[b-hebrew] Wellhausen JEPD Theory re Patriarchal Narratives

belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr
Sun Dec 23 01:26:11 EST 2007

> 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.
> ................
> Yitzhak Sapir

Dear Yitzhak,

Thus, the accurate statement should be, according to you:

"The Patriarchal narratives were created by multiple Hebrew authors in  
the 1st millennium BCE."

What really troubles me in this "accurate" -- and correct? --  
according to you claim, is the term "created". Why not just to say  
"were written down»?

My proposal does not reflect my opinion on the subject, but it is  
still looks sufficiently reasonable for me and potentially amendable  
for corrections, in the case of new discoveries, to be passed by  
without too much objections.

It is just because the authoritative majority of learned Jewish  
"academics" of this early epoch, to which even the Documentary   
Hypothesis is obliged to assign the "creation" of the narratives in  
question, were deeply religious people, for whom "the spirit" and "the  
letter" were not yet divorced, or worse still, for whom "the spirit"  
was nonexistent and only "the letter" was real, as to many of us, that  
we can be absolutely sure that these academics(whom I admire for their  
scientific and spiritual perseverance in the time when all books were  
written and when wars were destroying libraries forever) have written  
down something known to even children for many centuries with the most  
great accuracy. Oral precedes written and the written, in its  
beginnings, faithfully reproduces the oral (see, for example, the  
articles of Frank Polak, of the Tel Aviv University).

This said, personally, I do believe ? for historical, psychological,  
and, yes, spiritual reasons outlined above (which does not mean  
?fundamentalist? and even "religious", as this word is spelled out by  
unbelievers, -- your original unfortunate, discriminatory terms which  
have the potential to destroy the very climate of the academic  
objectivity that you are so much promoting) -- that the Patriarchal  
Narratives were written down much earlier than the 1st Millennium BC.

Edward G. Belaga
Institut de Recherche en Mathématique Avancée
Universite Louis Pasteur
7, rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
tel.: 333 90 24 02 35, FAX: 333 90 24 03 28
e-mail : edward.belaga at math.u-strasbg.fr

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