[b-hebrew] R. Gmirkin on the Date of the Pentateuch

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 09:17:00 EDT 2006


What a firestorm this book could set off in discussions on this list.
And all of it based on ideologies, as there is no documentation to
back it up. Good reason it is off limits on this discussion list.
Mention it, but don't defend it.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 10/17/06, goranson at duke.edu <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> With all the posts on the relation of the Hebrew Bible to its Greek translations
> lately on this list, perhaps it is appropriate to mention a new book:
> Russell E. Gmirkin, Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic
> Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch, (T & T Clark, 2006). From page one:
> "The central thesis of this book is that the Pentateuch was composed in its
> entirety about 273-272 BCE by Jewish scholars at Alexandria that later
> traditions credited with the Septuagint translation of the Pentateuch into
> Greek."
> I find the book unpersuasive, despite its frequent use of words such as
> "doubtless" in its string, thicket, of hypotheses and assertions. The bold
> thesis statement is restated later, but with various weasel words added (e.g.
> pages 21, 251, 253). It is unclear, for example, whether the book settles on
> translation by the seventy or seventy-two proposed fluent bilingual visitors
> to the Library of Alexandria or "a single individual (or a very small group) as
> shown by consistent style and vocabulary."(251) On ane-2 (yahoo) list 25 Sept
> John Wm. Wevers, author of "Textual History of the Greek Genesis... Exodus ...
> Lev... Num...  Deut" offered a caveat to Gmirkin's online claim of one
> translator in contrast to his proposed 70 authors; Gmirkin responded 27 Sept
> that "....I don't think it materially affects my arguments which are of a
> purely source-critical nature."
>
> I consider several of Gmirkin's assertions doubtful, and the committee
> composition scenario implausible, and may write further, after following up
> some related reading. If one wishes to read a favorable, if not a cheerleader,
> review, one can go to amazon.com, where G. Doudna (thanked in the book) has
> posted, with the review title, "The Bible started as a 3rd century BC cultural
> studies grant."
>
> best
> Stephen Goranson
> http://www.duke.edu/~goranson



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