“What is the JEDP Theory?”In brief, the JEDP theory states that the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were not written entirely by Moses, who died in 1451 B.C., but also by different authors/compliers after Moses. The theory is based on the fact that different names for God are used in different portions of the Pentateuch, and there are detectable differences in linguistic style. The letters of the JEDP theory stand for the four supposed authors: the author who uses Jehovah for God’s name, the author who uses Elohim for God’s name, the author of Deuteronomy, and the priestly author of Leviticus. The JEDP theory goes on to state that the different portions of the Pentateuch were likely compiled in the 4th Century B.C., possibly by Ezra.So, why are there different names for God in books supposedly written by a single author? For example,
Genesis chapter 1 uses the name Elohim while
Genesis chapter 2 uses the name YHWH. Patterns like this occur quite frequently in the Pentateuch.
The answer is simple. Moses used God’s names to make a point.
In Genesis chapter 1, God is Elohim, the mighty Creator God.
In Genesis chapter 2, God is Yahweh, the personal God who created and relates to humanity. This does not point to different authors but to a single author using God’s various names to emphasize a point and describe different aspects of His character.Regarding the different styles, should we not expect an author to have a different style when he is writing history (Genesis), writing legal statutes (Exodus, Deuteronomy), and writing intricate details of the sacrificial system (Leviticus)? The JEDP theory takes the explainable differences in the Pentateuch and invents an elaborate theory that has no basis in reality or history. No J, E, D, or P document has ever been discovered. No ancient Jewish or Christian scholar has even hinted that such documents existed.The most powerful argument against the JEDP theory is the Bible itself.
“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, (Greek in the story of the bush? God said to him). ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ (Exod 3:6).
Therefore, Jesus says plainly that Moses wrote the account of the burning bush in Exodus 3:1-3.
Luke comments on a passage in Deut.18:15 and credits Moses as being the author of that passage.
Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.
Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.
Paul, talks about the righteousness Moses describes in Lev.18:5.
For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.
You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.
Paul, therefore, testifies that Moses is the author of Leviticus. So, we have Jesus showing that Moses was the author of Exodus, Luke (in Acts) showing that Moses wrote Deuteronomy, and Paul saying that Moses was the author of Leviticus. In order for the JEDP theory to be true, Jesus, Luke, and Paul must all either be liars or be in error in their understanding of the Old Testament. Let us put our faith in Jesus and the human authors of Scripture rather than the ridiculous and baseless JEDP theory
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.