Religion: By One Hand?

Computers reread Genesis

Jewish tradition holds that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. Conservative Christians agree. But 19th century Protestant critics emphasized the Pentateuch's diversity rather than its unity. They deemed it a scissors-and-paste job on materials from different centuries by four anonymous authors: the Jahwist ("J"), Elohist ("E"), Priestly writer ("P") and Deuteronomist ("D"). Though traditionalists rejected it, this J.E.P.D. theory hardened into liberal orthodoxy.

Now the four-author thesis has come under a powerful new attack. The ancient view, it seems, is supported by that most modern deity of omniscience, the computer. Bible Scholar Yehuda Radday of Haifa's Israel...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!