John Van Seters, Author or Redactor?
AbstractIn 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.