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Summarize and Critics on Torah (Pentateuch) - Essay Example

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Summary
E. Friedman provides a scholarly look at the Five Books of Moses. Although the Torah is usually seen as religious in nature, the scholarly article is not at all religious. While this kind of writing is certainly no substitute for a…
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Summarize and Critics on Torah (Pentateuch)
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Summarize and Critics on Torah (Pentateuch)

Download file to see previous pages... of the Torah, along with some other perspectives, and allows us to take a step back from blind faith in order to better understand how, most likely, the Torah came to be.
Source criticism assumes human, rather than divine, authorship of the text, and further uses modern kinds of literary research to establish that the Five Books of Moses were cobbled together from four major bodies of knowledge or traditions. Friedman does not spend much time dealing with the obviously oral origins of the words, but instead bases his reading on textual elements, from which scholars are able to tease apart the contributions of four separate writers and to hypothesize the literary steps taken by the editor who combined all four into a single, coherent, and cohesive document. Friedman reports on ten disparate categories through which we can discern the four authors: doublets, terminology, contradictions, consistent characteristics, narrative flow, historical referents, linguistic classifications, relationships among sources, references in other parts of the bible, and editorial marks.
Doublets refer to “cases of two variations of the same story in the Pentateuch” (Friedman, 1992, p. 609). This essay refers to twenty-seven different places in the Torah where the same story has been told in slightly different ways, for instance, the order of creation in Genesis, which is presented differently in 1:1-2:3 than in 2:4-25. There are even examples of triplets, three versions of the same story. The second category, terminology, refers to different names being used, especially for God. This is most important because, “these differences of terminology fall consistently into one or another group of doublets” (Friedman, 1992, p. 610). One set will always use the term “God” while the other will always use “Yahweh,” suggesting two different authors with two different ways of talking about the deity. For scholars, this is the key to determining the number of different authors, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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