It was supposed to be a few minutes of source criticism; it turned into a minicast; now it's a full special episode! After the minicast on the composition of Torah a couple of weeks ago, I'm testing the source critical approach on the stories of Rebekah, Isaac, and Ishmael: how does the approach work in practice, and does it really add anything useful to our Bible reading toolkit?

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This special episode probably raises more questions than it answers, and it certainly doesn't try to answer everything. And, as always, our focus remains on the most basic of Bible study questions: why does this matter? The approach I take here doesn't attempt to prove or disprove anything: I'm simply making observations about the text, and exploring how a composite model of the writing of Torah explains those observations in a way I find helpful.

The question, of whether or not Torah had one, few, or many inspired writers and/or compilers, is one that can really help us think through the implications of what inspired scripture means to us practically. I jump briefly into that issue in a brief afterword that I recorded separately, to wrap up the original segment that I extracted from the episode #46 recording. I hope it gives you as much useful food for thought as it did me!

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Baden, Joel S. (2012). The Composition of the Pentateuch: Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis, The Anchor Yale Bible reference library. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
Amazon    Logos

Noth, Martin (1948); tr. Anderson, Bernard W. (1972). A History of Pentateuchal Traditions. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


episode #46: voice includes the Genesis 24 segment that accompanies this episode

The Documentary Sources in Genesis, compiled from Noth (see above) by OT scholar Ralph W. Klein (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago / University of Chicago)


Genesis 15, Genesis 17, Genesis 18, Genesis 21, Genesis 22, Genesis 23, Genesis 24, COMPOFPENT