Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Mon Dec 4 03:10:10 EST 2000

>>I thought the point I was making
>>was that KA was on the route to Eilat and thence to places like Ophir.
>What's the Mediterranean end of the route? Is it not Gaza? Why wander off
>into the desert, when one can whizz down the coast (being fleeced by all
>cities one passes through) and then cut inland, when it is shorter and
>perhaps safer going by the Shephelah?
>PK: "Shorter and perhaps safer", and perhaps cheaper, I accept. What I was
>objecting to was "only feasible".

Shorter, safer and cheaper. This should make it clear that it is the only
really feasible way, without simply providing creative ways that would not
reflect feasibility.

>>>As for the 6-chambered gates in the 10th century, which "indicate that
>>>were built by the same realm." This looks like confirmation of the
>>>account, which indicates that Judah and Israel were one at this time.
>>Shame it's at the wrong time. (This is heightened by Finkelstein's
>>re-evaluation of the archaeological chronology.)
>>PK: What's at the wrong time? What evidence do you have for the dating of
>>the United Monarchy? If you have any, that is evidence for its existence!
>Joke, right? It seems to me that you are ready to "absentmindedly" abandon
>things that you would otherwise not admit to. You, being a relatively
>literal user of the OT/HB, would normally date the Davidic golden era
>through internal biblical dating. But you get back on track below.
>>you think you can accurately date the events recorded in 1 Kings from
>>internal evidence alone? That seems odd, since a moment ago you wouldn't
>>look at the Biblical data at all. Perhaps 1 Kings contains a generally
>>accurate record of the events dated by Finkelstein but its internal dating
>>is not so accurate.
>You can live with this logic. It has nothing to do with history.
>>Or perhaps the inaccurate one is Finkelstein.
>Yes, but you should read him before commenting.
>PK: I am rather wary of people who try to revise chronologies after your
>hatchet job on Rohl.

Yes, it's better not to tangle with things you don't understand.

>>PK: I take that as a retraction of your "we know that Megiddo and Hazor
>>Israelite", for we have no evidence that they weren't controlled by China,
>>or Judah.
>You question was: "what 10th century evidence do we have for that which
>rules out the alternative that they were under the control of Judah at that
>To which I answered: "Nothing at all indicates it. You may as well propose
>PK: There is no evidence either way, if you rule out the Biblical accounts.
>Try this one in court:
>Ian: "Megiddo and Hazor were Israelite in the 10th century."
>Judge: "What's your evidence for that?"
>Ian: "Ummm... your honour... I say so, and there's nothing to prove me

The problem is, Peter, that "Israelite" to me is simply a name for a realm
that I have evidence for. In the Assyrian records of campaigns that mention
Ahab also mention Israel.

>I don't know about your analysis of the temple mount, but there has been
>suggestion that parts of the city was raized (contra Kenyon) in a period of
>PK: My tentative hypothesis is that there was a significant city and
>fortifications on the site of the temple mount in the 10th century, but
>no evidence remains, or is accessible, because it was all destroyed or
>buried 900 years later, in Herod's time. I know I can't prove it, but you
>can't disprove it, and so you can't prove your claim that Jerusalem was
>insignificant at this time.

This is a hypothesis of convenience: as there is nowhere else for the city
that you assume must have been to have been it must have been by default
there. The problem is and I think I've explained it before. You take no
notice of the form of the terrain. Much of the temple mount at the southern
end has been built up to have the large platform we have today. Before then
it was relatively steep and not particularly conducive to town planning.

>>>By the way, what has this discussion to do with Biblical Hebrew? ...
>>Getting the dating of the text right should help you get a better idea of
>>the significance of the texts...
>>PK: But you are not giving arguments for late dating, you are just
>>it and using that assumption to batter others with.
>You are not dealing with the main matter being talked about in this thread.
>What do we learn about the biblical histories, if there was no "divided
>kingdom", if Kuntillat Ajrud is a reflection of an Israelite power that had
>control of the Shephelah?
>PK: "If" - and your case is far from proved - I don't think we learn very
>much. The books of Kings seem to imply Judahite control of the Shephela
>during the divided monarchy period, but stories are not set there (except
>perhaps for the flight of Elijah, 1 Kings 19), and so the control could
>been theoretical rather than real.

It should reflect on the dates of the composition of the texts. If there was
no divided kingdom, when were the "histories" -- which in themselves claim
to be secondary works -- written?

>I see no efforts from you to understand when, how, why, and for whom texts
>were written. You assume they are basically literal efforts and that you
>already know because you believe them to be correct (biblical texts not the
>others). However, unless you can do a little better than what you've done
>far with your maybes and why nots, you'll never have any coherent, logical
>rationale for your assumptions.
>PK: Well, let's discuss this issue of why and for whom the narratives of
>United Monarchy were written, and let's assume for the sake of argument
>they were written at least several centuries after the time portrayed. Note
>that these narratives are intensely human stories, and the heroes are
>seriously flawed, not the stuff of folk tales and certainly not the stuff
>political propaganda.

True Greek stuff, what?

>Why were stories like that written down? Were they an
>attempt to reconstruct what actually happened? Were they deliberate
>Now most, not all, peoples do have a traditional history and understanding
>of their past. It is very likely that someone would have written down this
>traditional history,

As in the case of the American Indians, right?

>especially at a time when the ethnic identity was under
>threat. It is unlikely that someone could have written a work of fiction
>which conflicted with this traditional history and have it accepted.

Let us not assume so much in the one breath. A Davidic tradition doesn't
necessarily imply a united monarchy and all the other baggage. Go in
discrete steps and you can get there without too much "fictionalisation".
Elaboration of the stories over time, clarifications, the basic range of
tradition storyteller's arts and you won't get too much rampant creativity.

>modern film versions of stories like King Arthur and Robin Hood - they have
>to fit the basic facts of the traditional history, though they fill in gaps
>and bring in new slants.

They often fill in the bone structure as well. Have a look at the
Gere/Connery Arthur or the Costner Robin Hood.

>The Biblical author could have filled in the gaps
>(including the time line) in the traditional history from his/her
>imagination, and I think that scenario is much more likely than pure
>fiction - though it is far from proved that anything was from the
>imagination. I would suggest a minimum framework that comes from
>history that there was (at an uncertain date, though you have suggested an
>archaeological context for this) a United Kingdom under kings reigning in
>Jerusalem, traditionally called David and Solomon, which then split.

I don't think that the "minimum framework" you'd suggest will be related to
history. Divided or united monarchies don't seem to be related to history.
Just who the Beloved was is beyond all hope I think.

However, I don't think we are dealing with the who wrotes, the when wrotes,
the why wrotes or the for whom wrotes. Consider the book of Daniel -- or at
least the second half. I think we can answer a fair amount of the necessary
questions in a manner which should show the problems of literal reading of a
text. (If you want an expansion, I'll be happy to give one, though I think
you understand the historical context I have in mind -- the hellenistic
crisis of the early second century BCE.)


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