2,811 reputation
217
bio website none
location Pittsburgh, PA
age 64
visits member for 1 year, 3 months
seen 2 days 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) .


2d
comment Why doesn't St. Paul use LOVE for each of the members, when he lays out the Rules for a Christian Households [Col 3:18-20]?
Couldn't have said it better, Frank Luke! Don
Sep
9
comment What does the oil in the ten virgins parable represent?
@Daи: If I'm not mistaken (though on rare occasions I am--back in aught-six, for example--1906, that is), I suggest your locution, "this is not a Christian site" is a bit of an overstatement. A more accurate description of the BHB site would be as follows: "Though BHB attracts many Christians--and Jews, for that matter--who contribute questions and answers, the site is not just for Christians and Jews but for people of all faiths or no faith at all. What unites us all is our interest in the Bible as a text worth interpreting." What thinkest thou? Don
Aug
28
comment Who were the “all” distributed to in Acts 2?
As important as preaching is in reaching the lost for Christ (through the demonstration of God's love AND the proclamation of God's love), discipling is also important. The local churches in which converts are discipled within the welcoming, accepting, and loving atmosphere of a family-type community are in the best position to be used of God to reach out to "non-family members" as ambassadors for the foreign policy of the kingdom of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Don
Aug
28
comment Who were the “all” distributed to in Acts 2?
It ain't either/or, man; it's both/and. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are family, and family comes first. Does that mean God doesn't care about non-family members? Of course not! God is no respecter of persons, and one of the best ways for Christians to evangelize is to earn the right to be heard, especially through good deeds, good examples, and sacrificial love. How is a baby in Christ going to learn how to earn the right to be heard? By being discipled by older, gifted, and more-mature family members within the church. The main verb in the Great Commission is "making disciples."
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).
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
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
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
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
16
comment How was “let him take up his cross” understood by Jesus's audience?
@Susan: Thank you. My "gut" says no, it would not be well attested. Do I have any research to back up my gut? No. Whereas some of Jesus' teachings and "sayings" were familiar to His disciples and were even in vogue within the Judaism of His day, some were not familiar. E.g., we know that Jesus' "Golden Rule" is simply a positive spin on the negative "golden rule" from earlier sources; namely, "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you." I have a feeling, h.e., the essence of the Law (viz., love God supremely, love neighbor as self) is unique to Judaism. Don
Jul
15
comment Forgiveness, yes or no?
Welcome to SEBHB! I've taken the liberty of editing your fine answer--rest assured, there was nothing major! You can highlight Scripture or a paragraph or more of quoted material by preceding the verse (or the other material you're quoting) with a >. Press "enter" twice after the first line, as I did in your verse from Proverbs, and precede the second line of your quotation with a >. To create a hyperlink, highlight (for example) a word in your text, such as "Constable"; go to Constable's web site; highlight and copy the IP address; go back to your answer; click the chain icon; paste the IPA.
Jul
11
comment Explain 1 Cor 5:5
@Cupidrex: Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I try to do a thorough job when answering a good question such as yours. I enjoy doing it, by the way, and I also enjoy connecting with Christians--like you--around the world. We will meet each other one day, of that I am sure! Don
Jul
4
comment What does Jesus mean in John 10:34?
@user4443: I proffer no argument to your insistence that God is one. God's oneness is Theology 101: "Hear, O Israel ! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one [LORD]!" (Dt.6:4) (the Shema). Jesus' "audacious" claim to be the Son of God, however, was backed up by authoritative words and miraculous deeds (re-read 10:37-38). I was struck recently by Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in Sychar. When she said "I know that Messiah is coming; . . . He will declare all things to us" (John 4:25). "Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He'"(v.26). Check out Isa.9:6-7, too. Don
Jun
24
comment How can we ensure a given “chiasm” was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?
See this [website][1] regarding the possible overlap between the figures of inclusio and chiasm. Compare Matthew's introductory verse (1:1) and his concluding verses which quote Jesus' words (28:18-20). In chapter 28, Jesus is simply commissioning His disciples to be involved in fulfilling the promise God gave to Abraham, Jesus' ancestor, according to the flesh ("genealogically")! Textbook inclusio. Don [1]: kevinfannystevenson.blogspot.com/2014/02/…
Jun
24
comment How can we ensure a given “chiasm” was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?
@Jas3.1: But God knew, and so did the apostles (in hindsight, of course; see Acts 3:22-23, and 7:37). My point: Usually, the writers of Scripture knew whereof they wrote, and in Dt 18, e.g., Moses, I imagine, thought he knew that the prophet whereof he spoke would arise in the generation after his death. Did he know of the "ultimate" prophet, who according to Peter would be raised up not only as a prophet, but as God's Servant (Acts 3:26a)? No. IOW, we can't make too much of authorial intent, especially with prophetic words originating under the Old Covenant (see Jesus' words in Jn 5:45-47).
Jun
24
comment How can we ensure a given “chiasm” was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?
@Jas3.1: From my answer: ". . . the human writers God used to pen His word were not automatons to whom God dictated!" There were times in their writing of the Bible when the authors did not have a full understanding of what they wrote. Moses, e.g., didn't know beans about Jesus Christ when he wrote, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him." And, "'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him'"(Dt 18:15,18).