SATS seems weak in Old Testament Studies

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PatsFan, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

  2. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2005
  3. mattchand

    mattchand Member

    Re: Re: I've never understood this

    I believe Bill (and others) are correct in this. The fact that the NT itself was written in Koine Greek, which is supposed to be common rather than classical (e.g., scholarly) language, as well as the fact that both Scripture and liturgical worship were translated into various languages (e.g., Latin, Syriac, Copic, Ethiopic, later Slavonic and other languages as well) very early on are indicative of the fact that while the Scriptures were originally written in particular languages, they were meant to be understood by common people. Unlike the Jewish (Hebrew), Muslim (Arabic) and Hindu (Sanskrit) religions, the Christian religion as such has no "holy language" (this despite assertions to the contrary in certain places and periods in Medieval Church history).



  4. CLSeibel

    CLSeibel Member

    Sorry about the delay in my responding to this question. I kind of stepped away from all discussion related to SATS these past couple of weeks because of the unfruitful direction in which such discussion was headed.

    Now that the storm has passed, I'll respond briefly here.

    I agree that SATS has a very strong group of scholars on board. It is difficult for me to compare these two faculties, however, because I'm honestly not very familiar with most of the members of the SATS faculty. This is a young institution, so it is difficult to say much definitively.

    Pretoria is nearly 100 years old. In order to gain a faculty position there, one must really distinguish him/herself. All of the faculty members have doctorates from the finest South African or overseas institutions. Most have significant publication records; many play integral roles within the South African church and national/international academic communities within their particular disciplines.

    The members of the Pretoria faculty have an established track record in supervising doctoral research students. Together with Stellenbosch, they probably produce more faculty members for other schools than any institution in southern Africa.

    In addition, each of the departments within the Pretoria faculty of theology is composed of several scholars. Thus, research students are able to choose from among professors with a wider range of expertise than is possible at smaller theological colleges.

    While the SATS faculty seems strong in its own right, it simply would be difficult to compare it to the established strength and track record of an institution the calibre of Pretoria.
  5. Tom H.

    Tom H. New Member

    Civil Discourse

    Uncle Janko,

    I have to disagree with your characterization of this thread as "SATS-jabbing season." Although the discussion is way over my head, theologically speaking, all the posters made their points and rebuttals in a very civil manner. There were no "ad hominem" attacks (so central to the very existence of the other board) and the thread was both informative and entertaining.

    I think that this thread shows DI at its best - a vigorous, sometimes emotional yet polite discussion of a distance education issue that you are not going to find anywhere else.
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Civil Discourse

    Not addressed to me but I want to state I wonder what Dr. Peppler would think about this statement.

    What's shameful is that one of the posters who virtually condemned Dr. Peppler for having unaccredited degrees in addition to accredited ones, has himself an unaccredited degree.
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Two points:

    "In the good translations, at least."

    If you don't know the languages, how can you hope to tell which are the "good translations"?


    Where is your (editorial "your") PASSION for the Word of God? My heavens, if I thought for ONE MINUTE that the Creator dictated the Hebrew Bible, you couldn't keep me AWAY from it in its original form! God's OWN WORDS? Are you crazy? That's like the old Star Trek line; "a ten ampere tap into GOD".

    Even as it is, since I consider Torah and other ancient texts to be pivotal to my understanding of what it is to be a Jew, I DO work on my Hebrew and even a bit of Aramaic.
  8. Tom H.

    Tom H. New Member

    Re: Re: Civil Discourse

    There was some criticism of Dr. Peppler for having obtained unaccredited degree(s) prior to obtaining his SA doctorate and consequently, some questions about the academic rigor of SATS. However, it appears to have been investigated and most questions were answered satisfactorily.

    It seems a bit of a stretch to compare DI's scrutiny of Dr. Peppler's academic background with the type of smear campaign that the other guys have launched against Uncle Janko, Rich Douglas, Dr. Bear, etc.
  9. PatsFan

    PatsFan New Member

    Re: Re: Civil Discourse

    Just a point of clarification. Dr. Peppler's degrees were NOT discussed at all in this thread. That was another SATS thread. This thread primarily discussed SATS curricula.
  10. PatsFan

    PatsFan New Member

    Thanks for the helpful comparison from a SA student "insider."
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2005
  11. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Re: Civil Discourse

    An 'argumentum ad hominem' is the use of a personal attack against an opponent in order to refute that person's argument. The reason why it's classed with the informal fallacies is because even an asshole can be correct. So simply trashing the man doesn't defeat his argument.

    Asking what a professional educator's personal choice of questionable credentials tells us about the standards that he demands from the institution that he manages is a legitimate question in my opinion. There's nothing ad-hominem about it.

    (If academic credentials were irrelevant to educators' jobs, then there would be no reason to mention them in the first place.)

    I still think that Dr. Peppler would be best advised to drop the ITU and Newport degrees and only list his Zululand degree.
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: Re: Civil Discourse

    Don't think I did this if you're referring to me. Wasn't speaking of any of the men you mentioned.
  13. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    By trusting the consensus of the scholars who do, I guess.

    I'm not sure that its necessary for every reader to retranslate the Bible for his or herself. If everyone tried to do that, you would probably end up with some pretty inept renditions. You might get better results by consulting the work of those who specialize in that work.

    I think that most of the widely used Bible translations are pretty good and there's certainly a big literature on how each of them differs from the others.

    I'm glad you put that "editorial" in there, because I don't think that the Bible is the word of God. (I don't believe in God for that matter. :D)

    I think that might be a more of a Jewish thing. There's always been a Jewish fascination with the actual words and letters themselves, witness the medieval numerology applied to the Hebrew text.

    I think that historically, the Christians have emphasized the gospel more than the words themselves. Perhaps I could restate that by saying that the Christians emphasize the Bible's meaning more than the linguistic system in which that meaning happens to be encoded. If different languages can encode the same meaning, then the word of God could be said to leap the chasm. (Of course, no translations are 100%, so there has to be some flexibility in how the message is expressed.)

    Maybe that's a result of Jewish history. Jewish communities long tended to be kind of insular, trying to keep the surrounding goyish world a arm's length while remaining true to the Law, revelations and promises. After the destruction of the Temple and the expulsion from Jerusalem, that took the form of scholarship and academies, recording (and in so doing defining) the tradition so that it wouldn't be lost. For almost two thousand years, Jews at least theoretically and ideally lived a religion-centered life of study and observance.

    Meanwhile all the many gentiles were behaving like a herd of cats (the Catholics tried to herd us, and almost succeeded for a while), following our mundane interests all over the place (and inadvertantly creating the modern secular world in the process).

    So I'm not sure that most Christians are interested enough in Christianity to make themselves into Hebrew and Greek scholars in its pursuit. Medieval scholar-monks might have been. But today's Americans and (especially) Europeans? Nope. They have other interests. (Even the evangelicals.)

    Frankly, I don't think that most emancipated big city Jews retain whatever it was that enabled their ancestors in the ghettos to become scholars of Torah and Talmud, either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2005
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Neither Augustine nor Charles Finney knew Hebrew or Greek. Yet who can discount their contributions to the Christian faith?
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I've read SOME Augustine; frankly, I wasn't impressed but I am QUITE sure that this was a result of my frame of reference and NOT his contributions to Christian thought.

    Never heard of Charles Finney, so I will take your word (hee hee) for it!

    I guess BillDayson makes the most sense to me; the message of Christianity is apparently not in the words but in the person of Jesus.

    To a Jew like me, that idea is utterly foreign and impossible of understanding but I can grasp the consequences and clearly word-for-word isn't necessary to understand and accept.
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yea, I agree. I think the actions of Jesus are far more important than His words in light of so many interpretations. Not hard to interpret deeds.
  17. Bill Grover

    Bill Grover New Member

    Re: Re: Civil Discourse


    Still at me huh Jimmy ? For the record I never condemned Peppler, I said he was credible. I said ITS was to be condemned and that he should not have gotten a ThD from such a substandard school.. I also never said NO UA degrees are credible, my own got me into FOUR grad programs at: USD, PL, OSU, and Western! Four school districts in two states for 35 years paid me for having that BA. Has Dothan done you as well Jimmy?

    RE SATS I said it was good but could be improved!

    Time for me to now leave DI when my words are so misrepresented and when my reasoning is only taken as a sign of pride instead of a devotion to thediscipline my subject requires. You all can opine as well as I . So, Bye.

    Thanks to many for the good friendships and good learning to all,

    charis soi,

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2005
  18. Christopher Green

    Christopher Green New Member

    Didn't the apostles major in Old Testament? The LXX? the "proto-MT"?

    Just checking on that one.

    Another good question from Bill D. George Steiner has said that the "speech-act" is the most important idea of the 20th century. Austin, Searle and the rest would all say that one cannot separate activity and speech; illocutions take place in a historical matrix, and the words take up a conceptual environment in thier making meaning.

    The "person" of Jesus, the "Logos" is God's divine word. This is the basis, IMHO, for believing that written communication has any meaning at all. Of course we all take it for granted that written communication means something. But, unless our model of God includes more than one mind within the same reality (Trinity), what metaphyisical basis is there for me to assume that there is a mind behind each of the posts on this board?

    Blessings and have a great veteran's day to all,


  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Civil Discourse

    Don't let Jimmy frustrate you Bill. Don't let yourself be driven off. You are too good for that and your point of view too valuable to us.

    My suggestion is that if Degreeinfo is starting to get to you, then take a break from it for a little while. Change your routine, do something new and different, and regain some perspective. (This board and its denizens aren't really all that important in the big picture.)

    But please come back. Despite the fact that you've frustrated me from time to time (you remember :D), I've learned a lot from you and I value your posts. I look forward to them, so don't let them stop.
  20. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Well, I can discount Finney. But that's another discussion.


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