[b-hebrew] OT- perspective (was Josiah's book of the Law)

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Aug 4 19:52:17 EDT 2005

On 05/08/2005 00:08, Jim West wrote:

> Peter Kirk wrote:
>> On 04/08/2005 20:50, Jim West wrote:
>>> The DtrH does not find its genesis (thats a funny yet ironic phrase) 
>>> in the period of Josiah.  It was written after the exile.  And 
>>> probably during the Hasmonean period. ...
>> What evidence do you have for this unqualified assertion? I note that 
>> in a later posting you qaulified it with "in my estimation". But why 
>> didn't you write that the first time?
> Well one can generally presume that anytime anyone writes anything 
> they are expressing their views.  I presume, for instance, that what 
> you write is what you think. ...

No, Jim, if I write that something happened, without qualification, I 
mean not just that it is my view or opinion that it happened, but that I 
know that it happened, beyond reasonable doubt. You cannot know, beyond 
reasonable doubt, that the DtrH (whatever that might be) was written 
after the exile, because there is insufficient evidence. But I would let 
this pass if you could provide some good evidence that this actually 

> ... Further, I take it at face value that if you think something you 
> dont need to have 4000 other people think it for it to be valid or 
> invalid.  each thought has either merit or lack thereof and truth is 
> not determined by a popularity contest.  thats why i dont generally 
> play the "so and so says in this or that place".  I realize some do 
> not and cannot think for themselves, but i think better of you than 
> that and thus do not require your every word to drip bibliography. ...

Thank you. Bibliographies tend not to impress me anyway.

> ... As for evidence, the language of the text itself is sufficient to 
> establish its lateness, as the late Fred Cryer also recognized.  (see 
> any of his writings for confirmation of his views- which i share with 
> him).

This argument is almost entirely circular. We have so little evidence of 
pre-exilic Hebrew, if we don't accept anything in the Bible as 
pre-exilic a priori, that we have no hope of establishing absolute 
rather than relative dates of any documents.

>>> ... But you are right- there is scant archaeological evidence for 
>>> anything in the Hebrew Bible.
>> What, not even for Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus?
> And what do Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzer do to prove the Bible's account 
> of Israel's history? ...

They are part of the Bible's account of Israel's history. They are 
themselves something in the Hebrew Bible. And this confirmation of the 
general accuracy of part of this history tends to suggest the 
reliability of more of it.

> ... As I said to Brian offlist- the problem, i think, is that 
> archaeology is made to bear a burden of proof it cannot. ...

Indeed. But you then seem to argue "There is no evidence for this" 
(without making explicit that you are counting only archaeological 
evidence, which even in principle cannot provide the evidence) and from 
that "This probably did not happen" - or even, in the case of the date 
of the writing of the DtrH, "This did not happen" without qualification.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list