Tradition and Interpretation

By G. W. Anderson | Go to book overview

IV
PENTATEUCHAL PROBLEMS

R. E. CLEMENTS

IN reviewing the position of Pentateuchal studies in 1951 C. R. North1 was able to look back over a period in which the literary-critical analyses, which had dominated research for more than half a century, were being subjected to increasing scrutiny. Several scholars had come to argue that a fuller recognition of the role of oral tradition and a thorough application of the methods of tradition-history removed the necessity for positing documentary sources underlying our extant books. Instead they were suggesting that such documents could be better understood as strata, or tradition- complexes, which represented the residual collections of material of varying ages which had been handed down largely orally, and only in part in written form. Thus the three major streams of Pentateuchal material: JE, D, and P represented source strata which had only secondarily become documents. In association with such a view went the claim that these sources were in some measure overlapping, and contained parallel traditions, each of which could be regarded as preserving both pre- and post-exilic material. The most urgent of such claimants was I. Engnell,2 but varying degrees of support for such views were to be found also in J. Pedersen3 and A. Bentzen.4 C. R. North brought the work of M. Noth into relation with discussion of these issues, since his study of

____________________
1
C. R. North, "'Pentateuchal Criticism'", OTMS, pp. 48 ff.
2
I. Engneli, Gamla Testamentet. En traditionshistorisk inledning i, Stockholm, 1945, 211 ff. Cf. also his studies in Critical Essays on the Old Testament, translated and edited by J. T. Willis, London, 1970, "The Traditio-Historical Method in Old Testament Research'", pp. 3-11, and "The Pentateuch', pp. 50-67.
3
J. Pedersen, "'Die Auffassung vom Alten Testament'", ZAW xlix ( 1931), 161-81, and also Israel. Its Life and Culture iii-iv, London-Copenhagen, 1940, 725-27.
4
A. Bentzen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 2nd edn. Copenhagen, 1952, especially pp. 19-24.

-96-

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Tradition and Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Introduction- Changing Perspectives in Old Testament Study xiii
  • I- The Textual Transmission of the Old Testament 1
  • Bibliography 29
  • II- Semitic Philology and the Interpretation of the Old Testament 31
  • III- Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Their Bearing on the Old Testament 65
  • Bibliography 94
  • IV- Pentateuchal Problems 96
  • Bibliography 122
  • V- Old Testament Historiography 125
  • VI- Prophecy and the Prophetic Literature 163
  • Bibliography 187
  • VII- Apocalyptic 189
  • Bibliography 212
  • VIII- Wisdom 214
  • Bibliography 234
  • IX- The Psalms and Israelite Worship 238
  • Bibliography 272
  • X- The History of Israel in the Pre-Exilic Period 274
  • Bibliography 318
  • XI- The History of Israel in the Exilic and Post-Exilic Periods 320
  • Bibliography 349
  • XII- The History of Israelite Religion 351
  • Bibliography 383
  • XIII- The Theology and Interpretation of the Old Testament 385
  • Bibliography 414
  • Index of Authors 429
  • General Index 439
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