Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's going on here?!

This isn't exactly Biblical studies in this post (nor will it be in the next one). So far, this blog has attempted to stay well within accepted conservative theological perspectives on the Bible because I know that's the perspective from which most of my readers are coming, and there's no need to rock the boat about that if you don't have to. Anyway, I'm relatively conservative when it comes to the New Testament anyway, which is what I've written about, for the most part. Some of the posts on the LXX encroached on shady theological territory, what with the messy textual history of certain books in the OT and all that.

In Old Testament studies, I'm less conservative (relatively, though I try to apply the same methodology to each), and I want to write about them. I've been hesitant because I really am a theological conservative at heart, and I don't want to alienate that group. That's my group. This is part of the reason the posts have pretty much dried up for half a year, though schedule and other factors have also played a role. However, I'm not going to hide anymore just because I have some quasi-liberal ideas about the Old Testament; that is, particularly about the authorship of the Pentateuch and various other issues that will come into play in the next series of posts. I've had enough of that nonsense. If some readers are alienated by that, so be it. "Here I stand, I can do no other."

However, I want to bring the open minded conservatives with me as far as I am able, so I'm going to go slowly and explain why I do what I do, and that starts with a philosophical/theological underpinning for what I'm doing. In these disciplines, I am an amateur, so the more experienced reader will have to bear with me (and by all means correct me) were I err. This is more of a prologue, so more in the next post.


  1. Don't worry Aaron, we will still love you, and at worst perhaps pray more earnestly for you :D

    I met a guy last weekend that is finishing his second year of his PhD at Oxford, his thesis is that 1 & 2 Samuel are written by one and the same author and basis that on the structure of the book. A very conservative view indeed, but he seemed to have some really good reasons for his idea.
    If he's right, that would really change the way one would look at the whole idea of the Deuteronomist redaction of the historical books.
    Anyway, OT is not my field, and I'm rather sympathetic with what many view as "liberal" views, I think most conservatives haven't properly considered how the OT was composed and therefore react strongly to any idea of multiple authorship without having a realistic alternative to offer.

  2. I'm inclined to agree, Helgi-Jóna, on the last point there.

    Concerning DtrH, I'm no expert, but I know some guys who aren't particularly conservative who themselves think that the Deuteronomist of I and II Samuel pretty much used a single source for most of the material there, and added very little of his own.

    Generally speaking, I think I and II Samuel do appear to have integrity as a united, stand-alone literary work. However, they also happen to fit perfectly into the rest of the DtrH.

  3. What does your post have to do with a cat? Ha!

  4. In Jerusalem, everything has to do with a cat.