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My undergraduate degree was in fine arts. Later, I became a largely self-taught web designer while also pursuing Biblical studies (M.Div). I am now mainly inactive with web design, but when I do still dabble with CSS (or LESS), I tend to seek pushing it to its limits. Such dabbling is now a very part-time hobby as I work on my Ph.D. studies in Systematic Theology, which has found me spending more of my "free time" being active on the Biblical Hermeneutics SE site. This meta question of mine will reveal a lot about where I come from regarding that topic.


Mar
18
comment To what do the “parchments” (and tangentially the “books”) refer in 2 Tim 4:13?
Thank you for pointing out a different speculation, though I do not agree with Skeat's allowing μάλιστα to mean "namely" rather than "especially." I've encountered this elsewhere in reference to 1 Tim 4:10, and I agree with Thomas Schriener that such a view is incorrect. For Schriener's argument against it, see “‘Problematic Texts’ for Definite Atonement in the Pastoral and General Epistles,” in From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective, David and Jonathan Gibson, eds. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2013):380–382.
Mar
18
comment To what do the “parchments” (and tangentially the “books”) refer in 2 Tim 4:13?
I appreciate some of your observations, however, please edit your answer: (1) To support your assertion with documented sources for (a) parchment's availability and (b) its being inexpensive enough to warrant not bringing it pre-owned from a distance (this would dampen my #4 speculation). (2) To clarify your position, which appears is my #3 speculation, with some #1 also; specifically needed is some scholarly reasons why βιβλία should be conceived as referring to the material of papyrus here, rather than its common usage referring to any written document (regardless of material).
Mar
8
comment Does Isaiah 7:14 indicate that the young woman is already pregnant?
@BruceAlderman: I agree. That Isaiah did not name his son Immanuel tells me his son is not the one referred to. I very much believe two different children are in view, Christ and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, with the Isa 7:14 prophecy referring to the former (read my 1st paragraph and note #1, tying as well to the Isa 9:6 child). My mention of Maher. is purely because many will argue he is the referent of Isa 7:14, but he would still be future to the prophecy (which the future aspect was the question focus). Regarding yet a different child in view, see my note #2.
Feb
23
comment Matthew 10:28 - Is there anything linguistic to support eternal torment in this verse?
@JohnUnsworth I believe the material is made immortal at the resurrection (immaterial at creation). However defense of that is not the point here. Rather destruction/ruin is a state less than "whole," and that if immortality of the resurrected body is correct (as I believe other verses prove) then Mt 10:28 is not a contradiction to an eternal state of destruction occurring. The destruction itself is not "eternal torment" but rather causes torment. This fits 2 Thes 1:9 also. Destruction occurs as a process, resulting in torment for one unable to reach the end of the process.
Feb
23
comment Matthew 10:28 - Is there anything linguistic to support eternal torment in this verse?
@JohnUnsworth: Did you comment before reading the rest of my answer? I believe the rest addresses my opening comment adequately. Chiefly, a state of "destruction" or "ruin" can be anything less than "whole," so the process of being destroyed can take some period of time, and thus theoretically eternally. However, to answer the final question of your comment, "yes," physical death is shown to be different in nature from second death. The second is much worse than the first.
Feb
20
comment Does Isaiah 63:17 suggest that humans, only have a certain amount of “free will”?
You cannot "stay away from theological discussion" when you use a term like "free will" (that is my point). You have to define what you mean by "free will" in order to make the question intelligible and answerable. What do you mean by "God will take away 'free will'"? Compatibilist versions of free will already tend to argue people "only have a certain amount of free will," so God would not necessarily be taking away any aspect of "free will" by His determined limitation. It seems you are using "free will" in a more libertarian sense, but that is what I am trying to get you to clarify.
Feb
20
comment Does Isaiah 63:17 suggest that humans, only have a certain amount of “free will”?
I agree the meaning of the text is relevant to the theological discussion of free will. But what do you mean by "free will," since there are not only the two broad definitions of compatibilist and libertarian, but even "compatibilists offer very different definitions of what free will even means," besides other views on it. Such complexities in theological discussions is why this site is cautious about how much theology is allowed.
Feb
13
comment Is there an alternative explanation of the identity of the child of the woman with 12 stars round her head?
@AlanPeters you are allowed to post an answer to your own question, so feel free to post what you believe is a "much better explanation" as an answer (not a comment).
Feb
4
comment What is the significance of Gen 46:10 “Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman”?
I found some further discussion of this passage in this blog post which also referenced a quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia that states "When she [Dinah] died, Simeon buried her in the land of Canann. She is therefore referred to as 'the Canaanitish woman' (Gen. xlvi. 10). Shaul (ib.) was her son by Shechem (Gen. R. l.c.)." It is this last statement that most interests me, but I would not have found it without your post.
Feb
3
comment What is the significance of Gen 46:10 “Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman”?
I've always taken Gen 34:12 to be Shechem's proposal to take Dinah as a wife, v.15 to be the conditions the brothers would allow that (circumcision), v.24 the fulfillment of the conditions, and v.26 confirmation that the brothers had in fact given Dinah to be Shechem's wife, since she was taken from his house three days (v.25) after the circumcision event--which implies to me that on the day of circumcision Shechem took her to his house as his wife. So while she was violated initially, I don't see anything to indicate she was also not married to him for those three days.
Feb
3
comment What is the significance of Gen 46:10 “Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman”?
So as I understand the statement, the son might be Shechem's, by Dinah, which son was adopted by Simeon through a marriage to his full blood sister? And Dinah is being referred to as a Canaanitess (and not by name for what reason...?) because she had been joined to the Canaanite Shechem in marriage, correct? In other words, she became a Canaanitess through that marriage. If I've understood correctly, it is an interesting find, so +1 for that at least.
Jan
23
comment 2 Sam. 2:9: אֶל and עַל
@Davïd: Well, I guess I look at as n = 3 since there are three instances in this verse. But it is all with one verb and in one verse, so yes, precarious. That is why I stated "possibility." From your answer, it sounds to me like this interchange of prepositions could possibly still be good fodder for further PhD work to discover whether there are any "purposeful" reasons behind some or any of the instances, or at least something more solid as to "why." Even the quote from Ernst Jenni you give shows tentativeness and uncertainty on that, which hints that more research may be needed.
Jan
23
comment 2 Sam. 2:9: אֶל and עַל
Your assumption about Ishbosheth's throne being "in Jerusalem" is factually mistaken, as 2 Sam 29:8 clearly states it was in Mahanaim which was east of Jordan, "located along the border between Manasseh and Gad’s tribes" (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, 1988). David was in Hebron (2 Sam 2:11), and would not retake Jerusalem from the Jebusites for another 7 1/2 years or so (2 Sam 5:5-7). So while this does not defeat the possibility of the author using the terms as you have suggested, it does eliminate any relation to Jerusalem with Ishbosheth.
Jan
16
comment How does the reader of Isaiah and Daniel reconcile these end-time prophecies?
@Bagpipes: I agree Isa 63 shows the Isa 34 judgment of Edom comes before the events of Isa 63 which references those, but I would disagree if you are placing the reference of Isa 34 and 63 before those of Dan 11:41. Rather, they would happen after Edom has been spared from the king of the North. Isa 34 and 63 happen in conjunction with the "end" of that king in Dan 11:45, when "Michael" stands for Israel as Dan 12:1-4 summarizes and indicates.
Jan
8
comment Where was Jesus when he received word of Lazarus' illness?
I don't believe I ever argued that "literary dependence" would "add reliability," only that one cannot assume unreliability because of dependence. But the sum of my whole critique is that whether dependent or not, it is not "meaningless to place Jesus anywhere" at that time, dismissing the question, because in the context of the Biblical narrative he was considered to be "somewhere," whether one considers that narrative historically accurate or not. So simply in the context of the text alone, without regard to its formation, the question has meaning.
Jan
6
comment Where was Jesus when he received word of Lazarus' illness?
Yes, I noticed, though para 3 includes the premise from 2. My original critique was purely on the non-sequitur conclusion of the intertextual position. It does not necessarily follow that a literary relation to Luke still makes the account itself unfactual/unhistorical (no matter who wrote it or when it was written). One could craft a historically accurate story of George Washington (1st U.S. president for any non-U.S. readers here) while being fully dependent upon other source material to do so, even if some of those sources only mentioned hypothetically what might have later become actual.
Jan
6
comment Where was Jesus when he received word of Lazarus' illness?
Granting an oral (or written) source may (1) be "subject to error," (2) "not divinely inspired," and (3) "not ... historically impeccable" does not lead automatically to conclude it did err or was merely "literary." So your conclusion that "from a historical perspective, it is meaningless to place Jesus anywhere at the time of receiving news about Lazarus" dismisses the account as being unhistorical (and dismisses the OP's question) without evidence that it should be taken as unhistorical. Now your just added K. L. Yoder link at least sources a case for considering literary dependence.
Jan
6
comment Where was Jesus when he received word of Lazarus' illness?
@GreatBigBore: I believe rhetorician is counting inclusively. So Day 1 (messengers travel to Jesus and He is told of Lazarus being sick, but Lazarus in fact died during time messengers were traveling); Day 2 & 3 (Jesus stays put); Day 4 (Jesus travels to where Lazarus was and resurrects him). Thus dead "four days," not necessarily more than 72 hours and up to 96 hours, but theoretically a minimum of just over 48 hours, which can span four different calendar days (though I suspect it probably is over 72 hours being noted, with some partial days consisting of a number of hours on Day's 1 & 4).
Jan
6
comment Where was Jesus when he received word of Lazarus' illness?
In addition to the Lazarus connection @JackDouglas questions, I would like more explanation of the leap in logic from (1) John's gospel not being written by him, but rather being "loosely" based on Luke's (which I disagree with, but will run with here), and (2) Luke's hypothetical resurrection mention, to (3) a conclusion then of dismissing the account in John as factual. A factual oral tradition or other lost written source can just as easily explain the inclusion in John. Just because Luke does not affirm the same account does not make John erroneous, even if John were loosely based on Luke.
Dec
22
comment Who was “speaking in David”?
@Jas3.1: I added a parenthetical note after my phrase. Most of the references to "God" in the first chapter of Hebrews and in my post are to "God the Father" (the Son's "appointment" by another of 1:2 and 3:2 indicate this) but at the same time, I believe because of the Trinity, any action by any Person of the Trinity is also an act of the "Godhead," and so there is a participatory aspect of all Three in each One's actions. Each Person is an individual agent of action for the Godhead in total. So I would classify the "Godhead" as "He" also, since They work in perfect unity as One.