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Goodbye Jesus

One Clue At A Time...


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Ok... as so often happens on this board... discussion in one thread leads to a new thread.


Yesterday in the One Verse At A Time... thread we got into a short discussion about Documentary Hypothesis.


See the following for details: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=6613&st=200 start at Post #214


The long and short of this discussion centers around a quote from Answers.com website about Documentary Hypothesis. The website can be linked to here:




The documentary hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and source criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. Although
the hypothesis is widely accepted (the Vatican itself estimates that 90% of academics in the field of biblical scholarship support it
), it has a number of critics.


So... we are left with some hard facts:


1. 90% of academics is the field of biblical scholarship support Documentary Hypothesis yet...

2. The minority view point is controlling how the Bible is interpreted and its influence on decisions ranging from classroom instruction on evolution all the way to social and environmental policies.


This just sucks... and I'm fed up with watching fundies - like Sub_Zero - twist Bible verses to impose their world view on the rest of us.


They need to get a fricking CLUE....


So... let's give them some clues. As I mentioned in my post to Serenity yesterday....


In essense, most mainstream scholars (both Hebrew and Christian) feel that the OT is a compilation of many different oral and written traditions. Literary clues abound with conflicts between different versions of the same story, doublets and triplets of the same events/story/themes, etc...


So... what are some of your favorite clues... feel free to expand on your clue. Let's build a thread that actually educates people as to why 90& of the experts actually feel there are multiple authors/sources to the OT.


My only request is that you limit your posts to one clue at a time... so that those reading can question you and learn... one step at a time :)



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The Noah Flood story, when correctly stiched together, it makes much more sense, and it clearly stands out as two very distinct stories, with very different details, such as how long he was on the water.


The Flood story from J

Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.


Genesis 7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; 3 also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” 5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.

7 So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 10 And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. 16 and the LORD shut him in. 17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.


Genesis 8:2:2 and the rain from heaven was restrained. 3 And the waters receded continually 6 So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. 8 He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. 10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. 11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 12 So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.

13 and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. 20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”


The Noah Flood story from P

6:9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.


Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. 8 Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, 9 two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.


Genesis 8:1 Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. 3 And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. 4 Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. 7 Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. 13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. 15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.



Some things to note from their different stories:


P consistently refers to the diety as God, while J always refers to him as Yahweh.

P refers to the sex of the animals with the words “male and female” (6:19, 7:9,16) while J uses the terms “man and his woman” (7:2) as well as “male and female.”

P says everything “expired” (6:17) and J says everything “died.” (7:22)

P has one pair of each kind of animal. J has seven pairs of clean animals and one par of unclean animals. (“Clean” means fit for sacrifice. Sheep are clean, lions are unclean.)

P pictures the flood as lasting a year (370 days). J says it was forty days and forty nights.

P has Noah send out a raven. J says a dove.

P has a concern for the ages, dates and measurements in cubits. J does not.


They also have very opposing views of the deity, not only in names, but other details such as:

J pictures a deity who can regret things he has done (6:6,7), which raises some interesting theological questions about the concept of God. J’s deity can grieve (6:6), who personally closes the ark (7:16) and smells Noah’s sacrifice (8:21). This anthropomorphic quality of J is virtually entirely lacking in P. P’s God is regarded more as a transcendent controller of the universe.


The stories are separable and complete. Each has it’s own language, its own details, and even its own conception of God. J’s flood story’s language, details and conception of God are consistent with the language, details and conception of God in other J stories. The P flood story is consistent with other P stories.


From: Who Wrote the Bible, Friedman, Richard Elliot, 1987, Pages 54-60

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