Scholars and their work

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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Nov 21 2021 9:04 AM

Should I feel bad for using scholars with shadowy histories? I look at the scholarship and not the scholar himself but am worried I am getting downgraded work. Specifically, I am looking at the TDNT. Any thoughts are appreciated. 

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 21 2021 9:15 AM

I am hardly the best person to answer this, but I offer the following.

We are all sinners, and often get ourselves trapped up in terrible sins. And one of the big sins the Christian tradition has mentioned is Pride, and so it is quite common for our sin to infect our greatest gifts. For scholars, this includes their scholarship. And so all scholarship has to be viewed with discretion. In the case of the TDNT, some of the early volumes are influenced by the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the Third Reich, and this has to be taken account.

There are times when sin is so hurtful to the community that we may morally feel like we have to take a stand and boycott it. Theologically this should primarily be to bring the people to repentance, but politically before other humans we may also have to draw lines to say that we find such and such unacceptable. In addition, we may find that is is morally repugnant to financially support some behavior we find reprehensible. Since those scholars from eighty to ninety years ago are dead, and I live in a nation fought a war with one of the aims as to stop that behavior, with English rights associated with a company of that nation, I personally do not feel that I must boycott it for moral reasons.

That said, particularly in the earlier volumes, I use it with a critical eye.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 21 2021 2:35 PM

Don't fall into the trap of only reading what you agree with from people whom you admire. You will learn nothing and develop into an ignorant bigot. Read broadly and judge well - you might become wise.

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

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 21 2021 3:37 PM

Christian Alexander:

Should I feel bad for using scholars with shadowy histories? I look at the scholarship and not the scholar himself but am worried I am getting downgraded work. Specifically, I am looking at the TDNT. Any thoughts are appreciated. 

The bible warns youth not to seek counsel only from their peers, but to look to their elders. It is easier to see the sins of our fathers than the sins of our peers. We see the specks and not the planks and we don't even believe the specks are specks compared to our planks.

The USA is a very young country, and there is great purge of even its own older works. The Bible warns us the end result of doing this.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 21 2021 4:28 PM

Wait a minute, a virtually identical thread is going on right now concerning this: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/204025.aspx 

DAL

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