Thursday, December 19, 2013
Evidence for Moses authorship of the Pentateuch
Clay tablets like this were ideal for long-term written records. Far from ‘Flintstones’ clumsiness, these could be held in one hand.
Patriarchal records may have been carried on the Ark, later used by Moses in compiling Genesis (under inspiration).
The evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, often referred to in the Bible as ‘the Law’ (Hebrew torah), is overwhelming:
- Contrary to the views of Wellhausen and others, archaeological research has established that writing was indeed well known in Moses’ day. The JEDP hypothesis falsely assumes that the Israelites waited until many centuries after the foundation of their nation before committing any of their history or laws to written form, even though their neighbors kept written records of their own history and religion from before the time of Moses.4
- The author is obviously an eyewitness of the Exodus from Egypt, familiar with the geography,5 flora and fauna of the region;6 he uses several Egyptian words,7 and refers to customs that go back to the second millennium BC.8
- The Pentateuch claims in many places that Moses was the writer, e.g. Exodus 17:14; 24:4–7; 34:27; Numbers 33:2; Deuteronomy 31:9, 22, 24.
- Many times in the rest of the Old Testament, Moses is said to have been the writer, e.g. Joshua 1:7–8; 8:32–34; Judges 3:4; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 21:8; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Ezra 6:18; Nehemiah 8:1; 13:1; Daniel 9:11–13.
- In the New Testament, Jesus frequently spoke of Moses’ writings or the Law of Moses, e.g. Matthew 8:4; 19:7–8; Mark 7:10; 12:26; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:46–47; 7:19. Jesus said that those who ‘hear not [i.e. reject] Moses’ would not be persuaded ‘though one rose from the dead’ (Luke 16:31). Thus we see that those churches and seminaries which reject the historicity of Moses’ writings often also reject the literal bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Other New Testament speakers/writers said the same thing, e.g. John 1:17; Acts 6:14; 13:39; 15:5; 1 Corinthians 9:9; 2 Corinthians 3:15; Hebrews 10:28.