by Wellhausen, Julius
The Preface begins: "The work which forms the greater part of the present volume first
appeared in 1878 under the title "History of Israel. By J. Wellhausen. In two volumes. Volume I." The book produced a great impression throughout Europe, and its main thesis, that "the Mosaic history is not the starting-point for the history of ancient Israel, but for the history of Judaism," was felt to be so powerfully maintained that many of the leading Hebrew teachers of Germany who had till then stood aloof from the so-called "Grafian hypothesis"--the doctrine, that is, that the Levitical Law and connected parts of the Pentateuch were not written till after the fall of the kingdom of Judah, and that the Pentateuch in its present compass was not publicly accepted as authoritative till
the reformation of Ezra--declared themselves convinced by Wellhausen's arguments."
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