Ripples in the text (foll. Saturating the airwaves)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Mar 4 19:04:47 EST 2001

>Jewish tradition from antiquity claims that Ezra wrote Chronicles, Ezra,
>and Nehemiah, but this may or may not be true. Many scholars date
>Chronicles to the second half of the fifth century B.C.E., leaving open the
>possibility that Ezra was involved. The salient point is that Chronicles
>uses many source documents, and there is no particular reason for doubting
>the truthfulness of these sources.

I don't believe this is a salient point. You can't date those sources
either. You may not have a particular reason for doubting the truthfulness
of these sources, but if you are doing history, you cannot assume the
truthfulness of them.

I think I can show that the current book of Ezra dates to the early
rabbinical period along with the current version of Nehemiah and that the
current version of Chronicles is even later. (This is not to say that some
or even many of the traditions are not earlier, but there has been
substantial work on these texts after the time of Josephus. If this is
correct then there is a grave problem of distinguishing just what is from
that period and what is earlier.)

>>>It seems likely that David would have secured a site before drawing up
>>Again, what seems likely is not something you can talk about from your
>>source materials. You can talk about the texts and what they say and
>>which version of a tradition has priority. But we are only talking about
>>texts and I can see no way of getting beyond the text. Can you?
>You cannot get beyond the text, but I was dealing with the text. I was
>making what may be called a reasonable hypothesis for correlating the data
>from 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles.

No, I don't think so. You were merely assuming the basic contents of the
texts were historical and then making a hypothesis. You are at least one too
many steps away from making a reasonable hypothesis. And the same problem
occurs for Samuel as occurs for Chronicles: you cannot date that text


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