Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Terminology Tuesday: Documentary Hypothesis

Documentary Hypothesis: Also known as the JEDP theory, the documentary hypothesis arose out of the work of nineteenth-century OT scholars K. Graf and J. Wellhausen. They suggested that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the OT) was actually a compilation of the work of at least four separate sources, designated as the J (Jehovah) source, the E (Elohim) source, the D (Deuteronomist) source and the P (Priestly) source. The hypothesis stirred great controversy among conservative scholars who generally accepted Moses as the sole author of the Pentateuch.1

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 40.