Jim West jwest at highland.net
Wed Dec 29 15:27:22 EST 1999

At 01:21 PM 12/29/99 -0600, you wrote:
>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.

Niels Peter's credentials are not limited to a letter to the editor.  Take a
look at Amazon.com and any of the many bibliographic search engines on the
web to get a taste of his accomplishments.

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

It is a false and misleading derogatory epigram placed on various folk like
Tom Thompson, NP Lemche, and Davies by those who are more fundamentalist in
their theology.

>It also indicated that you believe that the text of the Hebrew Scriptures
>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

Niels Peter is not the only scholar of note to hold this position.  See
Thompsons writings as well and Fred Cryer's as well as Keith Whitelam.

>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
>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

But even the Qumran texts dont predate the 2nd century BCE.

>Extrapulating the current conclusions that you and Ian seem to be making,
>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?

Not at all.  There are dozens of mss which predate the MT Codex L.  

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

Read the seminal essay in the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament
(year and date escape me at present-- NP will most likely happily provide it).




Jim West, ThD
jwest at highland.net

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