This was originally compiled whilst I watch'd the New England Patriots defeat some guys from a southern state in the Super Bowl. . . .
Well, it required a sacrifice of a small child--Staff did not post that warning against Girl Scouts sellers for no reason--upon the battlements, but the Patriots prevailed which allows me to cracketh my Friedman to address those Pesky Roughly 10 Commandments.
First, a brief summary of who the writers were according to Friedman's summary of the Documentary Hypothesis. His second source provides a nice summary of the arguments for multi-authorship in a 31-page introduction, whilst providing the texts of the Pentateuch divided into the authors. This makes seeing how the Redactor blended the J and P versions of the Flood Myth much easier, for example.
J: is the "Jahwist" author, known for his use of YHWH for the name of the deity. He never uses Elohim, though individuals in the J stories may. He comes from Judah. Friedman demonstrates the connection between J and Judah which I will not summarize for space. Hey, if you have not read the book yet, consider it a Christmas, Hanukah, or Annual Celebration of the Eternal Cycle of Life, Death, and Rebirth project.
E: is the "Eloist" author, known for his use of Elohim for the name of the deity. As noted on another thread, this is actually plural, and while the traditions may preserve a fully polytheistic conceptions, by context, the name refers to at least a deity more important than the others. Just to cause confusion, E will switch to YHWH after he appears to Moses and identifies himself as such. Friedman identifies him as a Shiloh Levite priest, possibly descended from the Mosaic line, named Bob [Stop that.--Ed.]. Right, again, he devotes about a chapter to the evidence for this.
D: is the Deutronomistic author, who, according to Friedman, writes a lot of the OT--Deuteronomy-Joshua-Judges-1 & 2 Samuel-1 & 2 Kings. He has similar attitudes as E--hates Aaronid priesthood: "In his introduction and conclusion to the book of Deuteronomy, he mentioned Aaron only twice: once to say that he died, and once to say that God was mad enough to destroy him in the matter of the golden calf." Long . . . long . . . long story short, Friedman suggests he is Jeremiah or, more likely, Jeremiah's scribe Baruch.
D generally uses JE, but does quote P to reverse P. For example, the book of Jeremiah contains quotes from P. It ". . . reverses the language of the P creation story, denies that God emphasized matters of sacrifices in the day that Israel left Egypt. Jeremiah knew the Priestly laws and stories. He did not like them, but he knew them."
P: is the "Priestly" author. He uses JE and follows the stories. Indeed, he uses Elohim like E, though, according to Friedman, his style is so identifiable, he was easy to separate from E. Also, the "Elohim" stories have "doublets"--repeated material--which suggests two authors. Friedman identifies him as an Aaronid priest, or one serving their interests. P promotes Aaron and diminishes Moses:
Again, Friedman goes into detail. Here is a fun one for you Creation Fans:P was written as an alternative to JE. The JE stories regularly said: "And Yahweh said unto Moses. . . ." But the author of P often made it: "And Yahweh said unto Moses and unto Aaron. . . ."
Now, let us define who wrote what:. . . in the twin stories of the flood . . . the J version said that Noah took seven pairs of all the clean (i.e., fit for sacrifice) animals and one pair of the unclean animals on the ark. but P just said that it was two of every kind of animal. Why? Beacause, in J, at the end of the story Noah offers a sacrifice. He therefore needs more than two of each of the clean animals of his sacrifice would wipe out a species. In P's perspective, however, two sheep and two cows are enough because there will be no portrayals of sacrifices until the consecration of Aaron.
E Writer: Ex 15:25b-26
okay . . . not much there. According to Friedman, the long E section of rules, Ex 21:1-27; 22:1-30; 23:1-33, is considered based on an earlier "Covenant Code" source. As noted below, E will have Moses do the "smash the tables" thing. Moses finds out about Aaron and his Golden Calf:There he [YHWH--Ed.] made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he proved them, saying, "if you will diligently hearken to the voice of YHWH your god, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am YHWH, your healer."
J Writer: Ex 34:14-28Ex 32:15-16 And Moses turned, and went down from the mountain with the two tables of the testimony in his hands, table that were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of god, and the writing was the writing of god, graven upon the tables.
The YHWHistic Decalogue is actually part of a section of commandments. YHWH starts giving commandments right at the beginning of the chapter. Ex 34:1b has the Redactor explaining the problem that the J story does not have Moses smash the tablets.
Friedman suggests that the E writer wished to raise doubts about Judah's central religious shrine--it could not have had the original tablets:YHWH said to Moses, "Cut two tables of stone like the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which you broke.
Nothing sets the "10 Commandments" apart in the J text. The J text that is similar to the Decalogue of the other writers is:The Temple in Judah housed the ark that was supposed to contain the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. According to the E story of the golden calf, Moses smashes the tablets. That means that according to the E source the ark down south in the Temple in Jerusalem either contains unauthentic tables or not tablets at all.
The author of E, in fashioning the golden calf story, attacked both the Israelite and the Judean religious establishments. Both had excluded his group.
and is considerably longer than ten! Good thing Former-Chief Justice Moore did not choose this version. Fans wilt note that this version contains the J version of my favorite commandment--child sacrifice! In this version, J allows "redeeming" the first-born whereas in the E commandment--considered part of the "Covenant Code"--no such redemption is allowed [Ex 22:29b--Ed.]."(for you shall worship no other god, for YHWH is a jealous god), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they play the harlot after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and one invites you, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters play the harlot after their gods and make your sons play the harlot after their gods. You shall make for yourself no molten gods. The feast of unleaven bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib; for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. All that opens the womb is mine, all your male cattle, the firstlings of cow and sheep. The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. And you shall observe the feast of weeks, the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before YHWH god, the god of Israel. For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither shall any many desire your land, when you go up to appear before YHWH your god three times in the year. You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning. The first of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of YHWH your god. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk."
And YHWH said to Moses, "Write these words; in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." And he was there with YHWH forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote upon tables the words of the covenant, the words. [The RSV admits to using "ten commandments" for the Hebrew "words."--Ed.]
Where are our favorite commandments? No sabbath rule, no, "thou shalt nots"--kill/murder, covet, bear false witness--though be careful about boiling kids in their mother's milk.
P Writer: Ex 20:11-17
Similarly, these are not called the "10 Commandments," and the commandments are rather longer than ten. P, a big Aaron fan since the writer is considered part of the Aaronid priesthood, adds Aaron to the story.
again, quite a bit of writing with little correspondence to the J version. Apparently, YHWH dictates different versions. I "corrected" the RSV version to Friedman's translation, because he notes that P quotes his own creation story. D, as seen below, prefers to cite the D reason for keeping commandments--he got you out of slavery. Friedman notes that a Dead Sea Scroll text combines both reasons [All Souls Deuteronomy Scroll--Ed.].And god spoke all these words, saying, "I am YHWH your god, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before/besides me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I YHWH your god am a jealous god, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of YHWH your god in vain; for YHWH will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath day to YHWH your god; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; because in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the sabbath day and sanctified it. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which YHWH your god gives you. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's."
D Writer: Deut 5:6-17
Again, no mention of this "ten commandments." Notice the different reasons for keeping the sabbath in the D and P versions. We can see D quoting P material while dropping the P creation reference.[Perpetually dying Moses summons "all Israel" to re-state the commandments.--Ed.] "'I am YHWH your god, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of boundage. You shall have no other gods before/besides me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I YHWH your god am a jealous god, visiting the the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of YHWH your god in vain: for YHWH will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as YHWH your god commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath day to YHWH your god; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and YHWH your god brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore YHWH your god commanded you to observe the sabbath day. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which YHWH your god gives you. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. Neither shall you steal. Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor. Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife; you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.'
The reason for the differences, then, are different authors with different agendas.
Friedman RE. Who Wrote the Bible?. 2nd Ed. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1997.
Friedman RE. The Bible with Sources Revealed. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2003.