Liz Fried lizfried at
Sat Sep 2 14:07:56 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jim West [mailto:jwest at]
> Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2000 1:39 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Cc: b-hebrew at
> Subject: RE: Genesis
> At 12:46 PM 9/2/00 -0400, you wrote:
> >Every *scholar* accepts these four sources in the Pentateuch.
> Careful Liz, there are a lot of excellent literary scholars who think the
> whole documentary hypothesis is unnecessary.
By "literary" do you mean non historico-critical biblical scholars???
It's true that many get rid of E.
It's hard to combind the others, D and P have different theologies.
Then there is H, of course.

> >J is for the Yawist, the one who calls God by his personal name.
> Yahwist, actually.
> >Each of these *do* have their own vocabulary, formulary, and theology.
> IF one accepts the hypothesis.  If one does not, one can instead
> see various
> other causes for these differences.
I suppose you could argue for different vocabulary when speaking on
different themes, but how to explain the different themes, and how to
explain the different theologies?

> >
> ><<which often contradicts that of the other documents. >>
> >
> >Yes.
> again, the so called contradictions might instead be literary devices or
> theological ploys.
I'd have to see the evidence.
Try Occam's Razor. There are contradictions in basic underlying
assumptions. Hard to attribute such to one author.

> >Anyone can see that the Pentateuch/Torah is composed of stories,
> poems, and
> >laws.
> true
> >
> ><<However, this view is not supported by conclusive evidence, >>
> theres no such thing as conclusive evidence when we are talking about
> documents over 2 millenia old.
People can conclude from the evidence, if they are willing to look at it.

> ><<and intensive archaeological and literary research has undercut many of
> >the arguments used to challenge Mosaic authorship.>>
> there is no mosaic authorship.  there is post exilic and hasmonean
> authorship.  and archaeology is itself fundamentalisms worst
> enemy in these
> matters for it show NOTHING of many claims found in the Bible.
There is also *Pre*Exilic authorship, imo.
But dating the texts is a viscious quagmire, and a waste of time.
> >
> >Archaeological and  literary research has rendered Mosaic
> authorship nearly
> >impossible,
> >I'd say the probability of Mosaic authorship is .000000001.
> (According to
> >Bayes' theorem,
> >my giving it even that much probability leaves me capable of changing my
> >mind if suffient and overwhelming evidence exists, like for example they
> >find his grave on Mt. Nebo with a torah in it, preferably in OLd Kingdom
> >Hieroglyphics.).
> indeed.
> >
> >
> >Whatyathunk?? :-)
> >
> >I think you should get a new bible.
> >Also,  you might enjoy reading
> >"Who Wrote the Bible?" by Richard Elliot Friedman.
> Horrible recommendation!  He doesnt know squat about the subject!

Friedman's book, while being *very* outdated, gives an excellent
introduction to the documentary hypothesis. It's an exciting read.
I've used it with students, and they enjoy it. After reading it they
understand the issues, they feel comfortable discussing the problem.
I heartily recommend it, even tho I don't agree with him any more.


> Jim
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> "Do not ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by
> incompetence" -Napoleon
> Jim West, ThD
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