#24. Is Abraham’s birthplace Ur of the Chaldeans OR Haran? (Gen 11:28, 11:31, 15:7 vs Gen 12:4-5, 28:10, 29:4)
#25. Does Abraham set off toward the land of Canaan by his father’s hand OR by commandment from Yahweh? (Gen 11:31 vs Gen 12:1)

Commentators have traditionally seen the Bible making two conflicting claims about Abraham’s birthplace. Genesis 11:28 states that Abraham’s father’s birthplace was “Ur of the Chaldeans” and 11:31 states that Abraham’s father, Terah, along with his extended family left “Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan.” Thus, according to this textual tradition Abraham’s birthplace is Ur of the Chaldeans. The narrative beginning in the next chapter, however, introducesRead More

#23. Is Lot Abraham’s nephew OR brother? (Gen 11:27 vs Gen 13:8)

By now, the reader should be well aware of the fact that discrepancies and contradictions existed in the Pentateuch’s various genealogies because many of them were doublets—similar genealogical lists from two once separate traditions that were brought together by a later editorial endeavor. We have already seen examples of this (#7-10, #20-21). It should come as little surprise then that in P’s genealogical list Lot is presented as the son of Abraham’s brother HaranRead More

#22. Were Shem’s, Ham’s, and Japhet’s children dispersed throughout the earth each by their different language OR was all the earth one language and Yahweh ‘babbled’ their language at Babylon? (Gen 10:5, 10:20, 10:31-32 vs Gen 11:1-9)

The function of the Table of Nations in chapter 10 is not only to provide us with Noah’s sons’ offspring, but more so, and particularly for P, to account for the origins of the then known peoples and languages of the inhabitable world. Thus P’s explanation for the origin of the different languages that make up the peoples of the world is in stark opposition to J’s version which is rendered inRead More

#20. Who were Cush’s children: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca OR Nimrod also? (Gen 10:7 vs Gen 10:8)
#21. Who was the father of S(h)eba and Havilah: Cush OR Joktan? (Gen 10:7 vs Gen 10:26-29)

There are a number of inconsistencies in the genealogical list(s) of chapter 10, often referred to as the Table of Nations because the names are used eponymously by their authors to designate various geographies and/or ethnicities. These inconsistencies result from the fact that the Table of Nations incorporates material from both J and P. In other words, chapter 10 is a mishmash of JP material: P’s genealogy includes verses 1-7, 20, 22-23, andRead More

#19. Yahweh promises never to curse the ground again or Yahweh does curse the ground again? (Gen 8:21 vs Is 24:1-6; Zeph 1:3, 18)

And Yahweh said in his heart: “I will not curse the ground again on account of man; for the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will not strike all the living again.” (Gen 8:21) The ending of J’s flood narrative leaves us with a startling revelation—nothing was resolved by wiping out the human race with a flood! The reason given for the cataclysmic event in theRead More

#14. Noah is commanded to gather 7 pairs of clean animals OR only 2 of each animal? (Gen 7:2 vs Gen 6:19-20, 7:8, 7:16)
#15. The flood lasts for 40 days and 40 nights OR 150 days? (Gen 7:4, 7:12, 8:6 vs Gen 7:24, 8:3)
#16. The flood starts 7 days after Noah enters the ark OR on the day Noah enters the ark? (Gen 7:7, 10 vs Gen 7:11-13)
#17. The flood is caused by rain OR the waters above and below the earth are unbound? (Gen 7:4, 7:12 vs Gen 7:11, 8:2)
#18. Noah lets out from the ark a series of doves (three) OR a raven once? (Gen 8:8-12 vs Gen 8:7)

Genesis’ flood narrative—or rather narratives—is the classic example used to illustrate how the Documentary Hypothesis works. There is little doubt that the narrative of Genesis 6:5-9:17 is a composite of two once separate flood stories. In other words, a later redactor has woven together two independent and different traditions of the flood narrative in an attempt to preserve them both. Yet unlike the two creation accounts where both traditions are preserved oneRead More

#13. Does Yahweh regret and change his mind OR does he not? (Gen 6:6-7; Ex 32:13-14; 1 Sam 2:30-31, 15:35; Amos 7:3; Jon 3:10 vs Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29; Mal 3:6)

“And Yahweh regretted that he had made mankind on the earth and he was grieved to his heart” (Gen 6:6). We have already discussed the Yahwist’s anthropomorphic portrait of Yahweh [or if you’ve missed it see: Conflicting portraits of Israel’s deity], so there is nothing surprising in this characterization of the deity in this verse. The Hebrew word, nehem, in this passage describes a change of heart or mind, and isRead More