Dating the Pentateuch

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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stephan happy huller
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Dating the Pentateuch

Post by stephan happy huller » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:05 pm

Half of the book of Daniel was written after the start of the Hellenistic crisis. I would argue that the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles as we have them today were well after the end of the crisis, probably in the Pharisaic ambit. How did Esther get into the canon?
I don't have a problem with any of this but the Pentateuch is IMO is firmly dated to the Persian period. As I said I have very little interest in distractions beyond this text. As such I have taken over a Samaritan worldview even if I don't always agree with them.
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Dating the pentateuch

Post by spin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:31 pm

stephan happy huller wrote:the Pentateuch is IMO is firmly dated to the Persian period.
I think you are probably kidding yourself. The Enochic issue of sin is certainly after the Persian period, so the story of the fall drags Genesis with it. The Joseph story has frequently been related to Greek literary tradition. And what makes you think that the exodus narrative is not based on responses to Manetho's scurrilous stuff against the Jews?? There is nothing firm about your dating of the pentateuch, Genghiz.
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by stephan happy huller » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:02 pm

I will readily admit that I am not an expert on the Book of Enoch. Nevertheless there are some obvious difficulties with dating the Pentateuch later than the Persian period. How do you explain the Qumran material which identify Gerizim as the original holy place? The adoption of Jews and Samaritans of the same text(s) = the Pentateuch, Joshua had to have occurred before the split between the two communities. When do you propose that happened?

I see no evidence for the Samaritan use of Enoch but the Pentateuch being originally written with Gerizim in mind, a point shared in Joshua. I don't see how that all of this gets reconciled in the Hellenistic period.

Another point. Manetho claimed that he was drawing from pre-existent Egyptian records. Is it certain that there weren't Manethos before Manetho?
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by Roger Pearse » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:57 pm

stephan happy huller wrote:Manetho claimed that he was drawing from pre-existent Egyptian records. Is it certain that there weren't Manethos before Manetho?
I'm not sure I understood this. Manetho's information about king-lists is good, you know; so he really must have had information. The last sentence I didn't follow.

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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by stephan happy huller » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:08 pm

spin was arguing - I think - that Exodus was developed from Manetho:
what makes you think that the exodus narrative is not based on responses to Manetho's scurrilous stuff against the Jews
But since the records date back much further - perhaps as much as a thousand years earlier - the Jews could have heard the information from any number of people who had access to the same sources (= Manethos before Manetho). A Jewish response to hostile sources isn't limited to Manetho.
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by spin » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:03 am

stephan happy huller wrote:I will readily admit that I am not an expert on the Book of Enoch. Nevertheless there are some obvious difficulties with dating the Pentateuch later than the Persian period. How do you explain the Qumran material which identify Gerizim as the original holy place? The adoption of Jews and Samaritans of the same text(s) = the Pentateuch, Joshua had to have occurred before the split between the two communities. When do you propose that happened?

I see no evidence for the Samaritan use of Enoch but the Pentateuch being originally written with Gerizim in mind, a point shared in Joshua. I don't see how that all of this gets reconciled in the Hellenistic period.

Another point. Manetho claimed that he was drawing from pre-existent Egyptian records. Is it certain that there weren't Manethos before Manetho?
The story Josephus attributes to Manetho (see C.Apion 1.26, 28) is a rewriting of the expulsion of the Hyksos, such that it represented the Jews in the place of the Hyksos in the expulsion as lepers led by one Osarsiph who changed his name to Moses. When can you imagine this rewrite attributed to Manetho having been done?

As to Gerizim, you must remember that the temple there was still seen as important to the Jews at the time of 2 Maccabees 6:1-2. (This was written before 1 Macc and is therefore not a Hasmonean tract.) The temples were interlocked through marriage, so dating the definitive split between them will be quite difficult.

When do you think the circumcision and conversion of the Shechemites was included in Genesis (repercussion of the rape of Dinah)?
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by stephan happy huller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:10 am

When do you think the circumcision and conversion of the Shechemites was included in Genesis (repercussion of the rape of Dinah)?
Have you read Karveit's book on the Samaritans? The Samaritan Pentateuch praises Simeon and Levi for their slaughter of the Shechemites. Karveit's summary is useful:

http://books.google.com/books?id=lZSl64 ... 22&f=false

This summary too:

It is easily recognizable that the tendency of the Masoretic traditionstands in complete contradiction to the Samaritan tradition. While the former condemns Simeon and Levi severely, they appear in an extremely positive light in the latter. While, accordingly, the scattering of the Simeonites appears as a punishment in the Masoretic tradition (v. 7), it is evidently understood positively intheSamaritantradition, with regard to the supratribal priestly service
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by spin » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:25 pm

Could you try to answer my question about circumcision and conversion now, princess? And maybe the Manetho question as well? We are looking for datable signs for pentateuchal writings to clarify when the split may have occurred.
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by stephan happy huller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:28 pm

I think the story of circumcision was included in Genesis to demonstrate the subjugation required for those who live in the land. Must have formed part of the basis for the actions of Jews during the first revolt.
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Re: Hadrian and the Christians

Post by stephan happy huller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:31 pm

With respect to the use of Egyptian source material, I don't see why Manetho is required. The account Manetho used could have been factual or at least developed from knowledge of an actual historical event which the Israelites either knew through their own version of those events or - perhaps more likely - came into contact during the early Persian period. I don't see why Manetho is necessarily the source of the information if the information is older than him.
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