The Bible’s First History
322 Pages

The Bible’s First History



This is a book about an ancient writer, the J writer--the Yahwist--who produced a work of political imagination. This work is embedded mainly in the first four books of the Bible, best known for some of the most popular and influential biblical stories in Genesis and Exodus. The purpose of the book is to represent the whole of the original story with attention to its own meaning, without the influence of the other literary strands with which it was later supplemented. Therefore the work includes a fresh, complete translation of the text of the J writer, who produced the Bible's first history. The translation itself helps to establish more clearly than ever the integrity of the J writer.
The concern here is WHEN and WHY this history was written, especially in light of the concerns for justice and prosperity. Throughout it is demonstrated HOW and WHY this history comes from the court of David; it is a royal history of David's subjects as though they were descended from pastoral nomads such as Abram, Isaac, and Jacob. It is argued that the intended audience of the history was probably those bedouin who regularly visited the court of David in Hebron and Jerusalem.
Here is a bold and brilliant representation of the J writer's composition, perhaps as it was originally intended to be read or heard. This ancient tour de force takes on new life in the hands of these skilled interpreters.



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Published 04 January 2018
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EAN13 9781725239081
Language English
Document size 34 MB

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he Bible’s First History From Eden to the Court of David with the Yahwist
Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401 The Bible’s First History From Eden to the Court of David with the Yahwist By Coote, Robert B. and Ord, David Robert Copyright©1989 by Coote, Robert B. ISBN 13: 978-1-5326-3701-8 Publication date 12/1/2017 Previously published by Fortress Press, 1989
Preface to the 2017 Reprint Edition Preface
ix xiii
Preface to te2017 Reprint Edition
he Bîble begîns wî îs longes conînuous sory, srecîng rom Gen-esîs o Kîngs—rom e Irs man and woman în e Garden o Eden o e deeaed, depored Judaîes în Babylonîa. hîs lengy sory was wrîen by no one person bu many, and no all a once bu în sages, over a span o our or Ive undred years, rom e Irs rulîng kîng o e Davîdîc dynasy, Davîd îmsel, în e en cenury BCE, o e las, Jeoîacîn, în e sîx cenury BCE. Conrary o appearances, î îs no e radîîon o all ïsrael, bu e sory o e ïsraelîes wrîen rom e perspecîve o e rulîng ouse o Davîd, în Jerusalem and în Babylonîa. ïnîîally e sory ook sape în wo separae pars. he Irs par races e îsory o e ïsraelîes and eîr ancesors rom Eden o e Plaîns o Moab overlookîng Canaan (Genesîs o Numbers). hîs îs e sory o e Irs generaîons o umans, en o e ïsraelîe ancesors înabîîng Ca-naan, akîng reuge în Egyp and allîng capîve ere, escapîng under Moses rom Egypîan servîude, and rekkîng back oward Canaan, endîng on e brînk o e Jordan, poîsed o ake possessîon o e land promîsed early în e sory by God. he sory’s second par races e subsequen îsory o e ïsraelîes, sarîng by e Jordan, rom e publîcaîon o e so-called Second Law by Moses, roug e kîngs o ïsrael, o e Babylonîan Exîle (Deueronomy o Kîngs, excludîng Ru). hîs îs e sory o e ïsraelîe monarcîes în e land: e law o Moses—e requîremens or oldîng e land—laîd ou; e conques o e land under Josua; e polîîcal dîsarray under rîbal leaders called savîors or judges, urmoîl emporarîly resolved by e monarcy; e conînuîng dîsarray o e successîon o ïsraelîe dy-nasîes over agaîns e survîvîng, avored ouse o Davîd în Jerusalem; e evenual collapse o e las ïsraelîe dynasy în Samarîa and laer e Da-vîdîc monarcy îsel; and e deporaîon o e las reîgnîng Davîdîc kîng
P r e f a c e t o t h e 2 0 1 7 R e p r i n t E d i t i o n
wî ollowers o Babylon. ï îs e sory o success and aîlure, loyaly and dîsloyaly, wî a în o polîîcal redempîon. he evenual joînîng o ese wo pars îno e sîngle sory o e Bîble ollowed as a maer o course, sînce e second par was composed as a sequel o e core o e Irs. Bo pars were buîl up on core sorîes goîng back, în my vîew, o e Irs generaîon o e rulîng ouse o Davîd and probably earlîer. (he orîgînal core o e second o e wo pars îs ound în 1 Samuel 15-1 Kîngs 2: e sorîes o e rîse o Davîd as usurper o e ouse o Saul, e rebellîon o îs son Absalom, and e roubled successîon o îs en son, young Solomon.) hîs book concerns e orîgînal core o e Irs par, ound scaered în e books o Genesîs, Exodus, and Numbers. hîs core îs e sory called J by îsorîans o e Bîble sînce îs Irs delîneaîon over wo cenurîes ago, wen German scolars noîced a a parîcular srand o passages în e Irs our books o e Bîble, or Teraeuc, avored e use o Yawe (German Jawe), e Hebrew name o God. (From anîquîy o e presen, îs name as usually been replaced by “Lord” or, less oten, some oer subsîue desîgnaîon.) hus J served as e skeleon o wa evenually became e Irs our books o e Bîble. ï mîg be called eîr oundaîon, excep a passages were added no above î, so o speak, bu on all sîdes and în beween. No manuscrîp o J exîss and ere îs no proo a J ever exîsed. Sînce e delîneaîon o J and every aspec o îs înerpreaîon are, lîke all îsorîcal reconsrucîon, înerenly unceraîn, ere îs ongoîng dîsagreemen among scolars abou exacly wîc passages o e Bîble J comprîses, wen and wy î was wrîen, wa lîes beînd î and wen îno î, and wa î mean—îndeed abou nearly everyîng concernîng J. A endency o regard J as a conglomera-îon o separae sorîes raer an a sîngle sory as prevaîled all along—an erroneous bu undersandable endency gîven e dîversîy o J’s îngredîens. Unîl recenly, mos scolars agreed a J orîgînaed earlîer no laer în e îsory o e wrîîng o e Teraeuc. ha consensus as dîsappeared, as a growîng number o scolars are înclîned o vîew î as a produc o e lae raer an early monarcy, or even o e exîlîc or pos-exîlîc perîod. Ques-îons ave ereore also been raîsed abou J’s relaîonsîp o e Teraeuc: does î represen e las sage o wrîîng, no e Irs, e carapace o e Teraeuc raer an îs skeleon? Moreover some ave argued a J în îs classîcal delîneaîon îs noîng more an a Igmen o scolarly îngenuîy o be dîscarded alogeer.