Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UPDATE: I have some more info on that book I blogged about yesterday...

The book is "Great People of the Bible" by Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, Conv. Copyright 1985 by Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.Y. Imprimatur by Joseph T. O'Keefe, D.D., Vicar General, Archdiocese of New York.

To illustrate what I was talking about yesterday, I'll quote a few passages. With "Adam The First Man", Winkler begins, "When we think back to reflect upon our ancestors, a certain pattern usually develops. For the first few generations we know numerous details about them--names, dates, places. As the clock goes back, however, we slowly lose the details.

"Eventually we are left with nothing more than a name by which we can remember them, and then we pass to the time when even names are lost.

"The authors of the court of King David and Solomon (called the Yahwist school of writing) faced a similar development when they wrote about how God had guided Israel. ...

"These sacred writers wanted to state that they firmly believed God had guided their ancestors always, even from the first days of creation. However, they faced a practical difficulty of having so little information with which they could work. They didn't even have a name to assign to the first man or woman.

"It was for that reason that these authors searched the pagan myths of their days for elements that they might borrow for the account of creation. They borrowed selectively, though, carefully removing anything that was blatantly pagan.

"Their account (Genesis 2) made it very clear that they believed God had created the first man and woman. They gave the first man a generic name, Adam, for that name in Hebrew means nothing more than 'man.' ...

"Around 400 years after the first account had been written, another school of authors, the Priestly authors, wrote their own account of creation (Gensis 1) to complete the first account. In this account creation is spread out over a seven-day period."

The narrative goes on like that for a few paragraphs. JEPD sound familiar to anyone? Particulary J/Jehova (or Y as in Yahwe, as in the Yahwist school of writing) and P (the priestly authors)? It would if you were familiar with the Documentary Hypothesis.

In describing Cain and Abel (they share a page) Winkler writes, "The Yahwist authors who wrote the story of Cain and Abel recognized the wrongness in fraternal violence. It so shocked them that they decided to use the story of fratricide as an example of how society could quickly and disasterously degenerate after sin had entered the world."

It's a pity that more isn't known about the so-called "Yahwist authors" since, if they really existed and if they wrote what the author credits them with, they've had an amazing and altogether disproportionate influence, for good or for ill, on the future of the entire world.

I speak to Christians here and especially to Catholics. Those outside the body of Christ will doubtless find plenty of ammunition against us with this book and even with these quotes I'm giving. I would simply warn them that the ammunition is wet and rather old. It may take down an unarmed man (the children the book was intended for) but not one who has studied and made themselves familiar with the fallacies and gaping holes in the Documentary Hypothesis.

A good source that I found back in 2004 is this article by Doug Beaumont:


Here's another one I found a year later by Wilbert R. Gawrisch:


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