[b-hebrew] Wellhausen JEPD Theory re Patriarchal Narratives

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Mon Dec 24 14:39:32 EST 2007


Yitzhak Sapir:
 
I think I have finally figured out your view of the Patriarchal narratives.  
Here are the key lines that you wrote:
 
“Furthermore, Gen 50, cannot be read distinct from the Exodus, so saying that 
Gen 50 shows a positive attitude towards Egypt is only looking at one half of 
the picture. That positive attitude could well be intended to further stress 
the negative attitude of Egypt later on.”
 
So neither you, nor the Wellhausen JEPD theory, look at the Patriarchal 
narratives on their own terms.  No, you and the Wellhausen JEPD theory insist that 
the Patriarchal narratives “cannot be read distinct from the Exodus”.  So 
then old Wellhausen can show how the Book of Exodus (not the Patriarchal 
narratives) seems redolent of the 1st millennium BCE trauma of the Exile.
 
The reason why you do not quote a single reputable academic as to a story in 
the Patriarchal narratives that does not fit the mid-2nd millennium BCE, and 
that does fit the 1st millennium BCE, is because the stories the academics love 
to cite in that connection are from the Book of Exodus and later parts of the 
Bible.
 
You will remember when I begged you to look at Genesis 14: 16 with fresh 
eyes, in terms of the Patriarchal narratives?  You absolutely refused to do that, 
insisting that Genesis 14: 16 could not be analyzed except in terms of the 
Book of Exodus.
 
So that is where our fundamental disagreement lies.  In your mind, it is 
irrelevant that none of the stories in the last 40 chapters of Genesis seem out of 
place in a mid-14th century BCE context, and rarely fit the 1st millennium 
BCE.  That is all irrelevant to you, because (i) you see the Book of Exodus and 
later parts of the Bible as reflecting the mid-1st millennium BCE, and (ii) 
you refuse to take even a brief glance at the Patriarchal narratives on their 
own terms, but rather insist on analyzing the Patriarchal narratives exclusively 
in terms of the Book of Exodus and later parts of the Bible.
 
Let me offer a recommendation to you.  Someday, you should look at the 
Patriarchal narratives on their own terms, ignoring the Book of Exodus and the rest 
of the Bible.  If you ever do that, you will see that all the stories in the 
Patriarchal narratives beautifully reflect the historical Patriarchal Age of 
the mid-14th century BCE.
 
But as long as you insist on interpreting the Patriarchal narratives solely 
through the lens of the Book of Exodus and other later parts of the Bible, then 
you will be stuck with the old Wellhausen theory of the case.
 
I will now give up trying to make you look at the Patriarchal narratives on 
their own terms.  You keep quoting the Book of Exodus at me, and so we get 
nowhere.
 
I will close by simply noting that no one on this thread has set forth a 
specific story in the Patriarchal narratives that is redolent of the 1st 
millennium BCE, and that does not reflect the mid-2nd millennium BCE.  In my view, the 
Patriarchal narratives are truly ancient material, and could not possibly be 
fiction ginned up by multiple authors in the mid-1st millennium BCE, because 
the stories in the received text of the last 40 chapters of Genesis fit so 
beautifully with the well-documented secular history of the mid-14th century BCE.  
I see the Patriarchal narratives as being a truly ancient text by a single 
author, who was the first Hebrew in secular history.  Furthermore, I see the 
Patriarchal narratives as having been composed many centuries before the Book of 
Exodus.   
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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