b-hebrew digest: February 21, 1999
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Mon Feb 22 22:33:48 EST 1999
On Tue 23 Feb 99 (09:21:50 +1300), cctr114 at its.canterbury.ac.nz wrote:
> My personal belief lies somewhere in the middle between the literalists
> who see everything in these texts as totally accurate in all respects
> and the "minimalists" (if you will excuse me for using that label)
> who seem to want to place the writing of them in the 2nd century
> BC. There are just too many points of contact with events much
> earlier than the 2nd century BC for me to swallow this.
Well said, Bill. IMHO we ought to realise that we are dealing not with
Geschichte (History), but with Heilsgeschichte ("Salvation-history").
We are certainly NOT dealing with Maerchen (fairy tales) of the Aesop
or Hans Christian Andersen or Gebrueder Grimm genres. Shakespeare wrote
"historical" plays about British monarchs; these are neither Fact nor
Fiction; we might call them "Faction", like television documentary
dramatisations or reconstructions.
Some of the Joshua "Blitzkreig" narratives may be aetiological ("What
meaneth this heap of stones?"). But it makes sense to me that Ha`aY (Ai)
means "the ruin", not "the city" Ha`iYR (Bethel). It makes military sense
for a strongpoint like Ai to be garrisoned as a Forward Defended Locality
for Bethel. Joshua could not afford to leave a loose-cannon undefeated
military formation in Ai. It makes sense for the book of Joshua to be a
record of an initial Blitzkrieg campaign, and Judges the slow follow-up
Joshua attacked in the centre (Jericho, Bethel, Ai) and neutralised Gibeon;
then he turned south to defeat the South Canaanite Confederation; then
north to defeat the North Canaanite Confederation. The narrative tells
how he pursued all the fugitives and killed all he could catch. But after
any military operation there are survivors. These persisted for many
generations. So it makes sense that the slow processes described in the
Book of Judges would be necessary before all the land was possessed.
I haven't read as widely as you learned doctors and professors who post
here. But I did read Noth, Bright, Orlinsky, Kaufmann, Rowley and
Pfeiffer (to mention but a few) in my far-off College days in Bristol.
Nowadays I would rather read the TeNaCh, than read about it. 8-)
But I go on reading your posts...
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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