Koog P. Hong, «Abraham, Genesis 20–22, and the Northern Elohist», Vol. 94 (2013) 321-339
This article addresses the provenance of the Elohistic Abraham section (Genesis 20–22) in order to clarify the divergence between the source and tradition-historical models in pentateuchal criticism. Examining arguments for E’s northern provenance demonstrates that none of them applies directly to E’s Abraham section. The lack of Abraham tradition in early biblical literature further undermines the source model’s assumption of Israel and Judah’s common memory of the past. The southern provenance of Genesis 20–22 is more likely, and the current combination of Abraham and Jacob traditions is probably a result of the Judeans’ revision of Israelite tradition.
See more by the same author
01_Biblica_Hong_Layout 1 08/07/13 12:54 Pagina 321 01_B
Abraham, Genesis 20â€“22, and the Northern Elohist
Did northern Israelites remember Abraham as their founding an-
cestor? What was the status of Abraham in relation to Jacob, whose
ancestral connection to Israel is more directly established (Gen
32,22-32)? I ask these questions because I think they reveal a fun-
damental difference between the two competing models in Penta-
teuchal criticism: the source model and the tradition-historical
Let me briefly describe the current state of Pentateuchal criticism
as I understand it. The most current debate centers on the tradition-
historically oriented redaction-critical discussion on the â€œhiatusâ€ be-
tween Genesis and Exodus and the ensuing investigation of the
nature and scope of the Priestly and post-Priestly redaction that sup-
posedly combined them on the literary level 1. This movement is an
outgrowth of the tradition-historical â€œblock modelâ€. Proposed by
Rolf Rendtorff, this model purports to trace the development of each
small unit from its earliest stage to the latest 2. Rendtorffâ€™s model
was later championed by Erhard Blum 3 and has been introduced to
North America by David Carr 4.
On the other side, there are proponents of the source model. Several
groups hold this view. There are traditionalists who strive to maintain
and defend the Documentary Hypothesis in the form of the Graf-Well-
This movement is conveniently presented in two volumes of collected
essays. J.C. GERTZ â€“ K. SCHMID â€“ M. WITTE (eds.), Abschied vom Jahwisten.
Die Komposition des Hexateuch in der jÃ¼ngsten Diskussion (BZAW 315;
Berlin 2002); T.B. DOZEMAN â€“ K. SCHMID (eds.), A Farewell to the Yahwist?
The Composition of the Pentateuch in Recent European Interpretation (At-
lanta, GA 2006).
R. RENDTORFF, Das Ã¼berlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Penta-
teuch (BZAW 147; Berlin 1977) = The Problem of the Process of Transmis-
sion in the Pentateuch (JSOTSS 89; Sheffield 1990).
E. BLUM, Die Komposition der VÃ¤tergeschichte (WMANT 57; Neukir-
chen-Vluyn 1984); ID., Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch (BZAW 189;
D.M. CARR, Reading the Fractures of Genesis. Historical and Literary
Approaches (Louisville, KY 1996).
BIBLICA 94.3 (2013) 321-339
Â© Gregorian Biblical Press 2013 - Tutti i diritti riservati