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In another answer, someone said that Rashi thinks Ashbaal is changed to Ishboshet (sorry for spelling) as derogatory to the baal.

So Ishboshet's real name is Ashbaal but then some scribes changed that.

If that's true, then how is the bible inerrant? If people change the actual content of the bible with false information to fit their theological agenda. What am I missing here?

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possible duplicate of Does Torah inerrancy extend to the prophets and the writings? – Seth J Mar 7 '12 at 14:36
@SethJ, I think this is actually a special case thereof. The title here should probably be more specific. – Isaac Moses Mar 7 '12 at 14:42
@IsaacMoses The Ishboshet question was already asked. The Na"Ch question was already asked. The Torah question as the basis for the Na"Ch question was already asked. Between all three of those, I think the question is covered. – Seth J Mar 7 '12 at 14:45
@SethJ, Isn't this a natural follow-on of points raised in the Ishboshet question? – Isaac Moses Mar 7 '12 at 14:51
@SethJ, what do you think now? – msh210 Mar 7 '12 at 15:30
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This example does not seem to be one of Biblical errancy. Rashi was saying that the author of this particular work within the Bible chose a derogatory nickname, replacing Baal for the negative Boshet. (Or perhaps even contemporaries of Ish Boshet called him that.) Rashi was not saying that scribes edited out Ish Boshet and replaced the original Biblical text.

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see the Malbim quoted here as well: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ish-bosheth#The_other_name:_Ashba.27al – Menachem Mar 7 '12 at 17:01
Okay so we don't know for sure? Also does that mean the author of bible deliberately wrote false name? That sounds a lot like lying to me. – Jim Thio Mar 9 '12 at 11:18
What do you mean "we don't know for sure"? Did you read Rashi inside in Hebrew to get the sense of his words? This is one commentator's explanation. There was no one author of the Bible. The book of Shmuel was traditionally authored by Shmuel the prophet. Is it lying if I refer to George Bush as Dubya? If I call General Patreus "G. Betray Us"? Is it lying if, out of misplaced religious scruples, write Ado-shem instead of Adonai? If I refer disparagingly to males I look down upon as "those who pisseth against the wall", if in fact they use outhouses? Scholars of literature understand this. – josh waxman Mar 9 '12 at 15:25
Now that makes sense. Thanks for explanation. Still another question should be ask, why Saul named his son Ishbal? Does saul worship baal? – Jim Thio Mar 14 '12 at 9:53
Fascinating question. I would answer: (a) perhaps, though one would expect the Biblical text to mention it; (b) Saul had concubines (see e.g. 2 Sam 3:7), so maybe they worshiped Baal; (c) perhaps Baal just means 'lord' or 'master' (see Hosea), in which case it is a reference to Hashem, yet triggered editing / nicknaming by a Biblical author. One would need to make this work in harmony with the present Q/A, though. See here: books.google.com/… – josh waxman Mar 15 '12 at 0:13

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