Methods in biblical scholarship

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Mon Dec 27 00:17:41 EST 1999

See some comments below.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Methods in biblical scholarship
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    26/12/1999 03:25

Peter wrote:

>I'm not sure how soundly, that the self-attestation of a book, 
>its internal evidence of authorship and dating, should be taken at 
>face value unless good reason is shown why a particular inaccurate 
>attestation has been given -

I don't think we can give the writer the benefit of the doubt, unless you 
can establish a trend for only one person writing a work in the Hebrew 
religious tradition. We have a number of examples of more than one writer 
to a text, so it would seem to be the norm rather than the exception.

PK: Precisely what examples of books do we have which can be proved to 
have multiple authors? Or are you presupposing the DH again?


>Is there any precedent in other
>literature of the period or earlier for such ambiguous portrayals of 
>main characters? On the other hand, we know that real people are like 
>that. So I consider this to be good evidence that the narratives are 
>based on accurate reports of these people's real lives.

What you expect from characters is not necessarily in any way reflective of 
what was required from figures in cultic writings of over 2000 years ago!

PK: Good point. So, what was required from figures in cultic writings 
of over 2000 years ago? And what examples can you give from around the 
2nd century (rather than from the much earlier time of Gilgamesh) to 
demonstrate it?

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