Lecture 5. Critical Approaches to the Bible: Introduction to Genesis 12-50

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Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) (RLST 145) with Christine Hayes

This lecture introduces the modern critical study of the Bible, including source theories and Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis, as well as form criticism and tradition criticism. The main characteristics of each biblical source (J, E, P, and D) according to classic source theory are explained. This lecture also raises the question of the historical accuracy of the Bible and the relation of archaeology to the biblical record.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis and Characteristics of Biblical Sources
16:05 – Chapter 2. The Purpose of Literary, Source and Historical Criticism
27:15 – Chapter 3. The Generations of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs
34:42 – Chapter 4. Critical Methodology Used in Biblical Scholarship

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2006.