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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
  Language and shibboleths
Philip Davies has a fine rant at Bible and Interpretation, it is neatly titled Watch Your Language! Non-minimalist readers will have to plough through the ritual shibboleths at the start, reminding them that Davies is a card-carrying minimalist, and dares to believe that we know nothing about "Israel" prior to the Persian period, but that suddenly at that time (despite a similar quantity of archaeological and textual evidence from beyond the Bible, though less from within ;) we can speak of a real historically verifiable entity. But once past this ritual bellowing, the short article is a fine reprise and development (in a commendably short space) of the reminder he first made some two decades ago that much of the language biblical scholars use is fossilised religious speak. Do read it. I doubt you will agree with everything (I doubt Philip agrees with everything Davies writes here ;) but it should make you think and that was his purpose in writing!

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