Who Wrote the Bible by Friedman

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Who Wrote the Bible by Friedman

Post by Lausten » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:43 pm

I wish I would have read this a long time ago. Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible summarizes the Documentary Hypothesis as it has developed over the last couple hundred years and adds his own thoughts on how the old testament was assembled into what we use today. The NT is not covered. Friedman is a believer, but does not fill the book with glories to God, he does mention once or twice that God is the source of the stories, but the Documentary Hypothesis does not cover the early sources of the scriptures. It starts around the 4th century BC when those stories were already written down and Jews accepted that there was a Moses and an Abraham and a David. This is not trying to prove anything about the truth of the stories, just how they got handed down to us.

He spends most of the book discussing what was going on politically and how those foundation stories were used by the authors to comment on what the King was doing or what the Northern kingdom didn't like about the Southern kingdom.

It would be nice if this information was more widely known. It would certainly handle all those annoying questions by forum posters about why are there two creation stories or how do you explain the conflicting sets of laws. Friedman can only give his theory on how they came to be in one book. How well it was accepted when they were first combined may never be known. We can only try to figure out what it means that it was accepted.

He doesn't discuss it much, but my thoughts are that most people couldn't read at the time, but they did have some cultural memory of the stories. When the combined book was made, he (or they) included everything that people remembered so it could gain wider acceptance. The reasons for having different stories were lost though, and no one was in a position to argue for one being better than the other. Since most people couldn't read, they didn't notice the minor differences, they weren't sitting down and picking the text apart like people finally did 1,500 years later.
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