Genesis' JEDP ????

Liz Fried lizfried at
Sun Sep 3 12:09:39 EDT 2000

I agree with much of this except that
1) I certainly don't attribute it to Ezra
tho it makes sense to put it to the
Persian period.
2) He had sources, and certainly did
not make it up out of whole cloth.
3) I think the editor may be DTR, the
Deuteronomist, and that he wrote during
the time of Zerubbabel.
4) The book Ezra-Nehemiah was redacted, imo,
at the beginning of the reign of Alexander, or
during the last Persian king, Darius III at the very

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Walter Mattfeld [mailto:mattfeld at]
> Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2000 12:58 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Genesis' JEDP ????
> I have been following the discussions about Genesis and its theoretically
> having been composed by four Artists known as JEDP. As most
> members of this
> list are aware, this view, while the majority view amongst
> Liberal scholars,
> is not shared by everyone.
> Some scholars have argued that there is "a unity" throughout the
> 9 books of
> the Primary History (Genesis-2 Kings), suggesting one Artist put it all
> together, using earlier sources, some oral, some written, plus introducing
> unique creations of his own.
> For whatever it is worth, I favor a single Artist composition and
> reject the
> JEDP construct for the following reasons:
> In composing a work, the Artist (Author) has to first have "a
> Grand Plan," a
> beginning, a middle, and an end. If he is composing a history, he attempts
> to convince his audience (readers ?) that he possesses the correct
> understanding of how past events came to be responsible for the "present"
> that he and his audience are living in.
> There is an old saying, "Too many cooks ruin the pot." I just
> can't envision
> 4 authors within the Primary History, for each would have his own world
> view, contradicting his fellows. I see a single world view throughout the
> Primary History, suggesting a single Artist.
> In ancient times, a common way of composing histories, at least by the
> Greeks, was the utilization of a literary device called a
> "Ring-Composition."
> In a Ring-Composition the beginning *foreshadows the end* and the end
> alludes back to the beginning, providing "closure."  I see a
> "Ring-Composition" in Genesis and 2 Kings, suggesting a single
> Artist put it
> all together as a Grand Plan.
> Genesis opens with God creating an earthly paradise called the Garden of
> Eden, he makes man and places him in Eden. Man disobeys God's command, and
> is expelled from paradise and sent to live in Exile. This for me, is a
> *fore-shadowing* of 2 Kings' ending, Israel and Judah, placed in
> an earthly
> paradise (Canaan being likened to "the garden of the Lord or Eden" in some
> verses), the "Promised Land," disobey God, and like Adam and Eve, they are
> expelled for disobeying God's command, to live in Exile, like
> Adam and Eve.
> So, I understand 2 Kings' ending to be "the closure to the
> Ring-Composition." This isn't the work of 4 different Artists, its one
> Artist's Grand Plan.
> As the  members of this list are well aware, I have presented earlier
> arguments for the Primary History being "an original composition"
> of either
> the 6th or 5th century BCE (see the b-hebrew archives for those
> arguments),
> preferring the latter century. I suspect Ezra created the Primary History.
> All the best,
> Walter
> Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
> Walldorf by Heidelberg
> Baden-Wurttemburg
> Germany
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