Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
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05-06-2013, 11:46 PM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2013 12:35 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
There are two different versions of the creation. Two floods. Two different versions of the covenant with Abraham. Two different versions of the naming of Isaac. Two versions of Abraham claiming/lying to a foreign king that his wife Sarah was really his sister. Two stories of Jacob's trip to Babylon/Mesopotamia, two versions of the "revelation" to Jacob at Beth-El, two versions of his name being changed, two versions of Moses getting water from a rock, etc etc etc. In one set the deity is always named one thing. In the other set, the deity is ALWAYS named by the other name. They are entirely consistent. Some of the stories are even done in triplicate. The objection that the law must have existed prior to Exilic composition was the first, (long ago put to bed), objection to the hypothesis. Obviously they needed some sort of law to live by. However, it becomes obvious there are many layers of laws. It's easy to separate the laws of a "fertility" / nature cult, and many others that reflect a much higher and more developed set, based on sacrifice, ritual , and priestly office. So "lumping" the "*law* together is not helpful. There are laws, and there are laws. There are generally three stages in the religion, accepted by scholars, and the laws associated with each stage make perfect developmental sense.

There are many examples of the preferences given to each group (J in the South in Judah, and E in the North to the Northern tribes).

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ble-Bull-s

The grouping of the Northern traditions with E, and Southern tribes, with the J source, are entirely consistent. The story of the justification of the ascendancy of Judah is a perfect example. Reuben is the firstborn, and should have gotten Jacob's "double portion" inheritance. Simeon was the second son, and Levi the third. Judah was the fourth son of Jacob. In the J, (Southern tradition), the ascendant position of the tribe of Judah was "retroactively justified" as follows. Reuben is said to have slept with one of his father's concubines, (BTW so much for "Biblical marriage"), and Jacob finds out. The next two sons massacre too many people of the city, and that is the reason they were "denied". It's a very obvious attempt to "post-facto" justify an accomplished historical situation/fact. Judah was more powerful in the South, and the J tradition reflected it.

"Reuben you are my firstborn,
My strength and the beginning of my power.
preeminent in dignity, and preeminent in might.
UNSTABLE as water, you shall not be preeminent
Because you went up to your father's bed."

About the next two sons, these words were placed in Jacob's mouth by the authors/editors :

"Simeon and Levi are brothers,
Implements of destruction are the tools of their trade.
In anger they killed a man,
And in their anger they destroyed a bull.
Cursed is their anger, for it is fierce,
And their wrath, for it is too harsh.
I shall divide them in Jacob,
And I shall scatter them in Israel. "

But about the ("already ruling") Judah, he says :

Judah, you are the one your brothers will praise.
Your fathers sons will bow down to you.

JUDAH GETS THE BIRTHRIGHT IN "J".
Perfectly predictable.

However that's NOT what happens in E.
In the North, it's an entirely different story.

JOSEPH gets the double, (birthright) portion in the "E" version. But here it's done as a political trick, to validate the NORTHERN king. The "birthright" in E is given to Ephriam and Manasseh, (Joseph's sons). It's done in a tricky way however. Joseph's sons each get an equivalent "portion" to Reuben, (thus Joseph gets the *double portion), Simeon, and their other uncles. So what's the deal ? Why would the "E" source favor Joseph, and his line this way ? The answer is right there. When Jacob is doing the deathbed blessing, Joseph puts his sons in front of Jacob, in a way so that his right hand would fall on Manasseh, the older son. But Jacob CROSSES his arms. Joseph gets angry, and protests, but Jacob will not hear of it. So why would they cook up this version of the deathbed scene, so different from the Southern version. In the E version, not only is the firstborn NOT given the birthright, but not even the oldest grandson is favored. Why is that ? Well guess what ? Ephriam was King Jeroboam's (the king of the North) tribe. The North hated the the South, and it's king. (See the above link). The story was written/changed in the E version to make yet another political point, to validate the authority of the Northern king, and take a slap at the South. His capital was at Shechem, in the hills of Ephriam. In fact, "Ephriam" was another name for the Kingdom of Israel, (the NORTH), as opposed to Judah in the South.

There are countless examples of this sort of political purpose, in the combination of the texts. It all adds up to convincing proof, that there were two distinct versions, each written for their own political purposes, and later combined, to form a cohesive political document, to unite a post-Exilic country. It had NOTHING to do with "theological" traditions. It was about validation of human power systems, and political civil authority.

There other other interesting conflicts in the versions which perfectly support the Documentary Hypothesis, and it's POLITICAL purpose, and division. Both versions have the story of Joseph. But they conflict. In E, Reuben saves Joseph. In J, guess who saves him ? Ding ding.....Judah. Who else ? One other interesting tid-bit was at the end of Exodus, where Joseph asks, (only in E), that his bones be taken back to Shechem. (J could care less about that.) One of the most obvious (and hilarious) things, is that ONLY in E, is Joshua a hero/assistant to Moses. Why ? Because Joshua was a Northern hero. He was from Shechem, and dies and is buried there. J never talks about him, as having a leadership role. How obvious.

Another insult to Judah, by E, was the naming of the first of Solomon's wives as "an Egyptian". It was well known that no pharaoh would want his eldest daughter married to a foreigner. E, therefore, insults the royal family of Judah, in the South, by reminding them of that fact.

Next time, I'll look at the Jacob and Esau myth, and see why it was created the way it was, as a retrograde explanation of the political situation in the ancient Near East, with respect to the Kingdom of the Edomites, and it's relationship to Judah, and Israel. For your homework, look up the Hebrew word for "red". Tongue

The entire set of texts makes the most sense in light of the political divisions between North and South. Most of the OT is entirely about (very) local petty human politics. Not about "religion", or even philosophy.

There ARE six lines of evidence that support the Documentary Hypothesis.
1. The linguistic dialect in each source is known, and can be documented, by scholars, as separate by decades, or longer.
2. The terminology for the same idea, person, object, or place is different in each source.
3. The content of each of the sources is different.
4. The "flow" of the story works if the source materials are separated out and then re-combined.
5. The same known sources are similar or connect to the same known sources in other books.
6. The inferred political motivations for each source matches the material and it's apparent goals.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...other-Look

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06-06-2013, 11:52 AM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
Um, yes. There are also:

Kings and Chronicles

Four gospels

Two tellings of the seven years of Jacob's trouble in Revelation

*Now argue that the entire HB was written by only two people (you can't).

*There are dozens of names for God in the scriptures. Now argue that dozens of groups existed, not just five.

Here are some titles for Jesus in Revelation:

1:5 The First-born from the dead
1:5 The highest of earthly kings
1:8 The Alpha and Omega (also 22:13)
1:8 Lord God
1:8 The Almighty
1:13 Son of Man
1:17 The First and the Last (also 1:11;21:6;22:13)
1:18 The Living One
2:18 Son of God
3:14 Witness (also "faithful witness" in 1:5)
4:11 Creator
5:5 Lion of the Tribe of Judah
5:5 Root of David
5:6 The Lamb
7:17 The Shepherd
12:10 Christ (Anointed)
19:11 Faithful and True
19:13 Word of God
19:16 King of Kings
19:16 Lord of Lords

Where are the scholars who say 20 people wrote Revelation?

No, saying something is in the Bible twice doesn't prove your theory, especially since you have four or five groups of redactors, especially since God called people twice dozens of times in the Bible for an emphasis (Jacob, Jacob, Truly, Truly), especially since per the Law of Moses you need TWO or three witnesses to have a fact in evidence.
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06-06-2013, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 04:23 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
(06-06-2013 11:52 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Um, yes. There are also:

Kings and Chronicles

Four gospels

Two tellings of the seven years of Jacob's trouble in Revelation

*Now argue that the entire HB was written by only two people (you can't).

*There are dozens of names for God in the scriptures. Now argue that dozens of groups existed, not just five.

Here are some titles for Jesus in Revelation:

1:5 The First-born from the dead
1:5 The highest of earthly kings
1:8 The Alpha and Omega (also 22:13)
1:8 Lord God
1:8 The Almighty
1:13 Son of Man
1:17 The First and the Last (also 1:11;21:6;22:13)
1:18 The Living One
2:18 Son of God
3:14 Witness (also "faithful witness" in 1:5)
4:11 Creator
5:5 Lion of the Tribe of Judah
5:5 Root of David
5:6 The Lamb
7:17 The Shepherd
12:10 Christ (Anointed)
19:11 Faithful and True
19:13 Word of God
19:16 King of Kings
19:16 Lord of Lords

Where are the scholars who say 20 people wrote Revelation?

No, saying something is in the Bible twice doesn't prove your theory, especially since you have four or five groups of redactors, especially since God called people twice dozens of times in the Bible for an emphasis (Jacob, Jacob, Truly, Truly), especially since per the Law of Moses you need TWO or three witnesses to have a fact in evidence.

What an ignoramus. No one who advocates the Documentary Hypothesis says the texts were written by "two people*". Nice try at trying to deflect from the fact it is THE accepted hypothesis by the majority of scholars. (BTW everyone noticed you answered NOT ONE of the point presented above. NOT ONE). Just more actual prove you really have no education on this subject, (or anything else about which you constantly attempt to speak, yet continually make a fool of yourself). Revelation is NOT one of the texts that is the subject of the Hypothesis. How is it you make this HUGE error. Apparently, bu making this HUGE error, you hav ejust proven you are totally ignorant of what the Hypothesis even is. Just amazing.

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06-06-2013, 12:03 PM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
Quote:1. I never said they "needed a book of worship". Just SPJTJ lying again. Just proves SPJTJ has never really read anything legitimate about it, as they HAVE suggested and proposed all sorts of reasons for it.

Actually, you suggested that for the gospels, at which point I asked you why there would already be a complex Christian tradition in place requiring such...

Quote:Do you have any clue how long it took at that time to make even ONE copy of it, much less "thousands". What a joke you are. You know NOTHING of the ancient Near East.

Pot and kettle. You probably never understood that the masora counted words, what we could call verses, passages, and themes and noted how exact the scroll copy was or... what? What?! They burned it. The Jewish people are known for copying their scriptures in such a meticulous fashion that Qumran'er copies and older Torahs 1,000 years apart are IDENTICAL. So how do you take from this that there was a major redacting of all the canon and texts and no one noticed? I think you may be Jewish, how is it you are so ignorant about Jewish practice?

Quote:There are MOUNTAINS of editing evidence. Shakespeare's and Einstein's vocabulary and style did not change abruptly, every few pages, and chapters. You are a literary DOLT. You have no clue what you are even talking about, or denying.

No. 1) There is NO editing evidence. Not one verse. This is all theoretical. 2) What there is are changes that are eminently logical. But God is triune and wrote the scriptures through people. So what if He uses El in one Psalm and Yah in another? You're just grasping at straws.

Quote:A complete lie. Baal. Ashera, (Yahweh's WIFE), and the god Sin, (which became Allah), to name just three. Idols of all three, WITH idols of Yahweh have been found, TOGETHER. There are three, (4 actually), and I didn't even have to think about it.

I apologize. I should have written about alleged idols. You have four in mind. Four across the breadth and length of the land of Israel. And none of them are alone, each one is found in the very syncretism with other gods that the scriptures warn against. You are strengthening my point.

Quote:"distributed to thousands of synagogues (where Jews read Torah) by the 200s BCE."
There were never "thousands" of synagogues EVER. There probably aren't even "thousands" today. So now all you have to do is prove that piece of shit assertion.

You mentioned a minyan (quorum of ten) without which, what? You cannot found in a synagogue in a town or city or shtetl (or block in a city). I never said a building or edifice available to us in archaeology. I said a synagogue and was referring to the word in its usage of "congregation". Do you think we could have found thousands of groups of ten men who gathered to worship or judge their village as elders, etc. in ancient Israel?

The thing that bothers me is that you get so angry, as was noted by a forum member this week. Are any of these points of yours or mine smoking guns? I think not.
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06-06-2013, 12:06 PM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
Quote:What an ignoramus. No one who advocates the Documentary Hypothesis says the texts were written by "two people*". Nice try at trying to deflect from the fact it is THE accepted hypothesis by the majority of scholars. (BTW everyone noticed you answered NOT ONE of the point presented above. NOT ONE). Just more actual prove you really have no education on this subject, (or anything else about which you constantly attempt to speak, yet continually make a fool of yourself).

I answered you above and was writing while you were writing to insult me. My point was you are saying "two tellings" of stories, a term I've used in writing about prophecy, is evidence of four or five traditions of writers for the Old Testament, which does not follow inductively directly.

I understand it is the accepted hypothesis by the majority of scholars. Yes.
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06-06-2013, 12:27 PM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
(06-06-2013 12:03 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Actually, you suggested that for the gospels, at which point I asked you why there would already be a complex Christian tradition in place requiring such...

Do you have any clue how long it took at that time to make even ONE copy of it, much less "thousands". What a joke you are. You know NOTHING of the ancient Near East.

Pot and kettle. You probably never understood that the masora counted words, what we could call verses, passages, and themes and noted how exact the scroll copy was or... what? What?! They burned it. The Jewish people are known for copying their scriptures in such a meticulous fashion that Qumran'er copies and older Torahs 1,000 years apart are IDENTICAL. So how do you take from this that there was a major redacting of all the canon and texts and no one noticed? I think you may be Jewish, how is it you are so ignorant about Jewish practice?

You keep lying about my being Jewish, as your child-pea-brain cannot understand anything except in term of a 2 year old. YOU were talking about the OLD TESTAMENT and now you switch to trying to change the subject to the gospels. How pathetic. Fail. Obvious attempt at deflection. (Or are you suffering from dementia ?) I never said "no one noticed" You are SO ignorant of the ancient Near East it's not even worth talking to you.

(06-06-2013 12:03 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  No. 1) There is NO editing evidence. Not one verse. This is all theoretical. 2) What there is are changes that are eminently logical. But God is triune and wrote the scriptures through people. So what if He uses El in one Psalm and Yah in another? You're just grasping at straws.

Feeble attempt to dismiss what almost all scholars agree upon. Your god did not *became* triune* until the councils cooked up that crap. You have in no way even begin to prove your stupid asinine igorant assertions. The Hebrews had NO such concept, and you know it. It would have been blasphemy. You saying your point is strengthened, when I have destroyed you argument in no way "strengthens it" oh delusional one. You really are a pathetic joke. You stated a falsehood, and now attempt to deflect from the fact you had no clue what you were talking about.

(06-06-2013 12:03 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  The thing that bothers me is that you get so angry, as was noted by a forum member this week. Are any of these points of yours or mine smoking guns? I think not.

More deflection. You give yourself FAR FAR FAR too much credit. You forgot the rest of the question, and the answer, where I said I was NT angry. I am "assertive". You can't stand that someone my age stands up to your bullshit. Your bs and ignorant comments are so stupid I wouldn't waste any "anger" on the likes of you. You are a toy to be tossed around here, ONLY because you provide a perfect opportunity to show passing guest how ignorant American fundies are, and how little you people actually know about the subject you pretend to be experts on. By all means, keep making a fool of yourself, and my useful tool. WHat are you going to do when your daughter comes home from Yale, and says "Ummm. no one there buys ANY of your crap, daddy. Do you realize how stupid you look ?"

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06-06-2013, 12:36 PM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
(06-06-2013 11:52 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Um, yes. There are also:

Kings and Chronicles

Four gospels

Two tellings of the seven years of Jacob's trouble in Revelation

*Now argue that the entire HB was written by only two people (you can't).

*There are dozens of names for God in the scriptures. Now argue that dozens of groups existed, not just five.

Here are some titles for Jesus in Revelation:

1:5 The First-born from the dead
1:5 The highest of earthly kings
1:8 The Alpha and Omega (also 22:13)
1:8 Lord God
1:8 The Almighty
1:13 Son of Man
1:17 The First and the Last (also 1:11;21:6;22:13)
1:18 The Living One
2:18 Son of God
3:14 Witness (also "faithful witness" in 1:5)
4:11 Creator
5:5 Lion of the Tribe of Judah
5:5 Root of David
5:6 The Lamb
7:17 The Shepherd
12:10 Christ (Anointed)
19:11 Faithful and True
19:13 Word of God
19:16 King of Kings
19:16 Lord of Lords

Where are the scholars who say 20 people wrote Revelation?

No, saying something is in the Bible twice doesn't prove your theory, especially since you have four or five groups of redactors, especially since God called people twice dozens of times in the Bible for an emphasis (Jacob, Jacob, Truly, Truly), especially since per the Law of Moses you need TWO or three witnesses to have a fact in evidence.

Just more perverse ignorance. And all completely irrelevant. Revelation had NOTHING to do with the Documentary Hypothesis, as do all the titles listed. Just more proof SexuallyPleasingJebusTrollJoke needs to be fired, and told to get back to a real school.

There were at least two traditions. added to by the Priests and assembled by the Redactor. The STORIES ARE DIFFERENT, not just "repeated". Another fail. Not doing so well today, pops.

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07-06-2013, 10:59 AM
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
BB,

Let me try to clear up some miscommunication here if I may. You stated I never studied the (origins of) the Bible. I'm sure you use that statement with many Christians. My case is different:

I was saved in college at a secular university, and about a semester later changed my major to Religion so I could study all religions and my own. I'm in my forties, this was about 20 years ago. None of the faculty I had for Jewish studies, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam--any subject--were Bible believers or born again Christians. The Hinduism and Islamic studies teachers were devout adherents and tried to expose their beliefs and lifestyles to us, the Jewish and Christian studies teachers were Atheist/Agnostic.

We studied, were tested on, and reported on in papers, JEDP, Q source, Markan priority, the apocrypha, etc. I'm aware of the background of JDEP and purposely avoided discussing it before now. Neither of us have brought forward the fact that JDEP stems from higher criticism, which 1) worked consciously to disseminate Jehovah from the Christ of the New Testament 2) came from a scholarly tradition that was both anti-Semitic and today would be called "anti-fundamentalist" 3) helped sow seeds for a reactionary and Nazi Germany.

The question with those scholars and the question with you IMO isn't one of authorship but of authority. It's always easier to knock the boss and gossip to your fellow workers about how stupid the boss is than to follow his authority. This is an endemic problem among Atheists. I'm not talking about adherence to law or society but to God. A seeker is someone who says, "I'm skeptical about God but want to learn more," an Atheist (not all, just most) is someone who says, "I wouldn't follow the Bible God if He did exist, because I don't like his rules/morals/domineering nature/attitude."

I mentioned Revelation on purpose, knowing it has nothing to do with DH, to explain that we can see different writing styles within, and indeed two tellings in chronological order of Jacob's seven years (perhaps even consciously imitating the two tellings of Genesis) to spoof the DH. No one I know or have read says Revelation was compiled by a team yet it has changes within.

Again, you say I'm ignorant and/or uniformed in nearly every post. It's a free country, and without wanting to take on a martyr's attitude here, Jesus blesses me each time you curse me, in a sort of biblical version of "I'm rubber, you're glue" regarding your insults. Do be careful! However, I'll add I have a year of ancient Greek from university and additionally, a little Hebrew. My Aramaic is negligible. Smile

I've defended what I believe back then as I did now. And you must have tossed an ad populum at me five times on this thread if you did so once. I'm utterly aware that most scholars in most universities trust the DH, just as I'm aware that most religious scholars in most universities have little or no relationship with Christ. Now, while to me Atheist professors teaching DH as smoking gun-empirical demonstrated fact is as distasteful as listening to Josef Goebbels describe racial evolution and the benefits of social Darwinism, you're entitled to listen and learn from them in America.

However, please admit that "most scholars" have in times past taught the Earth to be flat, mold to appear spontaneously on bread, etc. - certainly, you can try to prove that these beliefs were even religiously informed. But my point stands. Why? Because one thing we can say about science and knowledge is that it is evolving. Do you not agree?

Also, I'll ask you honestly. Do you know of any modern scholar or even Renaissance or earlier scholar who saw any Bible team group edit any Bible book? Of course not. We know only of groups who translated scripture. I agree with you 100%, there are some unusual things in the scriptures that different people interpret differently. I want to also remind you that Peter warns,

"...Just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."

So most scholars who don't want to believe God inspired the Bible love the DH. So? Nu? So most scholars believe Jesus isn't God? And? Nu? So? And more people where I live are now for abortion and gay marriage than against it? And?

Remember what our parents told us, "Just because scholars jump off the Empire State Building and land on the Documentary Hypothesis doesn't mean you have to do so."

I apologize for my length.
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19-06-2013, 12:29 PM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2013 04:21 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
I could care less about your personal history. Your ignorance has shone through, whatever it was.
BTW, if you were saved, you were "saved" ... oh never mind. Salvation was cooked up by Saul of Tarsus. I could care less.
Of course you are totally wrong about the "authority". You have slapped YOUR OWN understanding of it onto others. One that is perfectly predictable. The arguments are all, entirely 100% text based. "Authority" has nothing to do with it, and in fact, the fact you would say that PROVES you are prejudiced, and could not under any circumstances accept it, as it threatens you and your fundi, childish, black and white, simplistic world-view, (just as your incorrect view of prophesy is). But that is entirely what I would expect a fundie to say. Black would *be* white if you needed to say it was, to maintain "authority".

"worked consciously to disseminate Jehovah from the Christ of the New Testament 2) came from a scholarly tradition that was both anti-Semitic and today would be called "anti-fundamentalist" 3) helped sow seeds for a reactionary and Nazi Germany."

Complete and utter bullshit, with absolutely (as usual) not one corroborating reference or supporting piece of documentation.
1. Some of the MOST famous DH scholars ARE/WERE Jews. I have quoted them and referenced them over and over. Fail again. In fact an outright attempted lie. Shame on you. You have no idea what their motivations were, and you have presented not one shred of evidence to prove that inflammatory piece of crap statement. It preceded National Socialism by decades, if not centuries. If if were used by them, it's hardly the fault of scholars.
2. I already told you who signed off on it. Are you saying 100's of the most prominent Christian scholars, seminary professors, and pastors all tried to "disseminate", (actually that phrase, in that context is improper English, as is meaningless) Jebus from the OT ? Just more crap, trying to deflect from the real argument.
dis·sem·i·nate
/diˈseməˌnāt/
Verb
Spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely.
Spread throughout an organ or the body.
3. Prove it.

As usual, NOT ONE actual academic argument, for or against it, made. Just fundi softballs thrown from the peanut gallery, by someone who obviously knows nothing about it really, and in fact, because of the "authority" crack, does NOT WANT TO EVEN HEAR about it, (in fact cannot hear about it as it threatens you, to the core). In fact, you have never once, ever, presented ONE text based argument against it, refuting even ONE of the points of the Hypothesis. Nice try reverend. You're still fired. Tongue
If THIS is an example of the work you did in college, what was acceptable to them, or what you *think* is scholarship, then it's no wonder you are in such bad shape.

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19-06-2013, 01:36 PM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2013 01:41 PM by maklelan.)
RE: Is The Documentary Hypothesis Still Valid?
Interesting question, but there's a lot of misunderstanding surrounding this topic that generally precludes a clear picture of the current state of the research. The first thing of which everyone should be aware is that the "Documentary Hypothesis" is not coterminous with JEDP. The DH is just one of several different models that attempt to explain how the different sources (JEDP and numerous others like H, R, JE, etc.) came together. According to DH, each source existed as a separate "Document" that was then worked together with others by editors to form a larger macro-narrative. Other models include the Fragmentary Hypothesis (fragments were brought together to produce larger chunks of narrative), the Supplementary Hypothesis (one core tradition was added onto in stages over time), the New Supplementary Hypothesis (changes the order of the sources added onto the core), etc.

This is important because fundamentalists and many conservative scholars don't take the time to come to know the actual theories associated with source criticism. What they learn are outdated and reductive misrepresentations that get perpetuated because that kind of pseudo-scholarship (read "apologetics") does not circulate within mainstream scholarship, so there aren't a lot of people around to correct the errors. They hear that DH is on the decline in the academy and they think this means Mosaic authorship must be making a comeback. Nothing could be further from the truth. A friend who came to an academically-oriented master's degree from a devotional degree told us one day that in his first degree they told him not to worry about learning about DH since nobody believes it anymore. He was quite surprised to find that that wasn't the case at all. Most are also unaware that source criticism of the Pentateuch began as an apologetic endeavor. It was Jean Austruc, an 18th century physician and theological hobbyist who came up with the idea of separate sources as a way to reconcile the contradictions of the different verses. He still insisted Moses was the editor who combined them all, but DH did not originate in critical scholarship, but in apologetics.

The majority of fundamentalist scholarship is based on early twentieth-century attempts to undermine critical scholarship that were published in a series called The Fundamentals (this is where the term "fundamentalist" comes from). Virtually all fundamentalist characterizations of critical biblical scholarship can be traced back to that series and its misunderstandings. Conservatives who do go into legitimate and thorough study of critical biblical scholarship generally don't return to fundamentalism. A good example of this phenomenon is Kenton Spark's book God's Word in Human Words, which attempts to convince the Evangelical community that they need to pull their heads out of the sand and acknowledge that critical scholarship is right.

It is certainly true that the Documentary Hypothesis is has been out of style for many years, that is only because it has been supplanted by more recent models that still incorporate sources like J, E, D, and P. Joel Baden, a young professor at Yale, is doing a fine job trying to defend the classical DH (see here), but the most intriguing new theories are coming out of Europe, and they argue that J and E were nothing more than fragmentary narratives confined to the beginning of Genesis. According to this approach (see here), P was the first group to consolidate Jewish traditions into a Pentateuchal collection. The only other definable source of any real size was D, which was just Deuteronomy (here) and the Deuteronomistic History (here).

Regarding the nature and origins of the whole source-critical approach, while it is true that we do not have actual pre-biblical phases of the Pentateuchal traditions, we do have several other ancient macro-narratives that were produced over multiple centuries through supplementation, editing, and redaction; and through them, we can see exactly what kinds of literary phenomena are produced by those processes. For instance, we have several phases of the Gilgamesh epic. We also have the Diatessaron, a conflation of the four gospels. We also have several different versions of the Septuagint and documents from Qumran. David Carr does a marvelous job (chapter 1 here) of pointing out exactly what phenomena identifiable in these documents indicate literary layers and author breaks, using those texts to illustrate the processes (and then applying that method to the biblical texts). Those phenomena, by the way, absolutely abound in the biblical texts. We do have empirical grounds for the conclusions reached by source critics (see also here). The notion that we can't be sure because we don't have the actual pre-edited texts is a naive red herring.
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