p.s. You ask "What's it to you if I ask for a feature that you yourself don't use?"
I teach the Bible and the biblical languages. I have to deal with it when my students use outdated and misleading resources. Sometimes it's better to have less information rather than misleading information.
I really wonder what it is about a 19th-century bible dictionary that's so attractive when there are less outdated mid-20th-century resources that are now very, very cheap as well.
When Smith's dictionary came out, Akkadian was barely deciphered. Ugarit hadn't been discovered, and neither had the Dead Sea Scrolls. These are things (to name just a few) that radically transformed our understanding of the cultural, historical and linguistic contexts of the Bible.
I consider it borderline irresponsible to interpret the Bible without the knowledge that these and other new scholarly advances have added. And I respect laypeople enough to think that they deserve the benefit of the best scholarship.
I was mentioning the free ones, Chris.
The reason why we use so called references is because they are supposed to accurately and authoritatively inform us about the social, religious, political, economical, and cultural background of the NT and the OT.
For the reasons Chris mentioned, older works can no more be seeing as accurate and authoritative and as such do not deserve to be used as reference without major disclaimers and corrections.
Laypersons do not have the ability to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate information in an outdated dictionary (the untrained eye (and sometimes even those who should know better tend to trust what is in print without much critical assessment), why go through the extra trouble for the sake of a free and beloved resource (albeit inaccurate and misleading) when there are more recent works that are affordable and allow one to get a more accurate picture of the Bible milieu (to the extent of our current knowledge).
It is one thing not to know better and disseminate misleading information, it is another thing to know better and use outdated and inaccurate information even if it is convenient, free, or revered .
No work is perfect, but century old dictionaries have so many outdated material that using them can be dangerous at time
If I would not dare using them in a research paper that only the prof would read in what is only an academic exercise, why should have used them to feed believers souls when I know the material is stale and potentially toxic?
I am persuaded that believers deserve the best (my best and the best resources available)
Disclaimers and corrections apply to the new references as much as they do the old.
Assumptions underlie all reference works, and the assumptions underlying much of the newer works -- the palpable arrogance of modern scholarship notwithstanding -- and spanning all disciplines, including archaeology, linguistics, history, et cetera, are in many cases no more accurate or verifiably ascertained than the assumptions of old.
This isn't the place to debate the multiplicity of examples that could be proffered, especially examples from experts in Greek who can't speak Greek, or experts in Hebrew who can't speak Hebrew, or experts in archaeology who couldn't accurately date a fresh bananna if their life depended on it, ad nauseum, and so forth and so on.
Accordingly, let every one feel free to employ the new works until his heart's content, but let's also allow the old works to remain, especially since they're free, and especially since in many cases they still show themselves cedar-like in the storm to some of us who still find value in them.
Oh... as far as the lay person being mislead, that's easily handled... just make sure he stays away from the "professionals" and he won't have a thing to worry about.
Last edited by Adelphos; 01-19-2007 at 10:09 PM.
Old vs New
Perhaps the issue is methodology rather than the works themselves.
Do the Scriptures inform scholarship, or vice versa? If the former, then "accurate" resources reflect the timeless texts of Scripture. If the latter, we will all look like fools in 100 years.
Likewise, medical science in 2007 is imperfect and subject to constant revision. Do you therefore not care whether you receive medical treatment based on 19th-century knowledge or 21st-century knowledge? If you don't care, then I will at least grant that you're consistent and we needn't debate this further. But if you prefer up-to-date care for your body, why do you refuse it in matters pertaining to your soul?
One of the most unfortunate results of your rejection of scholarship is that it has left you without a critical framework to discern who is a friend and who is a foe. To you, apparently, all practitioners of modern scholarship are enemies -- because you don't know what information is truly out there, you can't assess how it's being used by a given scholar. Thus, you end up like the man afraid to leave his own house because of vague and murky terrors.
There's some wisdom in this statement. My PhD studies have forced me to seriously interact with material and to come to new conclusions. Sometimes certain epistimologies are better served with ignorance. I have relatives in fundamentalist denominations who are happy and serve others at soup kitchens. They loathe most of the Church, and they could care less about the facts... but that's just fine by me!
Originally Posted by Adelphos
Originally Posted by Eagle
The Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit is my textbook for matters pertaining to the soul, not the ascertained paradigms of science.
I'm surprised you missed the dichotomy. One who understands the difference wouldn't have.
Your additional assertion that to me "all practitioners of modern scholarship are enemies" is only further proof that you have no clue as to how to handle facts and evidence, for you not only cannot evidentially or factually substantiate such an assertion, but the fact that you make such unsubstantiated assertions in the first place only demonstrates how foggy your own thinking truly is.
In short, of the two of us, you are clearly the one who is clueless as to "what's out there", but that's common for someone who, as you so clearly demonstrated by your own words, places his faith for matters of the soul in "up-to-date" human inventions instead of on the supernatural revelation of God as found in the Scriptures and illuminated by the Holy Spirit.
Last edited by Adelphos; 01-20-2007 at 09:03 PM.
You know, Scott, every time I look here there's about one person reading, so I won't assume that there's any "larger BibleWorks community" to hold your silliness in check. And certainly this particular thread was not meant to as a forum for troglodytes such as you to hold forth. So I'm out.
In any case, rational minds can certainly decide for themselves who's making sense here.
Ok, this discussion is now off-topic. Furthermore, Chris/Eagle, you have degenerated into name-calling. Name-calling is a violation of the forum membership rules (http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/faq...posting_policy). This thread is locked. Chris, if you persist in this kind of behavior, I will have to ban you from the forums.