[b-hebrew] Wellhausen JEPD Theory re Patriarchal Narratives

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Dec 22 21:39:09 EST 2007

On Dec 21, 2007 4:07 PM,  wrote:
> Yitzhak Sapir:
> You wrote:  "Together, it all these convinced everyone but small groups of
> fundamentalists and religious groups who could never accept Wellhausen's theory
> in the first place because it conflicted with their beliefs."
> 1.  I am not a fundamentalist.  All of my arguments are entirely secular.
> 2.  I do not think that Wellhausen's 100-year-old JEPD theory makes any sense
> at all regarding the Patriarchal narratives.
> 3.  One fundamental tenet of Wellhausen's JEPD theory is that the Patriarchal
> narratives are fiction created by four or more southern Hebrew authors in the
> 1st millennium BCE.  Since you ardently support that 100-year-old theory of
> the case, could you please point out at least one story in the Patriarchal
> narratives which, in your view, reflects the 1st millennium BCE, and does not
> reflect the mid-2nd millennium BCE?

Hello Jim,

Your previous statement on the subject: "It is nice to see that many
people on this
b-Hebrew list do not accept the majority view of today's secular
academic scholars
that the Patriarchal narratives are a myth created by multiple
southern Hebrew authors
in the mid-1st millennium BCE," was more reasonable.  Take out
"southern", "mid-",
"secular", and replace "are a myth" by "were", and you have an
accurate statement.

I don't know if you are a fundamentalist.  Your recent posts on the
issue, along the
lines of "Are you beginning to see why Yitzhak Sapir says that no one except a
'fundamentalist' is permitted to question the 100-year-old Wellhausen
JEPD theory
that the Patriarchal narratives are fiction ginned up by four or more southern
Hebrew authors in the mid-1st millennium BCE?  Can you imagine what would
happen if a non-fundamentalist were permitted to question that 100-year-old
Wellhausen JEPD theory of the case?" are a misrepresentation of the Documentary
Hypothesis, and my position.  The Documentary Hypothesis was first advanced
over a century ago, but it is not 100 years old because it has been
revised.  No one
prevents anyone to question the theory, and in fact I pointed out how
the theory was
in fact being questioned!  Your insistence on sticking in "southern"
is ridiculous.
Current discussions of the theory generally describes the Elohist as
Northern.  Of
course, it's not as northern as you would like it to be.

The question is not whether "at least one story" could also be mid-2nd
None could, but the question is, "could at least one story" be just
2nd millennium
and not be plausible as a 1st millennium composition.

The question is not "fundamentalist" vs "secular."  It is
"non-critical" vs. "critical."
It is possible to be religious and critical, and it's ridiculous to
think that in biblical
studies no scholars (or even only a few scholars) are religious.  You
say that your
arguments are entirely "secular," and not "fundamentalist."  I don't know about
fundamentalist, but the fact that your arguments fail to convince even those who
accept your position that they represent 2nd millennium BCE compositions
suggests that you do not make for a persuasive argument.  Whether it is various
languages, or various theories, you misrepresent them and misuse them in
constructing your arguments.  This combination of a misrepresentation of the
underlying facts and theories, and the lack of a persuasive argument on top of
them does not make for a critical approach.  Furthermore, your arguments seem
to me to be long-winded, but maybe it's just me.

Yitzhak Sapir

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