JEPD Evidence

Jonathan Bailey jonathan.bailey at
Sun Dec 19 15:21:02 EST 1999

Well, the toldots are not meant to explain doublets, with the exception of the apparent 
doublet between Gen 1 and 2, which is really not a doublet, if you ask me. The toldots 
are evidences which can be interpreted as sources, and (some of the) doublets are 
evidences that can be interpreted as sources. I am not trying to use one to explain the 
other. Also, the toldot are not meant to be an explanation of all of the features of 
Genesis. I don't see how calling each toldot a separate source would be difficult to 
divide up for a DHer. There is still room to look into the histories of the individual toldot 
accounts, whether they be oral compilations, whether they be themselves redacted 
before reaching Moses (or whoever), or whether Moses (or whoever) altered them 
when compiling them.

Basically, the only evidence that you have given for Genesis being a single 
composition is that it is unlikely that Moses would have had written records. Why do 
you see this as unlikely?

Also, what do you do with the use of the word sepher in Gen 5:1?

Thanks for clarifying your personal position. I also have no axe to grind for Genesis 
being a composite of sources. And I am becoming aware of treatment received for not 
bowing before the "scholarship cannot involve God" mindset here. (Imagine what 
Thomas Aquinas - or heaven forbid, Anselm - would have had to say about that!)

Jonathan Bailey
Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
---------- Original Message ----------

>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.


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