Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 15, 2006 - Religion - 344 pages
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Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus proposes a provocative new theory regarding the date and circumstances of the composition of the Pentateuch. Gmirkin argues that the Hebrew Pentateuch was composed in its entirety about 273-272 BCE by Jewish scholars at Alexandria that later traditions credited with the Septuagint translation of the Pentateuch into Greek. The primary evidence is literary dependence of Gen. 1-11 on Berossus' Babyloniaca (278 BCE) and of the Exodus story on Manetho's Aegyptiaca (c. 285-280 BCE), and the geo-political data contained in the Table of Nations. A number of indications point to a provenance of Alexandria, Egypt for at least some portions of the Pentateuch. That the Pentateuch, drawing on literary sources found at the Great Library of Alexandria, was composed at almost the same date as the Septuagint translation, provides compelling evidence for some level of communication and collaboration between the authors of the Pentateuch and the Septuagint scholars at Alexandria's Museum. The late date of the Pentateuch, as demonstrated by literary dependence on Berossus and Manetho, has two important consequences: the definitive overthrow of the chronological framework of the Documentary Hypothesis, and a late, 3rd century BCE date for major portions of the Hebrew Bible which show literary dependence on the Pentateuch.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 METHODOLOGY AND HISTORY OF SCHOLARSHIP
1
Chapter 2 THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS
22
Chapter 3 HECATAEUS OF ABDERA
34
Chapter 4 ARISTOBULUS AND THE SEPTUAGINT
72
Chapter 5 BEROSSUS AND GENESIS
89
Chapter 6 THE TABLE OF NATIONS
140
Chapter 7 MANETHO AND THE HYKSOS
170
Chapter 8 MANETHO AND THE POLLUTED EGYPTIANS
192
BEROSSUS AND MEGASTHENES
257
THEOPHANES OF MYTILENE
259
THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH
264
THE RIVERS OF EDEN
266
TARSUS AND THE NORA INSCRIPTION
271
SETHTYPHON AND THE JEWS
277
Bibliography
297
Index of References
310

Chapter 9 NECTANEBOS AND MOSES
215
Chapter 10 THE ROUTE OF THE EXODUS
222
Chapter 11 DATE AND AUTHORSHIP OF THE PENTATEUCH
240

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About the author (2006)

Russell Gmirkin is a writer, researcher, and Dead Sea Scrolls scholar living in Portland, Oregon.

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