Noel O'Riordan nor at
Thu Dec 16 18:00:18 EST 1999


In response to Peter and Armando

Are you asking me to reiterate the reasons why the Documentary hypothesis
came into being in the first place?  I refer you to all the literature on
the subject for the last 100 years from Wellhausen to Van Seters, they lay
out the reasons far better than I could.

Does it not strike you as strange that in many cases when the author uses
Elohim he writes with one style and point of view/agenda and that when he
uses Yahweh he uses another, this is leaving aside any theological imprint.
And this of course is the most obvious and simple argument for sources.

As for being a schizophrenic, it is possible that it is all by the same
author, but it is also possible that James Brown wrote all the Beatles
songs, and maybe in 2000 years someone will have that theory.

Those who postulate one author then have to come up with fairly detailed
reasons why gen. 1-2:a and gen. 2:4b-4:24, and the entire flood narrative,
just to mention the most obvious examples, are by the same author, not to
mention the entire Pentateuch and Deuteronomy. And then they have to tie
these texts together.  I have not yet been convinced by the literary
gymnastics that have to be applied when sources provide a simpler answer.

Then of course where does that leave Deuteronomy and DtrH, is the whole
bible from genesis to 2 kings by the same author?  Surely that division is
beyond doubt, so why the reluctance to acknowledge  that the individual
books of the Pentateuch/tetrateuch/hexateuch, whichever term you wish to
apply, can be from more than one author.

It us up to the 'non-documentarians' to provide the proof for the simple
reason that the standard excepted model for at least the first 80 years of
this century has been based around JEDP, it is only in the last 20 years
that the 'Canon' and 'literary' school  (I use the terms loosely )have began
to make inroads into the theory but as yet there is nothing concrete enough
to displace the Documentary Hypothesis, it still holds the foreground.
Although again I must stress in greatly modified form.

I am sorry if you think I am dodging giving 'proof, but I have neither the
time nor inclination to start rehashing the last 100 years, the ball is in
your court.

As Christmas is approaching my leisure time will be greatly curtailed as I
shall be enjoying the festivities and so I may not be able to respond as
often as I would like, if this thread continues. Just in case you think I'm
avoiding the issue:-)

Best Regards and Seasons Greetings to all.

Noel O Riordan

----- Original Message -----
From: <peter_kirk at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Sent: 17 December 1999 00:37
Subject: Re[2]: JEDP

> Dear Noel,
> You write: "if they are by one author then he must have been a
> schizophrenic". I am not saying that I disagree, but precisely what
> evidence do you have of that?
> NPL has made a good specific point that the chronology of the flood
> narrative is difficult with one author, though it surprises me that he
> wrote a paper about this without reading one on the same subject which
> had just been published - and I also have not read Longacre's paper
> which may refute NPL's point.
> So please, everyone, come up with some evidence rather than with
> attempts at psychoanalysis across huge gulfs of culture and
> understanding. You ask "the non-documentarians to account for the (for
> want of a better word) sources". But unless you can present any
> specific evidence for sources, there is simply nothing to account for!
> Peter Kirk
> ______________________________ Reply Separator
> Subject: Re: JEDP
> Author:  <nor at> at Internet
> Date:    15/12/1999 19:25
> Hello Peter
> This is a rather simplistic explanation, the fact that the texts are in
> one document is not the equivalent to one author, if they are by one
> then he must have been a schizophrenic.  You may at best postulate one
> compiler, you cannot discount the last 100 years because in some circles
> is not in vogue.  the documentary hypothesis is in need of re-evaluation
> the answer does not lie in one author.
> As for providing proof, the proof I suggest lies with the
> to account for the (for want of a better word) sources of the Pentateuch
> they do not agree with the idea of at least 3 sources (JDP)
> The documentary hypothesis still, (although in modified form, the best of
> which I can not decide on) provides the best answers.
> best regards
> Noel O Riordan
> <snip>
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