Sources of the Pentateuch: Texts, Introductions, Annotations

By Antony F. Campbell; Mark A. O'brien | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Nonsource Texts:
Material Other than P, J, and E
Texts exist, from small fragments to large blocks, which Noth sees as additions to either a completed source (P, J, or E) or the combined sources. Tensions between a text and the source where it is found may suggest that the text was not originally part of the source. When a text reflects the combination of the sources, it cannot have belonged to one alone. We refer to these texts, therefore, as nonsource texts; they have been incorporated subsequently into either a completed source or the combined sources.Some examples may help.
1. Genesis 7:3a echoes both J and P (n. 3, below). Noth sees it as an addition to the combined text. See too Gen 7:8–9.
2. Genesis 4:25 seeks to smooth out a tension within J, but uses Elohim and Adam in ways uncharacteristic of J. Noth sees it as an addition to the completed J source, not a harmonization within J.
3. Genesis 6:1–4 is so isolated a passage that its origin is quite uncertain. Noth remarks that it could be part of J, a supplement to J, or an addition to the completed Pentateuch. Noth does not include the passage in his list of J material, so we locate it here—without prejudice to other possibilities. See too Genesis 14; 25:1–4.
4. The great collections of priestly law have been inserted at appropriate places into the Priestly narrative of Sinai. The collection of laws in Exod 20:22–23:33 cannot be identified with either P, J, or E, and Noth sees the collection as an independent unit inserted into the pentateuchal narrative.
5. Noth considers deuteronomistic expansions later than J and E and quite different from and independent of P (e.g., Exod 12:24–27a; 13:1–16; 15:25b-26). They derive from circles associated with the Book of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History.
6. The cultic calendar in Numbers 28–29 presupposes a wide variety of texts. Noth sees it as a very late addition to the Pentateuch.
7. The list of camping sites in Numbers 33 not only draws on the combined pentateuchal text but reflects the combination of the Pentateuch with the Deuteronomistic History.

It is one thing to identify texts as additions; it is another to interpret such additions in the context to which they have been added. Ideally, as much attention needs to be given to appreciating

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Sources of the Pentateuch: Texts, Introductions, Annotations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction: Pentateuchal Source Criticism 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Priestly Document 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Yahwist Narrative 91
  • Chapter 4 - The Elohist Texts 161
  • Chapter 5 - Nonsource Texts: Material Other Than P, J, and E 195
  • Chapter 6 - Studies in Composite Texts 203
  • Bibliography 255
  • Index of Biblical Passages by Source 259
  • Index of Modern Authors 265
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