[b-hebrew] Rohl's Chronology Deconstructed

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Mon Jul 26 21:08:11 EDT 2004

On Monday 26 July 2004 18:18, MarianneLuban at aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 7/26/2004 2:49:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> dwashbur at nyx.net writes:
> > If you read
> >
> > > > his
> > > >
> > > > material, he has no stake at all in whether the Bible aligns with
> > > > anything else in history; he simply doesn't care, and the fact that
> > > > he can fine alignments between the Bible and his revised chronology
> > > > is a curiosity to him, nothing more.
> > > >
> > > > The "mainstream" may be a stagnant pool at times--but that still
> > > > doesn't mean that just anyone who comes along to make ripples in it
> > > > is going to do so well enough to "clear the waters" of stagnation so
> > > > that everything becomes so clear you can see right through to the
> > > > bottom!  I think you are absolutely mischaracterizing Rohl.  His
> > > > "Pharaohs and Kings", for example, contains attempts to reconcile the
> > > > Bible and Egyptian history much of the time.  In fact, that seems to
> > > > be the entire goal of the
> >
> > book!
> >
> > > >  If he mere wanted to make points for a new Egyptian chronology, he
> >
> > could
> >
> > > > have utilized Egyptian evidence alone--but instead he drags in the
> > > > Biblical narratives--big time!
> >
> > First, the way your mailer appears to indicate quotations got a bit
> > confusing
> > here; it took me a few moments to discern what was actually your comment.
> >  I
> >
> > don't know why, but I've noticed it happening a couple of times over the
> > past
> > few days.  Just an observation, I have no idea what to do about it ;-)
> Nor do I.
> > I don't know where the phrase "just anyone" came from, it certainly
> > didn't come from anything I said.  Yes, the book does spend a lot of time
> > connecting
> > to the Bible.  But in the introduction, he not only says explicitly that
> > he really doesn't care about the accuracy of the Bible, he also explained
> > why he
> > used it so much.  I'm not the one mischaracterizing him here, because my
> > characterization is based on his own words right there in the book.
> The logic of this eludes me.  One doesn't care about the accuracy of the
> Bible--but attempts constantly to align it to Egyptian chronology.  Well,
> okay...

That's easy.  It's another historical document that needs to be taken into 
consideration.  And as he pointed out in the book, much of our absolute 
chronology - reign X of king whatever happened in year Y BCE - is based on 
Egyptian chronology.  If that's wrong, the whole thing comes down and must be 
rebuilt.  To rebuild it, we use all the tools at our disposal.

> > >  So it's not as if he has a biblical ax to grind here, his
> > >
> > > > purpose is purely Egyptological, and his goal is to correct what he
> > > > sees as an erroneous chronology on the part of "mainstream scholars."
> > >
> > > And yet his arguments against those "mainstream scholars" (who are not
> > > exactly in agreement on chronological matters, themselves) have
> > > persuaded few knowledgeable persons.  If you are saying that these
> > > "mainstream scholars" never pay any attention to new and persuasive
> > > arguments from their peers--you would be very wrong, indeed.
> >
> > I didn't say that, and I would appreciate it if you don't put words in my
> > mouth.  And while we're at it, "knowledgeable persons" is a matter of
> > definition, as we all know.
> Well, it did seem to me that you were a bit hard on this rather ephemeral
> "mainstream" and its lack of acceptance of Rohl.  If you really meant just
> Ken Kitchen, why didn't you say so in the first place? I didn't intend to
> put words in your mouth.  

Excuse me?  You just did it again.  I think this conversation needs to end, 
because you're clearly not paying attention to my actual words.

> You are assuming that Rohl is correct about the TIP.  What if he isn't?

Well, that's the whole question, isn't it?

> But, again, I make the point that you can't take years from a certain era
> and apply
> them retroactively.  Only prospectively.  

Peter already answered this.  See his post.

> If, when trying to align two 
> separate cultures, you have to take into account the dates provided by both
> cultures--if any are given.  The dates we have for the Bible narratives are
> contained in them.  And we also have attested regnal lengths for certain
> pharaohs.  The fact remains is that for Rohl to give credence to his TIP
> theories, he had to put the exodus way back in the 13th Dynasty--for which
> there is absolutely no good evidence whatsoever--just to get Saul to to
> co-exist with Akhenaten--and so on and so forth.  

No, he worked with the Egyptian chronology first, on its own grounds.  Once 
again, it's clear that you don't really understand what he did.  So there's 
no point in continuing.

> > So putting together a presentation that looks good and that "gets the hay
> > down
> > out of the loft onto the barn floor where the cows can get at it," as
> > Walter
> >
> > Martin used to quote, is a bad thing?  Again, thank you for making my
> > point.
> You are getting very defensive for a person who just stated that he can't
> make up his mind whether Rohl or Kitchen is right.

Nice try, but who's right has nothing to do with what I said.  So now we're 
swerving off the subject.  Again you make my point.

>   I've seen folks on that > list question some of Rohl's stuff, but they do
> > it respectfully and with deference to each other.  I was quite pleased
> > with the balance and with the respect they showed each other.  I did see
> > a few people jump on for a few
> > days, self-appointed experts who were going to set these people straight
> > and
> >
> > threw a lot of attitude around, and yes, they didn't last long.
> Are you implying that I was one of those?  And I did not treat the others
> with respect?  

Now who's getting defensive?  Did I mention you at all?  No.  Did I even imply 
that I would have had a clue who you were then vis a vis now?  No.  Did I 
mention anyone specific?  No.  I have no idea when you were there, I frankly 
don't remember when I was there, and I really don't care about either 

> It seems to me that the shoe was on the other foot.  There 
> were a lot of "experts" on that list who were sure Rohl was right--based on
> what they had read from Rohl.  In a vacuum.  They didn't know or care what
> any other scholar had said previously.  They got extrememly defensive. 
> Just as you seem to be now.  To what purpose?

And of course, the "in a vacuum" thing is pure assumption, because neither of 
us knows what those other folks have or haven't read, dug up, translated, 
interpreted, published, discussed with other experts, or anything else.  I 
have no reason to be defensive, because I don't know any of them and was only 
there a short time, as I said.  However, I have done mailing lists before, 
and every one I have ever seen, been part of or set up has had clearly 
defined purposes.  Go against those purposes, especially on a moderated list, 
and you're going to get nailed.  That's how it works.  

>   For one > thing, that is in fact outside the guidelines of the list.  For
> > another, it's
> > lousy Nettiquette, IOW, it's rude.  And someone who takes the trouble to
> > set
> >
> > up a list, maintain it AND moderate it, doesn't have to put up with that.
> > Such a thing hardly constitutes intolerance, it's simply a case of trying
> > to
> >
> > maintain respectful attitudes on the list.  The owner of a list has the
> > right
> > to do that.
> In that case, the list owner had better be more clear about the aims of the
> list than the following "double talk" that advertises the list now:
> "David Rohl's books and video series Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest,
> (A Test of Time in the U.K.), Legend ~ Genesis Of Civilisation, and The
> Lost Testament are studied and discussed. If you want to see egyptology,
> archaeology, and archaeoastronomy line up with the Old Testament
> narratives, then this is the list for you. David's television special, In
> Search of Eden is now available on DVD. DVDs of David Rohl's study day in
> Florida will be available soon - details to follow...Our purpose ~ to study
> the New Chronology proposed by David Rohl. Through exploring his framework
> of chronology discussing the various disciplines of science, we hope to
> understand and possibly help to refine his proposals. We consider some of
> the other alternate chronologies in circulation, but our prime goal remains
> the discussion of David Rohl's chronological outline. Other suggestions are
> explored by way of comparison. This is not an Orthodox Chronology group,
> nor is it a free-for-all on New Chronologies. The Bible is used and
> accepted as a historical document, along with other textual and related
> evidence. Beginner or scholar - if you are excited about David Rohl's work,
> and you enjoy ancient history, archaeology, and timelines, I hope you will
> come with us for the dig of a lifetime!"

It's only "doubletalk" if you want it to be.  I find it perfectly clear.  "Our 
purpose ~ to study the New Chronology proposed by David Rohl.  Through 
exploring his framework of chronology discussing the various disciplines of 
science, we hope to understand and possibly help to refine his proposals."  
That's pretty clear, no?  "This is not an Orthodox Chronology group, nor is 
it a free-for-all on New Chronologies."  Also quite clear.  In addition, most 
every list out there has a more detailed list of guidelines that every 
subscriber is expected to read and adhere to.  This list has one, and I 
suspect we're walking right on the edge of it, so I'll drop this conversation 
as of this word.

Dave Washburn
Insert clever epigram here...or not

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list