Gleason Archer refutes JEDP

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by BayouHuguenot, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    From his Survey.
    Gleason Archer has written the most definitive short refutation of the Documentary Hypothesis. Some of these are Archer’s summarizing even moderate accounts, but even then they place JEDP under extreme tension.

    1. In some J and E stories the accounts are obviously of ancient origin, even if finalized after the exile. This means that J and E, assuming they exist, are much more ancient than 850 BC (105).
    2. P passages show both post-exilic composition but contains many legal regulations, which point to pre-exilic conditions.
    3. It is circular reasoning. It posits its conclusion (the bible is a naturalistic document) as its underlying premise (there can be no such thing as supernatural revelation).
    4. Any time contrary evidence is presented (e.g., priestly sources within a post-exilic source), it is dismissed as the work of a redactor. Or as Archer puts it, “Whenever the theory is opposed by the very data it is supposed to explain, the troubleshooting team of Redactor and Interpolator, Inc. is called to the rescue” (114).
    5. The documentarians operate under the strange assumption that the Hebrews were the only people in history incapable of using more than one name for God, more than one origins story, etc. Apply the same criteria with Milton or CS Lewis and you have idiocy.
    6. “With highly questionable self-confidence, the Wellhausen school has assumed that modern European critics, who have no other ancient Hebrew literature with which to compare….can with scientific reliability fix the date of composition for each document” (116).
  2. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I'll have to read this. I remember even as a naïve undergraduate student encountering the documentary hypothesis and thinking it exceptionally weak. It's all mere conjecture.
  3. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Kind of off-topic, but Gleason Archer was an interesting man. He allegedly learned a new language every summer for a hobby. The man understood languages, and his expertise was no doubt equally great in the area of textual/source/redaction/etc. criticism
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    His Survey on the Old Testament was the required text book in one of my classes, and he did a very nice job in upholding the more conservative viewpoint in regards to authorship and inspiration of the OT books.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    There were giants in the land back in those days.
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  6. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I had 3 books by him in addition to the Survey one. The Discovery Bible, Theogical Wordbook, and one where he explained how the NT quoted and use the OT passages.
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