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orion-list Re: Hasmonean OT
Mr. Harrison has addressed a query to the list (19 April 1999) and none have come
forward to pick up the gaunlet, i.e., to the effect of-
"How in the world would anyone in their right mind, accept that the OT is a creation of
the Hellenistic/Hasmonean period ?" So, I am accepting the challenge !
I have the following "radical" observations to make:
There are a small number of scholars whose research endeavors into the origins of the OT
have led them to conclude that the origins of the OT are of Post-Exilic times, anywhere
from 550 BCE to 64 BCE.
I am one who shares these scholars' convictions. There are certain 'facts' now surfacing
about the OT that cannot be explained and accounted for under the present Wellhausen
model which has reigned supreme throughout most of the 20th century. In the past these
'facts' were simply ignored by consensus. There were a few scholars from time to time of
independent minds who attempted to point out that the Wellhausen model wasn't making
proper sense of these 'facts', but their concerns were generally pushed aside, usually
by silence- if you ignore the obnoxious loud-mouth he will go away and leave us to our
model which we all are perfectly satisfied with.
Basically, biblical research, like any other man-made instituion, can be distilled into
one word: "POWER, KEEPING IT, AND HOLDING IT, AGAINST ALL COMERS". Bible research is not
about open-minds searching for scholarly truth, but closed minds defending their belief
system, fundamentalist or secularist, against new ideas, that challenge those in power.
Its hard for one to admit that they were wrong and have been taken in by a false model,
better to defend yourself and call the new ideas radical, and ignore them till they go
In order to make sense of these ever increasing and accumulating "facts," a new paradigm
or model has been embraced, one which accounts for the "facts". This paradigm in essence
blows away the Wellhausen model, which posits that the OT is a composition made up of
layer upon layer of bits and pieces of traditions and writings over a period of 400 yrs
from Solomon to the Exile, finally patched together by Ezra in the 5th century.
My understanding of the ever-accumulating facts leads me to the conviction that the
Wellhausen model is seriously flawed, and that the OT was created pretty much in the
course of the 2nd -1st centuries BCE by the Hasmoneans to glorify themselves and present
themselves to the nation as the fulfillment of prophecies made by the prophets (said
prophetical books really being creations of the 2nd-1st centuries as well). I thus
understand from my research (see my Fulfilled Prophecy paper) that the Dead Sea Scrolls
now in our possesion to be the so-called "autographs" that scholars are so fond of
If you would like to study in depth the argumentation and the 'new facts' so carefully
avoided by those who embrace the Wellhausen model, I can send you as e-mail attachments
a manuscript titled Smoking Guns (177pp.) and a paper titled Fulfilled Prophecy (28
pp.)that will give you an idea of why the Wellhausen model is doomed.
All the best,
Walter R. Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg Germany
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