Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Torah and Canon: 2nd Edition,
James A. Sanders, Cascade Books, 2005, page 45
Sanders moves on - he is, sadly, a supporter of the now becoming discredited JEDP Documentary Hypothesis - to consider the role of redaction (editing) and collation upon the tradition. Bear with him ...
As the history of Israel and Judah gradually became clear through comparative study of ancient texts, philology, archaeology and other areas of analysis, it became apparent that Israel in passing on her stories and accounts knew that they were continually relevant to the passing generations because they constantly refreshed their knowledge of who they were and where they came from. In order to show that relevance the process of repetition and recitation involved making the old understandable to the new, and the traditioning process involved editing to make it so. But fortunately, the editing left traces of the process because the later editor who wanted to show relevance to his generation needed to keep the old story or account as much the same as possible so that it kept its authority for the people.
Do we constantly refresh our story of faith as we pass it on to successive generations? Do we have adequate content or do we skimp on the story, rendering it non-authoritative because there is too little or has been trivialised?