Sam, Chr & Josephus (Peter)

Christian M. M. Brady cbrady at tulane.edu
Sat Mar 17 01:06:38 EST 2001


On 3/16/01 11:58 PM, "Ian Hutchesson" <mc2499 at mclink.it> wrote:

>>> 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.
> 
Ian, since you have been such a stickler for what we can clearly demonstrate
and not making assumptions I find you statements that "no-one in second
temple times knows..." and "Ben Sira knows nothing of this" amusing. At best
you can say nothing more than Ben Sira does not mention Ezra. Why is pure
conjecture. To say that "no-one" in the second Temple period knew about Ezra
is equally ludicrous. It is un-provable and, by most estimates extremely
unlikely.

Cb 
cbrady @ tulane.edu
-- 
I may not practise what I preach, but God forbid that I preach what I
practise! -- G.K.Chesterton




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