Just beat it for him. So, you didn’t intend to lump it in with the “fringe” elements? If not; sorry --I’m just so used to it being so treated by others. Cheers!
In principle, @swamidass , you’d have to agree that “fringe ideas” are often at the forefront of paradigm changes, and though I disagree with Mark on his method of exegeting here, I do not conclude that he is “wrong.” The dustbins of academic history are filled with prescient people who were ignored, rather than engaged. Mark is saying that, even given your decade, that’s a raindrop to him. And “luck” will have had nothing to do with it.
That Mark is not claiming some new “apostolic authority” for this view shows good restraint. He is excited about what might be, in service to the church.
Every good communicator knows that, indeed, we are somewhat limited by our audiences, and even the most careful explanation of quantum mechanics, say, will fly right past many listeners. No matter; our intentions, no matter whether communicatively successful or not, are often NOT clear to our whole audience… perhaps, as humans, even to ourselves. A willingness to dialogue and receive criticism is in evidence here, and I’m honored to count Mark as a friend and brother, as I know you are, Josh.
All the best, Mark! I think you’ve gotten some wonderful feedback “meat” to chew on, and ask for guidance about.
The Tablet Theory is a more concise description of what YECs have implied for generations.
It is not inherently more accurate. It is just more specific.
How are your thoughts developing @Revealed_Cosmology? Haven’t heard from you on this in a while. In the coming months hoping to get some OT scholars here to lock horns with. What are your salient points going to be?
Tablet theory was first laid out, in rudimentary form, in 1936. It has developed more broadly since then, but has not enjoyed much popularity among scholars --not for lack of substance, but for the very same kind of false charge that George makes --that it seems too much like the implausible stepchild of YEC fundamentalism.
That is simply, and categorically, not true. Wiseman himself offered an alternative, rarely discussed, called the “revelational day” theory of understanding chapter one, and was himself not a YEC, nor was his son. It enjoyed some sustaining advocacy by Australian archaeologist Clifford Wilson, among others.
Sorry to burst the bubble.
It is currently showing up in broad outline in more and more commentaries and popular treatments. It truly has much more going for it, objectively, than JEDP theory… but don’t expect the academy to be willing to admit to that easily.
Whether one buys into the exact details of the tablet theory, the idea that the sources of the Bible may actually be those named, or hinted at, in the text rather than those reconstructed from thin air by Victorian scholars using dubious literary tools is an important one.
If one believes in Moses as an historical figure, it’s entirely logical that the patriarchal traditions of Israel should have been preserved and available to him (and if they are at all historical, such traditions must have existed), entirely plausible that they would have been in written form or in some fixed oral form, and quite credible that any written documents could have been on cuneiform tablets, given the genealogical and historical situation.
To attribute each tablet to the authorship particular patriarch himself is a step further into speculation - but why should even that be considered impossible?
As for the academy admitting it, there are of course complete and partial dissenters (John Sailhamer cheerfully termed his own view “non-critical” with some measure of defiance!). And the documentary hypothesis itself is no longer a consensus, but casts a long shadow determining how the whole OT is regarded.
That’s an interesting parallel with secularised biological science, which is actually a few decades younger than the documentary hypothesis. Darwinism is said to be dead, but its metaphysical foundation still calls the shots, and anyone entering the “guild” simply has to play by the rules. So if it’s wrong for heretical scientists to try to change science’s ground-rules, then one can’t object if the biblical studies acadamy treats the JEDP business - and methodological naturalism - as foundational too.
Well, of COURSE one can object. Dead or dying paradigms shouldn’t be calling the shots! I do hope that was British understatement, perhaps combined with humorous sarcasm, on your part, @jongarvey ! Cheers!
An eccentric scholar, yes, but a perceptive one, too: https://www.academia.edu/8175774/Tracing_the_Hand_of_Moses_in_Genesis
and more of Mackey’s contributions here: