Monday, September 05, 2005

The Wisdom and the Folly

Dale Ralph Davis on his favourite hobby horse: 'why can't scholars read the text that's in front of their nose?' I love the guy!

The problem with my view is that I’ve taken the testimony of the text at face value. Obviously, this is not good, furrow-browed scholarship. Many would hold that I fail to understand that the viewpoint in the text comes from later Judean editors who held an extremely anti-Jeroboam bias – hence one cannot depend on such texts. I don’t mind if they think such. It they do, they should be faithful agnostics, ie, they should deny that they can know anything accurate about Jeroboam’s cult since the evidence is tainted. This they do not do so; they deny the reliability of the texts yet proceed to do plastic surgery on Jeroboam. If the texts are unreliable, they should shut up. Instead they proceed to reconstruct based upon (essentially) re-written texts. This yields both bad history and perverse theology.

from The Wisdom and the Folly - footnote, chapter 13 (where most of Davis' rants are contained)
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