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orion-list RE:Orion List 63 BCE and all that


Please, pretty please, you simply cannot make such statements without
reading the primary sources, you simply can't. For instance, there is
a ton of internal evidence that the Pentateuch was fixed before the
exile... this requires knowledge of Hebrew, linguistics, and a study
of Hebrew and Early Christian music. No, we cannot reconstruct the
chants and music of the First Temple period, but we have literally
hundreds of sources for the Second Temple period... Sure Rufinus and
Jerome, er, tampered with Origen's homilies, but you appear to be
unaware that it was over Origen that Rufinus and Jerome came into
violent disagreement. Nor do you seem to know that Jerome was so
dissatisified with the accuracy - and the impossibility - of tran-
slating the Psalter, that he did three versions. There are a number
of people on this list who could tell you quite a bit about Origen...
and Jerome. Also, you really cannot use the predigested, preconceived,
slanted stuff found in the sensationalist secondary sources, such as
Schonfield, as evidence. Honestly.

Look, Hebrew is not like Greek; it is really very easy to learn. Sure,
you will have to get up to speed, and you will also have to read up on
the structure of Semitic poetry and prose, but I already gave you two of
the basic, required readings for this on the Bib: _The Structural analysis
of Biblical and Canaanite Poetry_ and McCreesh's _Sound and Sense_. I
already gave you _the_ basic reading on Hebrew religious music, Wilson's
_The Making of the Hebrew Psalter_. You will also need some basic reading
in Semantics and literary theory. People are always asking me to recommend
self-teaching books. The following seem to work well for quite a few people.

Harrison, R. K. _Biblical Hebrew_. Chicago: NTC, 1993 (Paperback, hardback
        Hodder & Stoughton, 1975.)

Johns, Alger F. _A Short Grammar of Biblical Aramaic_. Berrien Springs,
        MI: Andrews U Press, (5th printing) 1982.

Lakoff, George and Mark Turner. _More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide
        to Poetic Metaphor_. Chicago & London: U of Chicago Press, 1989.
        (Lakoff gets carried away, but he is sound and his point cannot
        be overemphasized... he also seems to forget that all words are
        metaphors, first level abstractions - whether concrete or abstract.)

Welleck, Rene & Austin Warren. _Theory of Literature_. San Diego, NYC,
        London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,  1977. (REvised version).
        This is the clearest and most straightforward exposition of a
        very muddied field.

If you do read these books, and you do learn to read Hebrew, many of the
seeming difficulties that you find with this material will simply disappear.
You may even see that your position, founded on secondary sources and
translations, is untenable. And, please, please do not jump to conclusions;
I said that I did not know if anybody had kept records.

Good luck,

Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L  risa@hol.gr

For private reply, e-mail to "Rochelle I. Altman" <risa@mail.hol.gr>
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