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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

J, E, and the Redaction of the Pentateuch
Baden, Joel S.

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009 pp. xi + 339. €99.00

Series Information
Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 68

Description: Joel S. Baden addresses the relationship between the J and E documents in the Pentateuch. He demonstrates that, contrary to the standard claims of classical source criticism, the J and E sources were never combined into a "JE" document. Rather, these two sources were combined with each other at the same time that they were combined with the P and D documents, in one process of redaction. After investigating the history of scholarly arguments regarding the existence and combination of J and E, the author goes on to argue in detail for the dependence of D on the separate, independent narratives of J and, primarily, E. Significant attention is paid to the issue of redaction. In particular, Baden critiques the manner in which passages have traditionally been attributed to redactors, and argues for a more restrictive concept of the redactor and his work. It is further argued that the literary evidence in the Pentateuch provides for the existence of only a single redactor, to whom the compilation of all four sources of the Pentateuch is to be attributed. In the course of this study, a number of important questions regarding the composition of the Pentateuch are addressed: the existence of E, the relationship between D and the narratives of Genesis-Numbers, and the nature of the redactor. In the end, this study stands as both a critique of traditional documentary analysis of the Pentateuch and a defense of its fundamental claims.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Literature

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Review by David Carr
Published 12/15/2010
Citation: David Carr, review of Joel S. Baden, J, E, and the Redaction of the Pentateuch, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2010).

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