J is the oldest of the five authors (J, E
, and R
) of the Pentateuch
, the first five books of the Bible
, theorized by Biblical scholars. S/he may have lived between 950 and 750 BC, though this dating is in dispute. J is short for Jahwe
, the German
spelling of Jehovah
. J consistently refers to God
by the name Yahweh, while other authors use different words.
The writings of J in the Bible are considered by many to be more engaging, interesting, humorous, and human than the work of the other authors. J is the author of the second creation story in Genesis
:4-25) and the famous poetic image of God strolling around in the Garden of Eden
in "the cool of the day" (Genesis 3
:8). Some also credit J with the story of the warrior woman Deborah
in the book of Judges
and other parts of later books.
Conservative literary scholar Harold Bloom
injected J into the mainstream consciousness with his controversial bestselling work The Book of J
), which theorized that J was female.