Bill Burks rwburks at flash.net
Wed Dec 29 14:21:19 EST 1999


I will preface my remarks with the fact that I am merely a student and not a scholar
in the sense of the word for which it seems to be used on the list. I am also new to
the list so I haven't made many comments trying to make sure I understood the nature
of the discussion.  I will also note that last night while I was looking through my
collection of "Bible Archeology Review"  I came across your name in one of the letters
to the editor.  I certainly was impressed.

Let me also say I saw the use of the term "minamalist" (I believe that is correct)
associated with your name. Could you explain to me what that term means?

It also indicated that you believe that the text of the Hebrew Scriptures originated
around a time no earlier than 200 B.C.E.  I hope this is not a misinterpretation of
the words I read in BAR, and in the various emails that have been scrolling accross my

If we were to place this position in a historical context of the 1930's before the
discovery of the Qumran communities stash of hebrew texts that the oldest manuscripts
found up to that time would be the basis for our determination of the age of the
writing.  We would then I persume  conclude that the oldest text that was extant in
that day, the Massoritic text or whatever, would be the oldest evidence for the Hebrew

Extrapulating the current conclusions that you and Ian seem to be making, wouldn't
that mean that from the perspective of the 1930's the text couldn't be much older than
the Massoritic text (or whichever text was the oldest at that time).?  Is my
represtentation of your position correct?

I would think this would be a hard position to maintain.


Bill Burks

Niels Peter Lemche wrote:

> > Because in this area as in others we follow analogy. We have methods of
> > dealign with other texts which tell us that the date of an extant fragment
> > is not the date of the document. You have to give a reason as to why the
> > dating of the Biblical text is not to be approached in the same way as the
> > dating of Plato and Aristotle.
> >
> >
> > moshe shulman mshulman at NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
> >
>         [Niels Peter Lemche]  I have already answered that question: read
> the scholarly literature from the last 200 years. Ot at least some qualified
> introduction to OT studies. It is available, and I gave an excellent title
> for people with a conservative outlook. But also for people on my line.
>         NPL
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