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Invective and Issues of Substance

September 9, 2011

I complained earlier about some resorting to personal invective instead of sober discussion of issues arising from my original posting on “Tools of the Trade”, and if you’d like to see an example of this:

I’ll let readers judge what to make of it, whose mind seems closed firmly, but to my mind the rancorous tone (and the total absence of any basis in any of my postings) does a dis-service to any position on any of the issues involved.

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  1. Bob W permalink

    Larry – rule number one of blogging is to ignore the trolls on the comment stream. or delete them. but certainly don’t link to them!


  2. Dear Prof. Hurtado,

    I found the contents of the “stalin mustache” blog that you cite highly offensive and, well, extremely unprofessional. I am just getting around to reading your previous posts on “tools of the trade” and wholeheartedly agree with your position on language requirements. As a current PhD student in NT myself, I do not see how one could make it through a life of scholarship without knowing the “big four” (Greek, Hebrew, German, French). On a personal note, I tutored an international PhD student when I was working on my MA at Yale who was toward the end of his/her PhD thesis on a famous topic in one of Paul’s letters. This person, sadly, did not know the Greek alphabet, much less anything else about the language. I continue to hear of many other, similar cases. Thank you for the thoughtful posts, Professor.

  3. John Stackhouse permalink

    Yeah, I thought Brother Veale was raising plausible concerns while the ranter from Newcastle so obviously disqualifies himself from serious consideration (I mean, really: Stalin’s career is “ambiguous” and we can affectionately remember his great moustache? Self-parody does your work for you here).

    In our post-colonial, post-modern age, we do need to be both realistic about The Way Things Are (make a case that there is a trove of overlooked NT studies in Samoan and we’ll all learn Samoan, but is anyone seriously disputing that you ought to learn English, French, and German first?) and also realistic about The Way Things Have Been (pish-tosh to the idea that there could be anything worthy done in NT studies outside the great universities of Britain, Germany, France and the USA–say, the work on early Christ-devotion by some guy in the middle of Canada, for Pete’s sake).

    We all can stand to be examined for ideological blinders that are keeping us from more knowledge and more fellowship than we currently enjoy. But as we stand for it, we can also stand for the common sense that the structures are the way they are, and if you want seriously to engage them, you have to engage THEM, and not what one wishes they were.

    Onward, all!

  4. Mike Bird permalink


    Enjoy the irony of how these tolerant “marxist” interpreters lament the hegemony of any interpretive paradigm other than their own.

  5. Got as far as ‘senile splutterings’ and clicked close. Vitriol immediately invalidates an argument. Seems like a ‘gatekeeper’ is needed to look after the kids in the playground…

  6. No offense intended. I accept your apology for the tone of your earlier blog postings and your assurances that you want to engage issues of substance and in a rigorous (but not personalized) manner. The posting I’ve cited is so over-the-top that it was hard not to do so. I take it that you join me in disapproving of its contentless vituperation.

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