Saturday, November 11, 2023

Fr Casey Cole considered St. Thomas Aquinas as a Muslim (by Implication)

Scholars Don't Think Moses Wrote the Torah. Who did?
Breaking In The Habit, 8 Nov. 2023

1) Genesis 1 and 2 — panorama and closeup.

Genesis 4 and 5 — some were called after others, directly or with evasion of identic name. The man who went up to God without dying was arguably named after the man who was honorary city founder (the real founder being his father). One would need to be a Hindu and call them Bharat instead of Henoch to confuse them!

Flood — the call for one pair of each = when God told Moses to build the Ark, the call for seven (pairs?) of clean animals = when Noah was taking them aboard. Anachronism? If meant as about written revealed legislation by God, yes, but if it meant customs on sacrificial animals after Abel, no, not necessarily. Abel sacrificed either a sheep, clean, or a goat, clean, or sth ancestral to both, also clean.

Two different lengths? Not really. There is a difference between up to when one could look out and up to when one could step out.

Joseph sold into slavery two different reasons? I saw one in Genesis 37, Judah wanted him to remain alive and told his brothers he'd be off their back anyway. So, one for Judah, and one for the brothers hearing him.

Moses is very arguably editing the material for Genesis. Only six days was his own observation in a vision (Genesis 2 gives us the creation of Eve as observed by Adam). But less according the "Documentary Hypothesis" and more according to the "toledoth hypothesis" (or hypotheses) or Haydock's final words on Genesis 3.

2) 3:45 Pretty obviously, there are students with that exact range of vocabulary. You are one, you made up the example.

3:56 A handful of recognisable voices neither proves diversity of authors, nor split personality. It's a question of moods.

Moses definitely had the term Adonai (as in tetragrammaton) from God, and Elohim from his source material. Exit JEPC hypothesis.

4:15 You were yourself writing this video from two different eras. I guess "this song slaps" is fairly recent, never heard of it. I know for a fact "groovy" was used in the Hippie era. So, you were exposed to at least two cultures. How many was Moses exposed to?

Egyptian + Captivity Hebrew + Madianite pastoral + Desert walk Hebrews — Moses was exposed to at least four different cultures. And on the Desert walk, he was exposed to everyday, to sacrificial, to prophecy, to marital troubles — there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that he should write everything with a single unified voice.

3) 4:59 "This is the Catholic Church"

Except, no, not quite. Cardinal Suhard was not just Cardinal Priest of San Onofre del Janículo. He was also Archbishop of Paris. He was writing this after he had sent a query as Archbishop of Paris and was getting either a slap on the fingers or a bit too much encouragement from Rome in 1947. In 1950, Humani Generis, he definitely got a slap on the fingers. He had presumed in the query one could just assume Adam had not quite human parents.

There is, from your viewpoint, a cardinal in Stockholm. If he continues to speak of "the pope" (the man he holds to be so) as "my colleague in Rome" (which his predecessor as ordinary of Stockholm did), this does not reflect the usage of the Church Universal, it reflects an agenda of the diocese of Stockholm to boost ecumenism by downplaying papal supremacy. Btw, I don't know he did repeat such a thing, I only know Hubertus Brandenburg did so, so I am not saying this as accusing Anders Arborelius. It's just an example.

Paris had had a purely regional agenda, not the one of the Church universal, all since 1920, to downplay the inerrancy of Genesis. An article from then, in a publication from Institut catholique de Paris, enumerates previous positions on the Exameron work held by Catholic authors since Lyell and up to mid-1890's, these being:
  • young earth
  • day age
  • gap theory
THEN the author himself introduces the theory that's usually credited to 1924 to a Calvinist, namely literary frame work thesis.

That Suhard makes a fool of himself 28 years later is not exactly totally surprising to me.

4) Developed in different eras ... I would say the text received linguistic and terminological updates after Moses wrote it, as when a city is renamed after the Ramesses pharaos, the new name is inserted into Exodus 1:11. And obviously, how much a redactor redacts is up to his own zeal or otherwise.

5) Why the mouth of Moses, unless you add the pen of Aaron? Why not the pen of Moses?

Actually, when he writes of himself in the third person, I get an impression, some guys surround him, he asks them what they saw, they speak — and Moses writes it down. A bit the reverse of what St. John does when lending his pen to someone who can affidavit that they know his testimony to be true.

6) Moses certainly told stories, but probably, for Genesis, if he didn't receive it from Jethro, as he probably did with either the story or the full text of Job, he would in huge part have received it from people telling the stories of some great-great-great-grandfather 215 years before the Exodus, and taken down their story. He would have been to the stories from Abraham to Joseph and his brethren what St. Luke was to the biography of Jesus — someone taking up testimonies from others.

Or he inherited the basket of papyry the Beduin tribe had been collecting since Abraham wrote down the very early chapters (except the six day account).

"Handing on the experiences that only he would have known about"

a) the burning bush
b) the things received on Sinai (open question if it includes only the two versions of the Decalogue, and the six day account as it stands, or whether he had a fuller account of the six days preserved in Jubilees)
c) ...?

Apart from these two, his life was very public.

"certainly not the words he spoke"

Again, why not "mostly the words he wrote, except when updated" instead?

7) A thousand years of handing down ...


You DO have pretty much over a millennium from Adam to Abraham. The chapters 2 and 3, as well as the ensuing ones up to 11 read like passages (not necessarily one and only one per chapter) that are very short and contain very little reflection, except that done by the characters.

This means, even if they were handed down orally, they could have been composed as we have them, and Abraham would still have them pretty fresh with only ever so slight a word change, apart from the linguistic development going on (which the oral tradition hides).

But speaking of a thousand years FROM Moses on, no, that's Suhard, or uncomfortably close, that's not Pope Pius X.

8) All stories 6:18 "can grow and adapt"

Folklorists collecting the Sagen aus Österreich (divided into the "Sagen" from each of the nine lands of Austria) have found very short texts that have not grown. Pretty close to early chapters of Genesis in length.

The later and more detailed ones, I think Abraham used papyrus or clay from some point on.

9) Verbatim dictation is a strawman if not for the word choice process, at least for the epistemic process.

Moses for Genesis (except the six days) and for most external action in Exodus through Deuteronomy had normal, human sources for what he wrote down.

It is however probable that God preserved his word choices from misleading imprecisions even with actually talking to his inner mind, but it is at least certain that God providentially preserved Moses' even word choices from containing any error, either doctrinal or purely factual.

10) 7:03 W H A T ... so presumably St. Thomas Aquinas wrote some time after 1823?
But some are [of the faith] only "per accidens", namely insofar as they are transmitted in Writ, which Faith presumes to be promulgated by dictation of the Holy Spirit: which on the one hand can be ignored without danger by those who are not obliged to know Writ, like many historic things: and in these also the saints have sensed diversely, exposing divine Writ in different ways.

my translation of

Quaedam vero per accidens tantum, inquantum scilicet in Scriptura traduntur, quam fides supponit spiritu sancto dictante promulgatam esse: quae quidem ignorari sine periculo possunt ab his qui Scripturas scire non tenentur, sicut multa historialia: et in his etiam sancti diversa senserunt, Scripturam divinam diversimode exponentes.

Reference his comments on the Lombard, II Sent. Dist. XII q.1, a.2.

"quam fides supponit spiritu sancto dictante promulgatam esse" means precisely "which Faith presumes / supposes to be promulgated / to have been promulgated by dictation of the Holy Spirit"

And dictation is usually thought of as precisely word by word dictation.

"This is more of a Muslim way of approaching Scripture"

Nothing like "more of" but Mohammed plagiarised the Christian concept.

11) You just (7:14) limited inerrancy to what is necessary for salvation. Something which Galileo was precisely condemned for doing. Yes, he was condemned for Heliocentrism, which has bad ramifications of its own, but a wider issue clearly visible to his judges was that precise tendency, and as you know from the Summa, even a thing which need not be believed if one doesn't know it's in Scripture, must be believed as soon as one credibly learns it is so contained.

No, you are not speaking for the Church now.

12) Ah no, you are even misquoting (or misinterpreting the exact words of) Dei Verbum.

"Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text)."

So, the teaching is for our salvation. But the inspiration of the Holy Spirit also extends to the facts, notably historic, by which the Church came to know this teaching, not just to the teaching itself, if the facts are also in the Bible. Without error does not just mean "without error as far as the teaching goes" but also "without any error surrounding the teaching on any side" ... the opposite of the one would be "with substantial error" and the opposite of the other would be "with accidental error" — what you cite denies, as much as St. Thomas did, both.

7:42 The 1906 answer is perfectly acceptable in so far as Moses was not the first to pen "Heber begat Peleg", as Moses did not pen the story of his death, and as Moses did not pen the name "Ramesses" but an older name, but temple scribes changed it in copying in the times of the Ramesside pharaos, and dito for linguistic updates — I love to give the spelling of Tegnér as an example, since Sweden underwent a spelling reform in 1906, but since "Frithiofs saga" is metric, the wording is not changed. I'd prefer to give examples on how wordings or even phrases can be changed in editions of Gulliver's Travels or Robinson Crusoe to make the edition understandable for an audience a few centuries longer. Moses obviously did not pen changes that Cohanim decided after his death, but they still did so on his authority.

13) Wait, when and where did St. Jerome say he believed any part of the Pentateuch to be more than slightly reformulated by Ezra?

He was not first to translate the Hebrew Bible into Latin, he was first to translate it directly into Latin, if as much.

Vetus Latina was translated from some version of the LXX, and some scholars believe that St. Jerome never got good enough in Hebrew to translate directly, but got it via Aquilas.

Nevertheless, I am wary, not of St. Jerome, but of people citing him without verbatim quotes. CSL miscited "in the words of a popular poet" as implying the presence of "myth" as opposed to straight facts. It only implies the dismissing of unnecessary footnotes.

14) "It is a bit foolish to believe Moses wrote every word as we have it today"

It is technically true he didn't, but too insignificantly deviating from the reality of how he didn't to make it foolish to believe he did, even just a bit.

Your resumé of "faith" is a bit foolishly minimalistic.

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