Friday, January 14, 2011

On the "minimalist" debate concerning the Hebrew Bible

One scholar gives some reasons for rejecting minimalism with respect to the Hebrew Bible.

HT: Steve Hays

2 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

You do realize that maximalists like William Dever do not support the textual claims in Exodus either, don't you? Or are you ignorant about this kind of scholarship Vic? After all Dever became an agnostic because of archaeology.

Link

"...the difference between minimalists and maximalists is not as great as it might at times appear - this is because the maximalists have had to abandon a great deal of their traditional ideas about the historicity of many portions of the bible. Sometimes also called the "Copenhagen School" (also: biblical revisionists and even biblical nihilists by less sympathetic people), the minimalist position is that the stories in the bible are largely mythical in nature. Although they take place in real places and may sometimes be loosely based on real people or events, the stories themselves serve a mythical rather than historical function. They are an attempt of later generations to develop and lay claim to an identity, not an attempt at disinterested historical reporting.

Curiously, the so-called "biblical maximalists" accept that as being an accurate assessment of quite a bit of the bible, at least up until the "United Monarchy" at the time of David and Solomon, when Israel and Judah were still part of one kingdom.
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steve said...

Notice that Loftus blows right past the actual argument presented in the essay by Provan, and tries to change the subject. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!