[b-hebrew] A correction about one, two, or three Isaiahs

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Mon Dec 27 11:10:25 EST 2010


Dear George,

Thank you for the correction regarding "conservative" versus "traditionalist."

Regarding 2-3. Although the JEDP theory relates to the Pentateuch, it's
conclusions were used by the Redaction-Critical Theory proponents for the rest
of the Tanakh. There is obvious editing in the text of the Tanakh, but that does
not mean that it was created whole cloth at the time of editing which many of
the proponents believe. I think the DSS put that issue to rest. The major
problem with Deutero-Isaiah or Trito-Isaiah theories is the issue of predictive
prophecy which most do not admit to (this is true for all of prophecy in the
Tanakh especially Daniel); and, thus, automatically put a late date to the
documents. Your number four shows that this is the case.

I'll stop now before I violate list guidelines.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Athas" <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>
To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 26, 2010 5:55 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] A correction about one, two, or three Isaiahs


> Bryant Williams wrote:
>
> "Conservative scholarship treats Isaiah being produced by one person, the
prophet Isaiah. Most modern scholarship treats Isaiah as being written by two,
maybe three persons. It is based on the discredited JEDP theory of
Graf-Welhausen. SEE archives for previous discussions."
>
>
> I have a few corrections/comments to make about this.
>
> Firstly, I know many conservative scholars who believe Isaiah is the product
of at least two or three people. To use the term 'conservative' to characterise
a position on this is, I believe, not helpful or accurate. Perhaps
'traditionalist' is a better term for those who argue for singular authorship of
Isaiah.
>
> Secondly, the argument for two or three authors for Isaiah actually has little
to do with the Graf-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis ('JEDP'). The 'JEDP'
hypothesis really relates only to the Pentateuch.
>
> Thirdly, the JEDP theory is a source-critical theory, that argues for
particular documents as the sources lying behind the current Pentateuch. The
argument for two or three authors of Isaiah is not really a source theory, but
rather a redaction-critical theory.
>
> Fourthly, some of the conservatives who argue for two or three authors also
add a theological argument (when God speaks, it is immediately relevant and
demands an immediate response from the prophet's audience). I don't want to
argue the pros or cons of this argument, but I do need to state that this
position is held by certain proponents of the two/three authors theory.
>
>
> GEORGE ATHAS
> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
> www.moore.edu.au
>
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