Samaritan Pentateuch and Documentary Hypothesis

Noel O'Riordan nor at
Mon Dec 20 08:44:41 EST 1999

Neils Peter Lemche wrote

> The SP together with the fragments of Genesis among the DSS shows
> that we have to do with a process of redaction. I can hardly see that
> texts can be used as proof of source criticism in its classical shape.
> just tell us that the book of Genesis was not written by one person
> overnight but wasthe outcome of a proces of collecting and writing.

I agree with the above statement however the use of the SP or Gilgamesh or
the Diatesseron is not just about whether or not it verifies Documentary
hypothesis.  It is just another piece of supportive evidence for
Diachronistic analysis of the Pentateuch, and from their to some form of
source division.

These texts show examples of how sources can be spliced together, and so
establish a genre in which passages of the Pentateuch can arguably be

Of course it is easy to see the redaction of the passages in the SP,
Gilgamesh and the Diatesseron, because we have the source material from
which the redactor worked, the problem with the Pentateuch is that we do not
have these earlier sources and so other elements such as seams in the text
and Ideological and linguistic differences, (to mention only some of the
criteria) are used to, in effect, place the passages within this genre.


Noel O Riordan

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