Skip to main content

Pentateuchal Studies

PENTATEUCHAL STUDIES

This survey of Pentateuchal scholarship comprises two parts. The first part examines the course of critical Pentateuchal scholarship from its beginnings down to 1965, while the second part extends the survey to the following decades.

Part I: Origins until 1965

The first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) are traditionally ascribed to Moses. The word Pentateuch, from the Greek πεντάτευχος, meaning the "five-scroll" work, was applied to these five books by the Jews of Alexandria at least from the beginning of the Christian Era. More commonly among the Jews, as already in the OT (2 Chr 23.18; Neh 8.12), these books were known as the Torah (Heb. tôrâ ) or Law (of Moses). The Jewish title aptly designates much of the content; almost half of the material is legal in form. But the narrative portions give the theological meaning to the whole. It describes the religious history of mankind in very general terms from creation to Abraham (Gn 111), then in greater detail the patriarchal story (Gn 1250) and the events surrounding the Exodus from Egypt and the wandering in the desert (Exodus through Deuteronomy). It is in the context of these latter events, in particular of the Sinai revelation, that the legal portion is conceived as an emergent of history. The Law, including all the religious, ethical, civil, and rubrical legislation in Israel, expressed Yahweh's will for His chosen people and accordingly was always related to the covenant of Sinai regardless of its actual date of formulation. Israel's concept of history had determined her concept of law. This article discusses the history of the origin and development of the Pentateuch as determined by Biblical scholarship. The following general outline will be followed: history of early scholarly opinion up to and including the Wellhausen documentary hypothesis; the four documents or traditions of the Pentateuch as determined by the classical documentary hypothesis; reactions to and refinement of the documentary hypothesis; summary and modern trends; Catholic opinion; Moses and the Pentateuch. (see genesis, book of; exodus, book of; leviticus, book of; numbers, book of; deuteronomy, book of.)

Early Scholarly Opinion. Jewish and the earliest Christian tradition agreed in ascribing the Pentateuch as a whole to moses. As we shall see later in detail, this was in accord with a concept of authorship different from that of the modern Western world. By the time a more strict concept of the author's inviolability had been developed, in the Christian Era, the attribution to Moses was already traditional.

Richard Simon and Jean Astruc. In 1678 an Oratorian priest, Richard simon, published a critical work on the text, versions, and commentaries of the OT. On its appearance he was assailed by Catholics and Protestants alike, and his works were put on the Index. Despite this, he is called, and rightly so, the father of Biblical criticism, because of his pioneer work. It was 75 years later (1753) that another Catholic author, Jean astruc, a French physician, published a literary analysis of Genesis in which he suggested the presence of two sources. By separating those sections using the name yahweh for God from those using elohim he was able to reconstruct two fairly coherent stories. This was the beginning of the documentary hypothesis.

Early History of Documentary Hypothesis. Catholic reaction to Astruc's work was again not favorable. As a result, further development of the theory was undertaken mainly by German Protestant scholars. J. Eichhorn (1780) is generally credited with having systematized the investigation by drawing up certain principles of Biblical criticism and so assuring its development as a proper science. Moreover, he carried the analysis made by Astruc through to Leviticus and so made the problem of the origin of the Pentateuch an acute one for Biblical scholarship

of the early 19th century. K. Ilgen (1798), Eichhorn's successor at the University of Jena, probed further into the Elohim sections and discovered two distinct sources there. Thus three documents had now become at least tentatively detached.

The documentary hypothesis received its first major setback in the early part of the 19th century when a new theory, the fragment hypothesis, was championed. The seemingly complex tradition history of the material provided the basis for the theory. A. geddes (1792), an English Catholic priest, ascribed most of the material to the Solomonic era and considered it a conflation of a number of disparate documents. J. Vater (1802) further dissected the material and set the terminal date for its composition in the exilic period. W. M. L. De Wette (1805) concentrated on historical criticism and came to a similar conclusion, showing that much of the legislation could not have been made in the earlier period. But his outstanding contribution was the connection of Deuteronomy with the "book of the Law" found in the temple at the time of the reform of Josiah (2 Kgs 22.320; De Wette considered this "finding" a pious fraud on the part of the reformers); this had special interest for the next phase in the development of this hypothesis.

Further Development of Documentary Hypothesis. A partial return to this earlier theory was witnessed by G. H. A. Ewald's (1831) acceptance of a First Elohist (the modern "Priestly Code," abbreviated P; see priestly writers, pentateuchal), a yahwist (abbreviated J after its German form), a redactor of these two, and De Wette's Deuteronomy (abbreviated D; see deuteronomists). Though Ewald later changed to a supplement hypothesis, positing an Elohistic (the modern P) Grundschrift to which passages from other sources were added, his work prepared the way for the further development of the documentary hypothesis. This perfecting of the theory was heralded by H. Hupfeld (1853), who showed clearly the existence in Genesis of two Elohistic (the modern P and elohist, abbreviated E) and the one Yahwistic (J) sources. Like his predecessors, Hupfeld considered P as basic and the oldest of all. Then E. Riehm (1854) proposed De Wette's Deuteronomy as the fourth distinct source in the Pentateuch. Thus the three sources in Genesis, first distinguished by Ilgen and then more clearly by Hupfeld, were proposed, together with Deuteronomy, as accounting for all the material for the Pentateuch. The task of substantiating this theory, revising some details, and filling in others remained.

The major revision was the reversing of the relative chronology of the sources. What had been considered the earliest of the Elohistic documents was, mainly through the work of E. G. E. Reuss (1833) and H. Graf (1866), considered to be postexilic in composition, at least with regard to its legislative sections. The latter scholar then followed W. Kosters (1868) in extending this conclusion to the narrative section of P. Thus, what once had been considered the oldest document of the Pentateuch was recognized as the youngest. The acceptance of this by the scholarly and influential A. Kuenen (1870) assured its acceptance by many others. The relative chronology as still held today had become more or less fixed.

Work of Julius Wellhausen. The great work of synthesizing all these conclusions and presenting them in a convincing way to the scholarly world was performed by J. wellhausen. The year 1876 marked the appearance of the first of his articles, which were later put in book form. This became the basis for almost all liberal critical work on the Pentateuch after that time. While he showed more clearly than any before him that the Yahwist was the oldest and the Priestly Code the youngest of the documents, he also provided an absolute dating for each, assigning the Yahwist to the 9th, the Elohist to the 8th, Deuteronomy to the 7th, and the Priestly source to the 5th centuries b.c. The determination was made on the basis of religious, social, and legal concepts supposedly found in the documents themselves.

Wellhausen made brilliant and full use of the science of literary criticism as developed at that time, a fact that helped in the wide diffusion of the documentary hypothesis as proposed by him. His writings, however, were partially vitiated by certain historical and philosophical preconceptions. He was completely skeptical about the ability to reconstruct any part of Israel's history that predated the beginnings of the monarchy. While some historical facts underlie the accounts of the Exodus, wandering, and conquest, they cannot be reconstructed, he argued, into any kind of organic story. And anything before that is, of course, pure legend or myth.

The lack of sufficient documentation for the history of the surrounding nations made it difficult also for Well-hausen, and others, to place Israel's history within its proper context. Hence they could more readily apply to OT literature criteria based on an evolutionary concept of religion. All the forms of religious belief, from animism to monotheism, were found to be expressed, and their expressions were dated in accord with the developing science of comparative religion. This science, as practiced by the majority at that time, left no room for the possibility of divine intervention and hence precluded any development of religion within Israel different than that among the pagan peoples.

Wellhausen's aprioristic reconstruction of Israel's religious history cast a shadow over the brilliance of his insights and presentation and was chiefly responsible for the reaction he met on the part of the more conservative scholars of his day, a reaction that has since been justified. The documentary hypothesis itself, however, in its determination of the four sources with their "constants" has retained the allegiance of the great part of the scholarly world, with the modifications to be noted.

Classical Four-Documentary Hypothesis. The characteristics of the documents or traditions, along with the principal passages attributed to them, determined by the process described above and as reflecting the generally accepted position, will be briefly presented.

Yahwist (J ). This document was first recognized by its use, from the very beginning of its history, of the name "Yahweh" for God, although the name was revealed only in the time of Moses (Ex 3.15). The narrative is colorful and interesting; the painting of scenes and the delineation of characters are superb. The dialogues especially are presented with consummate skill and artistry (e.g., Gn 24). It is through the stories that J presents its religious convictions, which are quite profound and which reveal deep psychological insights into the human condition. The origin of evil, man's propensity to sin, the relationship between civilization and morality, the relevance of the apparently least significant events to the divine plan, and the grand sweep of that plan are all subjected to J's analysis. The underlying conviction is that God has intervened in Israel's history and manifested His loving concern for this people. In presenting this God, J makes bold use of anthropomorphisms, which easily distinguish it from E and P. God forms man, breathes into his nostrils, plants a garden, talks to man, walks in the garden, makes garments (Gn 23), is pleased (Gn 4.4), regrets, and is grieved (Gn 6.6), etc. Wellhausen and others placed the composition of J in the kingdom of Judah in the latter part of the 9th century b.c. There were to be later refinements of this, but the southern provenance during the monarchical period would continue to be maintained. Following are the principal passages attributed to J: Gn 2.4b4.26;6.18.22 (mixed with P); 9.1827; 10.132 (mixed with P); 11.19; 12.113.19; 15.116.16; 18.119.38; 21.121 (mixed with P); 24.167; 25.126.35 (mixed with P);27.145; 28.1032.22 (mixed with E); 32.2333.20;34.131 (mixed with E); 37.136 (mixed with E);38.139.23; 41.143.34 (mixed with E); 44.134;45.148.22 (mixed with E and P); 49.133; 50.126 (mixed with E and P); Ex 12 (mixed with E and P); 35 (mixed with E); 711 (mixed with E and P); 14 (mixed with P); 3234 (mixed with E); Nm 10.2911.34 (mixed with E); 13.17b16.35 (mixed with E and P); 20.124.25 (mixed with E and P); 32.142 (mixed with E and P). There is no universal agreement on all the attributions, and at times the conflation with other sources is such as to preclude a precise analysis.

Elohist (E ). This document's careful use of the name "Elohim" for God in the pre-Sinai material is already an indication of its more exact theology. While the style is not as colorful as J's, it is more consciously didactic. E can be recognized by a preference for "Horeb" to "Sinai," for "Amorrites" to "Canaanites," etc. Its interest in the covenant is reflected in an emphasis on the obligations flowing from it (e.g., Gn 35.2). Similarly its morality is stricter than that of J (cf. Gn 20 with J's26.611). Prophetic influence has probably colored E's description of Moses as charged with a prophetic office (Ex 3), and has determined its anachronistic identification of Abraham as a prophet (Gn 20.7). Finally, it avoids the bolder anthropomorphisms of J and presents God as speaking to man in dreams, from clouds or in the midst of fire, or through the medium of an angel. While the early critics debated the relative date of E and J, they all agreed in placing the composition of E in the northern kingdom, and the majority concurred on the time as the middle of the 8th century b.c. E was conflated with J, to J's advantage, in Juda some time after the fall of the northern kingdom. Following are the principal passages attributed to E: Gn 20.118; 21.2222.24; 40.123; Ex 1718; 20 (mixed with P); 2124. See also the many passages conflated with J.

Deuteronomist (D ). Early in the 19th century De Wette had already pointed out the special character of the book of Deuteronomy and argued that it had been composed as the basis of a reform program during the reign of Josiah. Riehm (1854) confirmed its special character. All critics accepted their principal conclusions. Within the Pentateuch D is confined, for the most part, to the book of Deuteronomy, whence its name, and is easily distinguished by its marked literary style. In vocabulary it makes frequent use of expressions such as "choose," "the good land," "with all your heart and with all your soul," "make his name to dwell," "a mighty hand and outstretched arm," etc. These and its manner of presenting its material in the form of Mosaic addresses that are strongly hortatory and moving readily characterize it as a separate document. Its theology, too, is marked, stressing the law as a loving response to the God who chose Israel out of love and who made His name to dwell in the one Temple of Jerusalem where pure worship can alone be offered. While the critics did not endorse De Wette's thesis that Deuteronomy was composed and then put in the Temple to be "found," they did agree that it was a document of the 7th century b.c. that bore some relation to Josiah's reform. As will be seen, later scholars recognized D in other books of the OT. As already stated, within the Pentateuch D is confined to the book of Deuteronomy except for a few brief passages in Exodus (Ex 12.2427; 13.36; 15.26).

Priestly Document (P ). The identification of P was relatively easy once E had been separated from it and recognized as a separate document. P's vocabulary tends to the abstract. Stereotyped expressions abound. The style is pedantic and redundant. P makes much use of genealogies, gives minute descriptions especially of ritual matters, and delights in chronological precision. Its presentation of history is liturgical in character, which accounts for the systematic and precise way in which the events are said to occur. As might be expected, God is presented in P less anthropomorphically than in any of the other documents. God "appears," although it is not always indicated how, and speaks to man. The conversation is usually one-sided; man's attitude is one of respectful listening (Gn 17). P is responsible for most of the legal collections in their canonical form, and this interest is reflected in the whole composition. The critics agreed on a postexilic date for the document and that it was the work of priests attempting to restore liturgical worship in Jerusalem. Following are the principal passages attributed to P: Gn 1.12.4a; 5; 17; 23; 27.4628.9; Ex 6; 16; 2531; 3540; the whole of Leviticus; Nm 1.110.28;13.117a; 1719; 2531; 3336. See also the passages conflated with J and E. Toward the end of the 7th century b.c., D had been joined to the conflated JE. The addition of P at some time in the 5th century b.c. would have completed the work, and the Pentateuch would have existed in its canonical form.

Reactions to the Documentary Hypothesis. In the succeeding years the Wellhausen hypothesis was subjected to many attacks that resulted in extensive revisions. While the outer shell of the theory, represented by the fourfold siglum of JEDP, has held up well and still claims the majority of supporters, the inner construction has been radically changed. The change was brought about by work in three major directions. The first and second of these were a more intense application of the principles of literary criticism and of a form-critical analysis. It is not always easy to distinguish the two, since the latter was a natural development of the former. Scholarly research led to the recognition that much of the material of the "documents" that had been the object of the classical literary criticism had developed from originally independent units. The attempt to recognize these units and trace their development through their varying "life situations" (Sitze im Leben ) until they reached the final stage represented in the canonical books was an approach initiated principally by H. gunkel (1910) in his commentary on Genesis. The approach was called form criticism (see form criticism, biblical). Thus, single stories or legal units were examined to see what could have given rise to them in early history. They would then be studied in relation to the complex cycle of stories or code of laws of which they became a part. Since the form critics agree that the fixing of these cycles or codes had already taken place to some extent within the period of oral tradition, this would throw considerable light on the role of the authors of the classical "documents" or "sources." These, whether individuals or schools, would not have been authors in the modern sense of the word. Rather would they be editors of already developed material, but with no little freedom to rearrange, conflate, revise, and, in general, cause the material to reflect their theology. It is clear that such an approach demands a much more extensive knowledge of history, in particular of the social, political, and religious institutions, and of situations that would have occasioned the origin or influenced the shaping of the unit in question. Such a knowledge was not possible in the 19th century and only in the 20th century was it becoming such that the form-critical approach could be used with some degree of confidence.

Literary Criticism. As indicated, there was first a more intense literary analysis that showed that the four documents were much more complex than generally suspected. Thus J was seen to reveal several strata in some of its stories. In the face of this, several scholars have posited a fifth source, called L (Laienschrift or Lay Document) by O. Eissfeldt, K (Kenite Document) by J. Morgenstern and S (South, or Seir Document) by R. Pfeiffer. These proposals, though differing in detail from one another, indicated that the documents in the Pentateuch had developed over a long period of time. This was strengthened by A. Welch's tracing of D to an earlier and northern origin, by G. von Rad's division of P into two strands, and by many other attempts along the same lines.

At times, the results of literary criticism took on absurd proportions that did much to discredit the science in the eyes of those who were suspicious of its conclusions from the outset. Thus B. Baentsch (1900) divided Leviticus into seven distinct P sources and worked with primary and secondary redactors of secondary documents, etc. A mere listing of his sigla indicated the extreme complexity of his analysis. On the other hand, there were a few who thought that the number of independent documents should be reduced. P. Volz, followed in part by W. Rudolph (1933), denied the independent existence of E and P, at least in Genesis. S. Mowinckel (1930) similarly expressed doubts about E, describing it rather as the product of several centuries of oral tradition. Later (1963) he dated J, which for him is equivalent to what others consider JE, to the 8th century b.c. but considered historiography to have begun in Israel with the Solomon saga, to which was later added a David story that included events dealing with Saul and Samuel.

These revisions, based principally on literary analysis, have not all been accepted. But they have influenced greatly the conception of the development of the sources within Israel. It is fairly commonly agreed that behind J and E there does stand some common source (e.g., M. Noth's Grundschrift ) that would account for the many parallels in the two documents. Many, too, are more confident of being able to identify, at least partially, an older stratum (such as Eissfeldt's L) in J that would go back to the 10th or 9th century b.c. and a later stratum that shows the influence of the prophetic movement. In general it would be agreed that historiography began in Juda in the 10th or 9th century b.c. with J or one of its strata, that it continued in both kingdoms with succeeding editions of both J and E, and that the two were conflated in Juda after 721 b.c.

As for D, indication has already been made of the proposal that the development of its theology and of the resulting legal code in Deuteronomy took place over a long period of time, deriving its motivating force from the emphases of the Prophets, especially from Hosea in the North and Jeremiah in the South. More significant has been the identification of the vocabulary, style, and theology of the book of Deuteronomy with certain editorial passages in the historical books from Joshua to 2 Kings. It was concluded that these books form a long history based on material that had been passed on down over the years in both literary and oral form and had been given its definitive shape by the addition of editorial reflections and revisions in the appropriate places. Since these reflections and revisions echo the spirit of the Book of Deuteronomy, the entire history was called by M. Noth (1943) the "Deuteronomistic History" and the fifth book of the Pentateuch was considered its introduction. While this D history was probably not written at any one time, its final form must have been given in the exilic period, since it records the Babylonian Exile and seemingly looks forward to some kind of restoration (2 Kgs 25.2730). Later in the postexilic period, perhaps around the time of Ezra, the historical books were detached from the introductory Deuteronomy, which was now attached to the first four books to form the Pentateuch. This now isolated corpus, with its emphasis on legal content, thus became the Torah, or Law, for later Judaism.

The development of P is similarly complex. All accept the final formulation of P in the postexilic period but admit also that it contains much older material. This is true especially of the legal sections that formed distinct codes in an earlier period. The Holiness Code (or H = Lv 1726) was early recognized by A. Klostermann (1877) as forming a distinct unity that would later have been incorporated into the Priestly Code. The date of H has been placed as early as the period of the Judges (E. Robertson) and as late as the end of the kingdom of Judah (H. Cazelles, Von Rad). All would agree that it underwent a long development in accord with the same historical processes that helped to shape the other documents, that the Priestly Code of which it was made a part had similarly been developing over the centuries, and that the final redaction of the entire P did not take place until the postexilic period. (see holiness, law of.)

Form Criticism. Out of all this work there has come in recent years a more fruitful attempt to apply the principles of form criticism to the Pentateuchal material. Von Rad (1938), for example, isolated what he regarded as the ancient creeds of Israel (e.g., Dt 26.59; Jos 24.213) and considered them, or some form of them, to be the most primitive expression of salvation history (heils geschichte). The Sitz im Leben for the creed would have been a cultic celebration at the ancient shrine of Galgal (Gilgal). A separate tradition preserved the account of the Sinai covenant and its resulting covenant code; the covenant festival celebrated at shechem would have been the original Sitz im Leben for this tradition. With this as his basis, Von Rad then gradually builds up to the profoundly constitutive work of J and to the gradual development of the Pentateuch along the classical lines.

Analyzing in greater detail the tradition history of the material, Noth (1948), who had already detached the great Deuteronomistic history (1943), attempted to identify and trace the basic themes of the Tetrateuchal history (the first four books of the Pentateuch). He found five of these themes, each of which he attempted to trace to its ultimate origin and then through its later development. While the extreme complexity of the task precluded a final solution to the whole problem, and while many of Noth's reconstructions were influenced by a regard for an underlying historical character more skeptical than generally held by scholars, he provided many insights that later scholars gratefully used in their own reconstructions. In both Von Rad's and Noth's studies we can detect a clear appreciation of the constitutive value of the classical documents or traditions, at least to the extent that they are seen to provide a basic theology to the heterogeneous material of which they are composed. This represents a reaction to the fragmentation of documents resulting from an overly critical literary analysis.

Besides the richer insights into the constitutive traditions, form criticism has already provided much deeper understanding of the individual elements of the traditions. Thus, working on a distinction proposed by A. Jirku (1927) and A. Jepsen (1927) between the type of laws proper to Israel and those common to the ancient Near East, A. Alt (1934) distinguished the former as apodictic and the latter as casuistic (see law, ancient neareastern). G. Mendenhall (1954) and others then proceeded to show the close relationship between the Covenant Code (Ex 2123), the oldest body of laws in the Pentateuch and the center of the attention of the other scholars, and the Hittite treaties, in which the concept of overlord-vassal relationship is presented in the same form as in the ancient Israelite Code. All this helped to give a more profound appreciation of the covenant itself and of its role in Israel's life.

In appraising the work of the form critics it can be said that they have confirmed the antiquity of much of the material of the Pentateuch, thrown greater light on the developing theologies within Israel and shown the need for much further study before any hypothesis can be accepted with all its details. The excesses in this field have not vitiated the value of the approach.

Uppsala School. A third approach that had its influence on Pentateuchal criticism was that of the so-called Uppsala School. Scandinavian scholars, such as Mowinckel (1930), J. Pedersen (1931), H. Nyberg (1935), and I. Engnell (1945), contributed in varying ways to the prestige of this school. In general there was a great stress put on the predominance and fidelity of oral tradition in ancient history and a consequent disregard for any supposed written documents in the early period. Even after the material had been consigned to writing (and Engnell would more readily accept an early written form for some of the legal matter), oral tradition was considered to have had its influence on the written documents. Such an approach would clearly be detrimental to the documentary hypothesis. In fact, Engnell, one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the approach, rejected the four classical documents and replaced them with a P Work, a symbol standing for the heterogeneous material in the Tetrateuch (Genesis through Numbers), and a D Work, Noth's Deuteronomic history. In both cases the emphasis is not on fixed literary traditions that can be precisely marked off as J, E, P, or D, but on a long history of oral tradition that was finally edited in the postexilic period in two principal works.

The vehemence with which these proposals were made, including occasional violent attacks on scholars of an opposite view, did not hasten their acceptance. Today most scholars would agree that the Uppsala School has not paid sufficient attention to the importance of writing, and consequently of written documents, in the early period of Israel's history. On the other hand, the emphasis on oral tradition and especially on its fidelity in transmission was a welcome stress, since it contributed to a healthier respect for the antiquity of much of the material of the Pentateuch. The school has also shown a reluctance to accept variant readings of the Masoretic Text, a reluctance that has frequently been justified on the basis of further studies.

Summary and Mid-20th Century. What has been stated above already affords some idea of the present situation with regard to the origin of the Pentateuch. Almost all would agree to the extreme complexity of the picture. Israel's Torah represented both a literary and a religious heritage that was kept ever alive by its adaptation to the constantly changing historical scene. The adaptation necessitated the addition of new material and the revision of the old. Today the emphasis is being placed on the successive stages of this adaptation and the development of the theological concepts. When the attempt is marked by sound methodological principles, the results are positive and valuable.

Throughout the long and occasionally heated history of the documentary hypothesis the question of historicity was constantly being raised. As we have seen, in the earlier stages of the theory's history grave doubts were cast on much of the historical character of the Pentateuch, in particular on the Genesis narratives. This situation has changed, owing in great part to the results of archeological work. The ruins themselves and, above all, the literature of other ancient peoples have provided an authentic background against which the Pentateuchal narratives can be seen. The patriarchal stories, for example, have been convincingly shown, in a series of articles by R. de Vaux (194649), to reflect the first half of the 2nd millennium b.c. This does not mean that these contain history in the modern sense; not even the later stories of the Exodus, wandering, and conquest do that. But it does mean that they contain a sufficient historical basis to support the weight of the credal interpretation that is their principal object. Once the concern for that historical basis can be satisfied, at least to the extent that is possible, greater emphasis can be correctly placed on the theological development.

Pentateuchal criticism in the future, then, will most probably concentrate on three general aspects of this theological development. The first aspect is that of the individual units and their meaning before their introduction to a particular cycle of tradition. The second is that of the principal cycles of tradition, such as the Yahwist, Elohist, and others. Some of the richest theological meaning was given to the material at this stage, and for that reason this aspect will continue to be studied for further insights. The third is that of the canonical Pentateuch. At times this is neglected by the scholars in their interest in the earlier stages. But it is in this aspect that the Pentateuch was made a part of the Christian Scriptures and that it has influenced the greater part of Christian history. It is likely that the canonical Pentateuch will be the object of the most intensive work in the future.

Catholic Opinion. Despite the fact that Catholics were among the first to cast doubts on the literary unity of the Pentateuch, the history of Pentateuchal criticism has been marked chiefly by Catholic opposition to its results. The opposition was to a great extent justified by the failure of the critics to distinguish properly between literary and historical criticism. The conclusions of the former were bound to have an undue influence on the latter. Also, the rationalistic philosophy of the 19th century vitiated much of the work of the liberal scholars and made all their conclusions suspect to the more conservative Christians. Toward the end of the 19th century a few Catholic scholars, notably, M. J. lagrange, made an attempt to extract what was scientifically valid in the work of the critics. Lagrange, for example, accepted the distinction of the four sources, admitting that D and especially P represented, for the most part, post-Mosaic development. This Catholic beginning in literary criticism was again hampered by the flowering of the Modernist crisis early in the present century. modernism accepted the most radical of the conclusions of the literary critics, including the evolutionary concept of Israel's religion. Catholic scholarship was placed once again on the defensive, and Pentateuchal criticism, as exercised by Catholics, was practically brought to a standstill. In a four-part decree, issued June 27, 1906, the pontifical biblical commission stated that, although the use of sources and of secretaries by Moses could be admitted along with the introduction of some post-Mosaic modifications, the arguments of the critics were not at all convincing. Despite the guarded wording of the decree, it had a strong negative influence on Catholic scholarship in the area for many years.

Between the two world wars some attempts were made by Catholic scholars to adopt the most certain of the conclusions of the literary critics and combine them with the theory of substantial Mosaic authenticity. In non-Catholic circles, where scholarship had already done much to correct some of the exaggerations of the Well-hausen school and had forged ahead in new areas, these attempts were little noted. But they played their part in paving the way for the encyclical divino afflante spiritu in 1943, which opened the door to Catholic scholarship in all areas of Biblical study. This remarkable document must be read in the light of all the controversy that preceded; only then will its vigorous championing of scientific investigation in all fields be fully appreciated. The Pentateuchal question is not brought up ex professo in this encyclical. Rather, Pius XII is dealing with the general principles that must underlie all Biblical work. But these principles are such that their application would necessarily involve a broader interpretation of the Pentateuch.

This conclusion is confirmed by a letter, sent on Jan. 16, 1948, by the secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission to Cardinal Suhard of Paris. It was in response to a query regarding the liberty of Catholic scholars to investigate the two problems of Pentateuchal sources and the historicity of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. The secretary first states that, in the light of the encyclical of Pius XII, the earlier decree of the Commission can be interpreted as not opposing "further and truly scientific examination of these problems." For this reason the Commission did not wish to promulgate a new decree at the time. Going into more detail, it has this to say about the origin of the Pentateuch: "There is no one today who doubts the existence of these sources or refuses to admit a progressive development of the Mosaic Laws due to social and religious conditions of later times. Therefore, we invite Catholic scholars to study these problems, without prepossession, in the light of sound criticism and of the findings of other sciences connected with the subject matter." Attention should be called here to the complete objectivity of scholarly approach urged by the Commission in this letter. It is in marked contrast to the historically conditioned defensive attitude of the earlier decree.

The incentive given to Catholic scholars by the encyclical of Pius XII and again by the letter to Cardinal Suhard produced its fruits. The most recent studies in Pentateuchal criticism by Catholic scholars will, as a result, show few differences from those of respected non-Catholic scholars, and most of the differences would not be on the confessional level. Among the modern Catholic studies that reflect this new attitude mention can be made particularly of the commentaries on Genesis where the acceptance of the classical sources (more commonly called "traditions" by Catholics to indicate their long historical development) is presumed. J. chaine (1948), H. Junker (1949), De Vaux (1951), A. Clamer (1953) and B. Vawter (1956) are among those who accept them or develop their own reconstruction of the complex problem.

Moses and the Pentateuch. With regard to Mosaic authenticity a more subtle approach, but one more in keeping with the primitive concepts of authorship, is taken. Lagrange had long ago (1897) remarked that the modern concept of the inviolability of the author, with its repugnance to successive and extensive redactions of material over a long period of time, is a development of the Christian Era. It was not shared by the ancient Near East or by Israel. For them authorship was seemingly determined more by the one who provided the initial and pervading spirit of the work than by the one who oversaw its final redaction. This is evidenced, for example, in the tradition of the Davidic authorship of the Psalms and, in a much more remarkable way, in the completely pseudonymous attribution of Ecclesiastes and Canticle of Canticles to Solomon. Moses' historical role in the events of the Exodus, of Sinai and of the wandering, a role which must be accepted if only to explain the unity that is found in the Pentateuchal traditions, provided the basis for the literary role, which flowed from it and was conditioned by it. Because Moses, therefore, is at the heart of the Pentateuchal history and theology, Israel had no hesitation in attributing the entire literary work to him.

See Also: book of the covenant; commandments, ten; covenant (in the bible); law, mosaic; patriarchs, biblical; primeval age in the bible; sinai, mount.

Bibliography: j. coppens, The Old Testament and the Critics, tr. e. a. ryan and e. w. tribbe (Paterson 1942). r. h. pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament (rev. ed. New York 1948). c. r. north, "Pentateuchal Criticism," The Old Testament and Modern Study, ed. h. h. rowley (Oxford 1951). h. f. hahn, Old Testament in Modern Research (Philadelphia 1954). h. j. kraus, Geschichte der historiach-kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments (Neukirchen 1956). f. roberti and a. tricot, Guide to the Bible, tr. e. p. arbez and m. p. mcguire, 2 v. (TournaiNew York 195155; v. 1 rev. and enl. 1960) 1:157282. d. n. freedman, The Interpreters' Dictionary of the Bible, 4 v., ed. g. a. buttrick (Nashville 1962) 3:711727. j. bright, "Modern Study of Old Testament Literature," The Bible and the Ancient Near East, ed. g. e. wright (Garden City, N.Y. 1961). h. cazelles, Dictionnaire de la Bible, supp. ed. l. pirot et al. (Paris 1928) 7:687767. a. suelzer, The Pentateuch: A Study in Salvation History (New York 1964).

[e. h. maly/

c. t. begg]

Part II: From 1965 to the Present

The older scholarship on Pentateuchal studies up to 1965 was overwhelmingly diachronic in focus, i.e., it was concerned to get behind the present complex of books Genesis through Deuteronomy to the earlier materials underlying it. In this enterprise, the formative stage which received particular attention was that of the "documents" or "sources" held to extend over one or more of our existing Pentateuchal books. Such sources, it was believed, could be reconstructed on the basis of indications offered by the present Pentateuch, e.g., duplications of content, terminological variations, differences of anthropology, theology, and presupposed background, etc.

More specifically, for the books Genesis-Numbers (the "Tetrateuch"), scholars reckoned with three longestablished sources, namely, the Yahwist (J), dated c. 950 b.c., the Elohist (E) of c. 800750 b.c., and the Priestly (P) deriving from the Exilic/post-Exilic period. A fourth source, the Deuteronomic, from c. 700650 b.c., was seen as comprising an earlier form of the Book of Deuteronomy and as having stronger links with the following books (Joshua-Kings) (cf. M. Noth's 1943 theory of the "Deuteronomic History"). In the decade beginning 1964, scholars like H. W. Wolff, W. Brueggemann, and P. E. Eliis strove to identify a distinctive "kerygma" for the various sources, reflective of the particular moment in Israel's history from which they emanated.

Given the above, this article explains the evolution of Pentateuchal studies over the last quarter of this century by first surveying diachronically-oriented scholarship of the most recent period and then touching upon the newer synchronic approaches where the focus is not on hypothetical earlier forms of the Pentateuch, but rather on the complex (and/or its component parts) in its actual existent shape.

Diachronic Approaches. Especially since about 1976, the "three-source model" for the origin of the Pentateuch/Tetrateuch (the special case of the "Deuteronomic source" will be left largely out of account here), as cited above, has become the object of intense controversy within diachronic Pentateuchal scholarship itself. It seems possible to divide participants in the controversy into three main groups: those who uphold the one-time independent existence of all three of the traditional sources, authors denying that any of the three sources (as traditionally understood) ever existed separately, and scholars ready to accept one or two but not all three of the classical sources. Each of these positions will now be considered in turn.

Maintenance of the Three Source Theory. In view of the controversy currently surrounding the theory of sources, it is important to note, at the outset, that the theory has not lacked weighty advocates throughout the period under discussion. Among these may be mentioned: W. Resenhöfft (1974), P. Weimar (1977, 1985), E. Otto (1977), H. Seebass (1977, 1978, 1983), R. Smend (1978), H. Vorländer (1978), R. E. Clements (1979), E. Zenger (1980, 1982), R. E. Friedman (1981, 1987), W. H. Schmidt (1982, 1984), L. Schmidt (1983, 1986), L. Ruppert (1985) and F. Kohata (1986). All these authors attempt, both negatively and positively, to counter the arguments against the existence of the various sources advanced by scholars of other persuasions. At the same time, the group under consideration is markedly heterogeneous in many respects.

The scholar who most clearly goes his own way with regard to the others is Resenhöfft. For him, each of the three sources extends into the Book of Kings. In addition, Resenhöfft takes source division further than any previous critic; e.g., he partitions the "P chapter" Genesis 17 among his three sources. By contrast, the other scholars listed tend to minimalize the content at least of J and E, ascribing much material earlier authors attributed to one or other of these documents rather to later redactors, RJE, RD and RP (this tendency is especially marked in the works of Zenger and Weimar).

Authors in this group also diverge regarding the date and extent of the three sources. Friedman, e.g., assigns P to the reign of Hezekiah as compared with the traditional Exilic/post-Exilic dating advocated by the others. Vorländer, for his part, dates both J and E to the Exilic period. Similarly, Friedman finds J's conclusion in Nm 25.5, whereas Weimar, after earlier identifying Nm 14.9 as the last extant text of the source, has more recently proposed that J's final occurrence is in Ex 14.30. Again, Smend is unsure whether the compilation of J took place already in Solomon's time or only towards the end of the royal period. Thus even among contemporary "documentarians" significant differences do exist.

Rejection of the Three Sources. There are recent diachronic scholars who deny that J, E, and P ever existed as independent, free-standing documents. Positively, these authors espouse what in the history of scholarship has been called a "supplementary hypothesis." In this conception, the Pentateuch originated, not via a combination of originally separate sources, but by the repeated reworkings/expansion of a "foundational document" (or documents). Advocates of this approach claim for it the advantage of being a more "economical" account of the Pentateuch's formation in which one no longer has to reckon with a combiner of J and E (RJE), etc.

Differentiations are also in order within this group. The variety existing within the contemporary supplementary hypothesis is perhaps best illustrated by a summary presentation of the more specific conceptions of several of its leading representatives.

  1. S. Tengström (1976, 1982) traces the Pentateuch (Hexateuch) back to a very early (11th century b.c.) "foundational narrative" comprising material now found in Genesis 11.27Joshua 24, which related how the confederation of the 12 tribes came into possession of its land. This document is not to be identified with either J or E; it contains material normally assigned to both of these sources. Subsequently, the basic narrative underwent reworkings by assorted Deuteronomistic and Priestly redactors.
  2. The views of J. Vermeylen (1981, 1986) are much more reminiscent of the standard documentary hypothesis. Vermeylen recognizes distinctive bodies of Yahwistic, Elohistic, and Priestly material present throughout the Tetrateuch and assigns these a content and a date largely along traditional source critical lines. For him, however, the Pentateuch came into existence by a process in which a Solomonic Yahwistic stratum (itself incorporating discrete materials from the reign of David) was reworked first by an Elohistic and then by a whole series of Deuteronomistic and Priestly redactors.
  3. J. van Seters (1975) advocates the thesis of a late (Exilic, post-Deuteronomistic) Yahwistic history extending from Genesis to Joshua 24. This work took up existing "pre-Yahwistic" and Elohistic material and was itself subject to a Priestly redaction. H. H. Schmid (1976,1981) and N. E. Wagner (1977) put forward similar views.
  4. R. Rendtorff (1977, 1983) and his pupil E. Blum (1984) maintain, at opposite extremes from Tengström, that a continuous narrative extending from creation to the death of Moses came into existence only quite late, thanks to Deuteronomistic and Priestly redactors working in the Exilic and post-Exilic periods. Up until that time the various thematic blocks recognizable in the present Pentateuch, i.e., the primeval and ancestral histories, the complexes concerning Exodus, Sinai, and the desert wanderings, had circulated and developed independently. Thus for them one cannot speak of any continuous Yahwistic and Elohistic strands. A somewhat comparable conception is advocated by C. Houtman (1980). He holds that the books Genesis, Exodus-Numbers, and Deuteronomy each had a distinctive pre-history before finally being assembled by a Deuteronomistic redactor into a complex encompassing Genesis through Kings (the "Hennateuch").
  5. The contemporary tendency to discard the classical documents reaches its culmination in the work of R. N. Whybray (1987). After an extended critique of the presuppositions and criteria operative in the identification of both "sources" and longer redactional strata in the Pentateuch, Whybray advances an "alternative approach" regarding the origin of the Pentateuch. Briefly his suggestion is that the Pentateuch be seen as the work of a single author writing in the sixth century b.c. who had available to him, as far as narrative material is concerned, little more than scattered items of tradition which he arranged and embellished with considerable creativity in a way reminiscent of his near-contemporary, the Greek historian Herodotus. For Whybray, this author should not be identified with any particular theological or literary current, that is to say, the Deuteronomistic or the Priestly; like Herodotus he would deliberately have varied his mode of presentation over the course of his work.

Compromise Positions. There remain a large group of diachronically minded scholars whose views on the formation of the Pentateuch (Tetrateuch) fall somewhere between those of the "documentarians" and the "supplementists." C. Westermann (1981) and A. H. J. Gunneweg (1985), for example, admit both a J and a P source (as well as the traditional dates for these), while viewing the Elohistic material as intended from the start as a supplement to J. Conversely, F. M. Cross (1973) accepts distinct J and E sources, even though he denies that "P" ever existed independently.

Three other recent authors to be mentioned here can be categorized basically as "supplementarists" except as regards the P material. H.-C. Schmitt (1980, 1985) suggests that "proto-Yahwistic" materials going back to the Solomonic period were, during the Exile, worked over by an Elohistic redactor whose composition was, in turn, supplemented by a post-Exilic "late-Yahwist" (cf. van Seters). P, however, did originate as a distinct document.

M. Rose (1981) also thinks in terms of a late Yahwistic body of material which utilized pre-existing "Elohistic" matter. More specifically, Rose holds that J was written in dependence on the Deuteronomistic history and was intended to stand together with it as its corrective introduction. For him too P constitutes a formerly free-standing document. E. Cortese (1983, 1986), unlike Schmitt and Rose, admits the existence of a continuous early J stratum (cf. Vermeylen). Subsequently, this underwent a large-scale supplementation by a Yahwistic redactor to whom Cortese likewise attributes the material normally ascribed to E. Corresponding to these early and late J strands are Cortese's source P which was reworked by a later Priestly redactor. Finally, under this heading may also be mentioned O. Kaiser (1984) who while advocating Exilic/post-Exilic dates for all three bodies of material J, E, and P, leaves it undecided whether these sigla are to be understood as representing "sources" or redactional strands.

Synchronic Approaches. As in Biblical studies in general Pentateuchal scholarship of the last two decades has witnessed a spectacular emergence of synchronic approaches in which the text in its currently extant form becomes the center of interest. Negatively, this development reflects the frustration felt by many faced with the hypothetical and conflicting character of diachronic scholarship's results. More positively, it bespeaks the impact on contemporary Biblical studies from the side of such disciplines as "Orientalistics," literary theory, and theology. Against this background, mention may be made of several representative synchronic approaches to the Pentateuch all of which concentrate on unifying features within the material which cut across the sources or redactional strands distinguished by the diachronists.

C. J. Labuschagne (1982, 1986) and C. Schedl (1986) discover recurring numerical patterns throughout, e.g., the divine speeches of the Pentateuch. G. Larsson (1983, 1985) finds a self-consistent chronological/calandrical system undergirding the complex. R. P. Knierim (1985) identifies an overall genre for the present Pentateuch, i.e., a "biography of Moses."

On a more theological level, A. J. H. Clines (1978) ascertains an overarching theme, i.e., the (partial) fulfillment of God's promises governing both the Pentateuch's movement and its ending with Moses dying outside the land. Similarly, B. S. Childs (1979) attempts to uncover the "canonical function" of the Pentateuch in its "canonical shape" for those faith communities which recognize it as their authoritative Scripture.

Finally to be noted are the increasing number of studies which examine a particular segment of the Pentateuch from a synchronic perspective, e.g., G. J. Wenham (1977) on the flood narrative, B. W. Anderson (1978) on the primeval history, J. L. Ska (1986) on Exodus 14 and R. W. L. Moverley (1984) on Exodus 3234.

All of the above authors explicitly acknowledge that the extant Pentateuch and/or its components have a prehistory which is a legitimate object of study. Indeed, e.g., Childs affirms his acceptance of J and E as distinct sources and of P as partly a source and partly a redactional stratum, while Labuschagne notes that his findings lend support to the supposition of an extensive Deuteronomistic redaction in the Tetrateuch. At the same time, their investigations do, inevitably, serve to shift attention to the remarkable degree of unity (literary, thematic, etc.) which resulted when the Pentateuch was given its present form.

Some scholars would go further, however, claiming that synchronic approaches vitiate the whole notion of the heterogeneity of the materials underlying our Pentateuch. Y. Radday, et al. (1982) claim, for example, on the basis of computer study of word frequency and linguistic patterns in Genesis, that there are no grounds for distinguishing between J and E, just as the linguistic differences between the P and non-P material are explainable in terms of the peculiar subject matter of the former. In a similar vein, I. M. Kikawada and A. Quinn (1985) appeal to the Ancient Near Eastern parallels and to stylistic considerations in upholding the unity of authorship for the primeval history in Genesis 111.

Reflections and Prospects. The foregoing account makes clear that contemporary Pentateuchal studies are characterized by diversity and fluidity. This state of affairs, while confusing, does have a positive side. It forces scholars continuously to rethink and refine their positions in view of other ways of explaining the data which are being put forward.

With regard to diachronic approaches to Pentateuchal study, it seems that the long-standing documentary hypothesis will not and should not be abandoned too readily. Respondents to Rendtorff point out the connections existing between the different blocks of material already at the pre-Deuternomistic and pre-P levels: they cite, by way of example, how the account of Abram's "Egyptian interlude" in Gn 12.1020 foreshadows developments in the Joseph and Exodus narratives. In addition, the analogy of Chronicles in relation to the Deuteronomistic history (or the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in Mark) would suggest that when, in Biblical times, the need was felt for a "revised version" of events that need was met by the production of a new, freestanding document, rather than simply by a corrective reworking of an existing one. Or to put the point differently: the P material's peculiar slant on the Patriarchs' activities emerges far more effectively when that material is taken for and by itself, whereas it is largely neutralized when read in conjunction with the non-P matter, i.e., a "P-redaction" seems like a self-defeating procedure.

The above remarks notwithstanding, it must likewise be recognized that the material of the Pentateuch (Tetrateuch) allows itself to be partitioned among the three sources only to a quite limited degree. This point is widely recognized even by present-day documentarians whose reconstructed sources tend to contain far less material than those of their predecessors (see above). Thus also these authors acknowledge the presence of much redactional material in the Pentateucha fact relativizing the opposition between the documentary and supplementary approaches. Future Pentateuchal study needs to investigate more intensively the various redactions the complex has undergone in terms of, e.g., their relations to the sources, dating, and contextual thrusts. Thereby, diachronic scholarship's excessive preoccupation with the stage of the sources will, it may be hoped, receive a needed corrective.

The various synchronistic approaches to the Pentateuch outlined above are long overdue. They hold out the promise for furthering appreciation that the Pentateuch as a finished product makes sense. On the other hand, however, they should not be allowed to become what the Pentateuchal documentary hypothesis was for so long, i.e., the only scholarly "respectable" way of looking at the data. As most synchronists themselves recognize, diachronic investigation of the Pentateuch remains perfectly legitimate. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that the synchronic approaches are not without their own problems of hidden presuppositions, subjectivism, arbitrariness, and defective conceptualization [see, e.g., the critiques of the methods of Labuschagne and Radday by P. R. Davies and D. M. Gunn (1984) and S. L. Portnoy and D. L. Petersen (1984), respectively].

Bibliography: p. e. ellis, The Yahwist. The Bible's First Theologian (Collegeville 1968). f. m. cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge, Mass. 1973). w. resenhÖfft, Die Genesis im Worlaut ihrer drei Quellenschriften (Bern 1974). j. van seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven 1975). s. tengstrÖm, Die Hexateucherzählung (Lund 1976). Die Toledotformel und die literarische Struktur der priesterlichen Erweiterungsschicht im Pentateuch (Lund 1982). h. h. schmid, Der sogenannte Jahwist (Zurich 1976). "Auf der Suche nach neuen Perspektiven für die Pentateuchforschung," Congress Volume Vienna 1980, j. a emerton, ed. (Leiden 1981) 375394. g. j. wenham, "The Coherence of the Flood Narrative," Vetus Testamentum 28 (1977) 336348. h. seebass, "Zur geistigen Welt des sog. Jahwisten." Biblische Notizen 4 (1977) 3947; Geschichtliche Zeit und theonome Tradition in der Josephserzählung (Gütersloh 1978); "Num xi, xii und die Hypothese des Jahwisten," Vetus Testamentum 28 (1978) 214223; "Gerhörten Verheissungen zum ältesten Bestand der Vätererzählungen?" Biblica 64 (1983) 189210. n. e. wagner, "A Response to Professor Rolf Rendtorff," Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 3 (1977) 2027. e. otto, "Stehen wir vor einem Umbruch in der Pentateuchkritik?" Verkündigung und Forschung 22 (1977) 8297. p. weimar, Untersuchungen zur Redaktionsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Berlin-New York 1977); Die Meerwundererzählung (Wiesbaden 1985). r. rendtorff, Das überlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch (Berlin-New York 1977); The Old Testament: An Introduction, tr. j. bowden (Philadelphia 1983). r. smend, Die Entstehung des Alten Testaments (Stuttgart 1978). b. w. andersen, "From Analysis to Synthesis: the Interpretation of Genesis 111," Journal of Biblical Literature 97 (1978) 2339. h. vorlÄnder, Die Entstehungszeit des jehowistischen Geschichtswerkes (Bern 1978). d. a. j. clines, The Theme of the Pentateuch (Sheffield 1978). r. e. clements, "Pentateuchal Problems," Tradition and Interpretation, g. w. anderson, ed. (Oxford 1979) 96124. b. s. childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia 1979). c. houtman, Inleiding in de Pentateuch (Kampen 1980). h.-c. schmitt, Die Nichtpriesterliche Josephsgeschichte (Berlin-New York 1980); "Die Hintergründe der 'neuesten Pentateuchkritik' und der literarische Befund der Josef-geschichte Gen 3750," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 97 (1985) 161178. e. zenger, "Wo steht die Pentateuchforschung heute?" Biblische Zeitschrift 24 (1980) 101116; "Auf der Suche nach einem Weg aus der Pentateuchkrise," Theologische Revue 78 (1982) 353362; Israel am Sinai. Analysen und Interpretationen zu Exodus 1734 (Altenberge 1982). c. westermann, Genesis 1236 (Neukirchen-Vluyn 1981). j. vermeylen, "La formation du Pentateuque à la lumière de l'exégèse historico-critique," Revue théologique de Louvain 12 (1981); Le Dieu de la Promesse et le Dieu de l'Alliance (Paris 1986). m. rose, Deuteronomist und Jahwist (Zurich 1981). r. e. friedman, The Exile and Biblical Narrative (Chico, Calif. 1981); Who Wrote the Bible? (New York 1987). w. brueggemann and h. w. wolff, The Vitality of the Old Testament Traditions (2nd ed. Atlanta 1982). y. radday, et al., "Genesis, Wellhausen and the Computer," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 94 (1982) 467481. c. j. labuschagne, "Divine Speech Formulas in the Pentateuch," Vetus Testamentum 32 (1982) 268281; "Neue Wege und Perspketiven in der Pentateuchforschung," Vetus Testamentum 36 (1986) 146162. w. h. schmidt, "A Theologian of the Solomonic Era? A Plea for the Yahwist," Studies in the Period of David and Solomon, t. ishida, ed. (Tokyo 1982) 5573; Old Testament Introduction, tr. m. j. o'connell (New York 1984). e. cortese, "Il Pentateucho oggi: la teoria documentaria in crisi?" Scuola cattolica III (1983) 7988; Da Mose a Esdra. I libri storici dell' Antico Israele (Bologna 1985). l. schmidt, "Pentateuch," Altes Testament (Neukirchen-Vluyn 1983) 88101; Literarische Studien zur Josephsgeschichte (Berlin-New York 1986). a. h. j. gunneweg, "Anmerkungen und Anfragen zur neueren Pentateuchforschung," Theologische Rundschau 48 (1983) 227253; 50 (1985) 107131. g. larsson, "The Chronology of the Pentateuch: A Comparison of the MT and LXX," Journal of Biblical Literature 102 (1983) 401409; "The Documentary Hypothesis and the Chronological Structure of the OT," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 97 (1985) 316333. p. r. davies and d. m. gunn, "Pentateuchal Patterns. An Examination of C. J. Labuschagne's Theory," Vetus Testamentum 34 (1984) 399406. s.l. portnoy and d. l. petersen, "Genesis, Wellhausen and the Computer: A Response," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 96 (1984) 421425. o. kaiser, Einleitung in das Alte Testament (5th ed. Gütersloh 1984). e. blum, Die Komposition der Vätergeschichte (Neukirchen-Vluyn 1984). r. w. l. moberly, At the Mountain of God. Story and Theology in Exodus 3234 (Sheffield 1984). i. m. kikawada and a. quinn, Before Abraham Was: The Unity of Genesis 111 (Nashville 1985). d. a. knight, "The Pentateuch," The Hebrew Bible and Its Modern Interpreters, d. a. knight and g. m. tucker, eds. (Philadelphia/Chico, Calif. 1985) 262296. r. p. knierim, "The Composition of the Pentateuch," SBL 1985 Seminar Papers, ed. k. h. richards, (Atlanta 1985) 395415. l. ruppert, "Pentateuchdiskussion und Joseferzählung," Biblische Zeitschrift 29 (1985) 3148. c. schedl, Zur Theologie des Alten Testaments (Freiburg 1986). e. e. carpenter, "Recent Pentateuchal Studies," Asbury Theological Journal 41 (1986) 1936. j. l. ska, Le Passage de la Mer. Etude de la construction, du style et de la symbolique d'Ex 14,131 (Rome 1986). f. kohata, Jahwist und Priesterschrift in Exodus 314 (Berlin-New York 1986). d. j. mccarthy, "Twenty-Five Years of Pentateuchal Study," The Biblical Heritage, j. j. collins and j. d. crossan, eds. (Wilmington 1986) 3457. r. n. whybray, The Making of the Pentateuch (Sheffield 1987).

[c. t. begg]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pentateuchal Studies." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pentateuchal Studies." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pentateuchal-studies

"Pentateuchal Studies." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pentateuchal-studies

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.