The Documentary Hypothesis and the 20th century trap.

by HowTheBibleWasCreated 6 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    This post will be for the schoolars amoung us.

    In the late 19th century were many of the worlds best scientists. Darwin, Faraday, Testla, Edison etc. And amoung them wasa lone archeologist named William Albright who screwed up biblical schoolarship for over a hundred years.

    Before Albright schoolars in Europe hit on several conclusions about the bible:

    1. Ancient Isrealite history might have been composed very late

    2. Historical figures of the bile should be taken as relaiably as King Arthur. (Likely a composite of two 5th century AD British dudes)

    This shool became known as the Copenhagen school and started work mainly on the New Testament disregarding Pauline authorship of any letter and moving Jesus to a cosmic figure. As for the Old testament they were about to get started when...

    Yep.. Albright and his wonky archeology...

    He produced the version of the Documentary Hypothesis that invaded all schoolarship of the 20th century. The idea was simple.

    Some time after Solomon the J text was written

    Sometime after the divided Kingdom E was Written

    J and E were combined after 722 BCE

    D was written by scribes of King Josiah in the late 600s BCE

    P was written in the Babylonian Exile in the 500s BCE

    Ezra combined all this in the 450s.

    What a bunch of bull$hit!! No archeology Albright came up with fit this model! None, Nada. In fact the sources he claimed were the creation stories in Babylon that prouced J were tablets written thousands of years before J and even then why would Solomon uses a Babylonian creation story?

    Israel Finkelstein pulverized this theory in the early 21st century by showing the Kingdom of Davaid and Solomon never esisted as a Kingdom!

    Now whre has the tide turned?

    Many are trying to make a push by dating some of the texts to the Persian peridod in roughly 537-332 BCE. Did any Persian write history or prophecy like the Old Testmament? Not really. Persian history was reorded by their enemies and the best historical writers ever.... The Greeks

    As for the New Testament Bart Erhman is getting lonely nowdays by promoting a historical Jesus. So we have come... full circle back to before Albright and his vomit.

    The reason I post this tiny but harsh article is because as I work on my book I am constantly having to redo and change material and recheck and challenge myself to the point that I need to trash a theory I held only days befoe for a more solid one. NBut 20th century schoolarship said: Albright is god! And until Carrier, Price, Finkelstien, Gmirkin, Thompsin and other challeneged this in the 21st century we see a flaw in human thinkiing.

    We want the world to be right, we want truth and if someone has a theory we say... Yes.. that's it!.... Is it? Maybe... but... challenge it! And that means before all yourself! Yes YOU are the worst enemy of reason because it's hard for a person to admit they are wrong. Enstein managed to admit his mistake on entagelment very late..

    But 99% on this message board are ex-JWs.. We all thought we hard 'the truth'. My lesson I have learned in writing the last few months is NEVER ASSUME YOU KNOW THE TRUTH. Challenge yourself with questions. (Even in Romans the author useses questions to expand the philosophy of grace)

    I stand here redoing several chapters because.. guess what I can be wrong and rechalleneged. For me I am going beyond the Hellenistic theory to try and figure out a supplementary hypothesis within the later time period for the OT. (The NT I haven't dealt with yet)

    And this is my midnight rant .Peace

  • Phizzy

    Thanks HTBWC for telling us of your method, and your new findings. I am always pleased to change my mind when proof emerges that an idea I held was wrong, though it is a shock sometimes !

    I have had many such shocks since leaving the JW org well over a decade ago, so I am getting used to it. The fact that you are so willing to rewrite gives me confidence your book will be as accurate as possible, but things move with such speed, even in the seemingly dusty and arcane world of Biblical studies, that your book may need an addendum or two !.

    Good luck with your work, I take it that like me you find Scholars that are more secular or Atheistic in their outlook to be far more credible than the Scholarly "believers" ?

    It seems that many of these reliable Scholars do put the composition of the O.T as very late compared to earlier thinking, the other question is, who were these men that composed the O.T. in terms of Ethnicity, and Education and Religious influence ?

  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    To answer Phizzy's question I obviously prefer atheistic schoolars however the majority of the ones I listed are all atheists. It's hard to be a theist an still know modern biblical schoolarship. (Bart Erhman is a classic example of a Christian that became agnostic over time due to his research)

    As for who the men are I have some theories but they are speculation so far. Here it goes:

    P was a high priest andbelve it or not likely of Samaritan decent. Nehemiah 13:28 states:

    One of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I chased him from me.

    Thre is evidence from letters between Egypt, Saamria and Judah of a close kinship between the three so-called Jewish communities.I have proposed that P might be Eleazar the son of Simon the Just but this is speculation.
    As for J and D I have proposed Andreas and Aristeus two of the men who along with Eleazar went to Egypt to write a 'history of the Jews' under the rule of Ptolomy II Philedelphius. But again these are guesses at best.
    I have disregarded an E source as belonging to D. Thus I proposes (as of a few days ago) a Suppliment of P---J---D running from Genesis to Kings (P likely added H/ Leviticus 17-26 later)

    I should add this makes the historicity of this material very low. before 1 Kings 14 it is unlikely anything is historical. From 1 Kings 14 on there are quotations from the two annuls of Isreal and Judah and here we line up with history to a degree.

  • Vidiot
    HowTheBibleWasCreated - "It's hard to be a theist an still know modern biblical schoolarship. Bart Erhman is a classic example of a Christian that became agnostic over time due to his research..."

    Which is, of course, why authoritarian religionists view actual, objective Biblical scholarship with almost comical suspicion and hostility. far as they're concerned, any examination must be done with the assumption that the Bible is true and factual first; any and all information can only be considered through that window.

    This is outwardly portrayed as a virtue and sign of faith, but the actual underlying reason is the inherent fear that if honest, unbiased inquiry inevitably seems to lead one to disbelief, the beliefs themselves cannot help but be untenable...

    ...and if one's identity and mental and emotional well-being has become dependent on the veracity of said beliefs, this is, of course, unacceptable.

    Virtually every "believing" Bible scholar with an intellectual bent is guilty of this, whether they admit or not... or even realize it, for that matter.

  • peacefulpete

    Well, I'm no "scholar' but I have spent the last 20 years or so researching this topic. I've read most of the relevant material. The D.H. was a real advancement and IMO a great starting point in OT discussions. The details are forever going to be debated and improved but Wellhausen did the world a great service in trying to formulate a structure for the anachronisms, doublets and inconsistent pronouns. Is there a very narrow specific example you want to discuss?

  • Diogenesister

    Oh I love Russell he has the sort of name a Hobbit should have.

  • LeeT


    The NT I haven't dealt with yet

    Can I give you an added resource and point you in the direction of a channel I've been loving of late?

    Podcast Episodes (NT Review)

    Both Duke Uni PhD candidates under Mark Goodacre and in close contact with Ehrman.
    The basic format has been expanded a bit of late but the core of the channel has been to dust off old but influential pieces of NT scholarship and see how they stand up today.
    Being under Goodacre, there are also quite a few synoptic problem discussions too (largely coming down against Q).
    They are believers but it really doesn't show. They definitely take the view that the Bible is the work of fallible humans and as historians they do history,

    Hope you like it.

Share this