historiography

Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Wed Dec 29 16:18:33 EST 1999


The Old Testament-A Hellenistic Book? Scandi-navian Journal for the Old
Testament 7 (1993), 163-193

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Jim West [SMTP:jwest at highland.net]
> Sent:	Wednesday, 29 December, 1999 21:27
> To:	Biblical Hebrew
> Cc:	b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu
> Subject:	Re: historiography
> 
> At 01:21 PM 12/29/99 -0600, you wrote:
> >Niels,
> >
> >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
> correct)
> >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
> 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.
> 
> 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
> 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.
> 
> But even the Qumran texts dont predate the 2nd century BCE.
> 
> >
> >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?
> 
> 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).
> 
> best,
> 
> Jim
> 
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> 
> Jim West, ThD
> jwest at highland.net
> http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
> 
> 
> 
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