AN INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS
* Mosaic Authorship * Dating of Genesis * Purpose of Writing * Theological Themes of Genesis
People to Know
| Places to Know
| Terms to Know
| Documentary TheoryCovenant History
Answer the following questions (based on the reading), save it and then submit it to the professor.
1. What is the Documentary Theory?
The documentary theory, proposes the first five books of the Bible was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of editors. The number of these is usually set at four, but this is not an essential part of the theory. The theory was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries from the attempt to reconcile inconsistencies in the biblical text. By the end of the 19th century it was generally agreed that there were four main sources, combined into their final form by a series of editors. These four sources came to be known as the Jahwist, J; the Elohist, E; the Deuteronomist, D, and the Priestly Writer, P.
2. Give the “contributions” Spinoza and Astruc made to this theory. Rationalist Baruch Spinoza developed a 'higher criticism' of the Bible to analyze its contents internally, rather than through the text, which is tagged "lower criticism". This led to Jean Astruc discovering a difference in the use of the LORD God's title within the Genesis writings in 1753.
3. How does Davis refute this theory?
Multiple divine names. The problem with this view is simply that it is not consistent. "J" sections will contain "Elohim" and "E" sections will contain Jehovah. The "doublets" argument. Regarding the Gen. 12, 20, and 26 accounts, we don't have a strong reason to believe they are not authentic. First of all, it is entirely possible that the King Abimelech in Isaac's case could have been Abimelech the II or III. It was a common practice in Egypt at this time for kings to re-use a predecessor's name (e.g., Amenemhat I, II, III or Senworset I, II, III).
It is also feasible that a son would follow his father's example, especially since his father profited well from the scheme.
4. Give several examples of external evidences for Mosaic authorship? (a) The Pentateuch itself testifies to Moses as having composed it. (b) In other Old Testament books we find such references as these: Joshua 1:8: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy rnouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon . . . that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein." (In v.7 this was described as "the law which Moses my servant commanded thee.") (c) The New Testament also witnesses to the Mosaic authorship.
5. Give several examples of internal evidences for Mosaic authorship? (a) Moses’ wrote about the battle with the Amalekites (Exod 17:14) (b) Moses’ wrote down the stages of the exodus journey (Num 33:2) (c) Moses’ wrote the “the words of the covenant” on tablets (Exod 24:4; 34:27) (d) Moses’ wrote the book of Deuteronomy (Deut 1:1)
6. Does any one specific evidence stand out to you more than the rest? Which one? Why? The New Testament also witnesses to the Mosaic authorship really stand out to me. It stands out to me because Jesus, Himself, credited the Pentateuch to Moses. Jesus was there from the beginning and he authorized everything that is written in the Bible.
7. What is significant about the date for the writing of the book of Genesis (not about the events of Genesis)? The date is significant because it builds on the timeline of creation. It allows us to backtrack history to day one so we can know the age of humanity, give or take a year.
8. Is it important to know exactly how old the earth is? Why or why not? The question of how old the earth is very important. If it is only thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of years old, there...
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