Always refers to God by the name YHWH (Jahwe in German), even back to the creation account in Genesis, Ch. 2. It is the oldest material in the Torah, ninth or tenth century BCE. It originated in Jerusalem. It frequently depicts God in anthropomorphic terms. Its main themes are the divine promise of land all the way to West of the Jordan, descendants unified in the twelve-tribe nation of greater Israel, blessing and fulfillment, and a focus on land later controlled by Judah. For J only the grace of God secures for humanity its future continued existence.
Derived from 'elohim, a Hebrew word for God, which is the most common name for God in this source. A main characteristic of this source is its using the same material in different versions called doublets. E gives the same material that appears in J a stronger theological and ethical meaning. It originated in the Northern Kingdom in the ninth or eighth century BCE before D insisted on only one sanctuary. Its characteristics include a northern setting for most of its narratives in Genesis (linking all the patriarchs with Beersheba), divine communication with humans by means of dreams or messengers, and an emphasis on prophecy.
The priestly source. It was created during the exile or shortly after (sixth or fifth century BCE). It stresses Israelite ritual and religious observance. Because of this its narratives in Genesis are often etiological, offering examples for such observances as the Sabbath (Gen 2:2-3), circumcision (Gen 17:9-14), and dietary laws (Gen 9:4). As a priestly tradition, it describes in detail the Passover ritual, the ordination ceremonies, vestments of the high priest, the tabernacle, and its furnishings. But P never mentions the revelation of the law on Sinai. Prominence is given to Aaron over Moses. The P tradition unites the older material (J and E) through genealogies and a series of covenants with Noah, Abraham, and all of Israel at Sinai. P's God is more transcendent and less anthropomorphic than J's. It is P that has given the Torah its present shape, beginning with creation and ending with the death of Moses.
Stands for the author of Deuteronomy. This means "second law" in Greek, a mistranslation of the Hebrew words that mean "copy of the law". D mandates the centralization of the cult of YHWH and the suppression of all Canaanite cults, which other sources are more accepting of. It is identified with the book of the law discovered in 2 Kings 22:8 in 621 BCE.
- The New Jerome Biblical Commentary.
- McKenzies Dictionary of the Bible.
- The Catholic Study Bible, 2nd edition, by Scott Hahn.
- "Faith Facts", Catholics United for The Faith (CUF).
- Office for Catechesis of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago Catholic Scripture School.