John Van Seters, Author or Redactor?

John Van Seters


In two recent articles and in his book, The Edited Bible,
Van Seters challenged the existence of a redactor in antiquity and the
subsequent development of redaction criticism as a viable method in biblical
literary criticism. This debate between whether a source of the Pentateuch, such
as J, or the writer of the Deuteronomistic History should be understood as
author or editor is reflected in the responses to Van Seters by Jean-Louis Ska,
Eckart Otto and Christoph Levin. In this essay Van Seters seeks to answer the
various points raised by these scholars and to clarify what is meant by an
ancient author as well as the view that the concept of editor is anachronistic
before the modern period. He also defends his view that both von Rad and Noth,
in the case of J, and Noth, in the case of Dtr, believed that the Yahwist and
Dtr were authors and historians and not merely editors.

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