The Bible with Sources Revealed

The Bible with Sources Revealed

by Richard Elliott Friedman
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The Bible with Sources Revealed by Richard Elliott Friedman

The first complete popular presentation of the discoveries of modern source-criticism, which Friedman popularized in his bestseller Who Wrote the Bible? (over 200,000 copies sold), this book contains the text of the Five Books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) with its sources (J, E, P, and D) distinguished by different fonts/typefaces.

Friedman is widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost experts on the Hebrew Bible, and this work will be the definitive presentation of the fascinating quiltwork that is the Pentateuch. It has long been accepted in the field of biblical studies that there were four major sources for the early books of the Old Testament. The sources are commonly known as J, E, P, and D. In The Bible With Sources Revealed, one of the world's most respected Hebrew scholars shows us exactly which passages are attributed to each source. The book contains Friedman's English translation of the text of the Five Books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Dueteronomy) with each of the four sources distinguished by different fonts and typefaces.

By marking each source, Friedman shows how each one flows consistently when it is separated from the other sources. The logical flow of each individual strain is one of the most persuasive arguments for the existence of the sources, but books that deal with this subject almost always leave it out, either because the authors are unaware of it or because it is something that a reader must see for himself or herself to appreciate. The designation also allows the reader to see each source's literary artistry, religious views, and political and social positions. Friedman identifies the work of the editors (redactors) so readers can see the process by which the work was assembled out of its sources and became the Bible.

In the introduction, Friedman briefly describes each of the sources and editors--their historical background, political and social agenda, relationship to the other sources, and when and how each editor put the sources together. Footnotes in the text explain how passages were attributed to a particular source.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060730659
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/16/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 430,561
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

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.

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.

What People are Saying About This

Eugene Ulrich

“A succinct, lucid, detailed exposition and defense of the classic Documentary Hypothesis—a highly useful resource.”

Frank Moore Cross

“An important and useful volume which should be on the book shelf of every serious student of the Bible.”

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.”

Baruch Halpern

“A volume indispensable for study in Biblical history. No one can really understand the Bible’s composition without consulting this work.”

David Ellenson

“An amazing work. It makes the theory of the Bible’s origins available to all in a clear and concise way.”

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The Bible with Sources Revealed: A New View into the Five Books of Moses 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
TedMorgan More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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