From The Bible with Sources Revealed by Richard Elliot Friedman, p. 27-30
J, the Yawhist source
E, the Elohist source
D, the Deuteronomist source
P, the Priestly source
- Creation. Gen 1:1-2:3 (P) and Gen 2:4b-25 (J).
- Genealogy from Adam. Gen 4:17-26 (J) and 5:1-28,30-32 (Book of Records).
- The Flood (click here for an interactive view). Gen 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 7, 10, 12, 16b-20, 22-23; 8:2b-3a, 6, 8-12, 13b, 20-22 (J) and 6:9-22; 7:8-9, 11, 13-16a, 21, 24; 8:1 – 2a, 3b – 5, 7, 13a, 14 – 19; 9:1- 17 (P).
- Genealogy from Shem. Gen 10:21-31 (J and P) and 11:10-2 (Book of Records).
- Abraham’s migration. Gen 12:1-43 (J) and 12:4b – 5 (P).
- Wife/sister. Gen 12:10-20 (J) and 20:1-18 (E) and 2 6 : 6 – 1 4 (J). (Triplet)
- Abraham and Lot separate. Gen 13 : 5 , 7 – 11a, 12b – 14 (J) and 13:6, 11b – 12 a (P).
- The Abrahamic covenant. Gen 15 (J, E, and R) and 17 (P).
- Hagar and Ishmael. Gen 16:1-2,4-14 (J) and 16:3,15-16 (P) and 21:8-19 (E). (Triplet)
- Prophecy of Isaac’s birth. Gen 17:16-19 (P) and 18:10-14 (J).
- Naming of Beer-sheba. Gen 21:22-31 (E) and 26:15-33 (J).
- Jacob, Esau, and the departure to the east. Gen 26:34-35; 27:46; 28:1-9 (P) and 27:1—45; 28:10 (J).
- Jacob at Beth-El. Gen 28:10,113,13-16,19 (J) and 28:11b – 12 , 1 7 – 1 8 , 2 0 – 2 2 (E) and 35:9-15 (P). (Triplet)
- Jacob’s twelve sons. Gen 29:32-35; 30:1-24; 35:16-20 (JE) and Gen 35:23-26 (P).
- Jacob’s name changed to Israel. G e n 32:25-33 (E) and 35:9-10 (P).
- Joseph sold into Egypt. Gen 37:2b,3b,5-11,19-20,23,25b-27, 28b,31-35; 39:1 (J) and 37:33,4,12-18,21-22,24,253,283,29-30 (E).
- YHWH commissions Moses. Exod 3:2-4a,5,7-8,19-22; 4:1 9 – 20a (J) and 3:1,4b,6,9-18; 4:1 – 1 8 , 2 ob – 21a , 2 2 – 2 3 (E) and 6:2-12 (P). (Triplet)
- Moses, Pharaoh, and the plagues. Exod 5:3-6:1; 7 : 1 4 – 1 8 , 2ob – 21 , 23-29; 8:3b-11a, 16-28; 9:1-7,13-34; 1 0 : 1 – 1 9 , 2 1 – 2 6 , 2 8 – 2 9 ; 11:1-8 (E) and 7:6-13,19-203,22; 8:1-33,12-15; 9:8-12 (P).
- The Passover. Exod 12:1-20,28,40-50 (P) and 12:21-27,29-36, 3 7 b – 3 9 (E).
- The Red Sea. Exod 13:21-22; 14:53,6,93,10b,13-14,19b,20b, 21b,24,27b,30-31 (J) and 14:1-4,8,9b, 103,10c, 15-18,213,21c, 22-23,26-273, 2 8 – 2 9 (P).
- Manna and quail in the wilderness. Exod 16:2-3,6-353 (P) and Num 11:4-34 (E).
- Water from a rock at Meribah. Exod 17:2-7 (E) and Num 20:2-13 (P).
- Theophany at Sinai/Horeb. Exod 19:1; 24:15b-18a (P) and I9:2b-9,16b-17,19; 20:18-21 (E) and 19:1o – 16a, 18,20-25 (J) (Triplet)
- The Ten Commandments. Exod 20:1-17 (R) and 34:10-28 (J) and Deut 5:6-18 (D). (Triplet)
- Kid in mother’s milk. Exod 23:19 (Covenant Code) and 34:26 (J) and Deut 14:21 (D). (Triplet)
- Forbidden animals. Leviticus 11 (P) and Deuteronomy 14 (D).
- Centralization of sacrifice. Leviticus 17 and Deuteronomy 12.
- Holidays. Leviticus 23 (P) and Numbers 2 8 – 2 9 (R) and Deut 16:1-17 P) – (Triplet)
- The spies. Num 13:1-16,21,25-26,32; 14:13,2-3,5-10,26-29 (P) and 13:17-20,22-24,27-31,33; 14:1b, 4,11-25,39-45 (J).
- Heresy at Peor. Num 25:1-5 (J) and 25:6-19 (P).
- Appointment of Joshua. Num 27:12-23 (P) and Deut 31:14-15,23 (E).
Above all, the strongest evidence establishing the Documentary Hypothesis is that several different lines of evidence converge. There are more than thirty cases of doublets: stories or laws that are repeated in the Torah, sometimes identically, more often with some differences of detail. The existence of so many overlapping texts is noteworthy itself. But their mere existence is not the strongest argument. One could respond, after all, that this is just a matter of style or narrative strategy. Similarly, there are hundreds of apparent contradictions in the text, but one could respond that we can take them one by one and find some explanation for each contradiction. And, similarly, there is the matter of the texts that consistently call the deity God while other texts consistently call God by the name Y H W H , to which one could respond that this is simply like calling someone sometimes by his name and sometimes by his title. The powerful argument is not any one of these matters. It is that all these matters converge. When we separate the doublets, this also results in the resolution of nearly all the contradictions. And when we separate the doublets, the name of God divides consistently in all but three out of more than two thousand occurrences. And when we separate the doublets, the terminology of each source remains consistent within that source. (I listed twenty-four examples of such terms, which are consistent through nearly four hundred occurrences, above, in the Terminology section.) And when we separate the sources, this produces continuous narratives that flow with only a rare break. And when we separate the sources, this fits with the linguistic evidence, where the Hebrew of each source fits consistently with what we know of the Hebrew in each period. And so on for each of the six categories that precede this section. The name of God and the doublets were the starting-points of the investigation into the formation of the Bible. But they were not, and are not, major arguments or evidence in themselves. The most compelling argument for the hypothesis is that this hypothesis best accounts for the fact that all this evidence of so many kinds comes together so consistently. To this day, no one known to me who challenged the hypothesis has ever addressed this fact.
Thus, I did not list the doublets as one of the primary arguments for the hypothesis above. The primary argument is rather that so many double stories could line up with so many other categories of evidence, composed of hundreds of points of data. With that larger argument in mind, we can now take account of the doublets and add them to the picture in this collection of evidence.
I have seen it claimed that such doublets are a common phenomenon in ancient Near Eastern literature. That is false. No such phenomenon exists. Doublets are not common in Near Eastern prose because there is no Near Eastern prose, in the form of either history-writing or long fiction, prior to these biblical texts. It is not even common in Near Eastern poetry. The poetic text that comes closest to the qualities of the biblical text that we are discussing here is the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Epic of Gilgamesh is a composite of several sources. It is a demonstration of composition by combining sources in the ancient Near East, not a refutation of it!
I have also seen the claim that the scholar just chooses the evidence to fit his or her arrangement: for example, that the scholar assigns every verse that has the word “congregation” in it to P and then says that the recurrence of this word in P is proof of the hypothesis. This argument should be seen to be false in the light of all the evidence presented here. No scholar is clever enough to make all of these terms line up within the sources—and to make it all come out consistent with the other signs of the sources. In the text of the Torah that appears in the next section of this book, one can observe each of the doublets with the sources identified. One can then observe all the characteristic terms, the resolution of the contradictions, the separation of the words that are used to identify the deity, the continuity of each story within the doublet, and all the other categories of evidence. The combined weight of the evidence that one will observe there, together with the evidence that is collected here in this section, should make it clear why this explanation of the biblical origins has been so compelling for more than a century. And, whether one agrees with this explanation, questions it, or challenges it, one will have in front of him or her the evidence to address. It is amazing that at this point, when such a mass of evidence is available, some writers still discuss this at so low a level as, for example, arguing about whether “different names of God” constitutes proof or not, or whether doublets prove multiple authorship, or whether a beautiful literary structure (for example, a chiasm) is evidence for a single author. Or some just say that “the hypothesis was disproved long ago” or “nobody accepts it anymore.” Here, rather, is the evidence, for anyone to see, evaluate, acknowledge, or refute.