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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


ANTWI, Emmanuel Kojo Ennin. Sources, formation and socio-historical context of the Joseph Narrative: Re-examined under the documentary hypothesis. Old testam. essays [online]. 2016, vol.29, n.2, pp.259-276. ISSN 2312-3621.

The historical-critical method has given birth to many approaches to the study of the Bible. As a consequence, many scholars have come up with solutions to some of the exegetical problems in the Judeo-Chris-tian scriptures. One of the most popular proposed solutions to the problems in the Pentateuch is the Documentary Hypothesis. With time, the findings of the hypothesis have been challenged in reference to some texts in the Pentateuch. This paper seeks to re-examine the sources, formation and the socio-historical context of the Joseph narrative under the Documentary Hypothesis. It evaluates the Joseph narrative under the hypothesis in the light of its critique by later scholars. The essay argues that the narrative is composed of already-existing materials from the Ancient Near East, Egypt and the traditions from Israel to reflect some aspects of the history of Israel in retrospect. Weighing the sources according to the hypothesis as against the views of its critics, who accept the narrative as a unity, one discovers that some traces of source criticism are apparent in the views of the critics of the Documentary Hypothesis. They were solving similar problems within the narrative but from different perspectives.

Keywords : Joseph narrative; Documentary Hypothesis; Source criticism; Yahwist source; Elohist source; Priestly source.

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