Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Brief Introduction To Biblical Criticism & Orthodox Thought

Disclaimer: This is a brief introduction to biblical criticism & Orthodox thought as taught by The Adept. This is not for everyone. I cannot be more clear. If you have never heard the words 'biblical criticism' before, this is probably not for you. If this is not something that troubles you, don't read this. This is only for those who find themselves on winding paths they must travel. Be very careful before choosing to read. Of course, per usual, any and all mistakes are mine.

Books for the Interested Student To Read:

1. The Old Testament in Modern Research by Herbert F. Hahn (this will take you up to the 20th century- get the 2nd Edition)
2. The Hebrew Bible Today: Introduction to Critical Issues
3. The Hebrew Bible and its Modern Interpreters
4. Sources of the Pentateuch

He also suggested that I read Modern Scholarship in the Study of Torah.

A Brief Introduction to Biblical Criticism

In the original literature dealing with the Bible, there was no doubt as to the Mosaic authorship of the Torah. The contention that was raised was that Moshe wrote the Torah of his own volition.

Late Antiquity: First doubts regarding the Mosaic authorship of the Torah appear in late antiquity. See Ibn Ezra to Deuteronomy 1:2 and commentaries to him. He speaks of a 'secret'- the intention is that some passages of the Torah may not have been written by Moses. However, no matter who writes them, Ibn Ezra states that it would have been done via divine inspiration. Various Rishonim already raise some doubts about verses in the Torah.

17th Century: This is when modern bible criticism begins. The two big names are a) Thomas Hobbes and b) Benedict Spinoza. Thomas Hobbes pens Leviathan while Spinoza writes his Theological-Political Treatise.


* Claimed Ibn Ezra denied Mosaic authorship (which Ibn Ezra most certainly did not)

* Moses is spoken about in 3rd person. If he wrote the Torah, he ought to have written 'vayedaber Hashem eilai' rather than "l'Moshe."

* Is troubled by Numbers 12:3

    ג וְהָאִישׁ מֹשֶׁה, עָנָו מְאֹד--מִכֹּל, הָאָדָם, אֲשֶׁר, עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. {ס}
    3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth.--
Could a humble man really write that about himself?

* Is troubled by Genesis 14:14-
    יד וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָם, כִּי נִשְׁבָּה אָחִיו; וַיָּרֶק אֶת-חֲנִיכָיו יְלִידֵי בֵיתוֹ, שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר וּשְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת, וַיִּרְדֹּף, עַד-דָּן. 14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan.
Compare with Judges 18:29

    כט וַיִּקְרְאוּ שֵׁם-הָעִיר, דָּן, בְּשֵׁם דָּן אֲבִיהֶם, אֲשֶׁר יוּלַּד לְיִשְׂרָאֵל; וְאוּלָם לַיִשׁ שֵׁם-הָעִיר, לָרִאשֹׁנָה. 29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel; howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.

This suggests that the verse regarding the fact that Abraham pursued as far as Dan was added to the text after the time of Judges.

Now, while Hobbes, Spinoza and those that followed cast doubt on Mosaic authorship, they had no idea who did write the Bible. Spinoza suggested Ezra.


The groundwork for the literary approach to the Bible was laid by Jean Astruc, a Roman Catholic, who wrote a defense of the Torah (specifically of Genesis) in 1873. He noticed that the Shem Havayah (יְהוָה) and Elohim were both used and concluded that Moses drew material from two different documents, J and E. J stands for Jehovah (the Shem Havayah) whereas E stands for Elohim. Moses then fused these documents into one.

Astruct was thus defending Mosaic authorship of the Torah but introduced the Documentary Hypothesis as a defense thereof.

What's an example of how stating that there are two documents- J and E- solves problems? Well, let's compare Genesis 26:34 and Genesis 36:2. Here's Genesis 26:34:

    לד וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו, בֶּן-אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה, וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה אֶת-יְהוּדִית, בַּת-בְּאֵרִי הַחִתִּי--וְאֶת-בָּשְׂמַת, בַּת-אֵילֹן הַחִתִּי. 34 And when Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Here's Genesis 36:2-3:
    ב עֵשָׂו לָקַח אֶת-נָשָׁיו, מִבְּנוֹת כְּנָעַן: אֶת-עָדָה, בַּת-אֵילוֹן הַחִתִּי, וְאֶת-אָהֳלִיבָמָה בַּת-עֲנָה, בַּת-צִבְעוֹן הַחִוִּי. 2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite,
    ג וְאֶת-בָּשְׂמַת בַּת-יִשְׁמָעֵאל, אֲחוֹת נְבָיוֹת. 3 and Basemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebaioth.

These are not the same wives. These kinds of contradictions are solved by stating that one document is J and another is E.

That was Astruc in the 18th century. This was picked up by later writers as proof of different documents/ writers. The idea became that there were four documents in the Torah: J, E, P and D. They looked at Leviticus and Numbers and said, "Hmm, these look quite different from Genesis and Exodus." Leviticus is a priestly code. They examined Deuteronomy and determined that it seemed entirely different. By the beginning of the 19th century, all subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis. The problem was that they could not date the documents.


Wellhausen lived in the 19th century; he died in 1918. He is the man who dated the documents. He was a Protestant professor of Bible and the first person to attempt to write a history of the biblical period based on J,E,P and D. After dating the documents, he would then be able to say what Israelite practice had been like in different centuries. He wrote the Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (Prolegomena to History of Ancient Israel) in 1878.

What Wellhausen said was that he could only date one document perfectly: Deuteronomy. Then he could look at the others and ask, "Are these pre or post-Deuteronomy?"

Wellhausen determined that Deuteronomy was written in 621 BC. This is based on 2 Kings 22. In this book of Kings, a Sefer Torah is discovered in the Temple:

    ח וַיֹּאמֶר חִלְקִיָּהוּ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל, עַל-שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר, סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה מָצָאתִי, בְּבֵית יְהוָה; וַיִּתֵּן חִלְקִיָּה אֶת-הַסֵּפֶר אֶל-שָׁפָן, וַיִּקְרָאֵהוּ. 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe: 'I have found the book of the Law in the house of the LORD.' And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

It seems like King Josiah institutes new halakhic practices based on finding this book. Upon looking to see what he did, Wellhausen determined that the book found was Deuteronomy. He postulated further that the scroll was planted in the Temple deliberately; it was a "pious fraud" planted in 621 BC so that it would be the new Jewish constitution.

Once Wellhausen had determined Deuteronomy was written in 621 BC, he then examined P, J and E and concluded J and E were older than Deuteronomy. P is post-Deuteronomy. Editors of P edited all four sources and that is what became the Torah of Moses in the 5th Century BCE. He says Ezra and Nehemiah are the people.

Wellhausen taught that "the law came in between." Judaism begins with the prophets. First came prophecy and afterwards came the Law for the Torah of Moses, that constricting, binding law. As a result of the prophets and law came Judaism which was not liberated till the 1st century when Christianity came. Wellhausen was a Christian theologian who desired to hail the success of Christinaity- the worst part of Judaism was the Torah, that binding, constricting Law, [and when Christianity came, it was no longer a concern.] So this is the key innovation of Wellhausen- that the "Law came in between." Judaism begins with Prophets, then follows with the Torah. Wellhausen then wrote a history based on thse assumptions of modern bible criticism. This became the backbone of modern bible scholarship.

Concomitant with the spread of modern bible criticism was the rise of skepticism regarding the Torah and Genesis especially. After all, if you are following Wellhausen's approach, the Torah comes after the Prophets and was constructed in the 5th century BC, presumably canonized in the time of Nehemiah. So you cannot reconstruct the history of Israel by looking at the imaginary constructs of Abraham and other figures in Genesis. And the laws and mores written in these texts are really 5th century laws and mores.

At this juncture it is appropriate to stress that Wellhausen's hypothesis remains a hypothesis. No archeologist has discovered J, E, P and perhaps you shall learn they have not discovered D, either.

There has been much wrestling with Wellhausen's hypothesis. Those who accept bible criticism are skeptical of aspects of it: dating of the documents, order of the documents, questioning whether indeed the scroll in 2nd Kings is really Deuteronomy and thus can be dated to 621 BC. Wellhausen posited that book was forged as well, a plant. Now, it is not at all clear that the book discovered by King Josiah was indeed Devarim. The way Wellhausen figured it out was to look at what King Josiah did in response to what he read in the scroll; he figured those laws came from Sefer Devarim. However, you will see that King Josiah also abolished Molech worship. See 2 Kings 23:10:

    י וְטִמֵּא אֶת-הַתֹּפֶת, אֲשֶׁר בְּגֵי בני- (בֶן-) הִנֹּם: לְבִלְתִּי, לְהַעֲבִיר אִישׁ אֶת-בְּנוֹ וְאֶת-בִּתּוֹ בָּאֵשׁ--לַמֹּלֶךְ. 10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

Nowhere in Deuteronomy is Molech mentioned. So that does not support Wellhausen's contention at all. And we're certainly not sure that this sefer discovered by King Josiah was a "pious fraud"- we're not sure at all.

Modifications of the Documentary Hypothesis in Recent Times:

1) Wellhausen was an intellectual influenced by 19th century intellectual history. Thus, Hegel, Darwinian concepts of straight-line evolution (primitive to complex state.) Since the book of Leviticus is very detailed Wellhausen saw it as late. Modern scholars no longer subscribe to this rigid view of straight-line evolution. We have anthropological evidence for complex things appearing early.

2) Cultic act appears in early stages of most cultures- anthropology and archeology support this. (You will find bones and understand what was consumed in that society; if found by an altar, then these are the bones of sacrifices.) This appears before writing was invented. [I'm not sure what The Adept meant to prove by this contention but I assume he meant to say it undermines the idea of 'the Law came in between' since cultic would appear before the moral.]

3) Long periods of oral traditions being passed on preced written texts. The written text and the content of the text don't necessarily originate at the same time. If you look at the Anchor Bible you will see the book of Genesis dated to 2nd Millenium BC and describing life in those times as opposed to 5th century BC- and this is being written by someone who believes in the Documentary Hypothesis.

4) Archeological Discovery: When Wellhausen wrote, no one had ever heard of Hammurabi. Many scholars denied the antiquity of the Torah because they claimed no writing had been invented and thus Moshe would have been illiterate. (This is no different than the argument that psalms were Maccabean psalms until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and they are clearly pre-Maccabean. Thus there are no Maccabean psalms.) We also found Law Codes from the 3rd Millenium BC in writing, thus the illiterate argument does not stand.

Recent Developments in Last 1/4 of the Century

Bible scholars now fall into one of two schools:

1. Maximalists
2. Minimalists

Both cases move beyond Wellhausen.

Minimalists: They are generally skeptics. Their attitude is, "I will not move one iota beyond the evidence." Modern historians tend to take seriously only contemporary evidence. If asked why they believe George Washington lived, they will say we have documents, pictures, newspapers that we can radiocarbon date and that's why we believe he lived. You can't go beyond the evidence- so there is no archeological evidence that King Solomon ever lived so they will say there is no King Solomon. They said there was no King David either until recently! You will find minimalists especially in Israel.

Maximalists: Students of Albright, Speiser, more open to the idea of long process, oral history, questionable dating of the documents, etc.

Now, all this is extra-evidence (material outside of the bible.) What has been going on in our time is a reevaluation of the material as opposed to rejection. There are some who reject the Documentary Hypothesis but they tend to be thought of as mavericks. In the schools of higher learning in the USA, England, etc the Documentary Hypothesis will be taught. This is the accepted thought in Yale, Princeton, Harvard, etc.

Now let's looks at the Internal Bible Evidence.

Internal Bible Evidence: Roshei Perakim as explained by The Adept

If the Torah was a pious fraud perpetrated in 621 BC or even later, as only Deuteronomy is dated 621 BC whereas the rest, i.e. J,E and P could be written later, it's absolutely astounding to me what's missing in the Torah. Look at Deuteronomy 17. Remember, Wellhausen says this was planted in 621 BC! So look at this verse in Deuteronomy 17:14:

    יד כִּי-תָבֹא אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ, וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ; וְאָמַרְתָּ, אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ, כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי. 14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me';

    טו שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ: מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ, תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ--לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-אָחִיךָ הוּא. 15 thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother.

So it states that you cannot appoint an ish nachri. By 621 BC, after all the Kings of Judah and Israel, why do you need to tell me not a nachri? That seems totally illogical. Also, this scroll is planted for Josiah supposedly- so then why not write anything about the Davidic line? Also, from these verses the idea of a split kingdom is totally unknown.

Now, ordinarily we don't argue from silence- but here we have all the prophets speaking and they theoretically came first- "the Law came in between"- so why not mention these things?

Now let's talk about the Primacy of Morals over Cult.

There are many different categorizations of laws that we could make. We could categorize them as Lo Ta'aseh and Asei, as Chovos HaLevavos mentions, laws that involve mind vs. body but the categorization I will choose right now is Bein Adam L'Chavero vs. Bein Adam L'Makom.

In modern scholarship there are cultic laws and moral laws. Shaking a lulav is a cultic law. When it comes to the Ten Commandments, Anochi Hashem, Avodah Zara, keeping Shabbat are all cultic laws. Moral laws would be not killing, not stealing, etc. Now, interestingly, in the Ten Commandments, no distinction is made between morals and cult. There is nothing that says be more careful regarding the first five laws than the second set of five laws. Nowhere in the Torah does it say that one is more important than the other.

Now look at Isaiah 1:10 - Sedom and Gemorah in this context is referring to Bnei Yisrael. Isaiah is telling the Jews to listen to the Torah- God doesn't want your sacrifices and doesn't like your holidays or prayer! It's a clear message that the cult doesn't work automatically; you can't just bring sacrifices and expect it to work. The neviim are the ones who teach Teshuva. Ultimately, God is really concerned with His morals. Bnei Yisrael were careful about cult, never missed a sacrifice, but it's the morals that are the issue here.

Now look at the contrast! In the book of Judges, Shoftim, it is cultic sin, serving avodah zara, that brings national disaster. But in Neviim Rishonim it is overcharging, not caring for the poor, not caring for the widow that brings national disaster. God wants morals- the nitty-gritty of everyday such as using proper weights, etc. It is in Neviim where morals assume incredible significance but no weight is slanted toward that in the Torah.

What's missing in the Torah that was supposedly put together by J,E,P and D? The word 'Teshuva!' It never appears.

The fact that they don't utilize these themes of moral vs. cultic supremacy that are found in Neviim show that the Torah precedes the Navi, not vice versa.

And let's focus on inconsistencies. Look at Leviticus 18:18. This bans marrying two sisters yet at the same time the Redactor who supposedly edited J,E,P and D stated that Jacob (who for Wellhausen is a literary invention) marries two sisters! Now, if Sefer Bereishis preserves an ancient tradition, then there is no problem with that. But if I am creating an invention in the 5th or 6th century, why create a hero who violates the laws of history?

Or look at Deuteronomy 16:22:

    כב וְלֹא-תָקִים לְךָ, מַצֵּבָה, אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ. {ס} 22 Neither shalt thou set thee up a pillar, which the LORD thy God hateth. {S}

And yet look at Genesis 28:18, 35:14 where Jacob sets up a matzeiva (pillar). You know what is interesting? No one after Deuteronomy (throughout Neviim, etc) sets up a matzeiva. Thus we see that Genesis is not written after Deuteronomy; Genesis must, in fact, pre-date Deuteronomy.

A student at the lecture questioned: And how do those who believe in the Documentary Hypothesis answer this (internal bible evidence)?

The Adept replied: Generally, they ignore this as opposed to addressing it. But it is certainly a matter that needs to be addressed.


Walter Sobchak said...

BTW, in case you didn't know, Jean Astruc is descended from the famous 13th century rabbi Abba Mari (the Yarchi).

Shadesof said...

1)Here is an article by R. Cardozo on the history of Bilblical criticism

2) In the interest of curiosity and interesting topics(which seem to be sub-themes of this blog) how do they teach, from a frum perspective, Biblical criticism in YU and Revel? Do the professors refute it in class?

3)You don't touch on it in your post, but from a broader perspective, the subject of the years of the Bayis Sheni is also crucial to an uniterrupted mesorah
(there is a Wikepedia entry on "Missing Years" which includes links from an Orthodox perspective). I read in R. Schwab's article that the Meor Enayim in the 16th Century was the first to raise that issue.

Anonymous said...

chochma bagoyim taamin, tora bagoyim al tamin. those are the irrefutable words of chazal.

in the begining of breishis the torah says "naaseh adam" rashi explains that this was purposefully done by Hashem to allowed those that want to make mistakes to trip.....

consult Rav Hershel Schachter for his opinion on this course os study.
please let us know what he says.

Anonymous1:45 said...

As you said, until a whole bunch of archeological evidence recently surfaced they denied the existence of David Hamelech. Without adressing each point let me state a general rule. A person must differentiate between hard sciece (proof by mathematical (pythagorean theoram), repeatable experimental (then existence of electrons), and observational leading to a self evident conclusion (human heart has 4 chambers) rather than interpretation). When I look at certain "evdence" or "arguments" regarding biblical criticism, it is laughable when I compare it to real Science and real amthematical proofs and evidence. Full disclosure, I wouldn't have any theological problem if the criticisms were true (see rambam). However, these arguments of the critics when compared to real science are as conjecture or philosophy. They would not even hold to the courtroom standard of reasonable doubt let alone any proof by which one is forced to believe.

The Cousin said...

Personally, I never cared for the subject of biblical criticism, even though I was in courses where it was taught. My Freshman seminar was titled something like "The Epic hero in ancient history". The Prof is a well known scholar of the ancient near east, and we learned both about biblical criticism and read "The Epic of Gilgamesh" way too many times. But I digress...

One thing that always bothered me was my personal intellectual inability to separate biblical criticism from my traditional beliefs. [That plus the science courses I took didn't help either]

Just my 2 cents

Chana said...


Well, it makes sense you cannot separate them because Judaism postulates the Torah was given by God and written via divine inspiration as opposed to biblical criticism which posits it is a manmade document.

If you're interested in Orthodox responsa to the topic, I'd be happy to share with you- and you should read the last part of this post focusing on Internal to the Bible vs. extraneous. It might be of interest to you.

Out of curiosity, how did the other Jews in those courses respond to the biblical criticism taught therein?

Yona said...

Yitzchak Etshalom in "Between the Lines of the Bible" discuss the "Dan" issue.

Toviah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toviah said...

non mouse:

Rashi writes no such thing. What Rashi does write is that Chumash felt that the importance of the lesson of humility which is conveyed through the phrase"naaseh adam" overrode the possibitlity that someone might err and believe that there are more than one God. Rashi also writes that Chumash took steps to ensure that this mistake would not be made, namely that the next verse is written in the singular.

The suggestion that God would delibrately put something in Chumash to mislead us to an incorrect belief is absurd. According to the Rambam in the third section of the Moreh Nevuchim, the main function of the Torah and Mitzvos is to instill within us correct beliefs about God. Yet you suggest that something was intentionally placed in the Torah to mislead us?

Anonymous said...

R' Etshalom's article is available here.

Anonymous said...

as an interesting footnote, early bc can be traced back to ibn hazm the muslim scholar, who lived prior to ibn ezra

Anonymous said...

im sure you well aware that understanding of the ibn ezra is a modern and minority one.

Anonymous said...

anon #2: not modern but definitely minority

Chana said...

Anon 11:48,

It's a minority because people don't like difficult truths. I was planning to type up The Adept's dissection of that Ibn Ezra a different time but suffice it to say we studied the issue THOROUGHLY (this man does *everything* thoroughly- you respect him, incidentally) and it is very clear that is what Ibn Ezra means.

Anonymous said...

even if the various explanations to the ibn ezra are due to that.. one cannot deny that such liberal cmmentaries such as isaac reggio as well as others have suggested the IE never authored that piece... or that ibn kaspi of all ppl has a totally different understanding of the other ibn ezras and skips the one in the beginning of devarim in his irush on the "sodos of ibn ezra"....and one is only forced to say ibn ezra meant that if they cannot come up with an alternative and it would be quote difficult to say "i know there cannot be any other explanation" no matter how thorough one is....

Chana said...

Sigh. I knew I would have to type it up. It's just that in and of itself that is a whole research project because I need to track down every source my teacher had at his fingertips. Well, it won't be till sometime next week, but I will do my best to explain every single source and why it makes the most sense that a) Ibn Ezra wrote it it and b) this is what he meant. The alternative to waiting for this is that you can look into attending the university in your native haunt and find my teacher and have him teach you.

Shadesof said...

I don't know who the "Adept" is, and would not offer a view pro or con even if I did, but here is one online reference, the view of R. Yitchak Blau(pg 184) :

"Even if we accept the apparent view of Ibn Ezra, that some verses were added later, the dogma can still be formulated. Note that R. Yosef Bonfils, the famed commentator on Ibn Ezra who explains his subject’s radical views, suggests various limitations on Ibn Ezra’s position...

It may be that we should reject Ibn Ezra’s view as a maverick position outside the consensus. Even if we do accept it as a legitimate possibility, the fact that we cannot give a concrete number of verses that can be attributed to a later author without sliding into heresy in no way invalidates the idea that a boundary exists. All concepts include gray
areas but those questionable areas do not undermine the concepts. The fact that we are unsure whether or not abortion and euthanasia are murder does not mitigate the horror of murder. As Dr. Johnson remarked, the fact that there is a twilight does not minimize the distinction between day and night. We can exclude Ibn Ezra’s view from the charge of
heresy, remain unsure about how much more latitude to give for an expansion of Ibn Ezra, and still confidently assert that J, P, E and D are beyond the pale."

Anonymous said...

good hint-i got it...

Anonymous said...

"This is not for everyone."

This is not for anyone. I cannot be more clear.

Anonymous said...

I need to track down every source my teacher had at his fingertips.
there is a key word missing here; selective.

Chana said...

Anon 8:21,

You're totally wrong about the supposed 'selectivity'- wrong in every way- and I don't understand how, assuming you got my hint, you could possibly be choshed b'ksheirim.

Anonymous said...

um-ya right back atcha-the last to anons was not me....

Chana said...

Okay, listen, you should do something to your name/ anon/ pseudonym so I don't keep on mixing you up.

To whoever it was who told me I'm too caught up in The Adept's glitter, it has nothing to do with his glitter or glamour; it has to do with his knowledge, humility and his kindness. But most of all his insane knowledge base.

J. D. said...

This looks like one of the courses I attend a few years back. Thought I didn't waste my time and effort challenging him, any a critical thinker would leave the class laughing.

Chana said...


It's always easier to laugh/mock than to actually express a point of view. Why not express said point of view via this forum? What do you think?

Washing Cup said...

Chana, this is a superb post. The best way to deal with biblical criticism (for those whom it bothers)is to face it head on, instead of lending it undue credence by crouching, scared, in the corner.

Moshe said...

very valuable post. yiyasher kochech.
any chance of throwing any other hints as to the ID of the Adept?

Moshe Shoshan

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