The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:06 am

austendw wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:28 am

Here we part company. This criterion is too unquantifiable, too vague, too subjective for me.

My point is that perhaps we shouldn't expect the Genesis patriarchs to make much of an appearance in prophetic literature where there were more pressing issues to chew over. Did the ancient foundation of Bethel matter when there were problems of poverty or cultic transgressions to tackle? Why should it? Would the slightly racy tales of Abraham/Isaac's wife in Egypt/Gerar (take your pick of three), or Jacob's wedding night, have mattered much to Amos or 'Hosea? Hard to imagine why.

Well, I think Hong's reason for dating the Jacob/Bethel story to a time when Bethel was still a working sanctuary is credible. There may be better a explanation, but I haven't encountered it yet.
There is no question that the names of two of the patriarchs were known before the exile -
The shrines of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel reduced to ruins; and I will turn upon the House of Jeroboam with the sword." (Amos 7:9 TNK)
And so, hear the word of the LORD. You say I must not prophesy about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; (Amos 7:16 TNK)
Odd that big Abe didn't make it into Amos, but that's poetry I guess. Abraham doesn't make anything clearly pre-exilic, he's mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 and 9 and a few other times in the Torah outside of Genesis in relation to the covenant. Note Jacob isn't mentioned in Amos. Esau makes the book of Obadiah, but that's 6th century BCE (I think that means exilic).

Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette shows a separate literary layer.

Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.
[/quote]

semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:07 am

austendw wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:28 am

Here we part company. This criterion is too unquantifiable, too vague, too subjective for me.

My point is that perhaps we shouldn't expect the Genesis patriarchs to make much of an appearance in prophetic literature where there were more pressing issues to chew over. Did the ancient foundation of Bethel matter when there were problems of poverty or cultic transgressions to tackle? Why should it? Would the slightly racy tales of Abraham/Isaac's wife in Egypt/Gerar (take your pick of three), or Jacob's wedding night, have mattered much to Amos or 'Hosea? Hard to imagine why.

Well, I think Hong's reason for dating the Jacob/Bethel story to a time when Bethel was still a working sanctuary is credible. There may be better a explanation, but I haven't encountered it yet.
There is no question that the names of two of the patriarchs were known before the exile -
The shrines of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel reduced to ruins; and I will turn upon the House of Jeroboam with the sword." (Amos 7:9 TNK)
And so, hear the word of the LORD. You say I must not prophesy about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; (Amos 7:16 TNK)
Odd that big Abe didn't make it into Amos, but that's poetry I guess. Abraham doesn't make anything clearly pre-exilic, he's mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 and 9 and a few other times in the Torah outside of Genesis in relation to the covenant. Note Jacob isn't mentioned in Amos. Esau makes the book of Obadiah, but that's 6th century BCE (I think that means exilic).

Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette shows a separate literary layer.

Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.
[/quote]

semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:07 am

austendw wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:28 am

Here we part company. This criterion is too unquantifiable, too vague, too subjective for me.

My point is that perhaps we shouldn't expect the Genesis patriarchs to make much of an appearance in prophetic literature where there were more pressing issues to chew over. Did the ancient foundation of Bethel matter when there were problems of poverty or cultic transgressions to tackle? Why should it? Would the slightly racy tales of Abraham/Isaac's wife in Egypt/Gerar (take your pick of three), or Jacob's wedding night, have mattered much to Amos or 'Hosea? Hard to imagine why.

Well, I think Hong's reason for dating the Jacob/Bethel story to a time when Bethel was still a working sanctuary is credible. There may be better a explanation, but I haven't encountered it yet.
There is no question that the names of two of the patriarchs were known before the exile -
The shrines of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel reduced to ruins; and I will turn upon the House of Jeroboam with the sword." (Amos 7:9 TNK)
And so, hear the word of the LORD. You say I must not prophesy about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; (Amos 7:16 TNK)
Odd that big Abe didn't make it into Amos, but that's poetry I guess. Abraham doesn't make anything clearly pre-exilic, he's mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 and 9 and a few other times in the Torah outside of Genesis in relation to the covenant. Note Jacob isn't mentioned in Amos. Esau makes the book of Obadiah, but that's 6th century BCE (I think that means exilic).

Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette shows a separate literary layer.

Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.

semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:16 am

austendw wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:28 am

Here we part company. This criterion is too unquantifiable, too vague, too subjective for me.

My point is that perhaps we shouldn't expect the Genesis patriarchs to make much of an appearance in prophetic literature where there were more pressing issues to chew over. Did the ancient foundation of Bethel matter when there were problems of poverty or cultic transgressions to tackle? Why should it? Would the slightly racy tales of Abraham/Isaac's wife in Egypt/Gerar (take your pick of three), or Jacob's wedding night, have mattered much to Amos or 'Hosea? Hard to imagine why.

Well, I think Hong's reason for dating the Jacob/Bethel story to a time when Bethel was still a working sanctuary is credible. There may be better a explanation, but I haven't encountered it yet.
There is no question that the names of two of the patriarchs were known before the exile -
The shrines of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel reduced to ruins; and I will turn upon the House of Jeroboam with the sword." (Amos 7:9 TNK)
And so, hear the word of the LORD. You say I must not prophesy about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; (Amos 7:16 TNK)
Odd that big Abe didn't make it into Amos, but that's poetry I guess. Abraham doesn't make anything clearly pre-exilic, he's mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 and 9 and a few other times in the Torah outside of Genesis in relation to the covenant. Note Jacob isn't mentioned in Amos. Esau makes the book of Obadiah, but that's 6th century BCE (I think that means exilic).

Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette/pericope shows a separate literary layer.

Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.

semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:17 am

austendw wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:28 am

Here we part company. This criterion is too unquantifiable, too vague, too subjective for me.

My point is that perhaps we shouldn't expect the Genesis patriarchs to make much of an appearance in prophetic literature where there were more pressing issues to chew over. Did the ancient foundation of Bethel matter when there were problems of poverty or cultic transgressions to tackle? Why should it? Would the slightly racy tales of Abraham/Isaac's wife in Egypt/Gerar (take your pick of three), or Jacob's wedding night, have mattered much to Amos or 'Hosea? Hard to imagine why.

Well, I think Hong's reason for dating the Jacob/Bethel story to a time when Bethel was still a working sanctuary is credible. There may be better a explanation, but I haven't encountered it yet.
There is no question that the names of two of the patriarchs were known before the exile -
The shrines of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel reduced to ruins; and I will turn upon the House of Jeroboam with the sword." (Amos 7:9 TNK)
And so, hear the word of the LORD. You say I must not prophesy about the House of Israel or preach about the House of Isaac; (Amos 7:16 TNK)
Odd that big Abe didn't make it into Amos, but that's poetry I guess. Abraham doesn't make anything clearly pre-exilic, he's mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 and 9 and a few other times in the Torah outside of Genesis in relation to the covenant. Note Jacob isn't mentioned in Amos. Esau makes the book of Obadiah, but that's probably 6th century BCE (I think that means exilic).

Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette/pericope shows a separate literary layer.

Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.

austendw
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by austendw » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:37 am

semiopen wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:17 am
Jacob and Beth-El is an interesting point - not to mention other parts of the Jacob saga. However, I see Jacob as a unified story and am not convinced that each vignette/pericope shows a separate literary layer.
Well I'm not convinced of that either. But one of the theories that has somewhat dislodged the Documentary Hypothesis (I find it difficult to call it the "DH" because I'm used to seeing that refer to the "Deuteronomistic History") is that certain early stories, fragments even, were woven into the story of Joseph. Van Seters, Reinhard Kratz are fond of that approach in Genesis. That strikes me as plausible enough in this case, because the Bethel episode is a bit of a digression in its current context, as if it has been embedded into the basic narrative about Joseph going to Haran etc, etc; or alternatively, that the entire narrative has been constructed to include and make sense of a variety of literary material.
semiopen wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:17 am
Have to admit, I was a little surprised, reviewing the literature (wiki mostly as my books and I are temporarily separated), that the DH does actually seem to be in bad shape. Never ceases to amaze me that I might not be spouting total bullshit.
There's no doubt that few people defend the DH in its original Wellhausen form, and Friedmann's picture of an individual "author" writing one source text and another individual writing another (epitomised by Harold Bloom's "The Book of J") has always struck me as simplistic and a little juvenile .

Nevertheless, I am still utterly in awe of some of the old-school scholars that delved so deeply into the "Higher Criticism" as it was once called. A couple of years ago I got a copy of Hermann Gunkel's Genesis in translation. I don't by any means agree with all his assumptions, or conclusions or every judgement, but the care, rigour, attention to detail and sensitivity to meaning of his textual analysis is awe-inspiring. I sometimes compare modern approaches with his meticulousness, and inevitably find them wanting.... as if they skipped a class or three...
Call me Ishmael...

Justin Z
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by Justin Z » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:48 pm

austendw wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:47 am
I'm interested in reading Konrad Schmid's view and saw a book of his on Amazon.uk - Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel's Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible. However as the single used copy available is selling for £1445.48 :eek: I don't imagine I'll be dipping into it any time soon.
It's available at a slightly more reasonable price at this link . . . https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_4YW015ZR7.HTM

austendw
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by austendw » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:09 pm

Justin Z wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:48 pm
It's available at a slightly more reasonable price at this link . . . https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_4YW015ZR7.HTM
Thanks for that. Definitely worth considering.
Call me Ishmael...

User avatar
DCHindley
Posts: 2078
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:53 am
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:00 pm

Justin Z wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:48 pm
austendw wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:47 am
I'm interested in reading Konrad Schmid's view and saw a book of his on Amazon.uk - Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel's Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible. However as the single used copy available is selling for £1445.48 :eek: I don't imagine I'll be dipping into it any time soon.
It's available at a slightly more reasonable price at this link . . . https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_4YW015ZR7.HTM
That url is no longer associated with a valid web page.

It is on the Eisenbrauns site as:

https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_4YZ14MFM8.HTM

DCH

semiopen
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: The Documentary Hypothesis in the 21st Century

Post by semiopen » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:30 pm

There is a pre-publication article by Bill T. Arnold on academia.edu -

"Reexamining the 'Fathers' in Deuteronomy's Framework." Pages 10-41 in Torah and Tradition

https://www.academia.edu/33684608/_Reex ... Brill_2017

It's also available here - https://books.google.com/books?id=evQoD ... ld&f=false which has me a little confused - situation normal.

This goes into the insertion theory of Van Seters, which suggests that the seven famous examples of the Patriarch fomrula in Deuteronomy -

‎ לְאַבְרָהָ֙ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב Deut 1:8, 6:10, 9:5, 9:27, 29:12, 30-20, and 34:4 were inserted later by the Priest, since the Genesis Patriarch deal wasn't finalized around Josiah's time (or whenever Deuteronomy was written).

My understanding is that the theory holds that the Exodus guys were the patriarchs initially.

This article might be relevant to Schmid's book as DC's Eisenbraum link goes -
Schmid argues that the ancestor tradition in Genesis and the Moses story in Exodus were two competing traditions of Israel's origins and were not combined until the time of the Priestly Code—that is, the early Persian period.
I haven't read the article very carefully, but Dr. Arnold seems to be challenging this theory.

Anyway, I thought this was worth mentioning. The article is current, interesting and well written about important topics touched on in this thread.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests