historiography

Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Thu Dec 30 09:08:44 EST 1999





> -----Original Message-----
> From:	peter_kirk at sil.org [SMTP:peter_kirk at sil.org]
> Sent:	Thursday, 30 December, 1999 18:44
> To:	Biblical Hebrew
> Subject:	Re[2]: historiography
> 
> 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. 
	The Hebrew of the HB is different from the kind of Middle Hebrew we
find in the DSS, but not all of it (Songs, Qohelet and a few more places).
Daniel, is as far as the Hebrew sections are concerned also biblical Hebrew
(mostly), and since I am no other serious scholar have no intention of
discussing  date for this book that predates the 2nd century BCE, it says
that people could write in biblical Hebrew as late as the 2nd century BCE.
We seems to speak about a language that has to do with a genre of literature
(which would -- by the way -- be a help to people who argue for a special
status of the HB books included in the Hebrew Bible). I.e. a kind of
socio-dialect. Siloam is closer to biblical Hebrew, but Mesha's language
seems further removed. For a good study of the language of Mesha see the
article by Kent Jackson in Dearman, Studies in the Mesha Inscription and
Moab, Atlanta 1989, and of course the comprerhensive commentary in KAI
(181).

> 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.
> 
	[Niels Peter Lemche]  
	Start with Prelude to Israel's Past, Hendrickson 1998, although it
will not convince you, because nothing can convince you. You have a long
time ago made up your mind. You have not even presented a decent critique of
the documentary hypothesis. (I may have goofed here, as I took the reference
to DH in connection with Mesha to mean the Deuteronomistic History, not the
documentary hypothesis. A mistake by me?)

> 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
	[Niels Peter Lemche]  NPL



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