[b-hebrew] P.S. Re: 6-Month "Year"

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Oct 29 02:22:43 EDT 2007

Shoshanna, we've been through this before. You are correct. The main 
difference between a faith-based approach to the biblical text and an 
academic/scientific approach is that the former consider the Torah to be 
Divinely given/inspired (etc.), which in the traditional Jewish (read: 
Orthodox) interpretation means accepting the Divine authority of Hazal (and 
in the conservative Christian tradition means accepting a christological 
interpretation as taught by the Church). Of course this still leaves a lot 
open for discussion, just that the bounds are well defined. The 
academic/scientific approach does not accept any authority just on faith, 
and considers everything open to questioning - including whether any sort of 
deity is behind the composition of the Bible in the first place. You know 
that, we know that, and there is no use in repetedly re-hashing it.

(I know, I presented both approaches very simplisticly; anyone want to argue 
abou it?)

This list, while not specifically endorsing the second approach, certainly 
does not endorse the first. Since this list is open to all people of 
different faiths (or none) and traditions, all are welcome to state their 
opinions. However, none have the right to insist that their particular 
interpretation is the ONLY legitimate one.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 6:46 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] P.S. Re: 6-Month "Year"

>I only said it because Jim said:  "all the academics that I have
> read simply insist, point blank, that the ages of the Patriarchs do
> not make  sense, and that a coherent internal timeline of the
> Patriarchal narratives is  impossible."
> If that is true, and ALL the ACADEMICS don't understand how the Torah
> makes any sense in this regard, then it is also true that ALL of
> those of us (in my experience) who have learned Torah from Chazal DO
> understand that the Torah makes complete sense - I just didn't know
> how else to phrase it, to make the distinction between those to whom
> the Torah makes complete sense, and those to whom the Torah makes no
> sense (at least this aspect of Torah under present discussion)
> Shoshanna Walker
> ...the first paragraph of your post below, stating your
> BELIEF in Chazal, is really a non-starter.

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