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Thread: Documentary Hypothesis

  1. #1

    Default Documentary Hypothesis

    I'm behaving myself, as per Jim Darlack's suggestion, and taking the discussion to the non BibleWorks area.

    Scott, I have enjoyed browsing, but not yet reading the whole of Duane Garrett's Rethinking Genesis. It looked so interesting, I actually bought it twice. [Don't you hate it when they reissue a book with a completely different looking cover?]

    But now my former pastor has a copy, due to this oversight!

    Garrett's book is of course only on Genesis, but it is interesting and has been commended by geezers like Alec Motyer and Douglas Stuart.

    David McKay
    www.davidmckay.info

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gontroppo
    Scott, I have enjoyed browsing, but not yet reading the whole of Duane Garrett's Rethinking Genesis.
    I haven't read Garrett's book, David, but I perused its description. It looks like he's taking Wiseman's work and commenting and possibly expanding on it, although it's hard for me to tell exactly what his theme is since I haven't read it.

    The founders of the DH all asserted that writing didn't exist during Moses' time, that the Hittites didn't exist, that Abraham's raid was impossible, and so forth. These were several of the main pinions of the early formulations of the hypothesis, utterly foundational to the early proponents' case.

    When archaeological evidence thoroughly refuted them, however, instead of admitting that their hypothesis was defunct, they simply retooled it and rationalized away the evidence.

    That's what the Word of God tags as science falsely so called.

    And this is still being done. There is nothing new in the modern theory, only different sets of verses and key words from which slightly different nuances to the hypothesis come forth, and so on, but basically the same conclusions, and ultimately with basically the same interpretation, namely, that Moses was not responsible for the Pentateuch.

    There is no evidence for this. It is opinion, conjecture, and assertion. Nothing more.

    And most importantly, it is a direct contradiction of the Lord Jesus Christ, who said what he meant, and who meant what he said, and whose words have been infallibly preserved for us to this day.

  3. #3

    Default Why then?

    If the 4 source theory is so defunct and unsupportable, why do so many accept it? It seems to be the dominant theory in many if not most of the books I read on the OT.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Spackman
    If the 4 source theory is so defunct and unsupportable, why do so many accept it? It seems to be the dominant theory in many if not most of the books I read on the OT.
    For the same reason that the vast majority of mankind rejects Jesus Christ, as those who accept this theory do, notwithstanding their lip service to the contrary.

    "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he WROTE of me." Jesus Christ, John 5:46

    Although there are many more such statements by Jesus, the above declaration in and of itself contradicts the DH hypothesis in its entirety.

    As George Sayles Bishop wisely observed --

    "Our modern critics, with arrogance which rises to daring impiety, deny to Christ the insight which they claim for themselves... The authority of Jesus Christ, God speaking - not from heaven only, but with human lips - has given a sanction to every book and sentence in the Jewish canon, and blasphemy is written on the forehead of any theory which alleges imperfection, error, contradiction or sin in any book in the sacred collection." The Doctrines Of Grace And Kindred Themes

  5. #5

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    Adelphos,

    That is the one point that, being a believer in Jesus, makes it impossible for me to believe that Moses wasn't the author of the Pentateuch. After all, there are three problems when one says Moses didn't write the Pentateuch and yet they still say they believe in Jesus.

    If Jesus said Moses wrote about him, and in fact Moses didn't;

    1. Jesus didn't know Moses didn't write and therefore, he cannot be God
    2. Jesus knew Moses didn't write, and therefore he is a liar
    3. Jesus didn't actually say Moses wrote about him in john's gospel, and therefore, what else did he not say?

    In my undergrad bible course, we had to read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Friedman. This was early in my studies of the DH and I was utterly amazed at the theories this author was making, and not just the theories themselves, but the way he was trying to cut and paste them together. Now that I am going to Fuller Seminary, which I thought would be alittle more conservative to Moses authorship, I am once again finding that most of the professors hold to the DH and the Q gospel. I believe that a believer of Jesus must be faithful to Jesus own words that Moses wrote the Penta, after all, if he was wrong, what reason do we have to put our faith in him?

    alan
    <stepping off high hourse>

  6. #6

    Default

    I see some logical problems here.

    Alan1979, the logical implication of your comments is that your Fuller Seminar professors simply don't believe in Jesus. I find that extremely difficult to believe. Have you asked any of them how they reconcile this issue?

    "If Jesus said Moses wrote about him," Textual criticism can not establish whether the text accurately reflects Jesus actual words, only the text.

    "and in fact Moses didn't;"

    "1. Jesus didn't know Moses didn't write and therefore, he cannot be God"
    Must Jesus as the incarnation know all things at all times to be God? I find this to be a logical leap, esp. given Matt 24:36.


    "2. Jesus knew Moses didn't write, and therefore he is a liar."
    Or he is simply using their understanding against them. I think Jesus was focused on teaching doctrine and moral behavior, and let many things (like textual criticism) go under the bridge in order to focus.

    "3. Jesus didn't actually say Moses wrote about him in john's gospel, and therefore, what else did he not say?"

    So we must accept everything or nothing in John? I also find this a bad logical argument.

    In short, I feel those making this argument assert several things.

    1) Jesus did in fact vocally attribute certain quotations to Moses. (unprovable)

    2) Jesus knowledge of this was divine. (unprovable and not necessary in light of Matt 24:36)

    3) Jesus is referring to authorship of the passage, not location of the passage (ie. as written in the Torah (of Moses) or the prophets, etc.). (unprovable)

    4) The NT texts have correctly preserved these statements. (possible to establish with some probability with textual criticism, but doesn't resolve #1)

    5) Even if 1-4 were clear, there is an assumption that attribution of these extremely limited quotations to Moses establishes the Mosaic authorship of the whole Torah, and not just the quotations. (a huge leap of logic, IMO.)

    And yet, I believe in Jesus as the Son of God and my personal savior.

    Edit: I fear this will turn in to an argument about how we approach the Bible, which will be neither spiritual nor profitable, so I leave it to you.
    Last edited by Ben Spackman; 06-23-2005 at 01:42 PM.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Spackman
    I see some logical problems here. Alan1979, the logical implication of your comments...
    So do I see some logical problems, not with Alan1979, but with your assertions, none of which are based on logic or evidence, but merely your opinion as to the veracity of the truth and accuracy of the text.

    I'll just point out one of them...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Spackman
    1) Jesus did in fact vocally attribute certain quotations to Moses. (unprovable)
    "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" Mark 12:26

    "And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." Luke 5:14

    And many, many others.

    If you maintain that the Scriptures are in error in these verses and the many others that testify likewise, prove it. Not with your naked assertions, but with evidence.

    In fact, the reliabilty of the Scriptures are so overwhemlingly corroborated by historical, archaeological, geographical, and other evidences, that it is illogical to assert -- with no proof whatever -- that Jesus didn't say what the Scriptures testify that he said, and this very thing you asserted when you stated --

    "Textual criticism can not establish whether the text accurately reflects Jesus actual words, only the text." (sic)

    It is even more illogical to claim to believe in Jesus, and yet deny that he spoke such words, for this only proves that you don't believe in the Jesus of the Bible; rather, you believe in "another" Jesus, as Paul charged.

    That's your prerogative, of course, but don't mistake your own assertions for evidence, as Hort and his unregenerate followers have done. And don't deceive yourself by thinking that you believe in the Jesus of the Bible, because you don't, as your own words have testified. Your words demonstrate that you believe in "another" Jesus, one of your own imagination, and that you clearly do not believe in the Divine Inspiration of Scripture.

    Fact is, your assertions are naked, without a particle of evidence, and utterly devoid of any logic whatsoever.

    The New Testament, on the other hand, and the words of Jesus contained therein, not only have a presumptive claim to truth due to their persistence throughout the assaults of history, which they have weathered infallibly, but they actually have a great deal of evidence supporting their veracity (more so than any other writings in the entire world -- infinitely more so), unlike your assertions, which are devoid of any evidence whatsoever, just like the complete lack of evidence for the DH hypothesis.

    Thus, when it comes to actual evidence, the New Testament has a superior claim to accuracy over all other literature extant, and it certainly has a superior claim to accuracy over the naked opinion of a twenty-first century scholar.

    Unfortunately, Biblical scholars on the whole, for the past two hundred years or so, have no conception of what constitutes actual evidence. None whatsoever. That's one of the main reasons why this generation of Bible scholars will go down as the most inept and incompetent generation of Bible scholars in the history of Christianity.

  8. #8

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    This confirms my editorial suspicion above. Nothing further from my end. Back to our regular posting
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Spackman
    This confirms my editorial suspicion above. Nothing further from my end. Back to our regular posting
    That's fine, but in closing this out I'm going to offer my personal experience on the off-chance that someone might be benefitted by it.

    And that, simply, is the fact that I didn't believe the Bible was the Word of God before I was born again, nor could anyone convince me of it. In fact, I believed that the Bible was merely another book, just like any other.

    However, when I was born again, in the very MOMENT of being born again, I didn't merely believe that the Bible was the Word of God, that the Bible was Divinely Inspired; rather, I KNEW that the Bible was the Word of God, infallibly inspired by the Holy Spirit, who is HIMSELF Almighty God, and I knew this because Jesus Christ, by his Spirit, bore infallible witness that it was so.

    "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

    And so it is with EVERY ONE that is born of the Spirit, and the Spirit bears witness ONLY to the Jesus of the BIBLE, and no other.

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    I'm not sure how you answered Ben's points except to accuse him of being illogical. I don't think that his arguments obviate the so-called Midianite Hypothesis (however understood).

    I have two direct questions if you indeed believe that Jesus' words demand that the Pentateuch be written by Moses (in contrast to say E. Meyer's pre Kuntillet 'Ajrud form-critical theory of J).

    1) Do you think there are anachronisms in the Pentateuch (e.g. do you think the phrases "it is said to this day" were written by Moses)?
    2) And closely related, do you think that Moses wrote about his death?

    I'm simply trying to ascertain the limits of how far you would apply your logic of Jesus' words. Simple yes and no answers will suffice unless you feel the need to qualify your statements. Please do not answer obliquely.

    Lastly, I would like to leave a token testimony as well. I was saved out of a ultra-fundamentalism and I now believe in God's grace in a more tangible way, I now believe that my mission is no longer centered around condemning everybody else, and I no longer believe that the KJV preserves the "true" word of God.

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