Christian M. M. Brady christian.brady at
Sun Sep 3 10:27:31 EDT 2000

On 9/2/00 10:34 PM, "Jim West" <jwest at> wrote:

> At 10:14 PM 9/2/00 -0500, you wrote:
>> Jim, I admire your conviction and certainty, but there are few scholars out
>> here who hold this position. Where there is a consensus it does not goes as
>> far as the Hasmonean period and many are reevaluating arguments which place
>> J in the United Monarchy or at least prior to the exile.
>> And just curious, does this view you support place D in that period as well?
> D... hmmm.. you know, during grad school i was an adherent of the
> documentary hypothesis.  in the last few years i have grown convinced that
> it was merely a result of the philosophy of the day-- it is thesis (the
> Yahwist and the Elohist); antithesis (P) and synthesis (D).  This
> philosophical construct really has nothing to commend it.  the texts can be
> explained otherwise, i think, as theological propaganda stemming from the
> need to place a history behind a people newly settled in their "ancestral
> homeland".
> let me be a little more precise.  i think the HB stems from the hasmonean
> era and is a set of documents intended to make the newly settled immigrants
> feel "at home".

But this rationale is not based then in evidence of the text, but a
hypothetical reconstruction of what context you think would best lead to the
construction of these text. Fair enough, that is how the documentary
hypothesis works most of the time.

But the same arguments that you are presenting for the Hasmonean period
could be used to justify dating the text to the United Monarchy (as has
been). The people have just conquered a land and united diverse tribes which
now need a unifying history, thus the king of the day orders a history to be
written that justifies their existence. Works kind of well for
David/Solomon, don't you think? ;-)
> thus, your question about D.... cant be answered by me because i dont think
> there is a D (or  a J or a P or an E).
> i am perfectly content being in the minority.  the problems i have with the
> documentary hypothesis are immense.  the history reflected in the
> documentary hypothesis is not history at all but theological propaganda.
> i.e., the texts of the HB are intended to give solace to the new population
> that they do indeed belong there---- and the theory of Wellhausen and his
> followers was intended to give them solace that just as israels religion
> evolved and became more humane so to it reached its climax in Jesus and
> Christianity.
> best, jim
> and sorry i cant answer your question.  but its like asking me what i think
> of martians.

cbrady @
Of making many books there is no end,
and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
                         Ecclesiastes 12:12 

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