The initial email exchange between James Still and I...


First, here is the gracious letter he sent me, with my response embedded...


thanks for your message! see comments below...

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On Fri, 11 Aug 1995, James Still wrote:

Hello! I don't know if Rob over at the Secular Web has mentioned it yet, but my essay in reply to your NT Bias writing is now posted on the freethought web.

no, I believe he is too busy with a newborn!

but thanks for the alert...I will check it out hopefully this weekend...if the tone is reasonable and the arguments of high caliber, I would like to link to it at the end (or beginning) of my article...is that acceptable to you?

I must say that your's is the best apologetics that I have seen on the web yet (and that goes for much of the print medium out there too).

thanks for the encouragement! I really try to be honest with the data, but it is always an ongoing process! There are SO many assumptions I have to make about the readership, how much detail I need to do, etc...and most of the questions I have to deal with, are those that I have been brooding over for a couple of decades and only now--in the interaction with serious skeptics of a 'different denomination'--moving closer to positions that I can hold with a clear conscience...

but the task of analyzing and questioning and/or validating MY ASSUMPTIONS and hidden agenda is a never-ending one (and one my God consistently humbles me through!)...

Nevertheless, you knew that someone would counter your own biblical critique eh? :)

Actually, I never anticipated a response...I only check if anyone is reading my stuff a couple of times a month, and NEVER at the granularity of individual pages (with the exception of my philosophy writings ;>) )

If you are at all interested and have any comments or errors to point out it is found at:

http://freethought.tamu.edu/freethought/james_still/critbias.html

I am VERY interested and will look at it in detail soon (I hope)...although I might not be able to respond very soon...especially depending on the NATURE of your reply--there are several different approaches to countering my position (most of which I couldn't deal with in a piece which might have ALREADY been to long), but some of which might show up in YOUR reply, and therefore be a focused occasion for addressing!

(The main areas I didn't address are:

1. The 'constructivist view'--the unconscious controlled the writers (a la marx, freud, durkheim), without conscious knowledge of 'distortion'

2. the 3d view of the text vs the 2d-view I used (i.e. the formation of the NT dox as a historical dimension to be considered vs. the usage of textual elements from a 'fixed text' received from 'tradition')

3. the existence of KNOWN deliberate alterations of the text in later centuries--why would we not suspect the same ethos to apply at inception

4. clinical data on how WIDE a range of epistemologically-aberrant behavior might have occurred in the authors/editors, given their personal situations of the time

maybe your doc includes some or all of these, and will thus, 'incite' me to 'work through' these issues at another level of detail than I currently have..

thanks again for letting me know, and I look forward to reading your contribution to the discussion..

glenn


On Sat, 12 Aug 1995, Glenn Miller wrote:

> but thanks for the alert...i will check it out hopefully this
> weekend...if the tone is reasonable and the arguments of high caliber, i
> would like to link to it at the end (or beginning) of my article...is
> that acceptable to you?

I would be flattered that you might reciprocate a link between the two
(since mine is already linked to your site). I assure you that my tone
is not juvenile or innapropriate in any way; there is much too much of
that already out there don't you think?

> I am VERY interested and will look at it in detail soon (i
> hope)...although i might not be able to respond very soon...especially
> depending on the NATURE of your reply--there are several different
> approaches to countering my position (most of which i couldnt deal with
> in a piece which might have ALREADY been to long), but some of which
> might show up in YOUR reply, and therefore be a focused occaision for
> addressing!
>

> (The main areas I didnt address are:
>

> 1. The 'constructionist view'--the unconscious controlled the writers (a
> la marx, freud, durkheim), without conscious knowlege of 'distortion'
>

> 2. the 3d view of the text vs the 2d-view i used (i.e. the formation of
> the NT dox as a historical dimension to be considered vs. the usage of
> textual elements from a 'fixed text' received from 'tradition')
>

> 3. the existence of KNOWN deliberate alterations of the text in later
> centuries--why would we not suspect the same ethos to apply at inception
>

> 4. clinical data on how WIDE a range of epsitemologically-aberrant
> behavior might have ocurred in the authors/editors, given their personal
> situations of the time
>

> maybe your doc includes some or all of these, and will thus, 'incite' me
> to 'work through' these issues at another level of detail than i
> currently have..

You guessed it. I approached some of the rough outlines of your essay
from a historical/text critic approach in a sort of review of lit way
without going too far out there. Hopefully, between the two pieces of
work and any subsequent involvement between us or others, we'll flesh
out all of the relevant details of the evolution of the canon.

Regards,
Jim



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