Recent research has mostly argued against the traditional claim that the Pentateuch contains the documents of the Yahwist, the Elohist and the priestly writer (the new documentary hypothesis). After a survey of recent theories (I) the essay argues for the validity of this hypothesis (II). The priestly document is an own source and ends with the death of Moses (Dtn 34:1a*, 7-9). Furthermore it is demonstrated that there existed a yahwistic pre-priestly narrative structure from Gen 12 to Num 24 which originated in the time of Solomon. Against recent theories the Patriarchs were first literarily connected with the exodus by this Yahwist, and not by an exilic Yahwist or by P. The existence of the Elohist from the northern kingdom around 760 is proven by various arguments. Finally, the essay ends with remarks on the redactions of the (exilic) Jehowist and the pentateuchal redactor.