[b-hebrew] dating of linguistics and the DH, ultimately dating of Exodus

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Jun 3 23:51:13 EDT 2004


Funny you should mention the Noah flood story, because that is one of the top examples of how artificial the whole system is.

As is widely known from the computer trade, GIGO questions not the intelligence of the people working on a project, nor the quality of the machinary used to work on the project, but on the quality of the data and programming and the standards used on both. So it is with JEPD and DH.

Back to Noah, when his story was recorded, it was recorded as a whole. The story does not give all the little details, however, what is recorded, makes a seamless whole. Or to use DH terminology, both the J and E sections work together with no conflict. Without DH, there would be no way to guess that there were two different stories. Either one has to take his hat off to the redactor for doing a supurb job of making two disparate stories into one, massaging the stories so that they fit together, or the modern DH theorist does violence to the story as he rips it apart according to artificial standards (Garbage In) resulting in two stories with their parts out of context with the whole they came from (Garbage Out).

What I question is not the intelligence of the people who propose DH, nor the amount of scholarship poured into it, but the underlying philosophy (theology). Even tribal peoples recognize the difference between a title and a name. For example, when a person talks about Elizabeth II (name) and the Queen of England (title), who questions that they both refer to the same person? So is it not artificial to claim that ancient peoples would differ into different groups, recognized by those who called God )LHYM (title) and YHWH (name)? And is it not demeaning to Jewish history to claim that long after all other peoples had no problem differentiating between and using names and titles for the same people, the Jews were unable to do the same? Especially for their God?

There are other issues I have with the philosophy underlying DH, including how they date Exodus.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: <david.kimbrough at charter.net>

> Just a few notes on the Documentary Hypothesis (DH).
> 1) Is it really so hard to change the Subject Line?  This thread stopped discussing exodus some time ago.

> 5) A way to "test" the DH is quite simple. Take the story of Noah.  Take the portions that use the name Elohim, pull them out, and line them up.  Take the remaining portions, which will only have the name Yahweh in them, pull them out, and line them up. What you will get is two entirely complete but different versions of the same story.  How many other stories in world literature can you do something like that?  
> 6) The DH may well be wrong.  The Pentateuch may well have been writen or dictated by one individual (the DH only applies to the Pentateuch).  However, the writers who developed and advanced this hypothesis over the last 250 years were not fools either.  Friedman's book can serve as an introduction to the topic but the DH is not the focus of the book per se, he was more concerned with who J, E, D, and P were than making the case for the DH (although the issues are obviously linked).  The long and extensive work of these scholars cannot assessed and dismissed after reading just one book.
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