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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

The J and E Sources

The stories of the ancestors and of the exodus and the wilderness experiences, long told orally, were perhaps first written down during the time of Kings David and Solomon (tenth century B.C.E.), probably by someone in Jerusalem who had connections with the royal court. Scholars have designated this someone as the Yahwist or “J” (because the writer used the name Yahweh [traditionally spelled Jehovah] for God in the book of Genesis). This J source told the ancestral story in such a way as to suggest that the newly established kingdom was the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham and his descendants. After the reign of Solomon, the northern tribes broke away. An alternative version of the old story, usually called the Elohist or “E” source (because it uses Elohim for the deity in Genesis), was handed down in the schismatic Northern Kingdom. This version was eventually used to supplement J's narrative. Scholars refer to this combined version as “JE.”

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Oxford University Press

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