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There is general agreement in the field of Biblical studies that study of the formation of the Pentateuch is in disarray. David M. Carr turns to the Genesis Primeval History, Genesis 1-11, to offer models for the formation of Pentateuchal texts that may have traction within this fractious
context. Building on two centuries of historical study of Genesis 1-11, this book provides new support for the older theory that the bulk of Genesis 1-11 was created out of a combination of two originally separate source strata: a Priestly source and an earlier non-Priestly source that was used to
supplement the Priestly framework. Though this overall approach contradicts some recent attempts to replace such source models with theories of post-Priestly scribal expansion, Carr does find evidence of multiple layers of scribal revision in the non-P and P sources, from the expansion of an early
independent non-Priestly primeval history with a flood narrative and related materials to a limited set of identifiable layers of Priestly material that culminate in the P-like redaction of the whole. This book synthesizes prior scholarship to show how both the P and non-Priestly strata of Genesis
also emerged out of a complex interaction by Judean scribes with non-biblical literary traditions, particularly with Mesopotamian textual traditions about primeval origins. The Formation of Genesis 1-11 makes a significant contribution to scholarship on one of the most important texts in the Hebrew
Bible and will influence models for the formation of the Hebrew Bible as a whole.
About the Author
David M. Carr is Professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His previous publications include Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins (2014), The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2011), An Introduction to the OldTestament: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts of the Hebrew Bible (2010); An Introduction to the Bible: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts (2010); Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (Oxford 2005); The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality and the Bible (Oxford, 2003); Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches (1996); and From D to Q: A Study of Early Jewish Interpretations of Solomon's Dream at Gibeon (1991).