DH Part I - The Bible with Sources Revealed
The main struggle that I have is that if there was an editor to the Torah, (REF believes that there were two!), that editor, for all his efforts, seems to have done a very poor job at certain places in the text, while doing a really good job at other spots. In some places, it's like he is a genius, and in others, it's almost as if it were done by someone who doesn't really understand what he's reading, and certainly has no sense of editorial skill. This seems strange to me. If I understand REF correctly, he seems to think that someone literally took several documents side by side and then started gluing various parts together, trying to reconcile various conflicts and trying to smooth out the edges. To me, this seems like a very bizarre way of going about the process.
If it were I doing this, what I think I would do would be to read the stories, have them coalesce in my brain, and then write down one story which would be an amalgam of the others. In other words, I would not rely on the actual texts, but on the concepts. This is how we usually tell stories to one another. We hear bits and pieces of stories, and we craft them into new versions that build on the older fragments. Why work so hard on preserving and editing the original texts? I could posit that this editor was somehow concerned about preserving the original, but then this idea gets negated by his constant tinkering, tampering and rearranging of the originals.
This notion of tampering is really pronounced in the story of Noach, Gen 7,8,10.
Here is Chap 8, according to REF (blue is P, green is J):
It just seems bizarre to me that the editor would be literally cutting and pasting sentences together from the various documents instead of just writing down a story in his own words that would be a coherent composite.
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him to the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth; and he put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark.
13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dried.14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry.