I have assembled evidence in other books and articles to show the flaws in recent attacks on the hypothesis from the radical and traditional ends of the spectrum. In this article I want to concentrate on the positive arguments for it. For those who wish to see the evidence against those recent attacks, see the Appendix in Richard Elliott Friedman, The Hidden Book in the Bible (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998), pp. 350–378; and my articles “Solomon and the Great Histories,” in Ann Killebrew and Andrew Vaughn, eds., Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology—The First Temple Period (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002); “An Essay on Method,” in Friedman and William Henry Propp, eds., Le-David Maskil, Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2003); “Some Recent Non-arguments Concerning the Documentary Hypothesis,” in Michael Fox et al., eds., Texts, Temples, and Traditions: A Tribute to Menahem Haran (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1996), pp. 87-101; and “Late for a Very Important Date,” BR, December 1993, pp. 12-16.


I first translated J, then E. Then I pursued the editing of J and E together by the redactor known as RJE. Then I translated P, then D (in its stages). Then I translated the remaining small texts (such as Genesis 14). And then I pursued the editing of all of these together by the redactor known as R.


In critical scholarship, there are two main views of when it was composed. One is that P was the latest of the sources, composed in the sixth or fifth century B.C.E. The other is that P was composed not long after J and E were combined. Linguistic evidence now virtually rules out the late date for P. I have also brought evidence for the earlier date for P in The Exile and Biblical Narrative (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981), in Who Wrote the Bible? (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987), and in “Torah,” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 6, pp. 605–622.


I first raised the possibility that the author of J may have been a woman in Who Wrote the Bible? pp. 85-86. See also my Hidden Book in the Bible, pp. 51-52.


Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? pp. 223–225.


I have added one more element to this picture. The J source never uses the word God (Elohim) in narration. When individual persons in the story are quoted, they may use this word; but the J narrator never uses the word, without a single exception in the received Hebrew (the Masoretic Text).


Josiah’s reforms are connected to instructions that are found in D. And the narrative of Josiah’s making those reforms is told in terms and phrases that are typically found in D. And Josiah’s reforms are traced to the promulgation of a particular scroll, which is identified by the same words as the scroll that Moses writes in D. This interlocking chain of connections led to the extremely widely held view in scholarship that the scroll that was read in Josiah’s day was D. There have been a variety of conceptions: It may have been just the law code that appears in Deuteronomy (chapters 12–26). It may have been the law code and some of the material that precedes and follows it. It may have been written at the time of Josiah. It may have been written earlier and then made public and authoritative in Josiah’s time. But there is little room for doubt that D is linked in some integral way to the reign of Josiah.


In The Bible with Sources Revealed (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003), I’ve listed 24 examples of such terms, which are consistent through nearly 400 occurrences.