Methods in biblical scholarship (Peter)

Ruthy & Baruch alster at comandcom.com
Thu Dec 30 03:08:54 EST 1999


Peter wrote:
The Amalekite was obviously lying in the hope of a 
> >reward. Anyway, your objection applies equally to a redacted version.

to which Ian responded:
> While David clearly seems to believe the Amalekite, I'm impressed that
you
> can divine that the Amalekite was lying. On what grounds? It would seem
to
> me that you are rationalising the conflict of the two accounts, not
dealing
> with them.

As the first account is written from the point of view of the narrator, it
has much more weight than the second account, which comes from a lowly
character.  The fact that David killed the servant does not make his tale
more believeable than that of the narrator.  It just shows how much David
did not want his name connected to Saul's death, a position that fits in
well with the rest of the book of Samuel.

As to your points from 2Sam 21-24, Ian, you are obviously right  that these
chapters are not an integral part of the story.  Whether they were added by
the same author or redactor, or were added in a different way, is another
question, however. I think these chapters were purposefully added to the
book, much as Judges 17-21, or the last few verses of Kings.  Yes, they
might very well reflect a different tradition (although I'm not sure
Chronicles did not get it right on this one).  But finding disparate
traditions in certain Biblical passages does not mean that every story was
written this way.  I would first look at the story as a unifid whole,
unless I can prove otherwise.

Kol Tuv,
Baruch Alster
Kochav Ya`akov, Israel




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