Sam, Chr & Josephus (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sat Mar 17 00:58:35 EST 2001

>> Which would you have preferred?
>Do really want an answer to that? :-) Seriously Ian I have to say that the
>copyright notice seemed a bit... well, unnecessary in this context.

This is of course why you don't get so much new materials going onto the list.

>>> 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;
>As you correctly note this is an argument from silence. You cannot say that
>"no-one in second temple times knows the work" since you have not been able
>to ask everyone in second temple times. You have not even been able to ask
>all those authors whose work we do have, Ben Sira, for example, if he knew
>of Ezra, but had reason not to include him in his work.
>Therefore no weight can be give to this. In fact, this is the kind of
>argument that you are routinely chastising others for. Why do you allow it
>in your case?

Yes, I said it was an argument from silence, I would call it a glaring silence. Ben
Sira makes an attempt to mention the illustrious men in the Hebrew tradition. The
claims about Ezra is that he re-established the temple cultus, purified the blood of
the population from foreign uncleanness, regave the law, and Ben Sira knows nothing
of this, yet Ezra was seen a few hundred years after his time as just that saviour
of the Jewish race that Ben SIra knows nothing about.

>As for the argument about the Aramaic of Ezra as presented in the article
>on your website, lets just say that such a position is debatable and does
>not, as far as I can tell, have much weight either.

If you have a means of refuting Garbini's analysis I'd be happy to hear it. As
things stand he has explained the materials that translators either don't translate
or that they gloss over.

One has to deal with the anomalous tructure of Ezra as we have it, half in Aramaic
and half in Hebrew, bursting from Hebrew into Aramaic in the middle of a passage
dealing with a letter sent to Persia, especially when the first thing in Aramaic
shows lack of knowledge of what is being translated.

>The primacy of 1 Esdras is also circumstantial.

All our arguments about the past are circumstantial.

>There can be many other explanations...
>But here I will "cop out" and leave that for others who are
>more inclined to demonstrate.

I doubt that they can. But then, this is the study of attempting to regain what
happened, so someone might be able to demonstrate.


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list