Re: Colophon theory (was Response to Why YEC posting)

Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 05:11:57 EDT

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    Allen wrote,

    << The Tablet theory (the idea that literary structural evidence in Genesis
     parallels literary structures of writings from the same era (and before) as
     Moses) is based on solid archaeological evidence. While such a whacked out
     delusion as the JEPD (or what-ever) theory was developed from an
     anthropological theory (that the concept of a Supreme God was the final
     religious stage evolving from polytheistic spiritism) that was disproven and
     discarded over three quarters of a century ago.
     The Tablet theory points to the literary evidence which indicate that Moses
     edited several manuscripts and/or oral traditions into Genesis. These
     "tablets" are easily identified by their literary structure and the
     authors/owners of these "tablets" are named. It is a very straight-forward,
     elegant understanding of Genesis. Thus Genesis does not come down to us as
     ill remember stories pieced together long afterwards, but as original
     documents edited into one manuscript. >>

    Of course there is no mention of these tablets in the Bible; so the theory is
    speculation. And, it does not seem to ring true. Some questions you would
    need to answer are

    1. How can Adam in c. 4000 BC leave a tablet when writing and such tablets
    were not invented until nearly 1000 years later?

    2. Since the people in Gen 1-11 seem to be living in Mesopotamia which is
    also the first place we find such tablets, what language did the writers of
    these tablets write in? The two languages there are Sumerian and Akkadian.
    Hebrew is not represented there and is generally dated as originating after
    1500 BC, yet the word plays in Gen 2:23 by Adam, 2:6, 7 by God, 11:9 by ? are
    based on the Hebrew language. How is this possible if the stories were
    written down before Hebrew existed, and the word plays do not work in
    Sumerian or Akkadian?

    3. Why would Joseph (last colophon) be writing on clay tablets when Egyptians
    wrote on papyrus?

    4. Tablets cannot hold very much information. It would have taken a
    considerable number of them to hold everything in Genesis.(Based on the
    number of tablets needed for a short story like Gilgamesh, I would estimate
    off the top of my head that at least 50 would be needed for Genesis) Are we
    to believe that the patriarchs, who lived in tents, carried ever increasing
    number of clay tablets around with them? The only clay tablets I have heard
    of come from urban libraries.

    5. Virtually the only people in the ancient world who could read and write
    were the trained scribes; and their expensive services were not employed by
    common people except for occasional legal documents. I have never heard of a
    family history of semi-nomads being written down on clay tablets.

    These are just a few questions off of the top of my head. Victor Matthews in
    his commentary on Genesis gives other reasons for rejecting the colophon

    Before one could accept such a theory as sound, I think it needs a lot more


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