[b-hebrew] Dating the Book of Ruth

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 2 10:36:49 EDT 2010


Hi,

Joshua seems to me to be a fit name for the man who led Yhwh's people to
defeat many stronger and more powerful nations.

I agree that many names in Genesis had to do with their birth in some way.
But the point is that birth names can also change as the person is better
known for something else. This, of course, is not the norm but the exception
as you note.

However, let's look at the more modern example of how Saul became Paul and
of how the Orthodox church has maintained a tradition of newly baptised
having new names. This is where the Christian tradition of naming children
at their 'christening' comes from.

I don't think the names in Ruth are indicative of age. I don't think they
are indicative of myth genre either. If there is a link between their
actions and their names this is perfectly explainable by their having new
names linked to their deeds. I also have no problems with these names being
given after their deaths for the sake of the story.

James Christian

On 2 June 2010 17:25, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:

> James:
>
> On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 1:52 AM, James Christian
> <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>wrote:
>
> > But other people seem to have fitting names as well. It's not limited to
> > people whose name is expicitly recorded to have changed. Adam, Eve, Esau
> > (Edom), Isaac, Benjamin all seem to have names fitting some aspect of the
> > story. Then we get Moses. Then we get Joshua. Pretty much most key role
> > characters have fitting names. Then after David we get Solomon the king
> of
> > peaceable times. It's only really after Solomon that key figures like
> Kings
> > seem to have names plucked randomly from a pool of Hebrew names. If we
> were
> > to go by this pattern for dating purposes then this makes Ruth an early
> > work. In any case, I'm not sure if I see this as a good guideline for
> dating
> > purposes.
> >
> > James Christian
> >
>
> I don’t think it is a good guideline for dating purposes.
>
> Modern people forget that almost all names have meaning. My given name
> means
> ‘guy’ or ‘fellow’, similar to the Yiddish ‘mensch’, while my last name
> means
> ‘shield wolf’ i.e. fierce to protect. My oldest son was born in difficult
> conditions where many infants die, but he turned out strong and healthy, a
> gift from God, hence Theodore, and don’t think I wasn’t aware of the
> meaning. But did your parents realize that your name meant ‘crooked’ when
> they named you? Would they have given you that name had they known?
>
> Of the names you list above, Joshua seems to be one merely pulled from a
> hat
> as far as meaning is concerned, it had nothing to do with his life. Isaac
> had nothing to do with what he did in life. Esau (Edom) merely from the
> fact
> that he was born covered in red hair, not from his actions in life. In
> fact,
> most of the names in Genesis, and the rest of the Bible for that matter,
> had
> to do with the parents’ attitudes, not with what the person did in life.
>
> This is in contrast to a lot of myth, where the names refer to what the
> person does in the myth. The reason for my first response in this thread is
> that George suggested that the names had relation to the actions taken in
> this history, indicating that this may be a myth, which I questioned. As
> far
> as I can tell, the meanings of the names have no relationship to the
> actions
> taken by the people in the history, hence this is not a myth.
>
> Nor do I think it is an indicator of the age of the book.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
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