Historiography and Peter
mc2499 at mclink.it
Fri Feb 19 07:39:12 EST 1999
At 12.56 17/02/99 -0500, Peter_Kirk at SIL.ORG wrote:
>Well, if I look I can find many datable passages referring to
>Melchizedek which are not from the 2nd century BC but are later (for a
>start, look at Hebrews). Is that relevant? Yes, because it shows that
>a reference to Melchizedek in one document is no evidence that other
>references to Melchizedek are contemporary.
There is an interesting question that comes out from under this: why is it
that the next users of terms such as "God Most High" and "Melchizedek" are
>And as far as I can tell
>that is the only evidence you have for dating Genesis 14 and Psalm 110
>in the 2nd century rather than at any earlier time. (OK, you spoke of
>Hasmonean priest-kings, but then David appears as a priest-king in 2
>Samuel 6, also 8:18, and there is good evidence surely for
>priest-kings in the patriarchal period as traditionally understood).
We have the conflict between David who has his priests and David who is a
priest. The most logical way to resolve this conflict is to say that the
David the priest flowered under the Hasmoneans.
>Whereas there is good linguistic evidence for these passage being
I have seen the sorts of linguistic approaches that make assumptions about
linearity and the diachronic nature of the linguistic evidence without
considering dialectic and synchronic possibilities.
>As for a monotheistic Moses, the presence in Egypt in the 5th century
>and in Judah in the 8th century of syncretistic polytheistic Jews is
To the contrary, you leave out the important parts: this is Yahwistic
religion, not to Ba'al, Asherah, the Hosts of Heaven, and all the ones we
hear about in the biblical texts. This is Yahweh and his consort(s), one
example being in Judah, while the other being in contact with Jerusalem.
These are datable witnesses that testify to polytheism. Let's have a few
eye-witnesses that testify to monotheism in that age.
>Here is a version without ifs: There were
>near-monotheists in Egypt in and around the time of Akhenaten.
I gather that these were those Egyptians in the court of Akhnaten.
The polemic use of "near-" here is quite interesting.
>exists a narrative stating that a (near-??)monotheist from Egypt
>(named Moses) led a group of slaves out of Egypt, at an uncertain time
Is this the biblical one whose ancestry goes back to our knowledge to the
second century BCE?
>which may have been a little before or a little after the time of
The general theory says that the exodus took place at around the time of
Merneptah. This would have been 150 years after Akhnaten.
>This narrative is to this extent confirmed in its
>compatibility with the history of Egyptian religion.
I just (very briefly) stumbled over the Book of Moses as revealed to Joseph
Smith. By your logic the contents of that book would also have been "to
this extent confirmed in its compatibility with the history of Egyptian
We seem to have different tasks. Mine is to do history.
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