The Theme of the Pentateuch (Jsot Supplement Series, 10)

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The only clearly identifiable element in the Pentateuch, alongside the Deuteronomistic tradition, seemed to be the Priestly texts. Even on this point there is some discussion about details, but in general the existence of a particular P level was taken for granted. But what about the Yahwist? Almost everything came under discussion: his age and dimension, his inner coherence and theological orientation, and finally his existence at all. In , Professor Christoph Levin in Munich invited a number of scholars, who shared these critical positions, for a public discussion under the title "Der Jahwist und seine Kritiker" The Yahwist and His Critics.

This group of critics later collected their contributions and invited an additional number of scholars to contribute to a book that appeared in under the title Abschied vom Jahwisten. The Composition of the Hexateuch in Recent Discussion. This book presents a panorama of different approaches to the question of the Yahwist. The predominant impression is that of great methodological diversity. The majority of the authors exemplify the problems by individual chapters or smaller corpora of texts.

Joseph Blenkinsopp, e. He points out that these chapters have almost never been investigated with regard to their non-Priestly material, either by the proponents of an early J or by the revisionist scholars, and that there was little attention paid to the relationship between the putative J material and P.

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In his essay, Blenkinsopp shows that the J elements in Gen are added to an earlier priestly text. In his view, they represent a "lay, intellectual milieu of the province of Judah some time during the two centuries of Iranian rule. Several essays deal with the question of the interrelations between the main themes of the Pentateuch. Beobachtungen zur Redaktionsgeschichte von Gen Gertz investigates the interrelations between the two themes and comes to the conclusion that in the time of the formulation of Gen 15 they were still independent from each other.

Versus Hence it follows that at that time a Yahwistic narrative work did not exist.


The given text is a post-priestly combination of two originally independent traditions. A pre-Priestly "J" does not exist. Konrad Schmid[14] asks a similar question, using the Joseph story in Gen He accepts the interpretation of this story as a "Diaspora Novella," but understands it as referring to the Egyptian diaspora after the end of the Northern Kingdom BC.

Here Egypt is seen at least as a temporary Lebensraum for Israel. Therefore, the Joseph cycle could be called an "anti-Deuteronomistic work.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (JSOT)

That means that there was no original text including both the stories of the patriarchs and that of the Exodus. Interesting enough, Schmid does not explicitly mention the consequences for the question of the existence of a Yahwist. Perhaps it is too evident in his view, in particular in the framework of this book, of which he is one of the editors.

Nevertheless, the question arises: What are the consequences for "J" and, moreover, for the Documentary Hypothesis? Therefore, it cannot be understood as part of a Yahwist, of whatever kind. But if Numbers is separated from the first three books of the Pentateuch, the whole Documentary Hypothesis will have to be re-examined. But Dozeman also raises another important question. This is an important point. I raised it already in in my paper when I said that it was "an historical accident that von Rad ascribed the final formation of the Pentateuch or Hexateuch to someone he described as the 'Yahwist.

In the meantime, many scholars do the same thing: They argue in a way that is not really compatible with the Documentary Hypothesis without being aware of it, or at least without being willing to leave this hypothesis explicitly. This situation is clearly expressed in the preface of the volume we are dealing with. The editors declare with regard to the contributions to this volume: "Gemeinsam ist ihnen, dass sie der Teilthese eines Jahwisten den Abschied geben. I never heard the word "Teilthese" before. But I understand what it expresses: to say good-bye to the Yahwist while keeping the Documentary Hypothesis.

That would mean to keep the Documentary Hypothesis with one single document, namely some kind of P.

The First Five Books of The Bible: Pentateuch [Torah] Part 2: Tim Mackie (The Bible Project)

But can that still be called a documentary hypothesis? Some of the contributors to this volume touched upon this question briefly and rather hesitantly, so that the reader gets the impression that there is a kind of uncertainty.

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This brings me to another point in the preface. The editors write that in Old Testament scholarship, comprehensive theories of the Pentateuch seem to have a life span of about one century. Indeed, this rhythm is interesting. But there is also a fundamental difference.

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The first two dates mark the establishment of a new theory that was more or less accepted within the scholarly community for the next hundred years. Journal of Biblical Literature Levinson, B. Moberly, R. Nicholson, E.

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An Introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch. Student Login Staff Login. AC is at the forefront of equipping leaders for careers of influence in theology, ministry, business, leadership, teaching, music, chaplaincy, community services and counselling. As the national ministry training college of the Australian Christian Churches since , thousands of our graduates are making a difference for Jesus in churches, businesses, government, classrooms and not-for-profit organisations.

Scholars who have previously considered these problems havenormally travelled in the opposite direction, from historicalchronology to Biblical chronology, without considering the possi-bility that the chronology of Kings might not be a straightforwardspecies of historical chronology after all. In writing this study I have benefited greatly from the adviceand assistance of others. I am especially indebted to my thesissupervisor, Professor James Barr, for arousing my interest inBiblical chronology initially through his paper on Ussher andBiblical chronology , and for offering helpful criticisms of my ownwork as it developed.

I was also fortunate in being supervised, fortwo terms, by Dr Terence Fenton and Dr Sebastian Brock, whooffered their own constructive criticisms; and I am furtherindebted to Dr Stephanie Dalley, who read most of the chapters intheir thesis stage and offered helpful advice on Assyrian andBabylonian chronology, and to Professor John Baines for adviceand guidance in matters of Egyptian chronology. It was then revised during mytime as Kennicott Fellow at the Oriental Institute in Oxford; andas the final tasks of indexing and proof-checking are beingcompleted I am currently Pusey and Ellerton Fellow at theOriental Institute.

I am indebted to the trustees of the Kennicottand Pusey and Ellerton Funds for a generous subsidy towards thecost of publication. I am also grateful to Sheffield Academic Press,for their patience in waiting for the book to be completed; to myfamily for the same reason! Pritchard ed. Elliger and W.

Theme Pentateuch by David Clines

Rudolph edd. Cowley, Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, as edited andenlarged by E. Kautzsch and ed. Inschriften 3 vols. Schrader ed. Pseudepigrapha 2 vols. Gurney, J. Finkelstein, and P. Hulin, The.