Question Concerning Inspiration (Peter)

Bill Rea cctr114 at it.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Dec 5 14:57:02 EST 2000


Peter wrote:-

>PK: Well, let's discuss this issue of why and for whom the narratives of the
>United Monarchy were written, and let's assume for the sake of argument that
>they were written at least several centuries after the time portrayed. Note
>that these narratives are intensely human stories, and the heroes are mostly
>seriously flawed, not the stuff of folk tales and certainly not the stuff of
>political propaganda. Why were stories like that written down? Were they an
>attempt to reconstruct what actually happened? Were they deliberate fiction?


At numerous points the writer(s) of books like 1 and 2 Kings tells
us what his/their sources were and refers us to them for further information.
Unfortunately for us, these sources seem to be completely lost. This
helps us to answer some of the questions you posed. Certainly they
were not intended to be fiction as we understand the word. Yet their
selective choice from and reference to these other works tells us
they were not compiling a comprehensive history as we understand
history. 

>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, 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.

Books like 1 and 2 Kings don't appear to me to be a record of this
traditional history derived from oral sources. Many times they clearly
state they are drawing on written sources. Taking a guess from the
titles these sources appear to be from the royal court archives or
something very similar.

I have post this - they're going to turn the power off! I was going
to say more.


Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_ 
E-Mail b dot rea at it dot canterbury dot ac dot nz             </   New 
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)  Zealand 
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