[b-hebrew] Re: Job & Sumer

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Jun 10 20:26:06 EDT 2004


Sure, why not?  We're dealing with what I call the accident of preservation, 
for one thing.  The LXX and DSS were done on parchment or papyrus, whereas 
the Sumerian documents were done on fired clay.  Is one likely to survive 
longer than the other?  I would hope so.  Furthermore, the DSS are not the 
oldest examples of "recorded Hebrew writing" that we have.  ISTM that the 
paragraph below has one standard for Sumerian and another for Hebrew, which 
is not a valid procedure.  We have no real idea how old the Hebrew language 
is, and were it not for the accident of preservation, we wouldn't have any 
idea that Sumerian ever existed.  Basing such crucial decisions on the whims 
of nature seems like shaky ground to me.

On Thursday 10 June 2004 11:41, david.kimbrough at charter.net wrote:
> Dave,
>
> Do you really think that a 4,000 year old Sumerian cuneiform poem is
> derived from a Hebrew poem.  One Sumerian version is dated at 1700 BC
> (Ludlul Bêl Nimeqi), hundreds of years before any recorded Hebrew writing. 
> The earliest surviving version of Job are the LXX or DSS, which are, round
> 2,000 years old.  It seems like a slam-dunk to me.
>
> > From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> > Date: 2004/06/10 Thu PM 05:08:04 GMT
> > To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Job
> >
> > Here's the part that has always bugged me: how do you know that these
> > other poems aren't renditions or derived from a very old Job story?  I
> > know it's chic to assume that the HB came last, but I've never seen a
> > good basis for such assumptions.  For that matter, why not conclude that
> > such a theme was popular in the ANE and several cultures built stories
> > around it?  There are lots of ways to look at this.
> >
> > On Thursday 10 June 2004 10:56, david.kimbrough at charter.net wrote:
> > > Chris,
> > >
> > > Job is a Hebrew rendition of a much older poem, "The Righteous
> > > Sufferer" which is known both in Sumerian and Babylonian.  The basic
> > > themes are same, a righteous man who performs all of the correct
> > > sacrifices and ceremonies falls from grace with the gods and suffers
> > > terrible afflictions.  He struggles to understand how bad things
> > > happened to righteous men but expresses despair ever knowing.  A little
> > > snippet -
> > >
> > > My god has forsaken me and disappeared,
> > > My goddess has failed me and keeps at a distance.
> > > The benevolent angel who walked beside me has departed,
> > > My protecting spirit has taken to flight, and is seeking someone else.
> > > My strength is gone; my appearance has become gloomy;
> > > My dignity has flown away, my protection made off....
> > >
> > >
> > > David Kimbrough
> > > San Gabriel
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > b-hebrew mailing list
> > > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> > --
> > Dave Washburn
> > http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> > Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
> > is like getting a kiss over the telephone.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>
> David Kimbrough
> San Gabriel

-- 
Dave Washburn
http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.




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