Ken’s Book: Pentateuch: A Source Critical Version of the Five Books of Moses

Ken’s Book: Pentateuch: A Source Critical Version of the Five Books of Moses

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So a number of people have asked me “Why do I, as a non-believer, write at length about the Bible?” I think the reason can best be expressed that while I don’t think you should drink the kool-aid, I do think people should know the contents of the punchbowl. How can we have a reasoned discussion of the world around us if we have little knowledge of what the person next to us believes?

On top of understanding what people believe, it is one of my passions to understand the development of such beliefs. When I was in college I was introduced to the idea of literary criticism. I grew fond of unravelling the literature put in front of my by my professors by examining it in the light of Marxist, post-colonial, or psychoanalytical theories. It was only natural that I would eventually apply the same critical eye to the Bible, a book I had started studying at an early age. Eventually I discovered forms of criticism particular to biblical texts, my favorite among them being source criticism—the study of source materials to discover literary history.

This book is the culmination of countless hours of reading, writing, editing, formatting, re-editing and reformatting. A year’s worth of late nights playing historian, ethnographer and literary scholar. The final product is a four-hundred page tome, the subject being a version of the first five books of the Bible, or Pentateuch, divided into their individual sources using a three color, grayscale, color code, nearly 250 footnotes, and four indices. You can check out the book here, and you can follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, or friend me on Facebook to get insider information about my upcoming projects.

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