Modern Documentary Hypothesis

Pentateuchal Criticism Today

Today’s free book is a very useful introduction to the documentary hypothesis by T. Desmond Alexander of Union Theological College, Belfast. This in-copyright title has been uploaded by kind permission of the author and is free to use for educational purposes.

T. Desmond Alexander, Pentateuchal Criticism Today: A Guidebook for Beginners. RTSF Monographs. Leicester: Religious and Theological Students Fellowship, 1998. ISBN: 01870137264. Pbk. pp.83. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rise of the Documentary Hypothesis
    • The Older Documentary Hypothesis
    • The Fragmentary Hypothesis
    • The Supplementary Hypothesis
    • The New Documentary Hypothesis
    • The Documentary Hypothesis of Graf, Kuenen and Wellhausen
    • Models for explaining the composition of the Pentateuch
    • Distinctive vocabulary
    • The divine names in Genesis
    • Doublets
    • Implications for the history of Israelite religion
    • Conclusion
  3. Going behind the documents
    • Form-criticism
    • Traditio-historical criticism
    • The limitations of traditio-historical criticism illustrated
  4. The Documentary Hypothesis under threat
    • Modifications to the Documentary Hypothesis
    • Alternatives to the Documentary Hypothesis
    • Conclusion
  5. Why was the Pentateuch composed?

Main image: Diagram of the 20th century documentary hypothesis. J: Yahwist (10th–9th century BCE)[1][2] E: Elohist (9th century BCE)[1] Dtr1: early (7th century BCE) Deuteronomist historian Dtr2: later (6th century BCE) Deuteronomist historian P*: Priestly (6th–5th century BCE)[3][2] D†: Deuteronomist R: redactor DH: Deuteronomistic history (books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings). By dnik – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.