Stop with the Rohl material.
Niels Peter Lemche
npl at teol.ku.dk
Sat Feb 12 12:57:36 EST 2000
> This kind of attack is as unscholarly as anything I've seen recently.
> "Pinocchio's nose grew when he lied. You have a big nose.
> Therefore you must be lying." What kind of ridiculous guilt by
> association is this?
Of course it is scholarly. If Dave Washburn thinks that it is
unscholarly, he hereby says that he does not know what scholarship is about.
It has to do with sifting the evidence, proposing theories, falsifying
theorues, evaluating the evidence again, proposing new theories etc, etc.
and ot goes on and on. If there is at the beginning no evidence--and I
repeat there is no evidence for the claim that Saul belonged to the Amarna
period, it is a wild shot in the darkness. It cannot be refited because
there is no evidence, and it cannot be vindicated because there is none. So
what are we going to discuss? That some think it legitimate to propese
unsupported theories and demand that other people should think it worth
while discussing them? I do not think that this has anything woith
scholarship to day. And as to the chronological question, I see no reason to
think of any reason to follow Rohl. I have not read him and I am not going
to waste my time on it. But I read Bimson twenty years ago or something like
that and could not follow his argument, but at least Bimson wrote a book
that belonged to the scholarly field and put forward evidence in favour of
his thesis. Most of his colleagues--almost everyone--decided not to follow
him--because scholarly reasons, not because they from the beginning were
opposed. We have nothing against discussing new ideas if they are founded on
evidence. Sometimes we can be surprised. I read Peter James' volume with
interest an afternoon when visiting the British School in Jerusalem. He
mentioned evidence that would have to be checked. He necver resorted to the
kind of speculation we seemingly find in Rohl.
We have had this discussion about what scholarship is several times
over the last two months. Remember that it is the scholars who decide the
rules of their game, not laypersons. The lay can put forward ideas, even
discuss them but without the basic training that includes the ability to
distinguish between theory and postulate, there is little chance that the
layperson can stand up when it comes to a disxcussion with the
professionals. Therefoe I never discuss the details of my car (my ideas)
with mechanics. I have no professional idea of what is going on there.
The Pinocchio simili has nothing with this to do. It has to do with
right or wrong epistemology.
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