[b-hebrew] Linguistic, historical, cultural origins of yahweh

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 16:07:47 EST 2008


On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 12:11 PM, Bill Rea <bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz> wrote:

> Karl wrote:-
> > One possibility that has not been addressed here is that the name YHWH
> was
> > known to Adam while yet in the Garden of Eden. This is the way the text
> as
> > written indicates, rather than as artificially divided to satisfy the
> > demands of the Documentary Hypothesis.
> I expect you actually know better but you have got this back to front. The
> idea that the text was composed from a number of sources long preceded what
> is now call the Documentary Hypothesis. By a number of centuries in fact. I
> think it needs a better name because it seems every man and his dog has
> some
> theory which could justifiably be called a documentary hypothesis. The
> division of the text into sources, however tentative and uncertain, came
> from careful study of the text and only later were these observations
> codified into some sort of coherent theory which we now call the
> Documentary
> Hypothesis.
> Bill Rea Ph.D., ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
> E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz                       </   New
> Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332               /)  Zealand
> Unix Systems Administrator                           (/'

There is some evidence that when Moses compiled the book of Genesis, he
relied heavily on earlier writings: so heavily, in fact, that he preserved
literary features that had gone out of use by his day. This was recognized
for centuries; I´m informed that Rashi, among others, mentioned it.

The Documentary Hypothesis is not the same. It started about 1800 with an a
priori belief in evolution and that the Jews were a lower breed of humans,
not as advanced as their neighbors. The theory then looked for evidence, and
found it by positing multiple authors that were later combined. But in order
to get those divisions into different authors, the text has to be divided
artificially that does not follow the flow nor context of the text. It´s a
theory that starts with belief, then looks for evidence to back it up.

Karl W. Randolph.

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