Hasmonean Bible

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Sun Jun 20 22:28:54 EDT 1999

At 21.40 20/06/99 -0400, peter_kirk at sil.org wrote:
>Thank you for making explicit here the underlying philosophical 
>difference between those who date the Hebrew Bible in Hasmonean or 
>later times and those who support earlier datings. 

Dear Peter,

I see no point in making such wide-sweeping presumptions as to the
"philosophical difference between those who date the Hebrew Bible in
Hasmonean or later times and those who support earlier datings."

I am personally prepared only to place certain texts in Hasmonean and later
times, so I don't strictly fit into your simplified analysis above, but
when you say ealier dates you have indicated that you use a literalist
interpretation of the documents which seems to me to be untenable, for it
requires you to make extremely weird hypotheses to justify the contents of
texts that make much more sense when one realises that they weren't
generally written in the times they refer to - weird hypotheses such as
earlier movements of people with the same name in the same areas, or
revision of the archaeological information because it doesn't match the
biblical accounts.

>You are explicitly 
>presupposing that there is no such thing as genuine predictive 

While I don't exclude the possibility, could you tell me some way of ever
testing the genuineness of such "prophecy"?

>which (to over-simplify a major philosophical divide) goes 
>along with atheism or perhaps deism. 

I don't understand if you are resorting to ad hominem or something I simply
didn't catch.

>But your arguments will never be 
>convincing to theists who reject your presupposition.
>So I am surprised to see a devout Christian like John Burnett showing 
>an interest in these late dating theories.

Some Christians are prepared to look openly at the data, Peter. Do you date
Daniel to around 165 BCE? If not would you like a rerun of the evidence?
You'll find a little on my
www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/5210/histreli.htm page. You'll also find a
translation of Garbini's analysis of "biblical Hebrew" which he claims
doesn't represent a real dialect at all. It's what half of Ezra was written
in. One would be daring to try to use it as a historical source, especially
when Josephus doesn't know the work -- though he does know 1Esdras --,
indicating that the present Ezra is probably later than Josephus.

It is historically unacceptable to treat a body of texts as representative
of the times they claim to reflect with only internal evidence to go by.
One must, if one wants to claim seriousness in analysis, show a reasonable
understanding of the position you are attacking. 

You cannot merely go by what Mr Mattfeld or myself say. He did mention a
number of scholars whose views you seem to be bracketing with his Hasmonean
hypothesis. It would be better to understand what each person's position is.



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