[b-hebrew] Re: PS /g/

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Nov 17 16:09:32 EST 2004


You mentioned that the archeological record has a silence that screams, but how much of that archeological record is archeological, and how much interpretation? And of the interpretation, how much of that is theologically motivated? This is most true of the dating! That there is scholarly debate even on something as basic as dating, how many other interpretations are open to further debate? While interpretation is necessary for the understanding of archeological finds, don't we go too far when we trust modern reconstructions according to modern presuppositions as more important than original documents?

For example, when I read Exodus, the first chapters practically scream at me a description of Israel during the Hyksos period, and that the pharaoh of the exodus was Hyksos. Then when reading other histories about the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt and the almost total destruction by the victorious Egyptians of Hyksos traces including their records, should we expect to find Egyptian records of the exodus? I think not. I think it would be a waste of time to look. It is only the interpretation of dates that posits a different pharaoh as the pharaoh of the exodus, and how far can we trust that interpretation?

As far as which portions of the Pentateuch are older: context, context, context!

There is a historically recognized Moses who lived according to surviving texts, from ca. late sixteenth century BCE to late fifteenth century BCE. Which other Moses would you refer to? Could you refer to? What documents do you have?

If your reasons for your assertions below are based on the documentary hypothesis, 1) they are theologically motivated only with no historical, documentary or unquestioned archeological data and 2) therefore my opinion of the documentary hypothesis is not fit for polite society.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: gfsomsel at juno.com

> On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 13:08:18 -0500 "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> writes:
> > George:
> > 
> > What do we know about Hebrew prior to "putative Moses"? Only what is 
> > referring to earlier events written in Hebrew. Did Moses edit those 
> > earlier stories to make them conform to the Hebrew of his time? 
> > There is no way that I know of that we can tell, either way.
> > 
> Just what are these "earlier events written in Hebrew"?  If Moses
> supposedly is responsible for the entire Pentateuch, then how are you to
> distinguish which are earlier?
> > As for the dating of the Ugaritic texts, there was a debate in this 
> > forum not long ago concerning the accuracy of traditional dates. But 
> > even the earliest dates for the Ugaritic literature that I have seen 
> > (ca. 1200 BCE) is still well after Moses (who wrote ca. 1450-1400 
> > BCE). If Rohl and others like him are correct, even that date is a 
> > couple of centuries too early.
> > 
> That's an absurd date for this supposed figure.  BTW:  There probably was
> a "Moses" to whom many legends accreted, but this was not the Moses
> portrayed in the Pentateuch.
> > As for the literary style I referred to, it was not unique to 
> > Hebrew, rather it was one shared by other cultures as well, where 
> > the title and author were listed at the end of a document, not the 
> > beginning. There are several places in Genesis that hint, if not 
> > more, at inclusion of documents using this style.
> > 
> I think you will find that these documents mentioned are not quoted
> extensively.  Only small selections are used. 
> > As far as *your* dating is concerned, in the absence of historical 
> > documents other than Tanakh that can either confirm or disprove the 
> > accuracy of Tanakh as a historical document, how can your dates be 
> > anything other than theologically based?
> There are inconsistencies within the Tanak itself as well as the "lack of
> evidence" from archaeology whose shouting is becoming deafening.
> george
> gfsomsel
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