nehemiah, minimalism: giuseppe, ian (fwd)

Banyai Banyai at
Thu Mar 8 08:28:38 EST 2001

Ian Hutchesson and Peter Kirk wrote:

> > I'm not sure what you're looking for, but maybe it's an old text revamped
> >
> > for modern reading, such as one edition of Chaucer I have. Gone goes "Whan

> > that Aprill with his showres sote/The droghte of Marche hath perced to the
> > rote" and in comes the bland "When April with his sweet showers has/Pierced
> > the drought of March to the root". Gone goes the rhythm and cadences, you
> > can understand it I guess, which is what you were looking for -- an old text
> > given an overhaul so that it is now appears modern but contains archaisms --
> > because it was originally old anyway.

Thanks, that is what I meant. We may have there Rabelais (perhaps) for example 
too, or Grimmelshausen in Germany.
Whatever result would come out from a linguistic analysis we may not conclude 
about the age of the work but only more or the less about the age of the latest 
redaction. One may hold the latest redaction to be same with the date of the 
original work (minimalists) or postdating it (moderate maximalists). 
The result will be unconcludent for our main concern, historicity.

I propose a more relevant method: there are several pieces in the biblical texts, 
who are put in the mouth of prominent personalities. For example Moses´blessing 
or the prophecy of Balaam. Such texts will prove on an attentive analysis to be 
wrong attributions, that is: Mose is not the author of Moses´blessing, Balaam had 
nothing to do with his prophecies. 
It is on the other hand quite easy to identify the originators of these wrongly 
attributed texts and locate them within the time frame.
This allows much more interesting conclusions pertaining the sources on which our 
bible drove, than one may hope from a linguistic analysis.

I find the minimalist contribution as enriching our scholarly practice, forcing 
us, however we may stand, to seek a higher standard for our arguments.

Best regards,

Bányai Michael

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