Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Death of Biblical Minimalism vs Harry McCall: Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch is Unfounded

What are the odds that on the same day Dr. Claude Mariottini would post an article on Biblical Minimalism as John Loftus would post a comment from a Harry McCall that attempts to prove that Moses did not write the Pentateuch? It is amazing. Mariottini's article was in my RSS  feed before Loftus' post. It's like getting the antidote before the poison shows up. 

Dr. Mariottini defined Biblical Minimalism as follows:

Biblical minimalists have a very low concept of the Bible.  Those who hold a minimalist view of the Bible believe that the Bible was written in the Persian period and that the facts contained in the Bible cannot be used to write an authoritative history of Biblical Israel.

Dr. Mariottini goes on to explain why scholarship is moving away from that view. Juxtaposed with McCall' statement it becomes obvious that  Mariottini's post addresses McCall's concerns in a general fashion. McCall is quoted as writing:

The belief that either Moses wrote the Pentateuch or that it predates the Deuteronomistic History (Deuteronomy – II Kings) is unfounded by the Biblical facts themselves:

(Yet it is clear that Jesus thought Moses gave Israel the Law: “Did not Moses give you the Law,…” John 7: 19). Thus, if the modern critical view of the Bible is correct, then Jesus himself is subject to error.)

Point A: Why do latter books of the Bible totally ignore early Mosaic Laws - such as when Elijah is commanded by God to eat what unclean ravens brought (1 Kings 17:6) - especially when the Law clearly forbids eating that which has been torn by beasts?

1. "You shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs." Exodus 22: 31

2. "Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it." Lev. 7: 24

3. "He shall not eat an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, becoming unclean by it; I am the LORD." Lev 22: 8)

Some more Biblcial proofs of the LATE creation of the “Mosaic Law” (Pentateuch) is listed below:

Point B: Why did Samuel hesitate to anoint a king over Israel (1 Samuel 8) when Samuel already had Deuteronomy 17: 15?

Point C: Why did Elijah build an altar to Yahweh away from the legitimate central sanctuary?

Point D: Why can Hezekiah quote no “Mosaic Law” for his reform, whereas Josiah does (2 Chronicles 31 to 2 Kings 23)?

Point E: Why does Deuteronomy permit Levites to come to the altar where as Leviticus does not? Link.

Again while, Mariottini does not address points A-E, he does talk about why we should think of the Pentateuch as authoritative regarding the Biblical history of Biblical Israel - which McCall denies. This discussion does not depend on whether or not you believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch in his own hand or if was passed from Moses by oral tradition. The bottom line is that Jesus in various places in the Old Testament testified that the Law came from Moses and many times appealed to it as binding and authoritative. This is a point worth contending on. I will be giving a more detailed response to McCall's 5 points because they deserve some added space and time to wrestle with. I would highly suggest that anyone interested in this issue should read Dr. Mariottini's article closely at the following link.

The Death of Biblical Minimalism | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament

You can read McCall's quote at the following link:

Debunking Christianity: Harry McCall: Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch is Unfounded

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