Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sat Sep 2 17:22:15 EDT 2000

Liz, I take this personally. I do not "accept" these four sources. Well,
what do you mean by "accept"? Do you mean be "*certain*" of this position? I
certainly am not, or to put it another way, I give the probability of the
documentary hypothesis not corresponding to reality as considerably larger
than .000000001. Does that make me not a *scholar*? Or does it just make me
not dogmatic?

And what is this Bayes' Theorem you are talking about it? Is it the same one
I learned about when studying probability at high school? If so, I think you
need to learn again when this theorem applies and when it does not. I don't
remember it having anything to do with people with disparate beliefs coming
to agree.

Peter Kirk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Liz Fried" <lizfried at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2000 5:46 PM
Subject: RE: Genesis

> Every *scholar* accepts these four sources in the Pentateuch.
> <<However, this view is not supported by conclusive evidence, >>
> There is a law of evidence called Bayes' Theorem. It says that rational
> people, no matter
> how disparate their original beliefs, will come to the same opinion in
> if given sufficient and identical evidence -- PROVIDED that they are not
> *certain* of their original position. People who are dogmatic, and
> completely fixed in their original position will not change their mind no
> matter how convincing the evidence, or no matter how much of it they see.
> <<and intensive archaeological and literary research has undercut many of
> the arguments used to challenge Mosaic authorship.>>
> Archaeological and  literary research has rendered Mosaic authorship
> 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.).

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