DH 23: Clarity in Definitions

DH 23: Clarity in Definitions April 26, 2014

The anonymous folks over at Patheos’ “Faith Promoting Rumor” have sponsored a critique of my critique of the DH by “Jupiter’s Child.”

Unfortunately, as is often the case in such matters, we seem to be talking past each other.  Here–as is generally the case–Jupiter’s Child completely misunderstands my position.  He claims:

Hamblin does not seem to be familiar with the basic definition of the DH nor with the practice of source criticism given his preoccupation with authorship and empirical validation. …  At the very least, Hamblin seems to understand “Documentarian” as any scholar who denies the singular Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Rather, the DH is, simply put, the hypothesis that the first 5 books of the Bible were woven together from four (4) originally independent sources, which themselves told the overarching story of the people of Israel.

 Here is how I actually defined the DH, precisely the opposite of what Jupiter claims:
When I refer to Documentary Hypothesis, I refer to the four-source theory and its major variants (which generally posit several different earlier sources from which each of the four documents, JEDP, were compiled).  That is, the DH is the theory that the Pentateuch was compiled from four pre-existing self-contained and coherent documents call J-Yahwist, E-Elohist, D-Deuteronomist, and P-Priestly.
In other words, I define the DH precisely as Jupiter does.  It is David Bokovoy and other supporters of the DH who are conflating the DH with any theory whatsoever that posits more than one source for the Pentateuch.  They do so for rhetorical reasons, so they can claim “scholarly consensus” about the Documentary Hypothesis.  If Jupiter has a beef, it should be with David Bokovoy.  I have repeatedly made this point throughout my discussion.  Jupiter is attributing to me the idea I am arguing against.
I despair at trying to unwind all the misrepresentations of my position in Jupiter’s argument.  I really don’t want to waste time clarifying the web of misunderstandings and misrepresentations from Jupiter.





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