[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 09:41:09 EST 2008


On Jan 7, 2008 10:09 AM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I found it amazing how an article from over a century ago, is still so
> timely.
> It is as if all the critics against the Documentary Hypothesis are simply
> repeating, for a century now, the same arguments, with no care to the fact
> that long ago, responses have been published to those same questions.

But have you considered that the reason the same arguments keep being
repeated is because the responses have been considered less than convincing
to skeptics? In other words, the arguments sound great when preaching to the
choir, but to the skeptic leaves something to be desired?

> …  But so long as the
> hypothesis stands, despite the large amounts of compositions which could
> be utilized to disprove it, it must show that the Pentateuch is indeed a
> composite work, and the only reason we find those source documents in
> the Pentateuch, is because they are really there.
> Yitzhak Sapir

I've brought it up before, but it bears repeating in the present discussion:
there is evidence that Genesis is a composite work, namely that Moses had
older documents whose authors are named. This was marked by the "toldot"
formula which appears at the end of each section (the modern chapter and
verse divisions do not follow the original). But this is a different
argument than that brought up by the DH.

If we did not have the source documents to the Diatessaron of Tatian, would
we be able to recognize its source documents? Prof. George F. Moore admitted
that even with the source documents it is sometimes difficult to recognize
the source of each section of text. In fact, it is only the extra markings
in many copies of the text that tell which is which that often allow modern
scholars accurately to assign each portion of text to its source document.
How much more difficult would it be without the source documents?

DH is not only Torah, rather it is connected with the division of Isaiah to
two or three authors, the late dating of Daniel, the search for "Q" for the
New Testament, and so forth. Those are all parts of the same movement whose
roots go back more than two centuries, long before the term DH was coined,
before the followers of the movement codified their method in the work of
Wellhausen, to before Gesenius developed his lexicography in accordance to
the movement, to the earliest records I have seen of the movement. Those
roots have objections that have never been adequately answered, therefore
the refinements, that which came later, are largely irrelevant. Those
objections show an ideology that predesposes certain results, without which
ideology people don't even consider DH as a valid theory. In other words,
without the ideology, the evidence for DH is far less than convincing.

You, Yitzhak, have admitted that DH applies only to Bible, which is only one
more evidence that DH is an ideologically driven idea, making it
unconvincing to skeptics. For a method to be valid, it must give accurate
results to all literature. So far all the evidence I have seen is that it is
not accurate for other literature.

Karl W. Randolph.

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