[b-hebrew] question re: Tel Dan stela
formoria at carolina.rr.com
Thu May 27 10:12:11 EDT 2004
Agreed, George. It seems that the Tel Dan inscription presents more
questions than it answers.
On Thursday, May 27, 2004, at 08:57 AM, George Athas wrote:
> Good point about the royal Israelite inscriptions. Are you saying that
> there were none, or that we have found none? The answer to that at this
> point in time must be that we don't know. It must be an argument from
> silence. I for one think that there probably were Israelite royal
> inscriptions, but since we don't have any in our domain we can't argue
> either for or against whether they did or did not refer to kings as
> 'king of [Dynastic Name]'.
BR: I'm saying that we have not found any. Because of that, we don't
have the advantage of knowing whether there was a standard titulary
formula for Hebrew kings, and what that titulary formula could have
been. It makes the Tel Dan inscription a rather odd bird, since, as you
point out, it is Syrian.
> In terms of epistemology and logic, if you are saying that I cannot
> make my point, then you cannot make your point either. There is no
> logically necessary link between proposing the likelihood of Israelite
> royal inscriptions and the use of the phraseology 'king of [Dynastic
> Name]' in those same inscriptions.
BR: I cannot address epistemological issues as I am not a Hebrew or
> However, since the field of interest is not devoid of all royal
> inscriptions, I believe we can say something. I am not declaring the
> matter proven -- I am merely building a cumulative case. And there is
> far more evidence for saying that kings were not labelled as 'king of
> [Dynastic Name]' than there is to say that they were. Neighbouring
> cultures do not seem to have used that phraseology. Neither does it
> appear anywhere in the entire biblical corpus. Granted, the biblical
> corpus is not a royal inscription, but it is literary Hebrew.
BR: Of course, your case may end up being correct. It's just far too
early to make that call, and I know you understand that was the spirit
of my post.
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