[b-hebrew] Computer Analysis

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Jan 16 15:21:45 EST 2008

Yaakov wrote:-

>A blind test means that the material should be given to someone
>who has never heard of the documentary hypothesis,
>preferably one who has never even heard of the bible.

In once sense this has already been done. The problem with people
who are looking for some objective measure which will tell them
if the Five Books of Moses are a composite work or one composed
by a single author is that they ignore the evidence from
the Medieval Jewish exegetes. Certain people on this list dismiss
the work of Wellhausen and later for philosophical reasons which
are independent of the evidence. These same people seem to turn
a blind eye to the fact that some Medieval Jewish exegetes also
realised that the Five Books of Moses were not the work of a
single author. These exegetes worked at a time before the
scientific method, as we understand it and which certain list members
have philosophical problems with, was ever developed. I won't
go into details as Yitzhak has presented them several times.

The question that needs to be asked is how did these devout men reach this
conclusion when it did not exist and further their ``philosophical
presuppositions'' were very different from Wellhausen and his successors
to which certain list members reject so strongly. I suggest they are about
the closest we'll get to a blind test. You can't just hand the Hebrew text
to someone who doesn't know Hebrew and expect them to both learn the
language and then determine if the Books of Moses are a composite work.
The skill level in both language and theology of the Medieval Jewish
exegetes arose from extensive training from their youngest days.
That can't be duplicated at a whim.

P.S. Question for moderators. The list software seems to have changed
in that the digests are only being posted out once the volume of
material reaches somewhere around 70Kb. Previously a digest came
every day, assuming something was posted. The problem with the
current system is that when volume is low it can be four or five
days before a digest comes. Is there any way to revert to the
earlier behaviour?

Bill Rea, 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                    (/'

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