I have discovered as a new user that contributions which make good arguments contra traditional Christian doctrines get treated differently than those in support of those doctrines.

Originally the opposition answered with opposing views which I welcome and that contribute to my education.

But when those efforts did not harm my propositions a new tactic emerged, that of censorship by technicality. Users who answered questions without harming the proposition later voted to close. That's blatantly obvious.

It's an eye opener. I now know that what comes up on internet searches won't be the full range of scholarship.

My two cents.

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    I was forced to make those changes. I have see enough questions to know that mine were given "special" attention . – user33125 Jan 29 '20 at 14:50
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    Not everyone gets "special attention" that amounts to harassment. I will say that I did experience kindness and assistance from a few. Nigel, I did not name you as a conspirator and you seem to have self-identified. That it's the format of my contributions but the subject matter is evident from the fact that you contacted Dan Wallace about my arguments because you can't refute them. He told you he may put a student to work on them. But he gave you no solution. That must have frustrated you. I would think stack exchange would welcome good new arguments like these: – user33125 Jan 29 '20 at 15:47
  • drgregoryblunt.wordpress.com – user33125 Jan 29 '20 at 15:47
  • @NigelJ My recent letter? I have written no letters. Advised by whom? I have had no communication with anyone, let alone anyone who knows Greek. I am perplexed. – user33125 Jan 29 '20 at 16:31
  • @NigelJ Matters? That you won't improve on your vague reference to a letter I never wrote, or the matter of my treatment on Stack Exchange? – user33125 Jan 29 '20 at 17:50
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    @NigelJ You don't favor your theology? Your answers all indicate that you do. I favor grammar over theology and my contributions reflect this. You make theological arguments in Biblical Hermeneutics all the time as do many others. I never do. – user33125 Jan 30 '20 at 17:45
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    This post could be improved by the admission that doctrinal bias (on this site as on all other sites dealing with Christianity the world over) is totally unavoidable when true freedom of speech is allowed. It is allowed on Stack but when aggrieved users use Stack to pursue arguments with answerers who disagree with them, to an excessive degree, being obviously determined to get the last word in, then it is unsurprising if this attracts attention, and others think to themselves an old saying about blackened pots and kettles. I predict you will respond, to get the last word in. Forgive me. – Anne Jan 31 '20 at 7:40
  • contributions which make good arguments contra traditional Christian doctrines get treated differently than those in support of those doctrines - And precisely herein lies the crux of the matter, in that you genuinely believe that your arguments are (that) good. Personally, even if I would share your religious faith, I would still not embrace your textual interpretations. – Lucian May 14 '20 at 21:37
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    @Lucian Perhaps my expectations are too high. When I make a grammatical argument I expect a rebuttal with grammar, not theology on Biblical Hermeneutics. And certainly not votes to close on manufactured grounds. – user33125 May 14 '20 at 22:40
  • Have you ever seen me, for instance, offer any theological arguments, either to you, or to anyone else, for that matter ? – Lucian May 14 '20 at 22:49
  • @Lucian What have you got to do with my OP? – user33125 May 14 '20 at 23:01
  • I have downvoted about ten of your posts, for reasons usually specified in their respective comment sections. – Lucian May 14 '20 at 23:20
  • @Lucian AGAIN What have you got to do with my OP? – user33125 May 14 '20 at 23:25
  • Well, I can't be entirely sure that I don't, so... :-) – Lucian May 14 '20 at 23:30
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    @Lucian After looking at your profile I think I have a way to explain how I feel about Greek. I may see grammar the way you view mathematics. How would you react if you prepared mathematical proofs in a math forum where philosophers came up with non mathematical rebuttals based on Philosophy? Oh, they used mathematical terms but offered philosophical proofs! And they were the majority so they downvoted your legitimate mathematical proofs. And they said you thought too much of your mathematical arguments. – user33125 May 16 '20 at 2:31

In the document to which you frequently link (and by which you are using this site as a means of advertising what you clearly admit is a novel thesis) you assert that the Greek conjunctive και, kai, has adverbial properties (you call it an 'adjunctive' in certain places, places which you, yourself, can discern) and you then claim that this adverbial property 'modifies' a participle (note, not a functioning verb, but a participle) to such a degree that you state that και, kai, no longer means 'and' but (in the place you wish it to do so) it means 'also the appearing of'.

You do all of this in order to prove that scripture is saying something.

It is my own considered opinion that this (the frequent advertising of a novel thesis which deserves the technical description 'incredible') is an outstanding example of a severe case of 'doctrinal bias'.

  • I am going challenge that. Show me a question that I posted which appeals to the adjunctive και. I have one question on Anaphora out of all of my posts and none on the adjunctive και. It is true that in chat I have responded to questions that were outside the scope of my question. Getting barraged with Trinitarian "proofs" by the same few users that are out of scope like this is a very frequent occurrence. It continues even when I request they make them a formal answer. You know this is true. – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:28
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    @ThomasPearne Your reference to the 'adjunctive' kai, as I made clear in my answer, is in the document which you frequently link to and to which you direct readers, and those who comment on your answers, in order to assert your position. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:30
  • You evidently don't understand the difference between anaphora and the adjunctive και. I just went back and checked. Of all of my posts have 1 question with a link that is about Sharps rule and one question. I answered on Sharps rule. Everything else was a response to harassment that was out of scope for the question. In fact I only recently added a link in edit to one of them yesterday. So if you think it is a frequent occurrence in my formal questions and answers let's see the proof. The last time you made a statement about a supposed letter to Wallace you had to retract. – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:37
  • @ThomasPearne One person told me they had seen a communication. One person said they had not sent it. Thus I am misinformed or I have misunderstood what was being communicated to me. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:38
  • @ThomasPearne I understand that you are saying you have linked to your document during comments. I appreciate what you are saying. Nevertheless, you do link to it and it contains some assertions which I have remarked upon in my above answer. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:40
  • So the letter was never to have been sent by me as you initially said? And what is it to me if someone sends a letter to Wallace because they cannot respond to a grammatical point? – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:40
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    Yes, comments during off topic harassment by the same individuals. Are you voting them down and closing their questions? I have discovered a dirty little SE secret. I now know why so many answer in comments. They get away with much. You don't think this is a double standard? – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:42
  • @ThomasPearne You have informed me in comment that you hold Dan Wallace to be a 'hostile witness' so I appreciate that you may not mind either way about how he came to view your document. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:42
  • The system is encouraging me not to further continue in extended discussion in comment. Feel free to make a room and invite me, if you so desire. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:43
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    I am looking for the harassment to end and fair treatment. – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:46
  • Lol! I sent Wallace notifications of my documents from academia.edu and saw him download them months ago. – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:47
  • @ThomasPearne Thank you for clearing up that situation. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:48
  • As a matter of fact I do consider the paper on Sharps Redimortalitas with the adjunctive και to be a draft experiment. Also the paper on John 20:28. Not so the paper on Anaphora. It's rock solid and my primary focus for the last year. – user33125 Jan 31 '20 at 11:52
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    @ThomasPearne Can we have confidence in your further efforts, when you consider your first to be a 'draft' (but you published it into the public domain as a completed work). Was the first a 'beginning' ?. Or do we see, now, a new 'beginning' perhaps ? You will need to inform us when the draft stage ends and the 'rock solid' phase 'begins'. Such multiple beginnings I find confusing. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:57
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    @ThomasPearne Ahhh.... . .so you translate 'interesting' as 'rock solid'. – Nigel J Jan 31 '20 at 11:58

I have only seen or participated in a handful of your questions, but I think it may be a mistake to conclude that the issues you're encountering are more to do with doctrinal positions than hermeneutics. You're not the first user to experience trouble writing on-topic questions, and it's great that you've come over to Meta to ask more about it.

Personally, the common issue I've observed with many of your questions (and one on which do you seem to be improving on) is beginning the question too far down your train of thought. Most commonly, hermeneutical approaches begin with the most basic aspects of the text (textual context, historical context, authorship, grammar, translation etc) and deductively proceed towards conclusions.

In many cases you've already finished your own hermeneutical train of thought, and then ask others to import (induct) several of your own conclusions rather than reading the source passage impartially and applying hermeneutical principles themselves. This approach undermines the deductive process.

It would be like me going to the Linguistics Stack Exchange and demanding they assume the word 'potato' didn't really come from Spain, but actually originated from the Chinese 土豆 (tudeo), which sounds a lot like 'tato', and therefore ask where the word potato comes from, discounting any possibility that it came from Spanish. It's not that it in itself isn't a valid or interesting question, but it goes against the basic science of linguistics and undermines the trustworthiness of the answers to any other readers who may find the question later. We're not just here to ask and answer Questions for the asker - but hopefully good Answers will also be useful to other readers later on.

There is definitely doctrinal bias involved in how everybody uses BHSE (to varying degrees), and I very much sympathise with the challenges of trying to have meaningful discourse with people whose assumptions disagree with your own. Thankfully, hermeneutics really does give us a neutral ground - we're all (in theory) interested in fair and honest interpretation of biblical text considering all relevant factors. We're not here to validate our own conclusions, we're here to do Hermeneutics.

Most of the time, I think you've struggled to ask questions that don't import foreign influences into the text, and start trying to unofficially Answer the Question yourself, and ask for others to finish your own Answer, rather than apply the principles impartially themselves. I'd strongly suggest just looking again at your questions, stripping back assumptions and imported influences, and using the material you've stripped out to Answer your own Questions as best you can.

  • Thank you. That option is not open to me as the problem questions are closed and my account is blocked from making new ones. – user33125 Feb 7 '20 at 12:55
  • Can you give me one example of an imported influence? I do quote lexicons like BDAG. I see that as preferable to making bare assertions. I also quote scholars who hold the opposing view but who in a particular area diverge from normal position of their own faith tradition. But I don't make acceptance of those conclusions a requirement for the one who answers. I have discussed some of these topics for decades. Starting at the very beginning won't help with specific questions. – user33125 Feb 7 '20 at 13:46
  • I think @curiousdannii 's example below is a good one. The final format of the question does still contain lots of 'answer' type material that may not be relevant to the question itself, but in it's current state it is a fair question (and thus hasn't been closed). However, if you look at the original question you asked, it was really how we should read the text in light of what Dan Wallace says. And so lots of us have tried to give you little nudges to refine that early off-topic question into an actual impartial question about text analysis. – Steve Taylor Feb 10 '20 at 9:39
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    And obviously, lexicons are very important to hermeneutical analyses and to us here at BHSE! However, in your John 1 example you were beginning with your conclusion of how to apply the lexicon entry, and to me it felt like you were giving the entry more weight than the immediate textual context. The BDAG did not exist for the writer or the original audience, and so I consider it an 'imported' influence in terms of analysing the raw text. It may be useful and informative in finding an answer, but it's wrong to use it to 'trump' or exclude other key factors like that in interpreting the text. – Steve Taylor Feb 10 '20 at 9:47

One example of doctrinal bias on this site is your question What is the purpose of personification at Ephesians 4:30? in which you assume without justification that Paul was personifying a non-personal spirit of god.

This kind of question is not appropriate to ask at this site. If you want to ask how people who share your assumptions/beliefs interpret Ephesians, please do so at the Christianity site instead.

Alternatively you could ask what the arguments are either for or against (or both in two questions) for interpreting this verse as a personification of a non-personal spirit of god.

  • I started with a different question and was forced to change it. It seems like I play the flute but no one will dance. – user33125 Feb 8 '20 at 2:55
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    I was only commenting on the current form of the question. Your initial revision was better and much more on-topic. I didn't see anyone force you to change it. You can change it back now anyway. – curiousdannii Feb 8 '20 at 2:58
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    I only make changes when people complain they want to close a question. And not everyone has the same reasons. There is too much subjectivity and even capriciousness in the process. – user33125 Feb 8 '20 at 3:13
  • If you and Steve Taylor want my very first question I will be glad to roll it back. – user33125 Feb 8 '20 at 4:17
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    I'm sorry that you feel like people are making you jump through hoops unnecessarily - please don't take it as capriciousness or personal criticism. Basically, we're all about text analysis here, and don't typically encourage importing external assumptions (doctrinal or otherwise) as factors limiting the hermeneutical analysis. The process of using BHSE as a new user is supposed to teach you about the process of asking a good question - you read existing questions, vote on them, answer them, and learn about the hermeneutics process as you go. – Steve Taylor Feb 10 '20 at 9:18
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    I suspect the key problem here is that you're consistently asking questions (like Eph 4:30 or John 1:3-4) that import starting assumptions that limit the analysis of the text. Maybe you can find one or two existing questions that may do that somewhere, but as far as I'm aware those would be very rare phenomena on BHSE. A good question should have a key text, the question you have about it, and evidence of any investigative work you've done along the way. Asking another person to limit their answers based on my own assumptions just isn't a good way to do hermeneutics. – Steve Taylor Feb 10 '20 at 9:28
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    I think for this reason, some of your questions get the 'feel' of a "Stump the Chumps" question, that's basically written in a way to be unanswerable or to make a point, rather than genuinely seeking an answer about the text. I don't think you're meaning to be difficult, but there have been other genuinely difficult people who weren't really interested in learning about the texts or hermeneutical analysis, and really just wanted to sell their opinion to other people. Experienced users of BHSE are very wary about such characters, and that may explain some of the responses you've had yourself. – Steve Taylor Feb 10 '20 at 9:31

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