[b-hebrew] Graf-Wellhausen discredited

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Fri Dec 21 11:18:44 EST 2007

Dear Yitzhak,

The question of the Graf-Wellhausen theory of JEDP begins with assumptions that
cannot be proven in any shape or form primarily based on the use of the names of
God found in the text,  that the text evolved over time (evolutionary theory),
that there is no predictive prophecy (text written after the events) and that
theological texts cannot present accurate historical, scientific information. I
do not deny that there was some redaction (editing) found in the entire Mosaic
corpus, but near as much as modern "so-called" scholarship thinks. There is just
too much information found within the Pentateuch that corroborates a 2nd
Millennium BC. Kenneth Kitchen as shown that much.

Finally, since we are treading very close to being off-topic for this list, it
is apparent from other parts of the Tanakh that Mosaic authorship was affirmed
by various authors/prophets, etc. I do not include quotes from the NT that also
confirm this finding.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 4:32 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Graf-Wellhausen discredited

> On Dec 21, 2007 4:25 AM, Uri Hurwitz wrote:
> > "This is how it displaced and
> > discredited the earlier theory of Mosaic authorship even at a time
> >    when scholars did not have the archaeological insights that we
> >   have today and which inform us how totally incompatible the Mosaic
> >    authorship theory with our modern knowledge of archaeology and
> >    linguistics."
> >
> >        This is a long  and ailing sentence which suffers from syntactical
> >   problems, and more seriously, from thematic ones.
> >
> >        Anyone with the slightests familiarity with archaeology  understands
> >   that it can not be  "compatible' or "incompatibale" with a literary text.
> >   literary text does not require any "proof". Much was written about the
> >   subject, but it is not within the scope of this list.
> >
> >       And moreover, the well known dictum: "Absence of Evidence, is
> >   not Evidence of Absence" should always give one pause about
> >   matters which did, or did not happen over three thousand years ago.
> >
> >       It was pointed out already, the historicity of Moses and matters of
> >   faith are also outside the scope of this list.
> Hello Uri,
> I agree that the above sentence is problematic.  There should be an "is"
> before "with our modern knowledge".  I probably would have rephrased the
> entire sentence if I noticed it.  I note that your post has its problems too,
> including misspelling one word in a quote of me that I spelled correctly.
> Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it is not evidence at
> all.  Scientific conclusions, historical and otherwise, must be based
> on evidence
> alone.  This can take many forms -- including educated reconstructions --
> but some evidence must form the basis for our conclusions.  I expect Karl
> might dislike this concept, but he has a unique interpretation of evidence
> that is not shared by anyone in the scientific community, and here I am
> talking about scientific conclusions, not Karl's point of view.
> In any case, a literary text cannot be proven or not proven, as you say.
> However, I did not claim that a literary text is unproven -- I claimed
> that Mosaic
> authorship is incompatible with various evidence.  Mosaic authorship is not a
> literary text but a claim about a literary text.  Any claim about a
> literary text
> ought to be supported by evidence, regardless of whether it is or is not in
> scope of the list.  Mosaic authorship involves additional claims such as the
> historicity of Moses and the Exodus, on which see the recent publication,
> "The Quest for the Historical Israel," by Mazar and Finkelstein.
> Yitzhak Sapir
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