JEPD Evidence

Ruthy & Baruch alster at
Sat Dec 18 12:46:52 EST 1999

Jonathan wrote:

> Now please understand, I do not aim to do anything other than convince
> people that 
> Genesis came from Moses on Sinai under God's direction. I am just saying
> that there 
> was some redaction and compiling of pre-existing sources up on that
> mountain top.

To which Prof. Lemche responded:
"It is clear that with such a statement, any
discussion is closed. No new for scholars to join. This has to do with
religion, not with scholarship."

I think we must differentiate here between three subjects for discussion: 
Sources used for the Pentateuch, The dating of the Pentateuch, and Divine
revelation of the Pentateuch.  The last of these, of course, is out of
bounds for this list.  However, even those who believe (as I do) in Torah
Min Hashamayim, have what to say on the other two subjects in a scholarly
discussion.  And even if we accept Sinai as dogma (of whatever religion
each of us believes in), as it seems Jonathan does, and I'm not sure I
don't :-), I think there is still a lot to say about the Pentateuchal

See, for example, Rabbi Mordechai Breuer's article in Shalom Carmy (ed.),
_Modern scholarship in the Study of Torah_, Northvale: Jason Aronson 1996;
and also (in Hebrew) Breuer's own _Pirqe Bereshit_, Alon Shevut: Tevunot
Press 1998; and Rabbi A.I. Kook's_Eder Ha-yeqar_, Jerusalem: Mossad Harav
Kook, p. 42.

We all believe in _something_, religiously or not.  Mention of these
beliefs, if they pertain to our discussion, remind us that no one is
totally objective,   and help us write as responsible scholars.

Baruch Alster
Kochav Ya`akov, Israel

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