It is not that the documentary hypothesis is necessarily wrong in substance; Genesis is clearly made up of a number of traditions which have been combined at different stages. But is it not the task of the critic to try and come to grips with the final form as we have it, and to give the final editor or reactor the benefit of the doubt, rather than to delve behind his work to what was there before? The inventors of the documentary hypothesis believed that by trying to distinguish the various strands they were getting closer to the truth, which, in good nineteenth-century fashion, they assumed to be connected with origins. But in practice the contrary seems to have taken place. For their methodology was necessarily self-fulfilling: deciding in advance what the Jahwist or the Deuteronomist should have written, they then called whatever did not fit this view an interpolation. But this leads, as all good readers know, to the death of reading; for a book will never draw me out of myself if I only accept as belonging to it what I have I already decreed should be there.

— Gabriel Josipovici, The Book of God (1988)