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The Bible with Sources Revealed: A New View into the Five Books of Moses

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In The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliott Friedman, one of the world's foremost experts on the Bible and author of the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, offers a new visual presentation of the Five Books of Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - unlocking their complex and fascinating tapestry of sources. Different colors and type styles allow readers to easily identify each of the distinct sources, showcasing Friedman's acclaimed and dynamic ...
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Overview

In The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliott Friedman, one of the world's foremost experts on the Bible and author of the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, offers a new visual presentation of the Five Books of Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - unlocking their complex and fascinating tapestry of sources. Different colors and type styles allow readers to easily identify each of the distinct sources, showcasing Friedman's acclaimed and dynamic translation.

This unique Bible provides a new means to explore the riches of scripture by: Making it possible to read the source texts individually, to see their artistry, their views of God, Israel, and humankind, and their connection to their moment in history; presenting the largest collection of evidence ever assembled for establishing and explaining the Documentary Hypothesis; showing visually how the Bible was formed out of these sources; and helping readers appreciate that the Bible is a rich, complex, beautiful work as a result of the extraordinary way in which it was created.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In an easily understandable manner accessible to the general public, Friedman (Hebrew and comparative literature, Univ. of California, San Diego; Who Wrote the Bible?, etc.) treats the complex, technical, and thorny problem in Old Testament interpretation concerning the existence of four separate literary sources in the Pentateuch. In the introduction he clearly spells out the book's four purposes: to present the evidence that biblical scholars use in describing the literary composition of the Pentateuch, describe the main characteristics of each literary source, identify each source in the biblical text of the Five Books of Moses, and show how each source contributes to deepen the Bible's spiritual message. The second chapter, "Collection of Evidence," discusses the central arguments that scholars employ in identifying the separate literary strands. The author then demonstrates how this scholarly theory works in practice by presenting the entire text of the Pentateuch in a fresh translation, using color-coding to identify the individual sources. A more scholarly treatment of this same problem can be found in Antony F. Campbell and Mark A. O'Brien's Sources of the Pentateuch: Texts, Introductions, Annotations. Friedman's book is very highly recommended for public libraries.-Charlie Murray, C.S.S., Fordham Univ., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
David Ellenson
“An amazing work. It makes the theory of the Bible’s origins available to all in a clear and concise way.”
Michael D. Coogan
“Friedman’s The Bible with Sources Revealed is a paradigm of accessible scholarship of the highest order.”
Peter Machinist
“A fundamental resource for understanding what the Hebrew Bible is all about.”
Eugene Ulrich
“A succinct, lucid, detailed exposition and defense of the classic Documentary Hypothesis--a highly useful resource.”
Baruch Halpern
“A volume indispensable for study in Biblical history. No one can really understand the Bible’s composition without consulting this work.”
Frank Moore Cross
“An important and useful volume which should be on the book shelf of every serious student of the Bible.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060530693
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/25/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Elliott Friedman is professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature and holds the Katzin Chair at the University of California, San Diego. One of the premier biblical scholars in the country, he received his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge. Author of The Hidden Face of God, The Hidden Book in the Bible, Commentary on the Torah, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, and the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, Friedman is also the president of the Biblical Colloquium West. A consultant to universities, journals, encyclopedias, and publishers, he is also the editor of four books on biblical studies and has authored over fifty articles, reviews, and notes in scholarly and popular publications.

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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.

1. Linguistic

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.

2. Terminology

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.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Collection of Evidence 7
Key to Sources 32
Genesis 33
Exodus 119
Leviticus 191
Numbers 239
Deuteronomy 309
Bibliography 369
Acknowledgments 381
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First Chapter

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.

1. Linguistic

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 the postexilic, 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.

2. Terminology

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 © by Richard Friedman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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