“An Analysis of the Ongoing Validity of the Documentary Hypothesis for Final Form Interpretation: The Portrayal of Outsiders in the Abrahamic Narratives as a Case Study”
Daniel Hawkins, “An Analysis of the Ongoing Validity of the Documentary Hypothesis for Final Form Interpretation: The Portrayal of Outsiders in the Abrahamic Narratives as a Case Study”
Supervisor: Craig Broyles, PhD (MABSCT)
Second Reader: Andrew Perrin, PhD (MABSCT)
Exam Chair: TBD
There are few discussions in biblical studies that contain as much promise and controversy for understanding the biblical text as does a conversation on the proposed sources of the Pentateuch. The following work on the portrayal of outsiders in the Abrahamic narratives, specifically how they are portrayed in the traditional sources of Genesis, necessarily enters into this controversial world. This thesis will investigate three inter-connected questions. First, how are outsiders portrayed in the Abrahamic narratives? The second, is the portrayal of outsiders different between the different sources of Genesis, and, if so, what does the possible historical context of each source contribute to an understanding of why these differences exist. This in turn will contribute to the larger and third question: does the Documentary Hypothesis specifically, and diachronic analysis in general, have sufficient value for understanding the text as it now stands? It will be shown that while the Documentary Hypothesis involves some speculation, it offers a more coherent framework through which one can interpret and understand many of the complexities that arise in a reading of the Pentateuch. As such, diachronic analysis proves to be an invaluable tool for interpreting the final form of Genesis, if one is aware of its limitations.