Sam, Chr & Josephus (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sat Mar 17 08:23:33 EST 2001

>2) Ezra's Aramaic is in a mess attempting to reproduce Persian Chancelry
>   Aramaic without understanding what was necessary;
>PK: But I don't accept this one. You have quoted your friend Garbini's
>argument many times,

(He's not my friend in any sense of the word. I merely appreciate his work in this

>but that doesn't make him correct.

True. One has to deal with his arguments.

>You have also many
>times before rejected attempts by others on this list to quote other
>recognised scholars as authorities or even as having arguments which need to
>be answered. In the same spirit, I reject Garbini's analysis. In case you
>wonder, I have read the Garbini article on your website, and, as a linguist,
>I found its arguments unconvincing. One important point is that we simply
>don't know enough about how Aramaic might have been spoken in Judaea in the
>5th century BCE to prove that the Aramaic of Ezra is not of this origin.

This is simply not true. You need to know what you are talking about before
commenting. There is a sizable amount of Aramaic from the Persian period. If you've
read his article you'll see how the Ezra redactor has misunderstood things based on
his lack of knowledge of the appropriate Aramaic.

>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;
>PK: You seem to assume a process of starting with an arbitrary distribution
>which is then harmonised. There is an alternative possibility that the
>original was the more consistent which then became arbitrary during copying
>and translation. Can you show me why your assumption is a priori more

The movement towards the total sacredness of ha shem and the implications of using

>>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.
>PK: It would if it were proved itself, but it isn't. See above. Actually,
>this wouldn't disprove it, as there remains the possibility that Ezra was
>written in Hebrew in the 5th century BCE and later partly translated into
>(bad) Aramaic. Not very probable, I admit, but to prove something you have
>to discount all other possibilities.

Given the existence of 1 Esdras, the hypothesis of the text later being translated
into Aramaic is the one that I follow.

>>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
>PK: Your argument doesn't work: "it would have been corrected" is
>demonstrably a false conclusion. Ezra is different from Chronicles, and they
>have both existed for centuries.

At least since rabbinical times.

>That in itself is proof that there is no
>universal rule that such texts are corrected to harmonise with one another.

Gawd, Peter. That's a wild one! There is a weight of evidence to show that
traditions in the second temple were fluid, yet sometime after the second temple
this fluidity dried up. Do you mean to tell me that this is not your understanding
of the situation?? Even the scribal traditions were filtered into almost one single
style. As Cross saw it, the scribal traits in the two hundred and fifty years from
about 150 BCE to 100 CE showed far more variety than the next thousand years. The
main lines of OT/HB tradition (Samaritan, LXX and MT) were all reflected and more in
the DSS. That variety did not continue. After the fall of the temple the few
manuscripts we have from the time of Bar Kochba reflect the proto-Massoretic
tradition (this is even true for Masada). Forget your alternative explanation: it
doesn't fit the facts.

>>>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.
>PK: And vice versa? Why not? But this harmonisation didn't happen, neither
>one way nor the other. Why?

Because one of the traditions didn't exist.

>>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.
>PK: As we have four different but not completely independent lists, there
>must have been at least three separate processes to make the necessary
>changes. You are proposing three different lengthening processes. Occam
>smiles at that equally.

Naaa. While I have a nice clear reason for such a prgressive lengthening, you
overlook it. That's not kosher, Peter. Use Occam fairly.

>I suggest three shortening processes, or perhaps a mixture of
>different processes.

This requires a certain arbitrary set of events to happen three times, doesn't it??
The lengthening of the lists is a conscious active intervention. You've first tried
the haplography argument which is minimally possible to get rid of one of the
"Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok" sequences, but then you've got no other reasons up your
sleave to account for the form of the lists.

>I never argued that Chr was within the same speech community.

I did. The linguistic information is in.

>Of course, if you can produce a more coherent development which includes all
>the data I will read it.
>PK: I don't have time, unfortunately.

But you certainly have time to abuse Occam as you have! (Is this just that
inerrantist beast feeling attacked and raising its ugly head?)


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