Methods in biblical scholarship

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Tue Dec 28 00:26:17 EST 1999

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[5]: Methods in biblical scholarship
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    27/12/1999 16:36

>Did Isaiah who was an adult during the time of Ahaz also write about Cyrus?? 
>PK: You are presupposing that predictive prophecy is impossible.

I'm presupposing that a prophecy had a context. Aren't you?

PK: I can think of all sorts of reasons why Isaiah might have wanted 
to give the name of the predicted liberator, not the least being that 
it would validate his prophecy when it came true. But then, if I could 
answer this question satisfactorily, would you accept this as 
predictive prophecy?

>Was the book of Daniel which partly shows a date of writing around 250 BCE 
>and partly around 165 BCE written by the same person??
>PK: Same again.

You can't riggle here. The 165 BCE is rather ironclad, unless you want to 
argue for a predictive prophecy that is correct about Antiochus IV up to 
but not including his death, for at that stage the "prophecy" goes quite 

PK: How can you be so sure that the events prophesied, or related, in 
Daniel correspond with events before 165 BCE when you have almost no 
reliable datable evidence for what those events might have been?


>As NPL pointed out Samuel died in 1Sam25, so did he also report his own 
>PK: Who before NPL has ever claimed that Samuel did write the books of 

So Samuel is another pseudepigraphic work, like Enoch, right?

PK: No, because "pseudepigraphic" means that the book contains within 
its text a false attribution of authorship. Samuel was merely given a 
name, which was probably never intended to suggest authorship.

>We could work out a definitive list of just how many books show multiple 
>hands, but these should demonstrate the point.
>And not trying to support the widespread use of the DH, have you got a 
>better explanation for the doublets and triplets in the literature?
>PK: Yes: the hand of a skilled writer who knew how his own language 
>worked much better than you or me.

This doesn't seem like a better explanation, just dogma unfortunately. Try 
it with Abram and Sarai in Egypt, or Abraham and Sarah in Gerar, or Isaac 
and Rebekah in Gerar.

PK: I could say exactly the same about the DH explanation. For this 
triplet, as I said recently on this list, I guess that the author was 
trying to make the point of how some people never learn their lessons.

>Plus some cases in which history
>actually came close to repeating itself - that does happen, you know.

I can see you're a gambling man.

PK: No, though with a cert like this one I would be tempted.



Peter Kirk

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