Page 7 of 21

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:33 am
by StephenGoranson
Though I am not currently accepting homework assignments from Mr. Godfrey, I have commented on the Berossus and Manetho book, including at amazon.
Mr. Gmirkin fancifully assigned homework to Hebrew Bible authors, a fictional syllabus of Greek texts for his imaginary Alexandria c. 273-272 crash course.

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:21 am
by ABuddhist
StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:33 am Though I am not currently accepting homework assignments from Mr. Godfrey, I have commented on the Berossus and Manetho book, including at amazon.
Mr. Gmirkin fancifully assigned homework to Hebrew Bible authors, a fictional syllabus of Greek texts for his imaginary Alexandria c. 273-272 crash course.
1. Where are links to your comments?

2. In what way do you think that Gmirkin's Alexandria is imaginary?

"Treatise! Treatise! Treatise!" shouts the peanut gallery.

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:03 am
by billd89
ABuddhist wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:21 am In what way do you think that Gmirkin's Alexandria is imaginary?
Is this a philosophical question?

Image

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:26 am
by ABuddhist
No. Why would it be, in this context?

Re: ??

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:37 am
by billd89
You're not trolling?

Gmirkin wasn't there. Time-travel does not exist; we have no other recordings, save the text (literary fiction).

Wouldn't any hypothetical reconstruction, even one that was highly accurate (essentially 'correct': although --again-- how would anyone know, etc.) still be "imaginary" by definition?




Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:55 pm
by Leucius Charinus
ABuddhist wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:21 am
StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:33 am Though I am not currently accepting homework assignments from Mr. Godfrey, I have commented on the Berossus and Manetho book, including at amazon.
Mr. Gmirkin fancifully assigned homework to Hebrew Bible authors, a fictional syllabus of Greek texts for his imaginary Alexandria c. 273-272 crash course.
1. Where are links to your comments?
https://www.amazon.com/Berossus-Genesis ... 0567025926


Stephen's review claims that ....
SG wrote: "A lot of research went into this book, but, I suggest, faulty methodology and odd framing of questions led the work astray, to quite implausible conclusions about the origin of the Torah and its Greek translation."
However Gmirkin starts his book with a section on methodology and writes that his methodology is derived from classical studies rather than biblical studies, and takes the time to differentiate between the two. And there is a gulf between the two.

METHODOLOGY

The source-critical methods used in this book for dating texts - including biblical texts - are those familiar from classical studies, deductively establishing "terminus a quo" and "ad quem" dates between which the composition of the text under investigation must have taken place.

The latest possible dates of composition (terminus ad quem) is fixed by the earliest proof of existence of the texts, such as (rarely) the earliest physical copy, or (commonly) the first quotation or other utilisation of the text by some other datable work.

The earliest possible date of composition (terminus a quo) is usually fixed by the latest datable work the text in question quotes or utilises, or by the latest historical allusion within the text. This book is essentially an extended exercise in classical source criticism applied to the Hebrew Bible. [1]

////

Footnote [1]

There is a sharp methodological distinction between classical source criticism and traditional biblical source criticism. The latter used a variety of techniques to isolate hypothetical sources within biblical texts. The identification of sources J, E, D and P preliminary to the dating arguments of the Documentary Hypothesis is a prime example of biblical source criticism. Such source documents must remain perpetually hypothetical, since they no longer exist as independent entities. This type of source criticism is rarely encountered in classical scholarship.

Stephen's review also mentions
... the Hebrew Bible is in Hebrew not Greek. The book over-focuses on Greek; under-focuses on the Hebrew text. I'm reminded of A. Momigliano's earlier complaint about another work: that it was "Hellenization of an unknown entity."
However Momigliano also makes a complaint about the obvious differences between classical methodology and biblical methodology when he writes - in a very upfront (and heavily ironic manner):

ON PAGANS, JEWS, and CHRISTIANS
--- Arnaldo Momigliano, 1987

Chapter 1: Biblical Studies and Classical Studies
Simple Reflections upon Historical Method



p.3

Principles of Historical research need not be different from criteria of common sense. And common sense teaches us that outsiders must not tell insiders what they should do. I shall therefore not discuss directly what biblical scholars are doing. They are the insiders.

http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/arnal ... STIANS.htm

Wink wink. Nod nod. What are the biblical scholars the insiders of? Three guesses.

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:16 am
by andrewcriddle
neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:03 am I ask for evidence that supports your assertions and you say you will not give it because I would not be convinced by any of it --- presumably you do not think any other readers here will be convinced by it either.

I think a reasonable conclusion is that you cannot supply the evidence for the benefit of any interested reader here.
StephenGoranson wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:03 am The "Now" in "Now Plato?" refers to Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:29 am, time of writing. I.e., added Greek writer.
I already gave a page number, Berossus page 2, quoted from previous online text, with reasons, more than once.
That did not satisfy you; it seems a safe bet that more would not satisfy you.
That's a tad unfair. You only said that there were "weasel words" on the pages but did not identify which words we were to identify as "weasel words" and nor did you argue for why they were "weasel words". Simply saying read page 2 for weasel words is not a rebuttal, certainly not an alternative argument.

(Though later you give us other excuses for not giving us the evidence so I do think you would provide it if you could!)

You wrote:

> I find the book unpersuasive, despite its frequent use of words such as
> "doubtless" in its string, thicket, of hypotheses and assertions. The bold
> thesis statement is restated later, but with various weasel words added (e.g.
> pages 21, 251, 253).

But that is not an argument at all. It is only a contrary assertion without any evidence to support it. All I asked for was one specific example of one element of his work in which you can fault him for unduly favouring a non-Semitic source over a Semitic one.

I checked my digital version for the word "doubtless" and did not see it used any controversial context. Can you show me one instance that I missed?

You also wrote:

> It is unclear, for example, whether the book settles on
> translation by the seventy or seventy-two proposed fluent bilingual visitors
> to the Library of Alexandria or "a single individual (or a very small group) as
> shown by consistent style and vocabulary."(251)

But when I consult page 251 I do not see that RG's point about a single individual or 70/72 is addressing a "thicket of hypotheses and assertions" at all. He is simply citing a well-known point, a truism, if you will, sourced from Jellicoe:
According to The Letter of Aristeas, the project initiated by Ptolemy II Philadelphus
took place in two distinct phases: the acquisition of a definitive Hebrew
text of the Pentateuch from Jerusalem and the translation of that text into Greek
at Alexandria. Pseudo-Aristeas confined the activity of the Septuagint scholars to
translation, but a simple translation of the Pentateuch from Hebrew to Greek
would hardly have required the efforts of seventy-two scholars. As is well known
from Septuagint studies, the Septuagint Pentateuch was actually the translation
of a single individual (or a very small group), as shown by consistent style and
vocabulary. 71
It follows that Pseudo-Aristeas's description of the Septuagint
scholars as translators cannot be taken at face value. . . . (pp 250f)


71 Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study, 56.
And you can read Page 56 of Jellicoe's book in Google books. I am in Thailand at the moment so my URL is to the Thai URL, so if the link does not resolve readily for you no doubt a fresh search will bring the same result:

https://books.google.co.th/books?redir_ ... &q&f=false

or how about a screenshot:

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 9.30.28 pm.png

IF Gmirkin is suggesting (adapting Jellicoe's position on the LXX) that the Torah originated in Alexandria as a result of a collaboration between Jerusalem and Jewish scholars in Egypt, then (on the standard model of Samaritan history) its acceptance as Scripture by the Samaritan community would be unlikely.

Andrew Criddle

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:57 am
by Secret Alias
Similar to what I wrote.

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2022 4:01 am
by neilgodfrey
StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:33 am Though I am not currently accepting homework assignments from Mr. Godfrey,
You are the first person on this forum I have encountered who has objected to providing evidence for his criticisms on the grounds that the enquirer is imposing a "homework assignment". Oh dear.

Re: Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts [Gmirkin]

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2022 4:04 am
by neilgodfrey
andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:16 am IF Gmirkin is suggesting (adapting Jellicoe's position on the LXX) that the Torah originated in Alexandria as a result of a collaboration between Jerusalem and Jewish scholars in Egypt, then (on the standard model of Samaritan history) its acceptance as Scripture by the Samaritan community would be unlikely.

Andrew Criddle
There are a number of models (usually based on a naive reading of core texts) that have to fall if the scholarship that has been gaining ground since the 1990s re Greek influence on the Hebrew Bible (and facing up to the implications of archaeological finds) continues to undermine long-held assumptions.

But what, specifically, would be problematic about a Judean-Samaritan collaboration at the time? (Are you referring to Ezra-Nehemiah?) I have linked to the book online at Scribd where you can see how Gmirkin addresses some specifics of "the Samaritan question" in Appendix C.

I thought it was clear that the Jellicoe quote was a demonstration of how SG ripped Gmirkin's point out of context and used it to misrepresent it as a bizarre problem for Gmirkin.