Who Wrote the Bible?

From: "Russell"
Date: 19/09/2007 1:45 p.m.

Subject: Who Wrote the Bible? : A Book For The People by Washington Gladden, 1836-1918


In the Book of Genesis the evidence of the combination of two documents is so obvious that he who runs may read. These two documents are distinguished from each other, partly by the style of writing, and partly by the different names which they apply to the Supreme Being. One of these old writers called the Deity Elohim, the other called him Yahveh, or Jehovah. These documents are known, therefore, as the Elohistic and the Jehovistic narratives. Sometimes it is a little difficult to tell where the line runs which separates these narratives, but usually it is distinct. Readers of Genesis find many passages in which the name given to the Deity is "God," and others in which it is "LORD," in small capitals. The first of these names represents the Hebrew Elohim, the second the Hebrew Yahveh or Jehovah. In one important section, beginning with the fourth verse of the second chapter, and continuing through the chapter, the two names are combined, and we have the Supreme Being spoken of as "The LORD God," Jehovah-Elohim. It is evident to every observing reader that we have in the beginning of Genesis two distinct accounts of the Creation, the one occupying the first chapter and three verses of the second, the other occupying the remainder of the second chapter with the whole of the third. The difference between these accounts is quite marked. The style of the writing, particularly in the Hebrew, is strongly contrasted; and the details of the story are not entirely harmonious. In the first narrative the order of creation is, first the earth and its vegetation, then the lower animals, then man, male and female, made in God’s image. In the second narrative the order is, first the earth and its vegetation, then man, then the lower orders of animals, then woman. In the first story plant life springs into existence at the direct command of God; in the second it results from a mist which rose from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. These striking differences would be hard to explain if we had not before our faces the clear evidence of two old documents joined together


3 thoughts on “Who Wrote the Bible?”

  1. Brian said: "Interesting theory, but I not so convinced by the Jehoavh / Elohim division especially since the words are sometimes used together."
    To which I reply:

    Also, the so-called “mismatch” between the Genesis creation accounts has long since been discredited:

    The typical Hebrew form of story telling is to give the up-front “Here is the account of…” followed by the detail.
    It’s true for the patriarchs and for the story of the creation of the world.
    When this pattern of communication is understood, then the two creation narratives are reconciled:

    The first tells us what was done and when.
    The second tells us why.


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