ONE AUTHOR Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at
Fri Jan 25 12:50:30 EST 2002

There was a computer research done in Israel, a few years ago, and it 
found that all five books  of the Torah were written by the same 
author, and that the differences in style were differences in the 
style of one single author.  I don't know all the details, I will 
probably have to inquire, and look it up.


It seems to me that something like a dogmatic religion has been built 
up around modern critical scholarship. Noth's theory of a 
deuteronomistic history etc and many other speculative hypotheses 
have almost been elevated to data, while the truth is that hard facts 
regarding when the different books were written and who were the 
writers are completely lacking. For instance,in my linguistic 
analysis of the participles of the Tanach I found a use which was 
uniform throughout the book of Isaiah but almost non-existent in 
other books. I will not say that this proves that there was one 
author of the books, but the evidence for two or three authors is 
very weak indeed. 
P eople do now argue for one author of the book of Isaiah but they 
place him in the fifth century.


As to my position, I am very positive to the text of the Hebrew 
documents, because of all the single data I have found to be of a 
higher quality that that of contemporaneous documents. It is my 
impression that the concept of God in the Tanach is sublime and 
elevated, in stark contrast to that of other nations around. Your 
interpretations regarding the divine suzerain and polytheism are 
possible but hardly the only alternative. I see no conflict between 
Isaiah 41-- and Exodus 20 because the subject is addressed from 
different angles. Isaiah does not deny the existence of the $EDIM, 
but he points out to those who think that carved images have 
intrinsic life and power that this is a false view. And similarly, 
the writer of Exodus does not say that the carved images have life 
and power. In view of the sublime descriptions of the one Creator I 
take the implication of the writer of Exodus of other living gods to 
refer to the $EDIM.

I suggest that you have a view of the god of the HB that is colored 
by Christian and
Hellenistic conceptions. I suggest, respectfully, that you are 
falling into the trap
that many fall into, and you are not reading the text that is 
printed, but the text that is
in your head. I give a lecture called "What does God Look Like ? the 
view from the
Bible." It sure does wake people up to the text.

Liz Fried

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