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9435Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Tardy response to a minor comment

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  • David Hall
    Dec 1, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Of Contradictions and Extremes:
      With the various destruction scenarios of the book of Joshua, including Arad ("the Great"?) that was not occupied between the EB and the beginning of the Iron Age but was mentioned as a place Joshua had contact with; there were complex models claiming to eliminate contradictions between the archaeological record and the account of Joshua.  There have been many theories to try to prove Joshua.  One theory was that there were two Ai's and we do not know where the other one was (not Et Tell), or it might have been Bethel and we do not know where Bethel was.  There was also the theory that Garstang and Kenyon did not know what they were doing.  Sometimes such objections were brought by people who could not instantly identify the differences between an EB saucer lamp and a LB saucer lamp, nor had ever seen a drawing of a Hyksos seal. 
      If you read the works of David Rohl, fluent in the ancient Egyptian language and capable of page layout with photos and maps, eventually you might suspect the guy had trusted too much in the text of the Biblical works if you do not recognize it immediately.  At one point he indicated that Joshua was Labayu of the Amarna tablets and that the existing published chronologies were wrong.  He moved dates at will to try to fit his theories into his book.  He was not able to eliminate the contradictions between the destruction of Hazor and the destruction of Jericho not to mention numerous other apparent contradictions. 
      Some of the theories of archaeologists in the 1960's cannot be easily negated.  People have moved datelines to the left or right yet usually within a hundred years, although sometimes wanting to move them further like 150 years.  Some new pottery classifications were described such as Intermediate EB-MB based on a few unique finds. 
      An archaeologist working on one site described a certain style of glass perfume bottle such as was left in tombs after the anointing of the dead for burial as 150-300 A.D. at Pella whereas someone working in Jerusalem described the style of perfume bottle with the flared rim as first century C.E.  Neither one did fraud, yet there are limits to one's ability to discern based on one's experience.   
      I suppose the extreme minimist position would claim the Bible is 100% false, and the extreme maximist would claim that it is 100% true, the inspired word of God.  It was also writted in the Bible that God desired mercy and not sacrifice after the altars of Israel had been drenched with the blood of sacrifices for a long time.  Did God change or was it the writters' words about God that differed?  
      To be able to recognize a contradiction is useful.  To find the truth of the matter is wiser.
      David Q. Hall

      --- On Sun, 11/30/08, Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...> wrote:

      From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...>
      Subject: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Tardy response to a minor comment
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008, 1:08 PM

      Dear David,

      You should not be afraid of the extremes. I follow old Hegel here, that thesis and antithesis produce a new synthesis, etc etc. So if we have something from both sides, the synthesis might be somewhere between.

      To stay on safe ground means to move little or nothing (had a discussion with Na'aman last Thuesday in Boston about this. We were absolutely in agreement).

      Niels Peter Lemche

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-- ---
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups. com] På vegne af David Hall
      Sendt: den 30 november 2008 15:41
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com
      Emne: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Tardy response to a minor comment

      I think it fair to avoid the extremes.  Scientific criticism may bring healthy interpretation and the ability to divide fact from superstition.  Extremely complex models designed to try to eliminate contridictions found in religious texts sometimes ignored the possibility that there may have been an error in the text.
      David Q. Hall

      --- On Sat, 11/29/08, Niels Peter Lemche <npl@.... dk> wrote:

      From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@.... dk>
      Subject: SV: [ANE-2] Tardy response to a minor comment
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com
      Date: Saturday, November 29, 2008, 4:07 PM

      Dear K.L.,

      Thank you for the comment. Only saw it now. Back from Boston I had 300 mails waiting. Mr. Pride's comment is of course extremely badly informed, from a person who seems to appropriate what is religion from his own observation. A hardly a comment that should have passed here (maybe I passed it? I was back on the 28th and there were several mails for ANE waiting to moderate.

      After all, "minimalism" is an ethic term placed on the minimalists by other people. It only says what somebody else thinks. It is no reflection of what the group itself represents but typical of the discourse within certain circles of biblical scholarship.

      And now, I suppose we can get on to something more relevant than Mr. Pride's misrepresentations (misprisions) .

      Niels Peter Lemche

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-- ---
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com [mailto:ANE- 2@yahoogroups. com] På vegne af K L Noll
      Sendt: den 29 november 2008 19:17
      Til: ANE-2
      Emne: [ANE-2] Tardy response to a minor comment

      With the annual SBL meeting, as well as the marking of exams and term papers, I have only just today begun to read a backlog of listserv digests. I came across this very bizarre little comment and cannot resist responding to it...

      Dan Pride wrote, in part: "Minimalism has been rooted far more in antagonism to religion and its excesses than in the facts, which is why it goes down so hard,... screaming and scratching at every turn."

      My guess is that Dan Pride has never actually held a conversation with a so-called Minimalist. As I understand the term, it is a method of research (defined quite succinctly by Axel Knauf back in the early 1990s, in an essay on Solomon's Copper Mines). For me, the attractive aspect of Minimalism as a research method is that it matches the method in which I was trained by a medievalist when I was an undergraduate history major. The polemics that emerged around the term Minimalism during the mid-1990s came as quite a shock to me and, so far as I can tell, derived almost entirely from a religiously motivated faction, so it seems bizarre to characterize the Minimalists as antagonistic to religion (as though "religion" were one undifferentiated phenomenon).

      Now, the central point I want to make is this: As a professor of Religious Studies, I have grown weary of people who obviously know (and care) nothing for our academic discipline constantly describing us as "antagonistic to religion" (as Dan Pride does in this snip). We are no more antagonistic to religion than a biologist is antagonistic to a frog. But the biologist kills more than a few frogs so that he/she can cut them open and see how they work. What appears to the religious participant as hostility is really nothing more than the routine (and rather messy) activities of dissection taking place in the lab. Sure it kills some of the magic of religious experience, but it enhances our understanding of why humans are religious. It seems to me that our research offends only those who harbor unrealistic notions about the potential for "truth" within their own religious traditions. My experience is that the fuss over so-called Minimalism never occurs when
      secular so-call!
      ed Maximalists interact with the equally secular so-called Minimalists.

      Ok, back to marking term papers...

      K. L. Noll
      Brandon University
      Brandon, Manitoba

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