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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 12 rebuttal of g-w hypothesis

The seemingly formidable argument from vocabulary, separate and distinct vocabularies for the four source documents--especially where long lists of words appear used only in the one document--this argument we say loses its imposing character when we discern on what ground it is built. Leaving J and E aside because the argument carries little convincing weight under this head, we notice what happens in the case of P and D. Everything of a priestly legislative character is primarily assigned to P as well as everything that is presented after a more or less formal pattern like Gen. I as well as summaries. From these portions primarily deductions are made as to P's vocabulary. Naturally quite a substantial list results. Then other passages in the Pentateuch that use these distinctive terms are stamped as coming from P, whenever possible. Note how in the last analysis in legislative portions like Leviticus, where matters of priestly interest certainly predominate, a distinctive vocabulary has to be used and can very readily be listed. The fact of the matter really is not that a different writer is at work but that the same writer is dealing with an entirely different subject. No man can write a law book with the vocabulary of a book on history. From another point of view the argument practically amounts to this that one man could not write E or J and also P, because one man could not write both history and law. In like manner D's style, which is supposed to involve "a long development of the art of public oratory," covers the major part of the book of Deuteronomy as well as of later books whenever they con, in hortatory passages after the manner of Deuteronomy. One can quite readily build up a separate vocabulary out of such sections. In the final analysis this is tantamount to saying that Moses could not have written such admonitions and exhortations as well as laws and history. The critics operate on the assumption that such flexibility of style is beyond the range of the capabilities of one man.

The other peculiarities that these major sources are supposed to display are most readily understood on the following assumption: take any longer work and divide it up into four portions on the basis of an approach that groups kindred things together, and the resultant four parts will naturally each have something distinctive.