<< 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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