The daughter of Jeftah died? (Lee to Liz)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Jun 4 07:37:46 EDT 2002

Writing to Liz, Lee said:

>As you say, "assumptions are embedded which, upon closer examination, may
>not pan out."
>Daniel has proven that one of your own assumptions does not "pan out." Your
>assumption that "If you argue that this describes an histoical (sic) event,
>then you must have some theory in mind..." is obviously untrue, since Daniel
>does argue for historicity, but he does not have a theory of transmission.
>He simply believes the narrative to be true. No theory of transmission is
>necessary to support one's faith in the biblical text.

I don't think you are correct in your analysis, Lee. One can 
believe that "this describes an histo[r]ical event" without 
having "some theory [of transmission] in mind". Daniel has 
stated his belief. This however does not imply that one can 
"argue" that the Jephthah story was historical and in fact 
Daniel has not done so. He simply stated:

>>Jephthah was a judge of Israel.  He was in a place of
>>leadership over a nation; it seems quite natural to me
>>that his the events of his life would be recorded. 
>>The book of Judges relates the lives of the judges of
>>Israel, Jephthah was one of those judges, so the
>>author of Judges placed this incident in the book of
>>Judges.  Seems logical to me.

All nice belief statements. On transmission, he wrote:

>>These are things that can't currently be known, to my
>>knowledge, with any certainty.  

He does not at all argue for the historicity of the 

I don't see that Liz's criterion is an assumption at all. 
It is a necessity for any historical argument: one needs 
to know how the information comes to us for it to have 
historical validity. A story detached from any historical 
context is, as is, unhistorical. Though this is the case 
for the vast majority of the biblical narrations, it is 
only a historical reflection and does not in itself say 
whether the events happened or not, but that they cannot 
be used for historical purposes (as claims that they 
actually happened indicate).


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