[b-hebrew] Wellhausen (K Randolph)

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Sun Jan 27 17:03:22 EST 2008

Karl wrote:-

>When reading about the historical development of DH, I did not find ibn
>Ezra even mentioned, which is why I question his relevance in this
>discussion. But I did find several references to a belief in evolution,
>even in the earliest writings. Therefore, a belief in naturalism and
>evolution which is the reason for the division of Isaiah to two or more
>authors, is relevant and why it is connected with DH.

To not know of the significant of Ibn Ezra is quite a gap in your
knowledge of this area. First I'd like to state as clearly as I can that I
understand your rejection of the DH (upper case) on religious grounds
despite the fact you have your own private documentary hypothesis (lower
case). I don't question your right to such a view. I don't even question
your right to a double standard in what you regard as evidence. For
your on private documentary hypothesis no other evidence than tolodoth
divisions are necessary. For the DH (upper case) original sources are
required. Fine. I get it.

The problem is that you dress up your religious views in the language of
science. You talk about evidence, reason, and logic but it seems to be all
a facade for an immovable religious belief. Over a number of years you
have posted a self-portrait and asked if the portrait is of a scholar.
The answer is clearly no. A scholar must deal with the existing
scholarship. Ibn Ezra is an important figure in the development of
the broad idea that the Torah was not written by a single author.
This has been said a number of times over the years yet even now you
don't know who he was or what his ideas were. If I wrote a paper
and submitted it to a journal and the referee(s) said, ``The author
has omitted a reference to the seminal work of so and so.'' I would
have to read and digest so and so's work then add something to the
paper to deal with whatever contribution so and so made before I
submitted a revised version of the paper. That's how research
and scholarship work.

Ibn Ezra is an important figure. You question his relevance????? You
haven't taken the time to study his work. All that shows is your
unscholarly approach to the subject. It you want to take a religious
approach to the question of authorship then please don't try to dress up
your religion in scientific clothing. At least be honest with the
rest of the list.

>That people start out with ideological positions that color their
>acceptance or rejection of certain ideas is well known.
>I freely admit that I started with a certain ideological
>position that had already rejected the ideological basis upon which DH is
>built, which led me to reject DH as well.

But you fail to deal with Ibn Erza, among others, who clearly did not hold
these ideological positions you so strongly object to. He couldn't have
held them because they hadn't been invented at the time he lived.

You seem willing to accuse everyone who thinks the balance of evidence
points to the Torah being the work of multiple authors of being
motivated by ``a belief in naturalism and evolution ''. That's just
utter non-sense. You aren't a mind reader. I'm not even sure was
``naturalism'' is supposed to be. The only times I've heard that
word used has been by creationists who what to dismiss some
evidence they don't like.

Jacob Neuser (there's a scholar you should know about) was once
a visitor here. In the question time after a lecture one of our
religious studies academics asked him how he would deal with the
accusation that he was a fundamentalist. In reference to the Torah
he said -- you have to beleive this was handed down by God otherwise
its just information a good half of which is probably wrong. That
answer baffled the questioner (and me too) but over the years I've
come to be very impressed with his wisdom in giving that answer.
You would do well to ponder it.

P.S. I read the stuff on Deut 22 and it looks to me like you are
taking my side and providing arguments for the point I was trying
to make. So I'm out of that one.

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
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