Talk:Books of Kings

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Chronological Impossibility?[edit]

From the article: "The standard Hebrew text of Kings presents an impossible chronology.[21] To take just a single example, Omri's accession to the throne of Israel in the 31st year of Asa of Judah (1 Kings 16:23) cannot follow the death of his predecessor Zimri in the 27th year of Asa (1 Kings 16:15)"

How can a four year gap between rulers make any suggestion of chronological impossibility? The reason for the gap is supported internally and immediately in the biblical text: "Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri" 1 Kings 16:21 (New International Version)

I suggest immediate deletion of the section.

Typenolies (talk) 23:42, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

This article is EXTREMELY POV and the whole thing needs a re-write. It is written from the perspective of someone who is negatively biased. The sources cited are all sources that are chosen specifically to buttress their negative bias. It's just poor writing and research. 99.0.37.176 (talk) 12:16, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

What you are talking about is the well-known ugly side of wikipedia - arrogant, biased editors who think all articles about religion have to reflect their personal biases and negative opinions, and try to make wikipedia into a propaganda vehicle to spoonfeed readers only the "teaching" they want them to learn. Then they have the gall to pretend that is "neutrality". As long as arbcom looks the other way on these flagrant violations and their sysops even encourage them, this kind of POV crap is going to be rampant I'm afraid. Wikipedia is one of the worst sources you can possibly use for a neutral assessment of religion topics, almost any other source from a different website would be more fair and balanced. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:47, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The above comments are too generalised to be useful. The article appears neutral to me, it is all cited to WP:RS, if people have specific edits to suggest, that would be helpful.Smeat75 (talk) 21:45, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

This is an absurdly biased article that ought to deleted and completely rewritten. Articles like this leave Wikipedia with absolutely no credibility.

Historical?[edit]

I don't think we should call this a historical book (and I certainly don't think we should use piping this way:"It concludes a series of [[Deuteronomistic history|historical]] books". As this is a wider question than just this article I've raised it at WP:NPOVN. Dougweller (talk) 22:05, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Of course it's a historical book. It's a written record of events that took place in the past - that makes it a historical book. Belchfire-TALK 22:16, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Just a note: history is not "a written record of events that took place in the past" - that would be a chronicle. History is an explanation of those events. In the case of Kings, while the book is normally called a history by biblical scholars, that's pretty much for convenience, as it's pretty well universally recognised that the explanation Kings give for everything that happens is that Israel was being punished by God for unfaithfulness - not an explanation that modern historians would use. Kings is also pretty unscholarly about sources, apparently being based on a mix of royal chronicles, epic poetry and legend, etc etc - the author apparently saw all these as being of equal value. These things are discussed in the commentaries listed at the end of the article. PiCo (talk) 12:13, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I added the piping (a) because you initially objected to the word, and (b) because there is no article on the Historical Books as a section of the Christian Old Testament (although there should be). As I said in my edit summary, this is a designation of section/genre, not a statement about reliability. StAnselm (talk) 22:29, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, but I was concerned about how ordinary readers interpret it. Thanks very much for your cooperation here. Belchfire, you seem certain that these events took place. That's your right, but Wikipedia can't say that and of course neither does our article. Your personal attack ("naked anti-religious POV-pushing") is noted, but it's silly. Trying to make this NPOV is what every editor should be doing. Dougweller (talk) 07:38, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Just to note that I'm pretty happy with the first para of the lead as it stands (i.e., as amended by StAnselm) - it mentions just about everything that needs mentioning, including the fact that Kings concludes the Deuteronomistic History, and has very solid sources. I'd need strong reasons for introducing changes. (Incidentally, there's no intention of suggesting that Kings is history-writing as we know it, and I think the lead does say that it's Iron Age theology in the guise of history - meaning that it explains all events in terms of God's promises and anger). PiCo (talk) 12:05, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

God of Israel[edit]

I agree with this edit - "God of Israel" should have a capital "g", since it's a title. StAnselm (talk) 08:51, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I concur, and moreover, the MoS makes it pretty clear. Appending the phrase "of Israel" converts it into a proper noun that is always capitalized. ► Belchfire-TALK 09:02, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't see that. Here it is a common noun, not a proper noun. "Kings begins with the death of David, to whom Yahweh, the God of Israel," - which could be reworded "to whom Yahweh, who is the god of Israel". The paragraph goes on to mention "other gods" and then "eventually God". Those uses are correct, but "the God of Israel" is not correct. So are you both claiming that "who is the god of Israel", because it has the phrase 'of Israel', should be capitalised? Dougweller (talk) 09:53, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Have you checked the MoS? "In a biblical context, God is capitalized only when it refers to the Judeo-Christian deity". When we add "of Israel", we are referring to a specific entity, which calls for capitalization. ► Belchfire-TALK 09:58, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
If "God of Israel" needs a capital, then presumably so does "God of Babylon".
I think you've misunderstood what the MoS is talking about: if we use the word "god" as a proper name/noun, then it's God, because it's a name (in Judaism and Christianity, god's name is God); if we use it as an adjective, as in "the god of Israel" (as compared, for example, with the god of Babylon), then it's not a proper name (6th century BC Israel's god was named Yahweh, not God). PiCo (talk) 10:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's used as a title in the texts - e.g. Exodus 5:1 - "this is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says..." StAnselm (talk) 10:45, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
And if we use a quotation, we should use the captialization used in the quotation, but if it's not, we follow our guidelines. Do you want to bring it up at the talk page MOSCAPS? Dougweller (talk) 10:59, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Sure, but since this isn't a quotation that's involved in the edit we're discussing, that example is purely academic. ► Belchfire-TALK 11:13, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
The MoS doesn't say that "god" should be capitalised every time it refers to the God of Jews and Christians, just only in that situation - i.e., Krishna isn't to be called the God Krishna (I guess). Sounds a bit culturally insensitive to me - what do the Hindu guys say? PiCo (talk) 12:10, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
No, Pico, that's only in biblical contexts, because in biblical contexts "God" (and "Lord") are only used as a title for Jehovah. In other contexts, any god may be called "God" or "Lord". (This is common in Hinduism, for example.)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've raised this at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#the God of Israel or the god of Israel although I still say it's obviously a common noun - we are being told "the god of Israel is Yahweh". Dougweller (talk) 17:18, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

There's confusion here over what a "proper noun" is, including the common error about capitalized words being proper nouns. Our article proper noun has some background. Pico's wording of "proper name" is probably better. The question here is, is the word "god" being used as a title in this case?
In any case, the old, stable version should remain, without edit warring over it, until this is resolved. — kwami (talk) 13:34, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm guessing you didn't read the article on proper nouns all that carefully, as it gives some insight here that doesn't agree with your interpretation:
"Some words have one meaning when capitalized and another when not. Sometimes the capitalized variant is then a proper noun (the Moon; dedicated to God; Smith's apprentice) and the other variant is not (the third moon of Saturn; a Greek god; the smith's apprentice). Sometimes neither is a proper noun (a swede in the soup; a Swede who came to see me). Such words that vary according to case are sometimes called capitonyms."
The article on capitonyms negates your theory altogether:
"The word "god" is capitalized to "God" when referring to the single deity of monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam."
and
"The word for God is capitalized when referring to the monotheistic Supreme Being, but lowercased when referring to the gods of ancient mythology."
Grammatical placement is not the dispositive factor; what determines capitalization is the entity being referred to. If it's the Abrahamic god, as in "God of Israel", then it's capitalized, and the converse is true for other deities. ► Belchfire-TALK 13:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You contradict that here: you just wrote "If it's the Abrahamic god" rather than "the Abrahamic God". We say "the Earth has one moon, the Moon" and "Israel has one god, God". You could even say "we have only one mother, Mother". The same difference holds for "the god of Israel" (a descriptive phrase) and "the God of Israel" (a title), exactly parallel to "president of the US" and "President of the US". Consensus has long been established that we cap "God" when it's a title and not otherwise, no matter who the god is. Anything else would violate the universal approach we take as an encyclopedia, which by the way is one of our fundamental policies. — kwami (talk) 13:59, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
You both make some good points, but I think this discussion belongs on the MoS page. PiCo (talk) 23:38, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
If Kwami's argument has been reduced to picking apart my own usage here on the Talk page, I'd say this discussion has pretty much run its course. ► Belchfire-TALK 23:40, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Deleted para from lead summarising Kings[edit]

I deleted the para in the lead that summarises Kings (2nd para) because it's entirely unsourced. WhenI wrote it many months ago I must have had some source in front of me, but now I have no idea what it was. I'll look for something. In the meantime, this is the deleted para:

"Kings begins with the death of David, to whom Yahweh, the God of Israel, has promised an eternal dynasty, and the succession of his son Solomon. Solomon is praised for his wisdom and wealth, but he offends Yahweh by allowing other gods to be worshiped in Jerusalem. God therefore breaks the kingdom in two, with David's line reigning in the southern kingdom of Judah with a separate kingdom of Israel in the north. The kings of Israel are uniformly evil, allowing gods other than Yahweh to be worshiped, and eventually God brings about the destruction of the kingdom. A few of the kings of Judah are good, but most are evil, and eventually God destroys this kingdom also." PiCo (talk) 22:57, 21 January 2013 (UTC)