Talk:History of ancient Israel and Judah/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

(If "southern Levant" (source Golden) does not mean "Negev", or if "non-biblical works" (source PiCo) does not mean "non-biblical narratives", well, excuuse me. Thank you for your attention.)

John, I realise what you're saying now. No, southern Levant does not mean Negev, it's a broader term - the Levant as a whole takes in everything from Lebanon down to Sinai, and "southern Levant" is the southern half of that, i.e., Palestine. And if you're aware of any Iron Age narratives that describe the history of Israel/Jordan, let us know, because nobody else does. You don't get any historians writing about events in Judah after c.500 BCE until 1 Maccabees, which is a biblical book; the next is Josephus, who's outside out time-frame. PiCo (talk) 05:32, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

See why I don't like sticking my foot into geographical names. But I'll just let you have these two for simplicity. See prior section for the rest. JJB 23:10, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

2nd para of section Late Bronze Age

The original 2nd para of the section on the Late Bronze Age was as follows:

Second-millennium Egyptians called the entire Levantine coast "Canaan", while in biblical texts of the 1st millennium "Canaan" can mean all of the land west of the Jordan river or, more narrowly, the coastal strip. By Roman times - the second half of the millennium - the name Canaan was dropped in favour of "Philistia", "Land of the Philistines", while the northern and central coast was known as Phoenicia. Northeast of Canaan/Palestine was Aram, modern Syria.[4] Settlement during the Late Bronze was concentrated in the coastal plain and along major communication routes; each city had its own ruler, constantly at odds with his neighbours and appealing to the Egyptians to adjudicate his differences.[5] One of these Canaanite states was Jerusalem: letters from the Egyptian archives indicate that it followed the usual Late Bronze pattern of a small city with surrounding farmlands and villages; unlike most other Late Bronze city-states, there is no indication that it was destroyed at the end of the period.[6] The central and northern hill country which would later become the biblical kingdom of Israel was only sparsely inhabited.[7]

I felt this would work better if it focused more sharply on the actual subject, i.e., the Late Bronze period (what's the reference to the Romans got to do with it?) I've also reduced the amount of detail, because I'm concerned that the article is already quite long and likely to get longer as we expand sections like the one on Sources. Finally, I rearranged the material so that the paragraph becomes an overview of the political/demographic structure of the area immediately prior to the first mention of the name Israel on the Merneptah stele - the starting point of the next section. So this is the new para:

Second-millennium Egyptians called the entire Levantine coast "Canaan".[4] Settlement was concentrated in cities along the coastal plain and along major communication routes; the central and northern hill country which would later become the biblical kingdom of Israel was only sparsely inhabited,[5] although letters from the Egyptian archives indicate that Jerusalem was already a Canaanite city-state recognising Egyptian overlordship.[6] Each city had its own ruler, constantly at odds with his neighbours and appealing to the Egyptians to adjudicate his differences.[7]

Any discussion? PiCo (talk) 06:56, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not interested in analyzing this right now. I will make a bold edit if I become interested. JJB 23:10, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Sources: bible

John, thanks for beginning to expand this. A comment on the first expansion:

"The Bible narratives are ascribed to the eras they depict by Bava Batra 14b ff. (Talmud) and early Church Fathers. Modern opinions vary."

True, but I don't think it goes far enough. Biblical scholars base their insights on more than the "biblical narratives" (I take it you mean the history-related narratives, from Genesis through Kings and maybe Chronicles). They get a great deal out of the prophets (Hosea is surprisingly important), the Psalms (lots of information about how religious belief and practice changed over time), and from the Hellenistic apocrypha (Jubilees, Enoch etc). Also, the Bava Batra isn't the earliest source for Jewish tradition - there's ben Sirach, Josephus, and many more (don't get too hung up about Bava Batra, it's actually quite late, 2nd century AD at the earliest). I'd like to help, but I'm not sure you want me to? PiCo (talk) 11:50, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I have a good source or two responsive to this. If you wait some time you can review it and add as appropriate. The Mishnaic portion of Bava Batra is older than that BTW, but I'm not hung up on it. JJB
On second thought, your statement in the next section suggests you have something else in mind than my sources do. If I started inserting based on your description "the biblical narrative (essentially the Hebrew Bible, but also non-biblical works for the later period)", I might get reverted on the basis that they're "outside out time-frame" and that I didn't prove they were actual sources for history, or that I condensed your thought into including "non-biblical narratives" and you reverted. Apparently only books written in my lifetime but that I've never heard of count as valid secondary sources: at least that's my emotions speaking. Why don't I sit back on sourcing a bit more and you can expand what you think are valid "non-biblical works" sources? Based on how these articles are policed, I'm weighing my insertions much more carefully than otherwise. JJB 23:10, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
This is my third attempt at a reply, I'm bound to get it right soon. You ask what I think are the narrative sources that modern biblical scholars use when writing about ancient Judah and Israel. I've said they use the Hebrew bible. They use that for the Iron Age period, because it stops at about 586 BCE, which is conventionally taken as the end of the Iron Age. (Will finish later, must go.) PiCo (talk) 00:56, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't ask what modern scholars use, I asked what the sources for the history are in general, which by WP standards means as noted by any significant POV. I also asked about what you meant by your phrase "non-biblical works", not about the Bible (per MOS:CAP, please capitalize "Bible"). You might reinstate your other replies, which were better at not changing what I asked. Maybe I'll edit this section and maybe not. JJB 02:16, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
In general: Bible provides a narrative in the books Joshua-Kings, repeated in Chronicles. Non-biblical: none for the Iron Age (even the Greeks didn't start writing histories until the 6th century); for the Babylonian/Persian periods, none again, apart from Ezra-Nehemiah which is Biblical; for the Hellenistic period there are more sources, with 1 Maccabees providing a narrative. I think play it safe and just say the bible is the major narrative history - nobody can object to that. Just go ahead and write it the way you want, and I'll offer comments. PiCo (talk) 06:38, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Tag: Slanted towards recent events

What? An article about events between in the millennium before the birth of Christ is slanted towards recent events? Please explain! PiCo (talk) 03:26, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

You saw the edit summary. Until this article fully recognizes the POVs on this history that have been held by scholars prior to 1976, and gives them their proper weight, it is a recentist article. The whole thing is about opinions formed within my lifetime. Your position that the modern sources properly weight the older sources is not borne out by my analysis of the Iron I sources so far, nor my spot-checking of the rest. Since I haven't read every word of it, maybe you can show me a few places (aside from Josephus) where an opinion older than 1976 is even mentioned, let alone properly weighted. Consider it just another to-do, as it's not my highest priority right now. JJB 04:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
You're obviously not an historian :) (By the way, we don't use Josephus on Wikipedia, as he's a primary source).PiCo (talk) 04:51, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
That is no answer, and this article has two footnotes to Josephus. JJB 04:55, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
In any case, it's a misuse of the tag and I've removed it. The tag is clearly for events. I'm a bit gobsmacked. Dougweller (talk) 05:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Doug, we don't remove tags while there is an open dispute. However, it's also possible for me to pretend this dispute can be lined up at the end of the one-by-one current disputes 10-18 and thus go back to my prior agreement to tag one at a time. Maybe you could help resolve my concerns at #Discussion 10-11 above. JJB 05:39, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, we always remove tags that are inappropriate. Whatever dispute there might be, the recentism tag had nothing to do with it and had to go. Let's not stick up for errors. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 05:44, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Bibliography

What kind of pleading is "Please leave - this list is in use"? Why don't you Please explain! how this list (of books I deleted) is in use? None of the books I deleted are cited in any way and are a WP:COATRACK of undue weight clearly forbidden by WP:ELPOV. If you want to use them, WP:USERFY them. Sorry for any tone, but you undid spelling and formatting corrections again in your zeal to keep links in the article that have no place except to continue the recentism. JJB 04:55, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The standard solution for bibliographies like this is to have two separate lists, "References" for those that are actually referred to in citations, and "Further reading" for additional items. See WP:REF. Fut.Perf. 17:27, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

This may be a usual solution, but there is circumstantial evidence that both lists are very overweighted toward a single POV cluster, and as such the second is undue weight. But we'll keep dealing with issues one by one, as that way it only takes months instead of years. JJB 17:24, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Reversion of John Bulten's edit on Iron I

I reverted John's edit, here:

  • The number of villages in the highlands increased from 25 in the Late Bronze to more than 300 by the end of Iron Age I[1] (more and larger in the north), with 20,000 settlers in the twelfth century increasing to 40,000 in the eleventh.[2] Archaeologists see more continuity than discontinuity between these highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture,[3] and, while archaeologist Israel Finkelstein and others find it possible that the absence of pig bones from the highland sites might be an indicator of ethnicity, William P. Brown finds this uncertain.[4] Israelite sites are also distinguished from Canaanite ones via number and distribution of ceramics and by agrarian settlement plans,[5] but these have also been found in regions beyond those commonly associated with Israel in the Bible.[3] Archaeological evidence suggests Israel emerged on the fringes of Late Bronze civilisation; an emerging model proposes the withdrawal of a portion of the Canaanite population from established urban settings.[4]

to the original edit, here:

  • The number of villages in the highlands increased from 25 in the Late Bronze to more than 300 by the end of Iron Age I[1] (more and larger in the north), with 20,000 settlers in the twelfth century increasing to 40,000 in the eleventh.[2] Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between these highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture,[6] and while it is possible that the absence of pig bones from the highland sites might be an indicator of ethnicity, this is not certain.[4] In short, the evidence suggests that Israel emerged on the fringes of Late Bronze civilisation through the withdrawal of a portion of the Canaanite population from established urban settings.[4]

Here are the differences, the original text first with John's proposed edits below:

  • 1)Original: while it is possible that the absence of pig bones from the highland sites might be an indicator of ethnicity, this is not certain.
  • 2) John's diff: while archaeologist Israel Finkelstein and others find it possible that the absence of pig bones from the highland sites might be an indicator of ethnicity, William P. Brown finds this uncertain.

Naming Finkelstein and Brown makes it sound as if only these two are involved - this is totally misleading, every archaeologist who writes about the subject of early Iron villages in the highland zone mentions the pig bones. The original wording covers the same point and avoids being misleadingly specific about names. (Not that I'm saying John is being deliberately misleading, just accidentally).

Plus one standalone sentence that John wants to add:

  • Israelite sites are also distinguished from Canaanite ones via number and distribution of ceramics and by agrarian settlement plans,[7] but these have also been found in regions beyond those commonly associated with Israel in the Bible.[3]

This sentence conflates three points: (a) the ceramic assemblages found in highland sites are different from those in Canaanite ones; (b) the settlement plans of highland sites are different from lowland (Canaanite) ones; (c) both the ceramics and the settlement plans are found in regions outside those commonly associated with Israel in the Bible.

This is also misleading, but for a different reason. First, let me explain that word "assemblage" - it means simply the various types of pottery found at a site. The assemblage from highland villages differs from lowland sites by being "impoverished", meaning that there are fewer pottery types represented - no imported wares, and what there is is rather crude (meaning no specialist potters). It does not, however, contain any pottery types totally absent from lowland sites of equivalent age - it's a variant of the lowland assemblage, not an alternative. Then there's a second very important point about highland pottery: a specific type of pot called the "rim-collared pithoi" is found there. It was once thought that this was a marker of Israelite villages, but no longer - it's not recognised as a late development of a Canaanite type. Similarly the settlement plans: there's a type of house found in the highlands that isn't found in the lowlands, the "four-chambered" house. This also was once thought to be a marker of the Israelite highlands, but like the rim-pithoi it's now recognised as a type found also in Transjordan, which is the territory of Ammon and Moab (bearing in mind that these two kingdoms hadn't formed yet). Finally, the "agrarian settlement pattern" refers to something else again, namely to a habit of building villages with all the houses round the outside of a circle and a clear space in the middle. This has been found in a very few instances, and marks the very earliest stage o0f settlement in the hills. Finkelstein (and in this case we can name a name) thinks this shows that the settlers were originally nomads - this circle pattern is used by nomads to corral the animals (sheep and goats in the middle, people round the outside). He might be right. But the information as given in this paragraph of John's is conflating a whole lot of rather specialised information into a few words, and in the process produces a very distorted picture of reality. (For an overview of the archaeology, see Finkelstein's "The Bible Unearthed", chapter 4, Who were the Israelites?)

John's edit is well-intentioned, but his lack of background in the subject leads him to misinterpret what he reads. Nevertheless, he may have a point - we do need to spend more time in this section outlining various theories on how these highland villages originated. I'll look at that in the next few days. PiCo (talk) 05:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Please do not call repeated attention to how much good faith you believe you are displaying. It is hard to reconcile with your other behaviors. For instance, you accuse me twice of conflating points, when I properly preserved all three points you mention. You accuse me of making it sound like there are only two POV proponents involved, when instead I followed source and said "Finkelstein and others". Then, you change my point into "need to spend more time on origin", which I never said. You continue to lowercase "Bible" though you know it's contrary to MOS:CAP (and you also appear to need to be told to use "p. 72." with space and final period rather than "p.72", as if that were not obvious from WP:CITE and my other changes). Also, you were referred again to #Discussion 10-11 above in the edit summary you undid, a section you were also previously aware of, but you started a new section instead. This could be interpreted as avoiding interaction with my points there, viz.: (a) who holds the POVs about pig bones indicating ethnicity (archaeologist Finkelstein pro, William Brown anti); (b) what POVs there are about other distinguishing marks (Killebrew pro, Brown again anti); (c) deletion of the assumptive "In short, the evidence" as out of context and better replaced by "Archaeological evidence"; (d) deletion of the WP:SYN that puts two of Brown's thoughts (in Bright) together improperly with the word "through", better replaced by Brown's actual indication, that this is only one way "through" which it might have happened and that it is only an emerging theory.
Now, since you didn't comment on points (c)-(d), I'm going to assume them waived, and I'm also undoing the mild POV shifts you inserted into language you previously agreed on as a compromise (going back on compromise text is Bad).
(a) It's policy that when there are POVs it should be easy to name specific proponents. Both Killebrew and Brown in Bright attribute the ethnicity view to Finkelstein and others, so that's what I said. Both of them attribute the uncertainty view to the same essay, Hesse and Wapnish, so that's perhaps what I should have said, although I thought Brown as Bright's editor might have a bit more prominence. I missed a subtle switch, from Killebrew's statement that Finkelstein "interpreted this to indicate ... ethnic identity" (i.e., without uncertainty), to Brown's statement that he "suggested ... one possible indicator" (i.e., permitting uncertainty). At any rate, your view that every such archaeologist mentions the pig bones is not sourced, nor do you tell me what POV these people take. Thus we need to attribute (a1) differing POVs about whether the fact is believed certain or uncertain, and (a2) differing POVs about what Finkelstein says (or let him speak for himself).
(b) For obvious reasons, I am not able to take your summary of sources at face value (for instance, you speak as if "pithoi" is singular rather than the plural of "pithos"). The original insertion of this sentence was to discuss distinguishing marks of highland sites to combat the utter fabrication that "it is impossible to differentiate ... on the basis of material culture". You may not yet realize that if a POV is disputed, we should list all POVs, listing proponents if necessary. Now that you agree there are differing POVs on whether markers are ethnic or not, we should list all POVs. Your unsourced idea "it was once thought ... but no longer" does not invalidate a previous POV as if there is a monolithic shift to whatever was said later. Also, when we actually turn to Miller 1986, p. 72, your source for your statement "earlier claims ... have been found to belong to a commonly shared culture" (to make only bare mention of the dangling participle), we find Killebrew 2005, p. 13, 20 years later making the same point Miller rejected, "These small sites are distinguished by ...". It is apparent that using Miller to dismiss "earlier claims" is completely ignorant of Killebrew's statement 20 years later that the distinctions are still valid and support her theory of "mixed multitude" (p. 149). This is so misleading as to be considered disingenuous. It is hard for me to understand why you have such difficulty admitting that there are multiple POVs on so many points.
I have given up hoping that you will deal with my points on their own terms and, for simplicity, I have adopted the position that as long as you submit to policy your wildly scattershot edits will be brought into source compliance. Thus my edits will continue to be put out there until the desired compliance is achieved. JJB 18:58, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I've made extensive revisions to the paragraph to meet your concerns, some of which I agree with - we do need to address more directly the question of the formation of Israel as well as its origins, which is the subject-matter of the Iron I period (the formation of kingdoms happened at the very end of Iron I or beginning of Iron II, even according to the bible). But I disagree with your wish to mention so many sources by name - we should summarise the general trends, not try to sum up, not mention every name that ever wrote a book. PiCo (talk) 02:12, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is almost workable, even though it deletes tags, introduces other quibbles, and requires several new source pages to be analyzed. After boiling down the referencing errors, I find that you have failed to address any of my four concerns (a)-(d) listed above, and you again attribute to me the idea that I haven't stated that formation of Israel needs to be addressed, after I told you not to (and please don't confuse the formation of Israel with the formation of kingdoms). (a) You again delete Killebrew's 2005 viewpoint that highland sites have certain distinctions, replacing it with the 1986 statement that a similar viewpoint has been discredited. (b) You again delete Killebrew's viewpoint that Finkelstein finds pig bones a positive indicator rather than a possible indicator. (c)-(d) You delete a sentence you inserted mere days ago, to which I only made two balancing edits, without discussing the edits or giving any reason for switching up again to a new source; this is going back on what could have been a consensus sentence. (e) You then deleted a sentence from McNutt that you had let stand for maybe a week, going back on that consensus as well. You replaced these sentences (c)-(e) with new cites to Miller and McNutt that I have not taken time to review yet. Before I step in again, I'll give you a chance to tell me how you wish "to meet [my] concerns", now that you're being informed that you haven't. JJB 18:39, 4 November 2010 (UTC) Went ahead with my next guess because PiCo sat out the last 24 hours. JJB 19:50, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Sources

John, I added this para to the Sources section, but only as a suggestion - I don't insist that it stay. This is just to give you some ideas on the way you might like to tackle the subject. Feel free to write your own. PiCo (talk) 05:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

"The bible contains a mixture of narrative history, religious hymns, wisdom literature and other works - all of them can provide historians with information on the history of ancient Israel and Judah. There is general agreement, however, that the narrative history in particular is not simple reportage of events, but was written in order to advance a particular ideology in which Israel was depicted as the Chosen People of God and Palestine as their Promised Land. The authors of this history are unknown, as are the sources they may have used, although there is again general agreement that the bulk of it was composed in the 6th century BCE. For this reason, biblical scholars use the biblical narratives with caution."

Edits to Iron I section

  • From The villagers probably shared the highlands with other communities such as pastoral nomads who did not leave remains to determine their "settlement patterns" to The villagers probably shared the highlands with other communities such as pastoral nomads who left no trace in the archaeological record. Reason: It's shorter but doesn't leave out any essential information. Incidentally: (1) added qualifier "pastoral" to "nomads" because there are other kinds of nomads - long-distance traders, for example; (2) the reference to the "settlement patterns" of nomads is silly - by their nature, nomads don't have settlement patte4rns (and the source doesn't say they did).
  • From certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans have been said to be distinctives of highland sites,[8] and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but have also been said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[9] to certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses were once identified as intrinsically "Israelite," but have been found to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Palestine,[10] and while it is possible that the absence of pig bones from the highland sites might be an indicator of ethnicity, this is not certain.[4] Reason: this is a more accurate reflection of facts - no archaeologists today would say the collar-rimmed jars and 4-chambered houses are exclusive to the Israelite highlands (this was Albright's thesis, quite old now), and only a minority (notably Finkelstein) stick to the idea that the absence of pigs is a deliberate ethnic marker rather than an accidental ecological one.
  • Villages had populations of up to 400,[11] deleted. Reason: This is too detailed for an article which is trying to give an overview of over a thousand years of history - incidentally, these largest villages were very much the exception, most were just a few house.PiCo (talk) 05:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  • economic interchange was prevalent.[12] Deleted - I can't find this in the source. And if the villages were largely self-sufficient, how could economic interchange (i.e. trade) be prevalent? I'd be grateful if you could copy the text here - I think you might be confusing Iron I with Iron II.PiCo (talk) 06:03, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
In order: 1a. Yes, source says "pastoral nomads", pardon me for tempting you to quibble over it. Source also says "only the villagers left behind sufficient remains", which is not the same as saying "pastoral nomads left no trace in the archaeological record". If you think they're the same, you won't mind my switching one for the other, and if you don't think they're the same, you won't mind my restoring what the source says. If you have a source for "nomads left no trace", please provide. 1b. Yes, the other people-groups having settlement patterns as well is only an implication, which you fail to draw, but since I'm the one arguing for strict source compliance I will also leave that implicit rather than explicit. If you think there's no difference in implication, you won't mind my switching one for the other, and if you think there is a difference, you won't mind my restoring what the source says. If you have a source for "nomads don't have settlement patterns", please provide. And if you really want to argue "shorter" when these edits will add only 36 bytes, I think that would be utterly pedantic and disruptive when we are approaching 300K wasted on this talk page and (to oversimplify matters) you see fit to undo everything anyway.
2a. You continue to delete Killebrew p. 13, a source you yourself provided and use on other points, based only on your belief that the statement it reflects is less accurate. Sorry, PiCo, but you do not get to delete applicable sources with applicable POVs and then to represent matters as if there is only one POV. Killebrew does not have the same POV as the POV in Miller you attribute to Albright, and so rather than telescoping them I mentioned them both. Repeatedly deleting Killebrew's POV made 20 years after Miller is basic violation of WP:NPOV, so I will restore it. If you have a source for Killebrew's POV being "less accurate", in itself rather than using Albright as a strawman, please provide. 2b. Next, Miller preserves the (Albright) POV "claims have been made ... specifically 'Israelite'", and does not disagree with it on its own terms, but roundabout, by saying that (only) two such indicators have "nothing intrinsically 'Israelite'". Thus your insertion of "were once identified as ... but have been found" improperly discounts the Albright POV as if Miller addresses it directly when he doesn't. Using the word "found" to misweight one POV is contrary to WP:SAY, and so I changed all POVs to the neutral "said", and will do so again. If you have a source for the word "found" contrary to guidance, please provide. 2c. You also did not comment on my correcting the anachronism "Palestine" to refer to the highlands and/or Transjordan during Iron I, as it would improperly imply Philistine control of those areas, and changing it to "Canaan", reflecting the prior Canaanite control. If you don't see any difference, you won't mind my switching this, and if you do see the difference, you'll agree with removing the anachronism. It wasn't called Palestine either at the time it happened, at the time the book was written, or now. 2d. You admit that Finkelstein still holds the POV of "deliberate" indicator, but you fail to state it accurately in the article, and you change it to "possible" indicator. This is another NPOV violation for not stating Finkelstein's POV as it appears in Killebrew p. 176. Since you admit Finkelstein's POV is "deliberate" indicator, you won't mind my restoring "some archaeologists interpret as" in lieu of "it is possible that might be". If you think "possible" interpretation conveys "deliberate" interpretation, you won't mind the switch, and if you think it doesn't, you'll agree with restoring the source text. You also deleted the link to Killebrew p. 176, again removing a source that demonstrates the plurality of POVs.
3. It is rather facile for you to say max-pop 400 is now "too detailed" when at the section #Tagging above you continued your longtime retention of a max-pop 300 clause. That is a change of position without explanation, which has happened too often. All of a sudden you are insisting on shortening the section after you inserted several new sentences and keep rearranging everything. The POVs on max village populations are significant and sourced and should not be deleted due to length fears. Look, I deleted 30K from this article just by correcting the ridiculous citation style, I think I can have a few bytes; standard practice is to let the article grow unless and until it needs splitting. Since you previously fought to retain a mention of max pop, I am going with your former position and reinserting it.
4. Maybe you were looking in Miller 1986 instead of Miller 2005? Miller 2005 says, second full sentence p. 99, "These five polities were of a single ethnicity, and economic interchange was prevalent, although the mobilization of goods in each was independent." Note also the chapter heading includes "1200–1000 B.C." Since your only objection is verifiability and your own opinion about the matter, this having been verified it will be reinstated. This is of course much shorter than the phrasing you formerly endorsed, "The population ... generated a surplus which was could be traded for goods not locally available", which is not in source anywhere.
In short, the only way that seems to get through is to keep correcting your faulty arguments point by point until you stop making them, seeing as I've never recalled you recanting anything when you've changed your position. However, I must warn you that if you keep arguing with the same illogic, it will be more and more likely to be considered disruption. JJB 08:13, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Emergence: Competing Theories

I added a section regarding theories of emergence that compete with the main theory given voice in this article. I tried my best to state the strengths and weaknesses of these other theories. I don't particularly like where the section fits within the text/ narrative of the article and I am open to suggestions regarding how to best make the section fit. The section could be more thorough as well, but I didn't want it to dominate the article. Nws106 (talk) 19:59, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

"Emergence" is about all that was happening in Iron I, so it doesn't really need a separate heading. Also, the 3 theories you cite are rather outdated now and probably should NOT be mentioned - there are 2 current theories, those of Whitelam and Finkelstein. Whitelam says the Israelites were entirely Canaanites, settling the hills after (or as) the city-state structure broke down; Finkelstein says a lot of them were former pastoralists moving in from the Transjordan area. PiCo (talk) 05:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
PiCo's statements are fully unsourced. There are six overlapping emergence theories already in the article cited to Miller 1986, pp. 78–9, so I have no idea why you assume there are only two, nor, based on past experience, do I believe you are summarizing them correctly. Also, "Israel" began some time before 1209, Late Bronze, not Iron I, so if you want to speak of a continuation of an emergence continuum instead, that's fine. I'll try a first boil-down for Nws106. JJB 16:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
John, I know that you're not familiar with biblical scholarship, but there are currently only two theories. PiCo (talk) 22:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
PiCo, rather than focusing on John's academic limitations, perhaps you could point him at some good reference material. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 02:40, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
A good point. Let me say straight off that I'm impressed by John's way of sticking to sources. His problem is, as you say, that he has no academic background. This makes it difficult for him to weigh sources against each other, and it also means that he has no idea what's mainstream today and what's not. Ok, so I'd refer him first to Lemche's Early Israel: anthropological and historical studies. Lemche happens to be a personal friend, but I don't believe I'm biased - this is a good study of the major theories. However, it's very much an in-depth look, and it's not easy reading. For a far gentler introduction, try this website - I know we're not supposed to use websites, but this really is a good, concise overview. I probably wouldn't object to using this as the basis for our own article. Beyond that, since John seems to like Anne Killebrew (an author I introduced him to), might like to consult her ideas at pages 149 and following (read it all!). Here's a nice article by Finkelstein, too. PiCo (talk) 03:43, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, that was very productive. I checked out Lemche's book and -- friend or not -- it checks out as a serious academic text on precisely the subject of this article. While the material is indeed technical, he's a clear writer. As for web sites, some do count as WP:RS, but even those that don't can still be useful. For example, I tend to use explanatory links to http://religioustolerance.org, not because the site counts as reliable (which it doesn't, as the author has no credentials), but because it cites its sources and often provides a good overview. Then I "cheat" by looking up the citations and using them.
In any case, now let's give John a chance to study up. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 04:04, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Iron I again

Dylan restored two sentences claiming BRD, but this is not BRD because they were my deletions of PiCo's sentences. I have nothing to add to my two edit summaries unless either editor provides a rationale: "Delete unsourced generic sentence (that also breaks MOS:CAPS) that is redundant with better-expressed Dever 2003 p. 206 prior .... Delete syn; Silberman p. 248 says nothing about ancient Israel or Judah, and assuming Israel's highlands relate to it is unsourced synthesis. Also redundant with Bright 2000 p. 473." JJB 05:47, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi. Let's have that discussion. And now that it's here, PiCo and LeadWind will actually know about it. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 05:54, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You are defaulting on the argument; you have not stated any reasons for retaining the flawed sentences. JJB 06:10, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with Dylan on this one: the paragraph needs to reflect generally held academic views, and do this accurately, while being pitched at the general reader.PiCo (talk) 06:37, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You too are defaulting on providing reasons for retaining the two sentences. The first is unsourced, the second is synthetic and does not relate to the title of this page. Do you wish to source the first or source the relationship of the second to this topic? JJB 06:39, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Since both editors are failing to discuss the policy reasons for deleting the two sentences, I am deleting them again. Note that I did not challenge any of the rest of PiCo's first edit set, and proposed deleting them as a minimum policy-compliant compromise, but not even that was accepted. JJB 02:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Iron I again again

PiCo's edit commits further errors: first, it repeats the insertion of mistaken language, challenged above, never rebutted, and retained for over a week by silent consensus: "were once identified", "have been found", and "Palestine". Second, it repeats the deletion of Killebrew twice, which proves the mistake. Third, the idea that pig bones are "genuinely unique" is not in any source, especially not Silberman p. 248. I had a feeling PiCo would be back to continue the game of revert-without-discussion, so no surprise. It is plain that a conclusion, even if "found" in 1986, is clearly mitigated by supplemental evidence in the other direction published in 2005, and the deletion of your own source, while restoring words to avoid, is clearly POV exclusion; the restoration of the unsourced and synthetic sentences is also clearly antipolicy. If these errors are not discussed they will be reverted. JJB 06:47, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Since PiCo is failing to discuss the policy reasons for balancing this part with additional sources, I am repeating the addition. Note that this is a continuation of attempting to fix the verification problem I first noted about 26 Sep and stated formally above on 10 Oct, which has never been addressed; that is, for 2 months now PiCo has been insisting that pig bones are unique without any source and contrary to other sources. The continuation of these editors' reverting this POV fix without any basis in sourcing is getting surreal. JJB 02:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Oddly enough, that's not what I see here. Guess what that means. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 02:52, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

It means you have again defaulted by refusing to discuss the edits. JJB 02:57, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually, it means that you do not WP:OWN the article, so you do not get to set terms and declare "defaults". Come join us in the real world, where we cooperate instead of pushing POV's. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 03:00, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I am using the common word "default" to mean you are pointedly avoiding the subject, as your comment here does once again. Most people who revert agree with the need to provide reasons that pass muster to third parties. Now you have at least in summary linked PiCo's statement above "I agree" to claim a new "consensus"; but two people without a policy reason do not form a consensus against one person with, sorry. I have shown (for two months) where the edit I reverted has a POV, but neither of you has ever cited a problem with the pig text that is based in policy; everything you've provided has been answered above with logic and policy arguments. Now I can cut and paste those arguments if you like, but why don't you tell me first what you think is really wrong with pointing out sources find more distinctions between highlands and other regions than just pigs? JJB 03:09, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I understand completely: you are ignoring the consensus. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 03:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

That diff is not a consensus, as answered just above, because it in no way answers the policy arguments; nor does it have anything to do with the pig edits to this article, which are different from the two new sentences of PiCo the diff is referring to. So even if it were consensus, since it is wholly inapplicable to the pig edits, you have not provided any reasons responsive to those edits. JJB 03:11, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Conformity/verification of sources

There is a dispute about conformity/verification of sources in this article after one editor made a number of new edits and another editor raised the issue of verification. This is meant to be a content RfC dealing with verification and conformity with sources and related issues. The talk page above lays out the dispute, and this link [1] shows the difference between the edits up to September 26th, when the dispute began, and today. Dougweller (talk) 19:44, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

John's statement of issues

  • Thanks Doug, this is a placeholder for a repeat of my and PiCo's lists of issues above, to which I will return soon. JJB 00:09, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is a much better diff, in that Doug's diff includes a lot of post-Persian changes that I have not reviewed or disputed. As another minor point, the history is actually that PiCo made significant edits to Joshua that arose from this article and I brought the V issue here from there. I will be treating the current version as the baseline because it appears there is a consensus on the first couple changes aside from PiCo (we had agreed to discuss the sentences one-by-one, and that was working to a degree and can continue to do so, but this list gives the current baseline for either seriatim or parallel discussion). I am also using this list as the baseline for PiCo's current concerns, as they appear to me to be shifting regularly. Much of this rehashes the list above at "The emergence of Israel". From these versions:

  1. I would change the lead, "runs from the first mention of the name Israel in the archaeological record in 1209 BCE", by adding "and its mention in biblical texts", as per WP:LEAD mentioning salient points like the Bible. PiCo has permitted me to write a new section on textual sources of this history, which I may begin, but the validity of this point to the lead has appeared accepted to be consensus independent of the section being written. PiCo also asks the rhetorical question "what mention?" and has objected to this placement of the Biblical mention by inferring a chronological assumption that is not there, but has not proposed an alternate placement.  Done, PiCo apparently accepted John's summary of PiCo.
  2. In Bronze Age, PiCo would delete the clause "(the Bible narratives are ascribed to the eras they depict by Bava Batra 14b ff. (Talmud) and early Church Fathers)", which PiCo accepted in other articles, but has not proposed an alternative that would even acknowledge the significant literalist POV that disagrees with the main clause of that sentence. I have stated that any alternative that acknowledges this widespread POV would be fine. PiCo below implies a waiver of this point. Not done, reopened by PiCo after 1.5 months of consensus, renumbered to 19 below. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  3. PiCo would change "Archaeologist Ann Killebrew adds: "Recent research on the emergence of Israel points unequivocally to the conclusion that biblical Israel's roots lie in the final century of Bronze Age Canaan"" (which PiCo enfolded in another article) to "the Israelites are just as clearly indigenous to Canaan", claiming this represents source Killebrew pp. 10-16. I respond that source does not use the word "indigenous" in this sense, which removes the wiggle room, and uses the more ambiguous "roots lie in", and that if PiCo thinks the versions are synonymous there should be no objection to retaining the more exact one. PiCo below implies a waiver of this point. ADD: PiCo changed source to Bright for this point. JJB 16:58, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
  4. I would change "Canaanite dialects of the first millennium" to "Northwest Semitic dialects" because no source says outright that Israelite or Judaean are dialects of Canaanite; Mansoor's chart specifically says that they are lateral branches of NW Semitic; and the sourceability of the NW Semitic statement is not disputed like the Canaanite statement is. PiCo objects that I have treated NW Semitic as a language rather than a family.  Done, deleted.
  5. PiCo would add "it is impossible to distinguish between Hebrew and Canaanite inscriptions down to the 10th century" after this thought. I said source Smith p. 27 does not say it's impossible to distinguish inscriptions but that inscriptions are of limited help to distinguish cultures, and said that inscription languages have many marker distinctions mentioned in sources. Though this clause is missing now, my gloss of the source had been "the languages of the inscriptional evidence are of limited help due to not distinguishing between Israelite and Canaanite culture down to the tenth century", which is also acceptable to me. PiCo continued to treat the versions as synonymous ("the languages ... are identical", controverted by PiCo's sources), and I again replied that there should then be no objection to retaining the more exact one. PiCo below implies a waiver of this point.
  6. In Iron Age, I would change "the Phoenician cities continued from the Bronze into the Iron Age without interruption" to "the Phoenician cities were held by the tenth century; Phoenician kings are also mentioned in Biblical texts" because source Golden pp. 155-160 does not say anything about Phoenicians continuing uninterrupted from the Bronze Age. PiCo said he does, without quoting him. Source mention of Biblical evidence was also brought in at this point to deal with PiCo's unsourced assertion that Phoenicia was not in the pertinent Bible passages.  Done, new source (Markoe) and gloss. ADD: PiCo just deleted Markoe, which is also acceptable. JJB 07:25, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  7. This point edited per discussion, and sources added to each point below, JJB 12:42, 25 October 2010 (UTC): I would change "This Israel, identified as a people, was probably located in the northern part of the central highlands" to more exact "This Israel, identified as a people, tribe, coalition, or territory, was located in the northern part of the central highlands by Gösta Ahlström" (or simply "... was probably located in the central highlands") because source Lemche pp. 37-8 seems to disagree with the "northern part" proposal and present a western- or full-central proposal. PiCo appeared to me to be contradictory on this point and so I would not want to summarize that position. Lemche pp. 37-8: Ahlström points with good reasons at the northern part of the central highlands. It is remarkable that other scholars have not taken up Ahlström's interpretation. ... That [Yano'am] is the end of the city line. The following is described as Israel, whether this reference is a reference to a specific population, a tribe or a tribal coalition, or just a territory carrying this name. When mapping the route of approach of the Egyptian expedition, there can be no doubt that we have arrived at the western border of the central highlands, at the southeastern extension of what would in the Iron Age be situated at the southwestern border of the kingdom of Israel.  Done, new source (Dever) and gloss.
  8. I would delete "At the same time the highlands, previously unpopulated, were beginning to fill with villages" as not found in source McNutt pp. 69-70; McNutt says the villages were previously populated, as per next point. PiCo said she does say the highlands were previously unpopulated, without quoting her. McNutt (reused below) pp. 69-70.  Done, new page (McNutt) and gloss.
  9. I would change "surveys have identified more than 300 new settlements in the Palestinian highlands during Iron Age I, most of them in the northern regions, and the largest with a population of no more than 300" to "Although only village dwellers left behind sufficient archaeological remains, surveys have identified more than 300 settlements in the regional highlands dating to Iron Age I (more and larger in the north), a minority having been occupied in prior periods, and new settlements in the fringe regions as well" and add "Settlers were estimated at twenty thousand in the twelfth century and double that in the eleventh" or similar phrasing. Source McNutt pp. 69-70 emphasizes the archaeological unknowability of the nonvillage nomadic populations, and that they should not be ignored; the Iron Age region was not primarily called "Palestinian" and was not so in source; source does not say they were new during the era but they were found dating to the era with some prior occupation; source's mention of highland-fringe settlements and population estimates were discounted by omission; and the max pop of 300 is contradicted by another source that says 400, below. McNutt pp. 69-70: Historically in the Middle East, what appear to be isolated communities are always linked in some way to communities elsewhere. Because of the interdependent, complex, and ever-changing ways of life in this region, social groups have not always fallen readily into neat classificatory niches such as villagers, pastoral nomads, or city dwellers.19 Although this was probably the case during Iron Age I, as it has been in other periods, only the villagers left behind sufficient remains for us to determine the character of their settlement patterns. ... Recent surveys have identified more than three hundred sites in highland Palestine that date to Iron Age I. Some of them had been occupied in previous periods, but most were in locations that had never been settled before. New settlements were also established in the agriculturally marginal areas on the eastern and southern desert fringes of Transjordan and in the Negeb.20 The populations of these villages were small, most of them supporting no more than a hundred individuals, and the largest no more than three hundred. The settled population for the twelfth century has been estimated at approximately twenty thousand, and for the eleventh century double that number. Settlement was most intensive, and villages were larger, in the northern regions of Ephraim and Manasseh. Not done, PiCo has now enfolded all the points in this version, except for linked communities in Iron I without remains. ADD: Now PiCo is retaining the linked communities but deleting the fringe communities. Enh, call it  Done anyway if nothing changes.
  10. I would change "It is impossible to differentiate these "Israelite" villages from Canaanite sites of the same period on the basis of material culture" to (after the pig bones) "Later Israelite sites are also distinguished from Canaanite ones via number and distribution of ceramics and by more agrarian settlement plans" or similar phrasing, as per Killebrew p. 13, in that Killebrew does not use the word "impossible" in this sense. PiCo said "not quite" and asked me to read the source again, without providing a specific additional quote or rationale. Killebrew (reused below) p. 13: These small sites are distinguished by the limited number of ceramic forms and their relative percentages, as well as the agrarian nature of their settlement plans. Not done, renumbered to 20-22 below. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  11. I would change "almost the sole marker distinguishing the two is an absence of pig bones, although whether this can be taken as an ethnic marker or is due to other factors remains a matter of dispute" to "Israelite sites are notably absent of pig bones, and some archaeologists (cf. Finkelstein) interpret this as indicating distinct ethnic identity, but it could result from other factors" in that Killebrew p. 176 does not say "sole marker" and provides other markers p. 13, and because the source distinguishes the ethnic marker position as an archaeologist POV and the other position as generic rather than as equally weighted. PiCo's "not quite" and "read again" applied confusingly to this as well. Killebrew p. 176: One species, the pig, is notably absent. ... Some archaeologists have interpreted this to indicate that the ethnic identity of the highland inhabitants was distinct from Late Bronze Age indigenous peoples (see Finkelstein 1997, 227–30). Brian Hesse and Paula Wapnish (1997) advise caution, however, since the lack of pig bones at Iron I highland settlements could be a result of other factors that have little to do with ethnicity. Not done, renumbered to 23 below. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  12. I would delete "There are no temples or shrines, although cult-objects associated with the Canaanite god El have been found" as not anywhere on source Killebrew p. 176. PiCo says to try a few pages back but has not sourced this claim any more specifically. This is a very basic source verification failure that is deleted under WP:V all the time, but all my citations of failure have been lumped together as needing careful individual review. Killebrew p. 176.  Done, deleted.
  13. I would change "The population lived by farming" to "Villages had a population up to 400, which lived by farming" as per source Miller p. 98, and to balance out McNutt above. (It could also be "300 or 400", with the McNutt cite added.) I don't think anyone has objected to this other than by blanket reversion. Miller (reused below) p. 98: Small villages exploited economic niches variously of herding, cereal agriculture, and vine and olive horticulture. Although most of the local villages were self-sufficient, they presented tribute in cash crops or conscripted labor to higher levels of economic centers, although without specialized administrative control apparatus. These villages were on the hilltops – even the larger ones had a population of only about four hundred people.  Done here, I accepted PiCo's deletion. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  14. I would change "and were largely self-sufficient in economic terms" to "and was largely self-sufficient" for verb agreement and because Miller does not use the redundant qualifier. No other comments found on this one. Miller p. 98.  Done here, I accepted PiCo's deletion. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  15. I would change "but generated a surplus which was could be traded for goods not locally available; writing was known but was not common" to "Economic interchange was prevalent. Writing was known and available for recording society ethos, even in small sites" as per Miller pp. 99, 105, in that the attempt to summarize him differently on economic interchange is not traceable to a page in the given range 97-104, and his position on writing appears wholly contrary to our text. PiCo said, "Read the chapter again, more carefully", without quoting him. Miller pp. 99, 105: These five polities were of a single ethnicity, and economic interchange was prevalent. ... One way or another, the ethos of a society and the events that it endures will be encoded (Derrida 1970:249). There is evidence that writing was known in the Iron I highlands and was an available medium for this encoding.  Done here, I accepted PiCo's deletion. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  16. I would delete "The north-central highlands during Iron Age I were divided into five major chiefdoms, with no sign of centralised authority", as not traceable to anything in Miller pp. 97-104 or Killebrew p. 176. No other comments found. Miller pp. 97-104, Killebrew p. 176.  Done, deleted.
  17. Finally, I would invite comment on what I should do when I find this much source conformity failure propagated by one editor (in only one editing spate among several I have witnessed from the same editor), leading to the reasonable suspicion of additional significant OR and SYN findable in that editor's other edits. The fact that it takes this long to cover a few simple points about a source not saying what we say it says makes it hard for me to determine how to gauge the whole remainder of the article, which I have not reviewed. Thank you for your attention. JJB 20:14, 10 October 2010 (UTC) Comments still solicited. Not done, renumbered 26 below. JJB 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
  18. I would delete PiCo's new sentence, "The origin of these settlers was probably mixed, including both sedentary peasants and former pastoralists", as not found anywhere on McNutt p. 69 as stated (a tag copied from another sentence). Also, a search of McNutt for "pastoralists" did not turn up any obvious text matches, so it is unclear how much is OR and how much actually resembles McNutt. JJB 04:21, 24 October 2010 (UTC) McNutt p. 69.  Done, deleted.
John, I think you should step back at this point and let the RfC process proceed - outsiders can look into the question of the sources that bother you. PiCo (talk) 08:12, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I respectfully agree. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 06:50, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 4

Discussion 6

Discussion 7

Discussion 1

Bible narrative in first para of lead

JJB, I reverted your recent addition to the first para of the lead: it says that the article treats the period 1200 BCE to 6CE because of two markers, the Merneptah stele and the absorption of the nominal kingdom of Judah into the Roman empire. In other words, all it's doing is setting the chronological scope of the article. The fact that the bible gives a narrative account of that period isn't the point. Please go ahead and write the section on sources, and we can include it there. PiCo (talk) 00:38, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Since PiCo has enfolded the lead sentence, "Sources for this history include biblical and non-biblical narratives, epigraphy, and the material archaeological record," this can be counted as a resolution to point 1 without responding to this paragraph. JJB 04:21, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 9

Since my other changes relating to point 9 have been accepted silently, I think one more sentence change should wrap it up. Please comment below if necessary. Changed "The origin of these settlers was probably mixed, including both sedentary peasants and former pastoralists." to "Paula McNutt says these villagers were probably linked to other communities such as nomads that did not leave sufficient remains to determine their settlement patterns." in that the former sounds nothing like McNutt p. 69 and the latter does (see quotes at point 9 above). Note also that linkage is not origin. Which better represents the source (should be a no-brainer)? JJB 05:29, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

You're misinterpreting what McNutt is saying. The quote is: "Historically in the Middle East, what appear to be isolated communities are always linked in some way to communities elsewhere. Because of the interdependent, complex, and ever-changing ways of life in this region, social groups have not always fallen readily into neat classificatory niches such as villagers, pastoral nomads, or city dwellers." She means that the farmers living in villages were linked in various ways to herders in the hils, bandits living in the forests, and even to the people living in the cities down in the valleys. The idea is that during the Early Iron I period more of the herders/bandits/city dwellers settled down as farmers - see Finkelstein on this, also Whitelam (these two are the source of the two major theories on the settlement process). Think for a moment about what you've written there: nomads with settlement patters? Nomads don't have settlement patterns. Stick with the existing sentence, it's accurate.PiCo (talk) 06:04, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

What you say "she means" is correct. What you say "the idea is" is unsourced and not in McNutt. You are free to cite a different source, but for you to reinsert that sentence cited to p. 69, when you basically admit it's not on p. 69 by referring to two other books n.p., is another failure to carry your WP:BURDEN and will be tagged. As to my own sentence, McNutt continues, "Although this was probably the case during Iron Age I, as it has been in other periods, only the villagers left behind sufficient remains for us to determine the character of their settlement patterns." The word "only" implies that nonvillagers were not determinable as to settlement patterns, and "settlement" means not only "archaeological site" but also "residence". My point is that these sourced linked communities must be mentioned to prevent undue weight attached to the population numbers being verified for villages only. Your point about origins may be valid but is wholly unsourced. JJB 08:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC) The sentence is tagged, the proposed change is on the table, but no discussion is ensuing. It seems the only way to get discussion going is to keep correcting the verification failures and getting reverted, so trying again. JJB 23:20, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Rehash previous discussions

In PiCo's latest edits he commits another negotiation taboo, namely, going back on prior agreements, deleting a clause he agreed with and another he admitted by silence. He also begins this edit set with the interesting observation, "rv - words taken out of context produced nonsensical sentence, see Talk", when his resultant text included this text, which is not a model of clarity either:

The process was gradual rather than swift:[10] a strong Egyptian presence continued into the 12th century, and while some Canaanite cities were destroyed others continued to exists,[11] joined by the Philistines who settled the southern plain,[12] while further north along the coast the Phoenician cities continued through the early Iron Age.[13] Beyond the Jordan tribal kingdoms arose in the territories of first Ammon, then Moab, and, rather later, Edom:[14]

Anyway, a good-faith interpretation of that is that PiCo is merely not recognizing the degree of nonsense of his own edit while being more sensitive to the nonsense of mine. Turning to the first clause Pico deleted, viz., "(the Bible narratives are ascribed to the eras they depict by Bava Batra 14b ff. (Talmud) and early Church Fathers)", we see that PiCo already unequivocally agreed "This sentence belongs", but has now deleted it rather than moving it to the section in which he said it belongs, a section he created. The simplest remedy is for me to restore the sentence, moved there, in accord with his prior directions, and if he wishes to dispute with himself he can report the result back to us. The second clause PiCo deleted, "new settlements were established in both Transjordan and the Negev", resulted in the erratic text above; his edit summary was "this repeats the information in the previous sentence". However, the resultant text says nothing about new settlements as such in Transjordan. This is best remedied by enfolding it in while correcting the text. (I will be happy to stipulate that Killebrew's new "fringe" settlements were those in Philistia, Ammon, Moab, and Edom. PiCo also deleted Lemche and Ahlström, although this is acceptable to me on grounds already stated, assuming arguendo that Lemche is encompassed by Dever and Ahlström is a sufficiently small minority. There was also a map deletion based on PiCo's finding its making edits difficult; per WP:PRESERVE, I will restore it in a way likely not to hamper editing, assuming the map content is not controversial, in that PiCo didn't say so.) In short, it is troubling that PiCo still feels free to make sweeping changes to disputed text without prior discussion, and further feels free to ignore his own prior statement about the compromise version and go back on it; but a good-faith interpretation is that PiCo doesn't remember saying that the sentence belonged. These are several small points, but please limit this section to discussion of this edit, encompassing the above. JJB 08:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

"PiCo is merely not recognizing the degree of nonsense of his own edit." Quite plausible. I'll have a look at it later.
"(the Bible narratives are ascribed to the eras they depict by Bava Batra 14b ff. (Talmud) and early Church Fathers)" A true statement, but is it relevant?
""new settlements were established in both Transjordan and the Negev" Yes indeed - but the Transjordan and the Negev are, respectively, Ammon/Moab and Edom, hence my comment that this sentence repeats information already given.
"Killebrew's new "fringe" settlements were those in Philistia..." No, not Philistia, just Amon/Moab/Edom.
PiCo (talk) 09:01, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your considerate response. Reviewing talk I can see that some of my initial comments were more harsh than necessary. However, the difficulty I have is that I've always seen your edits as being scattershot, even those last year to longevity myths. I can never tell what direction you're going to come from, and that can tempt one to frustration. If I can assume that you'll come out sooner or later in favor of policy compliance, that will help keep my cool. Anyway, the open points are balancing the bare settler population totals and possibly finding origin POVs. JJB 14:01, 29 October 2010 (UTC) Since Pico is continuing on Biblical sources here without discussing this, proceeding to points 10-11, which appear to need to be taken together. JJB 07:25, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 10-11

See my statement earlier in the RFC thread. JJB 07:25, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Can you give us a link? PiCo (talk) 07:56, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Try Talk:History of ancient Israel and Judah#Point10, newly anchored. Your statement suggests you do not understand what this RFC is about, namely, addressing a list of concerns I presented first via a set of edit summaries and then repeatedly on this page. However, this is inconsequential as long as you continue to interact civilly. JJB 16:05, 31 October 2010 (UTC) PiCo's substitution of Bright as a new source for this text is a good start, but he still undid a couple of needed balance clauses: (a) who holds the POVs about pig bones indicating ethnicity (archaeologist Finkelstein pro, William Brown anti); (b) what POVs there are about other distinguishing marks (Killebrew pro, Brown again anti); (c) deletion of the assumptive "In short, the evidence" as out of context and better replaced by "Archaeological evidence"; (d) deletion of the WP:SYN that puts two of Brown's thoughts (in Bright) together improperly with the word "through", better replaced by Brown's actual indication, that this is only one way "through" which it might have happened and that it is only an emerging theory. If these POV problems are not resolved, then using Bright is only substituting one verification failure for another. However, PiCo can be thanked for letting my edits on points 9 and 12 go through. JJB 05:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC) Discussion continues at #Reversion of John Bulten's edit on Iron I. JJB 17:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Section "Iron Age I" consensus text

The following is the current 2nd para of the section "Iron Age I":

The number of villages in the highlands increased to more than 300 by the end of Iron Age I[1] (more and larger in the north), with the settled population rising from 20,000 in the twelfth century to 40,000 in the eleventh.[2] The villages probably shared the highlands with other communities such as pastoral nomads, but only villagers left remains.[13] These highlanders are usually identified with the "Israel" of Merneptah and of the bible, but their origin is a matter of ongoing dispute. Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture:[14] certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses were once identified as intrinsically "Israelite," but have been found to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Palestine,[15] and the absence of pig bones from highland sites, their sole genuinely unique feature, has complicated roots, probably relating to survival strategies among new arrivals.[16] McNutt says, "It is probably safe to assume that sometime during Iron Age I a population began to identify itself as 'Israelite'", differentiating itself from the Canaanites through such markers as the prohibition of intermarriage, an emphasis on family history and genealogy, and religion.[17]

This para has been the more-or-less consensus for a while now - John Bulten would like to change it, but other authors, notably myself and Dylan Flaherty, have explicitly said we're happy with it, and nobody else has said they're not (meaning John is very much in the minority). I'll go through it line by line and see how it stands up - John, you can tell us your problems with any of these line.

1. The number of villages in the highlands increased to more than 300 by the end of Iron Age I[1] (more and larger in the north), with the settled population rising from 20,000 in the twelfth century to 40,000 in the eleventh.[2] The villages probably shared the highlands with other communities such as pastoral nomads, but only villagers left remains.[13]

Actually, I don't think John has any objection to this part, I'm just including it for the sake of context. This is a pretty basic, factual statement of the way the population in the highlands exploded during the 2 centuries of Iron I.

2. These highlanders are usually identified with the "Israel" of Merneptah and of the bible, but their origin is a matter of ongoing dispute. :This statement isn't sourced. John, do you want us to source it, or are you happy to accept it?

3. Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture:[18]

This statement is sourced. John, do you have a problem with this?

4. certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses were once identified as intrinsically "Israelite," but have been found to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Palestine,[19]

This statement is sourced. John, do you have a problem with it?

5. and the absence of pig bones from highland sites, their sole genuinely unique feature, has complicated roots, probably relating to survival strategies among new arrivals.[20] This statement is sourced. John, do you have a problem with it?

6. McNutt says, "It is probably safe to assume that sometime during Iron Age I a population began to identify itself as 'Israelite'", differentiating itself from the Canaanites through such markers as the prohibition of intermarriage, an emphasis on family history and genealogy, and religion.[21]

This statement is sourced. John, do you have a problem with it?

PiCo (talk) 04:20, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

First, the usual corrections. This paragraph has not been "more-or-less consensus", it contains two completely new clauses, "These highlanders", and "genuinely unique". Instead, the version below is one that you were fully aware of and let stand for a week, so it has a better claim on consensus than anything to date; acting as if your new changes represent consensus and the version you accepted silently doesn't is a bit contradictory. You again act oblivious as if the prior two months of discussion hasn't happened, or as if you don't have a clue what my objections and requested changes are, or as if you can't even look at my edits responsive to your last to see what they are, or as if you need to list the whole paragraph all over again again when I've shown you which sentences I've already agreed with. If only you worked on one point at a time and discussed until we understood each other, you'd be able to stay on topic, but there's a reason you don't, isn't there? Also, the idea that two editors form a consensus and one forms a "very much" minority, when there's been an ongoing discussion and the two editors have been either MIA or deflective for the largest parts of the two months, is laughable; it could just as well be read as the other editors abandoning you.
The current problems are with 2, 4, and 5; I've already accepted the other three. Since you also appear oblivious to edit summaries, I repeat. I already said 2 was unsourced and needs sourcing, and you imply you accept that WP:BURDEN, so I'll be happy to delete it until you source it, which is standard WP:V procedure. However, it is also redundant with the good sentence from Dever, and the six origin theories you inserted and then deleted, from IIRC Bright, so it's unclear what good your sourcing will do. I already said that 4 contains POV words "were once identified", "have been found", and that it is contradicted by Killebrew 20 years later whom you keep deleting, and that it acts as if there are no other reliable POVs when there are. I already said that 5 is a whole-cloth synthesis, because not only is it not in the source page (such as the "genuinely unique" part), the source page has nothing to do with ancient Israel or Judah so does not belong anywhere in the article. If you're trying to invent a novel interpretation that the Israelites did the same things that Silberman says the Philistines (?) did, you need to source that; it's not something you've said anytime in the last two months.
A simple cut and paste of the last revert shows exactly the language I have proposed, but since you seem to do better with repetition, here it is:
[2 deleted] [3] Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture;[22] [4] certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans have been said to be distinctives of highland sites,[23] and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but have also been said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[24] [5] While some archaeologists interpret the absence of pig bones from the highland sites as an indicator of ethnicity,[25] this is not certain.[4]
Now then, since you have not responded to my points about your two new sentences (2 and your 5) being unsourced synthesis, and since you have never responded in two months about the pig bones not being unique as a marker (4), may I have my edits please? JJB 05:08, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture;[26]: I take it this means you have no objection to this sentence.
certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans have been said to be distinctive of highland sites,[27] I think I've explained elsewhere that you're misinterpreting the source: yes, these features were once thought to be distinctive, but no, this is no longer the case. This is actually what your source (Lillebrew) is saying, but ours (Miller) says it more clearly.
While some archaeologists interpret the absence of pig bones from the highland sites as an indicator of ethnicity,[28] this is not certain.[4] Quite true. Our current sentence says the same thing, but better: "the absence of pig bones from highland sites, their sole genuinely unique feature, has complicated roots, probably relating to survival strategies among new arrivals." (And it's sourced.
John, I want to thank you again for your involvement in the article, which I think has genuinely improved as a result. But please try to take a less confrontational tone - Wikipedia should be a pleasure for all of us. PiCo (talk) 05:20, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
When you stop your blithe repetition of mistakes I can drop the tone I reserve for people who do that to me for two months. I don't know why you need me to repeat I "have no objection to this sentence" (i.e., clause 3), I already said it.
On clause 4a, your statement contains several issues. The features you said were once thought to be distinctive were the jars and the four-roomers, not the repertoire/assemblage of other pottery itself, nor the agrarian central sheep pen that Killebrew refers to; that's why I mentioned all four with different nuances. Then your statement that this is no longer the case refers to Miller 1986, which may or may not be true for the jars and four-roomers from Finkelstein, but either way Finkelstein's POV that these are markers is not disproven by Miller's hand-waving, nor is Killebrew's saying they are distinctives as of 2005; all POVs need representation. You then say "Lillebrew" is agreeing with you, but you've never cited Killebrew to that effect; you then say Miller is more clear, but, even if so, my version said everything you want Miller to say and your version still doesn't allow for the POVs of Finkelstein and Killebrew. Since your analysis contains as many errors as clauses, I find no reason to omit these POVs as you suggest.
Since you didn't finish quoting my replacement for sentence 4, I take it you agree with my version of clause 4b, "and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but have also been said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan." This version removes the POV language that acts as if Finkelstein's POV isn't a POV. Thus it appears I am free to make that change also.
No, sentence 5 is not sourced, because the source says nothing about the first half and only says the second half about other sites than Israelite ones, which is synthesis if you make it Israelite. No, for the nth time, Killebrew does not say the pigs are unique, but if you really think her sentence "says the same thing", let's use it instead of fighting it for two months. If you want to add something to Killebrew about the possibility that new- or old-arrival Israelites had something to do with pig absence, source it with a discussion of Israel. If Killebrew says the same thing, I'll just put her in and leave you to source the new-arrival theory.
I could also thank you for at least presenting your rationales, because it creates an archive of your reading comprehension summarization skills. But if you read a page of Silberman and find the sentence you say is on it that isn't there, and then read a gloss of Killebrew and find it saying the same thing as the sentence that isn't in Silberman, and then you still insist one is "better" than the other even though they say the same thing and you can't prove why yours is better nor why I'm wrong to say yours is unsourced synthesis, we might need to talk more about other reasons for your actions. JJB 06:23, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
JJB, you're an experienced editor, so I shouldn't have to point out how uncivil your comments about his reading comprehension skills are. I would strongly suggest that you redact your incivility to avoid looking like an unrepentant bully. If you don't act, I will. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 06:42, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
John, you haven't quite understood what's going on with this Killebrew/Finkelstein business: Killebrew is merely presenting Finkelstein's theory, she doesn't claim it as her own. You've also misunderstood the import of these central sheep-folds. What's happening there is that the very earliest villages in the highlands have that feature - it disappears in the later ones. All these early villages are located on the eastern edge of the highlands - the settlement pattern itself moves from east to west over time. So Finkelstein thinks that this suggests that these villages were formed by former pastoralists, who copied their traditional pattern of tents in a circle when they started building houses. His theory is suggestive, but we have to factor in the fact that there's really nothing in the cultural assemblage of the villages that doesn't have Canaanite roots - the pottery, the religion, the language. Hence you have Killebrew's "mixed multitude" idea - Early Iron Israel had multiple origins, although it was predominantly Canaanite. This is quite separate from the "4-pillared houses" - this house-type, and also the collared pithoi, were thought by Albright to be unique to the highlands, but they've since been found throughout the Transjordan as well, while the pithoi have been shown to be based on a Canaanite Late Bronze ceramic form. And so nobody sees them now as markers of the highlands. PiCo (talk) 07:04, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I should add something about the uniqueness of pig bones - sorry for missing that. The importance of the pig bones - or their absence - is that it has been thought, and still is thought by some, that it might be a "cultural marker" for the highlands. The reason for this is, first, sites outside the highlands do have pig-bones, and second, pigs are of course unclean in Judaism. So the absence of pig-bones, as the sole (or unique) distinction to be found between highland and lowlands, is important. The question is, how can it be explained? Is it the result of a food taboo? Or are there other possible causes? The answer is that it might be a food taboo, but it might also have other causes. That's what we have to get across in our article. PiCo (talk) 07:16, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
One more point, regarding John's proposed sentence: "collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but have also been said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan." The problem with this is that it sounds as if these two interpretations are both held today, when they're not - they're sequential. This is what McNutt actually says: "Two types of archaeological remains were assumed in the past to be evidence for attaching the ethnic label 'Israelite' to to the new settlements in the hill country. The first is the so-called 'four-room' or 'pillared' house, and the second is the 'collared-rim' store jar. But both are now recognised as types that that are also found at sites outside the central highlands, in regions assocoiated with the Canaanites and Philistines in the biblical literature, and in Transjordan." She goes on to discuss modern thinking regarding the interpretation of these features - which is that they relate to lifestyles rather than ethnicity. This is on page 52 of Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel.
Might as well touch on those pig bones again while I'm here: Finkelstein does believe that they're an ethnic indicator, but his idea isn't mainstream - I suggest you look at the essay, "Can Pig Bones Be Used...", by Hesse and Wapnish, for the normative treatment of the topic.
Hope this helps. PiCo (talk) 09:50, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
You are constructing an unsourced metanarrative around these sources that arrives at an unsourced synthetic conclusion. Killebrew in 2005 says p. 13, "These small sites are distinguished by the limited number of ceramic forms and their relative percentages, as well as the agrarian nature of their settlement plans." Even if that is Finkelstein's theory, she is presenting the distinction as still extant in 2005, and Miller does not debunk these two markers in 1986 either. If you think her theory has been debunked, you need to source that. The other problem is the assumption of words like "mainstream" and "normative", which are very unhelpful (that is the opinion of two respected FTN editors on this broader topic area). Even if you believe it's mainstream, it is still appropriate to attribute the alleged minority view properly to "archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein" or the like: Killebrew p. 176 says, "One species, the pig, is notably absent. ... Some archaeologists have interpreted this to indicate that the ethnic identity of the highland inhabitants was distinct from Late Bronze Age indigenous peoples (see Finkelstein 1997, 227–30). Brian Hesse and Paula Wapnish (1997) advise caution, however, since the lack of pig bones at Iron I highland settlements could be a result of other factors that have little to do with ethnicity." This may accommodate the concern because some editors take attribution as a sign of minority status, although I don't; if you want to attribute "this is not certain" to Hesse and Wapnish, that can be done too. Your statement "it might be a food taboo ... we have to get across in our article" is a shocking admission, as you haven't mentioned the food taboo for two months, but since you've said that, it might also be worth sourcing and including.
Now I can do one thing: the past tense "interpreted" in Killebrew can be used to place Finkelstein further in the past than the other two POVs; I had simply used "have been said" for all three for parallelism, but I can change two of them to "are said", leaving the following:
certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans are said to be distinctives of highland sites,[29] and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but are also said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[30] While archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein interpret the absence of pig bones from the highland sites as an indicator of ethnicity,[31] this is not certain.[4]
In accord with BRD, I will make this change for the next baseline because it is a compromise to your position on two points, though I admit not the biggest one. Your long new paragraph I will just tag once for discussion later when I can review the source. JJB 15:17, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi Dylan

I made an edit presented as a compromise to PiCo that accommodated two of PiCo's points; PiCo has been silent; and Dylan has reverted with the incomprehensible summary "per discussion". Now we could game BRD either way, because Dylan could claim he was reverting my bold even though he was no part of the content discussion, or I could claim I am reverting his bold because BRD is two-party and I concluded the conversation with PiCo. But let's cut to the chase. Dylan, I am undoing due to policy violations. You have 28 hours to provide a source-based reason for your removal of sourced POVs in favor of a single POV and your insertion of a completely unrelated source page and a completely synthetic clause, or I will report you for cold-warring, or hot on your second revert after this statement. JJB 23:09, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to report me for any imaginary crimes that please you. I reverted your change because it is not in line with the consensus formed in this discussion, and I reserve the right to revert it again at some time in the future. Dylan Flaherty 23:24, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Claiming consensus does not make it so. My edit summary stands: "Delete syn; Silberman p. 248 says nothing about ancient Israel or Judah, and assuming Israel's highlands relate to it is unsourced synthesis. Also redundant with Bright 2000 p. 473." Your response presented zero defense against this charge of policy violation, in full: "Hi. Let's have that discussion. And now that it's here, PiCo and LeadWind will actually know about it." The only sentence you claim for consensus was PiCo's, which also presents zero defense against WP:SYN: "I have to agree with Dylan on this one: the paragraph needs to reflect generally held academic views, and do this accurately, while being pitched at the general reader." You continued to provide zero defense, and PiCo continued to discuss other issues than the synthesis and coatracking (inapplicability) of his clause. Thus by your own statements the "consensus" refers to a generic statement that does not address the policy violations cited in my initial edit on this cycle (as well as for the last two months without resolution). Further, I see no incivility in my comment above; I stated that your summary was incomprehensible to me and provided reasons why. Now, when one party is citing policy and sources and the other party is talking about everything but, the first party is generally understood as attempting to avoid edit war: my second-to-last edit here was a compromise to PiCo, who has been WP:SILENT since, and my last edit was one revert (compatible with BRD per above), following your "incomprehensible" summary, which I can only conclude was a failed appeal to the "consensus" that (even if considered a rare true 2-on-1 consensus) has no applicability to the edit's rationale itself. Nor am I threatening to revert above, but you are. I also told you that your latest (passive) refusal to mediate would be taken as disinterest in the topic area, but you have combined the rejection of mediation with the continuation of what can only be considered disruption, for the reasons abundantly stated on this and two other talkpages. However, my decision on writing the report will of course be based on Big Ben and the Tower of Pisa (time and inclination). JJB 00:57, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Your edit summary, and the edit itself, have been criticized as edit-warring and a personal attack. Take the hint and back off. I suggest that you revert that change. Dylan Flaherty 01:00, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Response to JohnJBulten

Actually, a response to John's proposed revision of the paragraph under discussion.

John, first let me thank you for framing your proposal as a compromise edit. Nevertheless, while compromise is a desirable goal, accuracy is even more so, and I'm afraid your proposal is based on a misunderstanding of your sources.

Here's your proposal:

  • "Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture:[32] certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans are said to be distinctives of highland sites,[33] and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but are also said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[34] While archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein interpret the absence of pig bones from the highland sites as an indicator of ethnicity,[35] this is not certain.[4]"

Of course, you're not disputing the lead clause - "Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture" - I added it just for context.

Now to begin, the first sentence in your post above is this: Killebrew in 2005 says p. 13, "These small sites are distinguished by the limited number of ceramic forms and their relative percentages, as well as the agrarian nature of their settlement plans. It's not clear to me how you're interpreting this sentence, but I get a "vibe" that your understanding of it may not be accurate. Nobody believes anything other than what Killebrew says here, not Finkelstein and certainly not me. What she's saying is that the Iron I hill sites have a reduced number of "ceramic types" compared with the Late Bronze urban sites (and urban sites are all there are in Late Bronze - it was an urban culture), and she's saying that they have an "agrarian" form (she means the circular plan with a sheepfold in the middle, versus the more obviously "urban" form of streets and lanes that you find in the Late Bronze town plans). As I say, I'm not sure what you're building on top of this sentence, but you seem to have misinterpreted both parts of it (the ceramics and the settlement pattern). On the ceramics, she's saying that the number of forms is reduced - which is only to be expected when you move from a sophisticated urban culture to a primitive village-based one. The types of ceramic forms don't change, only the number - some Late Bronze forms are lost (no imported ware, notably), but none of the Iron I forms are totally new. As for the settlement plans (the circular outlines), this applies only to the very earliest Iron I villages - the bulk of the villages don't show this plan at all. So to summarise, Killebrew isn't saying anything that contradicts the existing sentences in our article.

Now your second sentence: and collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but are also said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[36]. This, of course, is not what Miller says. In fact it's not what anyone says these days. The collar-rimmed jars and 4-roomed houses were thought by Albright to be distinctively highland ("Israelite"), but they've since been found in Transjordan and the lowlands, and today absolutely nobody takes them as markers of "Israelite" sites. (I take it you understand what I mean by a "marker" of an Israelite site - it means a physical indication that a certain site was inhabited by Israelites as opposed to anyone else).

On pig bones, this sentence of yours is pretty good: "One species, the pig, is notably absent. ... Some archaeologists have interpreted this to indicate that the ethnic identity of the highland inhabitants was distinct from Late Bronze Age indigenous peoples (see Finkelstein 1997, 227–30). Brian Hesse and Paula Wapnish (1997) advise caution, however, since the lack of pig bones at Iron I highland settlements could be a result of other factors that have little to do with ethnicity." I'd change "some archaeologists" to "Israel Finkelstein", since this idea is very much associated with him (he wrote a major study), but otherwise, ok. I suggest this sentence: "One species, the pig, is notably absent from highland settlents. Israel Finkelstein (Finkelstein 1997, 227–30) has interpreted this as an ethnic indicator for the highlands, but Brian Hesse and Paula Wapnish advise caution, (1997) since the lack of pig bones could be a result of other factors that have little to do with ethnicity." (I'll tweak it a little to give in-line indications of the relevant publications). All these - Finkelstein's study and the Hesse/Wapnish pa are very well-known in the scholarly community. (Slightly later: I amended the sentence slightly). PiCo (talk) 04:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

PiCo, are you by any chance familiar with the views of Marvin Harris, as found in "Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches"? Dylan Flaherty 04:44, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
No, I can't say I am - thanks for drawing him to my attention. I gather from the blurb on Amazon that he argues that human behaviour has material causes - always. If he's that reductionist I don't think I'd agree. One reason I've seen advanced for the Jewish prohibition on pork was simply that the Philistines ate it - if the Philistines were For, the Jews would be Against, on principle. (To put that in more sophisticated language, pork-avoidance began as a self-imposed cultural marker, one of many by which the Jews sought to distinguish themselves from non-Jews. I don't think this one works, though - people from Turkey to Iran avoided pork, all the Jews did was put it in a law-code).PiCo (talk) 07:16, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, that would make it like the various prohibitions against their neighbors' behaviors, including mixing fabrics and cutting the corners of beards, so it's plausible. However, Harris' theory is perhaps simpler. He argues that none of the food prohibitions are against things that are economically viable in that environment. For example, insects just aren't worth the trouble, seafood far from oceans isn't going to be fresh, and swine eat the wrong foods and need too much water.
They eat the wrong foods in that, not being ruminants, they can't live on grass and instead eat the sorts of things we do (or could; I don't enjoy acorns or slop). They need substantial amounts of water in a hot, dry environment, not only to drink, but to cool themselves by wetting their skin, as they can't sweat. The very things that make them so useful in island environments also make them a poor choice in a desert. As supporting evidence, he points out that neighbors, such as the Arabs, actually share this prohibition, which would go against the "it's like mixed fabrics" explanation.
That's as good a summary as I can give you off the top of my head. Not sure I know enough to endorse it, but if it has any validity, it might account for why there are no pigs eaten in the mountains. Dylan Flaherty 07:33, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate that error ratio is down and tone is up; but please don't treat my quote of Killebrew as my own phrasing to be tweaked ("On pig bones, this sentence of yours"), it only confirms the OR evidence and the (amply-evidenced above) difficulty you have repeating accurately what you have read. Also, the reply thread is indulgence in unsourced side ideas, not article improvement.
You seem to say, "Killebrew isn't saying anything that contradicts the existing sentences in our article," as an argument for deleting Killebrew on agrarian plans, but this deletion conclusion is contrary to your whole graf, because the idea that pig bones are a unique distinction is clearly contradicted by the idea that "distinguished" differences in repertoire and city plan are also present. Thus if you're going to continue your two-month defenseless defense of synthesizing pig bones as "unique" without a source, you must also include Killebrew's present POV that there are other distinctions. So your argument (ignoring your concluding non sequitur) is not directed to removal of this clause's POV. You seem to agree the source can be summarized by my gloss "certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans are said to be distinctives of highland sites", but you are arguing instead that it's redundant. However, if another editor presents reasonable evidence that it isn't, and if it truly "isn't saying anything that contradicts", then you have no reason for deleting what another editor evidences as nonredundant.
On the pithoi, you agree on including the clause but in this case you use words that "may introduce bias": "to write that a person ... found something can imply that it is true." (You also continue to use the anachronistic Palestine rather than the accurate Canaan, continuing to revert without comment.) Since Albright is a significant includible POV (as you admit), it is necessary not to suggest with the word "found" that Albright has been debunked, because Miller has not debunked him; I quote myself above, 'Miller preserves the (Albright) POV "claims have been made ... specifically 'Israelite'", and does not disagree with it on its own terms, but roundabout, by saying that (only) two such indicators have "nothing intrinsically 'Israelite'". Thus your insertion of "were once identified as ... but have been found" improperly discounts the Albright POV as if Miller addresses it directly when he doesn't.' Now I see on review that I have made a slight sourcing error myself, and I am just as hard on myself as on anyone else about that, so my sentence should be corrected from saying the two most serious features were called Israelite to the whole set of features. In my composition I intended the clause "certain features such as" to be retained to express this distinction, but in the vast chaos it was moved to the wrong place; so as another small compromise I will move the clause, which will again attempt to address your concerns about conformity to Miller. Since the whole set of features that Miller was aware of were not debunked by him, but only two representative features, Albright's POV is still significant and should not be synthetically presented as debunked when it isn't.
Now since your new proposal on the pig bones is almost a direct quote of Killebrew (which should thus be cited) and not my own text, I will accept it with adjustments: first, your attempt to adjust Killebrew's attribution to plural archaeologists by your personal knowledge of the primary attribution to Finkelstein does not change the source, so I echo the previous language with "archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein have"; second, your source identifies Hesse and Wapnish more specifically as "internationally recognized specialists" (Silberman p. 25) rather than generic "scholars", so I would use "specialists" or some other specific classification. That same p. 25 also gives us an entree to admit generically the point you raised about food taboos.
The paragraph you detagged still needs review, but it can be tagged again when this is complete.
In short, this is at least an edit set that can be interacted with, and it's clear that we're both able to yield ground now, so there may be more light now at the end of the tunnel than at its beginning. JJB 19:38, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Your comment is long on hostility, short on usefulness. You can do better. Dylan Flaherty 20:05, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Dylan, your latest disruptive revert on one point is interfering with my discussion with PiCo that is starting to appear constructive. This reversion again reinserts a POV bias that has been challenged and discussed for two full months. The bias is present in a violation of the MOS's guidance on the word "claim" "found". Even though your reversions continue to lack either sourcing or policy backing, I invite you again to explain why the MOS should be violated because of something you have never sourced in two months. The sourcing shows that Albright's POV has not been debunked by Miller and thus it should appear without words ("found" et al.) that can be read as biased – even though I've already compromised by putting Albright in the past tense and the others in the present tense. Again, this disruption will be reported at my leisure; and as long as the current status of the discussion continues not to show evidence supporting your MOS violation, I consider myself free to revert whether or not you respond. JJB 23:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
John, it might be a good thing if you didn't threaten people quite so much. Anyway, I have a request: personally I don't have all hours and hours to spend each day on Wikipedia, and you seemk to spend your whole day on a keyboard. Could you please bring any future edits to the Talk page, as proposals, rather than simply putting them into the article. This will save us all a lot of time. Thanks in advance PiCo (talk) 23:48, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
John, I just explained that you were being hostile in a counterproductive way. Unfortunately, your reaction was to continue the hostilities. I made a very careful reversion of a single sentence, and I stand by it. I could have reverted more, but I thought it would be better to focus on what we actually disagree with. Instead, you focus on threatening me. Again, you can do better, and you should. But until you do, there's little to discuss. Dylan Flaherty 00:05, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I note that Dylan has again defaulted on an invitation to discuss improving the article and has again decided to prefer argumentum ad hominem. If there was a reason for "standing by" the reversion, this was the latest in a series of missed opportunities to say why it was "very careful". As near as I can tell, Dylan is saying that, as long as he disagrees with my civility standards, he is free to refuse to discuss; but if this is the case, it is neither an excuse to fail to present reasons that are requested of him, nor an excuse to fail to report my alleged continued hostility, counterproductiveness, and threats. As long as no reason is presented for violating guidance on the word "found" (I mistakenly said "claim" above, that's a different recalcitrant editor in a different entrenched discussion, sorry), I include this in the 24-hour limit I gave PiCo below, as Dylan irrationally disrupted a compromise text between myself and PiCo. JJB 14:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
In this context, "note" is one of those WP:SAY words. It's a claim. Likewise, "ad hominem" has a very specific meaning, and it does not apply here. In short, all I see from your response is smoke. Dylan Flaherty 14:04, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Your objection to my using "note" in talk is another ad hominem and another default on improving the article. Please cease the documented disruptions. JJB 14:15, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
John, as a non-participant in this exchange, I really do think that you should re-read what you've written - the tone isn't very friendly. PiCo (talk) 10:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
An argumentum ad hominem is a debate point that avoids discussion of the article by discussing the editor. Dylan has done this quite obviously in perhaps 10 out of his last 15 talk edits. However, this response to your request is not intended to imply any avoidance of discussion of the article, because my point continues unrebutted by Dylan or you here, that the article should not violate WP:CLAIM due to considerations that appear to be OR, and an evaluation of your position below will follow there. JJB 17:30, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

JohnJBulten (cont.)

I introduced this break largely to make the thread more easily navigable. John, you're continuing to misunderstand the sources and the overall situation with regard to the archaeology. Let me explain in point-form:

  • Use of "Palestine": This is normal terminology - you only have to read a few pages of the books we're looking at - McNutt, Dever, Killebrew, Finkelstein, etc etc - to see that.
  • "Ceramic repertoire": the phrase means the range of ceramic forms found at a site or group of sites; the repertoire of the Iron I hill villages isn't different from that of the LB I sites, except in being "impoverished", meaning that the pottery is less sophisticated and the variety smaller (as you'd expect when moving from a town-based culture to a village-based one).
  • Your phrase: "certain features such as ceramic repertoire and agrarian settlement plans are said to be distinctives of highland sites": this is incorrect - they were said to be distinctive, back in Albright's time, but are no longer said to be. The wording of the current para, which is well-sourced, is correct. (In other words, Albright has indeed been "debunked", although neither I nor, were he alive today, Albright himself, would use that word - Albright was "debunked" over the dates of Jericho, but was quite happy to accept that he had been proved wrong there, and would, I'm sure, be happy to accept the same about the collar-rimmed pithoi and the 4-room houses).
  • Pig bones and Finkelstein: We source this to Finkestein because he wrote the book on it. The book in question was an exhaustive study of the archaeology of Early Iron Ephraim (the central highland area), as known at that time. Subsequent archaeologists have either supported or questioned him, but he's the base-line. So we source it to him.

Incidentally, Dylan is right to say that your comment-style is long on hostility. Your relationships could improve if you adopted a more collegiate tone. PiCo (talk) 23:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

And your relationships could improve if you ceased the introduction of so many simultaneous errors, and stopped reverting and/or introducing new text that says the same thing instead of acting like you're compromising when you're not, and stopped contradicting yourself. Let's see:
  • "Palestine", among other names, may be normal terminology today, but it is anachronistic terminology for speaking of the land three millennia ago, and WP has a history of being very careful about spatiotemporal names. You yourself admitted "before (classical times) it was Canaan and various other names" and the article at that time said "By Roman times the name Canaan had been dropped in favour of 'Philistia'", the predecessor of "Palestine", which you let stand. So in this case it is necessary to correct the source solecism to accord with projectwide naming guidance. There is no such beast as "Iron I Palestine". This is a nonstarter for you.
  • You deleted Killebrew p. 13 yet again, after saying nobody disagrees with it and it doesn't contradict anything already present. Your two-month fight against what your own source says is telling. If your (new) objection is that the only difference is "impoverishment", source that claim and add it.
  • Since you divided this into two parts, if you believe Albright has been fully debunked on the issues of "impoverished" repertoire and four-roomers, source that claim and add it. You also contradict yourself; you are now saying again my gloss is incorrect, but you haven't shown it says anything different from Killebrew, and you said, "Nobody believes anything other than what Killebrew says here, not Finkelstein and certainly not me." And we do not engage in OR over what we are sure dead people (Albright) would say if they were alive. C'mon.
  • The problem with your idea of sourcing to Finkelstein is that you deleted him from the article. Since you believe in sourcing him, I could just add him back, though your new grammar makes it more difficult. You could continue to object that I should not add "archaeologists like" to the name "Israel Finkelstein", but that would also be an argument against source that you are not addressing from source but from OR about the importance of the other archaeologists.
  • Add: You also, while claiming "reflects the sources", delete reference to your own just-added Hesse and Wapnish, from which you get "specialists have advised caution", and despite your statement that we need to get across that it may be food taboos.
In short, you have been so contradictory on these points that, except for adding the word "impoverished" as another compromise and rearranging Finkelstein to fit your new grammar, I could revert your entire edit while sourcing it to you. I will probably do that later because you have said so. Yes, my tone does get strained after two months of dealing with the same issues with a self-contradictory discussion partner. JJB 12:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I've decided to follow your request and put my next draft on talk instead of partial revert, because it is less likely for Dylan to disrupt and because talk is not an excluded draft method. However, because you (PiCo) have several times (now mostly archived) refused to discuss when something appears at talk, it is necessary to lay down terms with you civilly, as I have with Dylan. Since you edit most every weekday, the following text will be reinserted if there are 24 consecutive hours without your involvement:
Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture:[37] agrarian settlement plans and "impoverished"[citation needed] ceramic repertoire are said to be distinctives of highland sites,[38] and certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but also are said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[39] The pig is notably absent from highland settlements: specialists have advised caution in interpreting this as an ethnic marker (as archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein have interpreted it), since the lack of pig bones could reflect factors that have little to do with ethnicity;[40] the issue of food taboos has been discussed in detail.[41]
I have also reverted Dylan's violation of WP:CLAIM above, because he has not presented any reason to violate that guidance; and I swapped two nouns to prevent "impoverished" applying to both of them.
In re your comments about the time we have to type out responses, we have the same need not to spend hours and hours on this, which has been my point all along. So much time has been spent that I don't mind adding a couple minutes on a digressive point: we are all three obviously doing what we're doing for reasons additional to improving the article. I'll be happy to confess my own psychological reasons: the longer it takes to "win" a "victory for NPOV" over "obvious self-contradiction", the bigger the payoff when the other party relents the "self-contradictions". So there is no psychological loss in continuing the time involved ostensibly in the simple "improvement" task. You two probably also have similar additional reasons for continuing what I see as a string of rationalizations for stalling the NPOV/V/NOR correction of one edit set. I say this because there is always hope, based on your time statement above, that you will recognize your folly two months ago and silently, or even verbally, abandon it sooner rather than later. However, whatever your decision, I can promise you my intent is to stay the course, offering compromise whenever possible, until consensus is reached; so your current course, the apparent rationalization series, is counterproductive. JJB 13:47, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

John, I'm not sure what you want me to do with your proposed edit. But I'll start by analysing it. Let me say first that it's very hard to construct a coherent narrative from it - it looks like a string of "facts", but they don't depend on any premise and they don't lead to any conclusion. To put that another way: just what are you trying to say here? What's the theme? Here it is again:

  • Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture:[42] agrarian settlement plans and "impoverished"[citation needed] ceramic repertoire are said to be distinctives of highland sites,[43] and certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but also are said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan.[44] The pig is notably absent from highland settlements: specialists have advised caution in interpreting this as an ethnic marker (as archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein have interpreted it), since the lack of pig bones could reflect factors that have little to do with ethnicity;[45] the issue of food taboos has been discussed in detail.[46]

You begin by saying that the Iron I settlements have considerable continuity with Late Bronze culture - that's the import of the first sentence. What's the next sentence got to do with that? One would expect a concrete example or two to illustrate this continuity. But we get this: "agrarian settlement plans and "impoverished" ceramic repertoire are said to be distinctives of highland sites". (Aside: "distinctive", not "distinctives" - there's no such word). What does this have to do with the continuity (or even the non-continuity) of Late Bronze/Iron I culture? What point are you making?

Then you go on: "certain features such as collar-rimmed jars and four-roomed houses have been said to be intrinsically "Israelite," but also are said to belong to a commonly shared culture throughout Iron I Canaan." This is factually incorrect, or at least misleading - they were said by Albright, many years ago, but are no longer said. But again, what point are you trying to make?

Next you say: "The pig is notably absent from highland settlements: specialists have advised caution in interpreting this as an ethnic marker (as archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein have interpreted it), since the lack of pig bones could reflect factors that have little to do with ethnicity". You're right that pig bones are absent from highland villages, but the rest of the sentence is a mess. What you're trying to say is that Finkelstein has said this absence can be taken as an ethnic marker (he meant that when you find a highland village without pig bones, it's Israelite), but that subsequent scholars have questioned this (pig bones are absent from lots of sites in the Middle East, many of which never saw an Israelite).

And your last sentence tells us that "the issue of food taboos has been discussed in detail." The reader is going to wonder what the heck you're trying to tell him.

John, please go back, think =very hard about what point you want to make, and give us another draft. I might be going out on a limb here, but I think you want to demonstrate that the highland villages were settled by Israelites who were not Canaanites - who were, in fact, the Israelites described in the Book of Joshua. If that's what you want, you need to be clear. Well you need to be clear in any case: what are you trying to say?

Ok, so let's construct a logical, coherent, purposive paragraph. We begin with the statement: "Archaeologists and historians see more continuity than discontinuity between the highland settlements and the preceding Late Bronze Canaanite culture" (sourced to Bright, 2002 - not actually Bright, he was dead by then). So our next task is to illustrate just where they see this continuity. The most obvious place to look is the "ceramic tradition", since bits of broken pots are what most digs are all about. So let's take this: "The Iron I ceramic repertoire is considered by experts to be a direct continuation of the Late Bronze ceramic tradition." That's from Diana Edelman, "Ethnicity and Early Israel". (Don't get over-excited when you see that she's arguing that there were lots of different populations in the highlands - we're only trying to illustrate the continuity). Ok, so now we've illustrated one major aspect of this continuity. We could mention others, such as language and religion, but we won't bother. Are there any discontinuities? Yes. Pig bones. In fact they're the only discontinuity. We have to mention them. What can we say? First let's just establish the fact: pig bones are absent from highland sites and present in lowland ones. What do scholars make of this? Finkelstein says it's an "ethnic marker" - the highlanders avoided pigs because it was against their religion, religion being an aspect of "ethos" - and some agree: take Golden for example: "[I]t is reasonable to suppose that this practice (the avoidance of pigs) began with people exploiting the more arid areas that could simply not support pig husbandry...in time this may have translated into an avowed cultural prohibition...which at the same time served as a distinct point of difference between distinct cultural groups..." namely Israel and not-Israel. Others, however, urge caution, for reasons you're already aware of (lots of people in the ANE avoided pigs, not just the biblical Hebrews).

So what we need to say is this: (1) archaeologists see more continuity than discontinuity between Late Bronze Canaan ( a lowland culture) and the Iron I highlands; (2) example: ceramics; (3) but there's one major difference, namely pig bones; (4) but whether or not the absence of pigs means the presence of Israelites is a matter of dispute. And we finish up with the sentence about the emergence of Israel (biblical Israel, that is) from a mixed population with its roots in LB Canaan.

With that, we'll have a paragraph that reflects the current scholarly understanding of what was happening in Iron I Israel. (By the way, since you seem quite convinced that modern archaeologists still regard the collar-rim pithoi as distinctively Israelite, see Edelman, page 42). PiCo (talk) 10:37, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

You see what I mean about the perils of not reverting: you admit not being sure what to do with a proposed edit placed on talk rather than as a partial revert. The answer is: interact with the concerns it expresses and seek consensus on resolving them, not ignore them and dilate. You also object that my sentences "don't depend on any premise and they don't lead to any conclusion". No kidding! Have you not yet learned that WP does not advocate premises or conclusions unless they appear in reliable sources? Are you actually admitting that you think WP should lead readers to unstated conclusions? When you want to know what my theme or motive or message is, how could it be anything other than to accuractly report and weight what reliable sources have said?
Your throwaway insults, like objecting to the Webster's Third word "distinctives", objecting to "Bright 2002" when he is still listed as posthumous author, and calling my sentence a "mess" when it was your own sentence with a short parenthesis inserted, are mentioned in passing only because it's easier than copying them to your talk. I repeat that I'm glad the ratio is down.
Examples of your original synthesis of texts: you take my first sentence, which weighs both continuity and discontinuity, and act as if my "import" is to speak only of continuity. You act as if that sentence should be followed by illustrations only of continuity, rather than by weighing both factors stated. You take my sentence stating "certain features have been said" and say it's incorrect because "they were said ... but are no longer said"; I already changed the tense to agree with you, but you act as if "have been said" is not "were said" (I can compromise to "were said" if it would only solve things!), or as if you have sourced the idea that all the features, not just the main two, are no longer said. You are simplifying Finkelstein as saying that all nonpig highland villages are Israelite, without source. You then jump to guess my own conclusion, by saying, "I think you want to demonstrate that the highland villages were settled by Israelites who were not Canaanites - who were, in fact, the Israelites described in the Book of Joshua." Why would I want to demonstrate such a thing if it does not appear in reliable sources? All theories of Israel-Canaan connection should be represented. And your final statement again misrepresents me as saying present archaeologists regard these pithoi as Israel markers, when I don't believe I ever said that, and earlier discussion (such as use of the present tense) was never intended to convey such a tenuous implication.
In short, your first set of arguments either synthesize unproven positions, or do not raise any other objection than that you don't know what I'm saying. What I'm saying is pretty simple. When I say, "the issue of food taboos has been discussed in detail," I mean the issue of food taboos has been discussed in detail; reasonable implications include that food taboos often have something to do with food being notably absent, and that whether this is the case here has been discussed in detail, and even that presumably parties have come down on all sides of the argument. Good encyclopedic overview in that short clause. The other phrases all work the same way: I'm saying what the sources say, without drawing my own conclusions.
You go on by asking me to think very hard (as if I haven't in the past 2 months) and to give you yet another draft. Well, I'll change "have been said" to "were said", that's a start. You also want to provide more evidence of continuity in ceramic repertoire, which is fine if it's in sources (your burden) and balanced by evidence of discontinuity in ceramic repertoire (i.e., the distinctiveness of Killebrew p. 13, your other source, burden already met; you say this distinctiveness is its "impoverishment" or different percentages of representation). Naturally, I reserve the right, if you insert Edelman, to review for contextualization; but your OR that pig bones are the only discontinuity continues to belie your sources. Your reliance on Finkelstein belies your continued deletion of him; and if you want to insert Golden as well, to indicate husbandry/ethnic marker in addition to religious/ethnic marker, that's fine too, and again your burden.
Since you've thought very hard about "what we need to say", you need to source your metanarrative that follows that comment. On (2), you would source evidence of continuity in ceramic repertoire to combat the evidence present of discontinuity (by which I mean distinctiveness in population percentages, not difference in population members). On (3), you would source evidence that pig bones are a unique case.
Since you see McNutt on emergence as a sum-up sentence, I should bring up a separate problem I've had with that, namely that McNutt contradicts Dever. Obviously an established cultural entity Israel in 1209 is patently contradictory to a population only beginning to identify as Israel after 1200. I was going to, after the smoke cleared, recommend moving McNutt from the end of para 2 to the end of para 1, to be in contradistinction to Dever. If you are implying that McNutt's placement at the end of 2 contributes some conclusions to the reader, that is more reason to move her to para 1.
On top of all this, you appear to press any advantage you received from my politely declining to revert, by your unrelatedly deleting the compromise sentence you have consented to for nearly 2 months, viz., "The Bible narratives are ascribed to the eras they depict by Bava Batra 14b ff. (Talmud) and early Church Fathers." When you present Golden's POV about this same point, it is complete bias to exclude what you've admitted is a significant historical complementary POV. The fact is even more telling that you waited to do it until you simultaneously deleted a third-party misweighted sentence, with the summary, "deleted this sentence - we can't afford to go thru the bible verse by verse": not only are you using a strawman for deleting the misweight, as nobody is arguing for verse-by-verse, but you are also not adverting your deletion of two sentences, the other being the longstanding consensus sentence. This could be construed as a deceptive summary; it certainly is inaccurate to delete two and speak of deleting "this" one. I will reinsert this consensus based on the fact that the consensus sentence, also deleted while the misweighted sentence was explained, was not deleted with any explanation or rationale.
My next task, because there is some new info but not much, is to present another compromise version, in sentence-by-sentence edits, and to copy the differences below in a new section. I may succeed in updating the former RFC discussion because the number and placement of sentences has moved significantly enough to renumber them. Please do not create your own new sections and discuss the edits separately from my description of them: please keep discussion of each sentence to its own section. JJB 18:34, 23 November 2010 (UTC)