historiography

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Thu Dec 30 12:44:11 EST 1999


No, I am not kidding. I accept that the Mesha inscription is not very 
long and so there is a limit to what can be deduced from it. But I 
understand that it shows linguistic features which are clearly akin to 
those of the historical books but are not found in later Hebrew - as a 
specific example, the narrative WAYYIQTOL. No doubt there are also some 
differences. The corpus can in principle be extended by looking at the 
admittedly few other known pre-exilic Hebrew inscriptions e.g. the 
Lachish letters, I don't actually know whether this would help my 
argument. Anyway, the main point, as Ken Litwak points out, is that the 
Hebrew of the historical books is very different from that of the DSS, 
and the Mesha inscription is merely a control to justify the suggestion 
that different means older.

If the Mesha inscription is an orange and DSS Hebrew is an apple, and 
in biblical Hebrew I find segments and a thick orange skin, well we 
have an orange or maybe its relative a mandarin but not an apple! 
Maybe arguments on that level appeal to you better than mathematical 
ones.

I have not read anything by NPL which answers the arguments which I 
have put forward. Has he written any? I would be grateful for any 
references, as I have written to NPL himself. OK, I admit it, I have 
not read anything by NPL, but I trust that I have got a good idea of 
his position from this list.

By the way, what do you mean by "DH"? If you mean "documentary 
hypothesis" which is how these intials weere used earlier in this 
thread, I am not talking about that. I suppose you mean 
"deuteronomistic history", but if so I think you ought to explain 
yourself more clearly.

Peter Kirk


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: historiography
Author:  <jwest at highland.net> at Internet 
Date:    29/12/1999 18:31


Peter, Moshe, et al.,
The Mesha inscription shows that the DH is early?  You're kidding right? 
You think that a fragmentary inscription, brief, and of limited vocabulary,
is capable of bearing the comparative linguistic weight you have heaved onto 
it?  I disagree.  You are truly comparing apples with oranges.
And Moshe, i couldn't care less about mathematics vis a vis biblical 
historiography.

In short I think our problem is one of communication.  You are talking about 
one thing and I another.  You are talking about math and I am simply 
suggesting that you actually take the time to read NPL's stuff.  So I have a 
simple question- so that we are all on the same page- Moshe- have you read 
any of Niels' stuff?  Peter?

best,

Jim

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jim West, ThD
jwest at highland.net
http://web.infoave.net/~jwest



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