Essay on The Documentary Hypothesis: Past and Present

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The subject of this paper has at least five names. Documentary Hypothesis and JEDP Theory are the most common. In this paper, this scholarly position will always be referred to as Documentary Hypothesis with a few exceptions.
Documentary Hypothesis, or JEDP Theory, is the view held by various scholars that the five books of the Pentateuch were really written by four different authors, and not Moses. This theory claims that afterwards various editors (called Redactors) blended the five books together and edited them to make them flow easier. Documentary Hypothesis is one form of higher criticism theology and is closely associated with Germany.
This hypothesis has its roots as far back as the Middle Ages, but began mostly with scholars in
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The Jahwist is dated to around the year 950 BC.
A compilation of legends and writings is theoretically what formed the Elohist work. The Elohist derives its name from the name of God, Elohim, as that name is used most often in the texts attributed to these writings. Because the selected texts attributed to the Elohist follow the line of Jacob, scholars claim this compiler lived in northern Israel and was therefore more concerned with history that related to the people of that area. This compilation was to have been written around 850 BC.
The Deuteronomist works are thought by scholars to have been compiled around 650 BC during Israel’s Babylonian Captivity from documents written before Israel was exiled. It is uncertain who the Deuteronomist was. Some possibilities mentioned by scholars are Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch, Jeremiah himself, or the priests of Shiloh. It theoretically included all of Deuteronomy, as well as Joshua, Judges, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings.
Last of the Pentateuch authors is the Priestly Source by the Priestly Writer. It is supposed to have been compiled around 500 BC. The Priestly Source supposedly included selections from Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy. In addition, it included all of Leviticus. The Priestly Source is composed of genealogies, census counts, etc.
Documentary Hypothesists believe that around 750 BC and 400 BC two different groups of…

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