SV: historiography (Jonathan: was Solomon)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Wed Jan 5 22:16:31 EST 2000

At 11.56 05/01/00 +0100, Thomas L. Thompson wrote:
>The suggestion that Genesis is
>'closer' to 'the earlier tradition' than Jubilees and GenAp on the basis of
>more explicit discourse is unconvincing as it stands. 

I have in mind the fact that both Jubilees and GenAp have their own
particular modes of transforming their source materials, the former
imposing calendrical imperatives on the text while the latter shows the
desire to have the protagonists experiencing the events so we have
narratives in the first person and examples of the fulfillment of promises
or actions (not found in Jub or Gen). This implies to me an editorial
policy for each which takes them further away from the starting materials.
If you are unconvinced, then perhaps you've got a more convincing way of
dealing with the data? If so, I'd be glad to hear it.

>For under 'earlier
>tradition' one might well be dealing with a wide spectrum of texts from a
>variant version of the same 'tale-type' to multiple 'earlier traditions'. 

This may be true, though I was dealing only with the descendents of Noah in
the analysis I provided and that permits me to consider the various stages
of the one tradition.

At the same time, I would consider that the overall order of both Jubilees
and Genesis is so similar (once independent traditions and redactional
reshaping has been excluded) that I am strongly inclined to think of a
single written tradition for the bulk of the common materials -- which may
of course have developed various manuscript families (as can be seen in
later text traditions) prior to the arrival at our Genesis. Yet there are
other sources including written sources, such as the Enoch materials
mentioned in Jubilees and acknowledged in GenAp (and, if not drawn one from
the other, the geographical division of the world).

>is even possible to think of the issue apart from sources with concepts such
>as 'common goal or purpose' or 'interactive discourse'. For example, what
>are the 'sources' for the peshering parts of Pesher Nahum? 

Revelation, naturally. Is it a rhetorical question?

>Or for that
>matter Genesis 4? (cf. Jubilees 5). 

I don't see much to say about Gen.4 -- having indications from GenAp would
probably change this, but alas... The differences with respect to Jub
include the descendents of Cain, which is considered a J tradition, and an
redactor of Jub who is ready to impose his own structure on his sources may
easily have omitted the bulk, leaving just the stump (the alternative
Enoch). The murder Jub has in a short version as is the case with the
flood, but Gen's flood is a weaving together of at least two traditions,
and it's hard to tell if Jub's is merely a drastic abridgement or an
earlier stage of a tradition. I feel safer talking about passages that have
the extra attestation of GenAp.

>I find source theories less and less
>capable of explaining anything more than what we already know implicitly.
>However, that none of these traditions are original seems a sound starting
>point. That Josephus and Pseudo Philo seem to be using genesis seems likely,
>but which version of Genesis?

In this situation I am referring only to the evidence from the table of
nations and this would suggest that they use the version we find in the
Genesis that has reached us. (And of course they both show a willingness to
elaborate on the original -- which indicates their approach to such a
sacred text.)

>	Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>>                    the earlier tradition
>>                               |
>>             -------------------------------------
>>             |                                   |
>>      ----------------                           |
>>      |              |                           |
>>   Jubilees*       GenAp*                     Genesis
>>                                                 |           
>>   * relationship not                 -----------------------
>>     easily discernable               |                     |
>>     between these two,           Josephus             Pseudo-Philo
>>     though both include
>>     a complex division
>>     of the world

Hopefully the last attempt at this. It merely shows the relationships of
the various texts that deal with the Noah's sons and their sons.

>	On the question of 'return from exile', Ian writes:
>> I would wonder what sort of cultural trajectory you could seriously
>> imagine to have allusions from the enuma elish enter the Hebrew tradition
>> (and they are there) without direct Hebrew contact with an environment
>> that used the enuma elish.
>[Thomas L. Thompson] Here I would start my answer with reference to
>my discussions in my Early History of 1992 and Mythic Past of 1999 and
>suggest that 'the religious fold' is the product of this amalgamation of
>peoples and traditions which at least by the 4th-2nd century become
>identifiable among the many Judaisms with its biblical tradition in process.

I have always been dubious about the multiplicity of flavours of Judaism in
the earlier second temple. The evidence I have seen is mainly based on
undatable materials (think of Morton Smith's Palestinian parties as
rewrites of Ezra and Neh.), though this seems to be less the case with the
emergence of a liberal tradition given a chance to manifest itself from the
time of Alcimus, ie the Hellenistic crisis which empowered many who then
had the opportunity to express a religious position. Before that I can't
imagine a chancelry, or at least a scribal, situation which could support
the diversity *in Jerusalem*. We then have to think about the possibilities
implied by the Tobiad family and the situation in Samaria, perhaps even the
mountain of Edom. But if there is such a variety, I cannot see it fostered
in a single centre, given the cost, and control, of scribal activity.

>How the enuma elish itself becomes involved in such process--and I do not
>see the biblical tradition simply as borrowing or using it--is the subject
>of an article I am now writing.

Guess we'll just have to wait.

>> Ian wrote:
>> "Post-destruction" was an attempt to maintain the idea of an exile in
>> which Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and, according to the biblical
>> accounts, deported numerous people. 
>But II Kings here is drawing on a literary trope, and must be so
>understood, before we can talk about its historical uses. 

An interesting opinion. Would you say the same thing about the fall of
Samaria? While I can see the exodus put together far too late to have any
constructive record of any possible events, you put formative Judaism(s) in
development in the second temple period, say three centuries after the
event in discussion, not long enough for traces of memories to be
extinguished nor for the borrowing of such a tradition in my mind (I still
have to think about how the events of Kosovo Polje were preserved). We have
the archaeological evidence for the destruction and the precedents for the

>> >>  [Thomas L. Thompson]   but all quite clearly
>> >> seem to be secondary uses of this geographical narrative which is a
>> >> well-known Hellenistic form, so your a quo must be ca. 4th cent. at the
>> >> very earliest.  
>	Here I am thinking of issues of genre: how geography was written
>through the creation of eponymy, genealogy and travelogues. I put something
>of this together in my Patriarchal Narratives but must return to it some
>day(p. 311ff.).

I gather you have in mind something specific here, for eponymy is much
older. All we have to do is think of the Iliad and other earlier traditions
to have eponymous founders and genealogies, perhaps even more mythological
than you had in mind. 
>>"massoretic tradition"?
>[Thomas L. Thompson]  It only implies that tradition we
>find in the Aleppo or Leningrad codices. This is already developing in our
>Qumran texts.

I'd think that your choice of name here is misleading then, for
"Massoretic" has specifically historical connotations. Other text types can
be seen in development in the dss and mixtures of what we later see as the
major text types are also present. Isn't it premature to talk of then of a
"massoretic tradition"?



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