SV: [b-hebrew] SV: Kitchen part II:

Thomas L. Thompson tlt at teol.ku.dk
Tue Mar 22 14:27:37 EST 2005


Dear Uri,
In response to your questions: Actually, I haven't thought of publishing my response to Kenneth Kitchen in any way. I didn't think my remarks are important or particularly enlightening. I only pointed out that the poor man comes to the discussion thirty years late and still can't get it straight. He thnks he disagrees with me but can't decide on what his fury is about.
 
Of course, anyone is welcome to transfer these letters to Liverpool. I had read Kenneth Kitchen's criticisms many months ago and never took them so seriously as to imagine that anyone would be interested in them, let alone my responses. I perhaps hadn't thought of Kitchen's book as a "major scholarly work".  Is it? How would one know? I usually recognize such, but what is it about this book that gives you this impression? How does it--as we say about acceptable PhD theses--move the field forward? I had read it as some very bad tempered nonsense. But, perhaps, you are right and we will live with such nonsense the next thirty years. 
 
Nor had I honestly thought that there were many who thought much about the issue of historicity. Rather, I have had the impression that biblical scholars--and especially the society of biblical literature and perhaps American scholarship generally--would rather not deal with the issue. Certainly, the discussion over the past thrity years has hardly been open. But perhaps I am wrong.
 
Thomas
 
Thomas L. Thompson
University of Copenhagen
 

	-----Oprindelig meddelelse----- 
	Fra: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org på vegne af Uri Hurwitz 
	Sendt: ti 22-03-2005 17:26 
	Til: Thomas L. Thompson; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
	Cc: 
	Emne: Re: [b-hebrew] SV: Kitchen part II:
	
	

	     Dear Thomas,
	
	    Thanks for your answer to my question regarding Kitchen's criticisms.
	
	    I wonder , since the latter appear in a major scholarly work, whether you too plan to make your response known in a scholarly publication. This list, after all, is not designed to deal with  such issues, although they are of course closely relevant to biblical texts;  besides, the list's membership is very small, I think, in comparison with the much larger number in the scholarly community who are interested in the subject of historicity.
	
	    Uri
	
	  
	
	"Thomas L. Thompson" <tlt at teol.ku.dk> wrote:
	Dear List.
	This continues my previous post.
	p. 450 TLT 1: Kitchen does not understand the statement. I am objecting to the characterization of these stories as retrojections.
	451-2 TLT-2: He also misunderstands my position on Merneptah (Her one must read my article with Hjelm in JSOT 2003. Moreover the shifting signification of names refers to a limited group of names that have taken on mythic overtones in the Bible; namely Israel, Canaanites, Amorites and Philistines, not place names. Certainly anyone who has read my chapter on the Execration texts in my 1974 would not have confused this issue of genre.
	452-3 TLT 3: I am glad that Kitchen agrees the name David is unusual. It is also Semitic. In this discussion, I argued that "House of X" does not necessarily bear dynastic significance in the Bible: See House of Johnathan, etc. I never have made a charge of forgery regarding this inscription. Rather, I have argued that there were two inscriptions, which George Athas has improved on by shifting the fragments from their first published positions. Finally, I have never written anything on an inscription from Tell Miqne.
	453-4 TLT 4: If Kitchen means that Jerusalem's kings were paupers compared to Assyria's, Egypt's or Rome's, we are not far apart. I still maintain that Kitchen has never plastered a wall.
	454f- TLT 5 On Jerusalem and Judea in the 10th century, Kitchen should read the whole discussion, esp my Early History, p. 288-293. I fear some clumsy paraphrasing of mine has misled him along with Dever.
	455-458 TLT 6 On the Mesha story, I certainly am mistaken on the quality of 1st person motifs. I have expanded and corrected this preliminary paper in a study which will appear in a forthcoming number of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology,ed. by Grabbe. A biblically oriented synopsis of this larger paper can be found in my The Messiah Myth, p139-170, which comes out next month. The issue is not one of "literary flourishes" but of composition through stereotypical thematic elements, which dominate both content and function of such texts.
	
	There is biblical wholeness in 6 curses, so I will close here.
	
	Thomas
	
	Thomas L: Thompson
	Professor, University of Copenhagen
	
	
	
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