[b-hebrew] Academic Debate

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Oct 30 21:21:42 EDT 2007

On 31 Oct 2007 at 12:17, Kevin Riley wrote:

> -------Original Message------- 
> From: K Randolph 
> Date: 31/10/2007 11:38:57 AM 
> There is yet another question: is the external evidence of such a quality as
> to impeach the written record? 
> ********************************
> Is not the primacy of the written record a presupposition?  [snip]

It is indeed, but in a case like this it's a reasonable one because, in a very real sense, it's 
virtually all we have.  We either begin with the assumption that it's accurate (as you say, 
however one defines that term) and go from there, perhaps making necessary corrections 
from fields such as archaeology (your term "historical record" is confusing, I think you meant 
"archaeological record" because "historical record" would naturally include the written 
materials) as conclusions become solid.  And there's the rub: virtually nothing in the 
archaeological record that can't be challenged by somebody.  A says the archaeology 
supports the written record, B says no, it doesn't.  C says it doesn't, D says yes, it does.  If 
we're going to make any progress in our understanding of history, we have to start 
*somewhere.*  If we start with nothing, we end up nowhere.  Hence, beginning with the at 
least reasonable accuracy of the written record is a presupposition, but it's both a 
reasonable one and a necessary one.

Karl can answer for himself if he has anything else he wants to address, I just wanted to 
jump in on that particular question.

Dave Washburn
Why do it right when you can do it again?

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