Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Dec 12 13:50:06 EST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 12 December 2000 01:45
To: Peter Kirk; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

>Ian, I've moved beyond Kuntillat Ajrud to another line of argument. If you
>have problems with my probability argument,

I don't have problems with it, you do.

>think of it this way. If I
>predict to you all of the winners at the races tomorrow, I think you will
>agree that either I was very lucky or I had inside information. Indeed you
>might decide to try to profit from on my tips for the day after, if you
>the betting type. But if I named for you the winners of yesterday's races,
>you wouldn't be very impressed. Gore Vidal has named yesterday's winners.

You insist on avoiding the implication of the example. You cannot know what
you need to know about the genre of the text in order for you to attempt to
apply your probabilities.

PK: The apparent genre of the text is irrelevant. I could have written my
list of winners in the form of a love poem. That doesn't invalidate it as a
list of winners, though it might make you want to revise your initial
assessment of the genre.

>The Book of Kings names, if not the future winners, at least winners which
>according to you the author had no information about. But doesn't that
>suggest that the author did in fact know the real winners?

You are making assumptions about a text and using theose assumptions as
though they had some validity.

PK: I make no assumptions beyond the facts (which you have not disputed)
that the book names every one of the kings of Israel and Judah whose names
are known from independent ancient sources. OK, if you prefer, replace
"author" by "authors".

>The argument is independent of whether I know the author or his work. It
>applies to any modern work which is based on good (or bad!) research into
>what is known today of this period.

I cited an undated, unknown text. It just so happened that you knew the text
and then assumed dissimilarity of genre (why, I don't know) and lost the
thread of the argument.

PK: If I had not known the approximate date of this text, I could have dated
it as modern by how well it agrees with modern scholarship and the random
selection of data from the ancient past which has survived. This is just as
sure as I can date a list of the winners of yesterday's races as not before


Peter Kirk

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