Archaeological data dating patriarchs
Though the traditional view is that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, since the Enlightenment there has been growing speculation on who the authors were.The most celebrated and complex theory of authorship was advanced by German Old Testament scholar Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918), which is referred to as "the Documentary Hypothesis." He posited four strands of sources which are abbreviated JEDP: for God; the Eloistic strand by the use of El for God.(Note: Unless otherwise designated, all scripture references are to Genesis.) You can't adequately sum up Abraham's career in a single paragraph, but for the sake of perspective, here's an attempt: Abraham was a semi-nomadic shepherd to whom God revealed himself, made promises, and entered into covenant concerning Abraham's offspring and the land that they would inherit in the future.Abraham's belief in these promises was counted by God as righteousness and his faith shaped his life.Abraham's ancestors were idolaters and polytheists (worshippers of many gods).Joshua reminds the people, "Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods" (Joshua 24:2).
One prong is the dating of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) by some kind of cataclysmic event, which archaeological evidence seems to point to around 1900 BC. You can also compare the lifestyle described in Genesis to archaeological findings to find a match.There it is in a nutshell, but we'll spend 10 lessons discussing the significance of his life.You'll notice that Abraham and Sarah are referred to as "Abram" and "Sarai" in chapters 11 to 16 until God changes their names in 17:5 and .Whether Moses was the first to write down the stories of Abraham and his descendents or served as an editor himself, we just don't know. It is difficult to find fixed events in Genesis that can be connected absolutely to dates established from archaeology.Our focus will not be on speculative theories of sources, but on the Book of Genesis that comes down to us in the Bible and the meaning of that revelation. One approach to dating Abraham is to backtrack from the first fixed event we find in the Bible -- a statement that Solomon laid the temple foundation in the 480th year after the exodus (1 Kings 6:1), which would date the exodus at about 1447-1446 BC.