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Author Topic: Fr. Paul Tarazi's NT Commentaries  (Read 7403 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 08, 2003, 11:08:20 AM »

Has anyone read these?  I read them some time ago and found them troubling -- while they are interesting, I didn't personally find them spiritually beneficial -- and perhaps would veer towards having found them spiritually harmful.  Not a critique of the fine scholarship and linguistical skills of the author at all, but I think that, unless read with a lot of context, these can potentially lead a believer or two astray.  Has anyone had a similar experience with these books?
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2003, 01:10:15 PM »

I have not read them in their entirety, but will be taking his classes next year.  He is interestingly enough editing Vol 1 of his Old Testament series to undo the JEDP stuff, which he apparently does not really believe in anymore.  But we'll have to wait to see what the next book looks like.

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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2003, 01:17:36 PM »

I guess the question is, how did such speculation get into his book? Even non-Orthodox scholars find the JEDP stuff to be "outdated" (innovation requires a constant feeling of progress), how did it get into an Orthodox book? I'm not trying to slam the guy, I'm genuinely interested in why he believed in it. Certainly Fathers like Chrysostom were sensitive to certain things in the text (and transmission of the text), and that could make him sort of an ancient practicioner of a type of biblical criticism, but I can't imagine the Fathers ever affirming some of the theories that are put out today.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2003, 05:25:41 PM »

Disclaimer: I do not know Fr. Paul at all, and the assumptions I'm about to make could be completely false.  

In looking over Fr. Paul's bio at the SVS homepage, it seems that most of his training comes from early on at Jesuit University School of Medicine(I think I remember reading somewhere he wanted to be a doctor early in life) and then at Bucharest Theological Institute from the late 60s to mid 70s.  

I don't know Romanian history very well, but wasn't Ceaucescu(sp?) in the height of his power at that point? It seems possible that if that were the case and enemies of the Church were in control of the state, they would love to have professors to teach secular biblical history and exegesis.  

Perhaps this was something that Fr. Paul was taught without question and is now questioning?  Since Anastasios reports that he is editing the books to remove the JEPD content, it would seem that he is doing a wonderful, but hard(in the biblical scholars community) thing.  I hope that he will now focus on a more traditional approach.
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2003, 06:14:09 PM »

JEDP/JEPD?
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2003, 06:34:11 PM »

Here's a brief outline of JEPD from a Protestant site:

The JEPD Theory of the Torah

The JEPD Theory, or Documentary Hypothesis, is taught in many university Bible courses today. It was developed in the 19th century by Julius Wellhausen and others, when scholars thought few could write in Moses' time. It claims the Bible's first five books (as well as Joshua) were oral tradition written down many centuries after Moses, by at least four or five different authors.

Jehovist source (c.850 B.C.) for passages where the divine name is used, such as Gen 1-2:3; 7:2-3.

Elohist source (c.750 B.C.) where the word Elohim is used for God, such as Genesis 2:4-3:3.

Priestly source (c.450 B.C.) for verses pertaining to the temple, such as Leviticus and Gen 6:19-20.

Deuteronomist source (c.622 B.C.) for most of the book of Deuteronomy.

Holiness source (575 B.C.) for Leviticus 17-20 is a variation on the JEPD theory.

In general, the JEPD theory used to teach that the Bible misrepresents itself and the Torah was edited into the form we have today about 200 B.C. However, we have a copy of Exodus and Leviticus from the Dead Sea scrolls dated 250 B.C.


You can read the rest and the popular arguments against it at this site.  I only briefly scanned the page, so you may find some non-Orthodox info.  Let us know if you have any questions.
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2003, 06:51:16 PM »

For a perceptive, if uncompromising, review of Tarazi's "Introduction to the Old Testament", check this out:  

http://home.att.net/~kguin/books4.html#anchor118886

I was told by a SVS graduate from the middle '80s that Tarazi's propagation of liberal protestant criticism was having a perceptibly corrosive effect on some of the "cradle" Orthodox seminarians, but not necessarily on the converts from Protestantism, who were already immunized from this stuff.  The influence was such that another very well known professor's lectures on dogmatic theology would elicit snickers from some of the impressionable students who had soaked in the content of Tarazi's lectures, because of the "naive, pseudo-fundamentalist" proof-texting style of the professor of dogmatics.

Needless to say, this is old stuff, circulated and regurgitated in Protestant seminaries for the last 150 years or so, but apparently "novel" and exciting to some Orthodox.  It arguably has a place in the curriculum of more intensive advanced-level courses in textual criticism, but not in courses aimed at future parish priests.  I suggest SVS hire Thomas Oden as an antidote.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2003, 03:57:04 PM »

I'm a little taken aback by the supercilious attitude toward Fr. Tarazi, who enjoys enormous respect as an entirely Orthodox Bible scholar within the OCA and by many other Orthodox Christians.

While it is true that many scholars have grown increasingly sceptical in the past decade about the specifics of the documentary hypothesis (largely under the influence of literary scholars such as Robert Alter and Scripture scholars such as Robert Blenkenship), and much more modest in their confidence about how accurately they can "tease apart" the received text to gain insight into specific hypothetical documents from which the receive text was later compiled, it is absolutely not the case that this means most, even rather conservative, Catholic and Orthodox scholars have returned to a pre-critical notion of the entire Pentateuch being written down or immediately dictated by Moses (whose death, after all, is recorded near the end of Deuteronomy).

Rather, the vast majority of Orthodox and Catholic (and Protestant) Scripture scholars have concluded that it is, in many cases, not possible to determine precisely where there may be "fault lines" pointing to a variety of different oral and written traditions, later compiled into the received Biblical text.

Many would agree that there arose at times a myopic obsession with those documentary, historical questions, an obsession that undervalued the breath-taking artistic coherence and cohesiveness of the Scriptures, and sometimes missed the (theological) point.  But, none but a marginal few would argue against that the notion that there was such a variety of oral and written sources.

At the conservative Roman Catholic seminary (attached to a Benedictine monastery) from which I received my MA in Sacred Scripture, the Scripture professors were trained at the Ecole biblique de Jeruslem and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, highly regarded schools by even very conservative Christians.  They were very clear on recent insights into the weaknesses of the standard documentary (JEDP) hypothesis.  But, none would dream of speaking dismissively of the scholars who labored within the confines of that theory, and who still made a gerat many very valuable contributions to a penetrating understanding of the Bible.
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2003, 04:23:00 PM »

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I'm a little taken aback by the supercilious attitude toward Fr. Tarazi, who enjoys enormous respect as an entirely Orthodox Bible scholar within the OCA and by many other Orthodox Christians.

I don't know what to say. I don't have anything against Fr. Tarazi in particular, I've not read any of his books.

However, what I've been learning about the OCA and GO seminaries over the past months has helped me better understanding something Fr. Seraphim Rose said decades ago (he said it in the Book Vita Patrum). He said that almost all of the seminaries in America (except Jordanville) were modernistic and had lost the flavor of true Orthodoxy, so that even when they cry "back to tradition" or "back to the fathers," they don't actually do this in the wholly Orthodox spirit. When I first read it I thought it was interesting, if a bit of an exaggeration.

I've since come to understand why Fr. Seraphim made the statement.
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2003, 04:37:27 PM »

Someone correct me if I am wrong here, but isn't a theologian in Orthodoxy also an ascetic?  Huh

As for what Paradosis, I have heard people make reference to what Father Seraphim has said about what is going on in the seminaries of the OCA and GOA. This concerns me greatly because  the last thing I would like to see the church become is a church with ties to the fathers yet thinks in the mode of western thought.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2003, 05:01:15 PM »

Posh.  Much of the thinking that has come out of St. Vladimir's, for example the writings of Fr. Alexander Schmeman on Liturgy, is clearly Orthodox and quite challenging to the dominant modes of "Western thought."

Breathtaking, the confidence with which so many converts to Orthodoxy, even within non-canonical or marginally canonical jurisdictions, such as Fr. Seraphim Rose, take to task the "modernism" of those manifestly steeped in the Tradition.

Knowing myself to be a novice, I would love to learn at the feet of men such as Frs. Tarazi or Alexander Schmemann (memory eternal!); the writings of the latter show a very deep, thorough-going engagement with the writings of the Fathers throughout the life of the Church.

It seems to me that a Tradition that has no engagement with modernity--that withdraws from all that is "modern" in favor of some pristine past or superficially "exotic" esotericism--is no Tradition at all; it's just romantic fiction.  The living Tradition may not be of the world, but it's not in flight from it, either, I would think.
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2003, 05:23:12 PM »

Nevermind, trying to kill sacred cows can get one hurt.  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2003, 11:13:55 PM »

Just a minor point: While Fr. Paul Tarazi may teach at St. Vladimir's Seminary, I do not believe that he is a priest of the OCA.  One need not belong to the OCA to be on the faculty of one of the OCA's seminaries.  

Somewhere I think I remember reading that Fr. Paul was a priest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCA).  [Correct me if I'm wrong here, anastasios.]

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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2003, 12:13:57 AM »

You can read some about Fr. Paul at
http://www.svots.edu/Faculty/Paul-Nadim-Tarazi/index.html

Or try searching on google and see what you come up with.

He is Antiochian.
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2003, 12:26:01 AM »

However, what I've been learning about the OCA and GO seminaries over the past months has helped me better understanding something Fr. Seraphim Rose said decades ago (he said it in the Book Vita Patrum). He said that almost all of the seminaries in America (except Jordanville) were modernistic and had lost the flavor of true Orthodoxy, so that even when they cry "back to tradition" or "back to the fathers," they don't actually do this in the wholly Orthodox spirit. When I first read it I thought it was interesting, if a bit of an exaggeration.

I've since come to understand why Fr. Seraphim made the statement.

Justin--

You are misinformed.  St. Vladimir's is a wholly Orthodox institution.  We have Vespers and Matins every day, Great Vigil on Saturday, frequent Divine Liturgies, fasting, retreats, spirtual reading.  The professors are all dedicated Orthodox Christians.  Frankly, you are guilty of judging without checking out.  This place is so Orthodox it is amazing. I have never seen anything like it!

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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2003, 08:28:28 AM »

Yes, St. Vladimir's is a place that is often maligned without reason.  There are many, for example, who choose to malign Fr. Alexander Schmemann, of blessed memory, as being a "modernist", but as far as I am informed by those who knew him quite well personally, Fr. Schmemann kept all of the feasts and fasts scrupulously, and followed a very traditional liturgical rubric in his own priestly service.

Too many people assume that St. Vladimir's is like New Skete or something.  Having had the distinct pleasure of attending liturgies at St. Vladimir's chapel, I can uncategorically state that the liturgies are served faithfully and well at St. Vladimir's, and worshipping there is an edifying experience for anyone interested in real Orthodox liturgy.

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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2003, 09:20:13 AM »

I would echo Brendan's statement that SVS is often maligned without reason.  I have heard people make incredible assertions about positions supposedly held by Fr. Hopko and others that are recklessly unfounded or paranoid.

At the same time, I have never heard Fr. Tarazi mentioned in the same breath, or with the same encomia as Frs. Schmemann and Meyendorff, of blessed memory.  If anything, it has been rather the opposite.  Institutions can be a very mixed bag.  But the fact that I get to receive the holy gifts on a regular basis, if I am prepared, or that I get to hear the beautiful anaphoras of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great in my own tongue, I owe to the legacy of men such as Fr. Alexander, whose picture I would hang next to Bl. Seraphim Rose's.
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2006, 06:56:58 PM »

I realize this is an old thread, but I'm almost finished reading Tarazi's Paul and Mark for the St Stephens course.  Now I've read a lot of stuff on the New Testament, both liberal and conservative and all over the map, in my Bible college and seminary days as a Protestant, and I still have no idea where Fr. Tarazi is getting some of his ideas.  I understand his idea that Paul's enemies are actually James, Peter and the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem; it's a silly theory and probably anti-Jewish, but it did come from F. C. Baur and other German Lutherans of the 19th century.  But the Gospel of Mark is actually about Paul?  I don't get it.  I'm not aware of anyone else who has said this in the wildest forms of Protestantism, and there is no basis for it in the Bible itself or in Church tradition. 

Can anyone help me to understand Fr. Tarazi's thinking on these things?  Where would he get such an idea?  The guy really, really baffles me. 
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2006, 11:22:24 AM »

I realize this is an old thread, but I'm almost finished reading Tarazi's Paul and Mark for the St Stephens course.  Now I've read a lot of stuff on the New Testament, both liberal and conservative and all over the map, in my Bible college and seminary days as a Protestant, and I still have no idea where Fr. Tarazi is getting some of his ideas.  I understand his idea that Paul's enemies are actually James, Peter and the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem; it's a silly theory and probably anti-Jewish, but it did come from F. C. Baur and other German Lutherans of the 19th century.  But the Gospel of Mark is actually about Paul?  I don't get it.  I'm not aware of anyone else who has said this in the wildest forms of Protestantism, and there is no basis for it in the Bible itself or in Church tradition. 

Can anyone help me to understand Fr. Tarazi's thinking on these things?  Where would he get such an idea?  The guy really, really baffles me. 

Fr. Paul is REALLY Old Skool.  Why would you find anything he says in any form of Protestant thought?  I haven't read any of his books yet, but have met him and attended his lectures a couple of times.  A lot of what he says is just really traditional basics about the concepts of Kingship, the Father and OT law.  This would of course have a different revelation in the NT.  While odd to you, I'm sure his concepts are not out of line with the context of the time the books (Gospels) were written and happened.  ITSM that today most Protestants have no concept of "Majesty", "Glory", the Heavenly Kingdom and such and are too worried about "holy" Democracy, Manifest Destiny, God Bless America and such.  Just because Christ preached, "...there is no Greek or Jew nor Male or Female..." or however the quote goes, doesn't mean that everyone instantly manifested that concept in their hearts.
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2006, 10:28:18 PM »

Dear Elisha:

Most of what he says IS clearly Protestant; it was Luther who first posited the idea that James and Paul had irreconcilable difficulties.  Lutheran theologians like FC Baur developed these ideas, and 99% of Tarazi (at least from his books) is a regurgitation of these old Protestant ideas.  He does have some good insights, as you say, into biblical concepts like kingship, fatherhood, law, etc. 

What I do not remember hearing in Protestantism is the idea that Mark wrote his Gospel based on Paul's life, not Jesus' life, which is what Tarazi seems to be saying.  Does Tarazi honestly believe that Mark cared nothing for our Lord's earthly life, but wrote his Gospel as a veiled version of Paul's life in order to get back at James and Peter?  This flies in the face of all good Protestant scholarship, as well as everything the Orthodox Church believes about the Gospels. 

But I may have misstated it earlier: the vast majority of what Fr. Tarazi writes clearly comes from German Protestantism of the 19th century, with some middle eastern seasonsings.  What I don't quite understand is: does he really believe this stuff, or is he just trying to get a rise out of people by stating things in the extreme?
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2006, 03:50:29 PM »

I am aware of at least one OCA priest who does not allow the church bookstore to carry Fr. Tarazi's books.
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2006, 07:36:54 PM »

I am aware of at least one OCA priest who does not allow the church bookstore to carry Fr. Tarazi's books.

Ive only been in contact with Fr. Tarazi about a couple of times. His daughter was married in our church of which he was the celibrant.  But other than that I only know that some of his teaching and ideas are somewhat controversial.

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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2006, 01:43:04 AM »

in terms of biblical higher criticism, protestants have a greater problem establishing authority if even a shred of the critical method is granted. protestants have a canon that (for them) came about ex nihilo and they have sola scriptura

The beauty of Orthodoxy is that it liberates the Bible. The canon is the canon because the Church gave us the canon. You can bring in JEDP and LMNOP too!
Doesn't matter - the Church recognized it as scripture, so scripture it is.
So from a scholarly point of view, you can slice it and dice it anyway you want. It's still canonical scripture given to us by the Holy Spirit through the Church.

Plus, we have the Church and Holy Tradition in which to experience the Bible. The scholars can make gound meat of the text; through the liturgy and prayer it establishes itself as the living word

As Orthodox, I think there is  a greater freedom to look at all this stuff without having an aneurism. At least we don't have to get trapped in the western need for and "inerrant" Bible and biblical literalism (6 day creation, etc.)

Having said all that, I think from reading this thread that it sounds like Fr. T is from the older generation that felt perhaps too much comfort in the safety of the things I mentioned above. While not needing to stake our entire identity on rebutting higher critical approaches to the Bible (like the conservative protestants) it would be well for a new generation of Othodox Bible scholars to mount a more spirited critique of skeptical biblical criticism.

We need to realize two things. WITHIN our tradition, we know that our semiaries can blow whatever smoke they need to for accreditation. The REAL theologian prays and the the person of prayer is the real theologian. Nonetheless, there has been alot of great scholarship in the past twenty years by evangelical (not fundamentalist, not charasmaniac, not tv evangelist, not evangelical in the political sense the media uses the term, but historic, conservative protestant scholarship) and also conservative Roman Catholic Bible scholars and the leading Orthodox seminaries should bring on some faculty with some familiarity with these thinkers and not just the standard fare from Union, Princeton, Harvard and Yale Seminaries.
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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2010, 04:09:37 PM »

Quote
The Bible in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions unit of the Society of Biblical Literature, is excited to announce that it will be honoring the Very Rev. Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi on Saturday October 23, 2010 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his academic career. The festivities, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Philip Saliba, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, will begin with a Festschrift (academic conference) on Saturday October 23, 2010 at the conference hall of St. George Antiochian Church in Little Falls, New Jersey, from 9am – 4pm. Lecturers have been invited from all over the world to present papers on subjects dear to Fr. Paul’s heart. The conference is free of charge and is open to the public, but an RSVP to attend is encouraged. The Festschrift presentations will be compiled into a special volume for publication following the conference.
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2010, 07:07:00 PM »

A translation of the review of Fr. Tarazi's Introduction to the New Testament by Archimandrite Touma (Bitar) was recently posted on the website Orthodox Christian Information Center. It also provides information as to why Fr. Tarazi is no longer allowed to teach or preach in most diocese in Lebanon...

It can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/fr-paul-tarazi-from-study-to-heresy.aspx
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« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2010, 09:53:22 PM »

I had to read Fr. Tarazi's commentaries when I was taking courses back in the mid '90's.  I was so upset with what I read that it was one of the factors that caused me to leave the Antiochian Archdiocese.  Being new to Orthodoxy at the time, and having fought against the Liberal elements of the Lutheran Church for most of my teenage and adult life to that point, I was scandalized that my new home treated the Scriptures with the same violence as those who I had fought all those years.  As far as commentaries go, I would rather read Lensky's commentaries (LCMS Lutheran) than Fr. Tarazi's.  At least Lensky believed what he read in the Scriptures was true and written by the author that Tradition stated.  I thank God that I have found more Orthodox commentaries on the Scriptures (the Fathers) since then.
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« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2010, 10:04:54 PM »

I don't understand why some deny the whole Modernism and higher criticism charge? It is what it is, and no amount of denial is gonna change what a number of protestant converts to Orthodoxy already know. This stuff is protestant.....yeah, on the more liberal side....but it's protestant. Now in saying this I don't want to disrespect anyone, but I really don't understand why some wish to deny the modernist and higher critical charge.

If one knows what it is then it would be easier to ignore it and not take it too seriously. I view higher criticism as nothing more than modern fiction. A perpetual myth making machine.
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2010, 04:43:50 PM »

I have to read his books now for my studies. I have to admit, they're not full of the Good News - already being slothful, some of the oddity is making it difficult for me to continue reading these for a grade....
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2010, 09:19:49 PM »

I have to read his books now for my studies. I have to admit, they're not full of the Good News - already being slothful, some of the oddity is making it difficult for me to continue reading these for a grade....

Do what you have to do in order to get the grade. One way to do this is simply not taking what he says too seriously. If you look down on higher critical thought then it will be easier to Eat the meat and spit out the bones! You have to poison the well first in order to do that!

Also, If you have past papers(like 3 or 4) of others in the course and how they were graded then you will have a good feel of what they are expecting from their students (this will save you alot of time on unnecessary anxiety for you will already know what they are looking for, you will already know the scope, and so just give them what they want).

Do what you have to do in order to get the grade!

« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 09:29:46 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2010, 09:26:12 PM »

You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Is that a folk saying? What does it mean?
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2010, 09:38:45 PM »

You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Is that a folk saying? What does it mean?

You never heard the term "poisoning the well"?

If one already knows that "higher criticism" is bad, then one is more likely to read the material with skeptical eyes. One is more likely to read the material with their guard up, one is more likely to read the material with a discerning eye.

And so it is about reading the material with a bias. If you didn't poison the well first then one will read it uncritically, one will read it with their guard down.

I once had a friend who lost faith in the doctrine of the Trinity because he read a book by one of the former chaplains at our school. He trusted the source and so he had his guard down, it took him a year or two to gain his faith back, but yeah, you can't trust everything you read. Sometimes you have to have your guard up! Or else your not gonna survive! Especially in this extreme secular world that we live in today in where Atheism is the default position.


« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 09:48:07 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2010, 09:59:02 PM »

I have to read his books now for my studies. I have to admit, they're not full of the Good News - already being slothful, some of the oddity is making it difficult for me to continue reading these for a grade....
Do what you have to do in order to get the grade. One way to do this is simply not taking what he says too seriously. If you look down on higher critical thought then it will be easier to Eat the meat and spit out the bones! You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Also, If you have past papers(like 3 or 4) of others in the course and how they were graded then you will have a good feel of what they are expecting from their students (this will save you alot of time on unnecessary anxiety for you will already know what they are looking for, you will already know the scope, and so just give them what they want).
Do what you have to do in order to get the grade!
Thank you brother! Fr. Paul, by far has been the most difficult class. I
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2011, 12:00:26 PM »

"Fr. Paul Tarazi: from Study to Heresy!"
http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/fr-paul-tarazi-from-study-to-heresy.aspx
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« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2011, 12:33:21 PM »

You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Is that a folk saying? What does it mean?

You never heard the term "poisoning the well"?

If one already knows that "higher criticism" is bad, then one is more likely to read the material with skeptical eyes. One is more likely to read the material with their guard up, one is more likely to read the material with a discerning eye.

And so it is about reading the material with a bias. If you didn't poison the well first then one will read it uncritically, one will read it with their guard down.

I once had a friend who lost faith in the doctrine of the Trinity because he read a book by one of the former chaplains at our school. He trusted the source and so he had his guard down, it took him a year or two to gain his faith back, but yeah, you can't trust everything you read. Sometimes you have to have your guard up! Or else your not gonna survive! Especially in this extreme secular world that we live in today in where Atheism is the default position.
Do you think that the (commonly) Protestant emphasis on sola scriptura, induces people to "trust everything" they read, such that reading critically becomes something not very well-developed and has to be consciously learned?
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2011, 12:48:41 PM »


Its strange that you posted this link here about 15 minutes before challenging my claim on another thread that Fr. Paul teaches heresy. Huh
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« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2011, 12:54:42 PM »


Its strange that you posted this link here about 15 minutes before challenging my claim on another thread that Fr. Paul teaches heresy. Huh
Not strange at all.  Heading off a derailment at the pass.
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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2011, 02:38:09 AM »

You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Is that a folk saying? What does it mean?

You never heard the term "poisoning the well"?

If one already knows that "higher criticism" is bad, then one is more likely to read the material with skeptical eyes. One is more likely to read the material with their guard up, one is more likely to read the material with a discerning eye.

And so it is about reading the material with a bias. If you didn't poison the well first then one will read it uncritically, one will read it with their guard down.

I once had a friend who lost faith in the doctrine of the Trinity because he read a book by one of the former chaplains at our school. He trusted the source and so he had his guard down, it took him a year or two to gain his faith back, but yeah, you can't trust everything you read. Sometimes you have to have your guard up! Or else your not gonna survive! Especially in this extreme secular world that we live in today in where Atheism is the default position.
Do you think that the (commonly) Protestant emphasis on sola scriptura, induces people to "trust everything" they read, such that reading critically becomes something not very well-developed and has to be consciously learned?

I could be wrong, but Sola Scriptura and protestantism in general was partly based on the critical reading that came from the Renaissance movement. Martin Luther was in some sense very critical in what was Scripture and what wasn't. He said things back then that modern American conservative protestants wouldn't say.

Also, protestants were very critical when it came to the deuterocanonical books. Especially protestant Puritans.

What happened was, the arguments they used against the books they rejected began to be used against the books they accepted by later protestants a hundred years later and most definitely two hundred years later with the rise of protestant liberalism/modernism.

The problem with this is, a good number of their assumptions back then in rejecting the Deuterocanonicals were wrong. But the cat has been let out of the bag and so it is what it is.

German higher criticism took the concept of criticism much further to the actual getting inside the mind of the author themselves.

The problem with this is, the people that do it sometimes, put the cultural assumptions of their day back into the past, which often times had a different culture and mindset.  We can't really get in the head of the author, because we are not of that culture and time period. And so at best, all one can do is guess, and when we guess we can guess wrong.

But what makes this stuff really bad is the idea that everything must be interpreted in light of Philosophical Naturalism or the idea that something must be explained as if god didn't exist or wasn't involved. It has to be explained by way of naturalism.

And so it's not about not being able to think critically. Our modern western English culture is based on a Sola Scriptura premise. The whole stress on a literate culture and people is based on our puritan past. And so no. Sola Scriptura had a major influence in the English speaking world. A good book to read about this is:

http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Protestantism-Rise-Natural-Science/dp/0521000963 (The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science)

Also, a good online blog article about some of the influences that brought about the idea of Sola Scripture is:
http://orthodoxbridge.com/?p=161 (Contra Sola Scriptura [Part 3 of 4]: Where Does Sola Scriptura Come From? The Humanist Origins of the Protestant Reformation)



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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2011, 02:52:34 AM »

I have to read his books now for my studies. I have to admit, they're not full of the Good News - already being slothful, some of the oddity is making it difficult for me to continue reading these for a grade....
Do what you have to do in order to get the grade. One way to do this is simply not taking what he says too seriously. If you look down on higher critical thought then it will be easier to Eat the meat and spit out the bones! You have to poison the well first in order to do that!
Also, If you have past papers(like 3 or 4) of others in the course and how they were graded then you will have a good feel of what they are expecting from their students (this will save you alot of time on unnecessary anxiety for you will already know what they are looking for, you will already know the scope, and so just give them what they want).
Do what you have to do in order to get the grade!
Thank you brother! Fr. Paul, by far has been the most difficult class. I

I hope things are going well for you! I will keep you in my prayers!
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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