[b-hebrew] Documentary Hypothesis - Just a Bit More

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Sat Jun 5 12:49:14 EDT 2004

You ask for a copy of J, E, and P knowing full well that given the
climatic conditions of Palestine such will never be found.  You certainly
like to hedge your bets, don't you?  Perhaps we should cut some tablets
and take them to Sinai to see if we can get them engraved.

I don't think the disagreement is as much as you would like to pretend
that it is.  I went to a very conservative seminary myself.  Yes, it was
brought up that there were differences, but such is hardly surprising. 
There are many things in the physical sciences that are a matter for
disagreement -- and I'm not referring to some of the items which are
controversial in religious circles.  I was recently chastised privately
for making a comment regarding a simple acceptance of the statements of
the Bible.  I do not intend to belittle those who accept the Bible at its
face value, but that is not enough.  If it were, many scholars would be
unemployed.  A reasonable account must be given.  It is not sufficient to
simply repeat its words by rote.


On Sat, 5 Jun 2004 11:21:08 -0500 "Harold R. Holmyard III"
<hholmyard at ont.com> writes:
> Dear Karl,
> >The problem with DH is: unless one already 
> >possesses the sources, any attempt to 
> >reconstruct hypothesized sources from a 
> >”daughter“ document cannot help but be 
> >artificial with a high probability of being 
> >wrong. The division along postulated differences 
> >in theology or style is no less artificial than 
> >according to how God is addressed.
> >
> >For example, years ago when I read a splitting 
> >apart of the story of the flood into J and E 
> >sources, I was struck by how strange and 
> >disjointed the stories were (to use your words). 
> >But as a whole, it fits together perfectly, 
> >albeit with a certain amount of redundancy not 
> >uncommon in other narratives.
> >
> >In closing, until a copy of one of these sources 
> >in Hebrew is found, it seems best to limit our 
> >discussion to the documents that we have.
> HH: One argument presented to us in seminary was 
> a listing of DH schemes for dividing the biblical 
> text that have arisen over the years. I believe 
> the number was over thirty in the grouping we 
> considered, and none of them agreed. The 
> Documentary Hypothesis is just something else 
> that diverts one's attention from what the Bible 
> is saying when it is read correctly in the form 
> in which it was intended to be read.
>                                 Yours,
>                                 Harold Holmyard
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