As I’ve been reading along this week, I was reminded of the problem of setting versus date of composition. Setting being the “when” and “where” the events are taking place. Date of composition being when the story or book was actually written. As you might suspect, as with everything Bible, this can be a very complicated issue. However, the Genesis account will serve well enough to illustrate the difficulty.
Many conservative Biblical scholars would affirm Moses as the author of Genesis. So, we have Moses writing some stuff down around 15th century B.C. Of course, this means that Moses wasn’t a first hand eye witness of anything that is recorded in Genesis. Which raises the question, how did he know? I suppose there are some who would ascribe to a theory of God supernaturally revealing the info to Moses and he simply dictated what God said. Most would affirm some sort of oral/written tradition that had been handed down over centuries, and Moses was the one who collected and shaped it into its final form. Naturally, there are other theories about who wrote what and when. Some would date the final form of Genesis much, much later. Closer to 5th or 6th century B.C.
Anyway, all that’s sort of beside the point. Mainly, I wanted to share a chart that might help you keep track of the flow of the story. For what it’s worth…
Then, there is this one too. It is loads of fun.