Richard Elliot Friedman: From Puzzling Passages to Various Sources

Richard Elliot Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (HarperOne, 1997), 241, 242.

We have come a considerable distance from the early hints of the medieval scholars. What began as an interest in some puzzling passages in the Five Books of Moses led to the suggestion that a few lines of those books were not by Moses himself. This was followed by the suggestion that larger portions of the text were by someone other than Moses. Then investigators isolated several separate, continous works and identified them by characteristics of language and content. And then we began to refine our identification of each of these works and to observe the process of the formation of the Bible….

The Bible is thus a synthesis of history and literature, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in tension, but utterly inseparable. And, I believe, the recovery of much of this history and the appreciation of this synthesis are now, after centuries, finally within our sight.

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