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  • Deborah Hurn

    June 23, 2021 at 1:12 am

    There is a view that the Pentateuch was a mostly-fictional saga invented by the ‘elite’:

    [94] [The Book of] Exodus, then, was developing during a time when the nation’s continuing existence as a distinct community was in prolonged doubt. It was written to strengthen national feeling and support national identity…. intellectual elite striving to preserve or excite national feeling in a time of crisis, and to reshape the national spirit through an exclusively monotheistic ideal which they saw as the only way to preserve the nation at all.

    [94] Moreover, the hard archaeological evidence that would show that the nation of Israel came from outside Canaan is lacking. The material culture of early Iron Age Israel is like that of Late Bronze Age Canaan, only poorer (Fink 1988, Dever 1992).

    Houston, Walter J. “Exodus.” In The Pentateuch, edited by John Barton and John Muddiman, 92–127. Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University, 2001.