CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY ., +;*. . Volume 43, Number 2 APRIL 1979 Wellhausenism Evaluated After A ..................... Century Of Influence Raymond F. Surburg 78 Sing a New Song ...................................Armand J. Boehme 96 God's Here and .......................................... Is Not Silent Philip M. Bickel 120 Theological Observer .......................................................... 1 2 1 Homiletical Studies ............................................................. 124 Book Reviews ..................................................................... 157 Books Received ................................................................. 177 Wellhausenism Evaluated After A Century Of Influence By Raymond F. Surburg Julius Wellhausen (1 844- 19 18) was a famous German Luth- eran higher critic who influenced Biblical and Oriental studies for many generations during the second half of the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth centuries. Hans Joachim Kraus wrote of Wellhausen: With his philological, literary-critical, and historical investigations Wellhausen founded a school which has deter- mined for decades the picture of Old Testament science. However all work-performed outside his school and beyond it is inconceivable apart from the solid foundation on which Old Testament science in numerous, and till the present unchangeable, accomplishments was founded.' In describing the importance of Wellhausen Hahn wrote: His position in Old Testament criticism is somewhat analagous to that of Darwin in the intellectual history of modern times. The central idea which he made common property had already been broached by others before him, but he gave the theory its classical formulation and applied it with assurance to a wide range of data, assembled in a com- prehensive synthesis and unified by a dominant theme. What was new and original in Wellhausen's presentation was the way in which he combined the various lines of argument by his professors and drew the conclusions toward which the literary and historical criticism of a century had been tending.* According to William Neil, Biblical criticism on the European Continent achieved a considerable measure of stability in the nineteenth century. Two men were responsible for this in Old and New Testament studies, respectively, namely, Julius Wellhausen and Adolf Harnack.3 Ronald E. Clemens in his recent One Hundred Years of Old Testament Interpretation has no less than forty-one references to the work and influence of Wellhausen when he discusses the contributions of various scholars to the field of Old Testament ~tudies.~ Hermann Gunkel, by com- parison, is mentioned only twenty-six times by Clemens in con- nection with his contributions to twentieth-century Old Testa- ment studies.5 It will be the pupose of this essay to set forth Wellhausen's views and their influence on his contemporaries as well as on 79 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY those following him during the last one hundred years and also to evaluate Wellhausen's views and influence. I. Wellhausen's Life and Academic Activities6 Wellhausen was born at Hameln, the son of a Protestant pastor. He was raised by his father in an orthodox Christian environment. He went to Goettingen in 1862 to study theology, to prepare himself for the pastorate in the denomination of which his father was a member. He threw himself with enthusiasm into his theological studies, but before long he abandoned the orthodox Christianity of his youth and simultaneously began to experience a time of great despair. At first he had no interest in critical studies. He devoted his energies to a study of the church chorals and to the reading of medievaI sermons. At Goettingen Wellhausen met Albrecht Ritschl, with whom he struck up a warm friendship; but inasmuch as he could not understand the former's theology, Wellhausen was unaffected by Ritschl's thought. In 1870 he received his licentiate and for the two years following acted as a private tutor. It was Heinrich Ewald (1 805-75), eminent Hebrew scholar and Orientalist, who changed Wellhausen's despair and created in the latter a Iove for studying the manner in which the history of Israel developed. By chance Wellhausen came to read Ewald's Geschichte des Volkes Israel. Ewald's presentation of the history of Israel fascinated Wellhausen, because the former was no dry historian, but a lecturer who depicted historical relationships in glowing colors. In the estimation of Wellhausen, Ewald por- trayed t he religious content of the Old Testament as an entity ,that had developed and occured in history. It was this procedure which sparked him to undertake the project of setting forth the history of the Old Testament as an historical process within which Biblical religion had grown and ripened. Wellhausen's Prolegomena to the History of Israel endeavored to do just that. The dedication of this book reads: "To my never-to-be-forgotten teacher Heinrich Ewald in thanks and honor." However, between the years 186670 there came a sharp parting of the ways between the two. In 187 1 Wellhausen published his first book, a study devoted to the text of I and 2 Samue1,'which is of importance because in it he dealt with the structure of the Pentateuch. At the age of 28, in 1872, he was called to the University of Greifswald, to a profes- sorship in theology. In 1878, a hundred years ago, Wellhausen published his pioneer work, Geschichte Israels, 1.8 Later on this book was renamed Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels. The book caused a great stir in orthodox circles and within four years time he resigned his professorship at Greifswald. Wellhausenism Evaluated 80 In 1882 he became associate professor of Oriental languages at Halle, and in 1885 was promoted to full professorship at rdarburg. In 1892 Wellhausen transferred to Goettingen where he assumed a similar professorship. After giving up Old Testament studies he devoted his time and effort to Arabic studies, in which he had become interested during his stay at Halle. With his trans- ference to Goettingen and contacts with Juelicher, Wellhausen entered the last phase of interest of his stormy career-studies in the New Testament area. With Juelicher, Adolp Harnack, and others, he wrote Die Christliche Religion, mit Einschluss der Israelitischen-Juedischen Religion. Wellhausen's views were applied by Johannes Weiss to New Testament criticism.9 Wellhausen died on January 7,19 18, surrounded by numerous scholars and admirers. Hans Joachim Kraus concluded his story of Wellhausen's life and influence with this evaluation: He brought historical-critical investigation to an unsur- passable highpoint and helped to awaken scientific motives and tendencies that had slumbered since the time of De Wette and helped them to a breakthrough.Io. 11. The Contribution of the Prolegomena from a Critical Viewpoint Ideas presented in this volume had, to be sure, already appeared in print elsewhere. But Hahn claims: What was new and original in Wellhausen's presentation was the way in which he combined the various lines of argu- ment developed by his predecessors and drew conclusions toward which the literary and historical criticism of a cen- tury had been tending." An earlier work than the Prolegomena to the History of Israel was Wellhausen's Die Komposition des Hexateuch, 1876-7 1, and in the latter he popularized what was to become known as the Final Documentary Hypothesis. It took about one hundred years until the speculations and theories jelled into what became the Four-Source Documentary Hypothesis in its final form. This latter theory is often known as the Reuss-Graf-Wellhausen Theory. Eduard Reuss in a lecture given in the summer semester of 1834 had expressed the opinion that the basic Elohist document (E), rather than being the earliest of the documents out of which the Pentateuch or Hexateuch had been woven together, was the latest. Again in 1850 Reuss defended this view, but the Old Testament scholarly world ignored it. The year 1866 may be said to be the turning point in Pentateuchal criticism because of Karl Heinrich Graf s work on the historical books. Both George and Vatke had proposed that the Levitical legislation was later than Deuteronomy and that the 8 1 CONCORDIA THEOLOGlCAL QUARTERLY materials found in Leviticus could not be earlier than the time of the exile. As early as 1862, Dr. J. Popper, a rabbi, had assigned Exodus 35-40 and Leviticus 8-1 0 to scribes who had lived after the time of Ezra. The effect of Grafs work was to bring to a climax ideas previously advanced by others. Graf taught that Deuteronomy was composed during Josiah's reign, and Graf s view presupposed that legislation was found in the Jahwist document. The Levitical laws found in Leviticus 18-26 were ascribed to Ezekiel. As far as the remainder of the Pentateuch was concerned, Graf followed the Supplementary Theory, maintain- ing that the basicdocument of the Pentateuch was the Elohist (E), which had been supplemented from the Jahwistic document (J), and the resultant work had been edited and redacted by the Deuteronomist. Two German scholars, Riehm and Noeldeke; attacked this scheme at two principal points.12 In opposition to the Supple- mentary Theory they held that the Jahwist was the main docu- ment and the Elohist the supplementer and that the Levitical legislation could not be separated from the Jahwist document. Graf accepted these criticisms and proceeded to modify his original position to the extent that the basic document was postulated as not the earliest but the latest portion of the Pentateuch. Prior to this reversal of position, the order of com- position of the various documents of the Pentateuch had been PEJD; but now according to Graf the order was EJDP or JEDP. The appearance of Abraham Kuenen's De Godsdients van Israel (1869-70) helped to strengthen and give further impetus to the acceptance of Graft's views. In 1874 August Kayser in his Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichte Israels had expressed views similar to those of Graf and Kuenen. For Kayser the Jahwistic document was the foundational document of the Pentateuch into which part of the Elohistic document supposedly had been incorporated. Deuteronomy, originating in Josianic (seventh century B.C.) times, was bound up with the Jahwistic document. After this came Ezekiel's legislation, including Leviticus 17-26. The "Elohim" document (P) was from the time of Ezra. The last step was the incorporation of all these documents into the Pentateuch. Julius Wellhausen in his epoch-making work, Die Komposi- tion des Hexateuch (1876-77), must be credited with bringing this new theory to dominance and especially for its popularization. Edward Young, in describing this view put forth a century ago, wrote; According to Wellhausen, the earliest parts of the Pentateuch came from two originally independent docu- Wellhausenism Evaluated 82 merits, the Jehovist and the Elohist- From these two the Jehovist omp piled a work that was principally narrative. In Josiah-s time came Deuteronomy, and the Deuteronomist incorporated this in the Jehovistic work and revised the whole, principally Joshua. The priestly legislation of the Elohim document was largely the work of Ezra. A later redactor then worked over the whole. Leviticus 17-26, while coming from Ezekiel's time, was nevertheless not the work of Ezekiel. l3 Prolegomena zur Geschichte lsraels (Berlin, 1 883) came to have a great influence on Old Testament studies and came to be regarded as one of the most important contributions to Old Testament study of the nineteenth century. In this book Well- hausen endeavored to show that the Mosaic legislation was not the starting point of Israel's religious institutions, but that the Mosaic legislation was a product of priestly thinking originating in the Hebrew community after the Exile. Hahn described the method employed in this work as follows: By combining Graf s method of arranging the ritual laws in logical sequence with Vatke's program for studying the religious institutions of successive historical periods, he was able to show not only that there was an intimate connection between the succession of the Iaw codes and the evolution of religious practices, but also that these parallel developments were intelligible only in the sequence which placed the Priestly Code and the priestly institutions at ,the end.14. In this work Wellhausen, therefore, seemed to confirm the views of Graf and on their foundation erected a detailed history of the cultus which endeavored to incorporate divergent data in a coherent and rational scheme. A detailed analysis of the contents of Wellhausen's Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels may be found in Hans Joachim Kraus' Geschichte der Historisch - Kritischen Er- forschung des Alten Testaments von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart,Is and in Hahn's The Old Testament In Modern Research. l6 Wellhausen's Prolegomena represents an interpreta- tion of Israel's history which Hahn states is "an example of the liberal approach to exegesis."I7 Ha hn claims: " Wellhausen omitted the theological interpretation entirely and emphasized the factor of historical causation instead."17a Emil Kraeling, in The Old Testament Since the Reformation, pointed out that Wellhausen was influenced by the reigning philosophical influence in Germany as it manifested itself during 83 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY the nineteenth century in terms of Hegelianism. In the area of theological interpretation Hegelianism was the order of the day. In describing the milieu in which Wellhausen pursued his studies and researches, Kraeling wrote: Notably the evolutionistic approach that Hegel had applied was having its effect on all historical thinking. Biblical studies now took on a fresh hue, and particularly all efforts to deal with the story of religious development of Israel and early Christianity. Utilizing the results of the criticism pioneered by Eichorn and De Wette but proceeding evolutionistically in the spirit of Hegel, Vatke gave a bril- liant presentation of the development of the Old Testament religion, on which Wellhausen fifty years later still bestowed the praise that it was the most important contribution ever made to the historical understanding of ancient Israel. lX One of the distinctive features of Wellhausen's position was his application of evolution to the literature and history of the Old Testament. His Geschichte Israels I(1878) marked the beginning, according to Kraeling, "of a completely secular and evolutionistic study of Old Testament source^."^^ In the Wellhausen interpreta- tion the prophets assumed much greater importance than had previously been accorded them. This prepared the way for the school of Comparative Religion (Die religionsgeschichtliche Schule), which depicted the development of Old Testament reli- gion as beginning with totemism and animism, followed by polytheism, henotheism, and finally monotheism. Lot har Perlit t, however, contends that Wellhausen himself rejected the idea that he was influenced by Hegelianism and evolutionism.~9a The scheme of Wellhausen found wide acceptance. The new Old Testament science inaugurated by the movement symbolized by Wellhausen sought to be and was scientifically respectable. "It applied methods that had been productive of great results in the study of classical and other literatures to the Old Testament literature."*O Wellhausen's scheme was embraced in Germany by Kautsch, Smend, Giesebrecht, Budde, Stade, Cornill, and others. It was brought to the attention oft he English-speaking world by a Presbyterian minister, William Robertson Smith, in the lectures which were later published as The Old Testament in the Jewish Church ( 188 1). S. R. Driver in his Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament popularized Wellhausenism in England and in America. Native American scholars who showed the influence of Wellhausen were Benjamin Wisner Bacon of Yale in The Genesis of Genesis ( 1893) and The Triple Tradition of Exodus (1894) and C. A. Briggs in Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch. ( 1893). Wellhausenism Evaluated 84 The reconstruction of the Old Testament history as set forth by Wellhausen is generally spoken of as the Graf-Keunen-Well- hausen Hypothesis. It needs to be distinguished from the Documentary Hypothesis, which forms its basis and without which the Wellhausian position could not stand. Young prefers to call Wellhausen's theory the developmental hypothe~is.~' The developmental hypothesis is advocated in such volumes as W.O.E. Oesterley and Theodore H. Robinson, An Introduction to the Book of the Old Testament (London, 1934) and Robert H. Pfeiffer, An Introduction to the Old Testametn (New York, 194 1). The influence of Wellhausen on the younger scholars was profound and far-reaching. Hahn claims that for "a full generation he dominated Old Testament scholarship not only in his own country but in France, England, and America. All the more important histories of Israel, Hebrew literature, and of Old Testament religion, as well as a host of commentaries and intro- ductions, were based more or less directly on the Wellhausen system of Old Testament critici~m."~~ The commentaries, especially, in the series edited by Wilhelm Nowack and Karl Marti and in The International Critical Corn- mentary on the Holy Scriptures, represented this liberal Protes- tant type of exegesis at its best; neither theological nor homiletical in their emphasis, they were strictly critical and hist0rical.2~ The achievements of critical scholarship, spearheaded by Wellhausen and his followers was so great that Clemens claims: "that the Church was not ready for this may be seen readily conceded and is simply shown by the heresy trials to which Smith was subjected. Nevertheless the achievement of critical scholarship was in the interpretation of the Old Testament immense, so that by the turn of the century virtually all the major centres of theological learning in Europe had embraced its methods and its basic conclusions."*3 111. Evaluation and Criticism of Wellhausenism by Critical Scholars 1. Criticism by Critical Scholars in the Late Nineteenth Century In the one hundred years which have elapsed since the publica- tion of Wellhausen's Old Testament writings, various criticisms of his reconstruction of Old Testament history and Old Testament theology have appeared. Scholars committed to the historical- critical approach, as well as those opposed to the naturalism and nihilism associated with the liberal approach to the Old Testa- ment, have subjected Wellhausen's views to criticism. 85 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY W. W. Graf Baudissin argued against Wellhausen that the essential basis of P was earlier than Deuteronomy, as did also Rudolf Kittel. In 1872 Eduard Riehm wrote convincingly against the stance that the P document is the latest part of the Hebrew Torah. In 1877 Franz Delitzsch attacked the idea of the lateness of the P document. The eminent Orientalist Noeldecke also refused to accept Wellhausen's dating of P. Among Jewish scholars C. G. Montefiore in his Hibbert Lec- tures of 1892 accepted most of the Wellhausian views, but David Hoffman wrote against Wellhausen, basing his rejection on a study of the Halachah (i.e., the legal part of Jewish tradition) and endeavored to show the impossibility of the lateness of P, In 1892 Klostermann rejected the Four-Source Documentary Hypothesis and replaced it with a new theory which, in the history of Pentateuchal Criticism, has come to be known as the crystallization hypothesis. He claimed what is given as the Mosaic Law in the Pentateuch experienced constant expansion as it was used in public worship. The laws regarding the tabernacle were expanded during the age of Solomon; again, during the reign of Josiah, expansions were made of which Deuteronomy was supposed to provide evidence. 2. Twentieth-Century Critical Evaluations of Wellhausenism The twentieth century has likewise witnessed many attacks upon the views of Wellhausen and his school and followers. Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932) was one of these scholars. In describing the interpretations of Israel's religious development against which Gunkel reacted, Clemens writes: For Wellhausen, the interpretation of the Hexateuch, when understood critically, provided a key to the under- standing of the whole development of Israel's religion. Nevertheless it offered, in his estimation, only a very limited guide towards a knowledge of the real beginning of Israel in the days of Moses and the patriarchs. In his scheme even ,the earliest of the Hexateuchal sources had not been composed before the middle of the ninth century B.C., and so it could tell us nothing of the nature of the oldest religion of Israel. Rather, as Wellhausen believed, it reflected the situation that had developed by the time of its composition. It was this con- clusion that was challenged, and replaced by a more convincing alternative, in the work of Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932).*4 Hermann Gunkel, now known as the father of form criticism Gattungsgeschichte), became convinced that there was a rela- tionship between the Old Testament literature and that of the Wellhausenism Evaluated 86 non-Hebrew religions of the Neat East. The claim of Gunkel that the Bible could have received influences from other peoples of the Near East was rejected by Wellhausen in an article entitled, "Zur apokalyptischen Literat~r."~~ Gunkel did not completely reject the Wellhausen position, but he did believe that behind each of the major documents (J-E-D-P) there was a long literary history and that views.reflected in these four sources of the Documentary Hypothesis were not merely those of the times at which the documents were composed. Thus, the composition of these documents was only the last phase in the history of the material they contained. The documents were preceded by an earlier stage when the materials were independent and were handed down by word of mouth. The documents were composed of different types of literary genre, called by Gunkel Gattungen, and the difference in the Gattungen was determined by the life situation that gave birth to the (Sitz irn Leben). In assessing the contribution of Gunkel, Clemens claims that "by examining the narratives and laws separately as individual units, Gunkel believed that it was possible to recover a knowledge of a much earlier period of Israel's life than that in which the final composition of the source documents had taken place." In comparing their respective achievements Glemens continues: Thus whereas Wellhausen's brilliant source criticism had brought to light four main layers, or stages, in the growth of the Hexateuch, each with its own reflection of Israel's reli- gious institutions, Gunkel was able to carry this much further into obtaining a picture of greater depth than Wellhausen had a~hieved.~6 Another critical scholar to disagree with Wellhausen's under- standing of the development of Hebrew history was Martin Noth, who utilized the methods and insights of Albrecht Alt. Noth in- corporated his conclusions into a History of a book which Clemens claimed became one of the most widely used text- books in Europe. Noth used geographical and archaeological data and also drew information from rediscovered chronicles of Near Eastern nations. Noth presented a picture of Israel's history which differed considerably from that given by Wellhausen in his writings. In setting forth the differences between the two men Clemens says: Whereas Wellhausen had concentrated almost exclusively upon Old Testament source material, and had aimed chiefly at offering a convincing and credible picture of the history of Israel's religious institutions, Noth strove for something that approaches very much closer to a 'secular' history of the people. Hence he considered much more extensively the 87 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY problems of Israel's political structure and development.28 When Wellhausen was at the height of his influence, source analysis was the primary concern of Old Testament scholarship. The twentieth century has witnessed the development of form criticism, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and structural exegesis, approaches which rejected many of the basic assump- tions and conclusions of Wellhausen. Various aspects of the Four-Source Documentary Hypothesis have been under attack by many scholars. The article on "Biblical Criticism" in The Pictorial Biblical Encyclopedia states the following about the Graf-Wellhausen theory: Recent research has questioned .the extremes of the documentary analysis, rejecting many of the disconnected strands into which the biblical books are splintered, although a majority of modern scholars still make use of the classical theory. This, therefore, deserves to be understood side by side with the new schools and theories of re~earch.~9 Again this article observes: As archaeological discoveries provided a whole range of extra-bi blical sources against which to assess the biblical narra- tives, a reaction set in against the too-neat, but unsupported theories of "documentary analysis" and its splitting of the Old Testament text into different disconnected strands.30 driting in 1955, Flack in his article on the Pentateuch stated: In the past four decades the changes produced into Pentateuchal criticism have tended toward a distrust and even disintegration of the documentary hypothesis. Critics have posited not only divisions and alternations in the four principal sources, J, E, D, and P, but also numerous additional documents.31 Cyrus Gordon made one of the most important repudiations of the Graf-Wellhausen theory in an article in Christianit.~ Today.32 In this article Gordon, a veteran Near Eastern archaeologist and an outstanding linguist, gave reasons why he as a one-time proponent of the JEDP theory came to see the theory's in- adequacies. Gordon warned that the critical methodology was failing to take seriously the facts of the ancient Near Eastern Sitz im Leben, a failure which could only result in negating the truly authentic material in the Old Testament.33 Yehezkel Kaufmann, eminent scholar of the Hebrew Universi- ty of Jerusalem, has asserted: Wellhausen's arguments complemented each other nicely, and offered what seemed to be a solid foundation upon Wellhausenism Evaluated 88 which to build the house of biblical criticism. Since then, how- ever, both the evidence and the arguments supporting the structure have been called into question and to some extent, even rejected. Yet biblical scholarship, while admitting that the grounds have crumbled away, nevertheless continues to adhere to the conclusions. The critique of Wellhausen's theory which began some forty years ago has not been consistently carried through to its end. Equally unable to accept the theory in its classical formulation and to return to the precritical views of tradition, biblical scholarship has entered upon a period of search for new foundations.J4 IV. Attacks by Conservative Scholars on Wellhausenism in the 19th and 20th Centuries The strongest attacks against Wellhausen were made by those who subscribed to the supernatural character of the Old Testament. It is not too difficult to see why Wellhausen in his day was called "der Umsturzler" (the overthrower), "Glaubensfeind" (enemy of the faith), and "Leugner der Offenbarung" (denier of revelation)35 because his views were radically different from what the Old Testament taught and what also was believed by Christ and His apostles, as is clear from a number of New Testament passages. Among conservative scholars who attacked T...c,, < Wellhausenism were Edwin Cone Bissel, who in me Pentateuch: Its Origin and Structure dealt with the weaknesses of Wellhausen's theory; and the Lutheran scholar Wilhelm Moeller, in 1889, published his Hist orisch- Kritische Bedenken gegen die Graf- Wellhausenden Hypothese von einem frueheren Anhaenger. Gerhardus Vos of Princeton Theological Seminary issued in 1886 The Mosaic Origin ofthe Pentateuchal Codes, in which he refuted the views of Wellhausen. Another professor of Princeton Seminary who at- tacked the views of Wellhausen was W. H. Green, professor of Oriental and Old Testament Literature. Following in the spiritual footsteps of men like Hengstenberg, Haevernick, and Keil, Green carried on the tradition of defending the Old Testament against its detractors. Green showed his analytical ability in dealing with Biblical issues in his earliest writing, The Pentateuch Vindicated from the Aspersions of Bishop Calenso ( 1863). Twenty years later Green replied to Kuenen and William Robertson Smith in his Moses and the Prophets. In the Newton Lectures of 1885 Green attacked the developmental hypothesis and published them as The Hebrew Feasts. In the opinion of Archer the most thoroughgoing refutation of Wellhausenism was made by Green. Thus Archer wrote; The most thoroughgoing refutation of Wellhausen 89 CONCORDlA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY hypothesis to appear at the end of the nineteenth century in America was furnished by William Henry Green of Prince- ton in his Unity of the Book of Genesis (1895) and Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch (1896). With great erudition and skill he showed how inadequately the hypothesis explained the actual data of the Biblical text, and upon what illogical and self-contradictory bases the critical criteria rested.J6 The most recent thoroughgoing critique of Wellhausenism has appeared in Gleason L. Archer's A Surve-y of Old Testament In- troduction. Chapter 1 1 is entitled: "Wellhausen's Reconstruction of Hebrew History in the Pre-Prophetic and Prophetic Periods" and chapter 12 treats of "Wellhausen's Reconstruction of Hebrew History in the Priestly Period."J7 Edward Young has given a brief critique of the developmental hypothesis in his Introduction to the Old Testament.38 Roland Kenneth Harrison likewise has given his own evaluation as well as a history of those scholarly efforts of the critics that have disredited basic Wellausian positions.39 Critical scholars claim that there are at least four different criteria by means of which the JEDP documentscan be separated from each other in the present text of the Pentateuch or even, as some contend, in the Hexateuch (the first six books of Old Testa- ment).40 These alleged criteria are the use of different divine names, the existetEe of contradictory accounts called doublets, differences in literary style, and differences in theological outlo~k.~' A number of conservative Christian and Jewish scholars have examined the arguments for these criteria and have refuted them. G. Ch. Aalders, formerly profeseor of Old Testament at the Free University of Amsterdam, dealt with these arguments in his book, A Short Introduction to the Pentate~ch.~t Oswald T. Allis, professor at Princeton and Westminster seminaries, examined these four criteria and thoroughly refuted them in 7he Five Books of Moses (1943). Allis rejected the modern view that the Pentateuch is a late compilation from diverse and conflicting sources by the authors and editors whose identity was completely unknown? Merrill F. Unger, former professor of Old Testa- ment and Semitic Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, in his Introductory Guide to the Old Testament subjected the views of critical scholarship to a thoroughgoing critique and analysis from within the context of Scriptural supernaturalism. He has shown from the viewpoint of an inspired and infallible Scripture the untenability of adhering to the Final Documentary Hypothesis.44 A number of Jewish scholars challenged the Wellhausen approach in this century. Umberto Cassuto made a frontal attack Wellhausenism Evaluated 90 upon the Documentary Hypothesis in eight lectures published in Hebrew in 1941, of which an English translation appeared in 1961 .45 Another scholar of the University of Jerusalem, M.H. Segal, has shown the weakness of certain aspects of the Documen- tary Hypothesis in a lengthy article.46 The developmental hypothesis, as taught and advocated by the Wellhausen school, is essentially anti-supernaturalistic in character. The intervention of Yahweh-Elohim in the affairs of His chosen people is completely eliminated. Wellhausen presents the development of Israel's religion on purely naturalistic grounds. This means that there is no essential difference between the religions of the Near Eastern world - that the differences between the Old Testament religion and other religions is one of degree and not of kind. On the basis .of powers allegedly found within the Hebrew faith, its religious conceptions developed with- out Yahweh having anything to do with them. The religion of Israel is to be dealt with as a researcher would handle and investigate any other body of religious data in the world. The uniqueness of the Hebraeo-Christian faith is repudiated as unacceptable. The traditional stance of orthodox Judaism that the Old Testament is the Word of God; the belief of historic Roman Catholicism and of historic Protestantism that the Old Testament was inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore is unique has been totally surrendered. The gulf bet- the historical- critical approach to the Old Testament and that of Christ'and His apostles, as reflected in the New Testament, is unbridgeable. The two appraoches are diametrically opposed to each other. If the position of Wellhausen and his followers is correct, then we may ask with Young: If this is so, why did Israel alone develop such sublime doctrines? There were deep thinkers elsewhere, and philosophers of ability also, but no other nation produced conceptions of God such as those contained in the Old Testa- ment. For this the Christian Church, of course, has the answer. It is that God intervened in a special way in Israel's history. This is also the plain teaching of the Bible itself.47 If the Final Four-Source Documentary Hypothesis is correct, then two of the legal documents of the Pentateuch are a fraud. Both the priestly legislation found in Leviticus and the Deuteronomic code, which are specifically attributed to Moses, are not written by him. The Biblical text states many times that Moses was given these laws by God and that he was the mediator of these law codes. Critics, however, claim that ascription of these law codes to Moses was simply a device employed by later writers to gain a hearing for these law codes and cultic practices. Such a 9 1 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY view undermines the moral character of the Bible and causes people to lose faith in the Scriptures as a reliable guide in matters of religion and ethics. Concerning this matter Young observed: "And the shocking nature of this assumption becomes particu- larly clear when we remember that it was none other than the Lord of truth who repelled the temptation of the evil one by quoting from the book of De~teronomy."~8 V. Archaeology and Wellhausenism When Wellhausen was erecting his hypothesis he based some of his arguments and conclusions concerning the historicity of the Old Testament upon the data archaeology had made available in the nineteenth century. For instance, it was assumed that writing was unknown at Moses' time and that therefore the Pentateuch could not have been written by him. However, since the days of Hupfeld, Graf, and Wellhausen, archaeological discovery has confirmed the use of alphabetic writing in Cannaanite-speaking cultures of 1500 B.C. In fact, it is now known that there were in existence five different types of alphabetic writings which Moses could have used in writing the Pentateuch. Many of the assumptions and conclusions of the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis have been discredited by archaeology. Nations and individuals whose historicity was once questioned have been shown by archaeology to have existed as taught by the Old Testament. W. F. Albright wrote in 1941 : Archaeological and inscriptional data have established the historicity of innumerable passages and statements of the Old Testament; the number of such cases is many times greater than those where the reverse has been proved or has been made probable.49 In the same article Albright asserted: "Wellhausen still ranks in our eyes as the greatest Biblical scholar of the nineteenth century. But his standpoint is antiquated and his picture of the earl-v evolu- tion of Israel is sadb dist~rted."~~ Archaeological discoveries from Rash Shamra, ancient Ugarit, and now from Tell Mardikh, ancient Ebla, provide evidence favoring the conservative interpretation of the Old Testament.5' For example, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain were considered to be mythical, but now tablets from Ebla show that these cities existed before Abraham's time, during the period between 2400 and 2250 B.C. The people of Ebla seem to have known a god Yah in addition to I1 or El. The separation of portions of Genesis from each other because of the use of Yahweh or Elohim seems out of order in the light of the inscriptional data from Ebla. A creation tablet has been found which is much closer Wellhausenism Evaluated 92 to Genesis 1, with its creation of nothing, than to the Enuma Elish Epic.52 According to Bright53 and Mendenhall,S4 Wellhausenism in its classic form has ceased to exist. Thus Mendenhall asserted: "Perhaps the most important gap in the field of Old Testament history is the lack of an adequate hypothesis to replace that of Wellhausen."55 In the place of the regnant Wellhausian theory, new views have been proposed such as those of the Form-Critical School and the Traditio-historical or Uppsala School.56 Although these new schools differ in some respects, they have one feature in common: they all reject the Mosaic dating and the full trust worthiness of the Pentateuch. VI. The Effects of Wellhausenism on the Christian Church For the last one hundred years the theological position of many Christian churches has been weakened through the use of negative Biblical criticism. In 1961 Bright wrote: . . . . . it is impossible to make general statements regar- ding any phase of Biblical criticism today without running the risk of oversimplification. The whole field is in a state of flux. It is moving, certainly, but it is not always easy to say in what direction. Sometimes it gives the impression that it is moving in several mutually cancelling directions at once. Even upon major points there is often little unanimity to be observed. As a result, scarcely a single statqmsnt can be made about the field that would not be subject to qualification. Indeed, perhaps the only safe generalization possible is that the critical orthodoxy of a generation ago, with its apparent certainties and assured results, has gone, but that no new consensus has taken its pla~e.5~ In 1963 Hans Wolff complained that the Old Testament was dead and was no longer preached from the pulpit.5s Walter Wink claimed that "the historical criticism is bankrupt.59 Thus he wrote: Biblical criticism is not bankrupt because it has run out of things to say or new ground to explore. It is bankrupt solely because it is incapable of achieving what most of its practitioners considered its purpose to be: so to interpret the Scriptures that the past becomes alive and illumines our pre- sent with new possibilities for personal and social transfor- rnati0n.m Wink claims to be an ally of a group of scholars who have spoken out against a form of scholarship found in liberal Protestant seminaries which has "gone to seed but which, by sheer abundance of seeds, flourishes everywhere in the land."hl From a historical Lutheran stance Wellhausen's theological position is totally unacceptable because of its rationalism and its 93 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY denigration of the Bible, demoting the latter from its status as the Word of God to a collection of human writings. Wellhausen him- self, whom we must respect for his integrity, recognized this fact. When he wrote to the Secretary of Cultural Affairs while he was professor of theology at the University of Greifswald asking for a transfer to another faculty, he stated: Your Excellency will perhaps remember that I asked you at Easter-time 1880 to transfer me, if possible, to the philosophical faculty and that I tried to give you my reasons at that time: I became a theologian because I was interested in scientific work with the Bible; only gradually 1 realized that a professor of theology has the practical duty of preparing students for service in the Evanglical Church, and that I could not meet this requirement, but in spite of my dis- cretion and reserve made them unfit for the ministry. Since that time my theological professorship has been a burden on my con~cience.~~ FOOTNOTES I. Hans Joachim Kraus, Geschichte der Historischen-Kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart (Neukirchen: Kreis Moers, 1956). p. 239. 2. Herbert F. Hahn, ?he Old Testament in Modern Research with a Survey of Recent Literature by Horace Hummel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), p. l I. - 3. W. Neil, "The Criticism and Theological Use of the Bible, 1700-1950," The Cambridge History of the Bible, edited by S. L. Greenslade (Cambridge: University Press, 1963). 111, p. 284. 4. Ronald Clemens, One Hundred Years of Old Testament Interpretation (Philadelphia: Westminster Press), p. 152. 5. Ibid., p. 151. 6. Based on materials found in H. F. Kraus, op. cit., pp. 235-239; Clemens, op. cit., pp. 7-1 1. 7. J. Wellhausen, Der Text der Buecher Samuelis (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 187 1). 8. J. Wellhausen, Geschichte lsraels, 1 (Marburg, 1878); second edition, Prolegomena zur Geschichte lsraels ( Marburg, 1883). An English transla- tion of the second edition made by J. S. Black and A. Menzies entitled Prolegomena to the History of lsraelwas published in 1885. A reprint of this book with a further change in the title to Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel was made in 1957 (Harper Torch-books. New York). 9. "Julius Wellhausen," in Elgin S. Mayer, Who Was Who in Church History (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), pp. 430-43 1. 10. Kraus, op. cit., p. 237. I I. Hahn, op. cit., p. 12. 12. Edward J. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1964), pp. 136-1 38. 13. Ibid., p. 137. 14. Hahn, op. cit., p. 12. 15. Kraus, op. cit., pp. 240-248. 16. Hahn, op. cit., pp. 13-17. Wellhausenism Evaluated 94 17. Ibid., p. 12. 17a. Ibid., p. 13. 18. Kraeling, op. (-it., p. 73. 19. Ibid., p. 94. 19a. Lothar Perlitt, Vatke und Wellhausen (Berlin: Verlag Van Topelmann, 1965) pp. I 59- 164. 20. Kraeling, op. cit.. p. 94. 21. Young, op. cit., pp. 136-137. 22. Hahn, op. cit., p. 19. 23. Clemens, op. cit., p. 2. 24. Ibid., p. 12. 25. J. Wellhausen, "Zur apokalyptischen Literatur," reprinted in Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, V I, 1 899, pp. 2 15-249. 26. Clemens, op. cit., p. 15. 27. Martin Noth, The History of Israel (London: A.S.C. Black 1958). p. 479. 28. Clemens, op. cit., p. 45. 29. Gaalyahu Cornfeld et al., Pictorial Biblical Encyclopedia (New York: Macmillan Company, 1964), ). 172. 30. Ibid. 3 1. Elmer E. Flack, "Pentateuch," in Twentieth Century Encyclopedia, Lefferts A. Loetscher, editor-in-chief (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1955), 11, 863. 32. Cyrus Gordon, "Forbidden Fruit," Christianity Toda.v, IV (Nov. 26, 1956), pp. 131-134. 33. Roland Kenneth Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans PubIishing Company, 1969), p. 79. 34. Yehezkel Kaufmann, The Religion of Israel, translated and abridged by Moshe Greenberg (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960). p. I. 35. Kraus, op. cit., p. 236. 36. Archer, op. cit., p. 82. 37. Archer, op. cit.. pp. 132-1 46; 147-1 54. 38. Young, op. cit., pp. 138-140. 39. Roland Kenneth Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdsmans Publishing Company, 1969, pp. 19-6 1. 40. L. A. Bushinski-A. van Born, "Pentateuch," in Louis. F. Hartman, ed., Encyclopedia Dictionary of the Bible (New York: McGraw-Hill book Company, 1963), pp. 1790- 1793. 41. Gleason Archer, A Survev of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963), p. 84. 42. G. Ch. Aalders, A Short Introduction to the Pentateuch (Chicago and Toronto: Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, no date), pp. 30-71. 43. Oswald T. Allis, The Five Books ofMoses (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1943), pp. 2 1 - 126. 44. Merrill F. Unger, Introductorv Guide to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1950). pp. 2 13-276. 45. U. Cassuto, 7he Doc~mentar~y Hvpothesis (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jersulem, 196 I), pp. 5- I 10. 46. M. H. Segal, 7he Pentateuch-Its Composition and Its Authorship. (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1967). 47. Young, op. cit., pp. 136-138. 48. Ibid., p. 140. 49. W. F. Albright, The American Scholar, 1941. p. 181. 50. Ibid., p. 185. Italics supplied. 5 1. "Rash Shamra," Wycliffe Bible Enc.vclopedia, edited by Charles F. ~feiffer, H. Vos, and John Rea (Chicago: Moody Press, 1975), 11. p. 1444. Clifford Wilson, Ebla Tablets: Secrets of a Forgotten Civ (San Diego: Master Books, Division of GLP), 1977. 52. Wilson, op. cit., pp. 4849. 53. John Bright, "Modern Study of the Old Testament Literature," in G. Ernst Wright, editor, The Bibleandthe Ancient Near East (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1961), p. 18. 54. George E. Mendenhall, "Biblical History in Transition," in E. G. Wright, ed., The Bible and Ancient Near East, p. 34. 55. Ibid., p. 38. 56. Bright, "Modern Study of Old Testament Literature." op. cit., p. 21. 57. Ibid. 58. Hans Wolff, Gesammelte Studien zum AIten Testament (Muenchen: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1963), p. 35. 59. Walter wink, The ~ible in Human Transformation (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973), p. 2. 60. Ibid. 61. Ibid. 62. As given in Kraus, op. cit., pp. 236-237; italics supplied. Cf. also Manfred Roensch, "A Critical Investigation of the So-Called Historical-Critical Method in the Interpretation of Holy Scripture," The Sprinflelder, XXVl I, (Spring, 1964), pp. 3242.