SV: The daughter of Jeftah died?

Niels Peter Lemche npl at
Tue Jun 4 09:43:57 EDT 2002

Because--in Ian's words--the contextualizing of Judges is not the period in
question, which is generally the problem of the OT/HB when dealing with the
past. Think als oabout Joshua who conquered Canaan from the Canaanites,
although in his days the country was ruled by the Egyptians--a small
mistake! People can see from art history when authors, artist, composer-you
name it--became interested in the past as real history.

Herodutus is mainly contemporary with the time of the Persian Wars--as a
matter of fact only a few years younger. When it comes to Herodotus'
description of the period before the wars, i.e. Polycrates of Rhodes, he is
probably no better an historian (in the modern sense) than any biblical
historiographer. Who will start to reconstruct Egyptian history on the basis
of his second book.

However, the theme has been about for many times over the years. The problem
is that the modern sense of history is so different from ancient
(pre-modern, i.e. pre 1800 CE) notions of history. If people stopped
repeating their own ideas and started to look of the ancient historiographic
literature, they may be able to see the point. We do not have evidence of
anything like von Ranke's or Droysen's historical methodology applied, in
the OT/HB, or in Herodotus or Thucydides, or Livy, or Tacitus, to mention
only a few authors.

Finally, do not forget that 'history' in Greek does not meen 'history' in
English, it (L & S) says 'research' as by newspaper people. The closest word
to 'history' in our sense is said to be Greek mythos. 

Will be back on-line in a couple of dfays.


> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra:	Peter Kirk [SMTP:Peter_Kirk at]
> Sendt:	4. juni 2002 15:32
> Til:	Biblical Hebrew
> Emne:	RE: The daughter of Jeftah died?
> But who is the author of the works of Herodotus, when did he or she
> live, where did he or she live? What was the process by which he or she
> wrote these (hi)stories?
> OK, we have a name and perhaps a few autobiographical details - though
> many of the events recorded date back long before the time of this
> putative individual. But we have names and biographies in the books of
> Joshua and Samuel though not in Judges. What makes Herodotus different
> and more historical than any of these?
> Peter Kirk
> PS We should not easily confuse the author of Judges with the
> post-exilic editor who added a few comments about the fate of the tribe
> of Dan.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Madden, Shawn [mailto:sMadden at]
> > Sent: 03 June 2002 22:12
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: RE: The daughter of Jeftah died?
> > 
> > "Who is the author of the book of Judges,
> > when did he live, where did he live?
> > What was the process by which he wrote these (hi)stories?"
> > 
> > Though today skepticism exists as to who the author actually was, the
> > Talmud was confident to name Samuel, a person who would satisfy as one
> who
> > would be familiar with the events or documents pertaining to the
> events.
> > He would also be someone respected enough to suggest that perhaps what
> he
> > wrote was worth keeping. As to how he wrote, who knows; who thinks
> they
> > can present an argument for the exact transmission details. And, who
> > thinks that lack of such knowledge negates the works we have today?
> Does
> > 21st century standards the only standards by which we judge the value
> and
> > veracity of ancient writings? Herodotus, problems though he may have
> by
> > today's standards, remains the father of history.
> > 
> > 
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