Where is the liberalism in AYBD?

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 31 2014 9:52 PM

IF Yeishuu`a is representative of the temple (He is), then one of two scenarios must be true (well, three, I suppose): 1) if Mary Magdeline was a harlot (I don't think she was), then she DID NOT give Yeishuu`a financial support, because He would not have taken it because He could not have taken it. It was against the Law to give temple offerings from the wages of harlotry (a concept similar to why Judas's returned silver could not go into the temple treasury--it was the price of blood); 2) if she did support Yeishuu`a financially, then she wasn't a prostitute. 3) The other possibility is that she was not a harlot, nor did she support Him financially. One thing is definitely not possible--that she did both. This would apply to any women who offered financial support--guys too.

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Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 31 2014 10:04 PM

DAL:

I've read and heard some say that the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is liberal (at least in some entries).  Can anyone give an example where the liberalism may be found.  Or is it just called liberal because sometimes it gives you different views on certain topics? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

DAL

DAL,

The answer can be obtained by an analysis of three key factors:

  1. The background of the contributors (especially those writing on disputed issues between "conservatives" and "liberals")
  2. the conclusions and where they generally fall in the divide between "conservatives" and "liberals"
  3. what presuppositions and methodology are used to arrive to these conclusions (is there a predominance of the use of historical critical methodologies or is the historical grammatical methodology preferred)

A few key topics could help us here

As far as authors are concerned, there is Ronald Hendel on Genesis, Moses Weinfeld on Deuteronomy, John J Collins on Daniel, George Nickelsburg on the Resurrection, Kysar on John, the Gospel, Steven Holloway on Kings, Book of 1-2 (especially the sections on Genre and history and historiography in Kings). An exception might be K. Kitchen on the Exodus (event) who argues for its historicity even though he characterizes the early date (that many conservatives favor) as the "“lazy man’s solution. Almost all of the authors would be classified as moderate to liberal on these controversial issues. 

The conclusions and discussion on disputed issues confirm this assessment:

Hendel on Genesis argues that " There are several competing theories today, but the long-established identification of J (the Yahwist), E (the Elohist), and P (the Priestly source) still provides the most plausible model for the composition of Genesis..."  V 2, p 933. The Joseph narrative, though written down no earlier than the early monarchy, reflects in the tribal relationships a time when the Joseph tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh) were dominant. V 2, p 937.

Weinfeld on Deuteronomy puts "the dating of Deuteronomy in the 7th century B.C.E." while it might preserve some old traditions. V 2, p 174

Collins on Daniel states that "All but the most conservative scholars now accept the conclusion that the book of Daniel is not a product of the Babylonian era but reached its present form in the 2d century B.C.E. Daniel is not a historical person but a figure of legend." V 2, p 30

Nickelsburg on the Resurrection of Jesus after Surveying the Deutero-Pauline Literature (at least 2 Thess and the Pastoral Epistles), concludes that " Although in their present form most of these stories posit a bodily presence almost without exception, elements in the stories strain against such an interpretation: Jesus materializes and disappears suddenly; he is mistaken as a mysterious stranger or a gardener; he is thought to be a spirit or ghost; the disciples disbelieve. This suggests an apologetic tendency in the tradition which objectified Jesus’ presence by emphasizing bodily features or functions."

Kysar on John argues that "The most that can be concluded about the author is that he (or she) was a prominent and respected figure in the Johannine community who assumed sufficient authority to undertake the task of reinterpreting the tradition in the light of the crisis facing the Church." and denies that the author was an eyewitness to the events.  V 3, p 920

Holloway on Kings speaks of "Form critical approaches to miracle stories (legenda) usually emphasize their folkloristic kernel, which has often been “sophisticated” by adding a moral or having it demonstrate a loftier theological value. "  V 4, p 78 The two biblical accounts each provide selected items of accurate information regarding the same historical campaign [of Sennacherib], even though the “miraculous” delivery of Jerusalem in the second account, and probably the dramatic rhetoric of the Rabshakeh’s speeches, are theologically motivated fiction." V 4, p 81.

These conclusions are generally rejected by conservatives.

I will not systematically go over the presuppositions and methodologies behind these conclusions but even a cursory reading of the various articles shows that historical critical methodologies rather than the historical grammatical method are at work. It is clear that the anti-supernaturalistic presuppositions of historical critical method heavily influence these conclusions, especially in the denial of the existence of miracles, God's intervention in history, and the reality of predictive prophecy (e.g. Daniel). We could also mention the assured results of historical criticism that argue for (at least) three Isaiahs as the result of the use of tools such as redaction and form criticisms and deny the book’s own claims that predictive prophecy is at work in "Second Isaiah" for example.

However, many conservatives including myself appreciate AYBD because it does a good job at presenting the state of the critical scholarship (as of the date of writing), generally does a good job at presenting the various views and their arguments, and also deals with a lot of issues that are not controversial (at least not according to the conservatives" and "liberals" divide). Very useful in seminary, less so in the Church.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 31 2014 10:54 PM

Good summary, Alain.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 31 2014 11:16 PM

David Paul:

Good summary, Alain.

Yes

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 3:05 AM

Alain Maashe:
Very useful in seminary, less so in the Church.

The entire post is a very good analysis and much appreciated. I especially liked the last sentence. Yes

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 5:16 AM

Denise:
- The text doesn't portray any of the women with Jesus as wealthy; it simply says they paid from their own purse/substance.  Just as Barnabas did.  Kudos to Jack.

Just to throw a consideration in, you can read that Joanna was the wife of Herod's steward (Luke 8:3), so she very much would have been a woman of means.

But going further, it's not hard to find commentaries (WBC, Anchor, BECNT, NIVAC just to mention some) that would say that given how the sentence is structured, there is at least an implication that Luke is making the point that Jesus' influence has penetrated high places, to high people, to well off people, and the reader would recognize this point given the tradition of mentioning the most important first:

"Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means"

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 6:35 AM

I think David nailed it.

But I also suspect Paul C's point is far more critical to us conservatives. One could simply read the text.

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

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 8:16 AM

Denise:
One could simply read the text.

I've always found that to work best.

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:08 PM

 This subject has been an itch I just can't seem to scratch for a couple days.. It nags me in my waking hours, and haunts me in my dreams.

Rosie Perera:
"Liberal" is a relative term.
Yes. As is "Conservative".
Rosie Perera:
Yes, in general AYBD gives enough information that both liberal and conservative readers alike can find ways of citing it to meet their needs.
Is this how we assess resources? Do we tag them based on whether or not they meet our "Citing Needs"?

Denise:

I think David nailed it.

But I also suspect Paul C's point is far more critical to us conservatives. One could simply read the text.

You seem to know where you fit in the scheme of things. It's not so clear where I fit in. I could sit comfortably in the Conservative camp, If the classification didn't mean Legalistic/Judgmental. I could wear a Liberal patch, as long as it didn't mean promiscuous. You know, Jesus' teachings seem to border both ends of the Legal/Conservative spectrum. I don't know of a human agency that assigns criteria on the subject. And I doubt I would trust it if it existed. I have come to believe that I will attempt to be Conservative in the areas where He was Conservative, And Liberal where He was Liberal.

There was a movement that made quite a splash a while back. ... The WWJD thing. I didn't get on board because it left room for speculation. What Would Jesus do?   Now, If they would tweak it ever so slightly ... WDJD. I might wear a bracelet. Stick out tongue

What DID Jesus Do? Smile



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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:23 PM

Well, don't be fooled by 'us conservatives'.  There was a time in the 1800s when 'conservative' meant you studied your Bible.  These days, it's which books and commentaries you can safely read (hint, hint ... not Ehrman).

Yes, you have to check your publishing history (you DO publish, don't you?), what presuppositions underlie your theology, and of course whether you're conservative or liberal.  Only then should you address the more complex issues surrounding 'Jesus'.

Paul, you're comments are always refreshing.

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

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:38 PM

Denise:
Paul, you're comments are always refreshing.
I wish I could say the same about you. I have great respect for you and I always look forward to your posts. Most Times they make perfect sense. Occasionally you go on a detour I just can't follow. I don't know if it's your flowery language skills, or that we are at different levels academically. Maybe this will help. I struggle with Paul's writings, Whereas Peter seems to have written to me. Smile

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:44 PM

Paul C:

I struggle with Paul's writings...

You are everyone else on the planet. Good thing he isn't trying to speak for God or anything...

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:47 PM

David Paul:

Paul C:

I struggle with Paul's writings...

You are everyone else on the planet. Good thing he isn't trying to speak for God or anything...

And most people in these forums struggle with David Paul's writings. Wink

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 1:49 PM

Rosie Perera:
And most people in these forums struggle with David Paul's writings. Wink

Ha,ha,ha Big Smile

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 2:02 PM

Rosie Perera:

David Paul:

Paul C:

I struggle with Paul's writings...

You are everyone else on the planet. Good thing he isn't trying to speak for God or anything...

And most people in these forums struggle with David Paul's writings. Wink

Embarrassed

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 3:13 PM

David Paul ... we're struggling and you haven't even written your books yet.

And Paul C ....  I'm not in the flowery business (Arizona!). My belief is that the maximum that Christianity can be, resides in the most that your children can understand. Anything more than that qualifies as a hobby, Piper's professionals, and self-promotion.

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

Posts 176
Bill Coley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 3:44 PM

Denise:

Well, don't be fooled by 'us conservatives'.  There was a time in the 1800s when 'conservative' meant you studied your Bible.  These days, it's which books and commentaries you can safely read (hint, hint ... not Ehrman).

Yes, you have to check your publishing history (you DO publish, don't you?), what presuppositions underlie your theology, and of course whether you're conservative or liberal.  Only then should you address the more complex issues surrounding 'Jesus'.

Well said, Denise.

My seminary preaching professor, much to my and every other progressive/liberal/insert-label-here in the class's chagrin, regularly reminded us of the value of "conservative" commentaries - as sources of important insight and research; not just "the other point of view." It took way too long, but that professor's openness to the wisdom of other parts of the theological spectrum had a great impact on me. His witness is one of the reasons I am a Logos owner today.

I don't swim in the theological stream frequented by the majority of Logos resources, but I know how to respect and learn from it. Perhaps the most admirable theological maturation in my 29 years since seminary is that I now understand labels such as "liberal" and "conservative" to function much like the position titles I have always refused to wear - "pastor" or (not really a title) "reverend" - they separate and isolate people from each other.

There was a long season in my life when I wouldn't open a book if it had been published by Eerdmans, Zondervan, Baker, or any of a number of other houses; they were the "conservative" publishers that we "liberals" didn't open. I praise God (and credit, in part, my preaching professor) for that season's departure.

Lose the labels. It's so much more helpful to say "We disagree. So, let's learn from each other."

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 1 2014 7:17 PM

While I agree labels can isolate, and that they shouldn't. I don't find them completely unhelpful.

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 2 2014 3:15 AM

Denise:
And Paul C ....  I'm not in the flowery business (Arizona!). My belief is that the maximum that Christianity can be, resides in the most that your children can understand. Anything more than that qualifies as a hobby, Piper's professionals, and self-promotion.
Ah ! Possibly that's the issue. A language divide. I only understand about half of what Johnny Mac says, But til now I hadn't connected it to bad translation. Do you know of a good Arizonian Lexicon? 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 2 2014 6:34 AM

Most Arizona consolates offer free copies.Angel

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

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