• Mark McEntire deposited A More Coherent J in the group Group logo of Ancient Near EastAncient Near East on Humanities Commons 2 years, 7 months ago

    The central argument for source division of the Pentateuch is that the present form of the literature is incoherent. The first place most readers notice the incoherence, and where biblical scholarship began giving it attention a few centuries ago, is in the Primevel Story in Genesis 1-11. Among those who accept some form of the Documentary Hypothesis, there is widespread agreement that Genesis 1-11 consists of material from two sources, J and P. There is also considerable agreement about how to divide the material into those two sources. I would like to raise a couple of questions about what happens next. The first has to do with reconstructing the earlier sources, specifically J. If narrative incoherence is the reason to initiate the source-critical process, then narrative coherence should be one of its results. The second has to do with explaining the process that led to the current form of the Primeval Story. If we think we are looking at the two documents the redactor used, then what would explain the set of decisions that led from the individual sources to the combined form we see in Genesis? In the end, the answers to these two questions must be intertwined.