Assignment 1

Assignment 1 (Due date:  September 28, 2009)

In his Prolegomena to the History of Israel (1885) Julius Wellhausen argued that the books of the Torah or Pentateuch were the combination of four documents or sources. He named these sources JEDP and insisted that they followed a chronological order from earliest to latest.  This became known as the Documentary Hypothesis or Source Hypothesis.

Although these documents and their chronological sequence are generally accepted, modern scholars tend to see these documents as documents that reflect the times when they were written rather than the times they were writing about.  They are treated more as traditions than documents.

Write a short essay of not more than six pages in which you give a condensed outline of each of these traditions (JEDP) as reflected in the Documentary Hypothesis. Reference should be made to the time of origin, author, and focus of each tradition as well as its primary purpose.

I haven’t written an essay in almost 30 years and I am finding this first one a little daunting.  It’s not that I can’t come up with the material or that I don’t understand it.  The problem is the lost feeling that I have about the format that seems to be required.  The course syllabus states that I am supposed to follow the university style sheet when doing assignments for the class.  It’s not a sheet, it’s 37 pages long!!  On top of that I am referred to the seminary home page for more details on form for assignments and papers (15 more pages) which further refers me to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Society as the standard I need to follow for form etc.  This APA thing even has a web based tutorial.

The assignment is due Monday.  If I fully read and understand the style and form requirements, it is going to be late.  I am hanging on to the fact that the prof is a self professed easy marker and may be swayed more by content than by form.


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