Aaron and the biblical critics. Scholars have long been aware that the figure of Aaron as it is now found in the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Old Testament, is built up from several sources or layers of traditions. According to Julieus Wellhausen, a German biblical scholar, and his followers, the Jahwist source was the oldest one, followed in order by the Elohist, Deuteronomist, and Priestly code.
Scholars have attributed the passages about Aaron to one or the other of these sources. Although percent of the material about Aaron to the Priestly source. According to Wellhausen, Aaron to the Priestly source. According to the Wellhausen, Aaron was not mentioned at all in the Jahwist narrative, but he may have been inserted by later redactors. It was Moses who was the hero of the priests before the eile, and it was Joshua, not Aaron who officiated in the tabernacle.
Other scholars, such as Sigmund Mowinckel, believe that the narrative about the golden calf, which presents Aaron in an unfavorable light, was part of the ancient tradition in the Jahwist work, being the only passage in it that mentions him. This narrative, according to these Israel and described Aaron as the ancestor of the priests in northern Israel; later it was rewritten in a way defamatory to Aaron. But there are also features in the narrative that may indicate that a later source (or tradionist), the Elohist, tried to excuse Aaron and to put the main responsibility on the people.