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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 9 criticism

6. Criticism

Unfortunately, in the field of the Mosaic writings negative literary criticism--higher literary criticism so called--has wrought incalculable confusion and still is the bane of fruitful investigations in this field. Therefore it behoves us, first of all, very briefly to summarize the critical position in reference to Genesis or, for that matter, in reference to the entire Pentateuch. This summary is designed primarily for non-theologians and, therefore, makes no claim to completeness.

Critics speak with much assurance, as though the proof for their position were unassailable, , of the various sources that have been worked into the Pentateuch as we now have it; and they assure us that this composite work was finally compiled by an editor- commonly called Redactor (R)--after the time of the Exile perhaps as late as 400 B. C. The four major documents that have been worked into the Pentateuch are not only occasionally discernible in the work as a whole, but the cord has, as it were, been unravelled, and the four strands that compose it are laid before us side by side. The names given to these four documents or their authors are: (a) the Elohistic document, written by the Elohist--abbreviated designation E-;( b) the Jahvistic or Yahwistic document--described as J; (c) the Priestly document or P; and (d) the Deuteronomic document--or D. Some critics consider E, J, D, and P as persons, others regard them as literary schools.