[b-hebrew] Samaritan script/proto-hebrew

Ingrid Hjelm ingrid_hjelm at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 11 11:41:02 EDT 2005

By the way. The article on Shiloh and Shechem might have been copied from
the Samaritan website www.mystae.com/samaritans.html . I have not posted it
there or the website you refer to. It's a paper and not an edited article.
Just that you know. Ingrid
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
To: "Thomas L. Thompson" <tlt at teol.ku.dk>; "Ingrid Hjelm"
<ingrid_hjelm at hotmail.com>; <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>; <ihj at hum.ku.dk>
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 1:23 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Samaritan script/proto-hebrew

> Dear Prof. Thompson, and interested listmembers,
> I have now read and reread Chs.4 (Deuteronomist vs.
> Yahwist) and 7 (Conclusion) of Ingrid Hjelm's Jerusalem's
> Rise to Sovereignty.  My feeling and thoughts regarding
> these are decidedly negative.  Rather than elaborate my
> negative comments, in what would have become a very
> negative criticism, I have decided to summarize my main
> points of criticism.  Hopefully, this will allow these
> criticisms and questions to be addressed, if not now,
> then in the future.  I do think some points raised by
> Ingrid are worthwhile, and that her book does a great
> service in making available more knowledge about the
> Samaritans.  I don't think proper Biblical study can
> proceed without objectively viewing the Samaritans as
> a separate community, even if it had cultural and perhaps
> political ties, with Judea.
> For those interested, an article by her (SBL/2002) that
> iterates some of the comments mentioned in this book
> is available at:
> http://www.mystae.com/reflections/messiah/samjudah/Shiloh&Shechem.htm
> My criticisms:
> 1) Mutilations of Biblical verses.  The most glaring are
> on page 179.  Some seem to mix Samaritan and Judaic
> spellings.  I think this is very severe.
> 2) Not properly referencing past research.  For example,
> p. 171 regarding tri-partite Isaiah being severely
> questioned in recent work.
> 3) Assumptions of very late datings for the Deuteronomistic
> History (p. 301), while at the same time taking the AF (a
> Samaritan Chronicle by Abu Fath) as valid evidence in light
> of very meagre arguments (p. 188).   Particularly, I think that
> the story brought on p. 211-213, about Samaritans proving
> to Darius that Gerizim was the proper Temple site based on
> exegesis of the Torah, suggests that it comes from a time
> when Samaritans did not have an "addition" to the
> Decalogue.  As it is quoted in an Arabic source and refers
> to the Qibla within the story, I think this would suggest that
> as late as the 7th century CE, the Samaritans did not have
> such a commandment.  One need only consider the
> warnings by Lemche in SJOT 7/2, p. 169 - 170 regarding
> dating the books of Samuel, to realize the problematic
> methodology that is employed in using the AF (and the
> Samaritan Pentateuch) uncritically in studies of the
> Hellenistic times and earlier as is done in p. 184 onwards.
> 4) Not dealing with linguistic issues (p. 188).  I would
> particularly like to know if any linguist on the "minimalist"
> camp has convincingly dealt with criticisms by important
> linguists:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il/msg00402.html
> http://www.mail-archive.com/orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il/msg00405.html
> I am currently studying the background of the books of
> Samuel, and yet, I look forward to reading Ch. 5 which
> apparently deals with some of these books.  I doubt I
> will agree, but I am sure it will contain much useful
> information.  I would like to thank Prof Thompson for
> participating in this discussion and Prof Hjelm for
> making the Samaritan evidence more available and for
> pointing the need to focus Biblical research in its light.
> Yitzhak Sapir

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