[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Jan 9 09:02:27 EST 2008

On Jan 9, 2008 3:48 PM, Brian Roberts wrote:

> In what way are you speaking? I'd be curious to read that article. I was
> never under the assumption that Mazar "owned" or was otherwise the "keeper"
> of the conventional view, and therefore could make changes to it at will
> (and send other conventional scholars a memo stating "by the way, I've
> thrown Finkelstein a bone. We'll now be modifying the conventional
> chronology in this and that way". I'm  certain it didn't happen that way,
> but your references makes it sound rather like a matter of fiat). I have
> been understanding that there's not much archaeological reasons (like
> certain stratum at Arad) to support Finkelstein's 50 year down-dating, and
> that there's no more support for his theory now than when first proposed.

No one owns a position or view.  A discussion by Mazar of the MCC is available
here: http://www.rehov.org/Iron%20Age%20Chronology%20Debate.pdf
>From the final paragraph: "The suggested MCC appears to be the most
reasonable and acceptable chronology for the 10th-9th centuries BCEin the
Southern Levant. It indicates a long duration of the same material culture
throughout most of these centuries, and also results in an even and logical
subdivision of the period from ca. 1130 to ca. 732/700 BCE into three more or
less even time units, each with its own material culture traits. This
view appears
to have become the dominant among many archaeologists currently working in

> >Furthermore, if the majority of scholars have been convinced, as evidently
> >had already happened by 1890 for the Documentary Hypothesis, then the
> >burden of proof lies with those who remain "skeptical," as you call them (a
> >really odd term in this situation).
> To be fair, you're referring to what was, initially, a small group of
> scholars of a particular clique and associated with certain professors and
> universities. I'd say it's arguable that DH was spread therefore in the
> teacher-student process as much as (if not more than) the peer-review
> process.

To be fair, you should provide evidence for your assertion.  If an American
professor says in 1889 that the great majority of Old Testament scholars
accept the Documentary Hypothesis, calling it the prevailing hypothesis,
it seems to me that the view won widespread acceptance already at the
very beginning, not by virtue of a teacher-student process, but by virtue of
being published and being read by others, thus convincing others.

Yitzhak Sapir

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