[b-hebrew] Author of the Torah

Brian Roberts formoria at carolina.rr.com
Fri Jul 29 16:03:07 EDT 2005

On Friday, July 29, 2005, at 03:58  PM, Heard, Christopher wrote:

> On Jul 29, 2005, at 12:46 PM, Brian Roberts wrote:
>>> I would also want to know which canon is being referred to here? The
>>> universal elements shared by all canons? Or are talking about LXX
>> versus
>>> Masoretic again? Or the Christian OT?
> Brian,
> Of course, I can only speak for myself, but on this particular thread
> we have been discussing the Torah, which has the same "table of
> contents" in all of the canons you listed above, plus the Eastern
> Orthodox, Slavonic, Ethiopic, Samaritan, and any other Judeo-
> Christian traditions you want to name.
> Now, of course, if the Tanakh itself includes references to a five-
> book Torah, the authors would be presupposing neither the Masoretic
> Text nor the LXX nor the Samaritan Pentateuch nor a DSS text-type,
> but a (theoretical, but in my judgment almost unassailably probable)
> precursor text-type that all of these later text-types would share in
> common.
> Of course, it would be entirely legitimate to question whether the
> fairly simplistic
> "family bush" model I've used above is valid, that is, to interrogate
> my assumption of *a* single "canonical Torah," be it text or text-
> type, from which all of the extant text-types descend. But that is a
> big question to which I have no ready answer.
> In any event, if the LXX project was indeed begun c. 385 BCE, that is
> good evidence that by c. 400 the Torah/Pentateuch was seen and
> circulating as such, that is, as a collection of five books, Genesis
> through Deuteronomy. The unresolved question is how much *earlier*
> that happened, and whether any of the Tanakh references to "the book
> of the law of Moses" refer to that five-book collection as such.
> Chris

Thanks for the clarification. I would also suggest not placing too many 
eggs in the "precursor text-type" basket, because, attractive as the 
idea is, it is also inadmissible as scientific evidence because it is 
demonstrably unfalsifiable. :)

> --
> R. Christopher Heard
> Assistant Professor of Religion
> Pepperdine University
> Malibu, California 90263-4352
> http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard
> http://www.iTanakh.org
> http://www.semioticsandexegesis.info
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Best Salaams,

R. Brian Roberts
Amateur Researcher in Biblical Archaeology

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