Written by Women.???

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Wed Feb 21 17:25:08 EST 2001

> > yes, but
> > we have female members of royal families, queens in Egypt and
> > such, so I'm not sure a handful of pictures preserved by the whims
> > of chance really tell us anything as definitive as you suggest.

>> Yes, we have female members in royal families. That is a very good
>> observation of you. Does that suggest that they could write?

>Does it suggest they couldn't?  Arguments from silence always cut
>both ways.  And a queen, or a female judge a la Deborah, would
>likely have to know how to write.  I don't understand your reticence
>on this point.


I don't understand what you are trying to do here, Dave. You are not trying
to falsify the hypothesis put forward. It just seems that you are suggesting
some other hypothesis.

>No, you [Raymond] didn't refer to literature.  You simply said "data
>that are at hand."

Let's put it this way: all named scribes in the Hebrew tradition are men.
Ben Sira's ideal scribe is naturally a man. All images and indications from
other NE societies show scribes as men only. There is at least a prima facie
case for the male only scribe hypothesis. We need more than subjective
theories about text production, or the possibility that certain women might
have known how to read due to their social status (there is of course little

At the same time, how do you imagine that the art of writing was taught to
your hypothetical woman scribe? Was she taught by a priestly scribe?

I think that the production of most OT/HB texts was from within a priestly
context, a context in which women had no direct part at all. Do you think,
for example, that the ritual impurity attached to women for several days a
month in 2nd temple times would permit women to hold any position of
importance in religiously influenced society?

There is a marked social difference between men and women in the society
outlined in the OT/HB. What examples of women holding any stable
*profession* do you find in the OT/HB? Without showing that women did in
fact have professions, I doubt that you can put a case together.

>And I really don't see where the burden of proof is on me,
>since you're the one making the claim.

If you are going to argue against a position, I think you need to attempt to
falsify it.


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