JEDP (Mo & Deut)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Dec 19 05:41:55 EST 1999

At 20.16 18/12/99 +0100, Jonathan Bailey wrote:
>Well, somebody had to bring Deuteronomy sooner of later. Anyway, are you
just trying 
>to expand our discussion about sources in Genesis to Torah as a whole, or
are you 
>trying to steer us to a new conversation about whether Moses wrote the

Obviously we are trying to deal with the writing of these documents, how,
when and by whom. My interest in Moses with regard to the book is that one
can see the seams in the text through the treatment of Moses. I didn't
spend much time with Mo, just enough time to show that the book wasn't
written by him (at least not completely), nor was it written elsewhere but
in Jerusalem.

If Deut. reflects the one "book of Moses" referred to in MMT (are there any
other real candidates?), when the DSS had the other to-be-Pentateuchal
books separately in circulation, then it had a cultic importance at the
time that put it above the other books -- which would be strange if it
didn't have temporal priority over the others. The book reflects that
priority, yet the book can only have been written in Palestine. This places
the bulk of the other books later than the bulk of Deut.

>Anyway, in my statements about Genesis, I was really just speaking about
the final 
>redacteur, though making no secret of my beliefs. 

There is absolutely *nothing* to indicate or suggest a "final redacteur".
We don't have documents that were put together with modern ideas of unity
or even modern tools that allows one to have such a wonderful editorial
view over the whole text, if there were in fact anyone in that period who
had such a desire. 

What one finds analysing the development of the documentary hypothesis in
the many hands is the proliferation of the various sources, taking us
further away from the hope of finding some hypothetical point when the
final documents were constructed.

>I was, however saying "Moses (or 
>whoever)" as a general term for the final author/redacteur of Genesis. I
did not mean 
>to make my personal beliefs about Moses a central point in the
conversation, but 
>rather was pointing to a single author/redacteur. But sometimes I just got
lazy and 
>wrote "Moses".
>Anyway, about Deuteronomy, I know that book is a headache for
fundamentalists, and 
>do intend to concern myself with the issue at some point, but I have to
say again that 
>I am still working on my MA  and am quite busy aquiring skills of the
trade and 
>familiarizing myself with literature, etc. Get back to me in about 6
months, that is, if I 
>can steal myself away from my Syriac class and Peshitta studies next

How about if you start talking about the subject when you have acquired
what you feel is necessary instead of making pronouncements that don't
consider the bulk of the literature?

>Right now, the only thing I have time for outside of my studies is Genesis.

Can one talk about JEPD without considering all the Pentateuchal books?

While we're on Genesis, riddle me this: was the Melchizedek episode not
written in the second century? This seems to be indicated by its use of the
god reference, the "Most High God" (el elyon, ie not simply elyon -- I
haven't seen a means of dating that, have you?), which is found in texts
that are clearly datable to the second century (Ben Sira, Daniel, Judith,
Jubilees, various DSS). The Asaph psalm 78 also uses el elyon, and the
Asaph psalm 79 seems to deal with Antiochus IV's attack on Jerusalem.

Doesn't the anachronism regarding Abraham in Philistineland show that the
text was written well after the arrival of the Philistines who hit the
coast around 1175 BCE? There is no knowledge of the arrival of the
Philistines so they arrived before the emergence of the culture which
produced Genesis.

What about the table in Genesis 10? If there was a son of Cush called
Sabteca, doesn't this imply some time long after the period of the Kushite
dynasty in Egypt, for isn't a group indicated by Sabteca just a dim record
of the Kushite king Shabtaka?

And talking about doublets (there is at least one triplet), the best one
can do with them is to argue for plurality of hands, not duplicity (a
"twoness", to use an Anglosaxonism) of sources. Limiting the number of
sources to two or three or four needs to be argued, not assumed.

>At any rate, though I have my beliefs, I am not really prepared to defend
>authorship of ANY book at this point. 

Good show.

>I am more concerned with whether not they have 
>been redacted and edited, how this was done, etc.

How about simply added to, expanded, changed, in a more or less random
manner which often reflected the interests at the time (somewhat like a
collection of laws such as the English constitution), even erroneously


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