JEPD Evidence

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Sat Dec 18 00:18:57 EST 1999



POINT 1: So are you saying that Moses (or whoever) was such a careless 
editor that he just didn't notice that he had left doublets in his 
text, even when they were as close together as Genesis 6:2 and 4? And 
despite that he managed to produce such a brilliant literary work? 
Talk about schizophrenic authors! OK, I admit that the rather odd 
structure of this passage needs explaining, but I expect there are 
other ways to do that e.g. by interpreting 'ASHER in 6:4 to mean 
something like "as a result of".

POINT 2: As for the divisions by the "toldot" formula, is it evidence 
of the multiple authorship of this E-mail (before the "Reply 
Separator"!) that there is a repeated formulaic heading "POINT n"?

POINT 3 (relevant to some other recent postings): Is it evidence that 
a different Peter Kirk wrote this E-mail that I am adopting a 
tongue-in-cheek combative style for this one rather than the more 
academic style of some of my other recent postings?

Peter Kirk


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: JEPD Evidence
Author:  <jonathan.bailey at gmx.de> at Internet
Date:    17/12/1999 17:19


The title is misleading, as I am not putting forth evidence of the Wellhausen di
vision of
things, but I do see multiple authors in Genesis, and would like to put a few of
 them on
the list.

First, though, one must be clear about the term "author". A redacteur/translator
 is
really not too far from being an author who works from several sources, and perh
aps
would merit further clarification on this list, perhaps by those who have been m
ore
successful at articulating detailed statements than I. :-)   I intend to put som
e things
on the floor that suggest multiple "authors", though I am not intending to aband
on the
view that Genesis is a unified composition with one author, Moses, who made use 
of
a variety of sources.

One piece of evidence for multiple sources in Genesis is the spooky "toldot" phr
ase, in
some cases accompanied by words such as sefer (Gen 5:1) which seem to go to 
extra effort to make the preceding or following segment that it heads appear to 
be a
separate piece of writing. The toldot phrases do topologically divide the book. 
Each
toldot phrase enclosed text is a story unto itself.

Evidence number two are doublets. A professor of mine, Baruch Halpern, made the

statement that "without doublets, documentary hypothesis falls apart". Now I am 
not
talking about supposed doublets here where the doubled story is a thematically 
independant work (I would not, for example call Gen 1 and Gen 2 a doublet of the
same thing), but rather instances where the repeated text does not build a liter
ary
unit. Take the nephilim passages at the beginning of Gen 6. That is one of the b
est
doublets I have found. Anyway, I would like to see how one accounts for doublets
without mentioning compiling of varied source materials. Most of the answers tha
t I
have found are rather theological, and claim that the doublets reveal hidden spi
ritual
pearls for the reader. Now I do admit that i have found a few such pearls in dou
blets
during my lifetime, but I cannot convince myself of the idea that Moses (or whoe
ver
wrote/redacted) Genesis was saying (in every instance): "Let me write this in a 
wierd
way, twice, so I can hide a few spiritual gems in there." Now I might buy the id
ea that
God, using Moses' (or whoever's) redactional efforts, stuck the pearls in the te
xt (if
there is indeed a hidden mystery there in the first place), but I think that the
 concious
concern on Moses' (or whoever's) mind was more along the lines of trying to figu
re
out how to accurately preserve source materials.

So these evidences take me a long way toward thinking that a single author/redac
teur
made use of source material to such a conservative degree that the original sour
ce
material still has visible traces in the present text.

Now I do not mean to defend the historical documentary hypothesis, but I think t
hat
the book of Genesis presents evidence that documents were involved. I would be h
ard
pressed to say that Genesis came from a single author, but would be more 
comfortable with the term single redacteur/translator. Now this statement doesn'
t
hurt the evangelical position, in my opinion, because it allows our present text
 to show
traces of source material that is substantially OLDER than it's redacteur, who m
ost
fundamentalists/evangelicals would name Moses.

Anyway, those are my comments. There is evidence for A documentary hypothesis, 
though not necessarily the one Wellhausen sold to us.




Jonathan Bailey
Hochschule fr Jdische Studien
Heidelberg




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