The Historical Criticism of the Pentateuch -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 072:285 (Jan 1915)
Article: The Historical Criticism of the Pentateuch
Author: Harold M. Wiener

The Historical Criticism of the Pentateuch

A Reply to Dr. Ed. Kœnig1

Harold M. Wiener


The Samaritan Pentateuch

The problem of the relationship of the Samaritan Pentateuch to the LXX and the Massoretic text has been discussed by me in the Expositor for September, 1911, pages 200–219, and on pages 219–235 of “The Pentateuchal Text: A Reply to Dr. Skinner,” which has now been republished at a price which puts it in everybody’s reach. Since these were written, the first part of Von Gall’s new edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch has been published,2 and a glance at a few chapters of the apparatus shows how insignificant are the variations of the Samaritan MSS. among themselves and how little any fresh edition can affect the problem. It is only necessary to add that Von Gall’s work touches us in two ways. He writes: “Die Rede von dem einen Archetypus, auf den alle Handschriften im Grund zurückgehen, möchte ich weder für den jüdischen noch fur den samaritanischen

Text so unbedingt mehr aufrecht erhaken. Die Handschriften beider Synagogen sind erst das Produkt einer Entwicklung, die erst im späten Mittelalter abschloss. Es erklärt sich wohl auch so die Tatsache, dass wir sozusagen keine jüdischen und samaritanischen Handschriften aus dem ersten christlichen Jahrtausend haben” (p. 68). And he tells us (pp. 61 f.) that Petermann’s collection of variants is “ganz wertlos,” because the Samaritan to whom he gave the task of entering the variants on a Jewish text omitted to note some hundreds of readings. Hence arguments based on Petermann’s omission to record variants, e.g., in Genesis 7:1, lose all force.

After I had written the foregoing paragraph, Skinner’s volume on “The Divine Names in Genesis” came into my hands, containing an additional note (pp. 276-281) on my article in the Expositor for September, 1911. Of the really important points I had urged he makes no mention, and he has not had an opportunity of answering the section on the subject in my reply to him, which only appeared in America in April, 1914. I had said that my arguments were “partly quantitative and partly qualitative.” I attributed the greater weight to the qualitative part of my argument, and of this Skinner says no word. I still think it the more important, and I am confirmed in my opinion by what he himself says in an entirely different connection on page 145. Their relations must ultimately be determined by characteristic readings whose inherent value can be estimat...

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