[b-hebrew] RE-Dating Daniel

Stoney Breyer stoneyb at touchwood.net
Fri Jul 8 13:18:25 EDT 2005

Prof. Medina -

What's "problematic" about ascribing inspiration to poetry, or poetry to
Scripture? And the question of fraud (pious or im-) in poetry was
resolved centuries ago:

The poet never maketh any circles about your imagination, to conjure you
to believe for true what he writeth. He citeth not authorities of other
histories, but even for his entry calleth the sweet Muses to inspire
into him a good invention; in troth, not laboring to tell you what is or
is not, but what should or should not be. And therefore though he
recount things not true, yet because he telleth them not for true he
lieth not; without we will say that Nathan lied in his speech, before
alleged, to David; which, as a wicked man durst scarce say, so think I
none so simple would say that Aesop lied in the tales of his beasts; for
who thinketh that Aesop wrote it for actually true, were well worthy to
have his name chronicled among the beasts he writeth of. What child is
there that, coming to a play, and seeing Thebes written in great letters
upon an old door, doth believe that it is Thebes? If then a man can
arrive at that child`s-age, to know that the poet`s persons and doings
are but pictures what should be, and not stories what have been, they
will never give the lie to things not affirmatively but allegorically
and figuratively written. And therefore, as in history looking for
truth, they may go away full-fraught with falsehood, so in poesy looking
but for fiction, they shall use the narration but as an imaginative
ground - plot of a profitable invention. But hereto is replied that the
poets give names to men they write of, which argueth a conceit of an
actual truth, and so, not being true, proveth a falsehood. And doth the
lawyer lie then, when, under the names of John of the Stile, and John of
the Nokes, he putteth his case? But that is easily answered: their
naming of men is but to make their picture the more lively, and not to
build any history. Painting men, they cannot leave men nameless. We see
we cannot play at chess but that we must give names to our chess-men;
and yet, me thinks, he were a very partial champion of truth that would
say we lied for giving a piece of wood the reverend title of a bishop.
The poet nameth Cyrus and Aeneas no other way than to show what men of
their fames, fortunes, and estates should do.
	- Sir Philip Sidney

Stoney Breyer
Writer/Touchwood, Inc.

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