Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Wed Dec 29 16:30:39 EST 1999

because the history of Israel presented by the DH sucks. It has practically
nothing to do with the period before, say 900 BCE (otherwise, if you are not
convinced, read Finkelstein, not the new article in the JP, but Finkelstein,
and the collection in Finkelstein and Na'aman, and Finkelstein again, read
even Mazar's archaeology from 1990, which defends parts of the image of
Israel in the DH, but not in a very convincing way). When we have to quit
the patriarchs, the stay in Egypt, the Exodus, the conquest, the period of
the judges, and the united monarchy, well, at least a few critical minds
around get suspicious. It is very much like Herodotus and the history of say
the 6th century. he knows very little but writes a lot about Polycrates and
other people around like Solon and Croesus. Even more entertaining are
Homer, of course. Or Livy for that matter in his concoctions of the early
history of Rome. I am afraid that I have to side with Jim West: Keep your
models from maths were they belong. Don't ask people to start in the dark
age of nothing to build up a model for what we know, start with what we know
and move into the darkness. Alt and Noth and Albright preferred the first
way and ended up nowhere.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Moshe Shulman [SMTP:mshulman at ix.netcom.com]
> Sent:	Wednesday, 29 December, 1999 20:52
> To:	Biblical Hebrew
> Subject:	RE: historiography
> At 06:20 PM 12/29/1999 +0100, you 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.
> >	[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.
> Niels I have read various books and all fail from the methodology which I
> have mentioned. DH is never compared to other liturature, but is based on
> a
> priori assertions that are never tested. I am asking a question that you
> should be able to answer in a few short words. We were only discussing the
> point of the dating of the the Biblical text, and my point being that the
> dating methodology that is being used by those who proposed a very late
> date was not valid, and is not used in any dating of any other ancient
> liturature. If you can't give a one paragraph explanation of the
> assumptions, then it would appear that you have never thought about them. 
> moshe shulman mshulman at NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
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