The Book of J

(Nonfiction; Grove Press, 1990)

At the center of much of Western literature is the Bible, and at the core of the Bible lie its first five books, the Pentateuch, the same whether you’re reading the Hebrew Tanakh or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Pentateuch is no monolith; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century biblical scholars teased it apart into one original source and then three successive revisions. The oldest of the four texts, dating to the tenth century BCE, or around the end of King Solomon’s reign, makes the first use of the name Yahweh for God—thus the Jahwist, in our spelling, and the J-Text: the book of J.

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