The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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neilgodfrey
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

Post by neilgodfrey »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 4:39 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Fri Dec 30, 2022 1:19 pm
Secret Alias wrote: Wed Dec 28, 2022 7:53 pm What "belief " is it that "Jerusalem" doesn't appear in the Pentateuch?
Rather than all the gratuitous adolescent sexual analogies you could try making the point at a relevant conceptual level relating to the belief systems of the authors and subsequent readers and the logic involved in your reasoning. Why not argue at a cerebral level rather than a libidinal one?

God does not appear in Esther: it does not follow that the book of Esther was written by an atheist.

You are assuming, presumably on the basis of later Jewish and rabbinic views about the importance of Jerusalem, that Jewish authors working together with Samaritans would have been so hung up about the importance of Jerusalem itself that they could not help themselves from mentioning Jerusalem in the Pentateuch. You are assuming that the later form of Judaism was the same as it was from the moment of its birth.

You are also assuming that the authors of the Pentateuch did not have enough nous to write a coherent story that for theological reasons intended to associate the centrality of Jerusalem with David and therefore could not reasonably have made an earlier appearance.

You are avoiding reading arguments which might actually challenge your view about Jerusalem and the significance of its explicit absence from the Pentateuch.

You are also clearly avoiding any comment that contradicts with evidence your earlier claims, such as, for just one example, that archaeologists do find very clear evidence of Judeans who followed the ten commandments and those who didn't.
FWIW Hecataeus on the Jews around 300 BCE explicitly links Moses with the establishment of the temple at Jerusalem.
The leader of this colony was one Moses, a very wise and valiant man, who, after he had possessed himself of the country, amongst other cities, built that now most famous city, Jerusalem, and the temple there, which is so greatly revered among them.
Andrew Criddle

You don't add commentary so I don't know exactly what point of mine you were meaning to address by your reference to Hecataeus of Abdera. Hecataeus gives a foundation myth of Jerusalem and its temple by Moses that is independent of the Pentateuch and conforms to traditional Greek foundation stories for colonies.

If you are suggesting that I did not think that Jerusalem had any importance at all for the Jews I am afraid I should have added some additional qualification to my original statement. I take it for granted that Jerusalem is the main city (along with its temple) was of significance to Jews -- but my original point was an attempt to address SA's assertion that Jews would have been compelled to make explicit reference to Jerusalem in the Pentateuch for political (anti-Samaritan) purposes. I think the answers to that view would be obvious to many and hardly worth taking the time to spell out -- not that Gmirkin's attempt to respond appeared to register even a fraction of one millimetre in SA's thoughts, unfortunately.
andrewcriddle
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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neilgodfrey wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 10:22 pm
andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 4:39 am
FWIW Hecataeus on the Jews around 300 BCE explicitly links Moses with the establishment of the temple at Jerusalem.
The leader of this colony was one Moses, a very wise and valiant man, who, after he had possessed himself of the country, amongst other cities, built that now most famous city, Jerusalem, and the temple there, which is so greatly revered among them.
Andrew Criddle

You don't add commentary so I don't know exactly what point of mine you were meaning to address by your reference to Hecataeus of Abdera. Hecataeus gives a foundation myth of Jerusalem and its temple by Moses that is independent of the Pentateuch and conforms to traditional Greek foundation stories for colonies.

If you are suggesting that I did not think that Jerusalem had any importance at all for the Jews I am afraid I should have added some additional qualification to my original statement. I take it for granted that Jerusalem is the main city (along with its temple) was of significance to Jews -- but my original point was an attempt to address SA's assertion that Jews would have been compelled to make explicit reference to Jerusalem in the Pentateuch for political (anti-Samaritan) purposes. I think the answers to that view would be obvious to many and hardly worth taking the time to spell out -- not that Gmirkin's attempt to respond appeared to register even a fraction of one millimetre in SA's thoughts, unfortunately.
I'm assuming that Hecataeus is paraphrasing a Jewish informant here. Then the principle of a central sanctuary was already being identified by the Jews as meaning a sanctuary at Jerusalem. If the Pentateuch as we have it is later than this we would expect this to be explicit in the text.

I've just been reading Plato's Laws and it may be worth noting that the passage in Hecataeus is IMO more obviously influenced by the Laws than is the Pentateuch.

Andrew Criddle
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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SA's assertion that Jews would have been compelled to make explicit reference to Jerusalem in the Pentateuch for political (anti-Samaritan) purposes.
At least one reference to "Jerusalem" in a supposedly "Jewish" text might help convince me. Mormonism has plenty of references to America:
After Jesus' resurrection, according to the Book of Mormon, he visited America. In fact, America plays a special role in Mormonism. Mormons believe that when Jesus returns to Earth, he will first go to Jerusalem and then to Missouri.
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DCHindley
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 4:39 am
FWIW Hecataeus on the Jews around 300 BCE explicitly links Moses with the establishment of the temple at Jerusalem.
The leader of this colony was one Moses, a very wise and valiant man, who, after he had possessed himself of the country, amongst other cities, built that now most famous city, Jerusalem, and the temple there, which is so greatly revered among them.
Hi Andrew,

How confident can we be about the content, much less the date, of specifics of Hecataeus’s work considering it comes from a paraphrase by Diodorus 250+ years later?

This is all copied & pasted from Wikipedia articles, with a little modification by me to iron out inconsistencies and scattered data:
Hecataeus of Abdera … (Greek: Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης), was a Greek historian and Pyrrhonist philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC. … No complete works of Hecataeus have survived, and our knowledge of his writing exists only in fragments located in various ancient Greek and Latin authors' works.

Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca historica, i.46.8, ca 60 BCE) tells us that Hecataeus visited Thebes in the times of Ptolemy I Soter [who was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BCE to his death ca 282 BCE], and composed a history of Egypt, [the Aegyptiaca] … [mentioning Moses and Jerusalem, this also being] the first mention of them in Greek literature.

[However] Diodorus mostly paraphrases Hecataeus, [making] it … difficult to extract Hecataeus' actual writings … ([reference is made to] Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller's Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum).
IMHO, because a paraphrase sort of brings the original “up to date,” it can contain materials that are anachronistic. There is that possibility that the digression about the Jewish nation is Diodorus’ own contribution.

DCH
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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My 2007 amazon review of Gmirkin's Berossus 2006 book included:
"....There's no direct evidence, but Gmirkin assures that it was, doubtless. (Plausible, arguably, but not doubtless--a word overused by Gmirkin.) On the other hand, arguments from silence (in some Greek texts! after a quite iffy reassigning text away from Hecataeus of Abdera) are used implausibly against pre-273 Hebrew written Torah--and against pre-273 Greek translations....."

[added, continuing the review:] "And when Moses was called a lawgiver, that's explained away as a non-writing variety lawgiver, despite a long-functioning temple. Too many ifs. On pages 53-55 Gmirkin attempts to reassign text that shows awareness of written Torah away from Hecataeus of Abdera, who most scholars agree wrote this; but that attestation, by itself, disproves Gmirkin's proposal by predating his imagined composition time. So he seeks to reassign it a new author and date it much later. This text also says that the Jews were "so docile...they fall to the ground and do reverence to the high priest...." Gmirkin's proposal implausibly places the time of "docile" Jews right at the end of the civil war by the two high priest claimant sons of the warrior Alexander Jannaeus, and supposedly written in the view of one travelling with Pompey. An odd time for one with the Roman army to mention docility."

I reviewed books in J. of the American Oriental Society, J. of the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, BASOR, DSD, RSR, and BA, but it is possible that I got that wrong.
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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andrewcriddle wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 6:34 am I'm assuming that Hecataeus is paraphrasing a Jewish informant here. Then the principle of a central sanctuary was already being identified by the Jews as meaning a sanctuary at Jerusalem.
This has been confirmed by the Elephantine correspondence. It's never been in question.
andrewcriddle wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 6:34 am
If the Pentateuch as we have it is later than this we would expect this to be explicit in the text.
Not sure I am quite with you, sorry. Do you mean we would expect Jerusalem to be mentioned in the Pentateuch?
andrewcriddle wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 6:34 amI've just been reading Plato's Laws and it may be worth noting that the passage in Hecataeus is IMO more obviously influenced by the Laws than is the Pentateuch.
I'd be interested in some sort of table or list of what you see as the influences.
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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Secret Alias wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 8:22 am
SA's assertion that Jews would have been compelled to make explicit reference to Jerusalem in the Pentateuch for political (anti-Samaritan) purposes.
At least one reference to "Jerusalem" in a supposedly "Jewish" text might help convince me. Mormonism has plenty of references to America:
After Jesus' resurrection, according to the Book of Mormon, he visited America. In fact, America plays a special role in Mormonism. Mormons believe that when Jesus returns to Earth, he will first go to Jerusalem and then to Missouri.
And you are not open to any other possible explanation of any kind that does not submit to your view? You are aware, I presume, that the rift between Samaritans and Judeans was quite some time later than anyone, Gmirkin included, proposes as the date for the Pentateuch.

Is it inconceivable that an author writing an account of a time before entry into Canaan would be competent enough to avoid a basic anachronistic error by referencing Jerusalem in Canaan -- especially when in other works being produced at the same time Jerusalem and its place in Judean history were accounted for?
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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DCHindley wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 8:37 am Hi Andrew,

How confident can we be about the content, much less the date, of specifics of Hecataeus’s work considering it comes from a paraphrase by Diodorus 250+ years later?

This is all copied & pasted from Wikipedia articles, with a little modification by me to iron out inconsistencies and scattered data:
Hecataeus of Abdera … (Greek: Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης), was a Greek historian and Pyrrhonist philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC. … No complete works of Hecataeus have survived, and our knowledge of his writing exists only in fragments located in various ancient Greek and Latin authors' works.

Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca historica, i.46.8, ca 60 BCE) tells us that Hecataeus visited Thebes in the times of Ptolemy I Soter [who was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BCE to his death ca 282 BCE], and composed a history of Egypt, [the Aegyptiaca] … [mentioning Moses and Jerusalem, this also being] the first mention of them in Greek literature.

[However] Diodorus mostly paraphrases Hecataeus, [making] it … difficult to extract Hecataeus' actual writings … ([reference is made to] Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller's Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum).
IMHO, because a paraphrase sort of brings the original “up to date,” it can contain materials that are anachronistic. There is that possibility that the digression about the Jewish nation is Diodorus’ own contribution.

DCH
In this context it may be worth quoting a passage from Gmirkin's first book (2006) (I did not use it in my first reply to Andrew partly because Gmirkin himself appears not to have repeated it in his later works). Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus is available at Scribd:
The undisputed fragments of Hecataeus in Diodorus Siculus, Library Book 1 display no awareness of the Pentateuch, while the account of the Jews in Book 40 is so divergent from the Pentateuch34 as to guarantee that Hecataeus did not have access to Jewish writings, translated or otherwise.35

These difficulties are usually overcome by postulating that Hecataeus learned about the Pentateuch from Jewish priests living in Alexandria.36 But a second difficulty is that in Diodorus Siculus, Library Book 1, Hecataeus repeatedly named Egyptian priests as his sources;37 nowhere did he claim to have had contact with Jews. If Hecataeus had contact with Jewish priests or had access to Jewish writings, he would doubtless have said so to enhance the authority of his account. But Hecataeus made no such claims in undisputed fragments.

Third, the detailed information Hecataeus allegedly presented about the Jews in Book 40 was not quoted or utilized by any author from 320 BCE to the time of Posidonius and Diodorus Siculus in the first century BCE. That Theophrastus read Hecataeus is certain,38 yet the description of heterodox Jews in Theophrastus's On Piety markedly differed from the detailed knowledge of orthodox Judaism in the allegedly Hecataean passage in Book 40,39 Manetho's dependence on Hecataeus of Abdera is certain, yet his knowledge of the Jews was limited to their location in Jerusalem and the name of their founder, Moses.40 Second-century BCE Alexandrian Jewish writers such as Aristobulus and Pseudo-Aristeas41 did extensive research in the classics—including Hecataeus of Abdem'sAegyptiaca— but failed to discover a single passage in which an early Hellenistic author of Hecataeus's time or earlier quoted Jewish scripture.42 That so many writers on the Jews who were familiar with Hecataeus knew nothing of the contents of Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3.1-8 suggests that the latter passage did not derive from Hecataeus.

Fourth and finally, the account of the Jews in Book 40 seriously contradicts the briefer, unquestionably Hecataean passage on the Jews in Book I.43 Book 1 was favorable in tone towards both Jews and Egyptians and considered the Jews (as well as Greeks and others) to have been descendants of Egyptians. By contrast, Book 40 labeled Jews, Greeks and others as non-Egyptians—foreigners expelled from Egypt—and recorded traditions moderately hostile to the Jews.44

For these reasons, the Hecataean authorship of Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3.1-8 should be (but rarely has been) questioned.45. (pp. 39-40)
. . . .
4. Analysis of Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3.1-8

The detailed analysis that follows confirms that Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3 derived from a book written by Theophanes of Mytilene in 62 BCE, not Hecataeus of Abdera two and a half centuries earlier. A major objective of this source-critical analysis is to determine how much of 40.3.1-8 came from eyewitness observations by Theophanes and how much drew on Hecataeus or other literary sources. Another important objective is to evaluate how much Hecataeus knew about the Jews, and whether Hecataeus knew or utilized Jewish written sources, namely, the Pentateuch. (p. 44)
Footnotes:
34. Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 33-34, 41; J. Gager, Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism (SBLMS 16; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1972), 76; Wacholder, Eupolemus, 91; Diamond, Hecataeus of Abdera, 155; Gabba, "Greek Knowledge of Jews," 12; E. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of the Jewish Tradition (Hellenistic Culture and Society 30; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 52.

35. Wacholder, Eupolemus, 76; Gager, Moses, 76; Diamond, Hecataeus ofAbdera,+155.

36. See n. 137 below.

37. See n. 14 above.

38. See n. 194 below.

39. The relative dating of Theophrastus and Hecataeus is discussed in §6 below.

40. See Chapter 7.

41. Actually, Pseudo-Aristeas is to be identified with Aristobulus; see the discussion in Chapter 4, §3.

42. Aristobulus, writing ca. 150 BCE, would likely have cited the source behind Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3 if it existed in his time. This suggests the source postdated 150 BCE. Josephus, in conducting a similar search of ancient writings for references to the Jews, had to resort to the Jewish forgery Pseudo-Hecataeus (Josephus, Apion 1.183-204).

43. Cf. Diamond, Hecataeus of Abdera, 151,155-56. Jacoby believed Hecataeus recorded two variants of the story of Jewish origins from Egypt. Diamond recognized that the traditions in Diodorus Siculus, Library Books 1 and 40 were divergent and could not have come from the same author. But Diamond presumed that Book 40 contained the authentic Hecataean account. Consequently, Diamond drew exactly the wrong conclusion, namely, that Book 1 represented a tradition other than Hecataeus (Hecataeus of Abdera, 26-27, 32, 157).

44. Jacoby, FGrH Ilia Comm. on 264; Diamond, Hecataeus of Abdera, 151, 155-56, 221. Gabba ("Greek Knowledge of Jews," 12) claimed there was nothing negative in the accusation of Jewish misanthropy at Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3.4. This was heavily debated in the panel discussion recorded in E. Gabba et al., "Minutes of the Colloquy," in Gabba, Greek Knowledge of Jews up to Hecataeus of Abdera, 33-45 (34-35).

45. Occasionally it is suggested that Pseudo-Hecataeus and Diodorus Siculus, Library 40.3 came from the same late Hasmonean Era Jewish author; see J. Lebram, "Der Idealstaatdes Juden,"in Josephus-Studien: Untersuchungen zu Josephus, dem antiken Judentum und dem Neuen Testament, O. Michel zum 70. Geburrtstag gewidmet (ed. O. Betz, K. Haacker and M. Hengel; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1974), 233-53; a "forthcoming" article by D. Schwartz mentioned at Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism, 55 n. 48; and K. Sacks, "Response," in Gabba, Greek Knowledge of Jews up to Hecataeus of Abdera, 26-32 (26 n. 1) (although Sacks considered Pseudo-Hecataeus to be authentically Hecataean).
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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Secret Alias wrote: Sun Jan 01, 2023 8:22 am
SA's assertion that Jews would have been compelled to make explicit reference to Jerusalem in the Pentateuch for political (anti-Samaritan) purposes.
At least one reference to "Jerusalem" in a supposedly "Jewish" text might help convince me. Mormonism has plenty of references to America:
After Jesus' resurrection, according to the Book of Mormon, he visited America. In fact, America plays a special role in Mormonism. Mormons believe that when Jesus returns to Earth, he will first go to Jerusalem and then to Missouri.
Russell Gmirkin went out of his way to respond in depth to your point about Jerusalem. It would be nice to see you engage in detail with that response, something more than simply repeating your single point as if he had not taken the time to engage with you at all.
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Re: The Origins of Judaism, Yonatan Adler

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So God has spoken. His answer did not change anything. We discussed. He forgot to consider the Samaritans or did not consider them important to the development of the Pentateuch. Thanks for treating Gmirkin like he's Maimonides or something.
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