Tel Dan (Ian and George)

Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Fri Mar 2 07:17:33 EST 2001


	Ian,

	Just a few remarks concerning your reaction.

	The fact that it is suggested that it is not genuine by scholars who
	consider David not to be historical, makes their reaction suspect
instead of
	the inscription. 

	That brings me to the following, you wrote "one has to deal with the
text
	and not what one wants it to mean". I absolutely agree with you. But
next to
	it, you also should say "one has to deal with the text and not what
one DOES
	NOT WANT it to mean". I regret to say, but much of the discussion
with
	regard to this stele has been governed by a fundamentalistic versus
	anti-fundamentalistic position. And many of the oponents of the
"House of
	David"-interpretation made themself suspect in their publications
that they
	were opposing against a fundamentalistic reading instead of against
a wrong
	philological interpretation.

	Concerning the lacking word divider I am sorry to say, but that
argument is
	void. In Ugaritic for example you can frequently find such
combinations with
	AND without a word divider. It just seems to be a matter of
coincidence that
	it was not used here.

	(To be sure: this is not to say that this David is exactly the same
as the
	Bible depicts him; but I suppose they refer both to the same
historical
	fugure).

	George


	Dear George,

	This argument is clearly below your usual standard. It can just as
easily be turned around to say that the credulous people who accept the
inscription as genuine, do so because they have already accepted the
biblical story about David to be history or almost history. I cannot really
believe that you mean this, because your argument might be understood as a
recommendation: don't read Garbini! He is no good-one of those liberals whom
you should never read or pay attention to such negative and dishonest
persons. Just think of Dever's, Rendburg's and others more or less insane
attacks on the so-called revisionists.

	Regards,

	NP


	PS: Ugaritic is probably not so important in this place. We should
really stay with inscriptions from the Iron Age and not invoke Ugaritic or
Biblical examples at this stage.



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