O que aconteceu com o Javista na atual pesquisa do Pentateuco? Van Seters responde a Rolf Rendtorff

Se você leu o meu post O que aconteceu com o Javista na atual pesquisa do Pentateuco? Ele desapareceu e levou consigo a Hipótese Documentária, explica Rolf Rendtorff, agora leia as observações de Van Seters sobre o texto de Rendtorff. Estas observações foram feitas através de carta ao Forum da SBL. Cito alguns trechos de Some remarks of the paper by Rolf Rendtorff, “What happened to the ‘Yahwist’?”, escrito por Van Seters, Professor Emérito da Universidade da Carolina da Norte em Chapel Hill, USA.

Sobre Von Rad:

I strongly protested against what I regard as Rendtorff’s misrepresentation of von Rad’s position by his dismissal of the Yahwist as an author and historian. Anyone reading through von Rad’s corpus cannot be in doubt about how strongly he felt about the Yahwist as author and historian. His study, “Das formgeschichtliche Problem des Hexateuch,” was primarily to dispute Gunkel’s treatment of the Yahwist as merely a random and accidental collection of old traditions and to argue that the work is that of an historian. He says very little about the Yahwist as theologian. It was Noth, in his study of the Pentateuch, who preferred to follow Gunkel and who also spoke of the process of tradition accumulation as theological, and Rendtorff has followed this line, not that of von Rad.


Sobre Van Seters:

When comes to characterize my own work on the Yahwist, he tries to represent me as creating “a new kind of Yahwist … an individual personality; he is not a theologian like von Rad’s Yahwist, but a historian.” As suggested above, this misrepresents both von Rad and me. I have simply followed von Rad’s suggestion that J is a historian, but I do not deny that within J’s history there is a theology and I have written on the subject. That is a completely false choice. What is even more puzzling is Rendtorff’s assertion that for me there is only one source or author in the Pentateuch and that my views represent a “reduced documentary hypothesis, namely a one-document hypothesis.” That bears no resemblance to my views at all. I have rejected the “traditional” E source, but there were a number of scholars before me who did that so there is nothing new there. I retain Deuteronomy and P as separate sources in the largely “traditional sense” so that there remain for me three major sources. Where I part from the Documentary Hypothesis is in the rejection of the role of redactor or editor (see my book noted above) as the one who combined these sources. Instead, I advocate the theory of a successive supplementation of one source or author by another. I have even characterized my work as the “New Supplementary Hypothesis” but Rendtorff has ignored all of this.


Sobre o livro Abschied vom Jahwisten:

A number of those scholars who have followed Rendtorff’s lead in getting rid of the Yahwist as author are reflected in the book Abschied vom Jahwisten, which is reviewed by Rendtorff in this paper. I heard that such a book was in the works but I was not asked to contribute or respond to it. However, in a second volume on this same theme “Farewell to the Yahwist,” I have contributed a paper, “The Report of the Yahwist’s Demise has been Greatly Exaggerated!,” in which I seek to respond to this movement to get rid of the Yahwist (…) I will not comment here on any of these scholars cited by Rendtorff in his support, except to say that they have largely replaced the Yahwist by a series of redactors. They retained the source P, for some strange reason, although large chunks of it have also become the work of the ubiquitous redactor. It was the Documentary Hypothesis that created the redactor as a literary devise, a dues ex machina, to make the whole theory work. That is the only really distinctive feature of the Documentary Hypothesis and it is this part of the theory that Rendtorff and others have retained. Now we supposedly have editors without any authors, which is absurd, and the whole literary process has become known as “redaction criticism.” It is high time that the “redactor” takes his leave and the author is restored to his rightful place in literary criticism.

Van Seters faz ainda, na mesma carta, algumas observações sobre a resposta de David Clines a Rendtorff.

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