Yahwist and Priestly Traditions of the Creation Story
A look at the two of the different parts of the Pentateuch, and their differences.
“Traditionally, Moses is considered to be the single source of the written form of the Pentateuch. However, the identification of inconsistencies in the Pentateuch renders the notion of a single source incredible. For example, the use of two distinct names, Yahweh and Elohim, for God which are used in Genesis and the repetition of the story of Abraham telling a foreign king that Sarah, his wife, was in fact his sister indicates that the contemporary form of the Pentateuch was compiled from multiple sources. Indeed, the ancient Israelite historian had a bias toward the retention of multiple sources, despite contradictions among sources, because the inclusion of several parallel stories was considered superior to providing merely one, “less complete,” account in which variations are reconciled (Boadt 79). Thus, the final editors of the Pentateuch have retained two unique accounts of the creation story, the Yahwist (J) account and the Priestly (P) account.”