The Criticism Of The Pentateuch: A Reply To Mr. H. M. Wiener -- By: W. F. Lofthouse

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 073:289 (Jan 1916)
Article: The Criticism Of The Pentateuch: A Reply To Mr. H. M. Wiener
Author: W. F. Lofthouse


The Criticism Of The Pentateuch:
A Reply To Mr. H. M. Wiener

W. F. Lofthouse

To the October number (1914) of the London Quarterly Review I contributed a note entitled “Dahse v. Wellhausen.” It was elicited by the opinion, often widely and confidently expressed, but seldom brought forward by responsible scholars, that Dahse’s investigations had overthrown Wellhausen’s theory of the Pentateuch; and it pointed out, within the compass of some five pages: (1) that Dahse’s work had made very little impression in his own country or in England; (2) that Dahse himself was chiefly concerned with only a minor point of the Wellhausen theory, the divine names in Genesis, and with the contention that these were often incorrectly transmitted in the received (or Massoretic) text; and (3) that the grounds on which even this contention was urged were unsatisfactory.

In the January (1915) number of the same review a further note appeared from the pen of Mr. H. M. Wiener, “Has Professor Lofthouse Vindicated the Documentary Theory?” In this Mr. Wiener left Dahse on one side; he made frequent references to his own writings (chiefly EPC, PS, and OP); he urged the distinction, familiar to readers of the Bibliotheca Sacra, between the earthen or stone altar and the “house” or sanctuary; and claimed that in the supposed

Pentateuchal documents the use of the divine names was far from consistent. In the same number I was allowed a brief reply, showing that Wellhausen’s “lay altars,” or cairns, are unmentioned in Dt. and P, and that “no array of textual variations can alter the fact that the divine names are found for the most part in blocks, and that the transition from one to the other regularly corresponds to a transition from one set of characteristics, stylistic and religious, to another” (p. 132).

In April, Mr. Wiener published in the same magazine an article entitled “The Mosaic Authenticity of the Pentateuchal Legislation.” Here he referred to his contention that the divine names did not occur in “blocks “in the Pentateuch; he repeated the argument of the distinction between cairn and sanctuary, admitting that the Exile “put an end once for all to such lay sacrifices “as had previously been offered at cairns; he asked whether the regulations for the approach to the tabernacle and the leprosy rules could have originated anywhere save in the desert; and in reply to the argument that Ezekiel could not have known P, he pointed out that by one passage in Ezekiel (22:26) P seems to be implied (Lev. 10:10).

Opportunity was given me to...

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