[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 15:16:06 EST 2007


On Dec 30, 2007 11:30 AM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com > wrote:

> On Dec 30, 2007 1:01 AM, K Randolph wrote:
> > Yitzhak:
> > Thanks for the specific examples, now we have something to discuss.
> No, we don't.  Edom was not set up as a political entity hundreds of years
> before Moses, and the Bible is not in discussion here -- archaeological
> evidence that has implications for the Bible is.…

First of all, the Bible is in discussion here. If the Bible is accurate
history, it has implications as to the development of the language, the
expectation of literacy among the people, the use of the alphabet, and so

As for your claim that Edom was not a political entity, all you have is a
lack of evidence, which many people, including Uri, claim is not necessarily
evidence of lack. But if Bible is accurate history, then clues in the text
indicate that Edom was a political entity centuries before Moses, in which
case we are discussing the language and what it says, archeology is only
secondary to the discussion. Further, it indicates that Edom lacked a fixed
capital, so we should not expect to find major royal structures.

> …  In any case, my point to
> Yigal was that someone who believes in prophecy will have a problem, if
> he has methodology guiding him beyond the simple "if it happened future
> to the time it was written, it could be prophecy."  Such methodology
> guided rabbis in the Talmud and the classic commentators.  My reply on
> the archaeological evidence was not meant to start a discussion about it.
> The clear archaeological evidence that I gave is -- so far as I know --
> not in
> dispute among the reputable archaeologists working on sites in the Levant.
> Or do you have some particular archaeologist of the Levant in mind when
> you say some of my facts are disputed?…

No I don't. What counts is what is said, not who said it, and is the
statement accurate? Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The reputation of the speaker comes into question only if it has bearing on
the trustworthiness of what is said. Now in archeology, which is more
dependent on the interpretation of the findings than some other areas of
study, the identity of the researcher carries more weight, yet the ultimate
arbiter are the facts found in the field, not the identity of the finder.

…  Also, following Uri's "dictum,"
> that "it would be a truism to state that individual opinions, on this list
> or
> elsewhere, are valueless unless based on specific knolwedge of  the work
> discussed," it would be wise to at least read the book which was clearly
> presented as the authoritative source and background to the post I made,
> instead of responding and dismissing it as "sloppy scholarship."…

It  has been mentioned before on this list that not all of us have access to
specific books, so if you have specific things you want to reference in
them, you should quote them in your messages.

As for me, I'd far rather be accused of sloppy scholarship than ideological
bias, which was the other option I presented: "sloppy" merely means that I
missed important data. "ideological bias" means I deliberately ignored or
distorted data to fit an agenda. Careful scholarship can discount data for
reason, which is not the same as the other two above.

…  I didn't
> even get to write my Kenneth Kitchen review yet which relates to a point
> I mentioned.  The Bible clearly states that Lachish was destroyed.  It
> says
> that Eglon was placed on xrm just like Lachish.  xrm generally has

connotations with destruction but even if it just means that everyone in
> Lachish was killed, and the city was banned from continued habitation,
> that would be visible in the archaeological record.  Instead, the city
> continues to be inhabited for a 100 years after Hazor.…

Since this is a discussion group concerning the Hebrew language, the
question here is what is the meaning of XRM? As a verb, it is used around 40
times. However, it is used in a variety of contexts which makes it hard to
pin the word down, but as far as I can tell, it means, " to identify a
person or object such that he is designated for special attention, e.g.
consecrated to the Lord such that one can no longer make use of it for
himself, sentenced to destruction or condemned to death ⇒ (physically) to
(indicate by a) mark, as in to blemish, make imperfect ". That fits the
context of Joshua 10 where Lachish and Eglon were two city/states involved
in a five city/state confederacy against Joshua and Israel, thus they were
given special treatment, made sure they were captured.

The picture I see in Joshua is that Israel did sort of like a blitzkrieg:
quickly capturing city after city, depopulating and looting them, then
abandoning them which allowed
Canaanites who were missed in the capture of the cities to resettle them.
 Further, if the cities were totally abandoned at the most a year or two,
then resettled, there would be no archeological trace of that capture unless
the city were destroyed. This picture shows why this discussion is about the
Bible, for it tells us what we should expect to find in the archeological

> …  Also, reevaluation of the finds from
> Hazor in light of new finds from Lachish indicate that the "destruction"
> took decades.  The archaeological evidence for the destructions don't
> match up with the Biblical account.  The view that they did was once
> current and it was discredited, to the degree that today practically no
> archaeologists of the Levant dispute this.  If you have archaeological
> evidence or sources that relate to this issue, then you are welcome to
> point out disputes that I am not aware of.…

See related comments concerning the domestication of camels, such as those
listed by  Michael Abernathy  and Eric Forster.  In particular, I note the
closing statement, "The allegation of certain scholars that statements about
camels in the book of Genesis are anachronisms only exposes their lack of
knowledge. " found in http://www.bga.nl/en/articles/camel.html . If that
lack of knowledge is deliberate to push an agenda, then we are dealing with

> …  But please don't claim that
> there is a dispute on non-archaeological possibly theological grounds,
> when the thread deals with the archaeological evidence only.

No, this is not accurate, the thread does not deal with the archeological
evidence only, rather archeology is just one of the evidences considered.
The question is history, of which archeology is just one source of evidence.
And in B-Hebrew the question is how well does the language describe history?

> Yitzhak Sapir

 Karl W. Randolph.

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