Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus: Hellenistic Histories and the Date of the Pentateuch
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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Chapter 1 METHODOLOGY AND HISTORY OF SCHOLARSHIP
Chapter 2 THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS
Chapter 3 HECATAEUS OF ABDERA
Chapter 4 ARISTOBULUS AND THE SEPTUAGINT
Chapter 5 BEROSSUS AND GENESIS
Chapter 6 THE TABLE OF NATIONS
Chapter 7 MANETHO AND THE HYKSOS
Chapter 8 MANETHO AND THE POLLUTED EGYPTIANS
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Alexander ancient Antiochus Apion Apollonius appears Aristobulus Arsinoe Asia Minor Assyrian Avaris Babylon Babyloniaca of Berossus Babylonian Bar-Kochva Berossus Berossus FGrH 680 Berossus’s biblical Book Canaan canal century BCE Chronological Excerpts conquest cult Demetrius Diodorus Siculus Documentary Hypothesis Elephantine Papyri Enûma Elish Eusebius evidence Exod Exodus account Exodus story flood story foundation story Genesis Geography Gilgamesh Epic GLAJJ gods Greek Hebrew Hecataeus of Abdera Hecataeus’s Hellenistic Herodotus History Hoffmeier Hyksos Ibid Inscription Isis and Osiris Israelites Japhet Jerusalem Jewish Jews Josephus Judea king King-Lists Letter of Aristeas Library literary Manetho Marduk Mesopotamian Moses Mosshammer Nectanebos Nile Ninus Osarseph Pentateuch Pharaoh Phoenician Pithom Pithom Stele Plutarch Poem of Erra polluted Egyptians Pompey Pompey’s Posidonius Pseudo-Eupolemus Pseudo-Hecataeus Ptolemaic Alexandria Ptolemy II Philadelphus Ramesses Red Sea Redford referred Seleucid Septuagint Septuagint translation Seters Seth Seth-Typhon Shem Strabo Sumerian Syncellus Syria Table of Nations temple Theophanes tradition Typhonians