Waltke and Doc. Hypothesis in OTT

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John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe he does not adhere to it.

But it seems he devotes space to discuss the DH views of things, especially in the chapter on Deuteronomy.

I don't understand this practice, why devote time on something you do not believe in? Is it just a scholarly practice that I don't understand?

Fantastic book btw, but I do wish there were more conservative options for an OT theology, something that expands on Vos' immense work on the OT in Biblical Theology. I am enjoying Beale and thought that Waltke would be a good OT theological book, but how I wished that JEDP nonsense would be rid of, I guess this is one of those books where you sift for the wheat..

Is Paul House more conservative? Gamble seems attractive too.

@greenbaggins , thoughts on the above?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I believe he does not adhere to it.

But it seems he devotes space to discuss the DH views of things, especially in the chapter on Deuteronomy.

I don't understand this practice, why devote time on something you do not believe in? Is it just a scholarly practice that I don't understand?

Fantastic book btw, but I do wish there were more conservative options for an OT theology, something that expands on Vos' immense work on the OT in Biblical Theology. I am enjoying Beale and thought that Waltke would be a good OT theological book, but how I wished that JEDP nonsense would be rid of, I guess this is one of those books where you sift for the wheat..

Is Paul House more conservative? Gamble seems attractive too.

@greenbaggins , thoughts on the above?
Because anyone worth his salt has to explain that view, especially if you know there are young adults who are getting hit with it at college.
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi Jon

Agreeing with both you and Jacob! - it annoys me somewhat the space given to thus stuff, but, as Jacob says, it still comes up - and I think especially in commentaries - a knowledge of it is essential I think for anyone reading anything of that nature beyond the late Puritan / Enlightenment period.

I'm reading sections of Waltke over the summer and also van Pelt's A Biblical Theological Introduction to the Old Testament - the latter is a very good read in my opinion and clearly conservative in the sections I've read. Some chapters have been outstanding, particularly van Pelt's own chapter on the Song of Solomon.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You won't see it as much among modern liberals. To them, the Old testament must have at least some basis in reality because it is the story of God overthrowing colonialist white man, and so they need the supernatural for that.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
Bruce Waltke is also involved with BioLogos. So he has more problems. However, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax is pretty good.

As for House, in his words: "This volume adopts a conservative approach to Israelite history and biblical composition..."
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Doc. Hypothesis
OTT
the DH views of things
that JEDP nonsense

You ought to define your terms, brother. Most people have no idea what you're talking about.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Given how prevalent acceptance of the J/E/P framework is in some circles, I would expect a scripturally faithful Old Testament theology to spend some time refuting it. Obviously, the fact that Waltke spends time refuting a very common liberal belief should not be taken to suggest he leans in that direction, but rather should be taken as evidence that he does not.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
By the way, I'm clearly way behind the times, but when did it get to be JEDP? I've been aware that people talk about four sources, but I can never remember the fourth one. I could swear that when I was a young 'un beginning to learn about this theory, there were only three.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
By the way, I'm clearly way behind the times, but when did it get to be JEDP? I've been aware that people talk about four sources, but I can never remember the fourth one. I could swear that when I was a young 'un beginning to learn about this theory, there were only three.
Though I couldn't tell you when, the idea was that D (Deuteronomy) was the book that was 'found '(as in quickly written up) to kindle Josiah's refomation.
This was initially however. Upon reading Israelite Religions by Richard Hess, the JEDP theory is all over the place with a different theory on each text and time table for each scholar.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Though I couldn't tell you when, the idea was that D (Deuteronomy) was the book that was 'found '(as in quickly written up) to kindle Josiah's refomation.
This was initially however. Upon reading Israelite Religions by Richard Hess, the JEDP theory is all over the place with a different theory on each text and time table for each scholar.
Ah, that makes sense. I suppose three primary sources is still the dominant theory for Genesis, then. By the way, I see that Waltke refutes this starting on page 360.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
Waltke refutes it in a footnote, does not go into detail into it, which is fine. I don't see why OTT (Old Testament Theologies) must necessarily refute JEDP. It has already been refuted in other places and OTTs are not places where we can always afford space to debate on critical issues.

The issue is that although he refutes it, some parts like :

III: Literary Genre: History of a Covenant Renewal Document

he lists down the DH (documentary hypothesis) view of plot and story "At the plot level, the narrator mediates the contents of Moses’ original book in this extant book of Deuteronomy, presumably to engage hermeneutically his generation—probably the exiles—with Moses’ covenant renewal for their renewal"

shortly after,
"The goal of this section is to establish the continuity between the covenant renewal mediated by Moses and the Deuteronomist and the purpose of this history."

This is confusing to me, he refutes it but would just list things like the above seamlessly. I can sift all of it away but I would have liked not to.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
It's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle. Because scholars have taken the documentary hypothesis seriously, serious scholars have to engage with it. On and on it goes, even as awareness of the intense limitations of the theory has spread. One of these days, maybe a groundbreaking scholar will ignore it altogether, and it can begin to be relegated to a historical footnote, of interest only to scholars of the history of interpretation (or the history of mistakes).

JEDP drove an intense and detailed observation of details, and many of those detailed observations remain of value even when the theory itself is rejected; as Robert Alter points out, it was also true of rabbinic commentators that they noticed many details. Indeed, we could say the same thing of A.W. Pink. The observation is often worthwhile, even when the interpretation of it leaves something to be desired.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
It's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle. Because scholars have taken the documentary hypothesis seriously, serious scholars have to engage with it. On and on it goes, even as awareness of the intense limitations of the theory has spread. One of these days, maybe a groundbreaking scholar will ignore it altogether, and it can begin to be relegated to a historical footnote, of interest only to scholars of the history of interpretation (or the history of mistakes).

JEDP drove an intense and detailed observation of details, and many of those detailed observations remain of value even when the theory itself is rejected; as Robert Alter points out, it was also true of rabbinic commentators that they noticed many details. Indeed, we could say the same thing of A.W. Pink. The observation is often worthwhile, even when the interpretation of it leaves something to be desired.
very helpful insight, thanks.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
For those, such as myself, not familiar with JEDP:

.



JEDP Source Theory​

Literary analysis shows that the Pentateuch was not written by one person. Multiple strands of oral and written tradition were woven together to produce the Torah.
The view that is persuasive to most of the critical scholars of the Pentateuch is called the Documentary Hypothesis, or the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis, after the names of the 19th-century scholars who put it in its classic form.

It is also called the JEDP Source Theory, and since that is the most straight-forward name, that is the name we will be using in this class.

Briefly stated, the JEDP Source Theory states that the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old testament)
was written by a series of authors writing within 4 literary traditions. These traditions are known as J, E, D, and P.

J (the Jahwist or Jerusalem source)
uses YHWH as God's name. This source's interests indicate the writer most likely lived in the southern Kingdom of Judah in the time of the divided Kingdom. The J source is responsible for most of Genesis.

E (the Elohist or Ephraimitic source) uses Elohim ("God") for the divine name until Exodus 3-6, where YHWH is revealed to Moses and to Israel. This source seems to have lived in the northern Kingdom of Israel during the divided Kingdom. E wrote Genesis 22 (the sacrifice of Isaac) story and other parts of Genesis, and much of Exodus and Numbers.

J and E were joined fairly early, apparently after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BCE. It is often difficult to separate J and E stories that have merged.

D (the Deuteronomist) wrote almost all of Deuteronomy (and probably also Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings). This source would have lived in the southern Kingdom of Judah because the northern kingdom had been overrun and conquered by the Assyrians. Scholars often associate Deuteronomy with the book found by King Josiah in 622 BCE (see 2 Kings 22), but they believe that the time frame of the actual writing of the D material was written as early as Hezekiah's reform.

P (the Priestly source) provided the first chapter of Genesis; the book of Leviticus; and other sections with genealogical information, the priesthood, and worship. For a time frame for these writings, scholars view P as containing materials written prior to the Babylonian exile and during the exile, as well as having some materials written after the exile. Therefore, this source would have lived in the southern Kingdom of Judah, in Babylon, and in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.

We can diagram the relationship of the four sources as follows.




Contemporary scholars agree that the general approach of the JEDP Source Theory best explains the doublets, contradictions, differences in terminology and theology, and the geographical and historical interests that we find in various parts of the Torah.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Only on the PuritanBoard do you have people who love theology, but never read anything post 18th century to come in line with what basically every modern work, conservative and Reformed to liberal, has to address.

I love it. :D
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I don't see why OTT (Old Testament Theologies) must necessarily refute JEDP.
An Old Testament theology presupposes that God is capable of telling a unified story. People who believe in JEDP think ancient Jews were stupid and incapable of telling a unified story.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
An Old Testament theology presupposes that God is capable of telling a unified story. People who believe in JEDP think ancient Jews were stupid and incapable of telling a unified story.
Yet oddly, they believe every one else capable of a unified story and no other document is chopped up in this way.
So, I guess that makes advocates of JEDP antisemitic.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Yet oddly, they believe every one else capable of a unified story and no other document is chopped up in this way.
So, I guess that makes advocates of JEDP antisemitic.
They all hated Jews. It comes out in the literature early in the 20th century. Hitler didn't have any new ideas. He basically inherited that cultural vacuum. Albrecht Ritschl, the king of 20th century liberals, was a militant German war advocate. To be fair, I think the fall of the Kaiser spelled doom for Europe, but these liberals all had an axe to grind.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
They all hated Jews. It comes out in the literature early in the 20th century. Hitler didn't have any new ideas. He basically inherited that cultural vacuum. Albrecht Ritschl, the king of 20th century liberals, was a militant German war advocate. To be fair, I think the fall of the Kaiser spelled doom for Europe, but these liberals all had an axe to grind.
True. I had seriously forgotten about the state of Liberal German scholarship at the time.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
Only on the PuritanBoard do you have people who love theology, but never read anything post 18th century to come in line with what basically every modern work, conservative and Reformed to liberal, has to address.

I love it. :D
No need to be sarcastic, I already got a charitable answer by py3ak to guide me in these issues. Thanks for your contribution anyway.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
No need to be sarcastic, I already got a charitable answer by py3ak to guide me in these issues. Thanks for your contribution anyway.
I was poking fun at mainly the comment right above me, but I didn't mean to offend you or anyone by it. I apologize.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
For OT theologies, the pickings are slim in the evangelical world. Alec Motyer does have a book entitled Roots: Let the Old Testament Speak; House's OT theology is fairly conservative, but goes book by book. Eugene Merrill is always worth listening to, even if there are some vestiges of dispensationalism here or there. I liked Waltke's OTT, by and large, especially in his literary analysis. Eichrodt's covenantal approach will resonate fairly well with Reformed folk, though he listened a little too well to liberals sometimes. But he is moderate. Stephen Dempster's book Dominion and Dynasty, however, leaves them all in the dust. There you have your Vosian OT theology. I only wish it was more extensive.
 
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