[b-hebrew] daughters jacob never spoke of

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jun 23 11:30:52 EDT 2006

Dear Shoshanna,

>Except that's not what happened.  Yigal explained it very well

HH: I wrote what I did before Yigal said anything, but in fact claiming 
authority to give truth that is not in Scripture can obviously lead to 
perversion since people may have few ways to check whether you are 
telling the truth. Even the prophets themselves verify to such 
corruption of God's word by men in positions of authority:

Jer. 8:8 How can you say, “We are wise,
and the law of the LORD is with us,”
when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes
has made it into a lie?

HH: And the idea that every interpretation about the quality of the 
behavior of everyone in Genesis has been passed down from Moses seems to 
go beyond what Yigal said. He spoke about there being no need for 
subsequent additions to the written Law, which I understood to concern 
how people where to act and live. Of course, a rebuttal to Yigal is that 
no Oral Torah is needed for this since the Written Torah is sufficient 
in itself. Certainly, there were things not included in the written law. 
For example, there were accepted ways of slaughtering animals, but that 
does not have to be a matter of God-given law. God accepted the ways 
that the people already had of doing many things. I am not saying that 
tradition is not good or important. I am saying that it is not 
necessarily God-given law. We go to Scripture to check whether something 
is God-given law, and that is what God intended that we do, since Yigal 
is right that the law was given in one period of time.

HH: The claim that Rashi's view necessarily represents the view of Moses 
of course shuts down disagreement. But Rashi is just a man who lived in 
the Middle Ages (1040-1105 C.E.) and tried to understand the Tanakh the 
best he could, just as the rest of us do. He was an outstanding 
commentator, but his views are not automatically right, nor do they 
automatically go back to Moses. The fact that the rabbis and wise men 
disagreed about all sorts of things and contradicted one another at 
times ought to show that they do not necessarily speak from Moses.

Harold Holmyard

>The idea that there is an oral law equally as authoritative as the
>written law is highly dubious to me. You say that this prevents
>mistranslation, but it allows the importation of every kind of merely
>human idea and even perversion of God's word. God warns against adding
>to his word, and a proposed "oral law" does just that. It presents
>something as having the same authority as the written word, from what
>you say, and thereby adds to God's word.
>Harold Holmyard

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