Sources and Silliness

Matt Emerson wrote a blog post about source criticism, much of which he finds problematic. The post concludes with the following questions: First, if the 1) methods, 2) assumptions, 3) conclusions, and 4)philosophical underpinnings of the seminal works for both of these theories are questioned by virtually all contemporary biblical scholarship, why do we still refer to them as if they represent scholarly [Read More...]

A Comparison of Flood Details

From Bible Study and the Christian Life [Read more...]

The Humblest Man on Earth

Yuriy Stasyuk shared the image above on Facebook. It is poking fun at the idea that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, since Numbers 12:3 says, “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.”  As Yuriy pointed out, “If Moses really wrote that he is the most humble, [Read More...]

Thanks, Google

A student pointed out to me that, if you ask Google “Who wrote the Pentateuch?” you get the answer, in big, bold letters, “Moses.” I decided to click the “feedback” button and indicate that this is incorrect. Here’s what I wrote as explanation for why I thought so: There has been extensive research on this [Read More...]

Who Wrote the Pentateuch?

Rachel Portnoy Bradley shared the following in a comment on Facebook, in response to my post about JEPD as four-part harmony: In my intro to OT class, we were required to do an “art project” — something creative about what we’d learned that quarter. A group of us got together and sang, “Who wrote the [Read More...]

Four Part Harmony

I came across the cartoon below, which seems to be neither funny nor accurate. I’m tempted to start a four-part a cappella vocal group called “The Moseses” in which we wear shirts that say “J,” “E,” “D,” and “P” and sing separate strands of the Pentateuchal narrative, just to show that it works just fine, [Read More...]

Recycled Stories in the Bible: The Flood

In today’s class, we discussed how awareness of an earlier tradition of telling versions of the same story – as in the case of the Genesis flood story, paralleled in ancient Mesopotamian literature in the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh epics – can be important for understanding the later version of the story in question. [Read more...]

Lecture on Authorship and Sources of the Pentateuch

  [Read more...]

The Best Evidence for the Documentary Hypothesis is in the Psalms

Students of the Bible learn about the Documentary Hypothesis, the view that the Pentateuch was put together using multiple earlier written sources, traditionally identified using the abbreviations JEPD. Sometimes challenges have been raised to such source criticism on the grounds that varying the way one refers to God is quite common within unified religious traditions [Read More...]

Pete Enns, The Evolution of Adam: Part 1

The first chapter in Pete Enns’ book Evolution of Adam, The: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins focuses on the evidence and approaches that emerged in the 19th century, which forced Christians to reconsider their assumptions about Genesis. On the one hand, new textual discoveries revealed accounts of creation from Israel’s [Read More...]