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[Synoptic-L] a story duality in Chronicles?

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Ken Olson wrote -- ... Ken, Many thanks for taking such immense trouble to use transliterated Hebrew and literal translations, and so on, to produce your piece
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 19, 2001
      Ken Olson wrote --
      >
      > According to Brian Wilson, "A story duality may be defined as the
      >occurrence of two stories (narratives or parables) in the synoptic
      >gospels such that (i) one story has at least ten word roots the same
      >and in the same order as in the other story, and (ii) when these
      >similar words, together with the sentences in which they are set, are
      >omitted from one story, this does not make more consistent sense than
      >the story as a whole, but when the words with the sentences in which
      >they are set are omitted from the other story, the remainder does make
      >more consistent sense than the story as a whole."
      >
      >I believe there is a story duality in the 2 Chronicles 35.20-27, which
      >contains a story shared with 1 Kings 22.29-38. The KJV text of 2
      >Chronicles 35.20-27 (with transliterated Hebrew words it shares with
      >[1] Kings 22.29-38 placed in brackets) reads...

      Ken,
      Many thanks for taking such immense trouble to use transliterated
      Hebrew and literal translations, and so on, to produce your piece of
      thinking on story dualities.

      It seems to me that you are saying that 1 Kings 22.29-38 and 2
      Chronicles 35.20-27 are two stories that form a story duality in which
      1 Kings 22.29-38 is the simple dua-story, and 2 Chronicles 35.20-27 is
      the composite dua-story.

      I agree that you show that (a) one story has at least ten word roots the
      same and in the same order as the other, and (b) that when these similar
      words, together with associated adjoining words are omitted from the
      second story, the remainder makes more consistent sense than the story
      as a whole in which they are set. I would accept, therefore, that you
      have shown that two of the three criteria laid down in the definition
      are met.

      However, my immediate gut reaction to reading the first story (the story
      in 1 Kings) is that it has been formed by making additions to an earlier
      story. Without even considering "story dualities" but just by reading
      the story through, the references to the King of Israel deciding to
      disguise himself would seem to be an addition that sits loosely in what
      was originally a simpler account. So also, the narrative seems to have
      been artificially extended to include the idea that the king ordered his
      servants to take him out of the battle, this command then being
      disobeyed, and instead the king being propped up in his chariot with the
      battle being continued until evening when he eventually died. Also, the
      ending concerning the dogs licking the blood being "according to the
      word of the LORD which he spake" seems to be tacked on as an additional
      "theological" comment. This first story therefore seems to have
      embroidering additions that have been added to an originally simpler
      version. The story would seem to read much more smoothly without these.

      When, in fact, you look at these apparently additional parts, they turn
      out to include the "word-roots the same and in the same order" that you
      find from your comparison with the second story you consider, and which
      you show in upper case letters (except with one deletion, and one
      addition, as I set out below). In fact, if the word-roots the same and
      in the same order together with their adjoining associated words are
      omitted this *does* produce a story which makes more coherent sense than
      the story as a whole that contains it. In other words, the criterion
      concerning the first story not including material making more coherent
      sense if the word-roots the same and in the same order are omitted, is
      not met, as I show next.

      The following is a transcription of your version of the KJV of the first
      story, with the "word-roots the same and in the same order" shown in
      transliterated Hebrew letters (upper case) and also (again, in upper
      case) the adjoining words that go with them. In the last verse of your
      version, I have presumed to indicate additionally that the word "LORD"
      is also one of the word-roots the same and in the same order, since it
      also occurs in a corresponding position in the closing words of the
      second story. (The MT has YHWH in both instances.) I have used asterisks
      to draw attention to this alteration (it is not really a correction) I
      have made --

      FIRST VERSION

      29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to
      Ramothgilead. 30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will
      disguise myself, and enter into the battle [BMLXMH]; but put thou on thy
      robes. And the king of Israel disguised [VYTXPs] himself, and went into
      the battle [VYBVA BMLXMH]. 31 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty
      and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither
      with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. 32 And it came
      to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they
      said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight
      against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And it came to pass, when the
      captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel,
      that they turned back from pursuing him. 34 And a certain man drew a bow
      at a venture, and smote the king [AT-MLk] of Israel between the joints
      of the harness: wherefore he said [VYAMR] unto the driver of his
      chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded
      [KY HXLYTY]. 35 And the battle increased that day: and the king was
      stayed up in his chariot [BMRKBH] against the Syrians, and died at even:
      and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot [HRKB].
      36 And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going
      down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own
      country. 37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they
      buried the king in Samaria. 38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of
      Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour;
      according unto the word of the ****LORD [YHWH]**** which he spake.

      The following is the same as the above but with the word-roots the same
      and in the same order and their associated wording omitted, but with one
      apparent exception which I explain after setting out this second version
      --

      SECOND VERSION

      29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to
      Ramothgilead. 30 And 31 the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two
      captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with
      small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. 32 And it came to
      pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that
      they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to
      fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And it came to pass,
      when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not
      the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 34 And a
      certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote [[[the king]]] of Israel
      between the joints of the harness: 36 And there went a proclamation
      throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man
      to his city, and every man to his own country. 37 So the king died, and
      was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

      Exceptionally, I have not omitted the word "the king" in the phrase "the
      king of Israel" in verse 34 even though the word "the king" within this
      phrase is one of the words you list as belonging to the word-roots the
      same and in the same order. This is because the phrase "the king of
      Israel" is clearly very much part of the first story but is nowhere to
      be found in the second story with which it is compared. Indeed "the king
      of Israel" appears in the opening words of the first story, and is the
      subject of the story, the phrase "the king of Israel" occurring seven
      times in it. He is described as simply "the king" only three times --
      towards the end of the story when he is ostensibly dying, and when he is
      dead. I think it is reasonable, therefore, to allow the non-omission of
      this one word (in Hebrew) even though it corresponds to the same word in
      the second story.

      It seems to me that this second version set out above is more coherent
      in meaning than the first version. In particular, in the first version
      the king died twice -- once in verse 35 ("and he died") and again in
      verse 37 ("So the king died"). In the second version he died only once
      (verse 37). Again, there appear to be two arrivals of evening, one in
      verse 35 "at even" and the other in verse 36 "about the going down of
      the sun". In the second version, however, there is only one arrival of
      evening (in verse 36). Furthermore, in the first version, the account of
      Ahab actually telling Jehoshaphat that he was going to disguise himself
      and was not going to wear his robes, and ordering Jehoshaphat that he
      must wear his robes in the battle, would appear to be ham-fisted. If
      Ahab was trying to put Jehoshaphat in the firing-line, he would hardly
      have given him explicit advance warning. Also, if Jehoshaphat was a
      king, Ahab would hardly have been so blunt as simply to order him to
      wear his robes. The second version does not have this difficulty, since
      it does not contain this material. Furthermore, the references to the
      blood running into the middle of the chariot (verse 35) and the same
      blood being "licked by the dogs" (verse 38) all seem artificially
      contrived to lead up to the theological comment that this was "according
      to the word of the LORD which he spake". According to one commentary I
      have on I Kings, "this verse (38) is editorial, with reference to
      21.19" - that is to say, the references to blood and dogs licking the
      blood in verses 35 and 38 are an editorial addition that attempts to
      make the account fit the details of the prophecy of Elijah concerning
      Ahab in I Kings 21.19. There is no such apparently contrived fulfilment
      of prophecy in the second version, however.

      There are therefore various indications that, if the word-roots the same
      and in the same order together with adjoining associated words are
      omitted from the first version, the remainder contains material that
      **does** make more consistent sense than the first version as a whole.
      In other words, the remaining criterion of a story duality is not
      fulfilled -- that when the word-roots the same and in the same order
      together with their associated adjoining words are omitted from one
      story, this does **not** make more consistent sense than the story as a
      whole.

      It follows that the two stories, 1 Kings 22.29-38 and 2 Chronicles
      35.20-27, do not form a story duality, since one of the three criteria
      is not met.

      By what documentary hypothesis, then, can we account for the
      similarities between the two stories? The answer is surely what has been
      recognized for many years by scholars, that 1 and 2 Chronicles were
      written at least a century after 1 and 2 Kings, and that the writer of 1
      and 2 Chronicles used 1 and 2 Kings as source material. The writer of 2
      Chronicles produced his account of the death of Josiah in 2 Chronicles
      35.20-27 on the basis of the account of the death of Ahab he found
      already written in 1 Kings 22.29-38. The lack of consistent meaning
      within the later story is the result of a lack of consistent meaning in
      material (with some word-roots the same and in the same order) in the
      earlier story in which editorial additions had been made awkwardly.
      There is therefore nothing exceptional about the similarities of wording
      between 1 Kings 22.29-38 and 2 Chronicles 35.20-27. The similarities can
      be easily understood as simply the result of a later (by possibly two or
      three centuries!) writer having adapted the earlier story on the death
      of one king to produce his story of the death of another king.

      I would again suggest that the story dualities that I have shown occur
      in the synoptic gospels are a very unusual phenomenon indeed. It should
      be noted that the Logia Translation Hypothesis does not posit that story
      dualities are not to be found anywhere outside the synoptic gospels. The
      significance of story dualities observed in the synoptic gospels is that
      the Logia Translation Hypothesis fits their occurrences well, but the
      2DH, GH and FH would seem not to do this. My hunch at the moment,
      however, is that story dualities do not exist outside the synoptic
      gospels, but are original to the writer of the Greek Logia of the LTH. I
      would suggest that such an unusual approach, found in some two dozen
      pairs of stories in the synoptic gospels, is very unlikely to be found
      anywhere else.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

      Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
      > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
      > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
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