Deuteronomy always beats Leviticus, always

Last week, I posted something on Brian Thomas who had used additions to justify the historical reliability of Scripture (because Scripture needs us to justify it. bah!). Today, Craig Adams posted something from Daniel Steele:

QUESTION: Explain Deut. 14:21: “Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: (thou mayest give it unto the sojourner that is within thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto a foreigner;) for thou art a holy people unto Jehovah.”

ANSWER: There is here evidently an instance of an uninspired interpolation which I have indicated by the marks of a parenthesis. This law is found in Ex. 22:31 and in Lev. 17:15 without the words in the parentheses which are out of harmony with the character of God, as revealed elsewhere in the Bible. In fact, they contradict the law about the sojourner, found in Lev. 17:15, where he is indirectly forbidden to eat carrion.

It is a glaring contradiction in the text, and if you have made such statements that the Scriptures are somehow inerrant then you may want to reconsider that, even in the original sources, as if there is such a thing as a pure original source for much of Scripture. Anyway…

So Steele points this contradiction out and points to what he considers a parenthetical (it’s not in parenthesis, by the way, in other the original text or in most modern translations) addition by a later scribe. So, for those who feel the need to explain this away… how do you? I guess for me, it is more about the political realities of the time in which Deuteronomy was coming about. Near and post-exile when Israel wasn’t so neatly ‘Jewish’ as it ‘once was.’ Maybe it looks at a type of religious pluralism while allowing for ethnocentrism? I note that Deuteronomy is often a less-supernatural book than the rest of the Torah, with more of a humanistic spin to it. I mean, look at the Sabbath and the reason given for that, as compared to Exodus (something Creationists always fail to mention, by the way).

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,125 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

Connect

4 thoughts on “Deuteronomy always beats Leviticus, always

  1. Weinfeld’s idea is that there were different views about the defilement of the land. P (and perhaps H) thought that certain acts defiled the land, and so they either discouraged those acts, or required purification after them—-regardless of who did them (Israelite or sojourner). But Deuteronomy did not have that notion.

    Here’s a post I wrote summarizing Weinfeld: http://jamesbradfordpate.blogspot.com/2011/05/concluding-weinfelds-deuteronomy-and.html

  2. The answer to this problem is simple – Deuteronomy was composed later in the Monarchy Period, after the fall of Samaria, probably during the reign of Josiah. It was not part of the original collection. It was never intended to be synthesized with Exodus-Numbers.

      • Definitely. I think it leans in Exodus-Numbers somewhat, but only loosely (there are several hundred years in there). It has a lot of influences, both Hebrew and otherwise. The Monarchy does not appear to have adhered to Exodus-Numbers much, if at all. David certainly behaved as if he were oblivious to it.

Leave a Reply, Please!