[b-hebrew] Job: Who Influenced Whom?

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Fri Jun 11 13:38:11 EDT 2004

Harry Truman's middle name was 'S' -- nothing else.


On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:34:51 +0000 <david.kimbrough at charter.net> writes:
> It is important to re-state what the debate is about.  
> QUESTION: Is there any evidence that the Sumerian Job-like poems of 
> 1700 BC were influenced by a pre-existing Hebrew poems?
> ANSWER: No there is no evidence that any such Hebrew poems existed 
> or that any language existed at that time that might be called 
> Hebrew.
> AMPLIFICATION: It is impossible to prove a negative.  It can never 
> demonstrated that Job was not written in 3,000 BC or 2,000 BC or 
> 1,000 BC.  The fact that something cannot be disproven, proves 
> nothing.  I cannot disprove the fact that there are little green men 
> living on the far side of the moon.  That however is no argument 
> that they actually are there.
> It can be proven that Job was not written in 1,000 AD however.  This 
> is because is evidence, in the form of the LXX and DSS, that in fact 
> there were written versions of Job around 100 BC, in both Greek and 
> Hebrew
> 1) Job is said to own 3,000 camels.  It is pretty well established 
> that camels were not domesticated too much before 1,000 BC.  Job is 
> also presented as being a sedentary individual, not a migratory 
> shepherd as would be more appropriate to a Israelite of the 
> patriarchal era.
> 2) Job-like poems were an entire genre in Sumer and Babylon.  One of 
> the earlier ones (Ludlul Bêl Nimeqi) was written around 1700 BC.  
> Now according to traditional chronologies, this is the period of 
> Egyptian captivity for the Israelites.  Now how could the Sumerians 
> be copying Israelite poetry when they were enslaved in Goshen and 
> Pi-Ramesses.  
> 3) There is a misunderstanding about the argumentum ex silentio.  
> For example, Paul never mentions the virgin birth of Jesus in any of 
> his letters.  Does this prove that Paul did not know about the 
> virgin birth? No, it does not. This is an example of where the 
> argument from silence is a logical fallacy.
> 4) There is a however a valid use for the *argument from silence.  I 
> ask a man *Do you know Harry S Truman middle name?*.  He says *Yes*. 
>  I ask him, *OK, what is it?*.  He says *I wont? tell you.*  *Well 
> why not?* I reply.  *I won?t tell that either* he replies.  Here 
> there is valid reason to question whether this man does know 
> President Truman?s middle.  Here an argument from silence would be 
> valid. (His middle name was S BTW).
> 5) The fact that the historical record is ?silent? as to the 
> existence of a Hebrew Job around does not prove that there was not 
> one.  It does prove there is no evidence for one.
> David Kimbrough
> San Gabriel
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