Samaritan Pentateuch and dating the Hebrew Pentateuch

Rodney K. Duke dukerk at
Sat Dec 18 16:40:45 EST 1999

Dear Colleagues,

A recent question about the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) reminded me of a
question that I wanted to post to this group.  In various list
discussions on the dating of the composition of the Hebrew Pentateuch
(HP), it is clear that there is a trend to date the HP later and later,
even into the period of Hellenization.  In the arguments posted for and
against late dating I don't remember any being advanced from the
perspective of text criticism.  As I understand it--again in my limited
way--text criticism (see Waltke, _ABD_) shows that BEFORE the time of
the Chronicler the SP, in comparison to the text type found in the MT,
was modernizing the text.  It would seem to me that the presence of a SP
would certainly give us a terminus ad quem for the HP and that a
modernized SP would push the date of the HP back even further.  Are
there any text critics who can shed some light on the evidence for
dating the origins of the SP?  Any insight into how such evidence
influences our understanding of the date of the HP?


Rodney K. Duke
Dept. of Phil. & Rel., Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC 28608

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