[b-hebrew] Academic Debate

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 20:38:47 EDT 2007


On 10/30/07, Bill Rea <bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz> wrote:
> Yigal wrote:-
> > The academic/scientific approach does not accept any authority
> >just on faith, and considers everything open to questioning -
> Rev. Bryant wrote in response:-
> >You must remember that all people use "faith" in everything they do,
> >think, or say. Do not make the mistake that "faith is without knowledge."
> I think you missed the point. Let me give you my take. The essential
> question is what do you do with evidence. In the question of whether
> ``all'' people were either deported or otherwise left Judah, if you
> only look at the written text then taking the meaning of ``all'' as
> literally meaning ``all'' is a reasonable thing to do. However, if
> someone presents you with evidence that the depopulation was severe
> but not complete do you have a faith response which is to say -- your
> evidence is wrong, or you have a scientific response which would be
> to say -- ``all'' must be hyperbole or that ``all'' refers to a small
> specific group of people and not the entire population. What is in
> question is not the text but your interpretation of it. Do you insist
> on your interpretation based only on internal evidence or do you
> allow your interpretation to be informed by external evidence?
There is yet another question: is the external evidence of such a
quality as to impeach the written record?

The Babylonians burned down only the fortified cities, not the
countryside. When the final group of people fled to Egypt, there is no
record of them leaving with a scorched earth policy behind them.
Instead the implication is that they just left. When under Cyrus Jews
returned to the land, they would have found villages where some houses
were so run down that they needed to be replaced, some that needed
major repairs but good enough to repair before they were livable, but
many that would need only minor repairs, fix a leaky roof, new door
and curtains, and they would be livable again. The archeological
record 2.5 millennia later would not even hint that the land had been
depopulated 70 years. Given the very, very fragmentary nature of the
archeological record, is it not presumptuous of modern historians to
claim that the archeological record proves the written record wrong?

But now, if you have some written records ........

> Bill Rea, ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
> E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz                </   New
> Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332        /)  Zealand
> Unix Systems Administrator                    (/'

Karl W. Randolph.

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