Methods in biblical scholarship

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Mon Dec 27 00:30:40 EST 1999

See some more comments on this one below.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Methods in biblical scholarship
Author:  <npl at> at Internet
Date:    26/12/1999 10:40

        [Niels Peter Lemche]  From the interchange between Peter Kirk and
Ian H.

> 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 -
        [Niels Peter Lemche]
> and Ian
> 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.
        [Niels Peter Lemche]  First we have to see whether the authorship
can be authentic. If not we have a different situation. Let's forget the 
Pentateuch for a moment and take the case of the Books of Samuel. Did Samuel 
write his books?...

PK: Has anyone ever said that Samuel did write this book? There is 
certainly no internal authorship claim. Note that in LXX the name 
Samuel does not appear in the title. So this is, I'm sorry to say, a 
red herring. The self-attestation of the books of Samuel is not to 
their authorship (which is unknown) but to the relative dating of the 
events reported in them.

.. Hardly as he dies in 1 Sam 25. Then we have a case of presuo-authorship 
in the HB. When this has been established, it is much easier to cope with 
the rest, Song of Songs or Qohelet or Proverbs (Solomon), Psalms (David), 
and people who believe in th Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch has a 
problem because they have to explain why the situation is different here.
> >and also how a recently written book
> >could become accepted as ancient scripture. (Yes, I know that there
> >are demonstrably pseudonymous books from Hellenistic times e.g. Enoch, 
> >but they were never taken as canonical.)
        [Niels Peter Lemche]
        The is blatantly wrong...
PK: Yes, but not for the reason you think. My meaning was "they were 
never taken as canonical in the Jewish tradition", sorry for not 
making that clear. So I am more asia-centrist than eurocentrist. 
Meanwhile, is there evidence that Enoch was ever treated by Jews on 
the same level as the bulk of the Hebrew scriptures?

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