b.gardner at abdn.ac.uk
Sun Feb 11 14:58:27 EST 2001
Following my remarks on Hebrew Bible [HB] redactional
growth, while I do not wish to abuse the list, I think it may be useful
background to mention that what I say about the Priestly Tradition is
exemplified in my forthcoming book on Genesis 1-11. In it, I reveal the
covert, hieratic style of P's writings, and specifically the inclusion of
sacred calendars hidden in the HB text (MT) but, typically for ANE hieratic
elites, kept from the laity's understanding.
In this hieratic secrecy we see an original example of the familiar
contrast between nistar and nigleh, i.e. that which is revealed and that
which is hidden. I give full details of the calendars: in fact, they are
parallel luni-solar, solar and sabbatarian schemes incorporating a clear
dimension for mishmarot (1 Chron 24:7f). in other words, as the perceptive
will already have gleaned, they are the forerunners of the tradition of the
Qumran Cave Four scrolls 4Q320-330. This is not fantasy or 'breaking the
Scripture' it is merely seeing what is there for (now) anyone to see.
My book, The Genesis Calendar: The Synchronistic Tradition in Genesis 1-11
(University Press of America, Lanham, MD, April, 2001) shows post-exilic
Priestly tradition deliberately manipulating numbers and names for the
purpose of giving a paradigmatic (i.e. festal) shape to community history,
in a way that is quite foreign to Greek annalistic history, and so
completely contradictory to ideas of truth derived from such a simplex
approach to biblical tradition. As with the D tradition in the HB, and the
Pauline corpus in the NT, some have tended to adopt, and apply across the
board, a view of historicity which is not feasible in all cases. The HB is
a multi-layered tradition and requires sensitive, intelligent surgery for
each redactional layer; the old simplistic historicism just does not cut it
any more: pure historicity is 'history' (or toast).
If anyone wants more detail about the book, just ask me at
b.gardner at abdn.ac.uk and I will send the information. In any case,
monolithic historicist religion has just received a body blow and we now
have to open up the storm doors and talk to Jews about progression and
tradition in light of a new discovery, which I have had the good fortune to
make, where a man who was devoted to the truth may well have invented a
story that Methuselah lived for 969 years. If we cannot accommodate this
strange new fact in a multiplex approach to truth, we will have failed the
test of history with an inattention to truth itself, because God, it seems,
is not a historicist.
Sorry to add this so soon after my last post but I thought this news was
well worth giving out.
b.gardner at abdn.ac.uk
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the b-hebrew