The Five Source Documents Of Torah

Original Historical Sources For What Is Now The Bible – Separated and restored into their original forms.

Contents And Quick Summary Of Archaeological History (to place these source documents into real world historical sociological perspective, before embracing the Sources)

922-722 BCE – earliest J and E Sources (of the first kingdoms)

Judean Kingdom Source (J)
— Parts of Genesis and Exodus
— And, 2 Samuel and Hosea

Israeli Kingdom Source (E)
— (original beginning to source lost, probable likely chance it was identical to J source and, thus, simply excluded to avoid repetition of identical material – hence picking up in mid sentence in the redactor’s version)
— Parts of Genesis and Exodus
— And, Hosea

715-687 BCE – P Source (just before fall of first kingdom of Israel)

Israeli Priestly Source (P) (the priests were the law-makers/mystics of the nation)
— (re-writes the legendary history of J and E sources, establishing its own version in place that justifies and supports the law codes and authority of the Aaronid priests)
— Parts of Genesis and Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers
— And, Ezekiel and Chronicles

640-609 BCE – D Source (written in three stages as the law code with built in history legends to establish and support the rise and existence of the second kingdom of now Judean Israel – their official nationalistic Torah)

Deuteronomy Source (D) (three books, three of a collective seven book series)
— Dtr, Dtr 1, Dtr 2
— Along with Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings
— And, Jeremiah

All the rest of the books of Tanakh are independent standing sources. In Torah specific, all not included passages found in text is either independent writings added of unknown or speculative source or Torah redactor’s additions to the text to make it flow.

Other Sources (Independent, Unknown, Speculative, not Redactor written; and Redactor written)

Likely P*
— Geneological/Lifespan Parts of Genesis
— (* likely in order to validate their claim to geneological right of authority on matters of law code enforcement and mystical cult activities)

Likely J or E
— Additional passages not specifically matching the writing style/type of original sources

Likely I or U
— Passages where source origin is either speculative, unknown, or an independant writing

Likely R (Redactor additions to add flow between sources)

Redactor means the following: Someone who selects for compiling and then adapts and edits sources of writing into a printable/publishable single work – an editor.

This is a project that I had started a year back but, then, got very busy with life and its constant demand of changes. So, I left it incomplete, for awhile. As of this time, I have restarted this project, with the intent on completing it – section by section – over a lifetime. So, bear with me – or join in with me! – on getting it done. A proper translation of the ancient Jewish religious writings, keeping them in focus of their ancient Eastern world view, is very necessary in this age of religion’s dominance upon the world and upon the minds of those inculcated in theology. The worse thing that can happen to an ancient writing is for it to be unappreciated for what it has to say, and this has so deeply occurred with the source documents that make up the modern Torah (TaNaKh) or comparable Bible. It is far too easy for translators to put present theological views upon the mind’s of the ancient writers of the past and, in doing so, eniterely changing the meaning and intent of what they wrote. These pages are meant to challenge that method and inspire thinkers to reevaluate what the ancient writers of what we now know as biblical works were actually thinking and believing in their day. This work is supported by the plethora of archaeological history and critical scholarly analysis of the ancient writings that, in translated form, make up the modern religious Bible of Judaism, Christianity and, in some ways, Islam.

Note: The division of the Torah into its original source forms are based upon the divisions made in the The Bible with Sources Revealed by Richard Elliot Friedman – one of the best scholarly sources out there on this subject. The English translations used on these pages are from the public domain source World English Bible (WEB) – provided online and the only no copyright source available anywhere – save for any necessary changes that had to be made (in bold) to correct the translation where it is misleading or questionable. Corrections to their translations are made only so that it be as accurate and reflective of the original native sources as is possible in translating, rather than biased towards the vanacular of modern perception of the world and towards the theology of modern religions.

It is important to understand here that the original documents, written onto scrolls and housed in the various temple libraries were not “bibles” of their time, rather they only later became a bible through the advent of modern monotheistic theology (Common Era times, C.E./A.D.) that, then, compiled and redacted them into one argumentative document. A document requiring considerable theological exegesis over the centuries to attempt to resolve the conflicts existing between sources. I will attempt throughout to explain in (* parenthesis) why I corrected the WEB translation of this ancient text, so that you have better understanding, when I do so.

Joseph T Farkasdi

 

Attention: This is a “work in progress.” I am putting these pages together one chapter a day over the course of a year or two, until it is complete in its presentation. In doing this, it is my deepest hope to give you a clear picture of the thoughts and world view of each biblical literature source, in order to better appreciate and understand the later compiled biblical source we now know as TaNaKH or Old Testament. Further, understanding this deemed “sacred” work in historical context of how it was written and by whom will give us a much better appreciation of these ancients writings and what they actually have to share to us. It may even inspire a more conducive and relevant to our times understanding of what the TaNaKH/Old Testament as a whole has to say to us, now that it has been freed from the hermeneutics of near-modern and modern religions placed upon this compiled literary work. Especially, I hope to elucidate the way it is commonly and questionably (way too often mis-)translated into other languages by these Common Era religions that have formed from it, all to impose upon the religiously “taught” their specific brand of modern-devised theology and eschatology for the “believer,” based upon this literary compilation of ancient texts.

So that you understand me and why I am endeavouring to achieve this, you must understand that I, like most of us, was raised devotedly in one of the modern religious fundamentalist understandings of this biblical work. I was raised to be affected by it and my life determined by it, and this has surely indeed happened. But, unfortunately for my parents and religion I was brought up in, not in the way they hoped for or intended. I kept running into crisis of conflicts between what I was taught to believe the way the world is, an emotionally affecting imagery based religious way, and what I was experiencing in an observable rational physical/psychological way, the world as it definitely and apparently really is. This led to a crisis of “beliefs,” and endless questioning, studying, and searching on my part.

My desire with this effort here is to not knock religion, in any way at all. If religion works for you then, by all means, live in this limited view of our world that you are comfortable with, and I wish you the best. This endeavour here is for those of us who cannot believe in the fantasy view of our world that was taught to us as children, for we see a bigger and more inclusive view of our world. A self-evident view that begs for a fuller picture and degree of understanding of this world, in both the how and why. A world where history and myth about history are intertwined and equally relevant to our understanding of this world we live in and what it means to be human. These pages are for you! And, me. I am sparing no effort to achieve this for you, as you will see directly below in what’s been presented thus far.

With this said, scroll down now below the table of contents of this page and see what I have so far gotten completed for this particular biblical origin source. Then, check back occasionally to see what else I’ve gotten done. For original source divisions and how they are determined, go to the scholarly work I’ve cited in the table of Contents directly below, and then study! To the best of my knowledge, the English biblical translation used here (with needed corrections to it!) is open source and available on the internet for printing, thus permission to use it in other literary endeavours is implied so long as source is cited. I’d appreciate any correction to my understanding, if this is not so. This is saving me from drawing this endeavour out over numerous numbers of years, having to translate every word of every passage myself. That’s it! Now, enjoy the teachings I have already gotten complete for us to ponder on. Shalom!  – Joseph T Farkasdi