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RE: orion translation central?

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As a former political and diplomatic advisor, I am 
especially sympathetic to the views of Jim West in 
particular and the other minimalists in general.

What puzzled me however is the political objective of the 
document that is supposedly a late creation.

Unlike the NT which gives the impression of a well thought 
out public relation spin document, (please note that this 
is the subjective reaction  of a political animal) the 
Torah in particular and the Tanakh in general seem to have 
been produced by particularly inept political operatives 
(if one accepts  the West rationale).

If the objective was to make a claim on the land, or to get 
more people to join or remain members of the group or 
whatever the motives for the creation or redaction, why 
create a document that contains so much unflattering and 
negative stuff?

Why, for example,  create an  originator of a tribe (Jacob) 
 producing  what must be the most dysfunctional family 
group of all time?  Would I not as a redactor or creator of 
a mythical family tree, that was my own, do a better job 
than produce a group of misfits like the children of 

What possible practical use are the stories of the Torah if 
they were written by a pro-Israelite operative?  Now if the 
thesis was  that it was a document of misinformation 
created by an enemy of the children of Israel, it might 
make some political sense.  Would you join a group or have 
sympathy for one whose historical claim to the land 
involved the indiscriminate slaughter of its prior 

However na´ve any member of this list might be,  in his or 
her political thinking,  I am sure you could write a tract 
which would be more likely to accomplish the goals that Jim 
West thinks the OT was created for. As it stands the OT as 
a political document is a complete failure in the terms 
that Jim and the minimalists view it. If this is the case, 
it is now their obligation to come up with another 
rationale for its creation.



Mike_Sanders@photoad.com (private e-mail)
BibleMysteries@photoad.com (web site e-mail)


-----Original Message-----
From:	Jim West [SMTP:jwest@Highland.Net]
Sent:	Wednesday, December 10, 1997 6:43 PM
To:	orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
Subject:	RE: orion translation central?

At 03:44 PM 12/10/97 -0800, you wrote:
>Perhaps Professor West would be kind enough to answer the
>following problem.
>Had the OT been composed in Greek at the time of the
>Hasmoneans, would there not have been a greater knowledge
>of the Persian period which has always caused the
>Talmudists  great problems with their chronology. Because
>they follow the OT  they lose about 165 years during the
>Persian  era.

Any problem for the Talmud is no problem for me- for I 
simply know virtually
nothing of it.  It is an extremely late document(s) which 
has virtually
nothing to do with life in the hasmonean or herodian eras. 
It is a juristic
corpus and not very useful for historical reconstruction.

>It is interesting to note that if their chronology is used 
>(as seems likely) then the time period mentioned in the
>Damascus  Document ( 390 + 20  after Nebuchadnezer ) would 
>suggest an Herodian rather than an Hasmonean era for its

Its?  Do you mean the Hebrew Bible or the talmud?  If the 
Hebrew Bible,
perhaps.  I would have no quibble with this (though the 
biblical texts from
Qumran seem to me to stem from earlier than the herodian 

At any rate we are moving a tad away from Orion and more 
towards Ioudaios.

>Mike_Sanders@photoad.com (private e-mail)



Jim West
Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology