One of the World's Foremost Bible Experts Offers a Groundbreaking Presentation of the Five Books of Moses
In The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliott Friedman offers a new, visual presentation of the Five Books of Moses -- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy -- unlocking the complex and fascinating tapestry of their origins. Different colors and type styles allow readers to easily identify each of the distinct sources, showcasing Friedman's highly acclaimed and dynamic translation.
NOTE: This book is meant to be experienced in color and the eBook is not compatible with black and white devices.
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About the Author
RICHARD ELLIOTT FRIEDMAN is one of the premier bible scholars in the country. He earned his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge, a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa. He is the Ann & Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Commentary on the Torah, The Disappearance of God, The Hidden Book in the Bible, The Bible with Sources Revealed, The Bible Now, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, and most recently, The Exodus. He was an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and was elected to membership in The Biblical Colloquium. His books have been translated into Hebrew, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Korean, and French. He was a consultant for the Dreamworks film The Prince of Egypt, for Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers, and for NBC, A&E, PBS, and Nova.
Read an Excerpt
The Bible with Sources Revealed
Collection of Evidence The Seven Main Arguments
The process of identifying the biblical sources took centuries. The process of refining our identifications of these sources has been ongoing, and it continues to the present day. Initially, it was a tentative division based on simple factors: where the name of God appeared in the texts, similar stories appearing twice in the texts, contradictions of fact between one text and another. Accounts of this early identifying and refining may be found in many introductions to this subject and in my Who Wrote the Bible? The collection of evidence here is not a review of that history of the subject. It is a tabulation of the evidence that has emerged that establishes the hypothesis. It is grouped here in seven categories, which form the seven main arguments for the hypothesis in my judgment.
When we separate the texts that have been identified with the various sources, we find that they reflect the Hebrew language of several distinct periods.
The development of Hebrew that we observe through these successive periods indicates that:
- The Hebrew of J and E comes from the earliest stage of biblical Hebrew.
- The Hebrew of P comes from a later stage of the language.
- The Hebrew of the Deuteronomistic texts comes from a still later stage of the language.
- P comes from an earlier stage of Hebrew than the Hebrew of the book of Ezekiel (which comes from the time of the Babylonian exile).
- All of these main sources come from a stage of Hebrew known as Classical Biblical Hebrew, which is earlier than the Hebrew of thepostexilic, Persian period (known as Late Biblical Hebrew).
This chronology of the language of the sources is confirmed by Hebrew texts outside the Bible. The characteristics of Classical Biblical Hebrew are confirmed through comparison with inscriptions that have been discovered through archaeology, which come from the period before the Babylonian exile (587 BCE). The characteristics of Late Biblical Hebrew are confirmed through comparison with the Hebrew of later sources such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Despite the power of this evidence, it is practically never mentioned by those who oppose the hypothesis.
Certain words and phrases occur disproportionately or even entirely in one source but not in others. The quantity of such terms that consistently belong to a particular source is considerable. Thus:
The mountain that is called Sinai in J and P (twenty times) is called Horeb or "the Mountain of God" in E and D (fourteen times). In thirty-four occurrences of these names, there is no exception to this distinction.
The phrase "in that very day" (beesem hayyôm hazzeh) occurs eleven times in the Torah. Ten of the eleven are in P. (And the eleventh is in R, in a passage that R modeled on P; Deut 32:48.)
The phrase "the place where YHWH sets his name" or "the place where YHWH tents his name "occurs ten times in D but never in J,E,or P.The Bible with Sources Revealed
. Copyright (c) by Richard Friedman . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Professor Friedman does what I had to do by myself decades ago with one of my study Bibles. He indicates the sources of Torah with color and type. Not everyone thinks this part of scholarship means much to lay people. Robert Alter seems to be one who takes it with bit of reserve. However, I wish this had been available when I was a young university student. Of course, at that time, Friedman was himself a young university student. This is a great resource for Sunday school teachers and leaders of small Bible study groups.
The first five books of the Bible are traditionally understood to have been written by Moses. In places, Jesus appears to confirm this. Most critical Bible scholars since the late 19th-century, however, have recognized at least four different contributors of the books of Moses:A text known as J was composed during the period when the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were divided. J was written by an author living in the southern kingdom. It¿s known as J because it refers to God by the name of YHWH (Jahwe in German).A second text known as E was composed in the same period, by a priest living in the northern kingdom. It¿s called E because it refers to God as Elohim.A third text is known as P because it concerns the priesthood. There remains some argument about when it was composed; Friedman suggests shortly after J and E were combined into one text.The final source is known as D because it comprises most of the book of Deuteronomy. It¿s part of a longer work, including Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. It contains sources that date as early as J and E, but it was not compiled into one source until the reign of King Josiah, circa 622 BC. All of these sources were spliced together by a redactor to create the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Friedman discusses the evidence for this theory (called the Documentary Hypothesis), and then travels verse by verse through the Torah, color-coding the source and footnoting the setting. You¿ll recognize two distinct creation stories in the Bible and two flood stories, and conflicting accounts within the Bible will suddenly make more sense, as the source and motive of the writings are revealed.It¿s best used as a reference book¿I certainly haven¿t read it straight through¿but it¿s a book I refer to often.
Most scholars believe that the first five books of the Bible were not written by Moses, but are compilations of at least four different traditions. Friedman gives a translation of the text, showing who he thinks is responsible for various sections. For the most part he follows traditional scholarship, but he does add a few twists of his own. If you teach or study the Old Testament in an academic sense, this book is essential.
Once yoi get passed the intro (which is fascinating though also free) the whole book relys on color coding ro highlight the various sources, which if course arent duplicated on the nook and no attempt Is made to notate them in a monotone friendly manner. The authors translation is interesting buts it's still the same torah we've all read a million times. I am going to try and get a refund nd get this book in print.