By K. Lawson Younger
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Extra info for Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing (JSOTSup)
The reader of a historical text must curb his skepticism in order not to miscon-strue the obvious. This is not an endorsement of a naive approach which has repudiated criticism. Rather, it is a warning that the modern reader must not dismiss something in the text simply because he finds it unbelievable. He must willingly suspend his disbelief in order to 'participate' in the world of the text. The following will exemplify Wise's point. Due to overt skepticism, H. 13* But how many kings, rulers, or generals down through the ages have taken counsel or held a 'staff meeting' before a major battle?
They flew like birds to ledges on high mountains. 50 Again, it would not be wise to conclude that on the basis of the use of a divine name or figurative language that this text is not historical. Cultural and religious encoding of the story must be taken into consideration. Another point must be made concerning 'real' as opposed to 'imaginary' events. While the use of direct speech is not acceptable in today's modern canon of history writing unless it is a quote, in ancient history writing direct speech was quite common.
Because it is a 'special defense of an interested party in a quasi-legal context', and since '... one cannot thereby include all texts recording legal judgments under the rubric of historiography* the text cannot be historiographic (p. 121). He asserts that it is not an apology because one thinks of an apology as: implying a legal context with a fairly clearly defined 'jury* and one's status or life at stake. But this work is not directed to such a body as the senate or to any other political organ for a judgment (p.