[b-hebrew] Wellhausen vs. Single Author

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Sun Jan 6 19:24:55 EST 2008


 
Bill Rea: 
You wrote:  “In the DH vs single-author  hypothesis, there are a large number
of problems with a single author  hypothesis for which the supporters
engage in all sorts of special pleading.  For a number of these problems
you don't even have to be able to read Hebrew,  they can be seen in most
English translations.  Ultimately it becomes simpler, i.e.  more
parsimonious, to believe that the text was composed by combining  several
earlier closely related traditions.” 
What you say may apply to the Hebrew Bible  as a whole, or to the first five 
books of the Bible.  But does it apply to the Patriarchal  narratives? 
    1.  As to the Patriarchal narratives, what are the  “large number
of problems with a single  author hypothesis for which the supporters
engage in all sorts of special  pleading.  For a number  of these problems
you don't even have to be able to read Hebrew, they can  be seen in most
English translations.”
I know of no such items in the Patriarchal  narratives (except for a tiny 
handful of  glosses). 
    1.  Moreover, virtually nothing in the  Patriarchal narratives is similar 
to what is in the rest of the Bible, and  vice versa.  If the DH is right  
and the same 4 people who wrote the Book of Exodus also wrote the Patriarchal  
narratives, why is the point of view so dramatically different?  As the tip of 
the iceberg, the Book of  Exodus hates Egypt, whereas the Patriarchal 
narratives love  Egypt.
    1.  When I assert that the Patriarchal  narratives were composed by a 
single author in the mid-14th century  BCE, what sort of “special pleading” am I 
resorting  to?
    1.  No  university scholar ever discusses the Patriarchal narratives in 
the context of  the mid-14th century BCE.   How then can we be sure that there 
is no such connection, if no  university scholar will discuss the matter?  Isn’
t that a form of academic “special  pleading”?  I can match every  foreign 
policy event in the received text of the Patriarchal narratives to  what 
happened in Year 14 of Akhenaten’s 17-year reign.  Where is the “special  pleading”?
    1.  No  one on the b-Hebrew list has yet come up with a single story in 
the entirety  of the Patriarchal narratives that is out of place in a mid-14th  
century BCE secular historical context.   Academic scholars never discuss 
that subject.  If my theory of the case is wrong, why  then isn’t there at least 
one story in the text that does not fit the  mid-14th century BCE?
Please specify where I am engaging in  “special pleading”.  In particular,  
please identify at least one story in the Patriarchal narratives that does not 
 fit a mid-14th century BCE context, absent “special pleading”.  As 
previously discussed on the b-Hebrew  list, there were camels in existence in the 
mid-14th century BCE, and  nothing about the “Philistines” in the Patriarchal 
narratives is redolent in any  way, shape or form of the classic Philistines who 
lived in five grand cities on  the southwest coast of Canaan beginning in the 
early 12th century  BCE.  Am I engaging in “special  pleading” to point that 
out?  Certainly the “Philistines” in the Patriarchal narratives are not the  
later classic Philistines. 
Please  identify at least one story in the Patriarchal narratives that does 
not fit a  mid-14th century BCE context.  Please specify where I am engaging in 
“special pleading”. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois



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