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?


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.

  • 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.
    – user4951
    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. 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?
    – user4951
    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/… Mar 15 '12 at 0:13

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