What are the arguments for and against the Documentary Hypothesis

Much has been written on the alleged contents of these hypothetical sources.

The Documentary Hypothesis: Moses, Genesis, and …

This would further bolster the claim that Deuteronomy is of mid-seventh century origin, since it is very strongly monotheistic (or henotheistic) in tone. It is plain to see, therefore, how important such a theory as this is to the documentary hypothesis.

arguments put forth in defense of this hypothesis

While the terminology and insights of the documentary hypothesis—notably its recognition that the Pentateuch is the work of many hands and many centuries, and that its final form belongs to the middle of the 1st millennium BC—continue to inform scholarly debate about the origins of the Pentateuch, it no longer dominates that debate as it did for the first two thirds of the 20th century. "The verities enshrined in older introductions [to the subject of the origins of the Pentateuch] have disappeared, and in their place scholars are confronted by competing theories which are discouragingly numerous, exceedingly complex, and often couched in an expository style that is (to quote John van Seter's description of one seminal work) 'not for the faint-hearted.'"

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What are some arguments against the Documentary Hypothesis source ..

This changed when in the 1970s restated almost identical arguments with far greater consequences. Whybray pointed out that of the three possible models for the composition of the Pentateuch—documentary, supplemental and fragmentary—the documentary was the most difficult to demonstrate, for while the supplemental and fragmentary models propose relatively simple, logical processes and can account for the unevenness of the final text, the process envisaged by the DH is both complex and extremely specific in its assumptions about ancient Israel and the development of its religion. Whybray went on to assert that these assumptions were illogical and contradictory, and did not offer real explanatory power: why, for example, should the authors of the separate sources avoid duplication, while the final redactor accepted it? "Thus the hypothesis can only be maintained on the assumption that, while consistency was the hallmark of the various [source] documents, inconsistency was the hallmark of the redactors!"

You can see that all of this depends on the initial hypothesis, ..

For example, in his commentary on Exodus for the Word Biblical Commentary series, John Durham states, “That the Book of the Covenant is a disruption of the Sinai narrative sequence, and that many of its laws are more appropriate to the settled life in Canaan than to the nomadic life of the wilderness of Sinai, cannot reasonably be doubted.” Also, Wellhausen states:

The History and Salient Points of the Documentary Hypothesis

For much of the 20th century Wellhausen's hypothesis formed the framework within which the origins of the Pentateuch were discussed, and even the came to urge that "light derived from recent research" not be neglected by Catholic scholars, urging them especially to pay attention to "the written or oral" and "the of expression" used by the "sacred writer". Some important modifications were introduced, notably by and , who argued for the oral transmission of ancient core beliefs—guidance out of Egypt, conquest of the Promised Land, covenants, revelation at Sinai/Horeb, etc. Simultaneously, the work of the American under seemed to confirm that even if and were only given their final form in the first millennium BC, they were still firmly grounded in the material reality of the second millennium. The overall effect of such refinements was to aid the wider acceptance of the basic hypothesis by reassuring believers that even if the final form of the Pentateuch was late and not due to Moses himself, it was nevertheless possible to recover a credible picture of the period of Moses and of the patriarchal age. Hence, although challenged by scholars such as , opposition to the documentary hypothesis gradually waned, and by the mid-twentieth century it was almost universally accepted.