Sam, Chr & Josephus (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Mar 16 17:13:24 EST 2001

>Thank you, Ian. You make it difficult for me to answer by claiming copyright
>on your posting, a first as far as I remember. So I can't quote it back to
>you without your permission. I don't propose to ask for that.

I simply don't want this new work going out to anyone without recognition for it.
There was absolutely no restriction cited other than that. So, don't worry, there,
there is no reason for you to degrade yourself to ask for permission. The
alternative to posting with a copyright notice was not to post at all. Which would
you have preferred?

>I'm not sure what you think you gain from quoting three documents whose
>dates are almost totally unknown.

There are very many dating indications for Ezra:

1) No-one in second temple times knows the work (the first person to cite the Ezra
tradition was Josephus and that was 1 Esdras);
   a. A strong argument from silence is the lack of Ezra in Ben
      Sira's list of worthy men, where, had there been such an
      important tradition, one should have found Ezra;

2) Ezra's Aramaic is in a mess attempting to reproduce Persian Chancelry Aramaic
without understanding what was necessary;

3) 1 Esdras has priority over Ezra
   a. because of the way that text has been carved up, with its last
      chapter being inserted into Nehemiah (Josephus attests to the
      original order;
   b. because the use of divine names are in a much more arbitrary
      distribution in 1 Esdras, while the tetragrammaton is never
      used in the foreign rulers' letters in Ezra;

>You cannot disprove any suggestion that
>all three, or their Hebrew Vorlages, date back to the 5th century BCE;

Point 2 disproves that possibility for Ezra.

>as you have often said there is no proof that Ezra etc are predate the 1st
>century CE. (Though you line of argument tends to provide such proof: if
>Ezra and 1&2 Esdras predate Chronicles, and since Chronicles is apparently
>attested at Qumran, then surely Ezra etc predate the fall of Qumran.)

I don't see that a text as described can in itself account for an attestation: there
is too little for one to be able to discern what the precise origin was. Imagine for
example a fragment from Masada was called a Genesis-like text, but in rethought it's
now called a Genesis text. Who knows what it really is with so little of the text
left? This is the problem with the tiny so-called Chronicles fragment. You need to
show what it is rather than living in the optative.

>Your analysis of the relationships amongst the Ezra material is possible.
>But there are many other possible explanations for the differences between
>this material and 1 Chronicles 6. The one that springs to mind is that 1
>Chronicles 6 is the most original version derived from Temple records, long
>enough to cover the historical time and so likely to be close to the actual
>historical succession.

Gosh that's novel!

>This list was then corrupted by haplography involving
>a scribe slipping from one occurrence of "Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok" to
>another - a well attested process - and this corrupted list made its way
>into the Ezra material.

Doesn't work, Peter. It would need for an existent text to disappear from the
tradition, for, had Chronicles existed at the time the list of Ezra was written it
would have been corrected to reflect what was already known. As it wasn't,
Chronicles didn't exist at least in the form we have it today.

>It is simply not true that the shortest version is
>always the most original.

I never claimed that. But you've often attempted to put what you want to argue
against onto me.

What we do know is that there have been examples of both processes, long from short
versions and short from long.

What I have claimed though is that if the Chronicles list had been available, during
any of the redations of the Ezra tradition lists, it would have been used to restore
the correct list.

One can see that Ezra has added certain names to the 1 Esdras list -- I don't think
even you would like to push your luck and claim that the list was reduced twice,
once to the Ezra version and then to the 1 Esdras version (you can't even try for
haplography on the second occasion)!? --, certainly not from the 1 Chr 6 list --
otherwise all names would have been reinserted --, so you now have two separate
sources (Occam is smiling), as those added names had to come from somewhere. At the
same time, Chr which was written within the same speech community, was never
consulted. Then, the Ezra high priestly lineage tradition was mutated again to form
that found in 2 Esdras, by reference to the Eli information found in Samuel, which
is contrary to the Chr tradition. This latter you would like to have existed before
this text. As these speculations, which seem to be implications of your "solution",
didn't happen, the Chronicles list was never available.

Of course, if you can produce a more coherent development which includes all the
data I will read it.

>Indeed here I would argue that the shortest
>version is manifestly not the original as it does not include enough
>generations for the historical time span;

There is nothing manifest about your claim, other than that you manifestly claim it.
The same logic as yours rules out that the Chronicles list is original because it
does not include enough generations for the 200 year historical time span between
Jehoshaphat and Josiah. This, to repeat the idea, says that there is nothing
manifest about your claim.

>but that argument does depend on
>my presupposition that there was an actual historical sequence of high

Peter, you need to consider all the evidence available, which includes the 1 & 2
Esdras information, when you attempt ad hoc solutions


(Dozing off)

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