Presentation on theme: "Bereshit (The Book of Genesis). Basic Facts about Genesis."— Presentation transcript:
Bereshit (The Book of Genesis)
Basic Facts about Genesis
Genesis is the first book of a larger literary unit called the Torah (law) or Pentateuch (5 Books): Genesis (Bereshit) Exodus (Shemot) Leviticus (Vayikra) Numbers (Bamidbar) Deuteronomy (Devarim) The Torah is the first of the three larger literary units that constitute the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, the others being the Neviium (the Prophets) and Ketuvim (the Writings). The three books constitute what Christians call the Old Testament.
The Torah tells a story spanning from the creation of the world to the death of Moses, the Patriarch who liberated the Israelites from their bondage to the Egyptians.
Genesis: Authorship Traditional Jewish and Christian theology identifies Moses as the author of the entire Torah (except for the final 8 verses that describe the death of Moses). The Torah itself is anonymous and likely has a collective authorship, not uncommon in the ancient world. Composed in the Hebrew language, linguistic and stylistic differences throughout the text provide one indication of multiple authorship.
Genesis: Date and Composition The consensus within Biblical scholarship is that Genesis was composed in different stages, by multiple authors, between the 9 th and 6 th century BCE. The text appears to have reached its canonical (official) form between the 6 th and 4 th century BCE, and was translated from Hebrew into Greek in the 3 rd century BCE. The earliest (partial) manuscripts of Old Testament date to circa 3 rd century BCE. The earliest complete Hebrew manuscript of Genesis (c. 10 th century CE), Aramaic (c. 5 th century CE), Greek (c. 3 rd 5 th century CE), and fragments are found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (c. 3 rd 2 nd century BCE).
The Documentary Hypothesis Also called the Graf-Wellhausen Synthesis Developed in the late 19 th century. Torah was created in the 5 th century BCE by combining four different sources: Jahwist, J (c. 900 BCE), Elohist, E (c. 800 BCE), Deuteronomist, D (c. 600 BCE), and Priestly, P (c. 500 BCE).
Genesis 1-11 is the product of at least two different sources. J-Source Genesis 1-11 P-Source
J-Source: makes use of the Tetragrammaton or four letters (YHWH) for Gods name, employs highly anthropomorphic language to describe God, and relies on folklore-type stories (source origin: 10 th century BCE) Example: Genesis 2:4b-3:24, story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
P-Source: This is the so-called Priestly source, portions of text that use the term Elohim (for Gods name), present genealogies, lists, and cultic themes (source origin: centuries after the J-source, circa 586 BCE) Example: Genesis 1:1-2:4a, story of six- day creation
Patriarchal Era BCE Monarchic Period BCE Babylonian Exile 586 BCE Oral Traditions Written Sources Collection and Redaction Final Form
Topical Outline of Genesis Chapters 1-25
Genesis 1-2 Creation of the World
Genesis 3-5 The Fall from Innocence
Genesis 6-10 Noah and the Great Flood
Genesis The Life of Abraham
The rest of the Book of Genesis provides an account of the lineage descending from Abraham revolving around the two patriarchs Isaac and Jacob.