[b-hebrew] Josiah's book of the Law

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Aug 3 10:48:58 EDT 2005


Yitzhak:

Dora made a specific statement, and I responded to it. Your 
second paragraph goes back to Dora's statement.

The historical, written record claims that Solomon had the 
temple in Jerusalem built (he hired the workers, bought the 
supplies, etc.), what you have presented are reasons to 
doubt that written record. It is outside the pervue of this 
forum to argue which view is correct. There are historians 
and scholars who claim that your reasons to disbelieve the 
written record themselves are untrustworthy. To sum up:

The written record makes a claim

You and Dora don't believe that claim

Pros and cons to both arguments are disputed

Any attempt to prosylitize pro or con for any particular 
point of view on this question violates the ideological 
neutrality this forum has sought to maintain, therefore 
should not be done. Dora's statement skirted, if not crossed, 
the line of ideological neutrality to advocacy.

I, for one, rather doubt that the book of the Law found in 
the temple was one secreted in the foundation of the temple. 
But that wasn't the statement I responded to.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>

> 
> Karl Randolph wrote:
> > Dora:
> >
> > More accurately, you don't believe the evidence that was
> > presented.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> No, Karl.  The evidence that was presented was: "it was customary in
> ancient times
> to place documents in the foundations of buildings as is done even to
> the present day."
> There are several issues in using this as "evidence" for the
> suggestion that "the Book
> of the Law that Josiah's priests discovered had been placed in the
> cornerstone of the
> Temple by Solomon."  Firstly, while this is a possible historical
> scenario, it is still
> not proven that Josiah did indeed find a book.  I think Dr. Fried has
> stated before on
> this list that she believes that other descriptions of what Josiah did
> are not historical.
> However, I understand that this is in debate with amongst others Nadav Naaman.
> Secondly, even if Josiah did indeed find a book, it wasn't necessarily
> Solomon who
> placed it there.  It could be Joash, or it could be someone else.
> Third, even if Josiah
> did find a book, and regardless of whether it was Solomon or someone
> else, it is not
> necessarily the canonical Masoretic Torah.  In fact, it would appear
> that the account
> refers to only a small part, consisting of Deuteronomic law, even if
> the account is not
> historical.
> 
> Dora stated: "no evidence Solomon built the temple!"  There are
> actually a few issues
> here: 1) Did the Temple exist before Solomon? 2) Did the Temple exist
> after Solomon?
> 3) Did Solomon do any building work on the Temple? 4) Did Solomon
> exist?  I think
> there is no independent evidence for the answer to any of those
> questions.  However,
> in light of the fact that during the Amarna times, there is also no
> archaeological
> presence attested (so much so that some scholars have suggested 
> looking for the
> Amarna Jerusalem elsewhere), it is possible that Jerusalem was for a
> very long time
> the "capital" of a semi-nomadic population and that whatever early
> attestations of it
> exist are buried on the Temple Mount where they are today not
> accessible.  So it is
> not negative evidence, but it is inconclusive.  In any case, the above
> assertion (that
> kings buried ancient documents in Temple foundations) cannot be used to prove
> that Solomon built the Temple.  I mean, I don't see how the two are
> related in any
> way.
> 
> Yitzhak Sapir


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