Richard Elliott Friedman, WHO WROTE THE BIBLE? - Peter Myers, January 1, 2003; update September 13, 2010. My comments are shown {thus}.

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Richard Elliott Friedman, WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?, Jonathan Cape, London 1988.

{p. 50} ... three investigators of who wrote the Bible each independently made the same discovery. One was a minister, one was a physician, and one was a professor. The discovery that they all made ultimately came down to the combination of two pieces of evidence: doublets and the names of God. They saw that there were apparently two versions each of a large number of biblical stories: two accounts of the creation, two accounts of each of several stories about the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, and so on. Then they noticed that, quite often, one of the two versions of a story would refer to God by one name and the other version would refer to God by a different name. In the case of the creation, for example, the first chapter of the Bible tells one version of how the world came to be created, and the second chapter of the Bible starts over with a different version of what happened. In many ways they duplicate each other, and on several points they contradict each other. For example, they de-

{p. 51} scribe the same events in different order. In the first version, God creates plants first, then animals, then man and woman. In the second version, God creates man first. Then he creates plants. Then, so that the man should not be alone, God creates animals. And last, after the man does not find a satisfactory mate among the animals, God creates woman. And so we have:

Genesis 1 ... Genesis 2

plants ....... man

animals ...... plants

man & woman .. animals

.............. woman

The two stories have two different pictures of what happened. Now, the three investigators noticed that the first version of the creation story always refers to the creator as God {Elohim} - thirty-five times. The second version always refers to him by his name, Yahweh God {Yahweh Elohim} - eleven times. The first version never calls him Yahweh; the second version never calls him God. Later comes the story of the great flood and Noah's ark, and it, too, can be separated into two complete versions that sometimes duplicate each other and sometimes contradict each other. And, again, one version always calls the deity God, and the other version always calls him Yahweh. There are two versions of the story of the convenant between the deity and Abraham. And, once again, in one the deity introduces himself as Yahweh, and in one he introduces himself as God. And so on. The investigators saw that they were not simply dealing with a book that repeated itself a great deal, and they were not dealing with a loose collection of somewhat similar stories. They had discovered two separate works that someone had cut up and combined into one.

{p. 52} The Discovery of the Sources

The first of the three persons who made this discovery was a German minister, Henning Bemhard Witter, in 1711. His book made very little impact and was in fact forgotten until it was rediscovered two centuries later, in 1924.

The second person to see it was Jean Astruc, a French professor of medicine and court physician to Louis XV. He published his findings at the age of seventy, anonymously in Brussels and secretly in Paris in 1753. His book, too, made very little impression on anyone. Some belittled it, perhaps partly because it was by a medical doctor and not by a scholar.

But when a third person, who was a scholar, made the same discovery and published it in 1780, the world could no longer ignore it. The third person was Johann Gottfried Eichhorn, a known and respected scholar in Gemmany and the son of a pastor. He called the group of biblical stories that referred to the deity as God "E," because the Hebrew word for God is El or Elohim. He called the group of stories that referred to the deity as Yahweh "J" (which in German is pronounced like English Y).

The idea that the Bible's early history was a combination of two originally separate works by two different people lasted only eighteen years. Practically before anyone had a chance to consider the implications of this idea for the Bible and religion, investigators discovered that the first five books of the Bible were not, in fact, even by two writers - they were by four.

They discovered that E was not one but two sources. The two had looked like only one because they both called the deity Elohim, not Yahweh. But the investigators now noticed that within the group of stories that called the deity Elohim there were still doublets. There were also differences of style, differences of language, and differences of interests. In short, the same kinds of evidence that had led to the discovery of J and E now led to the discovery of a third source that had been hidden within E. The differences of interests were intriguing. This third set of stories seemed to be particularly interested in priests. It contained stories about priests, laws about priests, matters

{p. 53} of ritual, sacrifice, incense-burning, and purity, and concern with dates, numbers, and measurements. This source therefore came to be known as the Priestly source - for short, P.

The sources J, E, and P were found to flow through the first four of the five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. However, there was hardly a trace of them in the fifth book, Deuteronomy, except for a few lines in the last chapters. Deuteronomy is written in an entirely different style from those of the other four books. The differences are obvious even in translation. The vocabulary is different. There are different recurring expressions and favorite phrases. There are doublets of whole sections of the first four books. There are blatant contradictions of detail between it and the others. Even part of the wording of the Ten Commandments is different. Deuteronomy appeared to be independent, a fourth source. It was called D.

The discovery that the Torah of Moses was really four works that had once been separate was not necessarily a crisis in itself. After all, the New Testament also began with four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - each of which told the story in its own way. Why then was there such a hostile reaction, among Christians and Jews, to the idea that the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) might begin with four "gospels" as well? The difference was that the Hebrew Bible's four sources had been combined so intricately and accepted as Moses' own writing for so long, about two thousand years; the new discoveries were flying in the face of an old, accepted, sacred tradition. The biblical investigators were unraveling a finely woven gamment, and no one knew where these new investigations would lead.

The Story of Noah - Twice

These first books of the Bible had as extraordinary a manner of composition as any book on earth. Imagine assigning four different people to write a book on the same subject, then taking their four different versions and cutting them up and combining them into one long, continuous account, then claiming that the account was all by

{p. 54} one person. Then imagine giving the book to detectives and leaving them to figure out (1) that the book was not by one person, (2) that it was by four, (3) who the four were, and (4) who combined them.

For those readers who want to get a better sense of how this looks, I have translated the biblical story of Noah's ark, as it appears in Genesis, with its two sources printed in two different kinds of type. The flood story is a combination of the J source and the P source. J is printed here in regular type, and P is printed in boldface capitals. If you read either source from beginning to end, and then go back and read the other one, you will be able to see for yourself two complete, continuous accounts, each with its own vocabulary and concems:

The Flood Genesis 6:5-8:22

(Priestly text in boldface capitals, J text in regular type)

GENESIS 6:

5 And Yahweh saw that the evil of humans was great in the earth, and all the inclination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil all the day.

6 And Yahweh regretted that he had made humans in the earth, and he was grieved to his heart.

7 And Yahweh said, "I shall wipe out the humans which I have created from the face of the earth, from human to beast to creeping thing to bird of the heavens, for I regret that I have made them."

8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh's eyes.

9 THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH: NOAH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN, PERFECT IN HIS GENERATIONS. NOAH WALKED WITH GOD.

10 AND NOAH SIRED THREE SONS: SHEM, HAM, AND JAPHETH.

11 AND THE EARTH WAS CORRUPTED BEFORE GOD, AND THE EARTH WAS FILLED WITH VIOLENCE.

12 AND GOD SAW THE EARTH, AND HERE IT WAS CORRUPTED, FOR ALL FLESH HAD CORRUPTED ITS WAY ON THE EARTH.

{p. 55} 13 AND GOD SAID TO NOAH, "THE END OF ALL FLESH HAS COME BEFORE ME, FOR THE EARTH IS FILLED WITH VIOLENCE BECAUSE OF THEM, AND HERE I AM GOING TO DESTROY THEM WITH THE EARTH.

14 MAKE YOURSELF AN ARK OF GOPHER WOOD, MAKE ROOMS WITH THE ARK, AND PITCH IT OUTSIDE AND INSIDE WITH PITCH.

15 AND THIS IS HOW YOU SHALL MAKE IT: THREE HUNDRED CUBITS THE LENGTH OF THE ARK, FIFTY CUBITS ITS WIDTH, AND THIRTY CUBITS ITS HEIGHT.

16 YOU SHALL MAKE A WINDOW FOR THE ARK, AND YOU SHALL FINISH IT TO A CUBIT FROM THE TOP, AND YOU SHALL MAKE AN ENTRANCE TO THE ARK IN ITS SIDE. YOU SHALL MAKE LOWER, SECOND, AND THIRD STORIES FOR IT.

17 AND HERE I AM BRINGING THE FLOOD, WATER OVER THE EARTH, TO DESTROY ALL FLESH IN WHICH IS THE BREATH OF LIFE FROM UNDER THE HEAVENS. EVERYTHING WHICH IS ON THE LAND WILL DIE.

18 AND I SHALL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT WITH YOU. AND YOU SHALL COME TO THE ARK, YOU AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR WIFE AND YOUR SONS' WIVES WlTH YOU.

19 AND OF ALL THE LIVING, OF ALL FLESH, YOU SHALL BRING TWO TO THE ARK TO KEEP ALIVE WITH YOU, THEY SHALL BE MALE AND FEMALE.

20 OF THE BIRDS ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND OF THE BEASTS ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND OF ALL THE CREEPING THINGS OF THE EARTH ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, TWO OF EACH WILL COME TO YOU TO KEEP ALIVE.

21 AND YOU, TAKE FOR YOURSELF OF ALL FOOD WHICH WILL BE EATEN AND GATHER IT TO YOU, AND IT WILL BE FOR YOU AND FOR THEM FOR FOOD."

22 AND NOAH DID ACCORDING TO ALL THAT GOD COMMANDED HIM - SO HE DID.

GENESIS 7:

1 And Yahweh said to Noah, "Come, you and all your household, to the ark, for I have seen you as righteous before me in this generation.

2 Of all the clean beasts, take yourself seven pairs, man and his

{p. 56} woman; and of the beasts which are not clean, two, man and his woman.

3 Also of the birds of the heavens seven pairs, male and female, to keep alive seed on the face of the earth.

4 For in seven more days I shall rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I shall wipe out all the substance that I have made from upon the face of the earth."

5 And Noah did according to all that Yahweh had commanded him.

6 AND NOAH WAS SIX HUNDRED YEARS OLD, AND THE FLOOD WAS ON THE EARTH.

7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him came to the ark from before the waters of the flood.

8 OF THE CLEAN BEASTS AND OF THE BEASTS WHICH WERE NOT CLEAN, AND OF THE BIRDS AND OF ALL THOSE WHICH CREEP UPON THE EARTH,

9 TWO OF EACH CAME TO NOAH TO THE ARK, MALE AND FEMALE, AS GOD HAD COMMANDED NOAH.

10 And seven days later the waters of the flood were on the earth.

11 1N THE SIX HUNDREDTH YEAR OF NOAH'S LIFE, IN THE SECOND MONTH, IN THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, ON THIS DAY ALL THE FOUNTAINS OF THE GREAT DEEP WERE BROKEN UP, AND THE WINDOWS OF THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED.

12 And there was rain on the earth, forty days and forty nights.

13 IN THIS VERY DAY, NOAH AND SHEM, HAM, AND JAPHETH, THE SONS OF NOAH, AND NOAH'S WIFE AND HIS SONS' THREE WIVES WITH THEM CAME TO THE ARK,

14 THEY AND ALL THE LIVING THINGS ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND ALL THE BEASTS ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND ALL THE CREEPING THINGS THAT CREEP ON THE EARTH ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND ALL THE BIRDS ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND, AND EVERY WINGED BIRD.

15 AND THEY CAME TO NOAH TO THE ARK, TWO OF EACH, OF ALL FLESH IN WHICH IS THE BREATH OF LIFE.

16 AND THOSE WHICH CAME WERE MALE AND FEMALE, SOME OF ALL FLESH CAME, AS GOD HAD COMMANDED HIM. And Yahweh closed it for him.

{p. 57} 17 And the flood was on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and the waters multiplied and raised the ark, and it was lifted from the earth.

18 And the waters grew strong and multiplied greatly on the earth, and the ark went on the surface of the waters.

19 And the waters grew very very strong on the earth, and they covered all the high mountains that are under all the heavens.

20 Fifteen cubits above, the waters grew stronger, and they covered the mountains.

21 AND ALL FLESH, THOSE THAT CREEP ON THE EARTH, THE BIRDS, THE BEASTS, AND THE WILD ANIMALS, AND ALL THE SWARMING THINGS THAT SWARM ON THE EARTH, AND ALL THE HUMANS EXPIRED.

22 Everything that had the breathing spirit of life in its nostrils, everything that was on the dry ground, died.

23 And he wiped out all the substance that was on the face of the earth, from human to beast, to creeping thing, and to bird of the heavens, and they were wiped out from the earth, and only Noah and those who were with him in the ark were left.

24 AND THE WATERS GREW STRONG ON THE EARTH A HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS.

GENESIS 8:

AND GOD REMEMBERED NOAH AND ALL THE LIVING, AND ALL THE BEASTS THAT WERE WITH HIM IN THE ARK, AND GOD PASSED A WIND OVER THE EARTH, AND THE WATERS WERE DECREASED.

2 AND THE FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP AND THE WINDOWS OF THE HEAVENS WERE SHUT, and the rain was restrained from the heavens.

3 And the waters receded from the earth continually, AND THE WATERS WERE ABATED AT THE END OF A HUNDRED FlFTY DAYS.

4 AND THE ARK RESTED, IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, IN THE SEVEN TEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, ON THE MOUNTAINS OF ARARAT.

5 AND THE WATERS CONTINUED RECEDING UNTIL THE TENTH MONTH; IN THE TENTH MONTH, ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH, THE TOPS OF THE MOUNTAINS APPEARED.

6 And it was at the end of forty days, and Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.

{p. 58} 7 AND HE SENT OUT A RAVEN, AND IT WENT BACK AND FORTH UNTIL THE WATERS DRIED UP FROM THE EARTH.

8 And he sent out a dove from him to see whether the waters had eased from the face of the earth.

9 And the dove did not find a resting place for its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for waters were on the face of the earth, and he put out his hand and took it and brought it to him to the ark.

10 And he waited seven more days, and he again sent out a dove from the ark.

11 And the dove came to him at evening time, and here was an olive leaf torn off in its mouth, and Noah knew that the waters had eased from the earth.

12 And he waited seven more days, and he sent out a dove, and it did not return to him ever again.

13 AND IT WAS IN THE SIX HUNDRED AND FIRST YEAR, IN THE FIRST MONTH, ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH, THE WATERS DRIED FROM THE EARTH. And Noah turned back the covering of the ark and looked, and here the face of the earth had dried.

14 AND IN THE SECOND MONTH, ON THE TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, THE EARTH DRIED UP.

15 AND GOD SPOKE TO NOAH, SAYING,

16 "GO OUT FROM THE ARK, YOU AND YOUR W1FE AND YOUR SONS' WIVES WITH YOU.

17 ALL THE LIVING THINGS THAT ARE WITH YOU, OF ALL FLESH, OF THE BIRDS, AND OF THE BEASTS, AND OF ALL THE CREEPING THINGS THAT CREEP ON THE EARTH, THAT GO OUT WITH YOU, SHALL SWARM IN THE EARTH AND BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY IN THE EARTH."

18 AND NOAH AND HIS SONS AND HIS WIFE AND HIS SONS' WIVES WENT OUT.

19 ALL THE LIVING THINGS, ALL THE CREEPING THINGS AND ALL THE BIRDS, ALL THAT CREEP ON THE EARTH, BY THEIR FAMILIES, THEY WENT OUT OF THE ARK.

20 And Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and he took some of each of the clean beasts and of each of the clean birds, and he offered sacrifices on the altar.

{p. 59} 21 And Yahweh smelled the pleasant smell, and Yahweh said to his heart, "I shall not again curse the ground on man's account, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from their youth, and I shall not again strike all the living as I have done.

22 All the rest of the days of the earth, seed and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

Each in Its Own Words

The very fact that it is possible to separate out two continuous stories like this is remarkable itself, and it is strong evidence for the hypothesis. One need only try to do the same thing with any other book to see how impressive this phenomenon is.

But it is not only that it is possible to carve out two stories. What makes the case so powerful is that each story consistently uses its own language. The P story (the one in boldface) consistently refers to the deity as God. The story always uses the name Yahweh. P refers to the sex of the animals with the words "male and female" (Gen 6:19; 7:9,16). J uses the terms "man and his woman" (7:2) as well as male and female. P says that everything "expired" (6:17; 7:21). says that everything "died" (7:22).

The two versions do not just differ on terminology. They differ on actual details of the story. P has one pair of each kind of animal. J has seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean animals. ("Clean" means fit for sacrifice. Sheep are clean; lions are unclean.) P pictures the flood as lasting a year (370 days). J says it was forty days and forty nights. P has Noah send out a raven. J says a dove. P obviously has a concern for ages, dates, and measurements in cubits. J does not.

Probably the most remarkable difference of all between the two is their different ways of picturing God. It is not just that they call the deity by different names. J pictures a deity who can regret things that he has done (6:6,7), which raises interesting theological questions, such as whether an all-powerful, all-knowing being would ever regret past actions. It pictures a deity who can be "grieved to his

{p. 60} heart" (6:6), who personally closes the ark (7:16) and smells Noah's sacrifice (8:21). This anthropomorphic quality of J is virtually entirely lacking in P. There God is regarded more as a transcendent controller of the universe.

{Mary Boyce says that this Priestly view of God was influenced by the Zoroastrian theology: zoroaster-judaism.html}

The two flood stories are separable and complete. Each has its own language, its own details, and even its own conception of God. And even that is not the whole picture. The J flood story's language, details, and conception of God are consistent with the language, details, and conception of God in other J stories. The P flood story is consistent with other P stories. And so on. The investigators found each of the sources to be a consistent collection of stories, poems, and laws.

The Doorstep

The discovery that there were four separate, internally consistent documents came to be known as the Documentary Hypothesis. The process was also called "Higher Criticism." What had begun as an idea by three men of the eighteenth century came to dominate investigations of the Bible by the end of the nineteenth cenury.

It had taken centuries of collecting clues to arrive at this stage which one could regard as fairly advanced or really quite minimal, depending on one's point of view. On the one hand, for centuries no one could easily challenge the accepted tradition that Moses was the author of the Five Books, and now people of acknowledged piety could say and write openly that he was not. They were able to identify at least four hands writing in the first five books of the Bible. Also, there was the hand of an extremely skillful collector known as a redactor, someone who was capable of combining and organizing these separate documents into a single work that was united enough to be readable as a continuous narrative.

{the redactor was thus an editor doing a cut-and-paste job}

{p. 61} ... Two Countries, Two Writers

The first two sources, J and E, were written by two persons who lived during the period that I described in the last chapter. They were tied to the life of that period, its major events, its politics, its religion, and its catastrophes. ...

First, the author of J came from Judah and the author of E came from Israel. A number of biblical scholars before me have suggested this, but what is new here is that I mean to present a stronger collection of evidence for this than has been made known before, I mean to be more specific about who the two writers were, and I mean to show more specifically how the biblical stories actually related to these two men and to the events of their world.

... If we separate the Elohim (E) stories from the Yahweh (J) stories, we get a consistent series of clues that the E stories were written by someone concerned with Israel and the stories by someone concerned with Judah.

{p. 62} First, there is the matter of the settings of the stories. In Genesis, in stories that call God Yahweh, the patriarch Abraham lives in Hebron. Hebron was the principal city of Judah, the capital of Judah under King David, the city from which David's Judean chief priest, Zadok, came.

In the covenant that Yahweh makes with Abraham, he promises that Abraham's descendants will have the land "from the river of Egypt to the... river Euphrates." {Gen 15:18} These were the nation's boundaries under King David, the founder of Judah's royal family.

{but archaeological finds do not bear this out; see e.g. Unearthing the Bible by Professor Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman: http://www3.haaretz.co.il/eng/scripts/showArchiveArticle.asp?id=60241&wordd=herzog. Also see The Early History of the Israelite People, by biblical archaeologist Professor Thomas L. Thompson: it claims that the first 10 books of the Old Testament are almost certainly fiction, and that Abraham, Moses, King David and King Solomon never existed}

But in a story that calls God Elohim, Abraham's grandson Jacob has a face-to-face fight with someone who turns out to be God (or perhaps an angel), and Jacob names the place where it happens Peni-El (which means "Face-of-God"). Peni-El was a city that King Jeroboam built in Israel.

Both sources, J and E, tell stories about the city of Beth-El, and both kingdoms, Judah and Israel, made political claims on Beth-El, which was on the border between them.

Both sources, J and E, tell stories about the city of Shechem, which Jeroboam built and made the capital of Israel. But the two stories are very different. According to the J story, a man named Shechem, who is the original prince of that city, loves Jacob's daughter Dinah and sleeps with her. He then asks for her hand in marriage. Jacob's sons reply that they could not contemplate this or any intermarriage with the people of Shechem because the Shechemites are not circumcised and the sons of Jacob are. The prince of Shechem and his father Hamor therefore persuade all the men of Shechem to undergo circumcision. While the men are immobile from the pain of the surgery, two of Jacob's sons Simeon and Levi, enter the city, kill all of the men, and take back their sister Dinah. Their father Jacob criticizes them for doing this, but they answer, "Should he treat our sister like a whore?" And that is the end of the story. {Genesis 34} This J story of how Israel acquired its capital city is not a very pleasant one. The E story, meanwhile, tells it this way:

{p. 63} {quote} And Jacob bought the portion of the field where he pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for a hundred qesita. {endquote} {Gen 33:`19}

How did Israel acquire Shechem? The E author says they bought it. The J author says they massacred it.

The Origins of the Tribes

In the stories of the birth of Jacob's sons and grandsons - each of whom becomes the ancestor of a tribe - there is usually a reference to the deity as they name the child. The group of stories that invoke Elohim are the stories of:

Dan Naphtali Gad Asher Issachar Zebulon Ephraim Manasseh Benjamin

In short, the Elohim group includes the names of all of the tribes of Israel. The group of stories that invoke the name of Yahweh are the stories of:

Reuben Simeon Levi Judah

{p. 81} The Name of God

I have pointed out two places where the name Yahweh occurs in E stories. Until now, I have said that the name of God was a key distinction between J and E. Now let me be more specific. In J, the deity is called Yahweh from beginning to end. The J writer never refers to him as Elohim in narration. In E, the deity is called Elohim untll the arrival of Moses. From the first time that Moses meets God, this changes. In the famous E story of the day that Moses meets God - the story of the burning bush - Moses does not know God's name, and so he asks.

{quote} And Moses said to God Elohim], "Here I am coming to the children of Israel, and I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they will say to me, 'What is his name?' What shall I say to them?" {endquote} {Exod 3:13}

The deity first gives the famous response "I am what I am." (The Hebrew root of these words is the same as the root of the name Yahweh.) And then he answers:

{quote} Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, "Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name forever: By this I shall be remembered from generation to generation. {endquote} {Exod 3:15}

In E, Yahweh reveals his name for the first time to Moses. Prior to this scene in Exodus, he is called El or Elohim.

Why did the writer of E do this? That is controversial. Some think that this story reflects the religious system in the northem kingdom of Israel. In choosing the golden calves (young bulls) as the throne platform, King Jeroboam was perhaps identifying Yahweh with the chief Canaanite god, El. El was associated with bulls and was known as Bull El. Jeroboam was thus saying that Yahweh and El were different names for the same God. The E story would then

{p. 82} serve this merger of the deities. It would explain why the deity had the two different names: he was called El at first, and then he revealed his personal name Yahweh to Moses. This explanation of the name change in E is attractive in that it shows another logical tie between E and the kingdom of Israel. This fits with all the other clues we have seen that E was from Israel.

However, there is a problem with this. In Judah, King Solomon used golden cherubs as the throne platform. And the god El was not only associated with bulls, but with cherubs as well. The statues that each kingdom used, therefore, do not make good evidence for explaining why E has the name revelation to Moses. Besides, all the other evidence we have seen indicates that the author of E was against the religious system that Jeroboam started in Israel. The E author depicted Moses destroying the golden calf. It is difficult, therefore, to argue that this author followed that religious system's theology on the identity of God.

Some investigators doing research on early Israelite history have concluded that, historically, only a small portion of the ancient Israelites were actually slaves in Egypt. Perhaps it was only the Levites. It is among the Levites, after all, that we find people with Egyptian names. The Levite names Moses, Hophni, and Phinehas are all Egyptian, not Hebrew. And the Levites did not occupy any territory in the land like the other tribes. These investigators suggest that the group that was in Egypt and then in Sinai worshiped the God Yahweh. Then they arrived in Israel, where they met Israelite tribes who worshiped the God El. Instead of fighting over whose God was the true God, the two groups accepted the belief that Yahweh and El were the same God. The Levites became the official priests of the united religion, perhaps by force or perhaps by influence. Or perhaps that was their compensation for not having any territory. Instead of land, they received, as priests, 10 percent of the sacrificed animals and produce.

This hypothesis, too, fits with the idea that the author of E was an Israelite Levite. His story of the revelation of the name Yahweh to Moses would reflect this history: the God that the tribes worshiped in the land was El. They had traditions about the God El and their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then the Levites arrived with their traditions about Moses, the exodus from Egypt, and the God Yahweh. The treatment of the divine names in E explains why the name Yahweh was not part of the nation's earliest tradition.

{p. 83} This is in the realm of hypothesis, and we must be very cautious about it. The important thing for our present purpose is that, for E, Moses has a significance far beyond what he has in J. In E, Moses is a turning point in history. E has much less than J about the world before Moses. E has no creation story, no flood story, and relatively less on the patriarchs. But E has more than J on Moses.

This is perfectly understandable from a Levitical priest. Also consistent with the priestly origin of E is the fact that E contains three chapters of law. J does not. Legal material elsewhere in the Bible is by priests - as we shall see.

The overall picture of the E stories is that they are a consistent group, with a definite perspective and set of interests, and that they are profoundly tied to their author's world.

Likewise with the author of J, the more we read his stories the more we can see their unity and their relationship to his world. We can understand, for example, why he did not develop the distinction between the names of God before and after Moses. For him, something extremely important had happened before Moses. This writer was concemed with the ruling family of Judah, David's family. He therefore emphasized the significance of God's covenant with the patriarchs. It was tied to the city of Hebron, David's first capital. It promised inheritance of the land from river to river. In other words, it promised what was realized under King David. For this purpose, the revelation to Abraham was itself a turning point in history. It was not to be regarded as inferior to the revelation to Moses or to the people at Sinai. To depict the Sinai revelation as the first covenant sealed with the name of God would be to diminish the importance of the covenant between God and the patriarchs. J therefore uses he name Yahweh throughout.

{p. 159} Ezra

In the entire Bible, two men are known as lawgivers: Moses and Ezra. Ezra came from Babylon to Judah eighty years after the first group of exiles returned, in 458 B.C. He was a priest and a scribe. The biblical record states explicitly that he was an Aaronid priest. It also indicates that he was no ordinary scribe. His writing skills were associated with one document in particular: "the torah of Moses."

Ezra arrived in Jerusalem with two important documents in his hand. One was this "torah of Moses," and the other was a letter from the Persian emperor, Artaxerxes, giving him authority in Judah. The emperor's authorization empowered Ezra to teach and to enforce "the law of your God which is in your hand." The enforcement powers included fines, imprisonment, and the death penalty.

{See Mary Boyce on the Persian Empire, and its influence on the formation of Judaism: zoroaster-judaism.html}

What was this "torah of Moses," this "law of your God which is in your hand"? References to it in the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah include material from JE, D, and P. It is therefore likely that the book that Ezra brought from Babylon to Judah was the full Torah - the Five Books of Moses - as we know it.

Ezra's political authority was somehow shared with a governor, Nehemiah, who also was appointed by the emperor. With the backing of the emperor, who was perhaps the most powerful man in the world, Ezra and Nehemiah wielded considerable authority. They rebuilt the city walls of Jerusalem that the Babylonians had torn down. They enforced the observance of the Sabbath. They forced intermarriages between Jews and others to be dissolved. In the absence of any Judean kings, these two men were the leaders of the people. Judah was not an independent country. It was now a province of the Persian empire. And Ezra and Nehemiah were the emperor's designated authorities.

{p. 217} THE combination of P with J, E, and D was even more extraordinary than the combination of J and E with each other had been centuries earlier. P was polemic - it was an answer-torah to J and E. JE denigrated Aaron. P denigrated Moses. JE assumed that any Levite could be a priest. P said that only men who were descendants of Aaron could be priests. JE said that there were angels, that animals occasionally could talk, and that God could be found standing on a rock or walking through the garden of Eden. P would have none of that.

D, meanwhile, came from a circle of people who were as hostile to P as the P-circle were to JE. These two priestly groups had struggled, over centuries, for priestly prerogatives, authority, income, and legitimacy.

And now someone was putting all of these works together.

Someone was combining JE with the work that was written as an alternative to it. And this person was not merely combining them side by side, as parallel stories. He or she was cutting and intersecting them intricately. And at the end of this combined, interwoven

{p. 218} collection of the laws and stories of J, E, and P, this person set Deuteronomy, the farewell speech of Moses, as a conclusion. Someone was merging the four different, often opposing sources so artfully that it would take millennia to figure it out.

This was the person who created the Torah, the Five Books of Moses that we have read for over two thousand years. Who was this person? Why did he or she do it?

This was the first question of this book: if Moses did not produce these books, who did?

I think that it was Ezra.

An Aaronid Priest

The person who assembled the four sources into the Five Books of Moses is known as the redactor. The redactor is harder to trace than any of the authors of the sources. For the most part, the redactor was arranging texts that already existed, not writing very much of his or her own, and so there is little evidence to shed light on who he was. We do not have whole stories or long groups of laws to examine in order to deduce where he came from, what his interests were, or whom he opposed.

Still, we do know a few things about this person. To start with, the redactor came from the circle of Aaronid priests. Either he was a priest himself, or he was aligned with them and was committed to their interests. There are several reasons for this conclusion

In the first place, he began the major sections of his work with P stories or laws, never with J or E. What are now the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers all begin with Priestly texts.

Second, he used Priestly documents as the framework for the work. The first document he used was the Book of Generations, better known as the list of "begats" to readers of the Bible, most of whom find it one of the most tedious things in the Bible. It begins:

{quote} This is the Book of Generations of humans. {endquote} {Gen 5:1}

{p. 219} Then it lists the generations of humans from Adam to Jacob, telling who begat whom and giving the ages of the people on the list.

Frank Moore Cross demonstrated that the Book of Generations was originally a separate document. The person who assembled the Torah cut it into several parts and then interspersed the parts through the book of Genesis. {Gen 5:1-28,30-32; 7:6; 9:28-29; 11:10-26,32} This arrangement gave the stories from the different writers organization and continuity. The redactor took the part of the document that covered the ten generations from Adam to Noah and placed it between the Adam story and the Noah story, then he took the part that covered the ten generations from Noah to Abraham and placed it between the Noah story and the Abraham stories, and so on. This gave the stories of Genesis a sensible framework, setting all of them into a flow of history.

The Book of Generations was a Priestly document. Like the P stories in Genesis, the Book of Generations refers to God as Elohim, not as Yahweh. Like the P creation story, the Book of Generations says that humans are created in God's image. {Gen 5:1} Like many P stories and laws, the Book of Generations is concerned with repetitious details of names and dates.

That is, the redactor used a Priestly document as the structuring text of the book of Genesis.

The redactor also used a Priestly text as the structure for the next fifteen chapters of the Bible - the stories of the enslavement of the Israelites and the exodus from Egypt. The text he used was the P version of the plagues that Yahweh inflicted upon the Egyptians. Simply put, he used the language of the P version to give unity to the different sources. In the P version, each of the plagues on the Egyptians was followed by the words:

{quote} But Pharaoh's heart was strengthened, and he did not listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken. {endquote} {Exod 7:13,22; 8:15; 9:12}

The redactor inserted words similar to these following plagues in the JE stories as well. {Exod 8:12b; 9:35; 10:10,27} Then, when he combined the P plague stories and the JE plague stories, the common endings gave the whole combined story a unity. The point is that the redactor was using Pnestly documents as the governing structure of the work.

Third, he added texts of his own, and these new texts were in the typical language and interests of P. I shall refer to some of these texts

{p. 220} below, and I have listed all of them in the Appendix. For now, let it sufffice to say that they are so much like the P texts in their language that for a long time investigators thought that they were part of P itself.

Professor {Frank} Cross went even further. He concluded that P and R (redactor) were virtually the same thing. He argued that there were major gaps in the flow of the P story. Since the P story was incomplete, and the structure of the work came from Priestly documents, Cross concluded that there never was a separate P source. Rather, he said, a single person (or circle) wrote the P portions of the Pentateuch around the JE portions in the first place. This same person fashioned the framework that held all the stories together. The redaction and the Priestly writing were all one process.

{this would mean that the Priestly source - the most important part of the Torah, including chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis - was written around 458 BC, in Babylon, under the direct influence of the Zoroastrian religion}

On this point I have disagreed with my teacher. As indicated in the preceding chapters, the P narrative appears to me to be a continuous, consistent story. If J and E are separated from it, we can read this story with hardly a gap. Where the gaps do occur, they are explainable in terms of the priestly author's interests, as I described in the last chapter. If we look at the biblical flood story with the two sources separated, we can see that each story is complete. Likewise with the rebellion story (Korah, Dathan, Abiram). Likewise with the two stories of the splitting of the Red Sea, and with the two stories of the event at Mount Sinai. In each case, the Priestly story is not written around the J or E story. It rather appears to be an originally separate, continuous, consistent story, which someone else has combined with the earlier version. Also, there is the matter of the P stories being alterrative versions of the J and E stories. What would have been the point of the P author's writing these altemative presentations of the stories if he was combining them with the very texts to which they were altemative?

Still, even though I was persuaded by the evidence that the Priestly writer and the redactor were two different persons, I was also persuaded by Professor Cross that the redactor was himself from the Aaronid priestly family, using priestly documents and priestly terminology.

There is a way of distinguishing the original P texts from the Priestly redactor's insertions, which I shall discuss below. But, again, the point for now is that the redactor came from the same group as the P writer. His work explicitly expressed a priest's

{p. 221} concerns and interests, he used P language, he started each major section of his work with a P text, and he framed the work with priestly documents.

It is not really surprising to find that the redactor was a priest. The majority of the stories and all of the law that we have looked at so far have turned out to be by priests (E, P, and D). Priests had access to documents and the religious authority to promulgate the documents. Part of the priests' offficial function was to teach law and tradition. It is only natural that the priests who produced P and the Deuteronomistic history (which probably included E) should have passed their works along to other priests, and that these documents should have been preserved in priestly circles. Then a moment in history came when a priest saw value in putting them together.

In the Days of the Second Temple

That moment had to be in the days of the second Temple. The sources - J, E, P, and D (Dtr1 and Dtr2) - were not all completed until shortly before that time. Also, if we look at what this priest added to these sources, we can see clues pointing even more specifically to the moment of creation of the final work.

For example, he added chapter 15 of the book of Numbers. It is a chapter of laws that is separated from all the other priestly laws. For some reason it was inserted between chapters that contain stories, rather than among the other laws. It is in between the spy story and the rebellion story. It is written in typical priestly language, and it is about a typical priestly concern: sacrifice.

It is too typical. It deals with regular sacrifice, holiday sacrifice, sacrifices of vows, and individual sacrifices for sin through error. These are all things that were dealt with already in P. This chapter is largely a doublet, repeating things that have already been said, while adding some offerings to the list.

But there is one striking difference: Numbers 15 never mentions the Tabernacle.

The absence of any mention of the Tabernacle in a text that

{p. 222} duplicates priestly laws of sacrifice is no coincidence. Elsewhere in P it is emphasized over and over that the Tabernacle is crucial to sacrifice. There cannot be any sacrifice except at the entrance of the Tabernacle. This other text, Numbers 15, appears to come from a time when priests could no longer insist on the presence of the Tabernacle for sacrifice. It fits the days of the second Temple, when the Tabernacle no longer existed.

The second Temple had no Tabernacle, no cherubs, and no ark. Yet sacrifices were made there. Numbers 15 appears to be the text that created a link between the old days and the new, between the first Temple and the second. It had to be written either in Jerusalem as a second Temple law, or while still in Babylonian exile, as a program for the future.

There is another insertion that is more revealing. The P source gives laws about holidays in Leviticus 23. The text there lists the three main holidays - the feast of Passover, the feast of Weeks, and the feast of Booths - and also the new year and Day of Atonement holidays. This holiday list is plainly marked. It begins (verse 4) and ends (verse 37) with the words "These are the holidays of Yahweh." But then, two verses after the end of the list (verse 39), suddenly there is another law about one of the holidays: the feast of Booths. This additional law, which is disconnected from all the other holiday laws, says that on this holiday which is called "Booths" (Hebrew: Sukkot) the people are actually supposed to build booths (i.e., huts or tents) and live in them for a week. The text says that this practice is to remind the people that their ancestors lived in temporary structures in the wilderness after they left Egypt. The text lists species of trees that are to be used on this holiday.

What is this all about? Why does this one law about one particular practice on one holiday appear separately, after the end of the holiday section? The answer lies in the days of the second Temple. According to the book of Nehemiah, when Ezra gathered the people at the water gate to read the Torah to them, they found something in the Torah that apparently was brand-new to them: a law that prescribed actually living in booths on the feast of Booths. One text is explicit that this law had never before been observed in the entire history of the country. It says:

{quote} The children of Israel had not done so from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. {endquote}

{p. 223} Now, this event in the days of Ezra refers to the passage in Leviticus about the booths. It even mentions the same species of trees that are listed in Leviticus. And so we have an oddly placed law in Leviticus, and we have a report that this oddly placed law was never part of the people's life or tradition until the days of the second Temple. This fits with the other evidence that the final stage of the formation of the Five Books of Moses was in the days of the second Temple.

This makes perfect sense. The second Temple days were the time when the Aaronid priests were in authority. There were no more kings. Rival priesthoods had been superseded. It is really no surprise that an Aaronid priest of the second Temple days should have been the redactor of the final work. This was the time, as never before, that the priests had the authority to promulgate the work - and to enforce it.

Ezra

One Aaronid priest in particular had all this power: Ezra. He had the backing of the emperor. He had enforcement powers. Even though he was not the High Priest, he had enormous authority. And his authority was directly linked to a scroll that he brought to Judah, a scroll that is identified as "the Torah of Moses which Yahweh God of Israel gave." {Ezra 7:6}

As I said in Chapter 8, in the entire Bible only two men are known as lawgivers: Moses and Ezra. Ezra was a priest, a lawgiver, and a scribe. He had access to documents. And the biblical biography of Ezra is explicit about which documents interested him. It says:

{quote} Ezra had set his heart on seeking out Yahweh's Torah. ... {endquote} {Ezra 7:10}

It also says:

{quote} He was a ready scribe in the Torah of Moses. {endquote} {Ezra 7:6}

{p. 224} It also reports that the emperor authorized him to teach and enforce

{quote} the law of your God which is in your hand. {endquote} {Ezra 7:14}

The first time that we find the full Torah of Moses in Judah, it is in Ezra's possession. He sought it out, he was a scribe who worked with it, he personally carried it to Jerusalem, and he personally gave it its first public reading. And when he read it to the people, they heard things that they had never heard before.

This does not prove that it absolutely had to be Ezra who fashioned the Five Books of Moses. But he was in the right priestly family, in the right profession, in the right place, in the right time, with the authority, and with the first known copy of the book in his hand. If it was not Ezra himself who composed the work, then it was someone close to him - a relative, a colleague in the priesthood, a fellow scribe - because it could not have been produced very long before he arrived with it in Judah. The Temple had been standing for only about one generation when he came to Jerusalem.

In light of all this, it is fascinating that there actually was an ancient tradition about Ezra and the Torah of Moses. The tradition says that the original scroll of the Torah (and other books of the Bible) was burned up in the fire that destroyed the Temple in 587 B.C. but that Ezra was able to restore it by a revelation. This tradition is preserved in a work called the Fourth Book of Ezra. This book is not part of the Bible. It is rather part of the collection known as the Pseudepigrapha, which are works written by Christians and Jews between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. The Fourth Book of Ezra comes from around 100 A.D. In it, God speaks to Ezra from a bush. Ezra says:

{quote} The world lies in darkness, and its inhabitants are without light. For your law has been burned, and so no one knows the things which have been done or will be done by you. If then I have found favor before you, send the Holy Spirit to me, and I will write everything that has happened in the world from the beginning, the things which were written in your Law. {endquote}

Ezra then recites the lost texts for forty days.

Not to overstate the importance of this relatively late text, the point of this is simply that already in early times Ezra was associated

{p. 225} with the production of the sacred text. Even Jerome, in the fourth century A.D., said:

{quote} ... whether you choose to call Moses the author of the Pentateuch or Ezra the renewer of the same work, I raise no objection. {endquote}

Modern investigators, too, have occasionally expressed the suspicion that Ezra was the man who fashioned the Five Books of Moses. In the present state of our knowledge, the evidence seems to me to point with high likelihood to Ezra, the priest, scribe, and lawgiver who came to the land with the Torah of Moses in his hand.

{end of quotes}

The Genesis story of Creation, in the Jehovah Witness bible

(I keep a copy on hand to debate with JWs; they can't very well object to this translation)

{p. 3} New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

{p. 4} COPYRIGHT, 1961 AND 1981

{How can people put a Copyright on the Word of God?}

{p. 9} GENESIS {this is the P version; note that the animals are created before the people}

1 {chapter 1}

In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.

3 And God proceeded to say: "Let light come to be." Then there came to be light. 4 After that God saw that the light was good, and God brought about a division between the light and the darkness. 5 And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a first day.

6 And God went on to say: "Let an expanse come to be in between the waters and let a dividing occur between the waters and the waters." 7 Then God proceeded to make the expanse and to make a division between the waters that should be beneath the expanse and the waters that should be above the expanse. And it came to be so. 8 And God began to call the expanse Heaven. And there came to be evening and there came to be mormng, a second day.

g And God went on to say: "Let the waters under the heavens be brought together into one place and let the dry land appear." And it came to be so. 10 And God began calling the dry land Earth, but the bringing together of the waters he called Seas. Further, God saw that [it was] good. 11 And God went on to say: "Let the earth cause grass to shoot forth. vegetallon bearing seed, fruit trees yielding fruit according to their kinds, the seed of which is in it, upon the earth." And it came to be so. 12 And the earth began to put forth grass, vegetation bearing seed according to its kind and trees yielding fruit, the seed of which is in it according to its kind. Then God saw that [it was] good. 13 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a third day.

14 And God went on to say: "Let luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night: and they must serve as signs and for seasons and for days and years. 15 And they must serve as luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth." And it came to be so. 16 And God proceeded to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars. 17 Thus God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth, 18 and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that [it was] good. 13 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fourth day.

20 And God went on to say: "Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens." 21 And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul that moves about which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters in the sea basins, and let the flying creatures become many in the earth." 23 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a fifth day.

24 And God went on to say: "Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domes-

{p. 10} tic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind." And it came to be so. 25 And God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that [it was] good.

26 And God went on to say: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth." 27 And God proceeded to create the man in his image in God's image he created him; ma;e and female he created them. 28 Further God blessed them and God said to them: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every iiving creature that is moving upon the earth."

29 And God went on to say: "Here I have given to YOU all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To YOU let it serve as food. 30 And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food." And it came to be so.

31 After that God saw everything he had made and, look! [it was] very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.

2 {Chapter 2}

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion. 2 And by the seventh day God came to the completion of his work that he had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all his work that he had made. 3 And God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred, because on it he has been resting from all his work that God has created for the purpose of making.

{now comes the J version; note that Adam is created before the animals, and Eve is created last}

4 This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.

5 Now there was as yet no bush of the field found in the earth and no vegetation of the field was as yet sproutmg, because Jehovah God had not made it rain upon the earth and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground.

7 And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul. 8 Further, Jehovah God Planted a garden in E'den, toward the east, and the he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one's sight and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.

10 Now there was a river issuing out of E'den to water the garden, and from there it began to be parted and it became as it were, four heads. 11 The first one's name is Pi'shon; it is the one encircling the entire land of Hav'i-lah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. There also are the bdellium gum and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gi'hon; it is the one encircling the entire iand of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hid'-de-kel; it is the one going to the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Eu-phra'tes.

15 And Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of E'den to cultivate it and to take care of it. 16 And Jehovah God also laid his command upon the man: "from every tree of

{p. 11} the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die."

18 And Jehovah God went on to say: "It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him." 19 Now Jehovah God was forming from the ground every beast of the field and eyery flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one, and whatever the man would call it, each living soul, that was its name. 20 So the man was calling the names of all the domestic animals and of the flying creatures of the heavens and of every wild beast of the field, but for man there was found no helper as a complement of him. 21 Hence Jehovah God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over its place. 22 And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man.

23 Then the man said:

"This is at last bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one will be called Woman,
Because from man this one was taken."

24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh. 25 And both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife, and yet they did not become ashamed.

Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it began to say to the woman: "Is it really so that God said YOU must not eat from every tree of the garden?" 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3 But as for [eating] of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said 'You must not eat from it, no, YOU must not touch it that YOU do not die.'" 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: "You positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God KNOWING good and bad."

6 Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them became opened and they began to realize that they were naked. Hence they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.

8 Later they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden about the breezy part of the day and the man and his wife went into hiding from the face of Jehovah God in between the trees of the garden. And Jehovah God kept calling to the man and saying to him: "Where are you?" 10 Finally he said: "Your voice I heard in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked and so I hid myself." 11 At that he said: "Who told you that you were naked? From the tree from which I commanded you not to eat have you eaten?" 12 And the man went on to say: "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me [fruit] from the tree and so I ate." 13 With that Jehovah God said to the woman: "What is this you have done?" To this the woman replied: "The serpent - it deceived me and so I ate."

14 And Jehovah God proceeded to say to the serpent: "Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. ...

{end of quotes}

Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts, Free Press, New York 2001.

{p. 13} The impact of the book of Deuteronomy on the ultimate message of the Hebrew Bible goes far beyond its strict legal codes. The connected historical narrative of the books that follow the Pentateuch - Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings - is so closely related to Deuteronomy linguistically and theologically that it has come to be called by scholars since the middle of the 1940s the "Deuteronomic History". This is the second great literary work on the history of Israel in the Bible. It continues the story of Israel's destiny from the conquest of the promised land to the Babylonian exile and expresses the ideology of a new religious movement

{p. 14} that arose among the people of Israel at a relatively late date. This work too was edited more than once. Some scholars argue that it was complied during the exile in an attempt to preserve the history, culture, and identity of the vanquished nastion after the catastrophe of the destruction of Jerusalem. Other scholars maintain that it the main, the Deuteronomic History was written in the days of King Josiah, to serve his religious ideology and territorial ambitions, and that it was finished and edited a few decades later in exile.

{end}

Arnold J. Toynbee says that the Judaism we know was created in Babylon among the exiles.

He writes, "Judaism is a development of the Pre-Exilic religion of Judah that was created in and by the Babylonian diaspora and was imposed by it on the Jewish population in Judaea. ... There has also been the aim of converting the gentile world to the worship of Yahweh under the aegis of a world-empire centred on Eretz Israel and ruled by 'the Lord's Anointed': a coming human king of Davidic lineage." (Reconsiderations, p. 486).

And "It needed the subsequent missions of Nehemiah and Ezra, backed by the Achaemenian Imperial Government's authority, to make them ruefully conform to the new ideals of monotheism" (p. 429): toynbee.html.

Cyrus H. Gordon on East Mediterranean Culture of 1500-1000 BC, precursor to Greek and Hebrew Civilisations: gordon.html.

The Exodus and the Archaeology of the Bible - the findings of Egyptologist Donald B. Redford, and Israeli Archaeologists Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman: archaeology-bible.html.

David Ben-Gurion on the Bible & its role in re-creating Israel: bengur-bible.html.

David Ben-Gurion offers an atheistic definition of Judaism, arguing that God did not choose them; rather, they chose Him - and themselves: bengur-recollections.html.

S. G. F. Brandon on the derivation of the story of Adam and Eve from the Epic of Gilgamesh: adam-and-eve.html.

The religion of the First Persian Empire (549-330 BC) was Zoroastrianism; it has shaped Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Marxism and Radical Feminism: zoroaster-judaism.html.

The Zoroastrian religion and its progeny: the ancestry of religious fundamentalism, and Marxist millennialism: zoroastrianism.html.

Arnold J. Toynbee on the origins of the Bible: toynbee.html.

The Song of Songs, and other records of a Goddess orientation in Jewish tradition prior to Ezra: jewish-taoist.html.

On the basis of the fictioned history in the Jewish Bible, the Roman Empire divested itself of its temples and values. The Jewish Revolt of 66-70 AD: jewish-revolt.html.

It was on the basis of this fictionalized Jewish history that Christian Europe destroyed the cultures of ancient Egypt, North and South America, and Australia.

The Marxist movement rejects the Jewish religion, yet is in some ways a mutation of it, dismissing all existing civilizations (as worthless) and trying to impose a "universal standard": anti-civ.html.

Thus Mao's Cultural Revolution against the "Four Olds", the attempt to eradicate China's own culture: utopia.html.

More from Richard Friedman on the Flood Story: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible/flood.html.

To buy Friedman's books: http://www.anybook4less.com/author/Richard+Elliott+Friedman.html.

Write to me at contact.html.

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