The Pentateuch in the Twentieth Century: The Legacy of Julius Wellhausen

Paperback | November 1, 2002

byErnest Nicholson

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Despite innumerable studies from at least the time of the Reformation, it was not until little more than a century ago that one hypothesis concerning the origin of the Pentateuch, the so-called `Documentary Theory' formulated by Julius Wellhausen, established itself as the point of departurefor all subsequent study of this topic. This has remained so until recently, but during the past twenty-five years the study of the Pentateuch has been once more in turmoil, and new theories have proliferated. This book arises from the conviction that much in current Pentateuchal research needs tobe subjected to rigorous scrutiny and that much, indeed, is radically mistaken. Professor Nicholson argues that the work of Wellhausen, for all that it needs revision and development in detail, remains the securest basis for understanding the Pentateuch. The book is not a mere call to go `back toWellhausen', however, for Professor Nicholson also shows that much in the intervening debate has significantly modified his conclusions, as well as asking questions that were not on Wellhausen's agenda. But the Documentary Hypothesis should remain our primary point of reference, and it aloneprovides the most dependable perspective from which to approach this most difficult of areas in the study of the Old Testament.

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Despite innumerable studies from at least the time of the Reformation, it was not until little more than a century ago that one hypothesis concerning the origin of the Pentateuch, the so-called `Documentary Theory' formulated by Julius Wellhausen, established itself as the point of departurefor all subsequent study of this topic. This...

Ernest Nicholson is Provost of Oriel College, Oxford

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:November 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199257833

ISBN - 13:9780199257836

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Table of Contents

Part I: From Julius Wellhausen to Martin Noth1. The Documents of the Pentateuch2. Behind the Documents of the Pentateuch3. From Tradition to LiteraturePart II: The Problem of the Pentateuch in Current Research4. The Theory Under Attack: Rolf Rendtorff's New Paradigm of the Origin of the Pentatecuh5. Attempts to Redate the 'Yahwist'6. New Proposals Concerning the First Tetrateuch and its Sources7. Renewed Debate about P8. The Documentary Theory Revisited9. Understanding the Final Form of the Pentateuch

Editorial Reviews

`It is a clearly written description of a complicated topic. The volume is a significant contribution to contemporary Pentateuchal studies.'W. H. Bellinger, Jr, Religious Studies Review