After reading through a whole batch of Qumran Thanksgiving Hymns I turned back to continue my draft post only to discover it had for some time escaped into the real world of RSS feeds, emails, and this damn blog.
I have since shot it down from public view. So if you are trying to find it via a subscription link it ain’t here no more.
The concluding paragraph of the first chapter of Mandell’s and Freedman’s The Relationship Between Herodotus’ History and Primary History is worth framing. The principle it addresses would, if applied to New Testament studies, relegate to the scrap heap a good deal of scholarship investigating oral sources behind this or that detail in the Gospels.
Since the entire work is a literary artifice, we cannot use any part of it to confirm the orality of the . . . author’s sources. Consequently, the theory that the errors in History prove that the . . . author’s sources were primarily oral is not verifiable. Other hypotheses based on statements within the narrative . . . such as the commonly accepted belief that the . . . author relied on rumor and report must also be discarded. . . . The real author is after all a literary artist, not an historian . . . . (p. 80) Continue reading “When literary analysis trumps historical analysis”