[b-hebrew] Tanach book order - different in Christian Bibles

Philippe Wajdenbaum pwajdenbaum at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 3 10:17:13 EDT 2006


Dear Karl,

Thank you for your answer. I thought that it was possible to discuss this 
subject here, by having read some of the archives of the list; I understand 
it is very sensitive. I do not want to make proselytism, just to express my 
opinions. I have been reading a lot of Greek litterature and just find 
strange how many parallels are to be found with the Tanakh. So I started 
asking myself questions. The book of Micheal Astour is a very good one, as 
he points many of those parallels; after him came Martin West and his "East 
face of Helicon".
But these authors think that ideas only travel from East to West, never the 
other way around. This can be called proselytism also, in your definition of 
the term. It is true that many mythical characters and Greek gods have a 
semitic origin. But what the Greeks knew from the semitic world seems more 
like Cananean or Phenician culture rather biblical culture. For instance 
Belos derives from semitic god Baal or Bel, Melikertes from Melkart, the 
biblical Molekh; and also Adonis that comes from Tammuz, as you mentionned. 
These gods are the idols despised by the authors of the Tanakh; but I don't 
think the Greeks knew anything directly from the Tanakh. For instance, 
Herodotos knew only Syria and Palestine. Yet you can find many parallel 
themes with the Bible in his Historia. Did he copied the Bible, and 
deliberately hid his knowledge of Judea? Maybe.

>2) This is a forum for discussing the language found in Tanakh, not
>its authorship.

I find it difficult to separate written language from the author.

>Just as there was trade in objects, so there was trade in ideas as
>well. The Jewish diaspora, started under Nebuchadnezzar, could very
>well have reached Greece by the time of Plato, so you can't rule out
>his being influenced by and taking examples from Hebrew sources. Jews
>and Jewish ideas were known in Hellenistic cities in Asia Minor by
>Plato's time.

Indeed; but my problem is that I find very accurate parallels with all the 
famous Greeks writers, from Homer to Apollonios Rhodius. The Fathers of the 
Church claimed that all of them stole from the Bible. This was a rational 
point of view, for men who knew both litteratures very well. I have come to 
the opposite conclusion. The reading of Plato's Laws is very disturbing. I 
recommand it to anyone who has some curiosity, not wanting to push my 
opinions about the dating. These similarities raise a huge question, and I 
find it troubling that no one, either in universities or anywhere, is ready 
to discuss it.

>You admit "But yes, these theories do ruin both judaism and
>christianism if they are right." That admission is enough to say that
>you are not to push your beliefs, for that is proselytism to your
>religion. You may mention your beliefs, and others on this list may
>counter with interpretations based on their beliefs, but in the
>absence of historical data neither can insist in this forum that his
>interpretation is the correct one. Proselytism is the venue of other
>forums, please not here.

The ideas I express are not a religion, and I just wanted to have some 
opinions about them, and I do not expect others to agree; I think that what 
I say is correct, knowing many evidences that I am willing to share with 
you, not to convince you but just to make you realise, at least, of the 
great similarities with the Greek litterature. This can help for giving 
etymologies and focus on the topic of the hebrew language. But if the idea 
of a Greek influence is not acceptable here, I will not insist.


Regards,

Philippe Wajdenbaum


>From: "K Randolph" <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
>To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Tanach book order - different in Christian Bibles
>Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2006 00:39:37 -0700
>
>Philippe:
>
>One of the rules on this forum is that we do not push our private
>beliefs concerning the dating of Tanakh. I will invoke it here for the
>following reasons:
>
>1) All of us start with beliefs that cannot be rationally defended.
>Not one of us starts with 100% rationality. For example, which is to
>take precedence—history or a rationally defendable argument? The
>Hellenistic model was to take rationality, while Tanakh and the New
>Testament chose history (on this level, both Tanakh and the New
>Testament stand in stark contrast to Hellenism, an argument against
>either document being Hellenistic). But why choose one model over the
>other? That's a matter of faith, yours is no less faith than mine,
>just a different faith.
>
>2) This is a forum for discussing the language found in Tanakh, not
>its authorship. While the oldest examples of Tanakh are copies from
>Qumran with a frustratingly few examples of Hebrew from other sources
>from when Tanakh was allegedly written other than what is internal to
>Tanakh, we have insufficient historical data either to prove or
>disprove the internal dates. Thus whether one accepts them or not is a
>matter of faith, yours is a faith that they are not accurate, mine a
>faith that they are.
>
>3) The late dating of Tanakh, with Ayrian centric invention of all
>major themes and ideas, from the documentation I have seen, started
>around 1800 among German rationalists who believed evolution (yes,
>evolution predates Darwin by millennia, Aristotle, for example,
>believed that evolution procedes through natural selection, Darwin's
>supposed innovation). But was that an accurate depiction of history?
>According to M.C. Astour in his book "Hellenosemitica" 1967, much of
>Greek civilization, even religious beliefs, was an import to Greece
>from West Semitic tribes living in what is now Turkey around 3,000
>years ago; e.g. the Dionysius cult, even in the terms used in its
>practice, show semitic influences from Tamuz worship, yet Dionysius is
>known from Linear B documents. So who borrowed from whom?
>
>You brought up the example of "sumphonia" as an example of Hellenism,
>but is it? The Masoretes who added the vowel points were influenced by
>Hellenism, but what about the author of Daniel? The unpointed text
>could just as well be pronounced as "xiwamepaniyahe" or it could have
>been an instrument imported from Greece (international trade existed
>back then), thus the use of this term is not evidence of Hellenistic
>period authorship. Your doubt that Nebuchadnezzar could have had such
>an instrument is personal opinion, not historical evidence.
>
>Just as there was trade in objects, so there was trade in ideas as
>well. The Jewish diaspora, started under Nebuchadnezzar, could very
>well have reached Greece by the time of Plato, so you can't rule out
>his being influenced by and taking examples from Hebrew sources. Jews
>and Jewish ideas were known in Hellenistic cities in Asia Minor by
>Plato's time.
>
>You admit "But yes, these theories do ruin both judaism and
>christianism if they are right." That admission is enough to say that
>you are not to push your beliefs, for that is proselytism to your
>religion. You may mention your beliefs, and others on this list may
>counter with interpretations based on their beliefs, but in the
>absence of historical data neither can insist in this forum that his
>interpretation is the correct one. Proselytism is the venue of other
>forums, please not here.
>
>To close a much wordier response than I expected, and knowing that you
>are new to this list, while you are free to mention your beliefs and
>how they influence your understanding of Tanakh, even to its dating,
>we are not to push our beliefs as the only correct interpretation of
>controversial subjects because that is proselytism.
>
>Karl W. Randolph.
>
>Ps. As for Daniel's 70 sevens of years, Jerusalem was not destroyed
>and needed complete rebuilding after Antiochus IV Epimanes, neither
>was there a seven year war starting 483 years later, midway through
>which sacrifices were stopped, yet both descriptions, as well as all
>the other details of that prophecy, fit the rebuilding under Nehemiah.
>

> > Regards,
> >
> > Philippe Wajdenbaum
>_______________________________________________
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew





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