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Dave, I'm not following you. To my knowledge, DH is not "verboten" in LDS scholarship. It might be true that noone is choosing to write about it, but that does not mean it is being suppressed.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for these posts. I read 'em, I enjoy 'em, but I've not said thanks.

FYI, a search of Goseplink 2001 for "documentary hypothesis" gives 8 results. Five are from FARMS publications, one from Joseph Fielding Smith's Seek Ye Earnestly, one from S. Kent Brown in Studies In Scripture Vol 3, and finally one from Donald Parry in Temples of the Ancient World.

Thanks for the cites, Jared. To complement that, I'll note two additional articles as well: "The Authorship of the Pentateuch," by Thomas B. Dozeman, Dialogue, Vol. 32, No. 4, pages 87-112; and "Reflections on the Documentary Hypothesis," by Kevin Barney, Dialogue, Vol. 33, No. 1, pages 57-99. I haven't read either article, but I will certainly do so soon after my CD arrives.


Another excellent post.

When discussing biblical criticisms such as the documentary hypothesis, form criticism, or what have you, the abbreviation "DH" is generally reserved for the Deuteronomistic History, which for me at first was causing some confusion, minor skin irritation, twitching, and vertigo until I noticed your first sentence. (Note to self: start at the beginning you moron).

there is strong evidence for it and most scholars accept some form of it

Indeed! Even if they don't like it, they're under the obligation (in dissertations, anyway) to deal with it.

Jeremiah stuff

I had a course on Jeremiah, and we compared the linguistics (in the Hebrew) of that book with Deuteronomy, and the similarities in language and prose are uncanny, and the implications of it are dangerous in some camps. The prof. pointed the stuff out, winked at us, turned back to the blackboard, and moved on.

It seems like Levin fails to acknowledge the intense literary activity associated with the Solomonic era, which I believe is unquestioned in the field.

David J, that just shows you know what you're talking about. Me, it was all I could do to not make a designated hitter joke, but I managed to keep my composure and play it straight. If I were tempted to re-edit my post to insert an alternative abbreviation for "documentary hypothesis," any hints on what other authors use?

"the intense literary activity associated with the Solomonic era, which I believe is unquestioned in the field."

Actually, this is very much questioned. The reason that Levin can make his arguments is because people like Van Seters and Davieson-James have spent quite a bit of time arguing against Solomonic scribal activity (and against Solomon, for that matter). To my understanding, Levin is simply explaining the standard "continental" approach to the problem.

Doc Hippo?

Van Seters

Seriously, man. Does this guy believe anything? Are people still taking him seriously? I bet he and Giovanni Garbini are bowling buddies. They tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to dismissing the historicity of the Bible and the history of ancient Israel, IMO. Solomonic era -- I guess "unquestioned" would then just be among conservatives (my training is conservative, even though they've disaffected me from it all). Most inscriptional evidence, if that's what he's going on, would beg for a later date, I give him that. But the inscriptions we've got (I'm talking of Gogel's compendium) from the later dates are not always from the urban areas, which means literacy and writing had been disseminated from the urban areas much earlier (assuming literacy and writing geminated in the urban areas). I guess that's a lame apologetic for pushing the literary activity back into Solomon's era, but if the Bible's historicity is to be believed, and I think we're safe to do that in the Hist. Bks., 1 & 2 Kings makes a great case for an earlier date.

But Dave is right -- arguments will never cease regarding the composition of the Bible. I did a paper last year for Aramaic class in which I debated the Persian imperial authorization of the Pentateuch theory put out by Peter Frei, which pushed the composition out even later than Levin, and the research I did showed (me) that there is no way the Ptch. could have been written down that late. Interesting theory, though.


I like Anne's suggestion. I use Doc. Hypo. when I need to. Whatever. I only mentioned it because DH threw me off for a minute given the context of the post.

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