The Origin Of The Torah

1614 Words May 4th, 2016 7 Pages
Joseph Blenkinsopp is the most contemporary scholar to date, that debates the highly contested issue of the Documentary Hypothesis. This theory relates to the origins of the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch, meaning ‘instruction’, and is part of the Hebrew Bible, including the following five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Documentary Hypothesis questions the authority of the author and source of the Torah. The Documentary Hypothesis is also known as the Julius Wellhausen proposition. This theory essentially proposes the notion that the Torah was actually derived from at least four independent, original narratives that, when combined, make up this one codex. Thus refuting the original and traditional belief that in fact, Moses was the author of the Torah. 17th century philosopher Spinoza furthers this belief and was the first to challenge this doctrine by stating, ‘It is thus clearer that the sun at noonday that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses’. Within Wellhausen’s premise, four source texts are identified which came to be known as, the Yahwist source (J), the Elohist source (E), the Deuteronomist source (D) and lastly the Priestly source (P). These four sources are then combined by a Redactor that brings the Pentateuch together in the form that it is today. This piece of framework formed by Wellhausen has been thoroughly challenged and critiqued as its point of view provides a strong groundwork on the complex nature…

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