Reply To MBS Part 1
Re: Little or no Evidence to Support Hebrew Bible Before Josephus
Originally Posted by A Cup Of Tea
You should avoid using this, it is kind of like saying "God told me and only me, listen to me I know the truth".
I gave you my analysis of the facts. The bigger linguistic picture aside, the closest thing to monotheism before Zarathushtra are the Acheamenid inscriptions. The Greco-Romans make several references to at least he Behistun. The Platonic school c400 BCE at least acknowledge Zarathushtra, the father of the Magians, and the son of Ahuramazda, and that THE PERSIANS WERE FOLLOWERS OF ZOROASTER, though their interpretation of the religion is garbled. They speak of "gods," but there's consistent references to Ahuramazda in the Old Persian inscriptions as the highest of the "gods," and only mention of Ahuramazda until later. And it's obvious that the Zarathushtrian compositions or scriptures preceded the Old Persian inscriptions. First there are Zoroastrian forms in Old Persian like Ahuramazda < Mazda Ahura, and secondly there is no mention of either Persian or the Medes in the Zarathushrian scriptures which also supports that they were attested before the Persians and Medes had come to power. When does anyone other than the Jews themselves make reference to Jewish anomalies other than 1. David 2. Ahab 3. Yahweh 4. Israel before Josephus? And actually describe who Yahweh was?
Wait a minute; you are bating a switching here. There is no source other than the Gathas themselves that the Persians and Zoroastrians were monodolic, let alone monotheistic. You state that yourself “though their interpretation of the religion was garbled”. Fine. The point is, just as the case with the Hebrew Bible, there is no source outside of the text itself that the religion was monotheistic.
The linguistics for both the Gathas and the Hebrew Bible both indicate (1) they probably date from pre 1000 BCE and (2) are layered (that is they are collections based on older non-existent texts). No big shock. The Gathas themselves state that Zoroaster did not write them (I may be wrong but that is what the academics say and what I remember reading in them, in translation). Moreover, the Hebrew Bible admits as much in recounting the discovery of the scrolls in the Second Temple Era.
Originally Posted by I, Brian
Quite a bizarre suggestion.
So if Josephus claimed himself to be a Jew, and wrote about the Jews, then you are saying that Josephus was the founder of Judaism?
I'm saying for all we know he could have been because we don't have any other references to any of the phenomenon mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (aside from the aforesaid names a brief details) until Josephus.
Nice try. Yes, you are saying that. Nevertheless, it is factually incorrect. The point of my posts was that there are over 200 fragments of the Hebrew Bible which pre-date Josephus. You do not have to believe that, but “thems the facts”.
Originally Posted by I, Brian
More seriously, have a look at Redaction Theory (Redaction Theory (Documents Hypothesis): Torah Torah Torah : Interfaith) which makes quite a serious suggestion at how the OT texts developed over centuries.
Basing the age of a faith on linguistic evidence of a translation is an obvious fallacy.
I've corresponded with Bob X. He's a great linguist. But he has put way too much weight on the archaisms in language as a means to attribute an early date to language. For example he states:
"More objectively, P is distinguished from J and E by serious changes in the language: where J and E differ linguistically in a way typical of regional dialectal differences, P reflects centuries of subsequent change."
For all we know those were different dialects of Hebrew being spoken all at the same time.
He also states however:
"The Chaldeans introduced the seven-day week: prior to that time, a week was a quarter-phase of the moon, usually seven days but sometimes eight as required."
I think this is an interesting point, but the calendrical system alluded to in Genesis points to a post-Acheamenid period. The calendrical system in Genesis was based developed by the Chaldaeans and so were the Calendars used by the Acheamenids. What is also interesting is that if you are going to use calendrical systems as a means to date a composition, well, the Zarathushtrian scriptures also allude to a calendrical system, but it was based on the quarter-phase week. That points to a pre-Acheamenid date. If the calendar in Zarathushtrian scriptures was post-Acheamenid it would have resembled the calendars that were in use among the Acheamenids.
Again, nice try, see my previous post about this phony calendar issue. If you and BX both agree, fine. I just did a scan of B-Reshit and found no linkage (there may be in the numerological and gematric analysis, I do not claim to have knowledge of that. However, as far as the text itself goes (without a mystical numbering system which may or may not be true) there is no linkage between the numbers you posted in “Genesis Could Only Have Been Written After the Julian Calendar”. Nada, zip.
If you have it, show it. Do not expect us to believe something because you assert it (no you do not have to believe I looked for the linkage, but that is a separate issue—you made the allegation, it is up to you to prove it).
Originally Posted by radarmark
It is a Greek source (the Septuagint). You are the one making this outrageous claim, what is your source?
Outrageous? Show me one reference to the Septuagint in Greek or Roman before Josephus. Like I said I can only find a few names and scanty details of the Jews before Josephus.
I did, please note the references to nine pre 50 BCE fragments, the Rohlfs fragments 801, 802, 803, 805, 819, 848, 942, 943, and 957. Three are 2nd century BCE. That predates Josephus by 250 years or so.
Are you talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Those aren't references to the Septuagint. Those are fragments of the Hebrew Bible themselves.
It is pretty clear (or was to those who read that same post) that the Rohlfs are fragments of the Septuagint that are dated to 250 years before Josephus. If you want to talk Biblical Archeology take a course or at least do some research.
P.S. as noted later, I did not even include the Nash Papyrus. Again, a dated (perhaps the best dated) early Septuagint fragment. Again, 250 years before Josephus.
Ipso facto, your entire thesis “Little or no Evidence to Support Hebrew Bible Before Josephus” is demonstrably incorrect and entirely unfounded.
Originally Posted by radarmark
It is called science, radio-carbon dating or other archeological in-situ dating. If the papyrus and parchment and ink date from 100 years before Josephus (as they do in the case of the Qumran scrolls), that pretty much lets you know they weren't werittewn after that.
They can't carbon-date ink. Where did you read about the dating the ink of the Qumran scrolls?
Try “AMS radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese documents of known age” in Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 255;2;375-379 (really, really concise reference). Radiocarbon dating is done with carbon… the black stuff in most ink (whether soot or octopus ink). For Biblical refs, try the beginner’s text “Bible and Radiocarbondating” (Levy and Higham; 2005). As for radio-carbon dating of ink in Qumran, try “The Dead Sea Scrolls, the science and new technologies” in Dead Sea Scrolls 11;2; 133-42 or “The Effects of Possible Contamination on the Radiocarbon Dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (pt 1 Radiocardon 43(1)127-32 and Pt 2 Radiocarbon 51(3)1005-22—warning these are hard texts) or any of their 60 or so references.
Thanks. I wasn't aware that it was possible to radio-carbon date ink. It was my understanding that there is no chemical process to date a text. It's the first time I've heard of anything like it. But the link concerning the radio carbon dating of ink "THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS SCIENCE AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES," from what it only allows me to see places the scrolls much later than 300BCE earliest or 167BCE and 233CE latest. The late date is over 100 years after Josephus.
See my last post on this. You are what is called “Cherry Picking”. That site (lines 2 to 4) clearly shows that three fragments of Isaiah are no later than 230 BCE. Since last time I checked Isaiah was part of the Hebrew Bible and this is 250 years before Josephus, again, you thesis is demonstrably incorrect and entirely unfounded.
If you wish to engage seriously in Biblical Archeology and discussions, you need a good course on radiocarbon dating. Any organic material (what the texts are written on, paper or leather and the ink are examples) takes up atmospheric Carbon 14 and quits talking it up after the organism dies. By sampling how much of the Carbon 14 (a radionuclide) is left, one can calculate about how old it is. Far from perfect. However, there is so much interest in Biblical Archeology the radiocarbon dating of fragments of the Bible or the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Gnostic Gospels or Manichean texts is pretty conclusive. That is there is lots of data, lots of references, shucks, people win PhDs every year by just refining the method or retesting previously tested material. That is why it is usually best to go with current academic references—Google can be a decade or more out of date.