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Did Moses Write The First 5 Books Of The Bible

Who Wrote Book Of Genesis

Did Moses Write the First Five Books of the Bible?

Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars, especially from the 19th century onward, see them as being written hundreds of years after Moses is supposed to have lived, in the 6th and 5th centuries BC.

The Law: The First Five Books

The first five books of the Bible are sometimes called the Pentateuch which means five books. They are also known as the books of the law because they contain the laws and instruction given by the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. These books were written by Moses, except for the last portion of Deuteronomy because it tells about the death of Moses. These five books lay the foundation for the coming of Christ in that here God chooses and brings into being the nation of Israel. As Gods chosen people, Israel became the custodians of the Old Testament, the recipients of the covenants of promise, and the channel of Messiah .

Did Moses Write The Pentatech

The Pentateuch, commonly called the Torah among the Jews, refers to the first five books of the Old Testament Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These books are partly historical and partly legal. They trace the history of the Chosen People from Creation through the Exodus event to the death of Moses. They also preserve their civil and religious laws. Traditionally, the authorship of these books is ascribed to Moses, the Lawgiver.

One reason for this credit is because of the recognition in the Gospel of Moses teaching. For example, concerning the marriage law of Deuteronomy 25:5, the Sadducees cite specifically the law of Moses which Jesus does not refute or deny as a matter of fact, in Mark, Jesus replies, Have you not read in the book of Moses. In other passages as well Jesus references the teachings of Moses and the Prophets, e.g. Luke 24:44: Everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms had to be fulfilled, and John 5:46 If you believed Moses you would then believe me, for it was about me that he wrote. Surely Jesus, the Word who became flesh, would not endorse or tolerate a belief about Moses authorship if it were totally erroneous.

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Evidence Points To Joshua

But Joshua seems to be the most likely candidate for authorship of Deuteronomy 34. Most commentators and Jewish tradition agree. John Peter Lange points out that it is clear from Joshuas command in Joshua 1:8 that he meditated on and practiced Gods Word.

Joshua served as Mosess attendant since his youth, and likely grew to love Gods Word while serving Moses . Scripture also gives evidence of Joshuas literary activity in Deuteronomy 31:19 and Joshua 24:26.

Although God could have communicated the account of Mosess death and burial to any of the men listed above, a simple reading of Deuteronomy 34 seems to point Joshua as the most likely author.

Hidden Pyramids Of The Bible

Did Moses Write the First Five Books of the Bible?

The biblical authors commonly structure their material according to a literary form known as chiasmus.

This involves a sequence of elements that can be divided into two halves, with the second half being a mirror image of the first, like steps leading up one side of a pyramid and down the other.

A simple example is Jesus statement that the first will be last, and the last first , which has an A-B-B-A structure.

This chiasmus occurs in a single sentence, but there are much more involved ones in the Bible, ones that span large blocks of text and that serve as a major organizational principle for an entire book.

This is the case with Genesis. Much of the book is organized into large chiastic structures.

It is this type of organizationnot a slapdash mixing of sourcesthat is responsible for the two accounts of Sarah being passed off as Abrahams sister .

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Did Moses Write The Torah

Although modern traditionalist Judaism uniformly affirms the divinity of the Torah, classical sources disagree on what role Moses had in its production.

VeZot haTorahThis is the Torah that Moses set before the people Israelby the mouth of God, through the hand of Moses.

These phrases, merged from Deuteronomy 4:44 and Numbers 9:23, are recited by traditional Jews each time the Torah is raised to be returned to the Aron Kodesh . To emphasize the significance of the statement, one frequently sees Jews point at the Torah. This is it, traditionalist Jews proclaim, admittedly a copy written by a scribe, but word for word and letter for letter identical with the one transcribed by Moses as God dictated it.

But how and when did this happen? The Talmud asks a very basic question about Moses role, starting with a quote from Deuteronomy:

So Moses, Gods servant, died there . But is it possible that Moses wrote So Moses died while he was still alive?! Rather, Moses wrote up to this point, and from here on, Joshua the son of Nun wrotethese are the words of R. Judah Up to this point, God spoke and Moses repeated and wrote after this point, God spoke and Moses wrote in tears.

Based on this text, Moses wrote all of the Torah, with the exception, perhaps, of the final eight verses.

Rabbi Meir Simchah haKohen of Dvinsk minimizes the difference between Rabbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish:

What should we make, however, of the book of Deuteronomy?

The Names For Each Of The Five Books

Genesis means beginning. The book tells of the beginning of many things: the universe, man, sin, promise of Savior, etc.

Exodus means a going out, because it tells of Israel going out of Egypt.

Leviticus means relating to the Levites. The book is so called because it records many laws which applied to the Levites, the tribe named after Levi, the priestly tribe.

Numbers The book is called Numbers because it relates the numbers of people included in the tribes of Israel.

Deuteronomy means second law. It is so called since Moses in this book states the law of God a second time.

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Some Clues That Moses Didn’t Write The Pentateuch According To Liberal Theologians:

As mentioned elsewhere in this website, many Christian and Jewish conservatives believe that Moses is the sole author of the Pentateuch and that he was inspired directly by God to writetext that is free of error. Other theologians have claimed that there is some internal evidences in the Bible that these conclusions are invalid:

  • Theologians were prompted to develop the Documentary Hypothesisas a result of observing the presence of doublets in the Pentateuch. These are pairs of stories which occur in two separate locations in the text. The doublets generally do not agree fully there are usually minor differences between the stories. R.E. Friedman, in his 1997 book “Who Wrote the Bible?“lists a number of them:
  • Two creation stories in Genesis.
  • Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant.
  • Two stories of the naming of Isaac.
  • Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister.
  • Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia
  • Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob.
  • Two accounts of God changing Jacob’s name to Israel
  • Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.
  • Genesis 7:15: In the story of the Flood, these verses have Noah collecting two of each species of animals — one male and one female . Genesis 7:2-3specifies 7 pairs of clean animals and birds and 1 pair of unclean animals.
  • Who Was Jesus Did He Really Exist

    Did Moses write the first five books of the Bible?

    Most scholars agree that Jesus, a first-century religious leader and preacher, existed historically. He was born in c4 BC and died reportedly crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in cAD 3033. Then, for around 40 years, news of his teachings was spread by word of mouth until, from around AD 70, four written accounts of his life emerged that changed everything.

    The gospels, or good news, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are critically important to the Christian faith. It is their descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ that have made him arguably the most influential figure in human history.

    We cant be sure when the gospels were written, says Barton, and we know little about the authors. But the guess is that Mark came first, in the 70s, followed by Matthew and Luke in the 80s and 90s, and John in the 90s or early in the second century.

    In general, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same story with variations, and hence are called the synoptic gospels, whereas John has a very different style, as well as telling a markedly different version of the story of Jesus. Matthew and Luke seem to be attempts to improve on Mark, by adding more stories and sayings from sources now lost. John is a different conceptualisation of the story of Jesus, portraying a more obviously divine figure.

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    Development Of The Documentary Hypothesis

    Ibn Ezra was a very influential Jewish rabbi in the twelfth century AD. While he believed in the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, he noticed that a few verses had some phrases that seemed mysteriously out of place.4 But he never pursued these mysteries to resolve them.5

    About 500 years later, the famous Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza picked up on what Ibn Ezra had stated and asserted that Ibn Ezra did not believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Others disagreed, pointing to other statements by Ibn Ezra that contradicted Spinoza’s conclusion. In his book Tractatus Theologico-Politicus , Spinoza, who was a pantheist and was subsequently excommunicated from the Jewish community and denounced by Christians, argued that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. Besides using the verses noted by Ibn Ezra, Spinoza offered a few other brief arguments against Mosaic authorship which were easily answered by Christian writers in the following few decades.6

    Further attacks on the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch began taking hold.

    Nevertheless, further attacks on the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch began taking hold in France through Jean Astruc, whose book Conjectures about the original memoirs which it appeared that Moses used in composing the Book of Genesis with certain remarks which help clarify these conjectures was published in 1753. He believed Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, but he unlocked the door for the skepticism of later scholars.

    When Was The Pentateuch Written

    The texts that comprise the Pentateuch were written and edited by many different people over a long span of time. Most scholars tend to agree, however, that the Pentateuch as a combined, whole work probably existed in some form by the 7th or 6th century BCE, which puts it during the early Babylonian Exile or shortly before. Some editing and adding were still to come, but not long after the Babylonian Exile the Pentateuch was largely in its current form and other texts were being written.

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    Problems With The Documentary Hypothesis

    Lets now look at the problems with this theory.

    First, it should be mentioned that conservative experts did not sit idly by as this theory developed and spread. In the late 1800s Princeton Seminary scholars Joseph Alexander and William Green subjected the documentarian school to devastating criticism which has never been successfully rebutted by those of liberal persuasion, according to Gleason Archer. In Germany, Ernst Wilhem Hengstenberg ably defended the Mosaic authorship of all five books of the Pentateuch. His 1847 book The Genuineness of the Pentateuch did much to encourage conservative thinking.

    It should also be noted that the Wellhausen theory found what it was looking for. The theory grew out of a movement to find rationalistic, natural explanations for the biblical text. Once one assumes that supernatural revelation cannot occur any other explanation must take precedent. The late dates and various authors assigned to the books allow for purely naturalistic sources. This is a textbook case of question begging. The underlying premise, that there can be no such thing as supernatural revelation, resulted in the conclusion that the Bible is not a supernaturally revealed document.

    It makes no difference how many biblical notices, rejected as unhistorical by nineteenth-century pundits, have been confirmed by later archaeological evidence , the same attitude of skeptical prejudice toward the Bible has persisted, without any justification.

    What Are The 7 Books Of Moses

    The first five books of the bible are known as ...

    The Seventh Book of Moses

    • The First Table of the Spirits of the Air
    • The Second Table of the Spirits of Fire
    • The Third Table of the Spirits of Water
    • The Fourth Table of the Spirits of the Earth
    • The Fifth Table of Saturn
    • The Sixth Table of Jupiter
    • The Seventh Table of Mars
    • The Eighth Table of the Sun

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    Whats In A Divine Name

    One of the main features supposed to distinguish the sources is the divine name or names each uses. Thats one of the main features defining the Yahwist and Elohist sources.

    But does the fact that a book shifts from using one divine name to another indicate that the passages come from different sources, or could there be another explanation?

    After all, Yahweh is a personal name, whereas Elohim is a descriptive term meaning God. Perhaps the use of these names has more to do with matters of style and the connotations Hebrew speakers felt them to have.

    It has been noted for centuries that the two terms have a different feel in Hebrew. In his commentary on Genesis, the great medieval Jewish Scripture scholar Rashi suggested that the generic term Elohim was used to indicate Gods Attribute of Strict Judgment, while Yahweh was used to indicate his Attribute of Mercy .

    Others have suggested, along similar lines, that the name Elohim is used when God is being considered in a more general, cosmic way as the creator of the universe and the ruler of all nations, but his more intimate, personal name Yahweh is used in connection with his chosen people.

    Twentieth-century Jewish scholar Umberto Cassuto analyzed extensively the way in which these two names are used in the Pentateuch and in other books of the Bible. He discovered that they obey a set of rules that is based on subject matter rather than source .

    Don Stewart : : When Did Moses Write Or Compile The Book Of Genesis

    Area Of Dispute1445 B.C.1 Kings 6:1

    And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord .

    Jepthath’s Testimony

    While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities along the banks of Arnon, for three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? .

    1290 B.C.Summary

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    Who Was King David

    The first wave of scribes may, its been suggested, have started work during the reign of King David . Whether thats true or not, David is a monumental figure in the biblical story the slayer of Goliath, the conqueror of Jerusalem. David is also a hugely important figure in the quest to establish links between the Bible and historical fact, for he appears to be the earliest biblical figure to be confirmed by archaeology.

    I killed king of the house of David. So boasts the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone dating from 870750 BC and discovered in northern Israel in the 1990s. Like the Merneptah Stele before it, it documents a warlords victory over the Israelites . But it at least indicates that David was a historical figure.

    The Tel Dan Stele also suggests that,no matter how capable their rulers, the people of Israel continued to be menaced by powerful, belligerent neighbours. And, in 586 BC, one of those neighbours, the Babylonians, would inflict on the Jews one of the most devastating defeats in their history: ransacking the sacred city of Jerusalem, butchering its residents, and dragging many more back to Babylonia.

    The Pentateuch As The Source Of Law

    Did Moses write the Pentateuch?

    The Hebrew word for the Pentateuch is Torah, which simply means “the law.” This refers to the fact that the Pentateuch is the primary source for Jewish law, believed to have been handed down by God to Moses. In fact, almost all biblical law can be found in the collections of laws in the Pentateuch the rest of the Bible is arguably a commentary on the law and lessons from myth or history about what happens when people do or do not follow the laws handed down by God.

    Modern research has revealed that there are strong connections between the laws in the Pentateuch and the laws found in other ancient Near-East civilizations. There was a common legal culture in the Near East long before Moses would have lived, assuming that such a person even existed. The Pentateuchal laws didn’t come out of nowhere, fully-formed from some imaginative Israelite or even a deity. Instead, they developed through cultural evolution and cultural borrowing, like all other laws in human history.

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