Looking at Deuteronomy (still). I will be doing so all week as I try to write an essay about its shape and its critical and theological issues. I am not ever so intrinsically motivated by the whole JEDP theory. I need to show though that it is a critical issue for people reading this hinge book of the Bible; this conclusion to the Pentateuch. I doubt I'll ever preach on JEDP but have been convinced that I need to understand it. However, I might be asked whether, in my opinion, Moses wrote the Pentateuch.
None of this unsettles me, as such, but it does make me wonder about all the presuppositions that we bring to the Bible.
I think that this is a great way of explaining the baggage which we all come with and also demonstrates just how much the modern translations of those sacred words might have wriggled far from God's original intentions.
There’s the story of the English professor who wrote "a woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.
The men wrote: "A woman, without her man, is nothing."
The women wrote: "A woman: without her, man is nothing."
The point being, even our punctuation is affected by our preconceptions.