Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Woo, I'm doing it. I had always wanted to talk about the Documentary Hypothesis in church. We'll see what happens...
Traditionally, Christians believe that it was Moses himself who wrote the Pentateuch. That was what I heard in Sunday School when I was younger. But then I saw some passages in the Pentateuch that don't seem like something that Moses would have written.
A quote that I found inspiring from a mystery novel. Instead of twisting the evidence to make it fit into our theories, why not change our view to better explain the evidence? Let's give it a try.
Before we talk about the Documentary Hypothesis, let's first take a look at a few strange passages. Take out a piece of paper, and try to answer these questions. Feel free to use your bible, let's make it open-book.
These are often used as examples of contradictions in the Pentateuch. What do you think? I encourage you to look at them more closely, and decide for yourself whether they're really contradictions, or stylistic inconsistencies. In any case, these are the data. What kind of a theory do we need to accommodate these data?
The Documentary Hypothesis is some scholars' attempt to make sense of these anomalies in the Pentateuch. Next week, I'll let you know what I think, and give an introduction to the Documentary Hypothesis. I don't presume that we must accept the DH, but it is something that we should know of.