Over a hundred years ago, Wellhausen's revolutionary aim in his "Prolegomena" was to prove that the Priestly legal sections of the Pentateuch reflect postexilic Judaism and must be considered a deviation from the prophetic religion which preceded it. The present study points out the biased assumptions underlying Wellhausen's theory and the fallacies in this thesis. A strong case is made for the antiquity of the Priestly Code and its antedating the Book of Deuteronomy in light of many parallels between the Priestly Law and ritual texts from the Ancient Near East, and an examination of the mythic outlook in P which distinguishes it from both Deuteronomy and Second Isaiah.
Moshe Weinfeld, Ph.D., Hebrew University, Jerusalem, is Professor (Emeritus) in Biblical Studies in the Department of Bible at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His most important books are
Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford, 1972) and
Deuteronomy 1-11 (AB, New York, 1991).
…this short and stimulating book should be widely read.'
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2005.
Table of contents
A REVISION OF WELLHAUSEN’S
PROLEGOMENA 1. The Basic Prejudice of the
Prolegomena 2. Wellhausen’s Literary Criticism and Its Fallacy
3. Social and Cultic Institutions in the Priestly Source Against Their Ancient Near Eastern Background
4. Wellhausen in Light of his Contemporaries
THEOLOGICAL FEATURES IN THE PENTATEUCH
5. Theological Currents in Pentateuchal Literature
6. God the Creator in the Priestly Source and Deutero-Isaiah
Appendix. Concerning the Sabbath and Circumcision in P