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An Introduction Source Criticism


Source Critical Studies ... Source Critical Studies. 2. The Fragmentary/Story-Cycle/Block Model: (Geddes, ... 2.1 The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: An Introduction Source Criticism

An Introduction Source Criticism History of
  • ATPS-BIB509

Source Critical Studies
  • 1. Older Documentary Hypothesis Witter (1711)
    Astruc (1756) Eichhorn (1780)
  • J and E Source based on the two divine names in
    Genesis. This was then applied to the whole

Source Critical Studies
  • 2. The Fragmentary/Story-Cycle/Block Model
    (Geddes, Vater, De Witte )
  • "The work might have been compiled by a single
    editor who joined together into a single but
    somewhat jumbled whole a mass of quite
    independent short written pieces." Whybray, The
    Making of the Pentateuch, 17

Source Critical Studies
  • The Fragmentary/Story-Cycle/Block Model (R.
    Rendtorff Blum)
  • In this model the basic component of composition
    is the individual narrative that may have been
    brought together by one or more collectors or
    editors, or which may have come together as
    story-cycles, or developed over time as blocks of
    tradition that were combined on in the final
    stages of the Pentateuch's 'redaction'. The same
    could apply to the laws as well with each 'code'
    having it own history of development before its
    combination with the narrative framework.
    Inconsistencies, lack of coherence between
    smaller or larger units and lack of cohesion in
    the process of redaction could be accounted for
    by this model. van Seters, 28

Source Critical Studies
  • 3. The Supplementation or Expansion of a Basic
    Text Model (Ewald, Bleek)
  • One basic source with numerous expansions.
  • ". . . there might originally have been a single,
    consistent, unified account composed by a single
    author, to which, for various reasons, later
    writers made additions, so distorting the
    original unity of the composition." Whybray, The
    Making of the Pentateuch, 17

Source Critical Studies
  • 3. The Supplementation or Expansion of a Basic
    Text Model (John van Seters)
  • This compositional model suggests that one can
    recover a basic Pentateuchal or Tetrateuchal text
    that was supplemented and expanded from time to
    time and that it was primarily the additions that
    created inconsistencies and destroyed the
    coherence and cohesiveness of the earlier text.
    van Seters, 28-9

Source Critical Studies
  • 4. Newer Documentary Hypothesis
  • Hupfeld, 1853 the independent sources of P, J, E,
  • Reuss, Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen place P at
    the end and dated it post-exilic and therefore

(No Transcript)
Documentary Hypothesis
  • 1. Main Features
  • . . . the Pentateuch took shape in a series of
    stages in which, during the space of several
    centuries, four originally distinct books
    (documents), each written at a different time,
    were dovetailed together by a series of
    redactors to form a single work.

Documentary Hypothesis
  • 2. This was achieved in the following ways
  • The earliest of these works was that of the a
    Yahwist (J). It began with what is now Gen
    2.4b, and its various parts are now found in
    Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, together with a few
    short passages in Deuteronomy. Whether it ended
    at this point or continued into the book of
    Joshua or beyond was disputed. It is not
    represented in Leviticus.

Documentary Hypothesis
  • The Elohist work (E) began with the story of
    Abraham in Gen 15 and then followed the same
    general course as J.
  • J and E were subsequently combined to form JE
    by a redactor (RJE). The process of redaction
    involved the omission of parts of J and E,
    especially of the latter.
  • The third document, Deuteronomy (D), consists
    mainly of the book of that name.

Documentary Hypothesis
  • D was subsequently appended to JE by a second
    redactor (RD), who also inserted a few passages
    into JE and incorporated a few passages from JE
    into D.
  • The final work, the Priestly document (P),
    began with what is now Gen 1.1 and followed the
    same chronological scheme as J. Material from P
    predominates in Exodus and Numbers, and is the
    sole source of Exod 25-31 35-40 and of Leviticus.

Documentary Hypothesis
  • P was subsequently combined with JED by a third
    redactor (RJED) to form the present Pentateuch.
  • A few passages (e.g. Gen 14) are not derived from
    any of the main four documents but must be
    regarded as independent fragments. It is not
    possible to determine at what point in the above
    scheme they were inserted, but a late date for
    this is probable. A few other

Documentary Hypothesis
  • passages were added after the bulk of the
    Pentateuch was completed. Both Fragment and
    Supplement Hypotheses therefore, retained a minor
    place in the scheme of the Documentary
    Hypothesis. Whybray, The Making of the
    Pentateuch, 20-21

Cassutos Summary
  • The use of Different Names for the Deity
  • Variations of Language and Style
  • Contradictions and Divergences of Views
  • Repetition, Parallel Accounts (Doublets), and
    Redundancy Conflations
  • Theological Unity of Each Document

Jewish Scholarship
  • The Jewish community did not respond positively
    to Wellhausens thesis due to the negative
    depiction of the Priestly-Second Temple-Early
    Judaism religion.
  • U. Cassuto and others exemplify this stance.
  • Yehezhel Kaufmann re-dated the sources,
    especially the P source so that it was more
    acceptable. Kaufmann, The Religion of Israel,
  • . . . they tend to accept the basic source
    division of the documentary hypothesis, but
    maintain that P is not the latest source but that
    it antedates Deuteronomy and reflects the worship
    of Solomon's temple. P may therefore come from
    much the same period as J. Some of the more
    important works from this school of thought have
    come from A. Hurvitz, M. Haran, J. Milgrom, and
    M. Weinfeld. Wenham

  • 1. Noth, Martin
  • "G (Grundlage a common basis) underlying J and
    E according to Noth "The situation at hand
    cannot be explain very well except by postulating
    a common basis (Grundlage) for the two sources,
    for which both - independently of each other -
    have drawn the nucleus of their content. In those
    elements of the tradition where J and E run
    parallel, they concur to such an extent that
    their common Grundlage already must have existed
    in a fixed form, either one

  • fixed in writing or one which had already been
    quite distinctly formed according to structure
    and content in oral transmission. The question as
    to whether this Grundlage was written or oral can
    hardly be answered with any certainty but then,
    traditio-historically this is not of great
    consequence. . . . Every thing which J and E
    concur can be attributed to G." Noth, A History
    of Pentateuchal Traditions, 39

  • 2. Rad, Gerhard von
  • 2.1 The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch
  • 2.2 The Hexateuch was simply an expansion of the
    historical creed(s) found in Deut 620-24,
    265b-9 and Josh 242-3.
  • 2.3 The Exodus and the Sinai Tradition was
    separate from the Creedal tradition.

  • 3. Cross, Frank Moore
  • Cross school claims that J and E cannot really be
    separated positively therefore the "Epic
  • "By "Epic" we mean JE and the epic of which J and
    E were, in origin, oral variants." Cross,
    Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, 6
  • P is the final editor

Recent Developments
  • 1. Questioned Material
  • 1.1 "First, historical scholars have questioned a
    number of its basic aspects the dating of the
    earliest pentateuchal stratum (J) to the ninth
    or tenth centuries, the existence of an
    independent elohistic document (E) or
    identifiable elohistic supplementary layer, the
    limitation of deuteronomistic and
    post-deuteronomistic elements to the book of
    Deuteronomy, and the idea that the priestly
    material ever existed separately as a priestly
    document." Carr, "Controversy and Convergence .
    . .", 22

Recent Developments
  • 1.2 "Second, biblical scholars attuned to debates
    in literary theory outside of biblical studies
    have increasingly asked whether we can say
    anything meaningful about the formation of the
    Bible. Some have drawn heavily on the new
    literary criticism or more directive types of
    reader-response criticism to argue that the text
    is actually far more unified than we previously
    supposed, that it is seamless where we once
    mistakenly saw indicators of sources or
    redactions. Alternatively, other scholars more
    influenced by postmodern literary theory have
    argued that the text is far more complex than we
    supposed." Carr, "Controversy and Convergence .
    . .", 22

Recent Developments
  • 2. John Van Seters
  • 2.1 Abraham in History and Tradition (1975)
    Prologue to History (1992) The Life of Moses
    (1994) The Pentateuch A Social-Science
    Commentary (1999)
  • 2.2 ". . . crucial parts of the Abraham story
    conventionally assigned to the tenth century
    Yahwist were actually part of a
    post-deuteronomistic Yahwhist." Carr, 23
  • 2.3 ". . . non-priestly pentateuchal texts show
    signs of dependence on deuteronomistic and
    prophetic traditions." Carr, 23
  • 2.4 ". . . the historiographic form of the
    non-priestly Pentateuch is best understood as
    part of a broader sixth-fifth-century
    historiographic movement in the Mediterranean, a
    movement also seen in the works of early Greek
    historians." Carr, 23

Israel Knohl
  • 1. The process starts in the premonarchic time
    with the oral composition of poems now embodied
    in the Torah.
  • 2. The writing of the Priestly Torah takes place
    in Jerusalem, between the tenth and the eight
    centuries B.C.E.
  • 3. The composition of the E source and the
    Covenant Code (Exod 2019-2333) in the northern
    kingdom of Israel occurs in the first half of the
    eighth century B.C.E.

Israel Knohl
  • 4. In the second half of the eighth century
    B.C.E., the stage moves back to Jerusalem, where
    the Holiness Code (Lev. 17-26) and the J source
    are composed and the E is redacted by the J
  • 5. In 622 B.C.E., the Book of Deuteronomy is
    published by Josiah in Jerusalem.
  • 6. After the exile in 586 B.C.E., the activity
    moves to Babylon, where the final redaction of
    the Torah takes place.
  • 7. The last act is the publication of the Torah
    by Ezra in Jerusalem in the middle of the fifth
    century B.C.E.