Lecture on Authorship and Sources of the Pentateuch


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  • Gary

    If there was a question of “how come?”, I’d use a comparison to the U.S. Civil War, which I think students would understand. If the south had won, there would be two separate countries, both with the same heritage of original nation formation. A north and a south, with each original Constitution and Declaration of Independence diverging over the next 200 years, 1865 to 2065. Example, one with slavery, one with none, but both countries thinking the documents justify their position. After two hundred years, the two countries’ documents would not be the same. Then the two countries merge again, and try to edit (redact) all their divergent documents back into one. The difference in Civil War and the Judah/Israel split would be government verses religious documents. So the redactors considered both North and South Kingdom’s documents as holy, and tried not to delete anything that might be important (being supposedly the words of God, regardless of conflicts). So they bootstrapped them all together sometime during/after Ezra/Nehemiah. Makes sense to me.

  • Just Sayin’

    Excellent. Thanks very much for this. I’m familiar with most/all of it already, but it’s very helpful to have it summed up in a single twenty-minute talk. Can you suggest a basic reading list on this topic? Books pitched at an intelligent (postgraduate) level, but with little or no Hebrew would suit me best.

    • Michael Wilson

      my favorite is “who wrote the bible?” by eliot friedman and also his book, “the bible with sources revealed”.

      • Just Sayin’

        Thank you. I will definitely get Who Wrote the Bible. Have you read Finkelstein’s The Bible Unearthed and if so would you recommend it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

          I would recommend it. There are also several books by William Dever that offer an excellent treatment of archaeology and ancient Israel.

      • Gary

        Richard Elliott Friedman. Great book.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          great prof & teacher as well.