Friday, September 17, 2010

Fundemental Friday's--Mosaic Authorship of the Pentatauch Part II

In the early 1900's. a twelve volume work on theology titled The Fundamentals was published. This massive work, in my most humble of opinions, is just as relevant today if not more so with the ever increasing attacks on the faith of Christians--and that's just from folks inside the church. I wanted to publish some excerpts from this work that I think will be greatly encouraging to you.

On bringing the light of this evidence to bear upon the subject some remarkable results are brought out, the most important of which relate to the very foundation upon which the theories concerning the fragmentary character of the Pentateuch are based. The most prominent clue to the documentary division is derived from the supposed use by different writers of the two words, "Jehovah" and "Elohim," to designate the deity. Jehovah was translated in the Septuagint by a word meaning "Lord", which appears in our authorized version in capitalized form, "LORD." The revisers of 1880, however, have simply transliterated the word, so that "Jehovah" usually appears in the revision wherever "LORD" appeared in the authorized version. Elohim is everywhere translated by the general word for deity, "God."

Now the original critical division into documents was made on the supposition that several hundred years later than Moses there arose two schools of writers, one of which, in Judah, used the word "Jehovah" when they spoke of the deity, and the other, in the Northern Kingdom, "Elohim." And so the critics came to designate one set of passages as belonging to the J document and the other to the E document. These they supposed had been cut up and pieced together by a later editor so as to make the existing continuous narrative. But when, as frequently occurred, one of these words is found in passages where it is thought the other word should have been used, it is supposed, wholly on theoretical grounds, that a mistake had been made by the editor, or, as they call him, the "redactor," and so with no further ceremony the objection is arbitrarily removed without consulting the direct textual evidence.

But upon comparing the early texts, versions, and quotations it appears that the words, "Jehovah" and "Elohim," were so nearly synonymous that there was originally little uniformity in their use. Jehovah is the Jewish name of the deity, and Elohim the title. The use of the words is precisely like that of the English in referring to their king or the Americans to their president. In ordinary usage, "George V.", "the king," and "King George" are synonymous in their meaning. Similarly "Taft," "the president," and "President Taft" are used by Americans during his term of office to indicate an identical concept. So it was with the Hebrews. "Jehovah" was the name, "Elohim" the title, and "Jehovah Elohim"—Lord God—signified nothing more. Now on consulting the evidence, it appears that while in Genesis and the first three chapters of Exodus (where this clue was supposed to be most decisive) Jehovah occurs in the Hebrew text 148 times, in 118 of these places other texts have either Elohim or Jehovah Elohim. In the same section, while Elohim alone occurs 179 times in the Hebrew, in 49 of the passages one or the other designation takes its place; and in the second and third chapters of Genesis where the Hebrew text has Jehovah Elohim (LORD God) 23 times, there is only one passage in which all the texts are unanimous on this point.

These facts, which are now amply verified, utterly destroy the value of the clue which the higher critics have all along ostentatiously put forward to justify their division of the Pentateuch into conflicting E and J documents, and this the critics themselves are now compelled to admit. The only answer which they are able to give is in Dr. Skinner's words that the analysis is correct even if the Clue which led to it be false, adding "even if it were proved to be so altogether fallacious, it would not be the first time that a wrong clue has led to true results."

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