Question Concerning Inspiration ("Probabilities")

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Wed Dec 13 14:36:47 EST 2000

Both the books of Kings and "Creation" contain some material which has been
confirmed by archaeology, and neither contains material which can be proved
to conflict with archaeology. Agreed? So I can say the same of both: either
they are ancient (or based on ancient sources now lost) and a generally
accurate record of their periods; or they are modern and based on good
research into what is known today of their periods. The difference comes in
that we know that Kings is ancient, at least 1st century BCE. The
implication from this is that it is a generally accurate record.

By the way, I have not talked at all about Hebrew religious literature. I am
referring to Hebrew literature which is presented as historical. Of course I
don't claim that it is without certain biases, but then no history is free
of these.

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 13 December 2000 19:01
To: Peter Kirk; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration ("Probabilities")

>>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
>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
>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

OK Peter, I don't think we are going to get past this. You are trying
exceptionally hard to avoid the implications of the parallel. You know next
to nothing about the date or other contextual data for Kings and for some
reason you pretend to marvel over the fact that a text which may have been
written long after the period it's supposed to refer to contains some
externally referenced information. So, Creation contains some accurate
externally referenced information. Withhold from Creation the same
information missing from Kings and you find the meaninglessness of an
argument from probability in such a context.

You do accept that some Hebrew religious literature from antiquity may not,
and may not have been intended to, represent any events which actually
happened. You indicated this with the book of Judith. Why must you insist on
defending Kings as historical, when you have no tangible reason for
believing that it -- above a work like Creation -- should be read literally
as fundamentally events which happened?

The archaeology argues against the notion of a divided monarchy, which is
the backbone of Kings. What positive evidence can you muster other than what
we already know -- that the kingdom of Israel left tangible traces long
before the time of Hezekiah while Judah did not?


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