So I’m reading the bible right now (currently about half-way through the book of Judges if you’re wondering) and I was curious what the Church’s view is on the whole “documentary hypothesis”, or the idea that much of the bible (the Pentateuch in particular) is a collection of documents written by differing authors at different times.
If this hypothesis were to be considered true, it seems to cause problems for the Church’s view of the bible in general: if the biblical authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the books we have are actually collections of other books, is the book itself still inspired? Or would we have to find the original source-manuscripts, all of which are lost, and only they could possibly be inspired? And what if those original documents held things that the hypothetical redactor took out?
The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia argues against it but . . . well that’s more than a little outdated. I don’t have any particular problem rejecting it - it will always be a hypothesis, and impossible to prove. I just want to know what y’all think, and if it is, in your opinion, true, how do you mesh this with the nature of the Sacred Dogma?
Also some really minor questions, don’t worry about looking around for answers if you don’t know 'em off the top of your head . . .
Why are the names in the Douay-Rheims edition so different from the modern ones? I know it’s a translation of a translation, but why didn’t St. Jerome use the actual names instead of latinizing them? Seems like the Nova Vulgata does this as well.
Is there any place online that lists the differences in versing between the Douay-Rheims and more modern editions? In most places it’s minor if it’s there at all, but it’s sometimes a hassle to look up a cited verse and then find that they don’t match up.
FWIW, the Bible has been very interesting to read. I’d recommend to anyone, religious status regardless, just because it’s such an ancient piece of literature. It’s one of the classics that everyone should/used to read, like The Odyssey and whatnot: very influential on the development of Western literature, I’d imagine.