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Friday, December 01, 2006

Textual Criticism

"I have great contempt for the work of these so-called scholars, working with the tools of speculation and armed with copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of original texts at the very best. They have no good evidence, simply the belief that God could not possibly be real and so all evidences of his existence must be refuted somehow."

This is a comment in reference to my previous post. Creeper responds intelligently below:

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you previously claimed that the Bible is one of the most accurately copied texts ever? I don't recall you backing up the boast, but I'm pretty sure you've made that claim.

I certainly have made that claim. King James spent millions of dollars (well, pounds in this case) in the 1600's to gather all scripture available from all over the world to try to ensure that an accurate text would be available to all. There have been other efforts to preserve scripture over time, since knowing exact wording is important here, far more than, say, a Shakespearian text. But the KJV effort is especially noteworthy.

(By the way, what we now call the Textus Receptus today is more accurately called the Byzantine, or majority, text. Long subject, probably boring to most, consisting of numerous quibbles over an exact word here or there. Then again, the desire to be exacting when it comes to the Bible is a good one.)

The late Dr. Henry Morris, founder of ICR, wrote the following concerning the Textus Receptus, aka received text or Byzantine text or majority text, that was the result of the King James effort:

"King James translators were also great scholars, every bit as proficient in the Biblical languages as any of those who have come after them. They were very familiar with the great body of manuscript evidence, as well as all the previous translations. They worked diligently on the project (assigned to them by King James) for over seven years, completing it in the year 1611.

The professional qualifications of the translators were all extremely high. There were 54 scholars originally assigned to the project by King James, though some died early in the project. There were evidently 47 who were active throughout the project, all of whom were exceptionally well qualified both academically and spiritually.

For example, John Bois, who kept the most complete account of the proceedings of the translators, was extremely skilled in both Hebrew and Greek. In fact, it is reported by his biographer that he was reading through the Hebrew Old Testament when he was only five years old. He was expert in all forms of Greek, including the Koine Greek of the New Testament, and compiled one of the largest Greek libraries ever. Dr. Bois became Dean of Canterbury in 1619.

Lancelot Andrews, a leader of the Old Testament translators, had been chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. He was fluent in fifteen modern languages, as well as Hebrew, Greek, and the cognate Biblical languages. He served as Dean of Westminster and later as Bishop of Winchester.

Dr. William Bedwell was expert in Latin, Arabic, and Persian, preparing lexicons in these languages, as well as in the Biblical languages. Edward Lively, who died after only a year, had been Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge and had an unequaled knowledge of the Oriental languages. Dr. John Harding was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. Miles Smith was a noted Orientalist who became Bishop of Gloucester in 1612. He was the last man to review the translation and was selected to write the Translators' Preface.

Dr. Andrew Downes spent forty years as Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University and was on the final checking committee of the translation. George Abbott became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1611. Sir Henry Saville was Provost of Eton and was a scientist as well as Bible scholar. His works included an eight-volume edition of the works of Chrysostom. And on and on. All the translators were great scholars, deeply fluent in the Biblical languages, the cognate languages, the writings of the church fathers and other relevant materials, as well as accomplished writers in English. It is almost certain that no group of Bible scholars before or since has ever been as thoroughly fit for their task as was the King James Translation Team."


Because of the existence of older manuscripts more recently found, such as Sinaiticus and Vatincanus, the Textus Receptus is often passed over as a basis for translating the Bible in favor of the Westcott & Hort text. The differences between these texts are few in number, however, it appears that both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus may have been thrown away (Sinai was found in, basically, a primitive trash can in a monastery) and because of their lack of subsequent use were therefore more easily preserved. They are both of the Alexandrian family of texts, associated with Origen, who is suspected of making slight changes in the scriptures to suit his own personal theology. In any event, both of these documents differ from each other as well as from the TR.

I am certainly NOT a King James Only guy and read more than one version of the Bible (NKJV, NIV, RSV) but when I consult the original texts, I depend on the TR, which is from the best Koine Greek manuscripts available in the 1600's and the OT, which is taken directly from Masoretic Hebrew rather than from the Latin Vulgate.

2. Isn't Textural Criticism also employed by present-day theologians who have absolutely no interest in refuting the existence of God?

I cannot specifically read the minds of those who employ TC. I am aware that some are making an attempt to disprove the existence of God and I am sure that some are not. I simply have issues with TC itself, as I will explain shortly.

3. Don't Textural Critics use exactly the same source materials as your good self? What makes you so fervently confident about those sources in your case but dismissive in theirs ("copies of copies of copies...")?

(I have been prompted to say that the usual spelling for this is "textual criticism, not textural. I thereby will spell it as such in the future.)

The problem is the nature of what Textual Criticism actually is, in my humble opinion. Early in the 19th century, people like Barth and Brunner in Germany began struggling with making evolution and the Bible fit together, as theistic evolutionists. I personally don't think you can logically do it, you are either a creationist or an evolutionist, but my readers know that already. The German TC movement has since expanded to include people with many differing agendas.

In any event, this desire led to a form of textual criticism that sought to, in the end, make the words of God into the words of mere men and therefore subject to error from the very beginning. Thus it also became the playground of pseudo-Bible Scholars intent on making the Bible itself irrelevant.

I don't personally believe anyone who doesn't believe that the Bible, in its original form, is inspired by God and inerrant, is qualified to criticize its contents or texts. Go try to figure out what Shakespeare really wrote, or whether Shakespeare was Francis Bacon, or whatever. Leave the Bible to people who believe in God.

What happens is that scholars will claim that Isaiah actually lived 200 years after he actually lived, or that his book was written or edited by another years later. Why? Largely to avoid the naming of Cyrus several generations ahead of the birth of Cyrus. No good reasons found within the texts.

Genesis was written by Moses, as the Jews confirm quite confidently. So why do these TC "scholars" assert that Genesis, for instance, was written by two, three, or even four men, none of whom were probably Moses? Again, no good reason other than to try to make the Bible into a book of myths.

Since every text we have is a compilation of copies of copies of copies, there are no originals to investigate so that these scholars could actually compare handwritings to nail down specific individual authors or lettering styles to attempt to set likely dates of writing based on those styles. They only have copies, copies that transmit the meanings but don't include those nuances from which they could more easily make those judgments. So they simply make things up! The Genesis stuff is especially fanciful, in which these TC "scholars" will have one so-called author write part of a chapter, have another one from a distant location carry on for a few verses, and then the first author is said to take over again. Hey, there was no internet back then, pretty hard to share things and collaborate over hundreds of miles when your best form of communication was talk and your normal form of transportation was on foot or camel or donkey. There is no historical evidence of a P1 or P2 writing Genesis, whereas there is plenty denoting Moses as the author.

No, I believe most TC "scholars" are making an attempt to revise the Bible to fit their particular worldview. Copies of copies of copies of copies of copies are fine when you wish to receive the message, but if you wanted to be certain of the actual author you either have to believe what history says or make something up for yourself. TC = people making things up for themselves.

--

(By the way, my next post will concern scientific matters, specifically evolution versus creation issues. We'll leave the subject of the Bible to the next issue that comes up, with one disclaimer - I'll be posting on the desolation of Northern Egypt soon, won't let that one go...)

29 comments:

lava said...

Radar said: "I don't personally believe anyone who doesn't believe that the Bible, in its original form, is inspired by God and inerrant, is qualified to criticize its contents or texts."

I'm trying to wrap my mind around this statement. This to me is like saying "I don't believe anyone who doesn't love jello is qualified to criticize the texture and taste of my jello." Silly comparison? yes. Apt? yes.

xiangtao said...

How about

"I don't belive anyone who doesn't believe that evolution is a fact of life is qualified to criticize its theories or its adherents"

radar said...

Did I state that my opinion was opinion? Yes. Do I have reasons? Yes. Since non-believers will have an agenda that is not conducive to even-handedness in the study of the Bible. Since in my view the Bible is the Word of God and those who don't believe in God won't be able to understand it all that well, because the Spirit of God is not living within them. I suspect you think that is a bunch of nonsense and that, then, is your opinion.

In my opinion, there is life after death and one's opinions will be compared to God's opinions. I prefer having opinions that match up with God's, thank you very much.

Yes, I think it is silly that a guy who doesn't believe in God wants to devote his life, or a substantial portion of it, to the ripping apart of the Bible to fit in with his worldview. Now that is both silly and apt.

creeper said...

"No, I believe most TC "scholars" are making an attempt to revise the Bible to fit their particular worldview. Copies of copies of copies of copies of copies are fine when you wish to receive the message, but if you wanted to be certain of the actual author you either have to believe what history says or make something up for yourself."

I went through the list of TC scholars linked on the Wikipedia entry on Textual Criticism and couldn't find an atheist among them. They were all masters of divinity, taught at seminaries etc. Makes sense. Why would an atheist devote years of study to something like that?

"Copies of copies of copies of copies of copies are fine when you wish to receive the message, but if you wanted to be certain of the actual author you either have to believe what history says or make something up for yourself."

Could you name an example of a TC scholar who doesn't use the most original sources he can? Are you under the impression that they pull a Gideon bible out of the hotel nighttable and start spewing criticism?

"Since every text we have is a compilation of copies of copies of copies, there are no originals to investigate so that these scholars could actually compare handwritings to nail down specific individual authors or lettering styles to attempt to set likely dates of writing based on those styles. They only have copies, copies that transmit the meanings but don't include those nuances from which they could more easily make those judgments. So they simply make things up!"

It's the wording they generally go by. So please make up your mind - were the words copied accurately or weren't they?

"The Genesis stuff is especially fanciful, in which these TC "scholars" will have one so-called author write part of a chapter, have another one from a distant location carry on for a few verses, and then the first author is said to take over again. Hey, there was no internet back then, pretty hard to share things and collaborate over hundreds of miles when your best form of communication was talk and your normal form of transportation was on foot or camel or donkey."

As you said yourself, Radar: "every text we have is a compilation of copies of copies of copies"

You're railing against and trying to ridicule something while a few paragraphs away you're admitting that it's true.

1. The copies are perfect and have been from day one, but can you believe those dastardly TC scholars are working with copies?!

2. I can't read minds, but TC scholars are all making stuff up for the purpose of disproving God!

3. You have to already have a closed mind about the Bible before you investigate it with an open mind.

"Genesis was written by Moses, as the Jews confirm quite confidently. So why do these TC "scholars" assert that Genesis, for instance, was written by two, three, or even four men, none of whom were probably Moses?"

They assert this because of inconsistencies in the text that wouldn't be there if a single author had written the whole thing, simple as that. It's really not that hard to understand.

As you acknowledged yourself: "Every text we have is a compilation of copies."

BTW, what is the evidence that indicates that Moses wrote all of Genesis himself?

"Again, no good reason other than to try to make the Bible into a book of myths."

"Yes, I think it is silly that a guy who doesn't believe in God wants to devote his life, or a substantial portion of it, to the ripping apart of the Bible to fit in with his worldview. Now that is both silly and apt."

You're absolutely right, that would be silly. Could you point me to such an individual? All the TC scholars I could find appeared to be believers, being masters of divinity etc, working in seminaries and so on. I think you'll find the preponderance of TC scholars are not atheists, for the simple reason you point out: why would a non-believer waste his time with it?

Unfortunately that knocks out most of your argument, which you've chosen not to base on addressing the arguments, but instead making up a bunch of stuff about people's motivations.

radar said...

xiangtao said...

How about

"I don't belive anyone who doesn't believe that evolution is a fact of life is qualified to criticize its theories or its adherents"


Cool, so let's not teach it to poor, innocent school kids! Mwuhahahaha!

radar said...

Creeper, you aren't very convincing here -

"Could you name an example of a TC scholar who doesn't use the most original sources he can? Are you under the impression that they pull a Gideon bible out of the hotel nighttable and start spewing criticism?"

Do you know of any ORIGINALS lying around? You'd be the only one.

"They assert this because of inconsistencies in the text that wouldn't be there if a single author had written the whole thing, simple as that. It's really not that hard to understand."

Okay, let's see some proof of that...

Moses was named as the author of the first five books of the Old Testament by his fellow Jews. Jesus confirmed in the New Testament that Moses was the author. Therefore, when a TC "scholar" says that Genesis wasn't written by Moses, he isn't simply refuting history, he is also saying Jesus' words were also untrue. If you aren't a believer, putting your opinion above that of Jesus isn't a big deal, I guess.

As to the point of view of the TC people, are you going to deny that the majority are not traditionalists? Were not Barth and his ilk evolutionists, albeit theistic ones?

Also, having a degree in divinity doesn't make you a true believer. Matthew Henry said he expected the most dangerous and ungodly among us would be wearing the robes of clergy.

Finally, I cannot imagine you cannot understand the difference between the examination of originals versus copies when it comes to studying handwriting and lettering styles. These would be valid ways to critique authorship of books but in the case of the Bible, totally impossible. You are entirely wrong about how I make my case, you just either fail to understand it or refuse to understand it.

Mark K. Sprengel said...

Ones worldview does affect how they study scripture. If someone doesnt believe the miraculous is possible, atheism or deism, then they will accept just about nay explanation for the data in scripture even when it fails to be sufficient or is strained to even partly explain what is there.

creeper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
creeper said...

Radar,

"Creeper, you aren't very convincing here - "

Mostly because you misread my pretty straightforward statements.

creeper: "Could you name an example of a TC scholar who doesn't use the most original sources he can?[...]"

radar: "Do you know of any ORIGINALS lying around? You'd be the only one."


Please read again what I wrote and note the use of the word "most" - I wasn't talking about original sources, but the most original sources available. That's a pretty big difference. You either glossed over it or are purposely trying to avoid my point.

creeper: "They assert this because of inconsistencies in the text that wouldn't be there if a single author had written the whole thing[...]"

radar: "Okay, let's see some proof of that..."


Proof that they assert this because of inconsistencies in the text?! Have you not looked into this subject at all? It's pretty widely discussed, even on sites you would deign to visit, such as Answers in Genesis. Google "moses authorship of genesis" and you'll find a few.

This listing is from religioustolerance.org:

"Theologians were prompted to develop the Documentary Hypothesis as a result of observing the presence of doublets in the Pentateuch. These are pairs of stories which occur in two separate locations in the text. The doublets generally do not agree fully; there are usually minor differences between the stories. R.E. Friedman, in his 1997 book "Who Wrote the Bible?" lists a number of them:

• Two creation stories in Genesis.

• Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant.

• Two stories of the naming of Isaac.

• Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister.

• Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia

• Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob.

• Two accounts of God changing Jacob's name to Israel

• Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.

It is difficult to account for so many doublets -- most containing slight discrepancies -- if all five books were written over a short interval of time by Moses or by any other single individual. Liberal theologians reasoned that a much more logical explanation is that the books were written by multiple authors who lived long after the events described. That would have allowed the oral tradition to be passed from generation to generation in different areas of the land so that they had a chance to deviate from each other before being written down. In a few cases, triplets have been found in the Pentateuch where the same account appears three times.[...]

• Genesis 14:14: This verse refers to Abram pursuing some surviving kings of Sodom and Gomorrah to the city of Dan. However, that place name did not exist until a long time after Moses' death. Other locations are also identified in the Pentateuch by names that were invented long after the death of Moses.

• Genesis 22:14: The verse states: "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day..." There are many verses in the Torah that state that something has lasted "to this day". That appears to have been written by a writer who composed the passages long after the events described, and long after Moses' death.

• Genesis 36 contained a list of Edomite kings which included some monarchs who were in power after Moses' death. R.E. Friedman wrote: "In the eleventh century, Isaac ibn Yashush, a Jewish court physician of a ruler in Muslim Spain, pointed out that a list of Edomite kings that appears in Genesis 36 named kings who lived long after Moses was dead. Ibn Yashush suggested that the list was written by someone who lived after Moses. The response to his conclusion was that he was called "Isaac the blunderer." History has proven him to be correct, at least as viewed by most mainline and liberal theologians.

• Exodus 33:7 describes Moses entering the Tabernacle. Yet, the Tabernacle had not yet been built; its subsequent construction is described in Exodus 35.

• Numbers 12:3: This verse states "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." (NKJ) If Moses were that humble, it is unlikely that he would have described himself in these glowing terms.

• Numbers 25:1 which describes the rebellion at Peor referred to Moabite women; Numbers 25:6 14 refers to Midianites.

• Deuteronomy 34:5-9: These verses describe the death, burial, age at death, physical condition at death, and mourning period for Moses. It is difficult for an individual to describe events at and after his or her death. Some have suggested that this portion of the Pentateuch (and only this portion) was written later by Joshua. However, R.E. Friedman wrote: "...in the sixteenth century, Carlstadt, a contemporary of Luther, commented that the account of Moses' death is written in the same style as texts that precede it. This makes it difficult to claim that Joshua or anyone else merely added a few lines to an otherwise Mosaic manuscript."

• Deuteronomy 34:10 This states "There has never been another prophet like Moses..." (NLT) This sounds like a passage written long after Moses' death. Enough time would have had to pass for many other prophets to have arisen, to pass from the scene, and to have been evaluated."




"Moses was named as the author of the first five books of the Old Testament by his fellow Jews."

Source?

"Jesus confirmed in the New Testament that Moses was the author."

Did he confirm that Moses was the author of the whole shebang?

"Therefore, when a TC "scholar" says that Genesis wasn't written by Moses, he isn't simply refuting history, he is also saying Jesus' words were also untrue. If you aren't a believer, putting your opinion above that of Jesus isn't a big deal, I guess."

If you're a believer, you could always look at specifically what Jesus said and start interpreting - you know, the way you do with those prophecies.

"Also, having a degree in divinity doesn't make you a true believer. Matthew Henry said he expected the most dangerous and ungodly among us would be wearing the robes of clergy."

Grumbling something about traitors among us - hilarious. So where are these rabid atheists? Now you have to impugn "dangerous and ungodly" attributes to theologians for whom we have no indication that they doubt the existence of God, merely that they think the Word of God found its way to the page in a different way than you think.

"As to the point of view of the TC people, are you going to deny that the majority are not traditionalists?"

You're shifting the goalpost here from TC scholars being atheists hellbent on disproving the existence of God to them not being "traditionalist" enough for your taste - all while trying to avoid the actual arguments they're making.

"Finally, I cannot imagine you cannot understand the difference between the examination of originals versus copies when it comes to studying handwriting and lettering styles. These would be valid ways to critique authorship of books but in the case of the Bible, totally impossible."

Where on Earth did you get this? Of course I understand the difference between the examination of originals versus copies when it comes to studying handwriting and lettering styles - but obviously handwriting and lettering style are not the subject here, and it isn't what textual criticism is.

Looks like you glossed over where I said this: "It's the wording they generally go by. So please make up your mind - were the words copied accurately or weren't they?"

Textual criticism is criticism based on the text. Obviously we don't have access to the original and thus can't go into a forensic analysis, but we do have a number of texts that are alleged to be accurate copies, and so it is possible to analyze this text, meaning the words, not the handwriting. Again, you either genuinely misunderstand something or you're trying to change the subject.

"You are entirely wrong about how I make my case, you just either fail to understand it or refuse to understand it."

So far I haven't seen you make a case - you've only gone on about the alleged motivations and agendas of TC scholars, ignored their points, and have failed to make any convincing ones of your own. If you think that's not true, by all means point them out.

radar said...

I promised to leave this subject behind for a day or two while we went back to science, but quickly in partial response to you, Creeper-

Good Bible scholars never doubted that Moses used source materials to write the Pentateuch. There were oral and even written stories handed down through time that he put together, as inspired by God, in those five books. Semetic peoples were the first recorded as writers, by the way. It is pretty obvious he wasn't there during creation, or the flood, or the tower of Babel, etc. TC scholars know this, but gloss it over because it takes away most of their ammunition. Because once you understand that in writing the five books, Moses was compiling the stories and notes handed down through the centuries, as inspired by God, to begin the canon of scripture you have no need to make up P1 or P2, etc.

Doublets to TC scholars are exclamation points to normal Biblical scholars. The double creation stories are actually two views with two different purposes - one being a step-by-step account, the other being a review with emphasis on a particular part of the creation.

God oftens relates two views of an occurrence to emphasize different points of view. This is why Christians valued all four Gospels and they were accepted as being from God. They all recounted the same story and often the stories all appear to have been compared or all being based on the same notes. However, the four books have four differing themes and emphasize four different aspects of the life of Christ.

I continue to believe that many TC scholars are not believers are wish to tear apart the Bible by whatever means they may do so. You are free to disagree with me. But know that traditional scholars consider your arguments (well, not yours, those you took from TC sources) pitiable attempts to denigrate a great book that has survived intact despite all attempts to destroy or trivialize it.

highboy said...

OT evidence of Mosais authorship:

Exodus 17:14 "Then the Lord instructed Moses, 'Write this down as a permanent record...'"
Exodus 24:4 "Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord's instructions."
Exodus 34:27 "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Write down all these instructions, for they represents the terms of my covenant with you and with Israel.'"
Leviticus 1:1 "The Lord called to Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him, 'Give the following instructions to the Israelites...'"
Leviticus 6:8 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Give Aaron and his sons the following instructions...'"
Deuteronomy 31:9 "So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests."
Deuteronomy 31:24-26 "When Moses had finished writing down this entire body of law in a book..."

Joshua 1:7-8 "...Obey all the laws Moses gave you."
Joshua 8:31-34 "He followed the instructions that Moses the Lord's servant had written in the Book of the Law..."
Joshua 22:5 "...obey all the commands and the laws that Moses gave to you."
2 Chronicles 34:14 "...Hilkiah the high priest...found the book of the Law of the Lord as it had been given through Moses."

Jesus believed in Mosaic authorship:

Matthew 19:7-8 "...why did Moses say a man could merely write an official letter of divorce and send her away?", they asked. Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted divorce...'"
Matthew 22:24 "Moses said, 'If a man dies without children...'"
Mark 7:10 "For instance, Moses gave you this law from God..."
Mark 12:24 "...haven't you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush..."
Luke 24:44 "...I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true."
John 1:17 "For the law was given through Moses..."
John 5:46 "But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don't believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"
John 7:23 "...do it, so as not to break the law of Moses..."

Elsewhere:

Acts 26:22 "...I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen..."
Romans 10:5 "For Moses wrote..."

The most compelling arguments liberal scholars have against Mosaic authorship is

Two creation stories in Genesis.
Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant.
Two stories of the naming of Isaac.
Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister.
Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia
Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob.
Two accounts of God changing Jacob's name to Israel
Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.

None of which are actually contadicting.

highboy said...

By the way, that was all from the same website creeper got his information from. I wonder why he left so much of it out?

creeper said...

Highboy and Radar,

"By the way, that was all from the same website creeper got his information from. I wonder why he left so much of it out?"

Because my point was not to present a comprehensive copy of religioustolerance.org, but to respond to Radar's question about what inconsistencies there were. So I listed a chunk of them and obviously I left out the part that did not amount to inconsistencies. No big mystery there. I also left out some inconsistencies that we have discussed ad nauseam elsewhere (Noah's Ark and the like), but can gladly revisit if you'd like.

Regarding the evidence of Moses' authorship, there is at least partially a fallacy of composition at work here: if Moses composed part of the Pentateuch, it doesn't mean he composed all of it. That's the part that is compatible with the Bible being inerrant.

"Two creation stories in Genesis.
Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant.
Two stories of the naming of Isaac.
Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister.
Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia
Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob.
Two accounts of God changing Jacob's name to Israel
Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.

None of which are actually contadicting."


They don't contradict each other, but why would Moses repeat almost identical stories? Did all these things happen twice with some small difference, or is in each case one of them a flawed account?

"It is pretty obvious he wasn't there during creation, or the flood, or the tower of Babel, etc. TC scholars know this, but gloss it over because it takes away most of their ammunition."

How do you think it does that? Writing down orally transmitted creation myths is compatible both with Moses writing down the whole thing as well as with the Documentary Hypothesis, so this isn't really ammo for either side.

"Because once you understand that in writing the five books, Moses was compiling the stories and notes handed down through the centuries, as inspired by God, to begin the canon of scripture you have no need to make up P1 or P2, etc."

It seems to me you've done exactly that by acknowledging that Moses worked from other sources, who are in effect these P1, P2, Q or whatever. You've simply cast Moses in the role of the redactor, R. In doing so, you've at least acknowledged that flawed repetitions and different styles represent a problem for the theory that the text was composed by one person.

"Doublets to TC scholars are exclamation points to normal Biblical scholars. The double creation stories are actually two views with two different purposes - one being a step-by-step account, the other being a review with emphasis on a particular part of the creation."

That accounts for only one of the doublets. The number of them is a little puzzling.


I'm trying to figure out how any sane person can read the Pentateuch and still think that all of it was written by Moses, since part of it takes place after his death. Can you, like, picture Moses sitting down of an afternoon, putting pen to paper and describing his own funeral? Or, even though he was alleged to be "meek", boasting about how there were no really cool prophets for many years after him? Or describing himself walking along a building that according to the inerrant Bible was built after his death?

That's where you either need to question whether the Bible is inerrant or whether somebody somewhere has misinformed you, knowingly or otherwise, about Moses writing the complete Pentateuch. The thing is, the Bible never explicitly makes the claim that Moses wrote all five of those books, and those are some compelling points that speak against that. Doesn't mean he didn't write any of it, mind you.

"I continue to believe that many TC scholars are not believers are wish to tear apart the Bible by whatever means they may do so. You are free to disagree with me."

You're free to present an example, which you've been unable or unwilling to do. Until that point you've got a pretty weak (non-existent, actually) case:

• as you acknowledged yourself, it doesn't make sense for a non-believer to spend an inordinate amount of time to acquire the detailed knowledge for this field.

• the major contributors to the field are masters of divinity and/or teach and study at seminaries, hardly Atheist HQ.

• you can't present a single case of a rabidly atheist TC scholar in a field you claim is riddled with them.

• TC doesn't need to weaken the Bible at all. Does it matter whether Moses wrote all or only some of the Pentateuch, or perhaps none of it? The point is, it was written and, according to your belief system, that someone was inspired by God. To whom are you more beholden: God or Moses?

"But know that traditional scholars consider your arguments (well, not yours, those you took from TC sources) pitiable attempts to denigrate a great book that has survived intact despite all attempts to destroy or trivialize it."

How do they explain the inconsistencies?

And how is TC supposed to denigrate, destroy or trivialize the Bible? Does it do that any more than your belief that Moses was compiling older documents?

loboinok said...

Two creation stories in Genesis.

There are not two "stories".

The second chapter is a repetition of the first chapter.

The Law of Recurrence involves the recording of an event and the repetition of the account which gives added details.
Another example, which is not on your list of stories, accounts and instances, is Ezekiel 38:1 - 39:16.

Chapter 38 gives a complete account of the coming invasion of Israel by Russia and the subsequent destruction of the Russian army in Israel. Chapter 39 then repeats the account from the beginning giving additional details.

I'm not sure of the other examples you referred to, so would need chapters and verses.

I did find; Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah. amusing considering the Tyre Prophecy.


I'm trying to figure out how any sane person can read the Pentateuch and still think that all of it was written by Moses, since part of it takes place after his death. Can you, like, picture Moses sitting down of an afternoon, putting pen to paper and describing his own funeral? Or, even though he was alleged to be "meek", boasting about how there were no really cool prophets for many years after him? Or describing himself walking along a building that according to the inerrant Bible was built after his death?

The events in Revelation have yet to occur, can you imagine what it must have been like for John to describe that?

creeper said...

Lobo,

"The events in Revelation have yet to occur, can you imagine what it must have been like for John to describe that?"

The events in Revelation are described as future events and are in the form of a prophecy.

The events in the Pentateuch that are either inconsistent with the state of the world while Moses was still alive (him walking through the Tabernacle, kings listed who reigned after his death) or are plainly stated to take place after his death (his funeral, him being the best prophet for some time after his death) are all treated as events that already happened - not as a prophecy of things to come.

Now, given that the Bible doesn't say anywhere that Moses wrote the whole thing and that the Pentateuch treats as past events things that happened after Moses died, it stands to reason and is perfectly compatible with the idea of an inerrant Bible to say that while Moses may have written part of it, other authors were involved in other parts.

"The Law of Recurrence involves the recording of an event and the repetition of the account which gives added details."

What's the law called where an event is recorded and then the account is repeated not with added details, but with different details? Would Law of Inconsistency fit the bill?

highboy said...

"The events in Revelation are described as future events and are in the form of a prophecy."

Some of them. Some events are events that are already considered to have taken place.

"What's the law called where an event is recorded and then the account is repeated not with added details, but with different details? Would Law of Inconsistency fit the bill?"

There are no such accounts.

loboinok said...

What's the law called where an event is recorded and then the account is repeated not with added details, but with different details?

The law of Neo-Orthodoxy and Existentialism.

As in radar's reference to Brunner and Barth.

I would add, Rudolph Bultmann (existential demythologizer) and Julius Wellhausen (developmental hypothesis).

Sort of kidding!

This is pretty basic creeper, When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicates clearly otherwise.


or are plainly stated to take place after his death

Which was when exactly?

I would still like to have the chapters and verses for the doublets you listed.

lava said...

Highboy answering someone said:
""What's the law called where an event is recorded and then the account is repeated not with added details, but with different details? Would Law of Inconsistency fit the bill?"

There are no such accounts."

Compare- Genesis 1:11-13 and 27-31 to Genesis 2:4-7.

Tell me- were plants created before or after humans? Because all I see is a big contradiction there.

creeper said...

Lobo,

"This is pretty basic creeper, When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicates clearly otherwise."

Which is what is the case with some of these contradictions... so what happens then?

Incidentally, the Bible doesn't say anywhere, in plain language or otherwise, that Moses wrote every last word of the Pentateuch, and the Pentateuch contains accounts of Moses' death and events after his death in the past tense. Taking the simplest conclusion here would be that Moses only wrote parts of it, and other people wrote other parts.

What's this obsession that for example Radar has that Moses is supposed to have written the whole thing? The Bible doesn't say he did, so it's hardly blasphemous to conclude that he didn't.

"I would still like to have the chapters and verses for the doublets you listed."

I just copied those from religioustolerance.org, as I pointed out - so if you're that interested, I'm sure you can google them yourself, which is what I'd have to do. Or just ask Radar or Highboy, they can probably rattle them off for you.

"or are plainly stated to take place after his death"

"Which was when exactly?"


Shortly before his funeral.

creeper said...

Highboy,

creeper: "The events in Revelation are described as future events and are in the form of a prophecy."

highboy: "Some of them. Some events are events that are already considered to have taken place."


My point was not whether from today's vantage point some of those things happened or didn't happen, but that at the time they were written, they were written as events of the future, not the present day - in contrast to the account of Moses' death and funeral, which is described as an account of something that had happened, not something that was prophecied to happen in the future.

creeper: "What's the law called where an event is recorded and then the account is repeated not with added details, but with different details? Would Law of Inconsistency fit the bill?"

highboy: "There are no such accounts."


Here are some:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be%27ersheba

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife-sister_narratives_in_Genesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac

loboinok said...

The Bible doesn't say he did

Mine does, or leans more toward it than away from.

Genesis; No man can claim to know with absolute assurance who wrote the book of Genesis. Since Genesis is a necessary foundation for Exodus to Deuteronomy, and since the available evidence indicates that Moses wrote these four books, Moses is likely the author of Genesis itself. The New Testament evidence points in the same direction (cf. especially Jn 5.46, 47; Lk 16.31; 24.44). In the tradition of the Church, Genesis has commonly been designated as the First Book of Moses. No evidence to the contrary has been able to invalidate this tradition.

Exodus; Although the Book of Exodus nowhere claims Mosaic authorship in toto, the entire body of Pentateuchal law, comprising principally the portion extending from Exodus 20 through the Book of Deuteronomy, in explicitly positive terms claims to be Mosaic. Moses is declared to be the writer of the Book of the Covenant (chs. 20-23), comprising the Ten Commandments and the accompanying judgements and ordinances (24.4, 7). The so-called Priest Code dealing with tabernacle ritual and priesthood contained in the rest of Exodus (except chs. 32-34) are declared to have been vouchsafed directly to Moses by the Lord (25.1, 23, 31; 26.1, and so on). The setting up of the tabernacle is represented as being "as Jehovah commanded..." This or similar terminology recurs many times in chapters 39 and 40. Mosaic authorship is also asserted of a prominent narrative section - Israel's victory over Amalek (17.4). In a citation from from Exodus 3, Jesus calls the Pentateuch in general and Exodus in particular "the book of Moses" (Mk 12.26). Present day conservative scholarship as well as tradition have maintained the Mosaic authorship. Critical theories offer no adequate substitute for Mosaic authenticity.

Leviticus; At over 50 points in its 27 chapters, claims itself to be the God-directed words of Moses. The New Testament, too, introduces a quotation from the book by saying, "Moses writeth that..." (Ro 10.5, ASV). Critics who relegate Leviticus to a millennium after Moses do so at the expense of the integrity of the Biblical evidence. Scripture describes Leviticus as granted to Israel soon after their adoption as God's covenant people (Ex 19.5). They had been given the basic moral law, the Decalogue (Ex 20), and God's presence had come to dwell in the newly constructed tabernacle (Ex 29.43; 40.34). Then came Leviticus, even as God had promised (Ex 25.22), as a guide to life and worship before Him. Its legislation and events span but a few weeks in actual time, from Moses' erection of the tabernacle (Ex 20.17) to Israel's departure from Mount Sinai less than two months later (Nu 10.11), in May of 1445 B.C., as dated by most evangelical scholars.

Numbers; Both Jews and Christians traditionally have regarded Moses as the author of Numbers. Since the Mosaic period is at least thirteen hundred years before Christ, the book in its present form has passed through many hands, and even in the Hebrew itself has been transliterated from one type of script to another. Undoubtedly there are scribal or editorial additions here and there. Extremes of literary criticism have tried to deny that Moses could have written any of the book and have attempted to partition it into documents dating from several periods of Israel's history. Archaeological discoveries, however, have shown the antiquity of laws, institutions and living conditions described in Numbers. The view that Numbers comes from Moses and the period in which he lived is supported also by the great veneration which the Jews had for Moses and the sacred writings attributed to him.

Deuteronomy; Throughout the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses is declared to be the author of the addresses which make up the major part of the work. It is obvious that the account of his death, given at the end, is the work of another writer, quite probably Joshua. It is thus entirely proper to refer to Deuteronomy as the Fifth Book of Moses.

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

As for your closing comment on this post; "...I'll be posting on the desolation of Northern Egypt soon..."

Ezekiel didn't say "Northern Egypt", "suburbs of Dendera" nor "precursor city to Elvis' future home". He said "Egypt".

In any case, I'm looking forward to the rationalization to come....

creeper said...

Lobo,

creeper: "What's this obsession that for example Radar has that Moses is supposed to have written the whole thing? The Bible doesn't say he did, so it's hardly blasphemous to conclude that he didn't."

lobo: "Mine does, or leans more toward it than away from."

Well that right there tells you that it doesn't, just like I pointed out, and as you then freely admit in detail:

"No man can claim to know with absolute assurance who wrote the book of Genesis. Since Genesis is a necessary foundation for Exodus to Deuteronomy, and since the available evidence indicates that Moses wrote these four books, Moses is likely the author of Genesis itself."

That's somewhat shaky logic, since it is not known exactly when the books were compiled into the form of the Pentateuch. This could even be a fallacy of composition, if you're not careful.

Thank you for the detailed comment, though, despite the obvious typo at the beginning when you mistakenly claim that your Bible does say that Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch, which stands in clear contradiction to the rest of your comment, most decisively: "It is obvious that the account of his death, given at the end, is the work of another writer,".

loboinok said...

Thank you for the detailed comment, though

These were not my comments creeper. At the front of each Book is an Outline, survey and authorship. I retyped each authorship statement from my NASB.

credit goes to;

H.C. Leupold, D.D. Genesis
Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D Exodus
J. Barton Payne, Th.D Leviticus
David W. Kerr, Th.M Numbers
Harold B. Kuhn, Ph.D Deuteronomy


despite the obvious typo at the beginning when you mistakenly claim that your Bible does say that Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch

No typo and no mistaken claim. Each authorship statement shows that he did. radar has shown it and Tim has shown it.

Bible writers throughout the Old Testament credited Moses with writing the Pentateuch.

The New Testament writers affirmed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

Jesus’ disciples and His enemies recognized and accepted the books of Moses.

New Testament Sadducees considered Moses as the author.

Jesus Himself claimed “the Law” came from Moses.


"No man can claim to know with absolute assurance who wrote the book of Genesis. Since Genesis is a necessary foundation for Exodus to Deuteronomy, and since the available evidence indicates that Moses wrote these four books, Moses is likely the author of Genesis itself."

The New Testament evidence points in the same direction (cf. especially Jn 5.46, 47; Lk 16.31; 24.44). In the tradition of the Church, Genesis has commonly been designated as the First Book of Moses. No evidence to the contrary has been able to invalidate this tradition.


"It is obvious that the account of his death, given at the end, is the work of another writer,".

It is thus entirely proper to refer to Deuteronomy as the Fifth Book of Moses.

creeper said...

"It is thus entirely proper to refer to Deuteronomy as the Fifth Book of Moses."

Is there some kind of semantics game going on here or something? Your very own source says that Moses didn't write the whole thing.

Are you saying something like "he wrote most of it, or it has plenty of his speeches in it, so let's give it to him in a spirit of generosity"?

If you're claiming Moses did actually write the whole thing (which it seems to me is what Radar is claiming), including an account of his own funeral etc., then your own source (printed in the Bible itself, apparently) contradicts you: "It is obvious that the account of his death, given at the end, is the work of another writer."


As for the inconsistencies named above, I notice Radar is being rather quiet on those duplications that don't fall under a detailed account following a general account (though as was pointed out, it does contain a contradiction), but are simply repetitions with different details - in which case, which one is right? And why would Moses write two (or three) different versions?

loboinok said...

Are you saying something like "he wrote most of it, or it has plenty of his speeches in it, so let's give it to him in a spirit of generosity"?

I'm saying that Moses writing 99.9% of it makes it Moses' Book.

If you're claiming Moses did actually write the whole thing (which it seems to me is what Radar is claiming), including an account of his own funeral etc., then your own source (printed in the Bible itself, apparently) contradicts you: "It is obvious that the account of his death, given at the end, is the work of another writer."

quite probably Joshua. It is thus entirely proper to refer to Deuteronomy as the Fifth Book of Moses.

Let me put it this way.
I build a race car from the ground up. It takes me 2315 hrs and I spend $31,000.00 dollars. I'm 1 hour and 4 sparkplugs shy of finishing it. I have a heart attack and die. Two weeks later, my brother comes over and puts the sparkplugs in and finishes it. Who built the car?

There is the possibility that Samuel wrote chapter 34.

What I believe is... Moses was a Prophet, Deuteronomy 31:9, So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

Then read Deut. 32:24-26; 48-52

The Lord had already shown him and told him. All he had to do was write it down and give it to the priests and then live it until he died.


As for the inconsistencies named above, I notice Radar is being rather quiet on those duplications that don't fall under a detailed account following a general account

radar explained it. You either didn't comprehend it or you don't accept it.

creeper said...

Okay, so Moses didn't write the whole thing. And apparently other sources were involved. Nothing wrong then with trying to figure out who wrote what.

creeper: "As for the inconsistencies named above, I notice Radar is being rather quiet on those duplications that don't fall under a detailed account following a general account"

lobo: "radar explained it. You either didn't comprehend it or you don't accept it."


Lobo, read carefully what I wrote. Radar only gave the explanation of a detailed account following a general account, which I expressly excluded since he had addressed that - and only that.

Radar didn't touch the issue of inconsistencies at all (including the inconsistency present in the one example he mentioned (Genesis) - if one is simply a more detailed version of the other, the basic facts it describes should still be the same).

loboinok said...

Okay, so Moses didn't write the whole thing. And apparently other sources were involved. Nothing wrong then with trying to figure out who wrote what.

I said that I do believe that Moses did write the whole thing...based on the available evidence. I did not say that apparently other sourses were involved, I said "possibly".

(including the inconsistency present in the one example he mentioned (Genesis) - if one is simply a more detailed version of the other, the basic facts it describes should still be the same).

I admit that I do not know what you are talking about. Are you referring to the "creation account" or • Genesis 14:14, • Genesis 22:14, or • Genesis 36?

creeper said...

I haven't had much time the last week or so (due to some computer problems as well as a lot of work) to look into these posts in detail, but just wanted to make the point that Radar's attack on "these so-called scholars" is a completely unfounded ad-hominem attack in an apparent attempt not to have to deal with the substance of textual criticism.

Especially with regard to his assertion that these theories were solely (and I suppose by implication disingenuously) presented with the aim of justifying atheism, I'd like to note that the groundwork for the Documentary hypothesis came about long before the 19th century and was largely cooked up by religious scholars:

"Rabbinical biblical criticism

Classical Judaism notes a number of exceptions to the Mosaic authorship account. Over the millennia, scribal errors have crept into the text of the Torah. The Masoretes (7th to 10th centuries CE) compared all extant variations and attempted to create a definitive text. Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra and Joseph Bonfils observed that some phrases in the Torah present information that people should only have known after the time of Moses. Ibn Ezra hinted, and Bonfils explicitly stated, that Joshua (or perhaps some later prophet) wrote these sections of the Torah. Other rabbis would not accept this view.

The Talmud (tractate Sabb. 115b) states that a peculiar section in the Book of Numbers (10:35 — 36, surrounded by inverted Hebrew letter nuns) in fact forms a separate book. On this verse a midrash on the book of Mishle states that "These two verses stem from an independent book which existed, but was suppressed!" Another (possibly earlier) midrash, Ta'ame Haserot Viyterot, states that this section actually comes from the book of prophecy of Eldad and Medad. The Talmud says that God dictated four books of the Torah, but that Moses wrote Deuteronomy in his own words (Talmud Bavli, Meg. 31b).

Individual rabbis and scholars have on occasion pointed out that the Torah showed signs of non-Mosaic origins in some passages:

* Rabbi Judah ben Ilai held that Joshua must have written the final verses of the Torah (Talmud, B. Bat. 15a and Menah. 30a, and in Midrash Sipre. 357).
* Parts of the Midrash retain evidence of the redactional period during which Ezra redacted and canonized the text of the Torah as it survives today. A rabbinic tradition states that at this time (440 BCE), Ezra edited the text of the Torah, and found ten places in the Torah where lacked certainty as to how to fix the text; these passages appear marked with special punctuation marks called the eser nekudot.
* In the middle ages, Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra (ca 1092 - 1167 CE) and others noted that several text sequences in the Torah apparently could not have originated in Moses' lifetime. For example, see Ibn Ezra's comments on Gen 12:6; 22:14; Deut 1:2; 3:11; and 34:1, 6. Rabbi Joseph Bonfils elucidated Ibn Ezra's comments in his commentary on Ibn Ezra's work.
* In the 12th century CE the commentator R. Joseph ben Isaac, known as the Bekhor Shor, noted close similarities between a number of wilderness narratives in Exodus and Numbers, in particular, the incidents of water from the rock and the stories about manna and the quail. He hypothesised that both of these incidents actually happened once, but that parallel traditions about these events eventually developed, both of which made their way into the Torah.
* In the 13th century CE Rabbi Hezekiah ben Manoah (known as the Hizkuni) noticed the same textual anomalies that Ibn Ezra had noted; thus R. Hezekiah's commentary on Gen 12:6 notes that this section "is written from the perspective of the future".
* In the 15th century, Rabbi Yosef Bonfils, while discussing the comments of Ibn Ezra, noted: "Thus it would seem that Moses did not write this word here, but Joshua or some other prophet wrote it. Since we believe in the prophetic tradition, what possible difference can it make whether Moses wrote this or some other prophet did, since the words of all of them are true and prophetic?"
* Martin Buber reports how his friend and co-translator of Scripture Franz Rosenzweig jokingly used to expand the sigil R for the redactor to Rabbenu — "Our Master".

For more information on these issues from an Orthodox Jewish perspective, see Modern Scholarship in the Study of Torah: Contributions and Limitations, edited by Shalom Carmy (Jason Aronson, Inc.), and Handbook of Jewish Thought, Volume I, by Aryeh Kaplan (Moznaim Pub.)

[edit] The Enlightenment

A number of Enlightenment Christian writers expressed doubts about the traditional Christian view. For example, in the 16th century, Carlstadt noticed that the style of the account of the death of Moses matched the style of the preceding portions of Deuteronomy, suggesting that whoever wrote about the death of Moses also wrote larger portions of the Torah.

By the 17th century some commentators argued outright that Moses did not write most of the Pentateuch. For instance, in 1651 Thomas Hobbes in chapter 33 of Leviathan, argued that the Pentateuch dated from after Mosaic times on account of Deut 34:6 ("no man knoweth of his sepulchre to this day"), Gen 12:6 ("and the Canaanite was then in the land"), and Num 21:14 (referring to a previous book of Moses's deeds). Other skeptics include Isaac de la Peyrère, Spinoza, Richard Simon, and John Hampden. Nevertheless, these people found their works condemned and even banned; the authorities forced de la Peyrère and Hampden to recant, whereas an attempt was made on Spinoza's life.

The French scholar and physician Jean Astruc first introduced the terms Elohist and Jehovist (or Elohistic and Jehovistic) in a little book titled Conjectures sur les memoires originaux, dont il parait que Moses s'est servi pour composer le livre de la Genèse ("Conjectures on the original documents that Moses appears to have used in composing the Book of Genesis"), anonymously printed in 1753. Astruc noted that the first chapter of Genesis uses only the word "Elohim" for God, while other sections use the word "Jehovah". The second and third chapters combine the title and the name, giving rise to a new conception of the Deity as Jehovah Elohim ("Lord-God", as commonly translated in many English Bibles today). He speculated that Moses may have compiled the Genesis account from earlier documents, some perhaps dating back to Abraham, and may have combined these into a single account. So he began to explore the possibility of detecting and separating these documents and assigning them to their original sources. He did this, taking it as axiomatic that one can analyze scriptural documents in the same manner as secular ones, and assuming that the varying use of terms indicated different writers.

Using "Elohim" and "Yahweh" as a criterion, Astruc used columns titled respectively "A" and "B", and also isolated other passages. The A and B narratives he regarded as originally complete and independent narratives. This work gave birth to the practice of Biblical textual criticism that became known as higher criticism.

J. G. Eichhorn brought Astruc's book to Germany and further differentiated the two chief documents through their linguistic peculiarities in 1787. However, neither he nor Astruc denied Mosaic authorship, nor analyzed beyond the book of Exodus.

H. Ewald recognized that the documents that later came to be known as "P" and "J" left traces in other books. F. Tuch showed that "P" and "J" also appeared recognizably in Joshua.

W. M. L. de Wette (1780 — 1849) joined this hypothesis to one asserted by 17th-century commentators by stating that the author(s) of the first four books of the Pentateuch did not write the Book of Deuteronomy. In 1805 he attributed Deuteronomy to the time of Josiah (ca. 621 BC). Soon other writers also began considering the idea. By 1823 Eichhorn abandoned claiming Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.

[edit] 19th-Century Theories

About 1822 Friedrich Bleek commented about the original relationship of Joshua to the Pentateuch in its continuation of the narrative in Deuteronomy, of which it formed the conclusion. The letters "J" for Jahwist and "E" Elohist then became associated with the documents.

H. Hupfeld followed K. D. Ilgen in identifying two separate documents that used "Elohim". In 1853 Hupfeld set forth Genesis chapters 1 to 19 and 20 to 50 as providing the two separate Elohistic source documents. He also emphasized the importance of the redactor of these documents. He followed the arrangement of the documents as: First Elohist, Second Elohist, Jehovist, Deuteronomist: J, E, and D.

Karl Heinrich Graf showed that many individual features distinguished Leviticus chapters 17 to 26 from the priestly document. He suggested a fifth document, which August Klostermann named the "Holiness Code" (because this body of laws featured the declaration of God's holiness, Israel's duty to be holy as his people, and extremely frequent use of the word holy)."



Radar, as with evolution (was it scohen who pointed this out?), if your argument consists of alleging that a position is solely presented due to an agenda, that argument falls flat on its face when the same evidence is convincing to significant numbers of people who don't share that agenda.

Rabbinical scholars for example share these observations with these alleged rabid atheists of yours, and yet you fail to address the facts that they examine.

Same with evolution: plenty of Christians can freely accept the scientific evidence for the theory of evolution - atheism is not a prerequisite. On the other hand, where is the scientific evidence that would convince someone who doesn't believe in God in the first place? In your scenario, such evidence should be present in abundance, and there should be none for the other side.

No doubt you'll claim it's all due to propaganda, but observable facts and testable predictions don't lie, and there are none that speak for a YEC scenario.