Documentary Hypothesis: True or False, and...?

…and does it conflict with orthodoxy?

Yes = True
No = False

…just in case.

What documentary? What hypothesis?

I recommend reading the following article:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_Hypothesis

From the article:

“The documentary hypothesis is a theory proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and source criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. Although the hypothesis is widely accepted, it has a substantial number of critics—especially conservative Bible scholars such as Kenneth Kitchen and Gleason Archer, but also among critical scholars such as R. N. Whybray.”

Also, I recommend the book *Who Wrote the Bible? *by Richard Elliott Friedman.

I should like to recommend that when you set up a poll that you be a bit clearer on precisely what it is you are asking about.

I was perfectly clear.

I am looking for educated opinions. If you don’t know anything about the Documentary Hypothesis, then don’t respond. What good is a person’s opinion if he does not know anything about the matter? Not much.

[quote=clarkal]I was perfectly clear.

I am looking for educated opinions. If you don’t know anything about the Documentary Hypothesis, then don’t respond. What good is a person’s opinion if he does not know anything about the matter? Not much.
[/quote]

You are a very arrogant person!! True or False!!

I have to say in principle that the Documentary Hypothesis is True. I believe that scholars using all the literary, historical and archeologicals at their disposal have developed a reasonable theory with the standard explanation using the JEPD models. I believe there is enough evidence to support this.

I am really going to have to read up on the criticism of this theory, however, from what I do remember people’s attacks on this theory almost always goes to specific points and rejects the whole principle. For example, and this is just a made up example, if those who held that certain passages were from the E source based on what was know at the time, if later evidence is developed that shows this particular passage has a different source, then what was believe to be fact wasn’t but that doesn’t mean that the principles which lead to this faulty conclusion were in themselves wrong, it has more to do with the data upon which these principles were applied.

In other words, those who reject this theory, especially those who take a literal approach to the Bible, fail to comprehend that Scriptural Studies, like all studies in history and science is a dynamic reality, which is always growing or deeping in its understandings but always guided by basic principles.

[quote=thistle]You are a very arrogant person!! True or False!!
[/quote]

Why am I arrogant?

I also made available the option ‘Other’ for a person who wanted to explain why in a post.

[quote=TOME]I have to say in principle that the Documentary Hypothesis is True. I believe that scholars using all the literary, historical and archeologicals at their disposal have developed a reasonable theory with the standard explanation using the JEPD models. I believe there is enough evidence to support this.

I am really going to have to read up on the criticism of this theory, however, from what I do remember people’s attacks on this theory almost always goes to specific points and rejects the whole principle. For example, and this is just a made up example, if those who held that certain passages were from the E source based on what was know at the time, if later evidence is developed that shows this particular passage has a different source, then what was believe to be fact wasn’t but that doesn’t mean that the principles which lead to this faulty conclusion were in themselves wrong, it has more to do with the data upon which these principles were applied.

In other words, those who reject this theory, especially those who take a literal approach to the Bible, fail to comprehend that Scriptural Studies, like all studies in history and science is a dynamic reality, which is always growing or deeping in its understandings but always guided by basic principles.
[/quote]

Thank you very much for your input. I also want to read the critics of the Documentary Hypothesis. I have read summations of their beliefs, but nothing in great detail. I know a lot of them have orthodox beliefs but there are some critical scholars out there that disagree. They are in the minority, though.

But what about my other question? Does the Four-Source theory conflict with orthodoxy?

[quote=clarkal]I was perfectly clear.

I am looking for educated opinions. If you don’t know anything about the Documentary Hypothesis, then don’t respond. What good is a person’s opinion if he does not know anything about the matter? Not much.
[/quote]

I take it you have a low opinion of elections and their outcomes. :rolleyes:

I think that these are two different matters. I think one need only a surface knowledge of the candidates and issues of a certain election for a vote to be reasonable. However, in academic matters, a surface knowledge of the issue is not good enough for your opinon to be really valuable.

And please do not roll your eyes at me like a 13 year old girl when or if you think that my beliefs and opinions do not align with yours. Is this a mature response?

[quote=clarkal]…and does it conflict with orthodoxy?
[/quote]

Other - since hypotheses can be valid or not, but not true or not, as only a direct statement can be true, or not. Too many statements, of differing logical status, make up too many forms of the Documentary Hypothesis, for it - they - to be true or false. It’s like asking “Do wheels have spokes ?” - there is too much detail to allow for a simple, straightforward no/yes answer.

[quote=Gottle of Geer]Other - since hypotheses can be valid or not, but not true or not, as only a direct statement can be true, or not. Too many statements, of differing logical status, make up too many forms of the Documentary Hypothesis, for it - they - to be true or false. It’s like asking “Do wheels have spokes ?” - there is too much detail to allow for a simple, straightforward no/yes answer.
[/quote]

Thanks for your input. :slight_smile:

[quote=clarkal]Thank you very much for your input. I also want to read the critics of the Documentary Hypothesis. I have read summations of their beliefs, but nothing in great detail.
[/quote]

Then you will never be able to understand it properly. Some issues can’t be skimmed, if we want to understand why people make the judgements about them that they do.

Would people really understand Catholicism, if they read ionly the critics of it ? If not - why read only the critics of those who hold this or that form of the DH (of which there is more than one ?)

A survey of positions can be found in the English translation of Claus Westermann’s commentary on Genesis 1 - 11; trans. John J. Scullion SJ (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1974)

eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_1ML183XMN.HTM

I know a lot of them have orthodox beliefs but there are some critical scholars out there that disagree. They are in the minority, though.

But what about my other question? Does the Four-Source theory conflict with orthodoxy?

[quote=clarkal]Thank you very much for your input. I also want to read the critics of the Documentary Hypothesis. I have read summations of their beliefs, but nothing in great detail.
[/quote]

Then you will never be able to understand it properly. Some issues can’t be skimmed, if we want to understand why people make the judgements about them that they do.

Would people really understand Catholicism, if they read only the critics of it ? If not - why read only the critics of those who hold this or that form of the DH (of which there is more than one ?)

A survey of positions can be found in the English translation of Claus Westermann’s commentary on Genesis 1 - 11; trans. John J. Scullion SJ (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1974)

eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_1ML183XMN.HTM

I know a lot of them have orthodox beliefs but there are some critical scholars out there that disagree. They are in the minority, though.

But what about my other question? Does the Four-Source theory conflict with orthodoxy?

[quote=clarkal]Thanks for your input. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Any time :slight_smile:

[quote=Gottle of Geer]Then you will never be able to understand it properly. Some issues can’t be skimmed, if we want to understand why people make the judgements about them that they do.

Would people really understand Catholicism, if they read only the critics of it ? If not - why read only the critics of those who hold this or that form of the DH (of which there is more than one ?)

A survey of positions can be found in the English translation of Claus Westermann’s commentary on Genesis 1 - 11; trans. John J. Scullion SJ (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1974)

eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_1ML183XMN.HTM
[/quote]

I agree completely.

And thank you for the link.

Clarkal, first in rereading my post I realized that I didn’t answer either question directly.The Doc. Hypoth. from what I understand holds that the present day Torah is the result of 4 seperate traditions combined into one during and right after the Babylonian Captivity. There are certain internal signs that there were at laest the 4. Amoung the internal evidence is the name used for God, the stress on different holy places chronological structure etc. Now during the Babylonian Captivity, as Israel was struggling to understand and keep their identity as God’s Choosen People, there developed what was to become the Torah using these various traditions to produce the single faith document.

As for the question on orthodoxy, if you are refering to orthodoxy in the sense that being the Word of God Scripture must be seen as only that a work dictated by God to an individual and in effect has no errors. Then yes this does go against orthodoxy.

However, I believe what is more important, it reflects the understanding and approach to scriptures as put forth by Divino Afflante Spiritu and Dei Verbu, therefore reflects true orthodox teaching of the Church (can’t get more orthodox than a constitutional document from a Church Council, if you ask me.)

Great. Thank you.

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