Re: SV: [ANE-2] Re: R. Gmirkin on the date of the Pentateuch>dating th e Pentateuch
- You apparently disdain the practice of linguistics as being too subjective or not based on sufficient grounds in that it lacks a continuous and uninterrupted history on which to base conclusions. I say, on the other hand, that archaeology likewise is deficient in that it cannot account for perishable materials and thus bases it conclusions solely on artifacts which are not subject to rapid decay. If someone were to excavate some sites in the United States several millenia from now, they might say that the presidencies of such men as Washington, Roosevelt, Reagan and George W. Bush were simply based upon fantasy. They might even say that a country called the United States of America never existed depending upon where they excavated and what they were able to discover there which had escaped corruption. It is all well and good to base one's judgments upon demonstrable facts, but it is all too possible to be overly skeptical regarding anything for which direct evidence is not discoverable in situ.
-- "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:
As I indicated, I have little faith in this discussion about early
biblical Hebrew and late Biblical Hebrew (including orthography). To use
a chronological framework in a linguistic analysis seems a bit primitive
when we have so few anchors for the analysis.
So far scholars still have problems figuring out the rules within the
As to Zeitgeist, this is correct. It would thus be possible to argue
that parts of the NT are placed within the same Zeitgeist as some
essential parts of the DSS: not that the answers are identical, but the
But we still miss an anchor because your dating of 1. Isaiah is
questionable because you use the text to date itself. We 'know' (alias
assume) that the little apocalypsis in Isa 24-27 is one of the latest
texts in the HB, and that parts of Isa 1-39 are either embedded in a
deuteronomistic phrased narrative (espec. Isa 7), or is simply identical
with 2 Kgs (the final part). It is accordingly problematic to say that
we have parts here that go back to the time of Isaiah, although it is
commonly assumed to be so. The lack of stringency in the discussion
among biblical scholars is generally too well-known and I doubt that it
is necessary to expose it in this way.
So, if we assume that Isaiah 1-39 is basically a late 8th century or
early 7th century text, you have a point, but only if we assume.
Biblical scholarship has built up a house of cards by assuming this, and
on the basis of this assumption to carry on to the next hypothesis,
based on the assumption, making a new postulate accepted as an argument
on which to build a new argument, alias a postulate. It is really very
sorry that the notion of logic has played a very little role.
So, basically: What evidence (apart from selfconfirming assumptions) do
you really have for anything in the HB being pre-3rd or 2nd century,
apart from the text of the Chatef Hinnom amulets (the Aronite Blessing)?
It is like John Collins in his new book, The Bible after Babel, 2006)
who argues that there is plenty of evidence for a late 7th century
authorship of parts of the HB, whereas the minimalists with there date
in the Hellenistic-Roman period has no evidence. I am most sorry, apart
from the above mentioned amulets, Collins has no evidence, only
assumptions and generally accepted opinions; the minimalists have the
evidence in the form of physically preserved manuscripts.
And please, don't tell me about the importance of the bullae from
Jerusalem from the time of Josiah or Zedekiah: Let's hope that some of
them are genuine!
Niels Peter Lemche
PS: Your argument about the linguistical development of Hebrew from, say
the 7th to the 3rd century would be greatly helped if we had an
uninterrupted sequence of material. But there is very little from the
6th, 5th century and 4th century from Israel/Palestine.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I would recommend that certain participants, and any interested lurkers,
read MacEachern, S. 2000. Genes, Tribes, and African History. Current Anthropology 41, 357-384, for an indepth overview on the problems of correlating genetics, linguistics, texts and ethnicity with thnographic, ethnoarchaeological and archaeological records.
Best, Mikey Brass
MA in Archaeology degree, University College London
"The Antiquity of Man" http://www.antiquityofman.com
Book: "The Antiquity of Man: Artifactual, fossil and gene records explored"
- !ke e: /xarra //ke
("Diverse people unite": Motto of the South African Coat of Arms, 2002)