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View Full Version : Documentary Hypothesis?? and What about Exodus?



dancingforgod
Oct 12th 2008, 03:26 PM
Hi, everyone.

I am taking a course at university called Modern Study of the Bible, and some of the things that have been talked about are disturbing me slightly. I don't want my confusion to undermine my faith, so I'm here to ask a few questions.

We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.

What do Christians think of this? I know Jesus Himself said that Moses was the author... is there any rebuttal of the Documentary Hypothesis anywhere? Where is the evidence against it? Do any Christians believe in it?

Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

Please help me figure out how to process all of this!!

Thank you!

scourge39
Oct 12th 2008, 03:50 PM
For your own sake, I recommend that you buy the book, Rethinking Genesis by Duane Garrett, the definitive refutation of documentary hypothesis. Unfortunately, some here will likely confuse what you're currently being taught with true, conservative scholarship and lump it all together. Moses wrote the Pentateuch, with the exception of the account of his own death, which was obviously written by another author, probably Joshua. OT scholarship is moving away from documentary hypothesis. All of the recent non-Evangelical commentaries on the Pentateuch reject it. It's just liberal universities' way of keeping old liberal scholarship alive. They're the ones behind the times. Scholarship is not.

scourge39
Oct 12th 2008, 04:03 PM
What are your textbooks? I'm sure I'm familiar with them.

Athanasius
Oct 12th 2008, 04:08 PM
I believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch much in the same way Luke wrote Luke-Acts. I don't believe Moses wrote everything, I believe he wrote and compiled. I also believe the account of Moses death was writing after his death, I don't believe it to have been prophetic on his part. I also believe Jesus credited Moses as being the author simply because that's how the Jews understood the Pentateuch. Jesus was working within the confines of the society in which he lived.

I also, to an extent, agree with the documentary hypothesis, but to be clear, the Wellhousian theory has been modified extensively since it was first introduced. To be clear, JEPD is much like Q... They don't have it (or them).

**Sorry this post is so poorly worded, I wrote it when I was tired and haven't bothered to fix it :P

dancingforgod
Oct 12th 2008, 05:25 PM
My textbook is Understanding the Bible by Stephen L. Harris.

I will look at Rethinking Genesis, thank you scourge39!!

And Xel'Naga, that's a really interesting perspective:idea:, thanks for giving me something to think about!:hmm:

Elouise
Oct 12th 2008, 07:56 PM
You are studying at University level.

You will be expected to be capable of critical thinking and an ability to grasp the arguements of a wide variety of biblical scholars; once you have grasped you can begin to prepare and present an arguement to refute.
Moses is unlikley to be the actual person who wrote the pentuauch. People on the move tend to have oral traditions rather than written.

It is not 'just liberals' who accept that Moses was not the 'author' par sae.

Please look for the Old Testament Gateway. It will give you access to online scholarly articles suitable for university use; if you use any make sure you formally cite!
Get online and access using academic serach engines. The info is out there and an academic search engine will pull up the etehreal online theology libraries and give you access to many books debating this.

Go to the university library and see if they have copies of JSOT published by Sage. [Journal for the study of the old testament] and also look in the library for historical sources of the Hebrew Bible.

Biastai
Oct 13th 2008, 12:30 PM
History of the New Testament Times by R.L. Pfeiffer reads many times that the Law or Pentateuch was not codified until c. 400 B.C.

The work of the Chronicler (Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah) is dated c. 250 B.C. in the same work.

Another author I can't recall at the moment writes Daniel was written in the time of Antiochus IV's campaign against Judea in the 2nd century B.C. The lion's den and furnace are images to connect with readers at the time of the backdrop (despair, hopelessness, being beseiged in the city). The king who wishes to be worshipped as a god (Nebuchadnezzar) is actually Antiochus IV who forced Hellenization unto the Jews.

Norman Snaith in Distinctive Ideas in the Old Testament even alludes to theories (not necessarily his own) that Judah was a separate migration into the Jordan valley from the south!

You will uncover many things on your studies that will surprise you. I understand your disturbance because I have felt it too. My opinion is that one can fearlessly study knowing that the Lord is still to be revealed in these writings. Not necessarily in the way one thinks or expects however. Remember these writings reflect man's ever-developing perception of the one true God.

The above poster's comments on oral traditions is a good one. Believe me, I would love it if these writings were eyewitness accounts of the events described! What must be kept in mind is that in many instances we're looking at orally passed traditions put in writing very late in their transmission.

Sold Out
Oct 13th 2008, 02:39 PM
I'm going to have to be honest. A lot of what has been posted here challenges what I've learned and/or taught concerning the writers of scripture.

In the case of the Old Testament some assert that all 39 books were collected and recognized by Ezra in about 450 B.C.

ƒσяєяυииєя
Oct 14th 2008, 10:32 PM
Hi, everyone.

I am taking a course at university called Modern Study of the Bible, and some of the things that have been talked about are disturbing me slightly. I don't want my confusion to undermine my faith, so I'm here to ask a few questions.

We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.

What do Christians think of this? I know Jesus Himself said that Moses was the author... is there any rebuttal of the Documentary Hypothesis anywhere? Where is the evidence against it? Do any Christians believe in it?

Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

Please help me figure out how to process all of this!!

Thank you!


Hi Dancing,

You know actually there`s an active thread about this topic, click here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=143133), and there are some proofs and stuff.

I wonder if they don`t believe in the proof given by Jesus Himself, what could cause they to believe then?

Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.



Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.



And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.



And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16.27>>





Go well


______________________
Peace and so forth

-"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation..."[Salvation from what?.]
-Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

(Romans 1:16; John 8:34; Jude 1:24-25.)

http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/5459/natureavyty7.jpg

http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/3020/lifesigyyt9.gif

Richard H
Oct 14th 2008, 10:47 PM
Hi DancingForGod,

Here is an article about potential physical evidence for the Red Sea crossing
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=19382 (http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=19382)

Here is a page with some video. The first one deals with the dive.
You must turn up the sound on the on-screen player.
http://www.anchorstone.com/content/view/315/53/ (http://www.anchorstone.com/content/view/315/53/)

This page has a good photo of Pharaoh’s chariot wheel.
http://bibleprobe.com/exodus.htm (http://bibleprobe.com/exodus.htm)

Sea of Aqaba aka ‘sea of weeds’.

There's a thread here in “Questions” discussing the meaning of the Red Sea and Aqaba is certainly a possibility.

Richard

petepet
Oct 17th 2008, 08:51 AM
Hi, everyone.

I am taking a course at university called Modern Study of the Bible, and some of the things that have been talked about are disturbing me slightly. I don't want my confusion to undermine my faith, so I'm here to ask a few questions.

We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.

This is an old theory that is now past its sell by date. It is so disputed, and there are so many variations on it that it has become useless. You can use it to demonstrate anything that you like at whatever time you would like. In other words it is guesswork, not valid scholarship. It was initially based on the different names used for God in the Pentateuch, (YHWH, Elohim, and so on), which were assumed to indicate different sources, but this method of division has now been discarded as unreliable, partly as a result of textual studies. Much of the theory arises because when it did arise scholars were not aware of (or did not take into account) the distinctive way in which ancient writers wrote. Wellhausen tried to treat the Mosaic writings as though Moses was a 19th century historian (and he mainly ignored the discoveries of archaeology), and assumed a rather naive evolutionary view of history which has now been debunked by archaeological discoveries. . For as is evidenced by many ancient writings that have been discovered deliberate repetition is a feature of such writings. Thus rather than being evidence of dual authorship they are evidence of how old the writings are. The discoveries at Ebla alone have awoken us to the fact of how sophisticated the world was over 1000 years before the time of Moses, and so-called 'late Aramaisms' have been discovered at Ugarit dating from before the time of Moses.

What do Christians think of this? I know Jesus Himself said that Moses was the author.

What better evidence do you need. He made history !!!

.. is there any rebuttal of the Documentary Hypothesis anywhere? Where is the evidence against it? Do any Christians believe in it?

An excellent treatement of the theory is found in 'The Unity of the Pentateuch' by A H Finn. Consider also among others O T Allis - the Five Books of Moses. R K Harrison's 'Introduction to The Old Testament'.


Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

There is plenty of proof that Semites regularly sought refuge in Egypt. We have archaeological evidence elsewhere af similar large groups escaping from a country which tried to retain them (although not from Egypt).. And we know that the route taken by Moses out of Egypt was that often followed by escaping slaves.

We also know that the plagues of Egypt follow the pattern that we would expect given the conditions in Egypt and regular occurrences related to the Nile. See Kitchen on 'Plagues of Egypt' in the New Bible Dictionary.

We would not expect the Egyptians to describe what was for them a disaster. Ancient kings did not tend to record disasters, only victories. They wanted prestige not truth. There is, however, a kind of proof in that no nation on earth has ever invented for itself a history which humiliated and disgraced it. So why should Israel? And they not only wrote of it but sang of it in their Psalms.

And there is certainly archaeological evidence of invasion of Canaan and the replacing of the population of cities by a new more primitive population around the time of Moses.

Please help me figure out how to process all of this!!

Thank you!

You need to read some of Professor Kenneth Kitchen's books. Kenneth Kitchen is one of the world's leading Egyptologists and is thus more reliable in this field than general scholars who do not specialise in the field.

See also The New Bible Dictionary IVP (inter-varsity press) for many valuable articles written from a scholarly point of view.

A site worth visiting is http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/4027/

KATA_LOUKAN
Oct 17th 2008, 12:39 PM
Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

This would be difficult, since the Egyptians never recorded defeats in their history.


We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.


This is the view of the majority of the academic community, although it has been challenged in recent decades.

Either way, arguing against Mosaic authorship really does not effect the way we interpret the Bible, and is more an issue of history than faith.

petepet
Oct 17th 2008, 06:33 PM
Hi, everyone.

I am taking a course at university called Modern Study of the Bible, and some of the things that have been talked about are disturbing me slightly. I don't want my confusion to undermine my faith, so I'm here to ask a few questions.

We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.

What do Christians think of this? I know Jesus Himself said that Moses was the author... is there any rebuttal of the Documentary Hypothesis anywhere? Where is the evidence against it? Do any Christians believe in it?

Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

Please help me figure out how to process all of this!!

Thank you!

You will find a considerable amount of useful material at http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk :pp

jeffweeder
Oct 17th 2008, 10:07 PM
Hi Dancing
You may find this interesting---

http://www.theexoduscase.co.uk/

Richyb
May 26th 2009, 04:05 PM
I use Wikipedia for a lot of information, I like it because I know that geeks will stop at nothing to be right and if you have millions of them compiling an encyclopedia they will stop at nothing until the facts are straight. They argue amongst themselves endlessly and have to cite tons of sources which are double checked practically on a constant basis.

I spent the weekend reading all about the origins of Judaism and found my heart was tearing itself apart as I found that according to the documentary hypothesis the Torah was written and modified from 900bc (time of King David) to 400bc. It cites all of these inconsistencies with much of the writings and claims in Chronicles that the reference to a new found Torah was actually deutoronomy.

The idea being that King Josiah was trying to form a monotheistic state. The minimalists were really argueing to make it seem like the God of Abraham was in fact just a Caananite Patriarch God (El, or Elohim being a lengthened form). It broke my heart.

Then I found myself looking to investigate Jesus where I found that even Josephus who was probably the most noteworthy secular first century historian whom all of these minimalists seem to quote, even he called Jesus the son of God. Which they contest was actually his writing. Back to my original statement. Oh did you see what I did there? I wrote multiple paragraphs and my language changed.

The Documentary Hypothesis is just another attempt to debunk God. It is nothing more than speculation. When I finally ended my quest to understand the Documentary Hypothesis, recently in fact, I found that the DH was speculation. I really expected that they had found 4 scroll fragments scattered around modern day Israel. Nope. No papers, just a critical writing analysis.

That is not an arguement, that also goes for the Q document which tries to debunk 3 of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, and John) were written by 3 differnet people.

I found my faith tested, and I found that even if proof suggested the entire Bible was false, that I would still be God's servant, because I know he is here in my heart. Even if nothing was there to define God, I still feel the presence of God in my life.

Now as for the Creation story, I wonder about that. Light was made before the sun, the plants also. Clearly science rejects these things even at an elementary level.

However if you look at other aspects of the Bible. A full geneology to Jesus (although landing on Joseph and Jesus being divinely born through virgin birth). Also if you look at the fact that all of these number patterns are consistent through the Bible. Prophecies are still being fulfilled. The Jews somehow remain the oldest united people living under one religion while having migrated through all of the world under such intense persecution. Even so, if you think of the way Israel defended themselves in the war they had with the middle east that time. It seems like there is no question whether God has had his hand on them.

I am all over the place. Perhaps that further supports that the DH is false. Even if it were true though, according to that theory the Shiloh and Aaronite priesthoods existed and Archaeological proofs in the forms of ancient tablets to prove David seem to exist with mentions of the "House of David" and "Israel" written on them. Why would established priesthoods exist already with the name of such as the brother of Moses?

Egyptian history is a problem. It is speculated the tribes of Israel were mixed in with the Hyksos people who migrated south to the Nile delta and eventually to Thebes in the Egyptian 13th dynasty up until about the 18th or 19th (Rameses II was 19th which would back the building claim for Pi-Ramses). However the hyksos people were supposedly "Expelled" who knows really.

There is evidence to suggest some Hyksos wore multi colored cloaks. This suggests evidence for the "Coat of many colors". The mass influx of Hyksos to the Nile delta also backs the idea of the 7 years of famine.

Now off that topic, the Flood story is all over the world, they call this a "Deluge Myth" but you know most seem have an instruction from God to one family to build a boat and take animals. It is also interesting that some others mention the Tower of Babel and yet are on opposite sides of the world.

In the long run, it seems the Bible has overwhelming proof and they (as hard as they try) cannot debunk Jesus. In fact, they can only say that they have no idea why so many people would peacefully martyr themselves unless there was some obvious truth. The historic understandings of Jesus and those around him correspond with the gospels.

Well I have officially written the longest forum reply of all time. Have a good day and I hope this helps.:cool:

Athanasius
May 26th 2009, 04:11 PM
Wikipedia and Google... Two greatest sources of false knowledge in history:hmm:

crawfish
May 26th 2009, 06:34 PM
I don't buy the DH. For one, it's clear when you trace usage of the various names of God in their context that there are reasons that each name is used. I have no problem with the thought of a later editor that put the works in their current form.

markedward
May 27th 2009, 04:18 PM
The thing is... there are certain small parts of the Torah that certainly don't look like they could have been written by Moses. This doesn't mean Moses didn't write the Torah in and of itself, but there are certain passages here and there that indicate someone at the least made additions to it at a later time. Example:

Genesis 36.31 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites.

Okay... if Moses lived before "any king reigned over the Israelites", how could he have made such a statement as this? This statement only makes sense coming from someone who lived during the time period when there was a kingdom of Israel. But, it could easily mean Moses wrote the Torah, and the line about "before any king reigned over the Israelites" is an addition. Although, if someone else can provide a more reasonable explanation for why Moses would have written something as this, I'll go for it.


The idea being that King Josiah was trying to form a monotheistic state.This in itself isn't false, merely the DH's explanation for it. Scripture shows that Josiah tried to do this. The Israelites kept falling into polytheism, worshiping the likes of Baal, Asherah, etc., and Josiah (Hezekiah also, at a different time) came along and tried to stamp out the polytheism to return people to a monotheistic belief in YHWH.

dan
Jun 19th 2009, 10:53 AM
Hi, everyone.

We've been taught that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch, but that the Pentateuch was formed through the four different sources, J,E,P and D. That is what the textbook teaches along with the professor.

What do Christians think of this? I know Jesus Himself said that Moses was the author... is there any rebuttal of the Documentary Hypothesis anywhere? Where is the evidence against it? Do any Christians believe in it?

Also, the textbook and professor day that there is no external proof for the Exodus anywhere in the world. No proof of Israelite slaves, no proof for Moses... basically, no proof for anything.

Please help me figure out how to process all of this!!

Thank you!

...Does modern academia place any value in the Apochrypha?

I ask because the Second Book Of Esdras (Ezra) says that when the Hebrews were taken by the Babylonians, the Law was destroyed, and had to be rewritten.

The task was given to five writers that would transcribe the words from Ezra after God bestowed him with the knowledge.

2Esdras 14: 20 Behold, Lord, I will go, as thou hast commanded me, and reprove the people which are present: but they that shall be born afterward, who shall admonish them? thus the world is set in darkness, and they that dwell therein are without light.
2Esdras 14: 21 For thy law is burnt, therefore no man knoweth the things that are done of thee, or the work that shall begin.
2Esdras 14: 22 But if I have found grace before thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world since the beginning, which were written in thy law, that men may find thy path, and that they which will live in the latter days may live.
2Esdras 14: 23 And he answered me, saying, Go thy way, gather the people together, and say unto them, that they seek thee not for forty days.
2Esdras 14: 24 But look thou prepare thee many box trees, and take with thee Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ecanus, and Asiel, these five which are ready to write swiftly;
2Esdras 14: 25 and come hither, and I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out, till the things be performed which thou shalt begin to write.
2Esdras 14: 26 And when thou hast done, some things shalt thou publish, and some things shalt thou shew secretly to the wise: to I morrow this hour shalt thou begin to write.

squeehunter
Aug 1st 2009, 03:41 AM
Here you go buddy. This will answer all your questions. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kw6U05qBiXcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=on+the+reliability+of+the+old+testament&ei=rrZzSuSfDImGzAS-9dnnAg&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It's been suggested up near the top already. Kitchen soundly thrashes Finkelstein and Dever. I reccomend checking the book out somewhere though so you get the whole thing. Kitchen leaves out one very important thing though. The reason the material culture between the early Israelites and the Canaanites was so common (but of lesser quality as Finkelstein rightly notices) is because #1, the Jews didn't expect to be out in the desert for 40 years so they didn't bring a lot of things with them (espically pottery that would have left evidence. Skisn were all they needed), all the craftsmen died in the 40 years in the desert (as did the fighting men) and when the Canaanite cities were looted (look it up), the only stuff they knew was the materials they got FROM the Canaanites so of course they're going to look the same. Also, contributing to the same material culture is the change from pastoralists to farmers. Poor farmers are going to look the same if they live in the same area. Finkelstien doesn't beleive there was a conquest but he too agrees that the material culture is similar (though not exact) due to buying pottery from the Canaanites or hiring potters from them so at least he acknlowdges it. Compare the story about the origions of the Jews compared to that of the Greeks or Romans. Now who would invent a story about being SLAVES?

Kitchen wrote a book concerning the documentary hypothesis and the whole thing was online. I can't find it anymore but it was written in 1963 if that helps...