ONE AUTHOR Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Leeroy Malachinski Leeroy at
Sun Jan 27 16:49:48 EST 2002

Apologies for this shamelessly long post

>What's P, J, E, JE, and D?

According to the hypothesis the Torah is composed from 4 major sources.
J which uses the tetragrammaton (and no I'm not going to try to pronounce
it:). This source is commonly thought to have included the creation
account in Gen. 2:4a-3.

E is a source which uses the generic Elohim and is thought to have
included the story of the (non)sacrifice of Isaac (though this point is
much more controversial).

P is believed to be the priestly source, and included the creation account
in Gen. 1, most of Leviticus and Numbers and a good deal of Exodus.

D is thought be responsible for Deuteronomy and for editing the books

"And which traditional Jewish scholarship "recognized that the Torah 
as well as other books of the Hebrew Bible were composite and had 
redactors"?  Names, sources, please"

Jonathan mentioned the Baraita in Baba Bathra 14bff. Here it is doubted
that Moses wrote the last 8 verses of the Pentateuch.
Further, Ibn Ezra mentions several places in the Torah that Moses could
not have written. Among them Gen. 12:7. The famous supercommentator R.
Joseph ben Eliezer Bonfils wrote to this passage: "Accordingly it appears
that Moses did not write this word here;rather Joshua or another of the
prophets wrote it... what should I care whether it was Moses or another
prophet who wrote it, since the words of all of them are true and
inspired?" (translation of Levenson). "The book of Balaam" was a separate
work later inserted in the Torah (cf. the inverted nun's and their
midrashic explanation)BB 14b according to the Munich manuscript.

You could see Ibn Ezra's commentary on Dtr. 1:1-2, for the verses he
considers non-mosaic. This tendency was not singular with Ibn Ezra (See
further references in Levenson's book "The Hebrew Bible, The Old Testament
and Historical Criticism", Greenspahn has an article in the Nahum Sarna
Festschrift as well with further references as does Uriel Simon).

Again in BB 14bff you'll find that the books of the former prophets had
several authors and were later redacted.

R. Abravanel also suggests several authors before final redaction of the
former prophets (introduction to the former prophets).

R. Ibn Ezra (following R. Moses ibn Chiquitilla) argued that Isaiah 40-60
was written by someone else (and at a different time) than the one who was
responsible for Isaiah 1-39. Uriel Simon has an article in VT. Sorry I do
not have the exact reference but I can find it if anyone want's me to.

Again, according to BB 14bff the men of the great assembly were
responsible for such books as the 12 prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Esther and

Radak in his introduction to the book of Psalms also states that there
were several authors as does Ibn Ezra living at different times. So it
seems that there were at least one redactor. (See also Uriel Simon's book
"Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms").

Besides all this there is the matter of textual criticism, dotted letters,
tikunei sofrim (emendations of the scribes cf. for instance Radak's
introduction to the former prophets) showing how the Biblical text was
altered; some redaction/correction is clearly assumed. There are a couple
of very interesting articles by Menachem Cohen covering the traditional
Jewish takes (sic!) on these issues. I have them in electronic form if
anyone is interested.

One could find many other examples; I just took some of those that I was
familiar with as well as some of the sources I could look up at home.

I was not thinking about Ibn Ezra in particular, but of the Jewish
tradition as a whole. As for the exact quotation of Kugel it is: " Why, in
other words, did Wellhausen not flourish in eleventh-century Spain?"
(Kugel:"The Bible in the University" in "The Hebrew Bible and its
Interpreters ed. by Propp et al. p. 151). As for Spain in mediaeval times
not being open to dogmatic challenges, my opinion is that the matter is
much more complicated and the reason is rather different, though your
proposal is certainly true in some cases. As for Radday and Isaiah as a
unity I seem to remember having read something to this effect, but I
appreciate that you corrected me. Perhaps you can tell what the
conclusions of his computer assisted study concluded (I seem to remember
that he conducted such a study but correct me if I'm mistaken!)

As for Rolf's comments; I'm not sure what you mean since I did not state
any position on the date of the sources, nor whether I find the hypothesis
convincing or not. If you mean that the computer assisted study I referred
to is no more conclusive the parameters used to bring out the data, I
quite agree.

So I think I'll end with the question posed by Kugel:" Why, in other
words, did Wellhausen not flourish in eleventh-century Spain?"
Any thoughts?

Shavua tov,


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