Believe it or not, the most famous book in the world, “The Bible” has various sources of which scholars have done series of research with the aim of understanding how the Bible came to be. There are three models of that used to explain the composition and sources or origins of the Torah, referring to the first five books of the Bible. These theory sources are arguments that try to approve/disapprove the authenticity and reliability of The Bible. The first model is the Documentary Hypothesis, supplementary hypothesis is the second theory and Fragmentary hypothesis the third.
Documentary Hypothesis argues that, the Torah (the first five books of The Bible) had different authors, not just Moses. According to Bishop Ussher Chronology, the theory alleges that Moses died in 1451 BCE and these five books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, were written by other authors after Moses death. The theory continues to state that, these authors are dictated by the different wordings within these five books; the Jehovist, the Elohist, the Priestly, and the Deuteronomist (JEPD). These four sources are believed to be the main four complete, separate and coherent document sources that were used to write the Torah. There are four critical areas that scholars use to support the documentary hypothesis theory: the secondary diction variation and the styles used, the Genesis divine naming variation, the parallel accounts, and the various sources continuity.
Based on these arguments, various scholars believe that the documentary hypothesis is true and that its basis are factual. There are many Bible stories that scholars argue that they had different authors at the same time. For instance, when we talk about the book of Genesis and the story of creation, the scriptures were done through two parallel accounts which are distinguishable by wording contexts. At around 1753, Austruc, a French Physician believed that, the books were done on two sources, Jehovist and Elohist. Austruc at the same time agreed that, mosaic authorship was still subject of approval and therefore, did not dismiss it at that point. The argument in this context was that, the name Jehovah was used most frequently to some level and Elohim which the scholar builds the scholarly belief that they were two different authors with different wordings. Genesis chapter one uses the name Elohim (which translates to “God”) and the name is frequently repeated. In chapter 2 the same book, the composition of two names appears here, Yahweh-Elohim (Translates to, “The Lord God”) and it is at this point where scholars argue that, two authors were present in the writing of the book of Genesis.
Generally, The Bible states categorically that, God is undefinable, and this is acknowledged through different names given to Him. The Bible states also that, it was written by inspired men by God and that the row source of the Bible was God Himself through Spirit. The Five books of the Bible, The Torah were typically written by Moses and the Bible from Old Testament to the New Testament replete the same. The Bible states, “Abraham passed through the Land of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.” This verse is used by various scholars to prove their “non-mosaic” authorship stance with skeptic thoughts of author being aware of the time Canaanites left the land. This verse is stating that, at the time of Abraham, they had occupied the land.
Covenant between God and Jewish people was among the vital pillars in Judaism and it is a thread that is seen across the early stages of the Bible. In most cases in the Old Testaments, there are several instances where God had to make covenant with his people and you will notice that they were conditional. Generally, covenant is a contract with God and both parties ought to participate in making it a success. In this case, God will promise to do something for his people under some certain conditions. There are requirements that people had to follow for God to accomplish the covenant. Some example of these covenants can be found in the stories of Abraham, Noah, Israel, and the New Testament covenant of salvation.
Looking at the Abraham’s covenant in the book of Genesis, God requested some certain duties to be done by Abraham and in return, he’d get blessings from God. Covenant 4 was brought about when Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son as god asked of him (Genesis 22:16-18). In doing so, God saw that he was devoted follower, and promised to bless Abraham and make him the father of all Nations in the universe. One of the requirements for this covenant to be sealed was, Abraham and his descendants from there on out had to be circumcised at the foreskin as a symbol or sign of that covenant with God (Genesis 17). Abraham’s covenant is the first covenant in the Bible and after this covenant, all Jewish men were to be circumcised as a sign of agreement or continuity of this covenant. The condition is that, Abraham and his descendants were to be obedient to the statues and laws of God for them to enjoy the privileges said in the Covenant. Also, God was going to drive them, “Canaanites/ Israelites” from the Land of Egypt and take them to the promised Land of Canaan. The conditions were not limited to just obeying God’s set laws or principle, but the descendants were to live a life where the world would see God through them. God made the covenant with Abraham and it is evident that, Abraham went ahead followed all the principles set in the covenant. God requested Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac and Abraham obeyed. God was testing the extent at which Abraham obedience was to go and indeed, by faith, he confirmed that he truly Loved God and was willing to offer anything to Him in obedience. The Bible says, Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, as for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations.
I believe that it’s critical to understand the sources of all writings and reading for the benefits of clear understanding of the intended message. The final content of the reading matters considering that, writers may use different sources that may not be reliable or factual hence derail the true intentions of the original author.