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Author Topic:   Did a "minimalist" indirectly admit Judges 1 doesnt contradict Joshua
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 1 of 35 (586241)
10-12-2010 4:53 AM


Before I link to the Biblical Archaeological Review text(in an odd place-a Free Republic thread!) from a 2002 or 2003 issue(I am away from my issues,and the FR post doesnt source the issue #), let me explain some things.

First of all, minimalists have become obsessed with claiming that the "empty land" of the Babylonian Captivity(post 580 BCE), mentioned in places like Ezekiel, is archaeologically not true and thus a "myth".They say that most Jews remained in Palestine and did not go into exile in Babylon (thus the Babylonian Captivity and return were "myths")

I disagree strongly with their claim(because 580-540 BCE Palestine was entirely empty aside from the *small* land of Benjamin, everything else was destroyed, based on archaeological excavations covering the "Babylonian Period" of Palestine) but that has nothing to do with my post here.

(I have caught about a dozen minimalists use "empty land" in quotes and it is always in a deragatory manner."empty land" is a pejorative and it is used often.)

But I caught this interesting quote (years ago actually, I just never had time to do a larger Conquest thread where I planned on presenting it) by a minimalist while trying to explain how the destructions of 587/582 wouldnt demand an empty land right after the destructions.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/674216/posts

quote:

(unknown BAR issue from around 2001-2002)
Joseph Blenkinsopp
The bottom line is that destruction of urban centers, although considerable, was not nearly as complete as the Albright-Stern thesis postulates. We are already witnessing a shrinkage of the data base for destruction that is reminiscent of early, now abandoned claims made for cities destroyed during the Israelite "conquest of Canaan"—a case of déjà vu all over again.

Moreover, most people did not live in cities, and we should not underestimate the resilience of a population to restore some semblance of normality in a relatively short time, despite a destruction.

As the Babylonian army approached, many Judahites no doubt took refuge in one or the other of the inaccessible places that southern Judah and the Jordan Valley liberally provided, only to re-emerge once the dust had settled. Biblical texts indeed confirm that this is what happened (Jeremiah 40:7,ll-12; 2 Kings 25:23).


This debate was also furthered in the Journal For The Study For The Old Testament(I have a JSOT issue from around 2003-2004 where Stern gives a good responce) plus the FR quotes completely miss the important footnotes and citations in the BAR debate (BAR gave Stern a responce in the same unknown issue that Blenkinsopp made his attacks of Sterns 2000 article, thats why the Free Republic site has Sterns responce quoted).

NOW MY POINT (Im sure most have figured it out already).

If Bible-critics claim that Judges 1 contradicts the Conquest of Joshua because the Israelites supposedly destroyed all the major Canaanite cities (the Bible doesnt exactly say that but the exxageration is still often claimed by Bible-critics), yet conflict continued with Canaanites after the death of Joshua, THEN how do they deal with the Blenkinsopp quote?

(Bible Accuracy forum please)


Replies to this message:
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 Message 19 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-12-2010 11:53 AM Nimrod has responded

    
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Message 2 of 35 (586256)
10-12-2010 7:57 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum

  
PaulK
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Posts: 15384
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 3 of 35 (586257)
10-12-2010 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nimrod
10-12-2010 4:53 AM


Aside from the issue that I don't see any evidence that Blenkinsopp is in fact a minimalist, wouldn't it be better to actually provide some quotes indicating what the contradictions are actually supposed to be and how the quote resolves it ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 4:53 AM Nimrod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 8:40 AM PaulK has responded

    
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 4 of 35 (586259)
10-12-2010 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by PaulK
10-12-2010 8:24 AM


o.k.
quote:

PaulK
Now, depending on which version of events you (arbitrarily?) declare to be 'historical' either Joshua had already wiped out those Jebusites,

I typed "Joshua Judges Contradictions" into google and here is the first site I found.Hit o
ne on page one
http://www.awitness.org/contrabib/history/joshua.html

Here is the first contradiction the site went after

quote:

'leaving no one alive' (Joshua 11:14)

or, immediately after his death,

"the men of Judah made an assault on Jerusalem and captured it; they put its people (the Jebusites) to the sword, and set fire to the city." (Judges 1:8)

Or, then again,

"the men of Judah failed to drive out the Jebusites living in Jerusalem." (Joshua 15:63)

Or, then again, maybe the Benjamites attacked and failed. (Judges 1:21)


Here is a contrary view(one I mostly share)

quote:

On The Reiability Of The Old Testament
K.A. Kitchen
pp162-163

....Israel...remained based at Gilgal (cf. 14:6).These campaigns were essentially disabling raids;they were not territorial conquests with instant Hebrew occupation.The text is very clear about this.Cf. fig. 25.

We are told that Joshua wared for some time(11:18), but are not given precise detail.But there are indirect indications of the possible content of other similar raids.Thus the list of thirty-one defeated towns/slain kings in Josh. 12 includes more than those who people the narratives in 10-11.Weadditionally find Hormah and Arad in the Negev (12:14);Adullam, Bethel, and Geder in the south part of central Canaan (cf. 12:13 , 15, 16);Tappuah, Hepher, Aphek, Sharon ("Lasharon"), and Tirzah in the north part (cf.12:17-18, 24);and Megiddo, Taanach, Jokneam,Qedesh, and Goyim-Gilgal in Jezreel and Galilee(cf12:21-23).

The first indication of a REAL move in occupation outward beyond Gilgal comes in 18:4.After the first allotment(14-17)of lands-to-be-occupied had been made,Ephraim-Manasseh began to act on their lot-and found it no pushover to make a takeover (cf 17:14-18).But they must quickly have made their way via Bethel up the twentyfive miles (fourty kilometers) or so through Shiloh to gain Shechem and Tirzah--and with enough assurance to allow for the establishing of the tabernacle at Shiloh(18:1 ........ Bethel probably fell at this time (cf. flashback entry, Judg. 1:22-26), and Tirzah (cf. Josh 12:24). As long noticed in Biblical studies, Shechem remains an enigma ......... ........... Thus, before Joshua's death, he first Israelite zone of settlement had probably extended from the Gilgal/Jericho/Ai district via Bethel and Shiloh up to Shechem and Tirzah.Southward, Caleb went to gain hebron and Debir (Josh 14:6-15 and 15:13-19 cf. flashback in Judg 1:12-15).And in the center-north Joshua himself was granted Timnath-serah (var. Timnath-heres), some sixteen miles southwest of Shechem (Josh 19:49-50; cf. 24:30; Judg 2:9).Under the elders, attempts were made to reach farther, but with little immediate headway (cf. Judg -2).

....This is not the sweeping, instant conquest-with-occupation that some hasty scholars would foist upon the text of Joshua.........

..Onto this initial picture Judges follows directly and easily, with no inherent contradiction;it contradicts only the bogus and superficial construction that some modern commentators have willfully thrust upon the biblical text..... The fact is that Biblical scholars have allowed themselves to be swept away by the upbeat, rhetorical element present in Joshua, a persistent feature of most war reports in ancient Near Eastern sources hat they are not accustomed to understand and properly handle.See next section.


quote:

ibid.
p223
..the book of Joshua does NOT present a sweeping conquest/instant occupation, whether expoused by Albright or anybody else.

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 10-12-2010 8:24 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15384
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 5 of 35 (586261)
10-12-2010 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Nimrod
10-12-2010 8:40 AM


Re: o.k.
So isn't it more true to say that you take all the talk of the Israelites capturing and destroying cities as no more than successful raids ?

Because if so, it doesn't really have anything to do with Blenkinsopp's quote. All it means is that the Bible exaggerates a lot.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 8:40 AM Nimrod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 9:25 AM PaulK has responded

    
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 6 of 35 (586264)
10-12-2010 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
10-12-2010 8:59 AM


Re:
Blenkinsopp was talking about a situation(c.582-539) where Jews were in a land where there was complete destruction, yet he suggested that the vast majority of the inhabitants were able to take refuge in the countryside(despite conflagrations in every city).

The same logic can be applicable to the situation the Canaanites faced, but the logic works far more for the Joshua conquest.

Why?

Because both Joshua and Judges show endless cities where Canaanites survived the attacks (Sidon, Tyre,etc.).

It was a back and forth seesaw.

Blenkinsopp disagreed with even a 40 year period of significant population reduction.He seemed to want to see the population surviving(despite city destruction that was unprecedented for 1500 years previous to the Early Bronze Age destructions) almost instant to the c.580 BCE destructions.

If the population could survive a situation of complete destruction in c580 BCE, then the more limited destruction of the Conquest(Joshua) should be considered hospitable for the Cannanite ability to regroup and fight back.

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 10-12-2010 8:59 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
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Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 7 of 35 (586266)
10-12-2010 9:40 AM


The "contradictions" website I linked.
That site seems to find a beef with Caleb taking Hebron in Joshua, but then it says that Judges shows him taking Debir as if it is a contradiction.

I think it makes perfect sense.

Debir was extremely close to Hebron.He could have taken both.

He also finds a contradiction between Judges 11:15 and 11:26.He feels that 11:26 saying Israelites lived in Heshbon,Arorer, and Arnon contradicts the earlier comment that Israelites didnt attack the Ammonites.

But those lands were Amorite during the Conquest period (the Bible says so, and frankly archaeology does too though archaeologists dont place the c.1500 BCE period with the Conquest.They tend to doubt the Conquest completely).It was only later that the Ammonites took those lands.

It is true that Joshua 13:24 refers to regional names as "country of the Ammonites" but there was constant updating of texts over a long period.It doesnt mean it was Ammonite controlled back then.The same situation applies to the "lowlands of Maob" in Joshua 13:31.Just a regional name but it doesnt mean Moabites ever controlled the land that far back.It just means that Amorite land in c.1500 BCE was taken at the time, but the land would later (time Joshua was updated and redacted, which could have happened often)become known and Moab.

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15384
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 8 of 35 (586268)
10-12-2010 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nimrod
10-12-2010 9:25 AM


Re: Re:
If we take the references to the capture of a city to refer to the actual capture then we have a problem if it is captured twice without any record of a loss of control in between. Blenkinsopp does not address this issue. He simply argues that a substantial Jewish population was left behind when the Babylonians deported the Jews to exile.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 9:25 AM Nimrod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 10:07 AM PaulK has responded

    
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 9 of 35 (586269)
10-12-2010 9:54 AM


A favorite beef with the contradictions site.
The major beef seems to be the Joshua text constantly talking about complete slaughter and thus the surviving Canaanites in the same text (albeit different verses and/or chapters/books) are a contradiction.

But Egyptian,Moabite, and Aramean texts from c1200, 835, and c.840 BCE(Tel Dan) respectively also talk about complete destruction-however of Israel!

Im sure they all three won battles.Fairly historical in the opinion of the vast majority of historians despite the bombastic style which seems typical of the region.

EDIT: The Dan text doesnt menition complete destruction just defeat of the kings of Israel and Judah.

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


    
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 10 of 35 (586270)
10-12-2010 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by PaulK
10-12-2010 9:53 AM


Re: Re:
quote:

PaulK
If we take the references to the capture of a city to refer to the actual capture then we have a problem if it is captured twice without any record of a loss of control in between. Blenkinsopp does not address this issue. He simply argues that a substantial Jewish population was left behind when the Babylonians deported the Jews to exile.

But look at the constant references to Jerusalem for example.It was taken during Joshua 10-12, then Joshua 14 talks of Israel basing itself at Gilgal, then Joshua 15 says the Canaanites remained.Judges 1 (verse 8 or 21?, I am not looking at a bible now) says first that Jerusalem was then burnt and then says the Canaanites couldnt be driven out in the same chapter (as well as chapter 3).

The more a town is covered, the more we see that there was constant battle.The text indicates a seesaw situation.


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 Message 8 by PaulK, posted 10-12-2010 9:53 AM PaulK has responded

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 Message 11 by PaulK, posted 10-12-2010 10:14 AM Nimrod has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15384
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 11 of 35 (586272)
10-12-2010 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Nimrod
10-12-2010 10:07 AM


Re: Re:
Your quote from Kitchen argues that the attacks in Joshua 10 are raids, not conquests. Are you retreating from this to say that they were conquests but that the Canaanites kept retaking the conquered cities - all without any mention in Joshua or Judges ?

And what does this have to do with Blenkinsopp who merely has a subdued population remaining behind when the upper classes are deported ?


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Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 12 of 35 (586273)
10-12-2010 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by PaulK
10-12-2010 10:14 AM


A "raid" means what?
I think it refers to attacks but not settlements.

I suppose I might agree that the destructions of cities(however,he minimizes the use of conflagration so the Conquest can be squeezed in the terminal Late Bronze Age period of c.1200 BCE) minus instant occupation can be called a raid.

I dont think I have retreated from anything though.I actually can live with his "raids" sentence though.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by PaulK, posted 10-12-2010 10:14 AM PaulK has responded

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Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 13 of 35 (586276)
10-12-2010 10:33 AM


An archaeologist seems to see consistency
Listen to A. Mazar refer to Joshua and Judges in tandem.

quote:

The Quest For The Historical Israel
(multiple authors)
A. Mazar
pp. 64-65

Two additional examples of possible historical recollections in the biblical narrative should be mentioned.

....

A second example are the lists of unconquered territories in Canaan (Judg 1:27-35; Josh 13:2-6). These include mainly the Beth-Shean and Jezreel Valleys and the coastal plain;cities like Beth-shean , Taanach, Dor , Jibleam, Megiddo , Gezer , and Acre are mentioned as well as cities in the valley of Ajalon and others.Archaeological exploration in many of these cities, such as Beth-shean, Tel Rehov , Megiddo , Dor , and Gezer have confirmed the continuity of Canaanite urban culture throughout the Iron I period (twelth to eleventh centuries B.C.E.), thus suprisingly supporting these biblical traditions as reflecting a pre-monarchic historical reality.Another example, though less secure , is that of Shechem, which is located in the ehart of the tribal allotment of Manasseh and Ephraim.In Israelite traditions, this was the place where the covenant between the tribes of Israel and their God was made (Josh 24).The story of Abimelech (Judg. 9) indicates that a local Canaanite population remained at Shechem until a late stage in the period of the Judges.Indeed, in the opinion of the excavators, the Canaanite city at shechem continued to thrive until the eleventh century B.C.E.


This has nothing to do with the Conquest (which he considers unhistorical), but shows how he seems to consider Joshua and Judges as a consistent story (not that he cared to dwell on the issue much) when surveying the different material(Israelite verses Canaanite sites) culture of the very early Iron Age (c.1200 BCE).

(since I mentioned an archaeological issue-materal culture differences to I.D. an Israelite from a Canaanite-then I should point out that there is a debate as to how much those "Israelites" (12th-13th century) resembled the Israelites of the Bible depicted during the time in thought, religion, etc.)

Material culture differences are identifiable in the c.1200 archaeological record.

quote:

BAR
VOL XIV NO.V
Sept/Oct 1988
Searching for Israelite Origins
Israel Finkelstein
pp34-45
The material culture of indubitably Israelite sites, those in the central-hill country, is completely different from that of the Canaanite centers.

But my main point is that Mazar seemed to consider Joshua and Judges consistent in large part(?).

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15384
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 14 of 35 (586277)
10-12-2010 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Nimrod
10-12-2010 10:22 AM


Re: A "raid" means what?
Kitchen also suggests that the scale of the destruction is exaggerated - which would be what we would expect from a raid. So, the resolution - according to Kitchen, who you claim to agree with. is that Joshua is in part hyperbolic and Blenkinsopp's statement adds nothing.

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 Message 12 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 10:22 AM Nimrod has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Nimrod, posted 10-12-2010 10:39 AM PaulK has responded

    
Nimrod
Member (Idle past 3173 days)
Posts: 277
Joined: 06-22-2006


Message 15 of 35 (586279)
10-12-2010 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by PaulK
10-12-2010 10:33 AM


Re: A "raid" means what?
quote:

PaulK
Kitchen also suggests that the scale of the destruction is exaggerated - which would be what we would expect from a raid. So, the resolution - according to Kitchen, who you claim to agree with. is that Joshua is in part hyperbolic and Blenkinsopp's statement adds nothing.

Kitchen talks about Canaanites regrouping after attacks.Blenkinsopp talks about Jews regrouping after much more severe attacks.

If the Bible-critic Blenkinsopp can see instant regrouping and survival, then the Kitchen (who defends more modest attacks) can be considered even more credible in his arguments.

Kitchen and me are reading the same text (Blenkinsopp is addressing something elsewhere), so I can consider myself able to make the same argument EVEN IF I accept far more Israelite conflagrations inflicted on Canaanites than he sees in the text.

Edited by Nimrod, : No reason given.


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