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location Pittsburgh, PA
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For the last 57 years, I have been a practicing Christian (liberally conservative and evangelical). Should any posting I make to any Stack Exchange website pique your curiosity as to the what and why of my beliefs, feel free to communicate with me at drlarter@yahoo.com. I do not claim to have all the answers--let alone all the questions(!), but I would consider it a privilege to discuss Christianity with you in a rational and civilized fashion.

My wife (a native Egyptian and Christian) and I have been married over 41 years. We have two grown children who have flown the coop, making us empty nesters.

I have a Master's degree in Speech Communications and three years of doctoral studies in Rhetorical Theory at the University of Pittsburgh. After a brief stint as a teacher of public speaking, I embarked on a couple of different and totally divergent pursuits by owning and operating two small businesses.

Tired of being in business for myself, I went back to school at Duquesne University's Paralegal Institute in Pittsburgh, where I received a General Practice Certificate last December (2013). I am currently looking for employment in that field, and would like to round out the last stage of my work life in some area of jurisprudence.

A rhetorical perspective is almost as natural to me as breathing. Overt and covert attempts at persuasion, whether written or spoken, are my legitimate targets for analysis, evaluation, and criticism. Of particular interest to the EL&U web site contributors would be, with some adaptations and modifications, the traditional canons of speech: style (elocutio), invention (inventio), organization (dispositio), memorability (memoria), and delivery (pronuntiatio or actio) .


Aug
28
comment Why Moses ordered to keep virgins alive but kill all non-virgins and males in Numbers 31:17-18?
Biblical Hermeneutics Beta encourages answerers to provide proof to back up their statements. That proof may come from either biblical and/or extra-biblical sources. OPs and readers alike find citations helpful, particularly in the form of hyperlinks, particularly if they want to follow up on (or even check out!) your answer. Intelligent opinions, guesses, and hypotheses are welcome, but again, you need either to back them up with respected authorities or simply identify them as opinions, best guesses, and hypotheses. Even then, they should be backed up by logical proof. Best wishes! Don
Aug
28
comment Who were the “all” distributed to in Acts 2?
The greatest gift the nascent church in Jerusalem had to offer non-believers in need was healing, both spiritual and physical. A classic verse in this regard contains Peter's words to a man crippled from birth: "Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk'" (Acts 3:6 KJV). I'm sure that church members did share their wealth with unbelievers, but their priority was, rightly, meeting each others' needs first. "Do good unto all men," Paul said, "but especially to the household of faith"(Galatians 6:10).
Aug
18
revised Why did not the Apostle Paul ever say “In the name of him who says” (i.e., Heb. be-shem omro)?
added a few critical words
Aug
1
revised What is hermeneutics?
supplied a word that was missing
Jul
31
revised What is hermeneutics?
cleaned it up a bit
Jul
31
revised What is hermeneutics?
cleaned it up a bit; made it a bit easier to read
Jul
30
revised What is hermeneutics?
a few tweaks here and there
Jul
30
answered What is hermeneutics?
Jul
30
comment Why was Elijah so afraid of Jezebel that he fled immediately after performing a great miracle?
Yeah, I agree with your last sentence. It is said, "Even the gods have feet of clay." How much more do mere mortals like us expect to be free of the occasional doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, discouragement, and so on and so on. Don
Jul
29
revised What is the meaning of “Sorceress” in Exodus 22:18?
major overhaul
Jul
29
comment What is the meaning of “Sorceress” in Exodus 22:18?
@Daи: Do you really think witchcraft, sorcery, and the "black arts" have really changed that much over the centuries? I don't. I included the Shakespeare excerpt because it illustrates (but doesn't provide a "definition"--your word) artistically and fantastically the muttering of the sorceresses, whom Ellicott defined as mutterers of charms. I suppose if I looked really hard and could read ancient Hebrew and a few other ancient languages, I might be able to cite some actual incantations that were commonly used in the ANE, but the expenditure of time might be prohibitive.
Jul
29
revised What is the meaning of “Sorceress” in Exodus 22:18?
added a few crucial words in the last paragraph
Jul
28
answered What is the meaning of “Sorceress” in Exodus 22:18?
Jul
26
comment “Under heaven” or “under the heavens” on day three of creation?
Your question got me thinking about how the Hebrews believed in three heavens: the sky or firmament; the realm of the sun, moon, and stars (i.e., outer space); and the abode of God (the highest heaven). A good follow-up to your question might be, "In his teaching did Jesus also assume there are three heavens? If so, which is which?" References include Mt.5:18, Mt. 24:35 Mk 13:31, Lk 16:17, and Lk 21:33 (all of which contrast the permanence of God's word with the relative transience of heaven and earth); Mt 6:19, 11:25, 16:19, 18:18, 23:9, 24:30, and 28:18; Mk 13:27; Lk 10:21; and Jn 3:31.
Jul
24
comment What is the Godhead?
@Daи: Point taken. I should have used a more grammatico-historical approach. After thinking about the question "How does the notion of 'fullness' fit into Paul's purpose for writing to the Colossians?" I'll have another "go" at it. Thanks for helping to keep me honest. Don
Jul
23
comment What is the Godhead?
@Daи: ME=Middle English. As far as focus is concerned, the constituents of the Council of Nicea were not crafting the Creed out of whole cloth; rather, they used Bible passages such as Colossians 2:9 to craft it, passages which they interpreted accurately--or at least they believed they did--AND according to Paul's original authorial intention. What's the point of having creeds at all if we cannot trust the crafters of the creeds to have interpreted the Scripture accurately? Now if the Nicene Creed is not authoritative to you, well . . . , that's another kettle of fish! Don
Jul
23
revised Was Jesus too young at 12 years old to go about His Father's business?
deleted a heading
Jul
23
comment Was Jesus too young at 12 years old to go about His Father's business?
@Daи: My tongue was planted firmly in my cheek when I put the "AV" and the "RSV" cheek by jowl (to stay with the facial metaphor). There was a method to my madness, so to speak, and the method served its purpose. Don
Jul
23
comment What is the Godhead?
@Daи: Point taken. However, what one person calls "garnish," another person might call "main course" (or at least part of the main course). I've revised my answer for a more full-orbed perspective. Don
Jul
23
revised What is the Godhead?
reformatted a bit in reinforcing the notion that there is divine fullness in the entire Godhead: F., S., & H.S.