The daughter of Jeftah died?

Jones, Brian JBJONES at stoel.com
Mon Jun 3 18:08:11 EDT 2002


I accept Liz's statement that we all have assumptions, often
unrecognized, that we need to examine closer.  However, Daniel's
assumptions in this argument, that the biblical text is based on
historical events and should be accepted as historical barring evidence
to the contrary, have always been explicit and cannot be refuted by
simply asserting that this assumption is wrong.  On the other hand, Liz
seems to have based her comments on the "assumption" that barring
supporting evidence or a detailed (perhaps provable) explanation for the
source and transmission of a text, the text should be regarded as
lacking historicity.  This is an argument from absence and a logical
fallacy. 

If Liz wants to take the stance that she will not accept the historicity
of an event described within the Bible without proof of its historicity,
that is her prerogative.  However, such a stance is not inherently more
logically valid than Daniel's position that the historicity should be
accepted unless proven otherwise.  Both positions may seem untenable to
those of the opposite view, because it makes it difficult or impossible
to "prove" to someone of the opposite bent something that you believe
but don't have much evidence for.  But that is in fact the nature of
"faith", and those who take Daniel's view do not have their faith
challenged by these type of questions because the questions only
indicate that we don't know everything, which doesn't prove anything
except that we don't know everything.

Brian

> You must have me mixed up with someone else.
> I don't think the story is historical, and I don't have anything
> bothering me. I'm trying to get people to realize that
> their statements carry implications, that assumptions
> are embedded which, upon closer examination, may not
> pan out.
> When you say "brought together" by  a D narrator,
> who was that D-narrator, when did he live, how did
> he know the story?
> I sense the anger these questions arouse; we tend to
> get angry when we run up against questions which
> challenge the bedrock of our faith, of who we are as people.
> 
> Liz
> 
>  The trouble is that while that
> > assumption may be comforting to us (how many of us woule
> > sacrifice our only
> > child even at his/her worst?), there is no particular support
> > for it.  THere is
> > one child sacrifice story in Genesis, there is another in
> > Kings (which gets
> > mentioned in Joshua) and there is Ezekial's comment (I think
> > chapter 22 but I
> > don't have any texts before me) quoting Yahwah as saying that
> > he gave bad laws
> > to Israel by commanding them to sacrifice their first-born.
> > THe editor
> > includes this story because it shows Yiftah's relgious virtue
> > (and thus his
> > fitness to lead Israel) as he keep his vow even when it led
> > in a direction he
> > had not suspected.
> >
> >                                                     Steve Oren
> >
> > Quoting "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>:
> >
> > > If you argue that this describes an histoical event, then
> > > you must have some theory in mind describing how the
> > > event happened to be written down and received into
> > > the biblical corpus.
> > > What is that theory that you have?
> > > Liz Fried
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: Daniel Walin [mailto:danserve4x at yahoo.com]
> > > > Sent: Mon, June 03, 2002 4:31 PM
> > > > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > > > Subject: RE: The daughter of Jeftah died?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --- "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu> wrote:
> > > > > If this is historical, what transmission
> > > > > theory do you propose to account for it's inclusion
> > > > > in the biblical corpus?
> > > > > Liz Fried
> > > >
> > > > What do you mean by the term "transmission theory?"
> > > >
> > > > Daniel Walin
> > > >
> > > > __________________________________________________
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