Author(s) of the Book of Genesis:
Chapters 1 to 10
According to Jewish and Christian tradition, the first five books of the
Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) -- the Pentateuch --were written by Moses under the inspiration of
God. God inspired Moses to write the truth and prevented him from
errors. The Bible itself states that Moses was the author. Many conservative Christians and Jews continue with this belief today.
However, mainline and liberal theologians generally accept the "Documentary
Hypothesis" which asserts that the Pentateuch was written by five authors or groups of
authors, from diverse locations, over a period of centuries. Each
wrote with the goal of promoting his/her/their own religious views The five individuals or groups are commonly called:
J: a writer(s) who used Yahweh/Jehovah as
the divine name.
E: a writer(s) who used Elohim as the
divine name. *
P: a writer(s) who added material of major
interest to the priesthood.
D: the author of the book of
R: a redactor(s) who welded the contributions of J, E and P together
into the present Pentateuch.
* Did not contribute to Genesis.
The authors of Genesis seem have picked up part of their story from Hindu
legends of the creation and early history of humanity. Stories of Hindu heros
Adimo, Heva, Sherma, Hama and Jiapheta apparently were replicated into legends
about Adam, Eve, Shem Ham, and Japeth. 1
The two creation stories at the start of Genesis were also apparently heavily influenced by Pagan writings from Mesopotamia; the transition between the two sources occurs at Genesis 2:4 with a verse inserted by the redactor "R."
The first ten chapters of the book of Genesis are
reprinted in the following essays. 2 The original authors, according to the Documentary
Hypothesis, are indicated in different colors: J, P, and R. We follow the identification by R.E. Friedman.
Topics covered in this section:
The authors of Genesis, according to the Documentary Hypothesis:
R.E. Friedman, "The hidden book in the Bible: The discovery of the
first prose masterpiece," Haper San Francisco. Review/order this
book. The author traces the "J" component of the first four books
of the Bible. He writes: "Readers have an opportunity to see
the first great prose writer's full achievement; an epic work of the
struggle between God and humans. and between good and bad."
Copyright 1998 to 2011 incl. by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2011-FEB-01
Author: B.A. Robinson, J, P, & R
This page translator works on Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only
After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.