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1.2 History of Research:


These reasons make me believe, that these Five Books are not the Originals, but ... that Moses owed his material to: (1) written memorials, (2) historical poems, (3) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 1.2 History of Research:

1.2 History of Research
  • ATPS-BOT620

1.1 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Wisdom of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus) ". . . the
    concern for authorship and book production that
    first emerged in late antiquity. The Wisdom of
    Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), written in the early
    second century BC, is the first Jewish book in
    anything like the modern sense of the term that
    has come down to us, and one in which the author
    for the first time identifies himself (Sir
    50.29). From about the same time polemical
    requirements led Jewish apologists to compare
    Moses favorably, as lawgiver and compiler of the
    national epos, with his Greek counterparts."
    Blenkinsopp, Joseph, The Pentateuch An
    Introduction to the First Five Books of the
    Bible, 1

1.2 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Josephus
  • ". . . Josephus . . . names Moses as author of
    five books containing the laws and traditional
    history (Apion 1.37-40)." Blenkinsopp, The
    Pentateuch An Introduction to the First Five
    Books of the Bible, 1-2
  • "Of these, five are the books of Moses,
    comprising the laws and the traditional history
    from the birth of man down to the death of the
    lawgiver. This period falls only a little short
    of three thousand years. . . ." Josephus
    Against Apion, trans. H. St. J. Thackeray,

1.3 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Celsus (2nd Century)
  • "The following passages appear to have some
    bearing upon the question of the Mosaic writings
    Thereafter Celsus says Origen, 'attacking the
    first book of Moses, which is called Genesis,
    says "So they undertook to construct genealogies
    from the first seed' (of mankind), calling to
    witness the obscure and ambiguous expressions of
    cheats and impostors, darkly hidden sayings,
    falsely interpreting them to foolish and ignorant
    folk." Gray, Old Testament Criticism, 18

1.4 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Celsus
  • "And again "Then Celsus carped at the story of
    the dove, that he might appear to have read the
    book Genesis, but could say nothing to prove that
    the tale of the dove was an invention. Next,
    turning the Scriptures into ridicule, as his wont
    is, he changes the raven into a crow, and
    supposes that Moses wrote down the story (of the
    Flood), fraudulently corrupting the Deucalion
    narrative current among the Greeks. Unless
    forsooth does not believe the

1.4 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • writing to be the work of Moses, but of several
    persons which this expression 'they, falsifying
    and corrupting the Deucalion story,' shows, and
    this 'for I suppose they did not expect that
    these things would come to light.'" Gray, Old
    Testament Criticism, 18-19

1.5 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Nazarites
  • "It does not appear that in their beliefs they
    differed materially from other Christians, except
    in regard to the Pentateuch and this, according
    to the orthodox writers, they steadily refused to
    accept. Epiphanius, who wrote three volumes
    against eighty different heresies, formulates
    their offense in this direction as follows "And
    they accepted the Fathers named in the
    Pentateuch, from Adam until Moses, as evidently
    abounding in true piety. But the Pentateuch
    itself they did not accept, though they
    acknowledge Moses, and believe that he received
    the Law yet not this one, they say, but
    another." Gray, 20-21

1.5 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • "And John Damascenus, writing of them in the
    eighth century, says "The Nazarites
    dogmatically deny that the books of the
    Pentateuch are the work of Moses, and maintain
    other writings in their stead." Gray, 21

1.6 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Ptolemaitanes, or followers of Ptolemaeus, the
    gnostic disciple of Valentinus
  • "In reference to another heretical sect, that of
    the Ptolemaitanes, or followers of Ptolemaeus,
    the gnostic disciple of Valentinus, Epiphanius
    gives the substance of a letter addressed by
    Ptolemaeus to Flora, whom he calls his sister, in
    which the writer states that the Law (sc., the
    Pentateuch) did not proceed from a single
    lawgiver, but was tripartite in character,
    ascribing one part directly to God, another to
    Moses, and the third to the elders of the
    people." Gray, 21

1.7 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • The Ezra Tradition
  • "Jewish tradition concerning the authorship and
    composition of the Hebrew Scriptures centers in
    and derives from the story of the work of the
    Great Synagogue, which is said to have had Ezra
    for its first president, and to have included
    Nehemiah, Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi among
    its members. In the selection and revision of the
    ancient writings and the preparation of the
    canonical library which, according to Jewish
    tradition, constituted the chief work of that
    famous body, the share assigned to Ezra was the
    editing, or rather, the rewriting of the
    Pentateuch and this he was enabled by divine
    inspiration to dictate to

1.7 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • five secretaries at once precisely as Moses had
    first set it down. For the tradition involved the
    disappearance of the Mosaic autograph to begin
    with, and a subsequent reproduction by Ezra the
    Scribe. " Gray, 26-27

1.8 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Patristic Period
  • "The only categorical criticism of the Old
    Testament which has come down to us from
    patristic times is reported by Anastasius the
    Sinaite, patriarch of Antioch at the end of the
    seventh century, in his Hodegos, or Guide of the
    Way. Anastasius tells us that while he was making
    a visitation in the East, a number of so-called
    difficulties were submitted to him by some
    recent deserters from the orthodox Church, and
    gives a long list of these aporia, nearly all
    of which refer, as might be expected, to the New
    Testament. . . ." Gray, 45f.

1.8 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • "These difficulties cover a wide field in
    Pentateuchal criticism. The Mosaic authorship
    the discrepant statements in Genesis the absence
    of a prohibition extended to the woman concerning
    the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good
    and evil the chronological difficulty involved
    in the contradictory statements in Genesis and
    Exodus (according to the Septuagint) concerning
    the duration of the bondage in Egypt the
    nonobservance of the term of human life fixed
    before the Flood the contrast between the will
    of God in respect of sacrifice communicated
    through the prophets and the complicated
    Levitical system of oblation and burnt-offering.
    " Gray, 45-47

1.9 Beginnings of Critical Inquiry
  • Ibn Ezra, Abraham
  • "When in the twelfth century the Spanish scholar
    Abraham Ibn Ezra chose, in his commentary on
    Deuteronomy, to voice his misgivings, he felt
    obliged to do so in a kind of code "Beyond
    Jordan . . . if so be you understand the mystery
    of the twelve . . . moreover Moses wrote the law
    . . . the Canaanite was then in the land . . . it
    shall be revealed on the mountain of God . . .
    then also behold his bed . . . then you shall
    know the truth." Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch An
    Introduction to the First Five Books of the
    Bible, 2

2.1 To the Sixteenth Century
  • Bodenstein, Andreas (or Carlsbad 1480-1541)
  • "In this respect the following extract from his
    treatise On the Canonical Scriptures, published
    in 1520, is of extreme interest. "Let us add that
    many books are to be trusted as far as the facts
    are concerned, but in regard to the narrator of
    the transactions, we can but speak with
    uncertainty concerning many canonical books. It
    is certain that Moses divinely received and gave
    to the people the Law of God but doubt can be
    entertained as to whose is the composition of the
    five books of Moses and the thread of the
    narrative. For in the same way that we recognize

2.1 To the Sixteenth Century
  • a man before we see him, by the shape of his
    body, we also decide in other matters. Thus, from
    the manner of a treatise we conjecture it to be
    that of an author whom we have previously been in
    the habit of reading. Now the manner of the
    narrator appears to be different when Moses
    speaks and when the historian relates a
    transaction in a simple way." Gray, 53ff.

2.2 To the Sixteenth Century
  • Martinengo, Ascanio
  • "The last critical note of the sixteenth century
    was furnished by the Great Glosses on Genesis
    (Padua, 1597) of Ascanio Martinengo. This author
    comes to the conclusion that Moses derived the
    material for the books of the Pentateuch from
    ancestral and other ancient records, which he
    proceeds to enumerate. After the publication of
    Martinengos book biblical criticism seems to
    have rested for more than half a century and it
    was not until the middle of the seventeenth
    century that it made its reappearance with the
    publication of Hobbess Leviathan." Gray, 59-60

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • Hermeneutical Problems that the Reformation
  • 3.0.1 Background
  • "The foundations of modern biblical
    criticism were laid in the Renaissance with the
    recovery of knowledge of Greek and the editing
    and printing of ancient sources. Historians could
    show that present practices were developments
    from more primitive customs, and the question was
    raised as to whether or nor the present Church
    was truly faithful to the beliefs of

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • the primitive Church. The Reformation, both a
    popular and a nationalist movement, took these
    humanist questions and turned them into a
    principle, that the Church should return to the
    sole authority of the primitive charters as
    contained in the Hebrew OT and the Greek NT. It
    rejected the authority of the LXX and the Latin
    Bible. ONeill, J. C., History or Biblical
    Criticism, ADB, I, p. 726-7

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • "Luther used the doctrine of
    justification by faith alone as an instrument to
    deny apostolicity to the epistles of James, Jude,
    and Hebrews as well as to the apocalypse.
    Zwingli used philological arguments to question
    the Churchs interpretation of the words of
    institution of the Lords Supper. Once the Bible
    was seen as the sole authoritative basis of the
    Churchs life, biblical criticism designed to
    maintain and strengthen the position of the
    various churches that claimed this basis against
    other churches of the Reformation and against
    the, Roman Catholic Church and heretics became a
    central and crucial activity. Ten new German
    universities were founded between 1527 and 1665
    to provide for

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • this need. Critics of the Reformed and Lutheran
    churches from without and within resorted for
    justification of their position to criticism of
    received scholarly opinions about the Bible."
    ONeil, J. C., Biblical Criticism, ADB, Vol I,
    p. 727
  • Primacy of Scriptures "Within that
    interpretative circle of scripture and church,
    Reformation exegesis no longer gives decisive
    weight to the teaching church, equipped with
    sacramental authority, but to the scripture. The
    church is also warned that it is in constant
    peril of shattering on itself and the weight of
    its tradition, and thus while on earth is always
    in need of

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • reform and is only on the way to spiritual
    consummation." Stuhlmacher, Peter, Historical
    Criticism and Theological Interpretation of
    Scripture, 32-33
  • Priority of Exegesis "Within the horizon
    of the so-called exclusive particles . . . -
    solus Christus, sola scriptura, and sola fide
    -which belong together and cannot be separated,
    the task of scripture exposition in the
    Reformation can be unequivocally and clearly
    fixed Exposition must be an exegesis applied to
    the scriptural texts which traces out the gospel
    and serves its preaching. Rather than
    relinquishing to the teaching office of the
    church the definition and

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • summary of the many-layered witness of scripture
    to the one truth of faith, exegesis must now
    discover the gospel on its own." Stuhlmacher,
  • Exegetical Method
  • "Understandably, this new, theologically central
    position given to scripture interpretation at
    once bad consequences for method. It is not
    merely that Luther and Calvin-the one as pioneer,
    the other as theoretician and brilliant executor
    of Reformation exegesis-make Humanisms
    philological interest their own, and reach back
    of the Vulgate to, the original biblical texts.
    Allegory is also evicted from its place as the

3.0 16th Century Onward
  • dominant method. Now an exegetical method is
    needed which first of all facilitates return to
    and theological penetration of the original
    meaning of Holy Scripture." Stuhlmacher, 34f.
  • Exegetical Goal "In the place of ancient
    church and medieval allegory with its ascent of
    knowledge, the Reformation brings a theological
    exposition of scripture, which is discriminating
    in respect of its content, rooted in history, and
    emphatically concerned for the original meaning
    of scripture. The goal of the exegetical
    procedure is to facilitate the preaching of the
    gospel." Stuhlmacher, 35f.

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.1 Grotius (Huig de Groot, 1583-1645)
  • "During the busy decades of his diplomatic career
    Grotius was working on Annotationes to all the
    books of the Bible. Only those on the gospels
    (1641) and the OT (1644) were published during
    his life two additional ones completing the NT
    were published posthumously (1646 and 1650). So
    far as he is a "critic," his criticism touches
    peripheral books of the canon. . . . But Grotius
    true significance lies, not in occasional
    critical insights like the above, but in his
    quiet assumption of a right to study, analyze,
    and scrutinize the books of scripture exactly as
    one does any other book. In this he seems to be

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • pioneer among modern men." Grobel, K.,
    Biblical Criticism, IDB, Vol. 1, p. 409

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.2 Hobbes, Thomas (1588-1679)
  • "Thomas Hobbes knew the legal writings of Grotius
    and presumably also the Annotationes - they had
    all been published before Hobbess Leviathan
    appeared in 1651. Hobbess real interest is
    neither in scripture nor in theology but in the
    theory of the state. Seeking a source of
    ultimate authority for the state, he turns his
    candid and rational eye to examine the Authority
    of authorities, the Christian scriptures. He
    does so with all the freedom of Grotius but with
    keener awareness of what he is doing, and now

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • systematically inquiring after the authorship
    and date of each writing (of the OT, at any
    rate)." Grobel, K., Biblical Criticism, IDB,
    Vol. 1, p. 409
  • "And first, for the Pentateuch, it is not
    argument enough that they were written by Moses,
    because they are called the five Books of Moses,
    no more than these titles, the Book of Joshua,
    the book of Judges, the Book of Ruth, and the
    Books of the Kings are arguments sufficient to
    prove, that they were written by Joshua, by the
    Judges, by Ruth, and by the Kings. For in titles
    of Books, the subject is marked, as often as the
    writer." Hobbes

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "We read in the last chapter of Deuteronomie,
    ver 6. concerning the sepulcher of Moses, that no
    man knoweth of his sepulcher to this day, that
    is, to the day in which these words were written.
    It is therefore manifest, that those words were
    written after his interrement." Hobbes
  • "For it was a strange interpretation, to say
    Moses spake of his own sepulcher (though by
    Prophecy), that it was not found to that day,
    wherein he was yet living. But it may perhaps be
    alledged, that the last chapter only, not the
    whole Pentateuch, was written by some other man,
    but the rest not Let us therefore consider that
    which we find in the Book of Genesis, chap. 12.
    ver. 6. And Abraham passed through the land to
    the place of

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • Sechem, unto the plain of Moreh, and the
    Canaanite was then in the land which must needs
    be the words of one that wrote when the Canaanite
    was not in the land and consequently, not of
    Moses, who dyed before be came into it. Likewise
    Numbers, 21. ver. 14. the Writer citeth another
    more ancient Book, Entitled, The Book of the
    Wares of the Lord, wherein were registered the
    Acts of Moses, at the Red-sea, and at the brook
    of Arnon. It is therefore sufficiently evident,
    that the five Books of Moses were written after
    his time, though how long after is not so
    manifest." Hobbes

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "But though Moses did not compile those Books
    entirely, and in the form we have them yet he
    wrote all that which he is there said to have
    written as for example, the Volume of the Law,
    which is contained, as it seemeth, in the 11 of
    Deuteronomie, and the following chapters to the
    27, which was also commanded to be written on
    stones, in their entry into the land of Canaan.
    And this also did Moses himself write, and
    delivered to the Priests and Elders of Israel, to
    be read every seventh year to all Israel, at
    their assembling in the feast of Tabernacles. And
    this is that Law which God commanded, that their
    Kings (when they should have established that

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • form of government) should take a copy of from
    the Priests and Levites and which Moses
    commanded the Priests and Levites to lay in the
    side of the Arke and the same which having been
    lost, was long time after found again by Hilkiah,
    and sent to King Josias, who causing it to be
    read to the people, renewed the Covenant between
    God and them." Hobbes

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.3 Isaac de la Peyrère
  • "From a remarkable book by Isaac de la Peyrère,
    entitled A Theological System from a Preadamite
    Hypothesis, published in 1655, and designed to
    show the existence of man upon the earth previous
    to the creation related in Genesis, the following
    extracts are of interest in connection with the
    Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch "I know not
    by what author it is found out, that the
    Pentateuch is Moses his own copy. It is so
    reported, but not believed by all. These reasons
    make me believe, that these Five Books are not
    the Originals, but copied out by another. Because
    Moses is there, read to have died. For how could

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • Moses write after his death? They say, that
    Joshuah added the death of Moses to Deuteronomie.
    But, who added the death of Joshuah to that book
    which is so called and which is reckoned as
    being written by Joshuah himself, as the
    Pentateuch by Moses?" Gray, 83f.
  • "De la Peyrère also refers to Deuteronomy 1.1,
    "Beyond Jordan," Deuteronomy 3.11 ("For only Og
    King of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants
    behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron is
    it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon?")
    3.14 ("Jair the son of Manasseh took all the
    country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and
    Maachathi and called it after his

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • own name, Bashan-Havoth-Jair, unto this day")
    also 2.12 and 22 (concerning the defeat of the
    Horim by the descendants of Esau and their
    settlement in Seir) from which latter verse, by
    a comparison with Psalm cviii9, and other
    references to Edom, he concludes that the date of
    that portion of Deuteronomy was subsequent to the
    reign of David." Gray, 84f.

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.4 Spinoza, Benedict (1632-77)
  • "One scholar who had no difficulty cracking the
    code was Spinoza who, in the eighth chapter of
    his Tractatus Theologico-politicus, published in
    1670, listed the biblical verses alluded to,
    verses which according to Ibn Ezra may not have
    been written by Moses. (The passages in question
    are Deut 1.1 3.11 27.1-8 31.9 Gen 12.5
    22.14). To these Spinoza added arguments of his
    own, leading to the conclusion that 'it is thus
    clearer than the sun at noonday that the
    Pentateuch was not written by Moses but by
    someone who lived long after Moses.'"
    Blenkinsopp, 2

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "1. The frequent references to Moses in the third
    person. 2. The statements concerning Moses in the
    last chapter of Deuteronomy. 3. The calling of
    places in Genesis and elsewhere by names which
    did not come into use until a later period (e.g.
    Genesis xiv4, "And Abraham pursued as far as
    Dan," the name of the place being at that time
    Laish.) 4. The prolongation of the history beyond
    the time of Moses, (e.g. Exodus xvi34, "And the
    children of Israel did eat manna until they came
    to a land inhabited they did eat manna until
    they came to the borders of the land of Canaan,"
    in conjunction with Joshua v12, "And the manna
    ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the
    old corn of the land, and the mention of the
    kings of Edom in Genesis xxxvi31)." Gray, 96f.

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.5 Simon, Richard (1638-1712)
  • "The French Oratorian priest Richard Simon, a
    contemporary of Spinoza and one of the pioneers
    in the critical study of the Pentateuch,
    discovered the need for prudence the hard way
    after publishing his Histoire Critique de Vieux
    Testament in 1678. Simon acknowledged the role of
    Moses in the production of the Pentateuch, merely
    adding the suggestion that the work owed its
    final form to scribes active up to the time of
    Ezra." Blenkinsopp, 3
  • "Moses cannot be the Author of the Books which
    are attributed to him."

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "He found four general groups of facts to
    disprove the Mosaic authorship of the entire
    Pentateuch (1) those passages which have a
    different historical background than the time of
    Moses, e.g. Deut 34 Gen 12.6 Num 21.14 (2)
    repetitions 'of an identical thing in the
    Pentateuch - repetitions that apparently are not
    at all from Moses but rather from those who made
    the collection of the sacred books and who joined
    together several readings or explications of the
    same words, without considering it necessary to
    remove anything from their copies that would
    clarify the text,' as e.g. in Gen 7.17-24 Exod
    31.14-16 Lev 3.9 (3) the many minor cases of
    poor order (e.g., the mention of woman in Gen

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 1.27 before her creation is described in the
    following chapter), which Simon attributed to the
    fact that the books in ancient times were written
    on small scrolls or separate sheets, the order of
    which could easily have been changed and (4) the
    variety of literary styles throughout the
    Pentateuch, which seems to indicate that the
    author could not have written all of it. . . . '
    Moreover, whether a book or a history or a simple
    parable or a history mixed with parables, it is
    at any rate no less true or no less divine.'
    Simon's awareness of these distinctions marks the
    onset of biblical criticism." Knight, Douglas
    A., Rediscovering the Traditions of Israel The
    Development of the Traditio-Historical Research
    of the Old Testament, with Special Consideration
    of Scandinavian Contributions, 47

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.6 Witter, Henning Bernhard (1683-1715)
  • "That the German pastor Henning Bernhard Witter
    (1683-1715) was able to develop the earliest
    documentary hypothesis was due above all to his
    historical approach to the Pentateuch as a body
    of literature with concrete origins and purposes.
    Confining his attention especially to the book of
    Genesis, Witter made the following basic
    statement "From these sources which were handed
    on by the traditions of the Father and by the
    oral tradition, with the support of the God,
    Moses put together the Pentateuch." There was
    nothing unusual about this opinion since the same
    position was held by Simon, Calvin, Le Clerc, and

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • others prior to him. He did not ever vary from
    the traditional view of Mosaic authorship of
    Genesis. The significant difference, however, was
    that Witter not only posited pre-Mosaic sources
    but also sought to identify them in our present
    text. . . . Witter's criteria for distinguishing
    between sources consisted of differences of
    style, repetitions of content, and alternation
    between divine names." Knight, 55-56
  • "Did Witter initiate a new understanding of
    tradition or transmission? This must be answered
    in the negative, for in essence his view was a
    continuation of the vague, undeveloped notion
    that Moses received some traditional materials

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • from his ancestors. Witter's contribution was
    that he simply designated certain specific
    portions of Genesis as having been pre-existent
    to Moses." Knight, 56

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.7 Astruc, Jean (1684-1766)
  • ". . . the extensive source-critical work of the
    French physician Jean Astruc (1684-1766). Like
    his predecessors, Astruc recognized the existence
    of oral tradition in the pre-Mosaic period but
    was very skeptical that it was capable of
    retaining accurately all the details (especially
    names, ages, topographical descriptions) included
    in Genesis. Consequently, Astruc suggested that
    Moses had old literary memoirs at his disposal
    two of these

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • sources being major and ten being fragmentary.
    Moses assembled these strands into our present
    Genesis. In contrast to Simon who found
    post-Mosaic portions in this book Astruc
    attributed everything to Moses. Like Witter's
    Astruc's work represented an advance inasmuch as
    the pre-Mosaic material simply identified as
    such, without specification, by critics prior to
    them was assorted into distinct groupings and
    classified as ancient sources. But aside from
    this, he did not attempt to investigate this
    prehistory, nor did he regard these sources as
    changing, growing traditions produced by the
    community." Knight, 56-57

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "The phenomena which to him cry for explanation
    are chiefly three (a) repeated narratives of the
    same event (b) the strange distribution of
    Elohim and Jehovah (Astruc uses this mistaken
    medieval form of the Tetragrammaton) (c)
    chronological confusion." Grobel, K., Biblical
    Criticism, IDB, Vol. 1, p. 410-11
  • 3.1.8 Brouwer, Peter
  • "In the same year that Astruc's book appeared,
    Peter Brouwer defended at Leyden his
    dissertation "Whence did Moses learn the facts
    described in the book of Genesis?" in which he
    maintained that the Hebrew leader had access to

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • previous documents, chiefly historical or
    genealogical, in compiling his history and cited
    such introductory titles as "These are the
    generations of," or "This is the book of the
    generations of," as showing the existence of
    ancient records introduced in this manner, from
    which Moses composed the account contained in
    Genesis." Gray, 146-47

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.9 Michaelis, Johann David
  • "In his Introduction to the Divine Writings of
    the Old Covenant, published in 1787, Michaelis
    firmly upholds the Mosaic authorship of the
    Pentateuch, subject to the addition of those
    passages which Moses could not possibly have
    written, and a few later interpolations and
    summarises his argument by saying that Moses owed
    his material to (1) written memorials, (2)
    historical poems, (3) hieroglyphics and (4)
    folklore." Gray, 150-51

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.10 Herder, Johann Gottfried (1744-1803)
  • ". . . Herder's romantic, anti-rationalistic
    understanding of man and the world led him to
    elevate the aesthetic character of the archaic
    expressions of Hebrew life. He sought to shift
    the emphasis from a critical undermining of the
    Bible on the one side and from an unquestioning
    orthodoxy on the other side - to a full,
    intuitive appreciation of the human elements
    permeating the Scripture. This occasioned some

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • advances in the on-going under-standing of
    tradition and transmission. . . ." Knight, 58
  • "According to Herder's conception, the document
    constitutes "the bridge from timeless poetry to
    time-bound history, the intermediary concept
    between poetical Invention and history. This Is
    the fruit of Herder's awareness that poetry is
    not to be compared with the fine arts but with
    history, from which It also springs. The document
    assumes the character of life congealed in
    writing." Knight, 58-60
  • "Herder conceived of an organic growth of
    tradition out of poetry." Knight, 58-60

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "A clear understanding of our prime traditio
    principle of interpretation by subsequent
    generations can also be observed in Herder's
    writing." Knight, 58-60
  • "Also at the literary stage this process
    continued by means of subsequent redactions."
    Knight, 58-60

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.11 Eichhorn, Johann Gottfried (1751-1827)
  • "In the second volume of his Introduction to the
    Old Testament Eichhorn deals specifically with
    the authorship and composition of the sacred
    books. In regard to Genesis he argues (1) only
    such a man as Moses could have been the author
    (2) the book is compiled from ancient written
    records (3) among these are certain independent
    documents (4) most of the book is composed of
    parts of two distinct histories, whose separate
    identity is discernible from the repetitions in
    the text and also from the variation in the style
    of the divine appellation. In his assignment of
    the material of the two accounts he follows in
    the main the division of Astruc, with a few
    unimportant variations." Gray, 153-54

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.12 Nachtigal, Johann Christoph (1753-1819)
  • "Another noteworthy advance occurred in this same
    period - a contribution which has almost totally
    been overlooked and forgotten. Johann Christoph
    Nachtigal (1753-1819) published under the
    pseudonym Otmar a series of articles in 1794-95
    dealing with the gradual formation of the Old
    Testament. Varying from other critics in the
    period immediately after the source-critical
    ground had been broken by Witter and Astruc,
    Nachtigal conceived of this formation as a

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • complex process in which both oral and written
    traditions were transmitted down to later
    generations and in the course of time were put
    into first smaller compilations and then ever
    larger ones until the entire corpus of the
    historical books was finally reached." Knight,

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.13 Ilgen, Karl David (1763-1834)
  • ". . . Carl David Ilgen, who in 1794 succeeded
    Eichhorn in the chair of Oriental languages at
    Jena, and in 1798 published a small volume
    bearing the somewhat magniloquent title of
    Documents of the Archives of the Temple of
    Jerusalem in their Original Form. This book,
    which carried on its second page the subtitle,
    "Documents of the First Book of Moses in their
    Original Form," consists of a division of Genesis
    into three independent narratives, assigned to
    three writers, whom the author styles
    respectively "The First Elohist," "The Second
    Elohist," and "The First Jehovist." Gray, 169

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • 3.1.14 Geddes, Alexander
  • "From intrinsic evidence, three things seem to me
    indubitable. lst, The Pentateuch, in its present
    form, was not written by Moses. 2dly, It was
    written in the land of Chanaan, and most probably
    at Jerusalem. 3dly, It could not be written
    before the reign of David, nor after that of
    Hezekiah. The long pacific reign of Solomon (the
    Augustan age of Judaea) is the period to which I
    would refer it yet, I confess, there are some
    marks of a posterior date, for at least of
    posterior interpolation."Quote of Geddes from
    Gray, 175

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • "But though I am inclined to believe that the
    Pentateuch was reduced into its present form in
    the reign of Solomon, I am fully persuaded that
    it was compiled from ancient documents, some of
    which were coeval with Moses, and some even
    anterior to Moses. Whether all these were written
    records, or many of them only oral tradition, it
    would be rash to determine. From the time of
    Moses, I think, there can be no doubt of their
    having written records. From his Journals, a
    great part of the Pentateuch seems to have been
    compiled. Whether he were also the original
    author of the Hebrew cosmogony, or of the history
    prior to his own days, I would neither
    confidently assert, nor positively deny. He

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • certainly may have been the original author or
    compiler, but it is also possible, and I think
    more probable, that Solomon was the first
    collector and collected from such documents as he
    could find, either among his own people or among
    the neighbouring nations."
  • "Some modem writers, indeed, allowing Moses to be
    the author of the Pentateuch, maintain that he
    composed the book of Genesis from two different
    written documents which they have attempted to
    distinguish by respective characteristics.
    Although I really look upon this as a work of
    fancy, and will elsewhere endeavor to prove it
    so I am not so self-sufficient to imagine that I

3.1 16th Century Onward
  • not be in the wrong, or that they may not be in
    the right. The reader who wishes to see the
    arguments on which they ground their assertion
    may consult Astruc or Eichhorn." Quote of Geddes
    from Gray, 176

4.0 Source Critical Studies
  • 4.0.1 Older Documentary Hypothesis Witter
    (1711) Astruc (1756) Eichhorn (1780)
  • J and E Source based on the two divine names in
    Genesis. This was then applied to the whole

4.0 Source Critical Studies
  • 4.0.2 Fragment Hypothesis (Geddes, Vater, De
  • "The work might have been compiled by a single
    editor who joined together into a single but
    somewhat jumbled whole a mass of quite
    independent short written pieces." Whybray, The
    Making of the Pentateuch, 17

4.0 Source Critical Studies
  • 4.0.3 Supplementary Hypothesis (Ewald, Bleek)
  • One basic source with numerous expansions.
  • ". . . there might originally have been a single,
    consistent, unified account composed by a single
    author, to which, for various reasons, later
    writers made additions, so distorting the
    original unity of the composition." Whybray, The
    Making of the Pentateuch, 17

4.0 Source Critical Studies
  • 4.0.4 Newer Documentary Hypothesis
  • Hupfeld, 1853 the independent sources of P, J, E,
  • Reuss, Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen place P at
    the end and dated it post-exilic and therefore

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • 5.0.1 Main Features
  • Stated briefly and in purely literary terms, the
    Documentary Hypothesis states the Pentateuch took
    shape in a series of stages in which, during the
    space of several centuries, four originally
    distinct books (documents), each written at a
    different time, were dovetailed together by a
    series of redactors to form a single work.

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • 5.0.2 This was achieved in the following ways
  • The earliest of these works was that of the a
    Yahwist (J). It began with what is now Gen
    2.4b, and its various parts are now found in
    Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, together with a few
    short passages in Deuteronomy. Whether it ended
    at this point or continued into the book of
    Joshua or beyond was disputed. It is not
    represented in Leviticus.

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • The Elohist work (E) began with the story of
    Abraham in Gen 15 and then followed the same
    general course as J.
  • J and E were subsequently combined to form JE
    by a redactor (RJE). The process of redaction
    involved the omission of parts of J and E,
    especially of the latter.
  • The third document, Deuteronomy (D), consists
    mainly of the book of that name.

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • D was subsequently appended to JE by a second
    redactor (RD), who also inserted a few passages
    into JE and incorporated a few passages from JE
    into D.
  • The final work, the Priestly document (P),
    began with what is now Gen 1.1 and followed the
    same chronological scheme as J. Material from P
    predominates in Exodus and Numbers, and is the
    sole source of Exod 25-31 35-40 and of Leviticus.

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • P was subsequently combined with JED by a third
    redactor (RJED) to form the present Pentateuch.
  • A few passages (e.g. Gen 14) are not derived from
    any of the main four documents but must be
    regarded as independent fragments. It is not
    possible to determine at what point in the above
    scheme they were inserted, but a late date for
    this is probable. A few other

5.0 Documentary Hypothesis
  • passages were added after the bulk of the
    Pentateuch was completed. Both Fragment and
    Supplement Hypotheses therefore, retained a minor
    place in the scheme of the Documentary
    Hypothesis. Whybray, The Making of the
    Pentateuch, 20-21

5.1 Presuppositions
  • An evolutionary, unilinear approach to Israelite
    history. It has long been recognized that
    Wellhausen built his theory on a now-discredited
    evolutionary philosophy with its roots in the
    thought of G.W.F.Hegel. Whybray in Garret,
    Rethinking Genesis, 16
  • The possibility of dividing the Pentateuchal
    texts on the basis of stylistic criteria.
    Garret, ibid.

5.1 Presuppositions
  • A simple conflation of documents by redactors.
    According to the theory, the redactors simply
    conflated the texts at hand by the
    scissors-and-paste method of cutting up each
    document and then joining the whole into a
    continuous narrative. Garret, ibid.
  • Easy determination of the purposes and methods
    behind the documents and redactions. The early
    framers of the Documentary Hypothesis thought
    they could deduce the purposes and methods of

5.1 Presuppositions
  • the redactors, despite the fact that enormous
    cultural difference existed between the scholars
    who studied Genesis and the men who wrote it.
    More than that, scholars came to have strange
    perceptions of the writers of the documents over
    against the redactors. In particular, it was
    assumed that each writer aimed to produce a
    single, continuous history but would tolerate no
    inconsistency, repetition, or narrative
    digressions. The redactors, on the other hand,
    were said to be utterly oblivious to every kind
    of contradiction and repetition. Garret, ibid.

5.2 Analysis
  • The use of Different Names for the Deity
  • Variations of Language and Style
  • Contradictions and Divergences of Views
  • Repetition, Parallel Accounts (Doublets), and
    Redundancy Conflations
  • Theological Unity of Each Document

6.0 Adjustments
  • 6.1 Noth, Martin
  • "G (Grundlage a common basis) underlying J and
    E by Noth "The situation at hand cannot be
    explain very well except by postulating a common
    basis (Grundlage) for the two sources, for which
    both - independently of each other - have drawn
    the nucleus of their content. In those elements
    of the tradition where J and E run parallel, they
    concur to such an extent that their common
    Grundlage already must have existed in a fixed
    form, either one

6.0 Adjustments
  • fixed in writing or one which had already been
    quite distinctly formed according to structure
    and content in oral transmission. The question as
    to whether this Grundlage was written or oral can
    hardly be answered with any certainty but then,
    traditio-historically this is not of great
    consequence. . . . Every thing which J and E
    concur can be attributed to G." Noth, A History
    of Pentateuchal Traditions, 39

6.0 Adjustments
  • 6.2 Cross, Frank Moore
  • Cross school claims that J and E cannot really be
    separated positively therefore the "Epic
  • "By "Epic" we mean JE and the epic of which J and
    E were, in origin, oral variants." Cross,
    Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 6
  • "Perhaps the term "epic" best designates the
    constitutive genre of Israel's religious
    expression. Epic in interpreting historical
    events combines mythic and historical features in
    various ways and proportions. Usually Israels
    epic forms have been labeled "historical." This
    is a legitimate use of the term "historical." At
    the same time confusion often enters at this
    point. The epic form,

6.0 Adjustments
  • designed to recreate and give meaning to the
    historical experiences of a people or nation, is
    not merely or simply historical. In epic
    narrative, a people and their god or gods
    interact in the temporal course of events. In
    historical narrative only human actors have
    parts. Appeal to divine agency is illegitimate.
    Thus the composer of epic and the historian are
    very different in their methods of approach to
    the materials of history. Yet both are moved by a
    common impulse in view of their concern with the
    human and the temporal process. By contrast myth
    in its purest form is concerned with "primordial
    events" and seeks static structures of meaning
    behind or beyond the historical flux. The

6.0 Adjustments
  • epic cycle of the Israelite league was taken up
    into the prose Epic (JE) sources in the course of
    the early monarchy. The Pentateuch itself may be
    described as a baroque elaboration of these Epic
    sources." Cross, viii-ix

7.0 Recent Developments
  • 7.1 Questioned Material
  • 1.1 "First, historical scholars have questioned a
    number of its basic aspects the dating of the
    earliest pentateuchal stratum (J) to the ninth
    or tenth centuries, the existence of an
    independent elohistic document (E) or
    identifiable elohistic supplementary layer, the
    limitation of deuteronomistic and
    post-deuteronomistic elements to the book of
    Deuteronomy, and the idea that the priestly
    material ever existed separately as a priestly
    document." Carr, "Controversy and Convergence .
    . .", 22

7.0 Recent Developments
  • 1.2 "Second, biblical scholars attuned to debates
    in literary theory outside of biblical studies
    have increasingly asked whether we can say
    anything meaningful about the formation of the
    Bible. Some have drawn heavily on the new
    literary criticism or more directive types of
    reader-response criticism to argue that the text
    is actually far more unified than we previously
    supposed, that it is seamless where we once
    mistakenly saw indicators of sources or
    redactions. Alternatively, other scholars more
    influenced by postmodern literary theory have
    argued that the text is far more complex than we
    supposed." Carr, "Controversy and Convergence .
    . .", 22

7.0 Recent Developments
  • 7.2 John Van Seters
  • 2.1 Abraham in History and Tradition (1975)
    Prologue to History (1992) The Life of Moses
  • 2.2 ". . . crucial parts of the Abraham story
    conventionally assigned to the tenth century
    Yahwist were actually part of a
    post-deuteronomistic Yahwhist." Carr, 23
  • 2.3 ". . . non-priestly pentateuchal texts show
    signs of dependence on deuteronomistic and
    prophetic traditions." Carr, 23
  • 2.4 ". . . the historiographic form of the
    non-priestly Pentateuch is best understood as
    part of a broader sixth-fifth-century
    historiographic movement in the

7.0 Recent Developments
  • Mediterranean, a movement also seen in the works
    of early Greek historians." Carr, 23

7.0 Recent Developments
  • 7.3 Erhard Blum
  • 7.3.1 Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch
    (1990) Die Komposition der Vätergeschichte
  • 7.3.2 K-D combine at Gen 12-50 and Life of Moses
    unit immediately after the exile, after the DHtr.
    The Promise theme therefore come from the K-D.
  • 7.3.3 K-P is then a further redaction.

7.0 Recent Developments
  • 7.4 Frank Crüsemann
  • 7.4.1 The Torah (1992, Eng. 1996).
  • 7.4.2 Deals basically with the legal material
    Covenant Code Deuteronomic Code the Priestly
    writing and the combination of these texts.
  • 7.4.3 CC - early 9th Northern Deut.
    freelandlords during the Josiah to Jehoahaz
    period Priestly exilic attempt to deal with
    the exile Combination Persian period,
    coalition of debtors priests.
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