Resolved: Precision in the treatment of deuterocanonical/apocrypha/non-canonical texts

Page 1 of 2 (26 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 25 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 28242
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 24 2019 12:49 AM

The following passage reads fine at first glance, but on a second thought it a perfect example of Faithlife's general evangelical bent/blinders.

First Esdras (Έσδράς Α, Esdras A) is a Greek translation of 2 Chr 35–36, Ezra 1–10, and Neh 8:1–13, and some non-biblical material. Second Esdras is the Greek translation of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah found in the Septuagint.

Amy L. Balogh, “Ezra, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Error 1 re: Septuagint from Wikipedia: "The Greek Septuagint, the Old Latin bible and related bible versions include both Esdras Αʹ (English title: 1 Esdras) and Esdras Βʹ (Ezra–Nehemiah) as separate books." The LBD makes it sound as it First Esdras is separate from the Septuagint and thoroughly non-canonical "some non-biblical material". It is, in fact, a book in the Septuagint.

Error 2 re: "some non-biblical material" ignores that it was used in the West until the Vulgate replaced the Old Latin and it is still canonical in several Eastern/Oriental Orthodox churches. Therefore it should at least read "some apocryphal material" to represent the "general evangelical perspective".

Why it matters or why I'm not just being picky. It makes the evangelical perspective look either (a) sloppy for academic use or (b) ignorant - either of which makes Logos look like an unreliable tool outside a specific data - morphological, syntactical, cross-referencing - i.e. things that fit into tightly contained tagging.

Or put another way, this is an earlier example of the problems that reappeared in the LST - it is not the evangelical perspective that gets FL in trouble, it is the lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 3400
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 24 2019 3:28 PM

MJ. Smith:
It makes the evangelical perspective look either (a) sloppy for academic use or (b) ignorant - either of which makes Logos look like an unreliable tool outside a specific data - morphological, syntactical, cross-referencing - i.e. things that fit into tightly contained tagging.

Or put another way, this is an earlier example of the problems that reappeared in the LST - it is not the evangelical perspective that gets FL in trouble, it is the lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective.

Bingo.

Posts 10636
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 5:43 AM

MJ. Smith:
lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry? There's quite a few 'what-should-I-call-them' which survive either destruction or disinterest by being in a canon. The Parables of Enoch quickly come to mind. I think Barnabas, and maybe Hermas, not sure. A sizable portion of both the NT, OT, and Fathers is fairly recent (and re-dated to a 1,000 years earlier). And the attitude toward the particular canon embracing Enoch isn't limited to the evangels.

Or. I completely over-interpreted, blinded by Christmas breakfast! In any event, a Merry Christmas!

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3400
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 12:26 PM

Denise:

MJ. Smith:
lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry?

Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction, there would be a bunch of incensed evangelicals (and other Protestants).

Posts 10636
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 12:32 PM

SineNomine:
Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction...

True. But MJ's been trying (successfully) for years to discourage the finger-pointing. Ergo, something happened.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3400
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 12:40 PM

Denise:
SineNomine:
Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction...
True. But MJ's been trying (successfully) for years to discourage the finger-pointing. Ergo, something happened.

My best guesses are patience being worn down, another look at the (ecumenically damaging) Canon Comparison tool, and the Lexham Survey of Theology.

Posts 28242
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 1:02 PM

Denise:
No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry?

But it wasn't Christmas morning when I wrote it! Merry Christmas to you as well.

You are correct, however, that I do get annoyed at how narrow a view some people have simply because they don't have exposure to anything wider. I do understand that lack of exposure having grown up in very rural Eastern Washington. To me, that translates into a responsibility to be accurate when describing the "other" that they may never meet in person - because they may never run into someone who will give them the correct information. And they can build prejudices based on bad data e.g. thinking there are two Bibles - their's and the Catholics ... and "those Catholics" added books.  It sounds very different to know there are multiple Bibles and that the NRSV ecumenical version contains 6 different canons (4 explicitly) - and that it is used by many mainline Protestant congregations not as a change to their canon but as a way to understand traditions other than their own.

But, no, I don't expect them to know that the Testaments of the Patriarchs which has become an appendix to the Armenian Bible was considered canonical for most of Armenian Christian history. And Hermes came oh so close to being canonical. Can't we have an also ran category? Big Smile

And, yes, Sine Nomine, is correct that Faithlife played the "we're general evangelical theology" one too many times. My thought was perhaps, convincing them that they can make evangelicals look bad . . .

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 401
Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 1:31 PM

Please MJ I think you would have better luck in trying to them to modify Verbum.  Leave the Evangelicals alone.  Please. 

Posts 28242
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 2:02 PM

Mathew Haferkamp:
Leave the Evangelicals alone.  Please. 

I have no beef with Evangelicals. My beef is with incorrect information - the Evangelicals I know all want correct information and would agree that sloppy/incorrect information makes them (or any other group) look bad. And I don't want FL doubling their costs to support multiple copies of what should be reliable resources. 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10636
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 2:02 PM

Mathew Haferkamp:
... better luck in trying to them to modify Verbum

I sure hope 'we' (Logos community) don't go down that bifurcated road, as if a large chunk of 'Protestants' got erased (non-evangels).  When the FL Bible came out, that was one big reason I avoided the forced downloading of the resource on mobiles (FL app).

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3355
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 2:11 PM

Love to see your def of an incensed evangel ...

mm.

SineNomine:

Denise:

MJ. Smith:
lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry?

Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction, there would be a bunch of incensed evangelicals (and other Protestants).

mm.

Posts 10636
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 3:02 PM

Milkman:
Love to see your def of an incensed evangel ...

Would you go for 2 Cor 2:15? Smiling. It's Christmas and Paul like incense.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3355
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 3:31 PM

I'd prefer this...

So are you saying that All FL-backed books are insensitive to 'other' views or just this one? I know there is a divide (great maybe) between the evangelical or Protestant (orthodox Wink ) view and those who hold to an unorthodox view? 

I don't think you're saying that all FL stuff is uninformed or slanted toward an evangelical view point, but your comment(s) does have a flavor of and I don't mean to be harsh, but one of restlessness.

mm.

Posts 3400
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 4:02 PM

Milkman:

Love to see your def of an incensed evangel ...

mm.

SineNomine:

Denise:

MJ. Smith:
lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry?

Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction, there would be a bunch of incensed evangelicals (and other Protestants).

If Faithlife messes up factually on evangelical stuff much as has been done all too often with regard to Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, and other non-Protestant pre-Reformation churches, I will definitely defend upset evangelicals, as long as I'm aware of it. No one's beliefs should be misrepresented and no history should be warped in the teaching thereof, no matter who suffers or (ostensibly) benefits from the perversion of reality.

Posts 3355
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 4:22 PM

So are you saying that All FL-backed books are insensitive to 'other' views or just this one? I know there is a divide (great maybe) between the evangelical or Protestant (orthodox Wink ) view and those who hold to an unorthodox view? 

I don't think you're saying that all FL stuff is uninformed or slanted toward an evangelical view point, but your comment(s) does have a flavor of and I don't mean to be harsh, but one of restlessness.

"IF" Faithlife messes up factually'" I'm sure you meant "since".... So I could ask you then give your reasons?. Prove your points. But this is not the arena for it. 

You laid out an argument that many will read for the first time and be thoughtful of it and there will be some/many who will begin to waver? But once again this is not a place to do that.

If you want to dialogue about those reasons, then direct the readers to the appropriate forum.

SineNomine:

Milkman:

Love to see your def of an incensed evangel ...

mm.

SineNomine:

Denise:

MJ. Smith:
lack of knowledge/care when speaking of that which is outside the evangelical perspective. 

No offense, certainly on Christmas morning. But ??? You seem angry?

Were something equivalent done in the opposite direction, there would be a bunch of incensed evangelicals (and other Protestants).

If Faithlife messes up factually on evangelical stuff much as has been done all too often with regard to Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, and other non-Protestant pre-Reformation churches, I will definitely defend upset evangelicals, as long as I'm aware of it. No one's beliefs should be misrepresented and no history should be warped in the teaching thereof, no matter who suffers or (ostensibly) benefits from the perversion of reality.

mm.

Posts 10636
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 4:40 PM

Milkman:
I don't think you're saying that all FL stuff is uninformed or slanted toward an evangelical view point

You used the 2 paras twice. So, maybe 2 answers. As a rule, I avoid anything FL-theological. But I also encourage others to purchase relative to their own beliefs, and FL theology might be their cup of tea.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 3400
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 5:39 PM

Milkman:
So are you saying that All FL-backed books are insensitive to 'other' views or just this one?

None of my posting in this thread has been about any "FL-backed books" being insensitive to any views whatsoever. In fact, I highlighted--by quoting MJ--that the problem, as I see it, is not insensitivity or anything of that sort.

Milkman:
"IF" Faithlife messes up factually'" I'm sure you meant "since"....

You are wrong.

Posts 28242
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2019 8:43 PM

Milkman:
So are you saying that All FL-backed books are insensitive to 'other' views or just this one?

Faithlife does a very good job on resources where they only deal with the evangelical view - think the DIY Bible studies, the geographic commentaries, high definition resources. When I buy them, I know what I am getting - where FL assumptions and my assumptions differ, where our vocabulary differs so I can translate into my language, etc. Despite the very long wait between their first announcing a Catholic product (L2 IIRC) and their actually producing one (on hard disks), the differences in perspective didn't matter.

Milkman:
I don't think you're saying that all FL stuff is uninformed or slanted toward an evangelical view point, but your comment(s) does have a flavor of and I don't mean to be harsh, but one of restlessness

Faithlife then moved into producing more content that they present as "neutral" in the academic sense i.e. the resource may present anything from an ultra-conservative to a revolutionary position but will do so based upon agreed upon facts. For example, we can all agree upon what the Bible passages that speak of baptism say while disagreeing as to what that says about infant baptism or the necessity for baptism. In that sense, Bible software e.g. Logos is "denominational" only in the sense that the resource we buy reflect our own denominational bias and our own interests. Where I get frustrated is when Faithlife produces "denominationally neutral" resources/interactive/tagging that is not neutral because they were (a) inconsistent in the terminology or (b) didn't know that they didn't know and thus misrepresents another's position. That is why my initial statement was a counterfactual - it is not that evangelicals are sloppy and ignorant but that FL's sloppiness/ignorance about other's positions might make it look like they are. I don't expect FL to have employees who know it all off the top of their head. What I would expect is for them to use some contractors from other traditions to edit for accurate portrayal of other positions. Things like grammars, lexicons, Bible dictionaries, tables of miracles ... I should be able to use knowing what the words mean and not needing to know the denominational bent of the author.
 

To recap my original complaint:

  1. Faithlife as standard practice uses the term "apocrypha" to refer to texts that some traditions treat as canonical or deuterocanonical.
  2. 1 Esdras is a book that two major traditions treat as canonical or deuterocanonical.
  3. However, Faithlife here calls the text "unbiblical" implying that it is NOT apocrypha (canonical/deuterocanonical)
  4. This leads to users who don't know the actual situation, to make incorrect judgments about the use of the text in the Christian world.
  5. Which leads me to recognize that if I were Eastern or Oriental Orthodox, I would reasonably feel 'dissed.
  6. And also leads me to recognize that for the first 800 years or so of writings from the Christian West, contemporary readers would have erroneous assumptions re: references to 1 Esdras assumed to be to the first portion of 2 Esdras (Ezra).

I, personally, think this is a reasonable position and am surprised it is not a more widely held position.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 450
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 26 2019 5:19 AM

Its quite possible that I'm being slow here to understand the heat that seems to be in this thread. Shouldn't we simply accord Faithlife and the editor of this resource to express their own denominational leanings? If it is Protestant and/or Evangelical - why not? There are resources available in both Verbum and Logos for readers to do their own reading to fully understand most of the complaints MJ is making and allow those readers to take their own denominational (or non-denominational) perspective if they wish. Certainly the standard, quality and perspectives of reference resources will vary, but isn't that part of the joy of discovery and in giving leeway to writers no one really expects them to abide by a counsel of perfection. Blessings to you all and I hope you enjoy a Happy Christmas. Keep well Paul 

 

  

Posts 322
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 26 2019 6:47 AM

I have read through the thread with some interest as an "outsider" to many of these academic oriented discussions.  As a casual user what strikes me is that when doing bible study with Logos the impression that is given with all of its charts, rivers, and canned responses is that results are "objective"  This impression gives me the sense that I have arrived at the universal truth because it is spit out by the computer as opposed to just another set of rigged ai algorithms totally biased by the assumptions of the programmers.  Perhaps an underlying issue being pointed out in the original post is that the limitations of theological results aren't as apparent when it is run through the bells and whistles of "objective" program algorithms.

Page 1 of 2 (26 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS