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Thursday, September 22, 2005
 
Marking and the great maximalist/minimalist debate ::

I've been busy marking recently, one big task is a Master's Thesis. Reading that has caused me to reflect as bit differently on the maximin debate.

The candidate starts out with a good summary of why we can be sure of almost nothing about the history of the texts. They seem to be leaning towards either a hard minimalist approach or possibly some form of final form literary work. However, the thesis is about anointing, and the author needs history to make some points they feel they need to deliver. Guess what back come all the old presuppositions about P being later than other Pentateuchal sources, and the rest...

It is so frustrating to know next to nothing about the historical origins of the texts we work with. This student has been pushed back to neo-Wellhausenism (for both Pentateuch and the DTH), the maximalists are driven to various sorts of compromise on standards for what we know, and minimalists seem required to know far more about Persian Yehud, or Greek Palestine, than I suspect is factual!

Maybe Ford had it right after all - history IS bunk ;)

These thoughts have been partially stimulated by the great debate between (among others) Big Game Hunter, Dr Cathey and Petrosian, Tel Dan expert, Jim West thanks guys, and sorry I cannot provide a full webliography of all the posts!




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