Re: higher criticism

From: George Murphy (
Date: Thu Oct 10 2002 - 08:04:43 EDT

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    bivalve wrote:
    > > I wonder, did the Higher Critics of Scripture evolve the
    > technique of the "Just So Story" by themselves, or did they borrow it
    > from the Evolutionary Biologists? Or could it have been the other
    > way around? Or, as the Cladists would have us include, was it an
    > example of Convergent Evolution? In any case, we should never lack a
    > Naturalistic explanation for its Origin.<
    > Actually, it appears to be a case of agressive mimicry, in which a
    > harmful form disguises itself as something harmless or beneficial,
    > like a wolf in sheep's clothing. In the present case, it is
    > Enlightenment scepticism masquerading as science.

            It's easy to satirize "higher criticism," JEPD, &c. Critical
    attempts to
    assign individual sentences & words to different sources have sometimes been
    overdone. But anyone who who has been alerted to the bare
    possibility that there are
    different sources behind the Pentateuch & who reads it open eyes &
    mind will see places
    where different traditions have been combined. The 2 & 7 of every
    kind in the flood
    story, the Midianites & Ishamaelites of Gen.37:25-28, & Moses'
    multiple ascents of Mt.
    Sinai are just a few obvious examples.
            Of course I can anticipate the cry, "We can harmonize it!"
    But the attempts to
    do so produce results that are sometimes as funny as any parody of
    critical scholarship.
    E.g., the picture of Hagar carrying her 17 year old son through the
    wilderness is rather
    odd. (I know: If we don't believe this we can't believe in the resurrection.)


    George L. Murphy

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