[b-hebrew] Samaritan script/proto-hebrew

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 15:10:55 EDT 2005


Uri Hurwitz wrote:

> Yitzhak Sapir wrote, in part: 

> ..." In
> asking ourselves the question "When did the MT Former Prophets
> exist?", we must answer, "we only know that by the 2nd century
> BCE or 1st century BCE at the latest, that the Former Prophets
> existed." This is because of the various translations,...."
> 
>   If one reads Yishayahu, Yirmiyahu etc. one cannot but come 
> accross various concrete refrences to historical events in their time, 
> involving  Neo Assyrian and Neo Babylonian events, apart from the 
> names of kings under whom they prophesized.
> 
>  By Hellenistic time we have not a scintilla of evidence that anyone 
> was familiar with cuneiform in Judea.The historical material preserved 
> with the prophets does not seem to be contested by anyone, except 
> you Yitzhak, and I see no need to belabor the point.

First, it seems you confuse Former Prophets (Neviim Rishonim) with
Later Prophets (Neviim Ahronim).  The Former are Joshua, Judges,
Samuel, and Kings.  The Latter consist of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
and the Minor Prophets (Trei Asar).  Thus, "Former Prophets" is a
more neutral term for someone who doesn't accept that Joshua
through Kings was a consistent account of history written by a 7th
century "Deuteronomistic School."

Second, while I believe that some of these books date very early
and some are based on authentic sources from early times (see, 
for example, "Sources and Composition in the History of David," 
in *The Origins of the Ancient Israelite States*, ed. V. Fritz and P.R. 
Davies, Sheffield 1996, pp. 170-186, where Nadav Naaman argues that
elements in the book of Kings are based on a concise historical 
account from the 9th century  BCE), this type of argumentation is
much less decisive than the 2nd century BCE and onwards where
we have evidence that these books existed in much the same form
as we have them today.  The thing is, we don't know what sources 
were available prior to this time.  Any argument based on events
depicted in the books prior to this time must be considered
circumstantial.

Yitzhak Sapir



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