Bill's 'Position'.

Bill Rea cctr114 at it.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Mar 13 15:32:40 EST 2001


Bruce wrote:-

>I disagree that a position based on reason and evidence can be described as 
>'pure conjecture'. It may be conjecture in the sense of creating a system 
>of probabilities, but if those are shared by other responsible scholars it 
>is dismissive of a lot of real honest work to call it simply that.

On this list there seems to be a huge difference in what people consider
to be "evidence". With respect to David buying land on which the Temple
was built we two accounts which don't agree with each other.  We have
three proposals.

1. The accounts are both accurate, they just report different aspects
   of the purchase. This is "harmonizing" the accounts, easy to do and
   the results are reasonable.
2. The accounts are the result of a single original tradition which was 
   split into two factions and developed independently, hence details
   diverged. Again, it looks reasonable.
3. One account was written down earlier and the tall tale continued to
   grow taller and a second account was written at a later date. Another
   reasonable suggestion.
   
As a backdrop to this we also have David. We have three positions.

1. David is recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, therefore he's real.
2. There is no evidence external to the Hebrew Scriptures for David's
   exsistance, hence we don't know if he was real.
3. There was no Jerusalem at that time, hence there was no David.

I've read a moderate amount of scholarly work and a lot of them seem
to be in the bad habit of overstating their case. They use words like
"obviously" for things that aren't at all obvious, and make quite
phenomenal leaps from limited ambiguous evidence to firm conclusions.


While I might appear "dismissive of a lot of real honest work" 
I often think every proposal on the table is seriously flawed.
That's not a reflection on the work people have put into them.




Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_ 
E-Mail b dot rea at it dot canterbury dot ac dot nz             </   New 
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)  Zealand 
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