Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Did Moses write all of Genesis?

I would say yes.

The two source hypothesis (Elohist and Jehovist as two sources) can be abandoned if we think of Elohist as Moses writing before Adonay-ho Kyrios spoke to him and revealed his name of the Four Holy Letters, and Jehovist as Moses writing after that time.

But are there not passages of the Elohist after some of those of the Jehovist? To be read after, according to chronological reading order, surely. But no indication of them being written after. Unless for a certain purpose, perhaps.

You see, whether you write facts about Adam and Eve as Moses did, or fiction about Susan Pevensie as C. S. Lewis did and I do, there is really no need for the writer to write all the chapters in the order he intends them to be read.

As long as his work has not been finalised by a publishing in a bound volume or on a single scroll, he is free to insert chapters anywhere between the extant ones.

The "Genèse" article in Dictionnaire de la Théologie Catholique also says that Genesis has a Hebrew language more recent than Moses could have written without retouches.

When it comes to terms and words and word usages, I do not believe such a thing can be known, except from a known chronology of works in which they occur. So, I do not believe such a statement can make sense as an argument for saying a work has been written in part or retouched in part after the stated or original writing.

When it comes to the writing system, it is however a bit obvious. Vocalisation of Hebrew has changed, and it has been written in Hivrit letters (closely similar to Canaanean or Carthaginian ones) before the Ashuri letters.

Just as surely as I have read from our poet Tegnér:

Där växte uti Hildings gård
två plantor, mellan dem ...

and surely what Tegnér actually wrote was:

Der vexte uti Hildings gård
två plantor, mellan dem ...

or maybe even (especially if printed in blackletters):

Der wexte uti Hildings gård
twå plantor, mellan dem ...

because the work Frithiof's Saga has been republished quite a few times after original publication. But such a retouch of purely orthographic and letter type nature obviously does not change the meaning of any one passage in any one chapter of any one work - except if some random mistake would have crept in.

The only conscious retouch and falsification of content I can think of is the divergence between Hebrew original for Septuaginta and Hebrew original of Vulgate with Hebrew Masoretic and also Samaritan versions. The time between creation and flood was a definite time, not two different times according to view-point, and the age of Adam when he begat Seth was a definite age, not two different ages. Either Septuaginta has been conflated or the other Hebrew versions have been deflated. I think the latter, they are all as extant younger, except Samaritan, which can have influenced them. I admit my Christian, non-Jewish loyalties quite push that point too.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mairie du III/Paris
13th March 2012

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