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Re: Source criticism: OT & NT

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  • Jim West
    ... I would only say that you might want to qualify this a bit by adding some or maybe even many . As it is you suggest that NO NT scholars are conversant
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
      At 11:05 PM 1/2/99 -0700, you wrote:
      >It often surprises me that NT scholars are not more conversant with OT


      I would only say that you might want to qualify this a bit by adding "some"
      or maybe even "many". As it is you suggest that NO NT scholars are
      conversant with OT issues. This is, of course, false.

      [snipped]

      >
      >The bottom line is that I think that a study of Pentateuchal source
      >criticism provides an interesting perspective on NT source critical
      >studies, and I recommend it.
      >


      Source criticism of the Pentateuch is hardly utilized in amore in these days
      of literary criticism. In fact- the old notion that the Pent. can be nicely
      cut up is virtually abandoned. Instead, scholars of the Hebrew Bible are
      focusing on the fascinating and incredibly insightful ways ancient authors
      utilized doublets and the like to say things in useful though subtle ways.
      Further- there is precious little support for the idea that the OT was
      composed before the exile- which makes the old J, E, D, P theory absolutely
      impossible.

      >Bob

      Best,

      Jim

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Jim West, ThD
      Quartz Hill School of Theology

      jwest@...
    • Tom Simms
      ... [... snip ... noted as an exemplar of a lecture I might have heard in one of Rev. Dr. Ebbut s lectures in RK at Mount Allison in the late 40 s when he was
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
        On Sat, 02 Jan 1999 23:05:26 -0700, Robert.Schacht@... writes:
        >It often surprises me that NT scholars are not more conversant with OT

        [... snip ... noted as an exemplar of a lecture I might have
        heard in one of Rev. Dr. Ebbut's lectures in RK at Mount Allison
        in the late 40's when he was approaching the True Antediluvian
        Stage of Professorial Development ...]

        >The J source has, of
        >course, been the object of a popular (and controversial) recent attempt to
        >re-create it as a coherent document ("The Book of J", 1991) by a Biblical
        >scholar (David Rosenberg) and a writer (Harold Bloom), who tried to make a
        >case for it as an originally autonomous document.

        The writer Bloom, though not a Biblical Scholar, was a widely
        respected literary critic. I must admit I found his views
        persuasive for I had not then realized how New Kingdom texts
        could become part of the Tanakh (but then too I did not know the
        word `Tanakh' or its meaning). _IMO then_, J was Bithiah, Solo-
        mon's supposed Egyptian Princess wife, Sister-In-Law of Shishak
        and bringing the dowry of Gezer who married Mered after Solomon's
        death. However, such was vain speculation. Those literary
        influences could just as well have reached the Jewish scribes
        during the constant commerce of the Persian Period and richly
        supplied by the antiquarian upwelling in Egypt caused by both the
        Nubian and Levantine incursions. One only has to note how much
        Jewish writers like Josephus knew of that Egyptian Antiquarianism
        in Manetho to realize how freely that information flowed.

        >This Documentary Hypothesis is far from being outmoded, as some have
        >suggested.

        See above, Bob, you're singing from an Out-Of-Date sonsheet, just as are
        the "learned journals" you're citing. See below.

        >The NRSV article on the Pentateuch presents it as a reputable
        >theory, and the REB article on the Pentateuch describes it as a "widely
        >accepted hypothesis."

        [... snip ... noted ...]

        You may recall how I quoted from Wise, Abegg and Cook's _Dead Sea
        Scrolls: A New Translation_, showing the huge gaps in the scroll
        texts of the Later MT. Well, I wasn't as wrong as many thought.
        A private note to Marty Abegg drew the response that their text
        is what is available in readable English. There are fragments,
        but none that can be classified by text source.

        IOW, Biblical Scholars will have to admit that they have NOTHING
        from the ground that supports their theses! The evidence is
        moving to a very late movement of text sources from FOUR AREAS,
        Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Persia. The evidence has been
        there since Champollion but until scholars were willing to set to
        one sdide the power of the accounts and rely on only those parts
        that rested on firm evidentiary foundations, they are spitting
        into the wind.

        >Source criticism in the NT is attempting some similar considerations. For
        >example, Q is being studied not only as a collection of pericopae that
        >Matthew and Luke drew upon, but for its own distinctive viewpoint. We have
        >debated some of this, particularly the theories of stratification of Q and
        >the thematic unity of the strata, before. Bill Arnal has summarized
        >Kloppenberg's stratification of Q better than anyone (including Klop
        >hisself), here on Crosstalk.

        The NT is a different matter, having much more useful proveances
        and some measure of support from other contemporary records.

        >The bottom line is that I think that a study of Pentateuchal source
        >criticism provides an interesting perspective on NT source critical
        >studies, and I recommend it.
        >
        >Bob

        Until you can walk into a roomfull of archaeologists with the
        evidence to support your case, you're out of business, Bob.

        Tom Simms
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Jim, Of course, you are quite right. I certainly did not mean to imply that *NO* NT scholars were conversant with OT source criticism. Its just that I am
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
          At 08:52 AM 1/3/99 +0000, Jim West wrote:
          >At 11:05 PM 1/2/99 -0700, you wrote:
          >>It often surprises me that NT scholars are not more conversant with OT
          >
          >
          >I would only say that you might want to qualify this a bit by adding "some"
          >or maybe even "many". As it is you suggest that NO NT scholars are
          >conversant with OT issues. This is, of course, false.
          >

          Jim,
          Of course, you are quite right. I certainly did not mean to imply that *NO*
          NT scholars were conversant with OT source criticism. Its just that I am
          not personally knowledgable about any of them, or that my brain is
          sufficiently addled that I have forgotten the coversantivity (if there is
          such a word) of some of the scholars with whom I am acquainted.

          >[snipped]
          >...Source criticism of the Pentateuch is hardly utilized in amore in these
          days
          >of literary criticism. In fact- the old notion that the Pent. can be nicely
          >cut up is virtually abandoned.

          Well, you are saved by the restriction to "nicely cut up". I made no such
          claims, and indeed the seams are often hard to find, especially between J
          and E. However, I am surprised by your dismissal of the utility of
          pentateuchal source criticism. The editors of the New Oxford [NRSV]
          Annotated Bible (1991), the Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992), Oxford [REB]
          Study Bible (1992), and Achtemeier's Bible Dictionary (1996, which calls
          the Documentary Hypothesis "the prevailing account of the composition of
          the Pentateuch") do not seem to be of the same mind.

          More to the point of this list, the ultimate Source Critical question is,
          to what extent are our surviving documents based on historical sources?
          Which in this list translates as, what can we say about the historical
          Jesus? While source criticism is not the only relevant methodology, it
          cannot be dismissed as irrelevant.

          Similarly, in pentateuchal research, the historical questions are not
          irrelevant. As I recall, one of the *big* issues in understanding our texts
          is, what meaning did the writer intend to convey? If you dismiss the
          original context in which a passage was written, how can you hope to
          understand the answer to this question?

          > Instead, scholars of the Hebrew Bible are
          >focusing on the fascinating and incredibly insightful ways ancient authors
          >utilized doublets and the like to say things in useful though subtle ways.

          I think you are hoist on your own petard. Look at your opening remarks in
          your message about sweeping generalizations about the interests of a
          particular class of scholars, and you'll see what I mean. I have no doubt
          that *some*, perhaps even *many* scholars of the Hebrew Bible are concerned
          with the questions you pose. But I'll bet you that the intentional
          composition of doublets (as opposed to the editorial juxtaposition of
          received parallel texts) is a relatively late practice attempting to make a
          compositional virtue imitating a historically received multiplicity of
          sacred sources. And I'll bet you that there are plenty of scholars of the
          Hebrew Bible who are still very much interested in source critical issues.

          >Further- there is precious little support for the idea that the OT was
          >composed before the exile- which makes the old J, E, D, P theory absolutely
          >impossible.
          >

          I notice how you have changed the nature of the question again, from
          pentateuchal source criticism to the date of composition of the OT (as a
          whole?). Of course, the OT, as a whole, in the form that we now have it,
          was not completed until after the exile. But to return to my point (and not
          your caricature of it), I refer you to the above named reference materials,
          which provide much scholarly support for the idea that *some significant
          literary sources* of the pentateuch (notably J and E, and perhaps some
          others) are pre-exilic in date.

          Nevertheless, if you are right about the post-exilic date of the entire OT,
          this is still a source-critical issue, and you then have to explain the
          occurrence of so much material in the OT (and especially the Pentateuch)
          which makes no sense in a post-exilic context. You also need to explain why
          it is that so many of the stories in the Pentateuch are presented twice (or
          three times), and why the differences between them seem arcane to a
          post-exilic readership.

          Bob


          Robert Schacht
          Northern Arizona University
          Robert.Schacht@...

          "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
          that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
          position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
          criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
          Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... [...snip...] ... I would say OT source criticism has influenced NT source critical to some extent, especially about a hundred years ago. For example, the
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
            At 11:05 PM 1/2/99 -0700, Bob Schacht wrote:
            >It often surprises me that NT scholars are not more conversant with OT
            >issues. Take Source criticism: surely this is a domain where the methods
            >and theories are basically similar. But I see little 'cross-fertilization'
            >of ideas between OT and NT source criticism.
            [...snip...]
            >The bottom line is that I think that a study of Pentateuchal source
            >criticism provides an interesting perspective on NT source critical
            >studies, and I recommend it.

            I would say OT source criticism has influenced NT source critical to
            some extent, especially about a hundred years ago. For example,
            the use of doublets as a indicator of sources to infer the existence
            and the documentary nature of Q was pioneered in OT source criticism.

            However, the kind of source problem that the Synoptic Problem is
            concerned with is quite different from the source problem of the
            Pentateuch, so the usefulness of OT source criticism (which seems
            even more stagnant than NT source criticism) for NT source criticism
            is limited.

            Stephen Carlson
            --
            Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
            Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
            "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
          • Bob Schacht
            ... Interesting point; thanks! ... Well, of course, that is the standard defense of scholarly over-specialization. I was just trying to open up the doors and
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
              At 05:21 PM 1/3/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
              >...
              >I would say OT source criticism has influenced NT source critical to
              >some extent, especially about a hundred years ago. For example,
              >the use of doublets as a indicator of sources to infer the existence
              >and the documentary nature of Q was pioneered in OT source criticism.
              >

              Interesting point; thanks!

              >However, the kind of source problem that the Synoptic Problem is
              >concerned with is quite different from the source problem of the
              >Pentateuch, so the usefulness of OT source criticism (which seems
              >even more stagnant than NT source criticism) for NT source criticism
              >is limited.
              >
              >Stephen Carlson
              >

              Well, of course, that is the standard defense of scholarly
              over-specialization. I was just trying to open up the doors and windows a
              little. Is the difference due to the subject matter, or to the questions we
              choose to ask? And are the appropriate questions really all that different?

              I grant that you have a more sophisticated understanding of source
              criticism than I, a novice, have. Nevertheless, an example might be
              instructive:

              1. The "Lord's Prayer" is found only in Matthew and Luke. Normally in NT
              studies, such shared material is attributed to the source labelled as "Q"
              that is usually dated at least a generation earlier than M & L (i.e., 60-70
              C.E.), and hence only a few generations following its putative historical
              context (i.e., ca. 30 C.E.). This has the effect of enhancing its possible
              historicity (although not in the collective assessment of the Jesus Seminar.)

              2. The so-called "Ten Commandments" are found only in Exodus (20:1-17) and
              Deuteronomy (5:6-21). Yet, the two lists are not identical, meaning that
              either one has amended the other, or that both have a common source.
              Furthermore, Andre Lemaire (1981) proposed no less than four literary
              redactions of the TC, indicating an even more complex set of literary
              relationships. Using source-critical methods could help establish the
              literary relationships between the hypothesized Deuteronomist and
              previous(?) literary strands within the Pentateuch, as well as their
              possible antiquity and origins.

              In what way are these two source-critical problems so different?

              So I still hold that source critics of the OT and NT still can learn
              worthwhile theories and techniques from each other. But since no one else
              seems interested in this enterprise, I'll let it rest.

              Bob
              Robert Schacht
              Northern Arizona University
              Robert.Schacht@...

              "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
              that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
              position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
              criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
              Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... Bob, both these passges, taken alone, are not sufficient by themselves to establish any kind of a literary as opposed to oral relationships between them.
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
                At 08:11 PM 1/3/99 -0700, Bob Schacht wrote:
                >1. The "Lord's Prayer" is found only in Matthew and Luke. [...]
                >
                >2. The so-called "Ten Commandments" are found only in Exodus (20:1-17) and
                >Deuteronomy (5:6-21). [...]
                >
                >In what way are these two source-critical problems so different?

                Bob, both these passges, taken alone, are not sufficient by themselves
                to establish any kind of a literary as opposed to oral relationships
                between them. The difference is that there is sufficient other evidence
                to conclude that Matthew and Luke are literarily interrelated (outside
                of Mark), but that is this is not the case for D and P. Since literary
                theories are out in order unless and until there is sufficient evidence
                for them, only the Lord's Prayer example raises interesting NT-style source
                critical issues.

                >So I still hold that source critics of the OT and NT still can learn
                >worthwhile theories and techniques from each other. But since no one else
                >seems interested in this enterprise, I'll let it rest.

                There is somewhat of a difference in terminology between the two
                disciplines. OT source criticism is more akin to NT redaction criticism
                than to NT source criticism, and I would be interested to find out if
                anyone has applied modern NT redaction critical techniques to the OT
                literary problems.

                Stephen Carlson
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
              • Weasel
                Jack Kilmon wrote: snip . . . ... Excuse me, but the JS preferred the Lukan form of the LP to the Matthean form precisely because it was the less embellished
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
                  Jack Kilmon wrote:

                  snip . . .

                  > This is one of the areas that I have to disagree with the JS. Their
                  > reasoning for voting black on the Lukan form of the LP while voting
                  > pink for the Matthean petitions that parallel Luke leave me puzzled.
                  > The Lukan form is almost certainly closer to the original...albeit
                  > with a tad of Lukan redaction... than Matthew's embellished version.
                  >

                  Excuse me, but the JS preferred the Lukan form of the LP to the Matthean form
                  precisely because it was the less embellished of the two.
                  --
                  Dave Jones
                  ----------------------------------
                  The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar
                  doctrine that age brings wisdom.

                  H.L. Mencken

                  AOL Instant Messenger
                  Amphipod38
                • Jack Kilmon
                  ... This is one of the areas that I have to disagree with the JS. Their reasoning for voting black on the Lukan form of the LP while voting pink for the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
                    Bob Schacht wrote:
                    >
                    > At 05:21 PM 1/3/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                    > >...
                    > >I would say OT source criticism has influenced NT source critical to
                    > >some extent, especially about a hundred years ago. For example,
                    > >the use of doublets as a indicator of sources to infer the existence
                    > >and the documentary nature of Q was pioneered in OT source criticism.
                    > >
                    >
                    > Interesting point; thanks!
                    >
                    > >However, the kind of source problem that the Synoptic Problem is
                    > >concerned with is quite different from the source problem of the
                    > >Pentateuch, so the usefulness of OT source criticism (which seems
                    > >even more stagnant than NT source criticism) for NT source criticism
                    > >is limited.
                    > >
                    > >Stephen Carlson
                    > >
                    >
                    > Well, of course, that is the standard defense of scholarly
                    > over-specialization. I was just trying to open up the doors and windows a
                    > little. Is the difference due to the subject matter, or to the questions we
                    > choose to ask? And are the appropriate questions really all that different?
                    >
                    > I grant that you have a more sophisticated understanding of source
                    > criticism than I, a novice, have. Nevertheless, an example might be
                    > instructive:
                    >
                    > 1. The "Lord's Prayer" is found only in Matthew and Luke. Normally in NT
                    > studies, such shared material is attributed to the source labelled as "Q"
                    > that is usually dated at least a generation earlier than M & L (i.e., 60-70
                    > C.E.), and hence only a few generations following its putative historical
                    > context (i.e., ca. 30 C.E.). This has the effect of enhancing its possible
                    > historicity (although not in the collective assessment of the Jesus Seminar.)

                    This is one of the areas that I have to disagree with the JS. Their
                    reasoning for voting black on the Lukan form of the LP while voting
                    pink for the Matthean petitions that parallel Luke leave me puzzled.
                    The Lukan form is almost certainly closer to the original...albeit
                    with a tad of Lukan redaction... than Matthew's embellished version.

                    Add to this the even more embellished Didache version taken from
                    Matthew and I see a flower that has bloomed from a definite "shoot"
                    and "stem." That was a pun (g).

                    >
                    > 2. The so-called "Ten Commandments" are found only in Exodus (20:1-17) and
                    > Deuteronomy (5:6-21). Yet, the two lists are not identical, meaning that
                    > either one has amended the other, or that both have a common source.
                    > Furthermore, Andre Lemaire (1981) proposed no less than four literary
                    > redactions of the TC, indicating an even more complex set of literary
                    > relationships. Using source-critical methods could help establish the
                    > literary relationships between the hypothesized Deuteronomist and
                    > previous(?) literary strands within the Pentateuch, as well as their
                    > possible antiquity and origins.
                    >
                    > In what way are these two source-critical problems so different?
                    >
                    > So I still hold that source critics of the OT and NT still can learn
                    > worthwhile theories and techniques from each other. But since no one else
                    > seems interested in this enterprise, I'll let it rest.

                    Part of the problem may be the tendency of NT scholars to be
                    Greek chauvinists. Whenever I extend source criticism for
                    Yeshuine sayings to an Aramaic common denominator, many NT
                    scholars turn red in the face, gasp for breath and
                    mail me letter bombs. OT source work deals in Aramaic
                    and Hebrew. Graecists and Hebraists are like oil and water.

                    Jack
                    --
                    ______________________________________________

                    taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

                    Jack Kilmon
                    jkilmon@...

                    http://www.historian.net
                  • Bob Schacht
                    ... Stephen, Thank you for helping me understand the state of the field in this manner. If I understand what you are saying correctly, the Ten Commandments
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 3, 1999
                      At 11:22 PM 1/3/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                      >At 08:11 PM 1/3/99 -0700, Bob Schacht wrote:
                      >>1. The "Lord's Prayer" is found only in Matthew and Luke. [...]
                      >>
                      >>2. The so-called "Ten Commandments" are found only in Exodus (20:1-17) and
                      >>Deuteronomy (5:6-21). [...]
                      >>
                      >>In what way are these two source-critical problems so different?
                      >
                      >Bob, both these passges, taken alone, are not sufficient by themselves
                      >to establish any kind of a literary as opposed to oral relationships
                      >between them. The difference is that there is sufficient other evidence
                      >to conclude that Matthew and Luke are literarily interrelated (outside
                      >of Mark), but that is this is not the case for D and P. Since literary
                      >theories are out in order unless and until there is sufficient evidence
                      >for them, only the Lord's Prayer example raises interesting NT-style source
                      >critical issues.
                      >

                      Stephen,
                      Thank you for helping me understand the state of the field in this manner.
                      If I understand what you are saying correctly, the Ten Commandments example
                      is ruled dissimilar because it is *assumed* that the sources involved were
                      oral rather than written; is that correct?

                      The problem I have with that is that I disagree with the assumption.
                      According to the ADB article on "Writing and Writing Materials",
                      "When Israel appears as a people in central Palestine towards the end of
                      the 13th Century B.C. (as indicated by reference to it on the Merneptah
                      Stela), the Israelites occupied a region where alphabetic writing was
                      already known for several centuries. They naturally adopted the "Canaanite"
                      alphabetic linear script as is probably shown by the Raddanan inscribed
                      handle (12th century B.C.), the inscribed ostracon from Izbet Sartah (near
                      Aphek), dated 11th century B.C. [Cross 1980], and the Khirbet Tannin
                      fragment [end of 11th century B.C. [Lemaire 1985c])."
                      This article even discerns the beginning of various national schools of
                      scribes associated with state organizations in the region at the beginning
                      of the first millenium B.C., mentioning Phoenician, "Hebrew (see David's
                      kingdom)," Aramaic, Ammonite, and Moabite. The Gezer tablet, dated to the
                      second half of the 10th century provides additional evidence for early
                      writing in Palestine.

                      Given this archaeological data, it seems to me absolutely untenable to
                      suppose that the kingdom of David and Solomon was illiterate (i.e., had no
                      scribes in the royal court), and that therefore it seems quite unnecessary
                      to suppose that the traditions usually ascribed to the J and E sources were
                      merely oral. For this reason, it seems to me that the question of the Ten
                      Commandments sources for Deuteronomy and Exodus cannot be *assumed* to have
                      been only oral, and that it would be quite legitimate to proceed as if the
                      question of literary relationships is appropriate.

                      It would make a difference if the so-called "J" and "E" strands (or, to
                      bring it back to the present example, Deuteronomy and Exodus) contained
                      actual internal evidence of having been transmitted orally rather than in
                      writing until some late date. I mean evidence, not a priori assumptions. Is
                      there any such evidence?

                      >...There is somewhat of a difference in terminology between the two
                      >disciplines. OT source criticism is more akin to NT redaction criticism
                      >than to NT source criticism, and I would be interested to find out if
                      >anyone has applied modern NT redaction critical techniques to the OT
                      >literary problems.
                      >
                      >Stephen Carlson

                      I would also be interested. Thank you for this information.

                      Respectfully,
                      Bob
                      Robert Schacht
                      Northern Arizona University
                      Robert.Schacht@...

                      "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
                      that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
                      position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
                      criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
                      Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                      ... It doesn t quite work that way. The burden of proof is on the one asserting that there is a literary relationship between two texts. Since the Ten
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 4, 1999
                        At 10:57 PM 1/3/99 -0700, Bob Schacht wrote:
                        >At 11:22 PM 1/3/99 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                        >>Bob, both these passges, taken alone, are not sufficient by themselves
                        >>to establish any kind of a literary as opposed to oral relationships
                        >>between them. The difference is that there is sufficient other evidence
                        >>to conclude that Matthew and Luke are literarily interrelated (outside
                        >>of Mark), but that is this is not the case for D and P. Since literary
                        >>theories are out in order unless and until there is sufficient evidence
                        >>for them, only the Lord's Prayer example raises interesting NT-style source
                        >>critical issues.
                        >>
                        >
                        >Thank you for helping me understand the state of the field in this manner.
                        >If I understand what you are saying correctly, the Ten Commandments example
                        >is ruled dissimilar because it is *assumed* that the sources involved were
                        >oral rather than written; is that correct?
                        >
                        >The problem I have with that is that I disagree with the assumption.

                        It doesn't quite work that way. The burden of proof is on the one
                        asserting that there is a literary relationship between two texts.
                        Since the Ten Commandments are easily memorized, there is little
                        and insufficient reason to reach the conclusion that there is a
                        literary interrelation between D and P solely on the basis of this
                        common tradition.

                        The same would be true if the only point of contact between Matthew
                        and Luke is the Lord's Prayer. However, the evidence for establishing
                        a literary interrelationship between Matthew and Luke (even in non-
                        Markan parts) is strong enough. This allows for, but does not mandate,
                        consideration of a possible common literary origin of the Lord's Prayer.
                        This is permissive, not mandatory, because with a memorable passage like
                        the Lord's Prayer, one cannot rule out an oral interrelation.

                        >Given this archaeological data, it seems to me absolutely untenable to
                        >suppose that the kingdom of David and Solomon was illiterate (i.e., had no
                        >scribes in the royal court), and that therefore it seems quite unnecessary
                        >to suppose that the traditions usually ascribed to the J and E sources were
                        >merely oral. For this reason, it seems to me that the question of the Ten
                        >Commandments sources for Deuteronomy and Exodus cannot be *assumed* to have
                        >been only oral, and that it would be quite legitimate to proceed as if the
                        >question of literary relationships is appropriate.
                        >
                        >It would make a difference if the so-called "J" and "E" strands (or, to
                        >bring it back to the present example, Deuteronomy and Exodus) contained
                        >actual internal evidence of having been transmitted orally rather than in
                        >writing until some late date. I mean evidence, not a priori assumptions. Is
                        >there any such evidence?

                        Because of where I perceive the burden of proof, I would like to see actual
                        internal evidence of a written interrelation between J and E before I would
                        feel right in reaching that conclusion. The problem is that the procedure
                        of combining J and E into a harmony tends to eradicate the very evidence
                        that is necessary to reach that conclusion: literary similar pericopae get
                        conflated, so it is hard to assign them to a particular source, and
                        dissimilar pericopae are preserved as doublets or lose one member.

                        I do not dispute that there was a literary culture, just whether there is
                        enough evidence to conclude that these particular, hypothetical, reconstructed
                        texts stand in some literary as opposed to oral relationship with one
                        another.

                        Stephen Carlson
                        --
                        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
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