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SV: [ANE-2] Re: R. Gmirkin on the date of the Pentateuch

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  • Niels Peter Lemche
    Dear Yitzhak, Thank you for your diligence in engaging the evidence, although we disagree about the proper conclusions that can be drawn. Yitzhak: In page 14,
    Message 1 of 9 , May 3, 2006
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      Dear Yitzhak,

      Thank you for your diligence in engaging the evidence, although we
      disagree
      about the proper conclusions that can be drawn.

      Yitzhak:
      In page 14, Hess writes, "However, Ugarit has produced an
      abundance of themes and concepts related to the earlier chapters
      of Genesis." While I don't consider Ugarit to be Canaanite, you
      apparently do, and in any case, it is a source of NWS culture, even
      if not strictly Canaanite.

      Well, if my memory doen't fail me, we have sources (I think it
      was Rainey who mentioned them) that in Ugarit Canaan was reckoned
      to be another place.
      People have never understood the emic/etic argument behind my
      Canaanites from 1991. The Canaanites of the OT is simply 'non-
      Israelite inhabitants of Palestine'. The perspective is on one hand the
      people of God, Israel, and on the other godless Canaanites --
      and then, of course we have the no good Philistines.
      Niels Peter Lemche

      Russ:
      I do not consider Ugarit to be Canaanite, yet Ugaritic literary texts
      appear
      to be reflected in the Canaanite pantheon, and the Canaanites appear in
      this
      case to be plausible intermediaries for the appearance of Ugaritic
      motifs in
      the HB.

      Yitzhak:
      <snip>
      Now, I think it is perfectly legitimate to use studies even if you
      don't
      agree with all their conclusions, and sometimes assumptions.
      But in this case, when
      Tsumura's essential thesis is apparently to show the independence
      of the Genesis creation story of both Canaanite and Babylonian
      creation stories, your use of Tsumura to support your point on the
      absence of Canaanite influence while ignoring or perhaps refuting
      Tsumura's points on the absence of Babylonian influence appears
      to me as somewhat "dishonest."

      And then he ended up or was risking ending up with a creation
      story that is Greek related as argued among others by Van Seters
      in ZAW sometime in the 1980s.
      NPL

      As for the very long discussion about creation battles which
      follows (hey, gentlemen, have you ever heard about deleting
      unnecessary parts of a mail?), We of course have reflections of
      such a battle in the OT. We have nothing from Ugarit but as
      admitted, it could be a coincidence, as we have the battle between
      Baal and the Sea.

      Then in Mesopotamia, we have it. In other places? Who knows? We
      might find reflections here and there. We may also postulate the
      ubiquity of the theme. But it is a postulate.

      The dogma is that you are only allowed to make conclusions from
      the available evidence, but it is not forbidden to point to the
      scarcity of evidence. Making conclusions preliminary. If only people
      in my field would adhere to these rules, life would be easier.

      And, finally, dear Russell or Yitzhak, it is bad manners to use
      the word 'dishonest'. Reminds us of Dever's rhetorics against the
      minimalists andf only tells us that there is no argument
      available, so impose such terms on your opponent. The up-coming
      issue of SJOT includes a contribution by David Henige about this
      kind of rhetoric (exemplified by an analyses of an article by Bill
      Dever).

      Niels Peter Lemche
    • Jan-Wim Wesselius
      ... Dear NP, I would prefer not to be taken together with the scholars (however competent) who *compare* the Hebrew Bible with various works of
      Message 2 of 9 , May 3, 2006
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        On 5/3/06, Niels Peter Lemche <npl@...> wrote:
        >
        > <snip>
        >
        > I do not necessarily endorse Gmirkin's dating, but it is more than just a
        > casual comparison. I know that the moment Greece is brought in, several
        > colleagues use and especially used to get red spots (if not for Gordon's old
        > idea about a Mycenean relationship). Van Seters went for the 6-5th century
        > by mean of comparison, other people have asked about Herodotus (Weselius,
        > Flemming Nielsen and more: didn't Freedman himself go together with Sarah
        > Mandell about the same?).
        >

        <snip>

        Dear NP,

        I would prefer not to be taken together with the scholars (however
        competent) who *compare* the Hebrew Bible with various works of classical
        Greek and Latin literature. In my opinion, such comparison is bound to lead
        one astray, however interesting the parallels may be. Note that for a number
        of aspects of the Hebrew Bible the closest parallels are to be found in
        Ovid's Metamorphoses, centuries after the latest possible date for the
        Primary History.

        What I did, especially in my article in SJOT of 1999 ("Discontinuity,
        Congruence and the Making of the Hebrew Bible"), was to show that most
        "historical" books of the Hebrew Bible derived their ToC (along with some
        other structural features) from other works in and outside of the Hebrew
        Bible: an up to then unobserved, but hardly unique strategy of
        intertextuality.

        All the rest is consequences from and commentary on that fundamental
        observation. A small number of people have shouted very loudly against the
        supposed consequences (indeed, it would mean that the Primary History was
        written after 440 BCE by authors who had access to Greek literature), but
        without tackling the observations underlying them, so the value of their
        remarks is null and void. I discussed these comments in some detail on my
        website www.jwwesselius.nl, feeling somewhat too embarrassed to put my
        reaction in print.

        A somewhat watered-down reaction, however, can be found on p. 256-257 of my
        article on the book of Daniel in Aramaic Studies 3 (2005) 241-283. See also
        my article in H.M. Niemann and M. Augustin, Stimulation from
        Leiden(Frankfurt 2006) 35-43.

        My apologies to the list for the self-promotion, but I cannot make my point
        without mentioning these articles.
        With kind regards, Jan-Wim Wesselius, Theological University Kampen, The
        Netherlands


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      • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
        Dear Niels Peter, People have never understood the emic/etic argument behind my Canaanites from 1991. The Canaanites of the OT is simply non- Israelite
        Message 3 of 9 , May 3, 2006
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          Dear Niels Peter,

          People have never understood the emic/etic argument behind my
          Canaanites from 1991. The Canaanites of the OT is simply 'non-
          Israelite inhabitants of Palestine'. The perspective is on one hand the
          people of God, Israel, and on the other godless Canaanites --
          and then, of course we have the no good Philistines.
          Niels Peter Lemche


          I found your book quite convincing, and I use the term Canaanites in the
          sense of "pre-Israelite inhabitants of Palestine" (who likely included the
          ancestors of the Israelites) and later 'non-Israelite inhabitants of Iron II
          Palestine' (where Israelite and non-Israelite are as retroactively defined in the
          [Hellenistic era] biblical text). We don't appear to find Canaanite as a
          self-designation in the records of the ANE. Like you, I doubt the Iron II
          'Canaanites' and 'Israelites' much used either term, certainly not in the
          either-or manner found in the polemics of the later HB.

          And, finally, dear Russell or Yitzhak, it is bad manners to use
          the word 'dishonest'...

          And yet I give Yitzhak high points for engaging the evidence, trying to
          follow my argument and accurately representing my positions. Bygones!

          Best regards,
          Russell Gmirkin







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        • Niels Peter Lemche
          Somehow I agree with George here. Again, like in archaeology, a text is dated according to the youngest part, and not the oldest. But the idea that a text from
          Message 4 of 9 , May 3, 2006
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            Somehow I agree with George here. Again, like in archaeology, a text is dated according to the youngest part, and not the oldest. But the idea that a text from say 250 BCE will not contain information from another and earlier period is not very convincing. In discussing such matters, we need to include more than one parameter.

            The Book of Isaiah cannot be older than its youngest component. This means the book as preserved in the HB and in the DSS. This does not say that, e.g., the Deuteronomistic parts were written in the 3rd or 2nd century BCE.

            Again, it is necessary to find methods that allow us to control the speculation.

            Niels Peter Lemche

            -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
            Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af gfsomsel@...
            Sendt: 3. maj 2006 16:09
            Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Emne: Re: [ANE-2] Re: R. Gmirkin on the date of the Pentateuch

            In other words, the Pentateuch cannot have been written prior to approx. the 3rd qtr of the 3rd cent. B.C. therefore any reference thereto must postdate that time. I would say that this argument is somewhat circular in itself.


            george
            gfsomsel
            _________

            -- RUSSELLGMIRKIN@... wrote:

            George,

            Such dateable texts might be those such as First Isaiah which is fairly
            universally accepted as being from the time it purporsts


            I was going to comment on the circularity of a dating argument that contains
            such assumptions, but NPL already did. Let me just add that an important
            implication of the dating of the Pentateuch to c. 273-272 BCE as argued in my
            book is that texts such as First Isaiah that utilize the Pentateuch must
            necessarily postdate 273 BCE in their final form. Materials in the prophets
            without Pentateuchal allusions might predate 273 BCE, and a very valuable future
            study would be to rigorously identify such potentially older materials and to
            look for commonalities in genre and language. (For instance, it seems to me
            that Pss. 1-50 were already in existence in 273 BCE based on that criterion,
            unlike the remainder of Psalms which are full of Pentateuchal references.)
            My intuition is that the woe oracles may be older compositions.

            Best regards,
            Russell Gmirkin





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