Friday, October 8, 2010

A Quick Review of "Who Really Wrote the Bible"

Shalom Aleichem,

I no longer have Internet access on a daily basis. I have enjoyed it greatly. :)

While getting caught up on my on-line activities I have decided to do a quick review of a book Who Really Wrote the Bible, which takes aim at the Document Hypothesis.

Although I'm sure many find my views to be quaint and or gulible, I am pretty picky when it comes to apologetic material. If we are going to engage in defending our view point, we should do it right (which is what I call the way I think is right. :) ). Knowing full well that there are segments of Orthodoxy which are loathe do disagree with academic consensus, and other areas which are prone to be overly dismissive of academic opinion, I cringed when I saw the book. It is not that I do not believe a good argument could be made against the Document Hypothesis, but it is easy to go off on only slightly relevant tangents and I doubted that a quality job could be done in a popular book.

Nevertheless it was an enjoyable read. After an akward start that infused too much politics into the discussion it gave an acceptable overview of the developement of the Document Hypothesis. It continued to give some good arguments along with a few well worded, strong points. Considering that it really constitues a response to another work aimed at a popular audience, "Who Wrote the Bible" by Richard Elliot Friedman, it does as reasonable job at giving the reader reason to question the Document Hypothesis as Friedman gives reason to accept it.

The book concludes with a novel argument on a method which highlights the main theme of a given passage, which apears accross the JEPDR boundries. I confess, I am skeptical. Nevertheless, insofar as they are accurate they authors actually gave quite of few examples which makes it worth futher consideration in my mind. The plus is that it is pretty testable, although quite a bit of work would be needed to do so. It should also be tested by slightly altering the approach, in ways obvious once you've read it, to see if the results can appear valid/persuasive which might indicate that this has more to do with chance that authorship.

I think it worth a read. I was pleased with the purchase, when I hadn't expected to be. My expectations may have been low (just as it had been fro Friedman's book before them), but they did excede my expectations.