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4_Fri_Sept_5_2008

4_Fri_Sept_5_2008 - Old Testament 11 Ellen Davis Friday...

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Old Testament 11 Ellen Davis Friday, September 05, 2008 George Herbert, 17 th  century prayer:  neither be distracted by success nor fear our failures that  turn us more surely to you. Interpretation of the Bible – translation of the Bible implies interpretation.  “Insights get lost”  Newer translations aren’t necessarily better than older ones.  Sometimes you need to go far into  the past to regain insights lost in the present. 2 nd :  Get a sense of continuity and difference in the history of exegesis.  “Is there a family  resemblance here that you can find?”  Prof. Davis pays attention to what the Jewish people are  doing.  Tradition is a living thing.  You can say something genuinely new, but if you say  something new that bears no resemblance to what people have been saying for two thousand  years, you should at least be nervous! Tradition is the democracy of the dead. A generation can be idiosyncratic, so one can interpret it in that way. All of Genesis after Gen 12 today. Brief History on Ancient Israel – on reserve in the library. Generally today there is less confidence today that we can make corollation between the Middle  Bronze Age  (beginning of 2050 BC) and the early OT, ancestrial period.  No evidence of any of  the characters in the Bible before David. The problem is not so much the lack of attestation, the more difficult problem in the extra-Biblical  evidence is in the area of a “cultural” sphere. We are reckoning early in the 2000 bc – the Canaanite culture dominates the area. IRT correlation:  pastoral life, small towns, this was in the 1 st  millennium bc, not just 2000 bc.  Domestication of camels for trade and familial use.  The Bible records that the ancestors made  use of  camels (and the Ishmaelites)… but the widespread use of the camel may not have  happened until the 1 st  millennium.  Historical significance… Page 1 of 8 September 5, 2008
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In a word, what Joseph Matthews says at the end of the discussion on page 4:  The places where  the ancestors dwell and do business… appears to set precedents for Biblical narratives.  It’s  possible that they are devices.., but they could be either real data or true cultural memories. Question:  The genre question.  What did we read these stories as.   Some would say that we read these as history.  Matthews says, “good cultural memories”.
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