A Study of J. Wellhausen on The Evolution of Ancient Israelite's Religion

By relying on the findings of previous scholars of Documentary Hypothesis, Julius Wellhausen first began to recognize and distinguish the documents of the Hexateuch in the form of a dynamic process, and then, based on the results of this critical approach, claimed that the history of Israel reflects the development of the religion of Hebrews. He believed that Israel's religion during the kingdom of the north (stage I) had a natural origin and it emerged from the daily life of the people, and had a firm connection with it. With the collapse of the kingdom of the north and the advent of the next prophets and the political – religious reforms of King Josiah (stage II) their religion arrived at moral monotheism. But with the collapse of the kingdom of the south and the beginning of the Babylonian exile, the bond of that nation with its history and tradition was broken, and the ground for the reconstruction of the new Israel under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah was provided (stage III). Mosaic theocracy with its features is the product of this era. The historical tribe of Israel was now considered a sacred people, and the sanctity was rooted in all layers of the life of the people. Always and everywhere is a divine command that the original Jew is required to do. Experience was replaced by religious duty. Originality was overcome by formalism. The simple religion of the ancient Israelites became formalized in the form of a dry royal structure, and the color and outlook of this new religion, Judaism, was projected to the final edition of the Hexateuch.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Research in Religion and Science, Volume:10 Issue: 1, 2019
55 - 74
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