ONE AUTHOR Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Rolf Furuli furuli at
Sun Jan 27 04:03:56 EST 2002

Dear Leroy,

A question that should be taken into consederation, relates to the 
supposed cases of the nouns and other archaic traits of Hebrew. 
Accadian had cases, and the phonological argument why the nouns in 
Biblical Hebrew has a long "a" were verbs have a short one, is that 
Hebrew once had cases.If we look at the personal names of Genesis and 
their explanations##, they do not allways seem to fit. This is often 
explained as folk etymology, but we cannot exclude the possibility 
that the reason is a slightly different language.

  Let us make a thought experiment: Suppose that the Pentateuch was 
written in the 15th century B.C.E. when the language was more 
"archaic", Later the cases fell away and the language evolved (as for 
instance was the case with English). At some point the need arose to 
update the text, linguistically speaking, and udjust the archaisms, 
and one or more scribes got this job. Such a work, that would not be 
"redaction" in the technical sense of the word, would give the text a 
"modern" look. As a matter of fact, the text of the Tanach (save a 
few of the late books) is remarkably uniform, and this would conform 
to the suggestion above.

To date the text on linguistic grounds is extremely difficult, if not 
impossible. So I ask the question once more: Which evidence do we 
have, apart from educated guessing and pure  specualtion, that show 
that the Pentateuch was not written in the 15th century B.C.E? We 
should note that to be consistent in the application of at least J 
and E on the *verse* level results in an impossible patchwork of a 
text. However, Genesis seems to refer to 11 different sources from 
which the book was made, and a study of these may peerhaps give some 
food for the mind.

Some names may be of foreign origin, such as NIMROD. It is often 
explained as a Nifal participle of MRD ("the rebel"). However, it can 
be explained as "Marduk", the chief god of Babylon. The Babylonians 
borrowed their cuneiform signs from the Sumerians, and the signs 
could be read either with the sounds of their Sumerian or Accadian 
values. The Sumerian values of signs representing the chief God of 
Babylon are AMAR UD, and the only thing that is lacking in "Nimrod" 
is the initial "n". (the Accadian form "Marduk" *may* be a 
construction with the Sumerian genitive particle "k", AMAR.UD.UK > 
MARDUK). Actions that are ascribed to Nimrod in Genesis are ascribed 
to Marduk in Accadian tablets.



Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>The question of author(s)/unity of the Torah is a very interesting one.
>I know of a computer assisted study in ZAW 1982 by Yehuda Radday et. al
>called Genesis and the computer (something like this anyway)who found,
>that in Genesis P was the only "source" that differed. According to the
>study there was no justification for the discreteness of J and E. I think
>later Radday argued for the unity of Isaiah, at least that was what the
>computer "thought". I also think scholars would be hard pressed to argue
>that D comes from the same hand of JE and P.
>However, in the academic world I think most would agree that the Torah and
>all other books are composite to a grater or lesser extent - regardless of
>whether they find the Documentary hypothesis convincing or not. I also
>think scholars would be hard pressed to argue that D comes from the same
>hand that wrote JE and P.
>Even traditional Jewish scholarship recognized that the Torah as well as
>other books of the Hebrew Bible were composite and had redactors.
>They did this, however, from a very different perspective than Wellhausen.
>So here is the question posed by Kugel: given that already in the middle
>ages scholars had come to this realization why did "Wellhausen" not
>flourish in 11th century Spain? Any thoughts?
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