[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 01:45:43 EST 2007


On Dec 26, 2007 5:14 PM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Dec 26, 2007 5:29 PM, K Randolph wrote:
> > > As I see it, yes.  In fact, that is how I understand the term "The
> > > Documentary
> > > Hypothesis."  I see no reason or problem with it, and I don't
> understand
> > > what your problem with this is.  I don't understand your attempted
> > > counter-
> > > example.  If J, E, P, D, and the final redactor are all one and the
> same
> > > person, that does not change the theory one bit.…
> >
> > If they are all the same author, then you are back to Mosaic authorship
> > except under a different name.
> I must have missed "the author is Moses" step in your logic.  (In other
> words,
> the above is faulty logic.)

For someone who is so good at unearthing obscure references in libraries and
on the web, your inability to follow simple logic is mystifying.

If J, E, P, D, and the final redactor are all one and the same person, then
that negates the whole argument against that Moses was the author of Torah
about 1400 BC. But my statement above did not go that far, rather
it acknowledges that once you admit that it is possible that one person
could have performed all the roles of all the "sources" as well as the
redactor who put it all together, then there is no necessity for multiple
sources. If that one individual did perform all the roles of all the sources
and redactor, then it is the same at least as far as single authorship is
concerned in the same manner as Mosaic Authorship, only under a different

Further, you misstated what I wrote.

> > > … It makes sense, however,
> > > in light of the different viewpoints espoused by each of J, E, P, and
> D,
> > > that
> > > each of them was a different person, probably even living elsewhere or
> in
> > > a
> > > different period of time.  The attempt to place the different sources
> in
> > > their
> > > appropriate historical contexts can only come after we have a good
> idea
> > > of the division of the separate sources.
> >
> > In light of the above, it appears that this is a theory that is so
> plastic
> > that it is de facto not an explanation of anything.
> That only shows you do not understand the steps needed to make a sound
> argument.  One has first to argue the existence and content of sources,
> and then based on that content, to show who is dependent on whom, and
> who dates when.  That these are the necessary steps does not make it
> "plastic" or "de facto not an explanation of anything."  Any other method
> you
> can think of is "plastic" and "de facto not an explanation of anything."

This retort illustrates the very circular logic that we object to. You start
with the presupposition that there are multiple sources, then based on that
à priori position develop "evidence" from the text, closing with that the
evidence indicates that there are multiple sources.

Would the evidence show that if you started with a different à priori
decision? That others start with different à priori beliefs, and end up with
different conclusions (e.g. that DH is false) indicates that the à priori
decisions are vital.

> > > Again, a discussion of the DH as regarding Homer can be found in Van
> > > Seters, as well as in this review of Van Seters:
> > > http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/5237_5516.pdf
> > Interesting, looking at the review, I find, "Consequently, Old Testament
> > scholars who are still working with the idea of redactors are using a
> model
> > that they took over from classics, where it is now outmoded. But even if
> the
> > editor-redactor hypothesis does not provide a solution to the Homeric
> > question, this does not at all mean that it is inadequate for the
> analysis
> > of biblical literature, all the more the counterargument against the
> Wolf
> > and Wilamowitz-Moellendorff method of the "unitarian" approach of one
> author
> > of the Homeric poems. The biblical counterpart would be to reinstall
> Moses
> > as the author of all the Pentateuch, which, I suppose, Van Seters would
> not
> > subscribe to." In other words, a modern study as applied to Homer does
> not
> > give the same result as the DH methodology.
> He then goes on (in the very next paragraph) to show how this school of
> thought (regarding Homer/Iliad) lost much of its credibility.  What is
> your
> point?

My point is that if DH methodology lost its credibility vis-à-vis Homer and
Illiad, as well as all other literature, why should we trust it concerning

> > > > Religion and Religious texts are a very touchy subject. ...
> > > I do not understand what place the above paragraph has in this
> > > discussion.…
> >
> > Here I am in total agreement with Moshe. I have said the same thing
> several
> > times in discussions with you. Your failure to understand reflects,
> please
> > excuse me for bluntness, ignorance of basic principles of philosophy.
> These
> > ideas are covered in a decent first year introduction to philosophy
> class.
> I do not excuse you for your bluntness.  If you have the bluntness to call
> me
> ignorant of such basic principles, then please point me to the
> appropriate issue,
> an appropriate introductory textbook where I can read these issues.
> Be specific
> because right now, it's an allegation without any substantiation, and
> an ad hominem
> as it stands.  (I'm always happy to learn I'm ignorant of something
> relevant to the
> discussion, however, if there is a place where I can read up on that
> subject).

You are asking me to go back many years when I was an undergraduate and
recall the title of what is probably a long out of print textbook, which I
no longer possess.

What we did in class was to go over the à priori positions, the
presuppositions, of major philosophers and schools of philosophies from the
ancient Greek Plato and Aristotle, through Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, and
many others I haven't listed here, up to the then modern day. We looked not
only at the presuppositions, but the logical consistency of the philosophers
based on their presuppositions and how the presuppositions both limited and
guided the resulting philosophies. Remember, this was introduction to
philosophy class, not an advanced class.

After that class, I took a couple of other philosophy classes, including
logic, but most of my undergraduate work was in other majors.

Since you are so good at sniffing up obscure details on the web, maybe you
can find more information that I don't know where to find. Or maybe you
should take an introduction to philosophy class.

Getting back to the subject, your ignorance of your presuppositions not only
blinds you to how your beliefs mold the methodology that you use to study,
and thereby molds the conclusions that you come to, but it leads you to
proselytize for your beliefs all the while you think you are being
"scientifically" neutral. Because you don't recognize your own religious
principles, you also don't understand when others disagree with you nor why
they disagree.

> Let me also point out, that I tried not to be too harsh in my response to
> Moshe
> here, because what he said was in my opinion out of line.

It was completely in context, not out of line. You need to recognize your
presuppositions, your religious persuasion, so you can understand what
others are talking about when they disagree with you.

> > I have mentioned it before, but will emphasize it here, you have a very
> > sloppy definition of "believer". In fact, it is so sloppy that it is for
> > all practical purposes undefined.
> There are all kinds of beliefs.  That someone accepts the Documentary
> Hypothesis
> does not mean he does not accept monotheism, that he does not accept the
> oral
> law as binding, that he does not view the Torah as being God-given.
> There is a long
> distance between someone who accepts even one of these and an atheist, and
> even
> assuming he used "atheist" "sloppily" to mean "non-believer in some
> belief," there is
> still a long distance between someone who accepts one of these and a
> non-believer.

Oy veh! This and your following responses tell me that you didn't
understand. …

> > There are probably more similarities between
> > Moshe and Jews for Jesus, than either to "Reformed" Judaism and
> "mainstream"
> > Christianity, whereas there are more similarities between "Reformed"
> Judaism
> > and "mainstream" Christianity than either to either Moshe or Jews for
> Jesus.
> I suggest you leave your conclusions on Judaism out of this discussion
> because
> it shows a basic misunderstanding of Judaism, and would likely offend most
> Jews.
> > Further, your definition of what defines a scientific theory differs
> from
> > all science textbooks (physics, chemistry, biology) that I surveyed back
> > when I was in college (they all agreed on the same basic definition,
> even
> > though some were logically inconsistent in their application thereof).
> > Either the definition of science has changed since I was in college so
> that
> > it now includes your personal religious persuasion, or your personal
> > religious persuasion is not scientific: which is it?
> The definition of science has not changed.…

If that's the case, why do you contradict the teachings of professors like
Dr. George Gaylord Simpson, Dr. William S. Beck, and others of their ilk?
Look at Amazon.com, their books are still selling. Who are you?

> … The definition of science has just
> been clarified to you, whereas in college you misunderstood what you read
> and
> formed an incorrect idea of what science really is.…

Stop writing foolishness. Show me where I contradict professors such as
those listed above. Others, including members of the international Skeptics
Society have not been able to show any contradiction between what I wrote
and what professors such as Dr.s Simpson and Beck wrote, are you smarter
than they?

> … Please don't discuss my own
> "religious persuasion" because you have no idea what it is, and I don't
> discuss
> my beliefs on discussion lists.  It also has no business in this or
> any discussion
> on this list.

Then, by your own mouth, you need to stop talking. Your proselytism for your
beliefs is broadcasting your religion. If you don't want to discuss your
religion, then stop pushing DH.

Maybe the short article on wikinfo.org can help:

> > > I will give you one study:
> > > "An Empirical Basis for the Documentary Hypothesis," by J. H. Tigay
> > >
> > > http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0021-9231(197509)94%3A3%3C329%3AAEBFTD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-D
> >
> > Read it.
> You read it all?

It was only 14 small pages. I found it rather superficial, partially because
it does not take into account the literary styles of the documents analyzed,
partially because it is such a short article.

> Yitzhak Sapir

Maybe I should make one long posting quoting science textbooks, like I did
for the international Skeptics Society, just to answer once and for all your
claims that I don't understand science. I hesitate quoting the book I
learned the definition from, as the authors took four large pages, including
many examples to illustrate their points, to define science, but others take
from a half page to a page and a half, a few of those should suffice.

Karl W. Randolph.

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