Presentation on theme: "The Pentateuch 4 Traditions of Authorship. Genesis 1-11 Genesis was initially passed on through oral tradition. These stories were told from generation."— Presentation transcript:
Genesis 1-11 Genesis was initially passed on through oral tradition. These stories were told from generation to generation. Memorization techniques helped maintain and preserve the stories. When we read Scripture, we must read it from a critical outlook. We must take into account the culture of the author, his original intention, the literary techniques etc. We find in Genesis 1-11 the basis of the entire story of redemption. All the rest of Scripture is an explanation of how human frailty and weakness is overcome and compensated by God’s loving plan of redemption. Genesis 1-11 is no exception to this rule!
Poetry The culture of the authors of Genesis did not distinguish between knowledge and belief, science and philosophy, history and religion. Ideas were expressed in a way that would engage the entire person ; body, mind and soul. Many short sayings that are easy to memorize can be found in the Genesis text Parallelism is a technique that is used quite often: “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”
Myth A Myth is a symbolic story that illustrates views of a particular people regarding the relationship between humans and the divine The basis of a myth is not scientific, but rather universal…it is written in a language that transcends culture and experience Myths provide answers for the deeper questions about life
Authorship The written text of the Old Testament is not linear. One person did not sit down and write the text from start to finish, rather, different books and parts of the bible were written at different times The Pentateuch was originally thought to have been written by Moses himself, but modern scholarship has strong evidence that the books were put together over a long period of time by several different authors.
What does this mean? The Pentateuch is a written history of the religious history of humankind, particularly the chosen people, from creation to the death of Moses. As Catholics, we still believe that God is the primary author of this Scripture and what is written is no more or less than exactly what God wanted written down. We also believe that this Scripture is inerrant in matters of faith and morals …no matter how science may attempt to prove facts “wrong”.
4 Traditions of Authorship TraditionAbbreviation Composition Period YahwistJUp to 950 BC ElohistEUp to 850 BC DeuteronomicDUp to 650 BC PriestlyPUp to 550 BC
The “J” Yawhist Tradition The author of this portion of text consistently used the term “ Yahweh ” when referring to God Jews did not speak this term (YHWH) out of respect for God. Instead, they called God “ Adonai ” which means “ Lord ” Historians believe that the main “J” writer lived in the 10th century BC because it was a proud time for the Israelites (Solomon’s reign). The author portrays this in his writings by emphasizing the unity of the people and God’s promise despite man’s sin.
The “J” tradition uses anthropomorphism – attributing human characteristics to nonhuman realities – when speaking of God. Example: God personally speaks to the first man and woman
The “E” Elohist Tradition The “E” tradition portrays God speaking to humans indirectly through angels or dreams. The author of this portion of the text consistently used the term “ Elohim ” when referring to God. It is thought that this portion was written by the northern kingdoms after the split from Judah in the 9th century BC because of the emphasis on heroes from the northern tribes. God is portrayed as being one of love, but also justice. He must be respected and given faithfulness.
The “D” Deuteronomic Tradition Most of subject matter involves the covenant between the Israelites and God. Literally means “ Second Law ”; this tradition includes updates to the religious laws from Moses’ time Author encourages people to follow laws not only out of duty but out of love. following the laws = success; not following the laws = failure
The “P” Priestly Tradition There is great emphasis placed on Order (creation in 7 days, genealogies etc) Authors were most likely a school of priests looking to unify the people by developing a final version of the Pentateuch and documenting the laws of the cult Specific special religious ceremonies and cultic rituals (such as circumcision) are mentioned