Question Concerning Inspiration ("Probabilities")

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Thu Dec 14 16:16:11 EST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
Sent: 14 December 2000 10:17
To: Peter Kirk; Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Question Concerning Inspiration ("Probabilities")


>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.

This is not accurate. At the time Kings was written it may have been modern,
"based on good research into what" was known at the time of the earlier
period. This is also the case for Creation. Your distinction seems to be
arbitrary and irrelevant. Would you agree that Manetho had relatively good
information about the Egypt of a thousand or two before his time? (This
doesn't mean that I would trust Manetho.)

PK: No, you have missed the point. "Kings" and "Creation" both correspond
with what is known TODAY about the history of these periods, including
knowledge from archaeology e.g. the Moabite Stone inscription which was not
known in (say) Hellenistic times but excluding much information that has
since been lost. But yes, I accept that we cannot prove in this manner that
Kings was not written in Hellenistic times but based on accurate knowledge
of the past contained in other sources known at the time but since lost.
Manetho is a good parallel, in that his list of the Pharaohs agrees rather

well (though not perfectly) with what has been discovered from archaeology,
from ancient inscriptions which Manetho could not have known. The many ways
in which Manetho has been confirmed suggest that his work is a reasonably
reliable witness to Egyptian history, even in places where it cannot be
confirmed. In the same way, even if Kings is late, my argument stands that
it is a reliable witness to the history of the times it records.

Peter Kirk

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