historiography

Moshe Shulman mshulman at ix.netcom.com
Wed Dec 29 15:17:16 EST 1999


At 01:21 PM 12/29/1999 -0600, you wrote:
>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
>screen.
>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
>Scriptures.
>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?

Bill, I happen not to agree with Niels here, but I think you fail to see
the problem. When approaching the date of origin of a particuler text we
have the fragment (or text) and then if lucky some outside information. It
is easy to project back when dealing with astronomical events since (we
assume) that no changes have occured, hence the formulas go both forward
and backwards. With a text we can't do that. However with other ancient
texts they will back date them with no more evidence then we have for the
Biblical text. This is my problem with Niels and the 2nd BCE date. Two
pieces of facts would strongly argue against the Biblical texts being new
at that time: 1. There is a first temple period example of the priestly
blessing. It's use at that time showed that it was not new at that time. 2.
The way the Biblical texts are used show that they are not considered new.
If we were talking about any other work of liturature those two would be
enough to date it at least 5+ centuries earlier. My problem is why that is
ONLY done with the Biblical text?  We are not discussing divine origin or
anything like. When one has special rules for one text as opposed to
others, that indicates that we are not dealing with objective scholarship
(as if there ever was such a thing as that in the liberal arts) but of
clear biases.

moshe shulman mshulman at NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh            http://www.chassidus.net
Outreach Judaism                       http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list