Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: Tracing Perspectives of Group Identity from Judah, Samaria, and Diaspora in Biblical Traditions


The “Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible” research unit aims at investigating the diverse forms of Yahwism that seem to have existed in the exilic and postexilic Yehud/Judah, Samaria and Diaspora, as well as the impact of these forms of Yahwism on the texts of the Hebrew Bible. In this research unit it is assumed that this Yahwistic diversity can be reconstructed and analyzed with the use of a combination of archeological, historical, sociological, literary and exegetical studies. It can be expected that the reconstruction of the diverse (not only Judean) forms of Yahwism will lead to a better understanding of the rhetorical and allusive features of various texts in the Hebrew Bible, their literary and historical settings, as well as the diverse forms of the emerging Judaism(s).


Judaism(s), Early Judaism, Emergence of Yahwism, Group Identity Formation Formation of the Pentateuch / Hexateuch, Second Temple Period, Different Textual Traditions


Bartosz Adamczewski
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

Benedikt Hensel
University of Zurich

Dany Nocquet
Institut Protestant de Théologie-Faculté de Montpellier

Member Area

Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

The “Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible” research unit will investigate the religious development from historical and biblical Israel to ancient Judaism. The central underlying perspective for the research unit concerns the relatively new observation that abroad variety of different Yahwistic (and not necessarily “Jewish”) groups existed inside and outside Judah during the 6th-1st century BCE (e.g. in Egypt (Elephantine/Jeb; Alexandria), Babylonia (al- Yahudu), Samaria, Idumea etc.). To sum up the recent discussion so far, the indicators point toward the significantly more multifaceted and regionally diverse early history of Judaism than typically assumed in scholarship. Especially the influence of this diversity on the Hebrew Bible will be in focus of the research unit, as this has not been done sufficiently in the more historically oriented studies on Israel in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.

The research unit organizes two sessions in Wuppertal 2021 and invites papers addressing a) historical and religious-historical aspects of the phenomenon of “Yahwistic diversity” and b) questions on how these groups or their interactions with each other influenced the formation of the Hebrew Bible. Apart from the literary-historical perspectives, the sessions will include the questions of the complex textual transmission of biblical text, which seems to reflect (in some cases, especially in the case of the Samaritan tradition) a reworking of the text in favor of certain group-specific interests.