Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Dec 12 13:50:30 EST 2000

Actually, it wasn't so much these if's that I was complaining about as some
in other parts of your posting which I snipped. Especially the following
from recent postings, which show how you combine a hypothetical if with a
leading question:

"If there is no evidence for such an existence as Judah, why would you
assume that "the six chambered gate would be a Judean typology"?"

"If the historical books don't have an accurate understanding of the period,
when were they written?"

And here's a double one from 6 December:

"If there was no "divided monarchy" as the evidence I've outlined suggests,
then my original statement is correct: <<If the archaeological indications I
have put forward are in fact related to what the situation was, then we have
a good indication that the sources for much of the material was compiled
without knowledge of the true power balance in Palestine before the period
of Hezekiah.>>"

See also below.

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 12 December 2000 01:58
To: Peter Kirk; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration (was Joe)

See below.

>If one doesn't want to understand the principles of history, then I don't
>see why one should even bother to comment.

I hope that this is a clear generic statement.

>History is not important to such a person.

This does follow from the first conditional, doesn't it?


ie those people who show no interest in the principles of history

>wash their hands of significant input

(the input provided by historical contextualisation for a text)

>if they are in the business of translation.

In the business of translation, the contextualisation of a text is extremely
important. Without such aid as a historical contextualisation can provide,
one limits the efficacy of one's translation work.

PK: Precisely. That's why my interest in history is not just a sideline.
However, I don't find your approach to contextualisation very helpful, as
the only historical context which you allow, in Daniel, is in contradiction
to what the text actually states (that these words were given to Daniel in
the 6th century BCE), and as a translator I am bound to give priority to the
text over a speculatively reconstructed historical context. If there is no
external evidence concerning the historical context e.g. of Kings, what can
I do other than translate in harmony with the historical context as
presented in these books?

PK: In the light of your replies to Christine, how would you go about
translating the books of Kings, or Gulliver's Travels, or for that matter
the last part of Daniel? Or would you refuse to do so?

I fall over my own rhetoric at times.


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