The inductive reading of Deuteronomy 34 offered in the present article suggests that the chapter is an entirely coherent, integral composition that fits well in its context on multiple levels and plays an important compositional and conceptual role in this context. By contrast, Philip Y. Yoo (“The Four Moses Death Accounts,” JBL 131 [2012]: 423–41) argues, deductively building on preceding source-critical scholarship, that the text in question displays traces of all four classical pentateuchal sources that were brought together by a redactor. The sharply divergent results of the two studies expose the source-critical approach as self-contradictory and therefore raise serious doubts about its epistemological validity.

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