[b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Aug 20 19:21:06 EDT 2005

This may have already been mentioned, but all of the modern theories about
the composition of the Pentateuch assume that large chunks of all four books
(except Deuteronomy) were composed, redacted and edited by the various
authors we now call J, E, P etc., and that D was included into this process
at some time. Especially P seems to stretch across all five (or four) books.
So we are obviously not speaking of 5 books which were written by different
people at different times. On the other hand, the division is not
"artificial" or "arbitrary". It would seem, that whoever finally pulled
together the various "sources" conceived of each book as a separate
composition, tied together as a single "series". Whether they were written
on a single long scroll or on five separate ones seems to be a rather moot


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim West" <jwest at highland.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1

> Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> >
> > First, I think it is anachronistic to use the term Judaism as applied to
> > Samaritans, and perhaps even to Qumran.
> Fair enough.  "Judaisms" then.
> >
> > But beyond that, is there any evidence for more than one method of
> > division?
> well yes there is.  unless we suppose that the author of genesis is also
> the author of exodus is also the author of leviticus and that he wrote
> them all out on one scroll and that example was followed from that time
> onward.  these books were, at some point, just single books or fragments
> of books, correct?  or are you suggesting that they were written in huge
> multi book chunks?  even given the length of the deuteronomistic history
> (a multi volume "work", if you will) it is so extensive that no one can
> suppose, can they, that it was originally a one scroll composition.
> Only the 3-fold method in Qumran and the 5 fold method
> > known from Qumran, modern Jewish tradition, as well as the
> > Septuagint.
> positing ancient reality from fragmentary examples and modern practice
> seems a bit hazardous.  what we need is hard evidence.
> >
> > I have also received the following in reference to your mention of Tov's
> > and the "five scrolls" from Carla Sulzbach:  "I checked my copy, and
> > on p. 4 he speaks of Five Megillot. However, that is in a section on the
> > of the books in the "Hagiographa", the Ketuvim, and ... he does not
refer to
> > Torah scrolls, five or any other number, but to Shir ha-Shirim, Ruth,
> > etc."  I don't know.  In the Hebrew edition, he doesn't seem to discuss
> > methods of order of the books at all, at least not where I could see it,
> > perhaps it is an addition in the English version.
> Well whoever added it didnt do a very good job of being clear.
> best
> jim
> -- 
> Jim West, ThD
> Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
> Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
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