JEPD Evidence

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Sun Dec 19 19:07:35 EST 1999

Dear Jonathan,

Please don't get me wrong. On a personal level, I sympathise with your 
desire to find in the Pentateuch the Word of God and an accurate 
record of the words and deeds of ancient patriarchs. I don't make a 
lot of that on this list as I would soon be accused of all sorts of 
things, of which being off topic would be the least. And I have no axe 
to grind from the viewpoint of my personal faith for single 
authorship. But I just don't see it as at all likely that Moses, or 
anyone else, was carrying around written records dating back even to 
Abraham's time, let alone to Noah and Adam. There would have been oral 
traditions, which could be very reliably transmitted even if we don't 
bring in such factors as the Holy Spirit preserving them. Someone, 
perhaps Moses, was the first to commit these oral traditions to 
writing, and maybe that person included parts of the traditional sagas 
verbatim. So in that sense we have sources (though not documents!) and 
perhaps an explanation for some doublets. But I see no evidence that 
what we have in front of us is not essentially that first written form 
of the traditions.

A further point (in relation to one of your other postings) re TOLDOT 
formulae. Yes, these, or some of them, could be indications of the 
beginnings of new sources, whether written or oral. But the resulting 
division of Genesis would be very different from any JEDP analysis, 
and so would not explain doublets, stylistic changes, use of different 
names of God etc as JEDP does. So you will have to start again to 
collect the evidence you need for your hypothesis - and find another 
explanation for many of the doublets. Until I see some real evidence, 
I think that the easier hypothesis is that the TOLDOT formulae are 
section headings.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re[4]: JEPD Evidence
Author:  <jonathan.bailey at> at Internet 
Date:    19/12/1999 05:00


.. A
conservatively redacted text can turn out to be beautiful, particularly (let me 
throw a
little religion in here) if it is guided by the Holy Spirit.

After all, since we are talking about the word of God here, we might want to all
ow for
the possibility that it actually is the word of God, which would merit it a litt
uniqueness in terms of its history.

And while we're at it, I suggest to those who find the mentioning of religious w
views an intolerable component of their research choose not to devote their live
s to
the study of THE HOLY BIBLE. Anyway, I can't figure out what's more religious: 
religion or religionsgeschichte.


.. I looked into the idea of redaction because the idea of opening up my Biblia
Hebraica and reading the only slightly altered (or translated) words of ADAM, or
can be a real boost to one's faith, as well as help fight off the secular world'
s notion
that the truth of the bible is just some poor clone of earlier pagan concepts.


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list