Josia

2006: Der archimedische Punkt der Pentateuchkritik

‘Der archimedische Punkt der Pentateuchkritik – zur josianischen Datierung des Deuteronomiums’, Jahrbuch für evangelikale Theologie 20 (2006) 115-137.

Pdf: JeTh – 2006 – Josia und Deuteronomium

Im 19. Jahrhunderte wurden wichtige Entscheidungen über die historischen Glaubwürdigkeit von Pentateuch und Chronik gefällt. Die Rekonstruktion der Geschichte unter dem Einfluss naturalistischer Voraussetzungen und die dieser folgenden Exegese gewann einen großen Einfluss. De Wettes These lieferte der Pentateuchkritik den archimedischen Punkt um die synagogal-kirchliche Tradition aus den Angeln zu heben. Doch wenn dieser Punkt nicht fest steht, ist es nicht mehr möglich, aufgrund dieser Argumente eine bestimmte Datierung des Pentateuchs und seiner Teile zu liefern. Heute hat das Interesse an diachronen Fragen nachgelassen, doch ist an manchen Stellen der Einfluss dieser Rekonstruktion noch spürbar, betrachtet man die neuen Formen der Exegese, speziell in Datierungsfragen. Darum ist es gut, die Geschichte der Exegese zu kennen.

Summary in Englishl: The decisive point in pentateuchal criticism: dating Deuteronomy in the time of Josiah

For centuries is has been assumed, in synagogue and church, that the authorship of the book of Deuteronomy rests with Moses himself. Yet in 1805 Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette defended a thesis expressing a completely different view. According to him, the book of Deuteronomy is of a more recent date. He states that is was written in the 7th century B.C., shortly before the reformation of king Josiah. More and more the view expressed in this thesis has gained widespread approval. J. Wellhausen in particular contributed to this by his book Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (1878).

In this article Mart-Jan Paul gives some observations from the history of exegesis. The arguments of De Wette were partly exegetical, but were also influenced by the Enlightment. The author cites several forerunners of the Enlightment, who were characterised by a rationalistic and deistic slant, and question the integrity of the high priest Hilkiah with regard to the finding of the old book of the law.

De Wette assumes that there was no centralisation of the cult in the oldest history of Israel, and therefore the law of Ex 20,24-26 has to be much older than the obligation for centralisation in Dtn 12. The book of Chronicles is untrustworthy and a tabernacle did not exist. Only after the elimination of these stumbling blocks could De Wette and Wellhausen give an alternative history of the cult in Israel.

In the second part of this article Paul gives a critical evaluation of the main arguments for this view on the centralisation of the cult. He assumes two levels in the cult in ancient Israel: a local level (Ex 20; Dtn 16, 27, 33) and a national level (Tabernacle in Ex 25-40; Dtn 12). It is not necessary to see a tension between the two levels and to attribute them to different ages in history.

In the last century many archaeological finds give us a better understanding of the cult [S. 137] in the Ancient Near East. There is no longer any necessity to question the historicity of the tabernacle. The late dating of Deuteronomy is thus open for reconsideration.

1988 : Het archimedisch punt van de pentateuchkritiek

Het Archimedisch Punt van de Pentateuchkritiek. Een historisch en exegetisch onderzoek naar de verhouding van Deuteronomium en de reformatie van Koning Josia (2 Kon 22-23).

Dissertatie Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 1988.
ISBN 9023911857

Pdf: English Summary Ph.D. – 1988.
The Archimedean Point of Pentateuch Criticism. A historical and exegetical research into the relation between Deuteronomy and the reformation of king Josiah (2 Kings 22-23).