R. Gmirkin on the date of the Pentateuch
- Since we don't actually have either Berossus or Manetho, just collections
(at who knows how many hands) of fragments, I would be quite sceptical of
the claim that Genesis and Exodus are dependant on them.
Momigliano (I think) once wrote that if Herodotus had spent a long weekend
in Jerusalem, he would have saved scholars a lot of trouble. I've been
thinking the same of the contents of the libraries of Carthage and Tyre.
Intact copies of Berossus and Manetho would be wonderful, too, but we don't
have them, and aren't likely to find them any time soon.
- From: "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...>
> The Book of Isaiah cannot be older than its youngest component.I am having problems accepting this particularly with texts so heavily
redacted over centuries. The "historical Isaiah" (The Isaiah of chapters 1-39) lived somewhere during the last half of the 8th and earliy 7th centuries BCE. Deutero-Isaiah (ch. 40-55) lived some 150 years later and Isaiah III (ch. 56-66) later yet. It would seem to me that a text cannot be dated older than its OLDEST component with the caveat that older material can be added later. I think the most comprehensive work to date on Isaiah is "The Book Called Isaiah" by H. G. M. Williamson of Oxford.
The oldest component that can be dated by epigraphy, of Numbers is the
Priestly Blessing discovered on silver amulets from Isaiah's time but this does more to show the complexity of this problem. It cannot be stated with certainty that the blessing was not copied from a text of Numbers (the amulet blessing is missing a line found in numbers) and it cannot be stated with certainty that the text WAS copied from numbers rather than from an oral tradition that later found its way to Numbers.
I do see three different hands (Deutero-Isaiah the most lyrical) in Isaiah, though.