Monday, June 12, 2006

Old ideas in new packaging

Where would I find all the theories listed below:

1) the claim that Moshe did not himself write the entire Torah?
2) Ibn Ezra's commentary cited as proof for pesukim added to the Torah at a later date?
3) Sefer Devarim identified as composed by a different author than the other books of chumash?
4) the claim that Ezra is probably the final redactor of the Torah's text?
5) the Book of Daniel dated after the return from galus?

Is it the latest blog posting on a skeptics blog? Is it Richard Eliot Friedman's book on on Documentary Hypothesis? Is it from the syllabus of some academic's course on the Bible? Is it David HaLivni's book? Correct answer is none of the above. Every single one of these claims can be found in the Theologigo-Political Treatise (TTP), chapters 6-10 by B. (Baruch? Benedictus?) Spinoza, published well over 300 years ago in 1670. Is there anything wrong per se with these beliefs alone, taken out of the context of the rest of Spinoza's "hashkafa"? Was the cherem against Spinoza based on his kefira alone, or was there a subtext of political motivation? Old debates that I'm not going to get into. My only point is that some people seem to cite certain Ibn Ezra's and think they discovered the wheel, when in reality this debate has been around a long, long time. And Spinoza didn't come off so good the first time around.


  1. yasher koach for the find! the answer surprised me

  2. i blogged about the attribution of some of those claims to spinoza here:

  3. Anonymous3:16 PM

    This bussiness with the even ezra saying parts of the torah were written later goes against the even ezra himself.See Igros Moshe YD3:115 (IIRC) where in his thesuva against that concept (he calls it absolute kefora) he quotes the even ezra.The title of thsuve is about RY hchosid on chumash.

  4. I am familiar with the tshuvah. I refer you to adderabbi's post for the evidence to the contrary as he addressed the topic comprehensively (and thank you adderabbi for the marek makom - I was not aware of your previous posting).