2,307 reputation
116
bio website none
location Pittsburgh, PA
age 63
visits member for 10 months
seen 17 hours ago

For the last 56 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 40 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 was certified recently as a paralegal. 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) .


Feb
13
revised Meaning of the Parable of the Sower
not exactly a major rewrite, but . . .
Feb
12
answered Meaning of the Parable of the Sower
Feb
12
comment Meaning of the Parable of the Sower
Excellent answer. Well thought out, well reasoned, and interesting at the same time. The "word does the work" comment is good, but it may miss the point. The word's seeming inability to work in 3 of 4 cases is not the fault of the word; it's the fault of the hearers of the word. I may develop this thought in my own answer. You've laid a great foundation. Kudos. Don
Feb
11
comment When did Joseph, Jesus's father, die?
@FrankLuke: Yes. Good point. However, Jesus' critics did go on to say, "whose father and mother we know." As for the thinking of the translators who translated this phrase, I guess we'd need to engage in a thoroughgoing hermeneutic to determine what that particular phrase meant back then. Can we infer, for example, that in saying these words, Jesus' critics assumed that both of Jesus' parents were alive? I don't know. Let me know if you unearth an answer to my last question. Don
Feb
11
revised When did Joseph, Jesus's father, die?
added a key verse
Feb
11
revised When did Joseph, Jesus's father, die?
added a biblical reference of relevance; eliminated a sentence or two
Feb
10
answered When did Joseph, Jesus's father, die?
Feb
9
revised What does “sit” mean in the scripture “The prostitute who sits on many waters.”
minor tweaks
Feb
8
revised 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all [kinds of?] evil”
Changed "these" to "there" in first sentence. Why I didn't see it yesterday . . ..
Feb
8
comment Interpreting Genesis 39:19
Why would you think Potiphar might not have believed what his wife said about Joseph? He would not have thrown Joseph into jail if he truly believed Joseph was innocent, would he? A husbands tend to believe his wife, especially if she has, as Potiphar's wife did, a piece of damning evidence (viz., the garment Joseph in his hurry to escape from the woman's clutches had left behind) of rape.
Feb
7
comment How did the widow have water for Elijah in 1 Kings 17?
I prophesy we will be butting heads for the duration ("Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another," but I surmise you think I remain dull for my eisegesis!). I have a feeling your response to my last comment will be be, more or less, "But bifurcation of an old text from today's reality is necessary for a thorough-going hermeneutic. And besides, the majority of the moderators want the site to be run this way. So, rhetorician, get in lockstep with the moderators." My response: No. The moderators and all who contribute to or read BHB need my perspective for a well-rounded hermeneutic. Selah
Feb
7
comment How did the widow have water for Elijah in 1 Kings 17?
You: "[We are here to] understand [the text] on its own terms." Have you ever thought that maybe your brand of hermeneutics is also a form of eisegesis. In other words, according to you, the text's meaning can somehow be divorced--bracketed--from today's reality. That bifurcation is rhetorically derived and is not derived from God's "Ten Commandments of hermeneutics." If you think what I've just said is a bunch of fancy sophistic footwork, think again. At the bare minimum, a text observed is a text changed by one's present reality.
Feb
7
comment How did the widow have water for Elijah in 1 Kings 17?
Yes, I agree. Drought is the result of the lack of rain. God in His gracious provision created ground water, aquifers, underground springs, and such, which may be affected by the lack of rain, but they don't completely dry up. What's happening out west in the U.S. may require tapping into underground sources of water, which is an expensive proposition but is a very real possibility. (As if California doesn't already have enough financial woes!)
Feb
7
comment In the song of Moses and Miriam, why do the words change from “water” to “earth”?
@Daи: Yeah. What is underneath the water? Earth. Hebrew poetry often repeats basic concepts in slightly different words. IOW, at the heart of Hebrew poetry is parallelism. What appears to us to be inconsistent is in fact very consistent given the medium of communication used. As Marshall McLuhan said, "The medium is the message"!
Feb
7
revised 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all [kinds of?] evil”
major erratum in quoting Scripture
Feb
7
comment Who is the referent of 'us' (ἡμῖν) in Matthew 3:15 if not merely Jesus and John?
In other words, the phenomenon of progressive revelation (which, I suppose, it itself an arguable concept according to some folks--and I keep an open mind in that regard) assumes the following: to whom much is given much more (understanding) will be required, to paraphrase Luke 12:48.
Feb
7
comment Who is the referent of 'us' (ἡμῖν) in Matthew 3:15 if not merely Jesus and John?
of the seed of the woman, which/who would in turn deliver a death blow to the serpent's head. I'd like to think, however, that Moses quoted God accurately, even though he may have been scratching his head in puzzlement. Who knows, maybe after thinking this over a bit, I'll venture posting an answer. Frankly, though, my preference in answering is to balance the traditional canons of hermeneutics (simplistically, "who, what, when, where, how, and why") with the analogy of Scripture, by which I mean the Bible is its own best interpreter. As I am wont to say, it's not either/or, but both/and.
Feb
7
comment Who is the referent of 'us' (ἡμῖν) in Matthew 3:15 if not merely Jesus and John?
One "argument" in favor of the Trinitarian reference is that Jesus knew to whom He was referring, but neither Matthew nor John (nor whoever their sources were) knew. They could simply have been quoting Jesus accurately. One danger in an overly rigorous hermeneutic is assuming every author knew exactly at the time of his writing--whether a year ago or one thousand years ago--the full import of both what he wrote through his own powers of invention and what he quoted as coming from someone else. Moses, for example, had no idea what God meant when He told Moses about the serpent bruising the heel
Feb
7
comment Who is the referent of 'us' (ἡμῖν) in Matthew 3:15 if not merely Jesus and John?
A hypothesis not not mentioned in your brainstorming list could be that the referent for the "us" Jesus used was the Godhead. In context, all three persons of the trinity were present at His baptism (the Holy Spirit as a dove, the Father's voice of approbation, and Jesus as the Son of Man and Son of God). Similarly, in John 3, albeit with different pronouns, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Truly, truly I say to you, WE speak of what WE know and testify of what WE have seen, and you do not accept OUR testimony" (v.11). The we and our could've been used "editorially" but not necessarily. Selah.
Feb
7
comment Who is the referent of 'us' (ἡμῖν) in Matthew 3:15 if not merely Jesus and John?
Forgive me, but your last paragraph, particularly the parenthetical material, sounds (ironically) like a rant. I'm making an observation, not a judgment. Don