Modern Interpretation of Gen 1-11, Documentary Hypothesis

Source criticism

Identifying sources that predate the book as we have it

Tensions, contradictions, repetitions indicate multiple authors, different sources

Two creation stories therefore two different sources

The name of God

Elohim = Hebrew word for God or gods

YHWH = Hebrew letters for name of God

LORD = traditional substitute so as not to pronounce the holy name

Documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch

Called Distinctive features Theology Date
Jahwist (J) Uses name YHWH even before revealed to Moses Anthropomorphic God 10th century
Elohist (E) Avoids God’s name in Genesis Transcendent God 9th century
Deuteronomist (D) Mostly equals Deuteronomy Centralization of worship, explanation of suffering 7th century
Priestly (P) Discusses priests, temple, holiness, genealogy Rigid social order 6th century

Introduce sources and questions for next time