I am exploring the world of You Tube. Jordan Peterson is popular right now and with You Tube it is possible to get a feel for who he is without having to spend money on a book I don’t read. I think one video I watched was a speech he gave on his 12 rules book.
I find that I don’t like videos that are snippets. Usually they are click bait that doesn’t deliver. In regard to Peterson one blurb said something about the stunning question he asked Bill Maher. I watched it and didn’t see anything stunning about his question. In fact it was a typical liberal set up where he said something and a group of four liberals started with their talking points. Instead I watch his interviews and lectures.
He has a series of lectures on the Bible. In the first one he says,
“There’s four sources in the Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible—four stories that we know came together. The first one was called the Priestly.”What he is talking about stems from something called Textual Criticism. It is a legitimate attempt by scholars to try to figure out what the original documents said. Keep in mind that we do not have any of the originals, called autographs, for either the Old Testament or New Testament. Scholars work from copies of copies, done by hand over the years. The honest ones are trying for truth but keep in mind that Biblical scholarship has its share of charlatans and glory hounds. Always keep in mind what their real goal is.
This topic was old when I studied it 45 years ago. The earliest reference that I could find was in 1753 and claimed two sources. What Peterson is referring to goes back to the 1870's and a German called Wellhausen. The end result he is referring to is called the PJED theory. I learned it as the JEDP theory. How you arrange the letters depends on how you are trying to make yourself famous in the book you are writing. Much of their claims have been refuted by archeology. If you want to look into it there are serious problems with the claims.
The problem with textual analysis and PJED is not the scientific review of the text. What is, is. The problem is the same issue we have with the “science” of global warming. The conclusion is reached before the computer models are assembled and the output is guaranteed because the “scholars” come with an agenda. Just because the “research” was done before computers does not mean that scholars were unable to adjust their evidence to lead to a forgone conclusion.
Keep in mind the foundations people have. As a person who believes in the God of the Bible, I make certain assumptions and go from there. Atheists and tepid believers start from different sets of facts. The agenda of the PJED crowd was the same that I see in so much literature today, both fiction and pseudo-non fiction: They are trying to elevate the limited vision of men over the omniscience of God. It is the Eden Syndrom: Ye can become as Gods.
Some things never change.
homo unius libri