[b-hebrew] Wellhausen and statistical text analysis
transcriber at tanach.us
Wed Dec 26 15:38:08 EST 2007
Technology exists for quantitatively comparing two texts. It gives
statistical measures as to whether word usage and grammar in the same in
the texts. Legal cases establishing authorship/non-authorship have been
based on such measures and statistical measures can convince juries of
reasonable people. But that's NOT the essence of the problem of the
Documentary Hypothesis (DH).
The problem is in splitting a single text into pieces without inducing a
particular result. Given a machine generated, homogeneous text, one can
split the text arbitrarily so as to achieve desired statistical
differences. This is the root problem of the DH. The DH is a subjective
splitting that inherently achieves its goals.
The value of the DH is in recognizing the Torah is a composite document
reflecting different traditions.
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