[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

Michael Abernathy michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net
Wed Dec 26 22:28:40 EST 2007

OK, you believe that some of the passages have universal agreement as to 
which sources contributed to them. Based on what? As I look over the 
available material, I note that the scholarly works I have reference to 
do not agree to the number of sources or when those sources came into 

You responded to my statement, "From my limited background DH seems to 
be more a matter of faith than science, being impossible to prove and 
nearly impossible to disprove." with  "I don't know who gave you this 
background, but it's wrong."

Perhaps I wasn't clear. You have given me the impression that there is 
no objective method for proving DH and it is nearly impossible to 
disprove. If so, you have described DH in terms I would reserve for 
faith not science. As I understand it a scientific theory must be 
capable of being proven or disproved through objective means.

You comment, "There is no divorcing from the literary context. The 
theory in fact claims
that the true original literary context of some passages is different than
that the composite text you are reading, which divorced them from their
original context.The theory therefore aims to restore the passages to
their true original context, and understand them on two levels - the
first, their original context, and the second, their later context in the
composite work, by understanding the changes the text went through
to become part of the composite work."

Before responding I would like to refer to a speech by Abraham Lincoln.
In 1858 Lincoln said to the people assembled in Springfield, Illinois,

"In /my/ opinion, it /will/ not cease, until a /crisis/ shall have been 
reached, and passed.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half /slave/ and 
half /free/."

I suspect most, if not all of the members of this forum can identify the 
source of Lincoln's quote,
"A house divided against itself cannot stand." However, knowing that 
source does little if anything
to clarify Lincoln's meaning.  The literary context is the context in 
which the quote is found not its literary origin.
As to "understanding the changes the text went through to become part of 
the composite work,"  this presupposes
that one can actually determine the original source.  I am not willing 
to make that assumption.
Michael Abernathy

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