- Symbol used by OT scholars to designate the Priestly source or Priestly Writer who is regarded by the majority of OT scholars as being one of the four main sources of the Pentateuch. P material is recognized by a concern for ritual and the prominence accorded to Aaron. It has a doctrine of creation according to which God has control of all the nations of the world but in which Abraham and his offspring have a special role. P offers genealogies [[➝ genealogy]] and accounts of cultic institutions which are put back into the period of the Exodus [[➝ Exodus, the]] and the settlement in the Promised Land, though in fact P was probably compiled (but the date is in dispute) in the exilic century (6th cent. BCE). Linguistic arguments for an earlier date have not proved decisive, but the effect of P material being inserted into an already existing framework was to impose a kind of unity. This means that the overall impression of the Pentateuch is of an outlook more developed than was typical of the period which it is allegedly describing.
Dictionary of the Bible.