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Re: Opinions about Fathers article

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  • DC PARKER
    May we stick to the basic issue? If something is erroneous and misleading, then the originator should not make it available and the user should avoid
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 1997
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      May we stick to the basic issue? If something is erroneous and
      misleading, then the originator should not make it available and the
      user should avoid consulting it. Whether people have one or a
      thousand degrees, and whether the medium is paper or a web-site is
      quite irrelevant. The question of access is apparently more
      complicated, but it is hard to see why confusion is preferable to
      blissful ignorance.

      I for one am resigned to the fact that for the moment people are so in love with
      things electronic that they'll prefer anything in it to looking out a
      decent book or to leaving the matter alone. But I absolutely support
      Bart Ehrman's plea for a gestation period in publishing
      electronically just as in the book production. Post in haste and repent
      at leisure.

      In passing, the claim that there is little available on patristic
      textual questions but a few articles is misleading. One could compile a long
      bibliography, of both general and specialist materials, without too
      much thought. But that's not an offer. It's just underlining the
      point that one should at least know these sources before writing on
      the subject, even briefly.

      There is an underlying point to these exchanges, which I want to
      speak to frankly: The more interest in textual studies the better, I'm
      all for that. But please will self-confessed amateurs listen
      carefully to those of us who have given our lives to these matters, and
      who spend every available moment in their study? After 25
      years at it, I have at least discovered my ignorance. I think that
      not everyone on the list realises that there is such a stage. To be
      honest, there is a huge gap in knowledge and critical training
      across this list, and in expectation of what constitutes proper
      scholarship. People are at many
      different levels of knowledge, of course, that's fine. But the standards and
      quality of the discipline will not be widely improved if those who
      should be listening, reading and learning are talking and writing and
      trying to teach.

      And please remember, before you rush to scold me, that this is not an arrogant
      piece of imperialism, but an attempt to encourage recognition of the
      high standards of our discipline.

      DC PARKER
      DEPT OF THEOLOGY
      UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
      TEL. 0121-414 3613
      FAX 0121-414 6866
      E-MAIL PARKERDC@...
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