Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

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Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:52 am

HI min -

I was cleaning up the computer here and took a minute to briefly look at Finkelstein's latest.

First off, my biases.
I have little interest in ancient Israel and Judah, as my interests lie in the Bronze Age Aegean, specifically the "Minoans".
Second, I am pretty well swamped by work on Native American Traditional histories.

That said, to me it is bizarre that Finkelstein ignored contemporary texts from the Hittites and Alilaya.

Second, for Exodus, whatever happened to the memories later, we may assert the eruption of Thera occurred at 1628 BCE on the basis of ice cores and tree rings. Thus the recovery of dust layers from that eruption will be definitive in dating.

(From the view of impact research, relative dating is not as useful as absolute dating, in other words astronomical dating.)

Second, whatever it was that may have happened later to texts,
Finkelstein's assertions that early Israelites and Judahites were illiterate is not justified.

I hope that texts are found nearer the area, and I think that the information from the El Armana archive may be useful in this search.

Third, Finkelstein ignored entirely the problem of the correlations between the texts from Ras Shamra and writings preserved in the Old Testament.

To sum up, I am not interested in Israeli national identity, nor in the Old Testament, except as it relates to impacts and the Aegean. (Although I do enjoy hearing the tales about the Prophets.)
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:26 am

When you say his "latest" I assume you are referring to "The Northern Kingdom?"

Without being entirely certain which book you refer to, I can say that in Finkelstein's view Ugarit and the Hittites..and the El Amarna library all substantially pre-date the cultures which later became known as "Israel" and "Judah." Even William Dever refers to the Iron Age settlement which grew up in the Eastern Hill region as "proto-Israelite." Of course there was a Canaanite culture present in the LBA and that culture, as Dever makes clear in "Did God Have A Wife" the religion of the region was based on the Canaanite pantheon and it developed from polytheism to henotheism pretty much the same as everywhere else in the ANE.

The lack of literacy is apparent. It is unlikely that any significant texts will ever be found but there is even a stunning lack of inscriptions. Occasionally, as with Khirbet Qeiyafa, we find an inscription which modern scholars try to force into "Hebrew" and the result is gibberish. Christopher Rollston has already worked over that ostracon.

Lastly, Finkelstein asserts that the exodus tale first arose in the late 7th century when there was an actual polity centered in Jerusalem and which might have sought to take advantage of the eclipse of the Assyrian empire by the Babylonian revolt. Using a completely different line of evidence Egyptologist Donald Redford has reached the same conclusion. Egypt proved to be stronger and temporarily did a little regime change as the army marched by to aide Assyria. Famously, or perhaps infamously, we did the same thing when we overthrew Saddam Hussein and put our own puppet government in Iraq. With similar result.

In any case, the Babylonians won - sacked and burned Jerusalem - and ruled until overthrown by the Persians who were monotheistic ( Ahura Mazda ) and had their own devil and heaven and hell. Curious.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:45 am

Hi min -

http://gath.wordpress.com/2006/02/08/ga ... hronology/

Luwian hieroglyphic was used to record Luwili, and likely Paluili.

Colin Renfrew's theories on "system collapse" are relevant in analyzing this (view Wood's "Searching for the Trojan War") , if you trying to sort out the usual from environmental effects such as impact and impact dust loading and other climate collapse mechanisms.

While all of this is very important to modern Israelis and Bible enthusiasts,
as I have mentioned many times, I am interested in the "Minoans" and impact events in the Ancient Near East.

All it will take is one nice cuneiform archive - or perhaps even a few tablets from the excavation heaps at Boghazhoy.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Yeah, Tel-es-Safi is under the eye of Aren Maier, not Finkelstein but that isn't relevant to the point being put forward here.

This is dated in 2006 which, while not hopelessly dated, is still before the reports that were put out in Radiocarbon in 2007. The link I had to a .pdf of the article is long since gone but I still have a review/discussion of the article which you may find interesting.

http://www.telecomtally.com/blog/2007/06/searching_high_and_low.html

This chart indicates that a systematic radiocarbon study of finds found that the "Low" chronology was actually somewhat "lower" than Finkelstein had placed it.

Image

Even more to the point, if you scroll to the end of the text you will note the author's appreciation to the aforementioned Aren Maier for directing him to the article.


And I fully agree with you: Finding another archive c the 12th century would be welcome news. For now, I can only recommend Eric Cline's 1177 B.C. if you can get hold of it. Cline is enthusiastic about "system collapse" as well.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:57 pm

Hi min -

A very nice way of dating Homer internally - the political situation on Crete at his time:

There is a land called Crete in the midst of the wine-blue sea,
a beautiful and fertile land, seagirt;
in it are many people, innumerable, and there are ninety cities.
Language with language is mingled together.
There are Akhaians,
there are great-hearted Eteocretans,
there are Kydones,
and Dorians in their three clans,
and noble Pelasgians.
[Homer, Odyssey 19, lines 172 - 177]

The Dorians have nothing to do with the people on Late Bronze Crete.

The others:
Akhaians - usually spelled Achaeans
Kydones - Kydonia - ? < Khittim, Keftiu (remember the vowels all flexed, depending on case)
Pelasgians - Peleset, Philistines, Palu(ili)
Eteocretans? - Eteo + Cretans, Eteo=? Itawa?
for that matter, Crete -?Kf'tiu (moving the inserted vowel in the reconstructed Egyptian name)
and I wonder about the vowel placement in "Caphtor".

But then they were dealing with a language that had a very different phonology,
and even though some people claim that it is related to Indo-European,
there were and are problems of intelligibility.

My guess is that the Dorians were likely inserted into the saga where Tyrsoi (a part of the ancestors of our "Etruscans) once stood.

min, You were mumbling something about modern Israeli low chronologies for biblical events, after having ceded that the Bible is of very limited use in anthropological work. Your problem, not mine.

My problems are with Hittite absolute chronologies and Egyptian chronologies, which are the only things really useful in dating impact events and the eruption of Thera.

And of course system collapses, both under stresses and not under stress.

{By the way, it appears that impact events produce 14C, throwing it off as a means of dating.
One is then forced to use other methods: tree rings, astronomical texts, and links between nations.)
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:05 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby uniface » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:24 pm

An interesting monkey wrench in those works (on the off chance that someone here is unfamiliar with it) : http://www.redicecreations.com/radio/20 ... 140623.php

The only solid (IMO) "criticism" of it (going by the official Matrix position in wikipedia) is . . . surprise, surprise . . . the dating incongruities that EP just mentioned.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:14 pm

Thanks for contributing your usual pile of shit to the discussion, Uni. You are consistent, if nothing else.

Red Ice Creations (tagline: "For the Seeker") is a website run since 2003 by Henrik Palmgren of Sweden, who bills himself as a "filmmaker, radio host, musician, editor, director, researcher & graphics designer",[2] with assistance from Fredrik Palmgren (apparently his older brother), Lana Lokteff and Elizabeth Leafloor.[3] It hosts a large amount of greatly varied content related, among others, to conspiracy theories, the paranormal, pseudohistory and medical woo.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:20 pm

Again, E.P. it remains your burden to demonstrate that there WAS an impact. Right now, I'll go with Cline.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:45 pm

Minimalist wrote:Again, E.P. it remains your burden to demonstrate that there WAS an impact. Right now, I'll go with Cline.


Actually, min, the hypothesis that impact dust loading led to a climate collapse at the end of the Bronze Age is NOT mine.

The invasion under Joshua and the destruction at the end of LM1-B of the "minoan" appenage forces serving with the Hittite King T'e Hantilishi I have discussed providing references to contemporary texts again and again and again.

As far doing field work locating fragments of that impactor in Israel goes, all in all, I'd rather be in Amnissos or coastal Spain or Portugal. Shepard has a good idea.

I am interested in the Great Atlantic Impact Mega-Tsunami, and its effects on the "Sea Peoples", the maritime traders of the late Bronze Age Mediterranean. Which leads to the 3 Oc 1 Kimi date, and mayan calednrics, and modular math, all beyond my abilities now.
Last edited by E.P. Grondine on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:57 pm

Hi uni -

I once met a fellow who was trying to locate it all in Albania.

A lot of nuts try to play "cryptographer", with very amusing results.

For that matter, a lot of nuts try to play archaeologist, sometimes with very destructive results, which rapidly causes the laughter to stop.

But then I've met a lot of professional archaeologists working here in Ohio, not only earning a living at it but even teaching, who have no idea who the Shawnee were.

The result is crap like you recycle.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Cognito » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:49 am

But then I've met a lot of professional archaeologists working here in Ohio, not only earning a living at it but even teaching, who have no idea who the Shawnee were.

Is that even possible? Did they get their degree from a Wheaties box top? :shock:
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:10 pm

Dear old 'joshua' hasn't fared well with modern archaeology, E.P.

http://www.american-buddha.com/falsetestament.htm

Then came a series of archaeological studies conducted in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967. Previously archaeologists had intensively studied specific sites and locales, digging deep in order to determine how technology and culture had changed from one century to the next. Now they tramped through hills and valleys looking for pottery shards and remnants of ancient walls in order to map out how settlement patterns had ebbed and flowed across broad stretches of terrain. Whereas previously archaeologists had concentrated on the lowland cities where the great battles mentioned in the Bible were said to have taken place, they now shifted their attention to the highlands located in the present West Bank. The results were little short of revolutionary. Rather than revealing that Canaan was entered from the outside, analysis of ancient settlement patterns indicated that a distinctive Israelite culture arose locally around 1200 B.C. as nomadic shepherds and goatherds ceased their wanderings and began settling down in the nearby uplands. Instead of an alien culture, the Israelites were indigenous. Indeed, they were highly similar to other cultures that were emerging in the region around the same time--except for one thing: whereas archaeologists found pig bones in other sites, they found none among the Israelites. A prohibition on eating pork may have been one of the earliest ways in which the Israelites distinguished themselves from their neighbors.

Thus there was no migration from Mesopotamia, no sojourn in Egypt, and no exodus. There was no conquest upon the Israelites' return and, for that matter, no peaceful infiltration such as the one advanced by Yohanan Aharoni. Rather than conquerors, the Hebrews were a native people who had never left in the first place


The OT tale is a house of cards. If you pull too many out it all comes crashing down.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby E.P. Grondine » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:34 pm

Getting down to the essential:

Minimalist wrote:Rather than conquerors, the Hebrews were a native people who had never left in the first place


The same as the Palestinians, then.

Sorry, min, but no sale.

The destruction layers ca. 1585 BCE are well documented, despite the wishes of some that they would go away.
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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby Minimalist » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:46 pm

Sorry, E.P. but in a choice between competent archaeologists and you, you come in second.

Quoting 100 year old bible-thumpers who had an agenda to begin with does not compare to scientific radio-carbon dating techniques.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Finkelstein and the use of Biblical Texts

Postby uniface » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:12 pm

Thanks for contributing your usual pile of shit to the discussion, Uni.


OK.I'm gonna suspend my "The answer to a fool is silence" rule (a recent adoption that works really well) and try it on your level for once :

Hey Min -- Eat a big bowl of dicks ! ! ! :lol:
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