[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 17:43:37 EST 2007

On Dec 27, 2007 7:20 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:
> For a person whose religious faith leads him
> to accept that Moses was a prophet and that God revealed the future to him,
> this is no problem, but he must realize that this is a position of faith,
> not science. A scientifc view cannot accept anything that does not accord
> with the laws of nature AS WE KNOW THEM TODAY. This does not mean that a
> scientist cannot also believe in miracles and in prophecy - it just means
> that he cannot alow them into evidence.

Already the Talmudic sages were divided on the last verses of the Torah,
and others (prominently Ibn Ezra) also noted anachronisms.  These were
all good god-fearing people who believed in prophecy, and yet they allowed
that anachronisms are not necessarily explained by prophecy.   What is
significant, however, is that a prophecy can tell the future, but it speaks to
the present.  Thus, even a prophecy of the future should show signs of
recognizing all the conditions (for example, the political conditions) of the
time it was given, even if they would be long gone by the time the prophecy
is fulfilled.  Someone who substantiates a text's anachronisms on prophetic
grounds, must still show how it applied to the time to which he believes
it was originally given.

Besides, as I stated originally, even aside the DH, there are other factors
such as archaeological evidence that is incompatible with many details of
the Patriarchal, Exodus and Conquest narratives.  That alone is sufficient to
lead us to understand that the composition of these narratives is in the
1st millennium BCE, and mainly faint memories if even that go back further.
I'll discuss this more when I finish Kitchen's article.

Yitzhak Sapir

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