[b-hebrew] Documentary Hypothesis

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jan 27 12:59:59 EST 2009

Well said, Dr. Furuli!

I have only one small quibble with your posting, namely that science cannot
study the past, as someone wrote in
someone used to show why neo-Darwinian evolution cannot be scientific
http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Evolution .

> Third, we have what may be called a cautious
> philological approach. This approach neither  a
> priori rejects God, nor uses God as an alibi ( or
> as an "excuse") when they meet problems in the
> text. But those using this approach cautiously
> accept what the text says until data definitely
> showing that some saying is wrong emerge
> (evidence from silence is not accepted, i.e., "no
> evidence is found for this or that, and therefore
> the information regarding it in the Tanakh is
> unreliable").
> Personally I prefer the third approach.  And what
> do we find when we follow this approach? We find
> that the claims of Deuteronomy that there was a
> man named Moses who wrote the books, and the
> claim of 1 Kings 6:1 that this happened 479 years
> before Solomon started to build his temple, i.e.,
> the writing occurred in the 15th century B.C.E.,
> cannot be falsified by evidence. And further, we
> find that the claim of the book of Isaiah (1:1)
> that the book was written by one prophet called
> Isaiah in the 8th century B.C.E., and the claim
> of the book of Daniel that a prophet called
> Daniel received visions and wrote these down in
> the 6th century B.C.E., cannot be falsified.
> Everyone is free to reject the mentioned claims,
> and the point here is not to argue that the
> claims are true, but rather to show that those
> rejecting them do so on the same basis as the
> fundamentalists belive in them, namely, on the
> basis of faith! This is also true in connection
> with supernatural reports, such as Joshua 10. It
> requires much more faith to believe that life
> developed by chance - something which is
> completely impossible - than to be open for the
> possibility that the light of the sun was
> reflected by some means and was seen on the earth
> almost for a whole night.

> ...
> This is a balanced scholarly assessment, but -
> and this is important - it is the same kind of
> assessment I use when I say that the data we have
> at present do not contradict the writing of Moses
> in the 15th century, of Isaiah in the 8th
> century, and of Daniel in the 6th century.
> Best regards,
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
> I too prefer this third approach (at least while on this forum) and it is
the foundation upon which I base many of my responses. It is also why while
I openly disagree with the Documentary Hypothesis, I refuse point blank to
say that it is false, rather acceptance and rejection are both based on
faith. However, you describe this third approach far better than I have.

Karl W. Randolph.

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