Gnuse-purifying the northern tradition

theoutwardquest

Robert Karl Gnuse, in The Elohist proposes the theory that the Pentateuch source E was composed at Bethel after the Assyrian conquest of  the Northern Kingdom and was addressed to the exiles the Assyrians had removed from the land.  I agree with some of his points, but also have some doubts

His theory depends on taking 2 Kings 17:24-41 with a grain of salt.  That passage makes it sound like the whole population of Israel was removed and replaced.  Gnuse points out that this shows the bias of scribes in Jerusalem.

He sees extra-biblical evidence that the Assyrians wanted to maintain their new province of Samarina as an economically productive region.  They deported many upper and middle class people from the cities.  But the lower classes and the people in the countryside probably stayed.  Bethel was a smaller community and may have been untouched.

So his theory is that priests…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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