The Hexateuch ("six scrolls") is the first six books of the
Hebrew BibleHarris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.] (the Torahor " Pentateuch" and the book of Joshua). Some scholars propose that Joshua represents part of the northern Yahwistsource ("c" 950 BC), detached from JE document by the Deuteronomist("c" 650-621) and incorporated into the Deuteronomic history, with the books of Judges, Kings, and Samuel.
Reasons for this unity, in addition to the presumed presence of the other documentary traditions, are taken from comparisons of the thematic concerns that underlie the narrative surface of the texts. For instance, the "Book of Joshua" stresses the continuity of leadership from
Mosesto Joshua. Furthermore the theme of "Joshua", the fulfillment of God's promise to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, complements the thematic material of the Pentateuch, which had ended with the Israelites on the border of the Promised Land ready to enter.
The theory that "Joshua" completes the Torah in a 'Hexateuch' is advanced by critical scholars in the new field of "history of traditions", but the majority of traditional scholars follow the older rabbinic tradition, as it was expressed by the compilers of the
Jewish Encyclopediaa century ago, that the Pentateuch is a complete work in itself.Fact|date=December 2007 The Torahhas always consisted of only the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.Fact|date=December 2007
Samaritans, who regard themselves as descendants of the Ancient Israelites, accept only the Hexateuch as divinely-inspired.
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