The Composition of the Pentateuch

Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis

Joel S. Baden

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April 24, 2012
392 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300152630
Cloth

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e-book

For well over two centuries the question of the composition of the Pentateuch has been among the most central and hotly debated issues in the field of biblical studies. In this book, Joel Baden presents a fresh and comprehensive argument for the Documentary Hypothesis. Critically engaging both older and more recent scholarship, he fundamentally revises and reorients the classical model of the formation of the Pentateuch. Interweaving historical and methodological chapters with detailed textual case studies, Baden provides a critical introduction to the history of Pentateuchal scholarship, discussions on the most pressing issues in the current debate, and a practical model for the study of the biblical text.

Joel S. Baden is assistant professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. He lives in New Haven, CT.

"An accessible defense of the Documentary Hypothesis by one of its leading proponents. Baden lays out the arguments of the theory in a clear manner, engaging in critical dialogue with alternate approaches while retaining the traditional source model in a refined manner. A book for students and scholars who are interested in the ongoing debates surrounding the most important part of the Hebrew Bible."—Konrad Schmid, University of Zürich & Center of Theological Inquiry

"A truly significant and must-read contribution to the study of the Pentateuch. Fully conversant with alternative models, it offers compelling new evidence and a refined methodology arguing that a documentary hypothesis is the most viable explanation for literary and conceptual variety found in the Pentateuch."—David P. Wright, Brandeis University

"It should make a significant contribution to the field of Old Testament studies. Well-written, thoughtful, and precise. This is a work to be savored."—Ronald Hendel, University of California at Berkeley

"Offering a correction to the uninformed, misleading claims being made about the documentary hypothesis, Baden doesn't just assert that the hypothesis is still alive and well.  He shows it.  His book is yet another bolstering of the long-dominant view of how the Bible's first books came to be written. And it is a respectful lesson in what our field needs most: method."—Richard Elliott Friedman, University of Georgia

“Reading Baden’s sifted and reconstituted biblical passages is like a breath of fresh air. Suddenly, the stories make sense . . . It’s often an astonishing journey.”—Jay Michaelson, Forward

“This volume is essential for any serious library collection devoted to academic study of the Bible. It is clear, well organized, and intellectually stimulating.”—Religious Studies Review
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