peoples'
``philosophical presuppositions'' I have only recently begun to realize
that its not just a Christian code phrase used to politely reject Jewish
scholarship. For a long time you dismissed Jewish scholarship with that
phrase. To give you some credit I'm begining to think you simply didn't
know their background. While I don't agree with Christians ignoring Jewish
contributions to Biblical scholarship, I could understand why you said
such things. What I don't understand is that what you are really objecting
to is people who try to deal with the evidence as honestly as they know
how. Everyone who comes to ``the wrong conclusions'' gets labelled as
having the wrong ``philosophical presuppositions''. This is simply
ridiculous. Mostly you have zero idea of what their ``philosophical
presuppositions'' are. It is the reason I've hammered away at the
importance of Ibn Erza (or ibn Ezra if you prefer). I'm sure you can find
some fine reasons never to learn about him and his contributions, but you
do yourself a disservice.

That's it from me. Back to writing up my Ph.D. thesis which I need to
hand in soon.

Bill Rea, ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz                </   New
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