@deuteroKJ thank you for taking the time to entertain my questions. For the sake of my own edification, if you are willing, perhaps you can address a few questions that your response raises in my mind.
First off, I will grant that Tablet Theory in and of itself may not contradict your own unproven theory that Genesis 1 was included last in the Pentateuch. It’s merely down to a sequence of integration, not origination at that point.
Secondly, I think the presuppositions of the Tablet Theory includes the following:
Presuppose that the some of the content of Genesis 1 was written by the people about whom the content deals: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.
Presuppose that the authors utilized a means of writing common in their culture (circa 2000 BC): clay tablets (especially appropriate for anything you feel should be kept around awhile)
Presuppose that the clay tablets were marked by simple colophons on their edges; simple because early colophons were simpler than later colophons and these are early texts if (1) is true.
Presuppose that the colophons are included in the text when compiled into a linear format.
Take Moses as the Holy Spirit-inspired compiler/translator/editor and attribute it’s inclusion in the Pentateuch to Moses.
If (1) is true, then I think really only (4) would need strong textual support from the book of Genesis itself.
If (1-4) are not groundless but rather plausible, then it becomes more a matter of detailed analysis to determine if the “toledoth” mark the end or the beginning of each section of content. Either way, the idea that content from Genesis 1 was sourced from tablets written by multiple eye-witness authors holds water against JEDP and against a whole-cloth Mosaic authorship.
Where exactly should I think the Tablet Theory breaks down?
Thirdly, regarding the revelation of Gen 1:1-2:4 (not 1:1-2:3…which is another matter) to Melchizedek: I think positing that God revealed it to Moses during his visits up Sinai is just that, an assumption without much to grab hold of really (i.e lacks theological and textual necessity as you put it). So positing something may be fishing for something with a little more grippy-ness.
Hopefully you regard Gen 1 as inspired by the Holy Spirit in some manner (direct or indirect revelation I’m not sure I care) and not just “made up” like a good guess or a fine sounding origin story.
So, back to Melchizedek. There are a few things that make this interesting, I think.
1-A) Genesis 1 is a “priestly” document
1-B) Genesis 1 is a polemic against false origin stories
1-C) Genesis 1 seems to be a response to Sumerian polytheism more so than to other polytheisms (e.g. Egyptian, Babylonian)
1-D) Therefore Genesis 1 was written by a Priest at the time of Sumerian relevance
1-E) The only candidate Priest in Genesis is Melchizedek (who is a very significant figure)
1-F) Therefore Melchizedek wrote Genesis 1
1-G) Melchizedek gave a copy of Gen 1 to Abraham
1-H) Abraham gave Melchizedek 10% of recovered goods for 1-G above
2-A) Genesis 1 is composed from tablets; several sections end with a toledoth which is derived from a simple colophon (circa 2000 BC style) specifying the “possessor” of the tablet
2-B) Genesis 2:4 is a toledoth whose possessor is God
2-C) Genesis 2:4 is the only toledoth in Genesis without a human possessor
2-D) Melchizedek’s is without his own genealogy and his priesthood is not based on a human genealogy (over and against the Levitical priesthood)
2-E) Melchizedek honors God as the “possessor of heaven and earth”; possessor tying in the concept of God possessing the genealogy of the heavens and the earth.
2-F) Therefore, Melchizedek’s priesthood is established according to the genealogy of God given in Genesis 1:1-2:4
2-G) Therefore, Melchizedek was the conduit of Genesis 1
As you can see, these are really two very different arguments. Either one could stand or fall on its own.
So which of these assertions do you think have the greatest weaknesses?