a theory about the formation of the text of the first five books of the Bible. The documentary hypothesis holds that four traditions underlie these books, naming them after a chief characteristic of each: “J” or “The Yahwist” (the letter “J” is derived from the German spelling, “Jahveh”) uses the divine name “Yahweh” (the Lord) consistently, and contains much of the oldest material; “E” or “The Elohist” uses the divine name “Elohim” (God) fairly consistently and contains traditions from the northern kingdom of Israel; “P” or “The Priestly Writer” is concerned largely with legal codes and matters of religious practice; and “D” or “The Deuteronomist” represents the traditions gathered mostly in Deuteronomy and continued through the deuteronomistic history in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. There have been many modifications in the documentary hypothesis, and most scholars now agree that these “documents” are much more like streams of tradition than they are like fully conceived, written texts that were combined in a cut-and-paste process. Seeinterpretation.