Did Moses Write the Pentateuch? The JEDP Hypothesis.

I have been discussing the sources of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), sometimes also called the Torah or the Law of Moses.  So far I have explained the kinds of literary problems that led scholars to realize that these books were not the writing of a single author, but represented a combination of earlier written accounts.  The traditional “documentary hypothesis,” as it is called, was most famously formulated by ...

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Other Literary Tensions in the Pentateuch

I have started a brief thread on the Pentateuch and why scholars think that it was not written by a single author – Moses or anyone else – but is composed of several sources later patched together.  In my previous post I started giving the reasons for thinking so, the literary tensions found in the opening chapters of Genesis.  I continue here with this theme.  Again, this is taken from my book The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction

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Biblical Anachronisms: The Philistines and Beersheba

In my post a couple of days ago I stated the fact, that I took to be a fact, that the historical Moses (if there was one) (which I doubt) could not have written parts of the Pentateuch (I don’t think he wrote any of the parts) (OK, since, among other things, I don’t think he existed) because of the mention of the people the “Philistines” and the city of Beersheba, neither of which existed in the thirteenth century BCE, ...

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Literary Tensions in the Creation Account of Genesis

In yesterday’s post I began to explain why scholars have thought that the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), were not written by Moses, but later, and that they represent not a single work by a single author, but a compilation of sources, each of them written at different times.   The evidence for this view is quite overwhelming, and in the context of my textbook on the Bible, as in the context ...

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Who Wrote the Pentateuch? Early Questions of Authorship.

On to something different!  I want to move to a new blog topic for a while.  I’ve been talking about my new book – still being written! – about the Christianization of the empire – for a while, and it’s obviously the topic near and dear to me just now.  But variety is the spice of life.

Several readers have responded to me about my response to the question of the sources behind the Pentateuch – the first five books of ...

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The Name of Saul/Paul and the Sources of the Pentateuch: Weekly Mailbag June 26, 2016

 

Why did Saul change his name to Paul?  And what were the sources lying being the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible?  Good questions!  I’ll deal with them here in the Weekly Reader’s Mailbag

 

QUESTION:

What is the meaning of “Paul” that Saul of Tarsus was moved to change to that name upon his conversion?

RESPONSE:

Ah, right – my students ask me this a lot in my New Testament class.  When we all grew up in Sunday School we ...

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Why Paul Persecuted the Christians

I have been side-tracked by other things, but now can get back to the thread I started to spin, or rather the tapestry I started to weave.  The ultimate question I’m puzzling over is how Christianity became the dominant religion in the empire, and my point at this stage is that before Christianity began to thrive, it was persecuted.  The persecutions go all the way back.  Our first Christian author is Paul, who must have converted to be a follower ...

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Paul, Jesus, and the Messiah

My current thread on the blog is less like a thread and more like a tapestry.  Ultimately it is all related to the book I’m now working on, The Triumph of Christianity, which is interested in the question of how the Christian movement that started with just a couple of dozen people after Jesus’ death (i.e., those who almost right away, soon thereafter, came to believe he had been raised from the dead) came to be a prominent religion by ...

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What Is Repentance in the Bible? Is there Repentance in the Bible?

Many of you responded to my colleague David Lambert’s provocative post a couple of days ago on whether the idea of “repentance” could be found in the Bible. He has replied to your comments, but has wanted to provide a follow up post. It keeps getting more interesting. This is an intriguing reflection on “repentance” in the Bible, one that totally turns on its head what many of us have always thought. See what you think.

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“The ...

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Is Repentance a Biblical Idea? Interview with David Lambert

My colleague David Lambert, who teaches Hebrew Bible in my department, has recently published and interesting and important book with Oxford University Press, on the question of when the idea of “repentance” entered into the biblical tradition.  His answer is quite novel and surprising.  I have asked David to post some of his views on the blog.  The following is an initial foray into that, by way of an interview that he has done.   If you have questions or comments ...

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