Friday, July 7, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Structure of Torah

Do you  realize that this blog has been going for four years now?  And YOU have been with me all the way!  Thank you!
The rest of the blog starts with a subject that may get you angry.  Once again, if you want to argue against my conclusions, you will have to follow the rules you followed if you wanted to prove that Talmud does refer to Jesus.  Use source documents not translations or commentaries, pay attention to context when discussing meaning, don’t use fallacies, etc.
In this part of the blog, I’m going to start with one of the fallacies because it’s not a matter of me criticizing the facts.  It’s me showing a mathematical way of evaluating the probability that Documentary Hypothesis is true.
Documentary Hypothesis might be one of the world’s most misunderstood concepts ever or at least for the last 400 years.  I’ll discuss later how ambiguities and features of SWLT might play a role in the misunderstanding.  I will also discuss, not one, but two alternative descriptions of the structure of Torah and what makes them different from DH, as I will call it from now on.
DH says that Torah first came into existence as written material.  It was written to support specific philosophical, political, or religious positions at specific places at specific times and it bears in its language the trace of those times.  There were four inventions, each at a different time, and each produced a piece of written material, the famous JEDP.  At some point it all was combined into one work, erasing everything that would point to its previous fractured existence.  Even those most expert in it, the Jews, didn’t figure it out.  Only in the 1700s CE did scholars begin to decode its secrets.
One claim of DH, as I will call it from now on, is that Torah resulted from a series of discrete events.  The following are some of the events required to produce Torah.
           Somebody had to create the E text in writing.
           Somebody traveled from the Northern to the Southern kingdom, or south to north and back.
           The traveler(s) took the E text south.
           Somebody created the J text in writing.
           Somebody gave the E text to authorities in the southern kingdom.
           The authorities read the E text.
           The authorities evaluated the E text as equally meaningful with J.
           The authorities combined the two texts into JE.
I’m going to stop here and give all of you a week to tell me that I have one or another step wrong, or that there are steps I haven’t covered.  I know there are steps I haven’t covered; I haven’t talked about D or P.  If I can show that JE has a low probability, I can show that it doesn’t matter what D and P are, DH is probably not true.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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