Friday, June 5, 2009

Biblical criticism - Scholarship or thinly veiled anti-semitism - 1

Kevin has an important series on the Roots of Theological Anti-semitism. I thank him for kindly permitting me to quote some important segments from a private email.

"Unfortunately, the Germans and the mentality that they inculcated in the academy regarding all things Biblical has even affected archaeology, with the interpretations of the "minimalists" of various stripes. Their theories of the texts determine their reading of the remains. How is this different than a "Bible-based archaeology"? It's just as literarily determined. They're blind to this, though, and find their theories a better model for the world than the preserved ancient texts not only of Israel but of the other nations. We don't, for instance, find "minimalists" and "maximalists" arguing over the dating of the ruins of Ugarit, Thebes, or Babylon. Again, the Israelites come under an urealistically critical eye, that never looks anywhere else. And that eye, whether it knows it (whether mumbling about "Jews" during faculty parties, or excusing current and past antisemitism as unrelated to the intellectual achievements of the individuals and groups in question: a foolish thing) or not (being ignorant, as most young Protestant religious scholars are, of the roots of these ideas among the truly repulsive antisemites of the past) what it is doing, needs correction. The entire field needs to be saved from these rotten foundations. It'll take some more thought on how to propose an alternative, however. Their fingers are everywhere. What people need is a new philosophical-academic approach to the Scriptures.

My statement "their fingers are everywhere" is exactly the kind of thing that those people said, preposterously, of Jews in their day, yet it is something that is only true of their own evil plots, machinations, and influences. Their work has soiled the golden treasury of Scripture with their filth.Source criticism certainly needs to be chucked out the window. The whole thing is preposterous and unrealistic. People simply don't write that way. But, they thought Jews did because they're illiterate, uncreative parasites. Yet it's shocking how many people still accept tacitly this inhuman characterization of a civilization through their reliance upon such source criticism. It's repulsive."

[W. - The view that the Jew is an "illiterate, uncreative parasites" was widespread in the 19th century. The best example being Wagner's disgusting Judaism in Music For example:

"In this Speech, this Art, the Jew can only afterspeak and after-patch — not truly make a poem of his words, an artwork of his doings."

Isn't the connection between this quote and the idea that the Old Testament was together out of borrowed themes and stories from other cultures, and is full of falsehoods and later inventions, etc. glaringly obvious?]

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