Moses and the first five books of the Bible

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Crabtownboy, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    Many people hold that Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. Where does this belief come from?

    I do not know any place in the Bible that says Moses is the author.

    1. Does the belief come from tradition?
    2. Does the belief come from scripture?
    3. When did the belief begin?
    4. Is this belief important?
     
  2. Ruiz

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    1. Reasonably, it comes from tradition and Scripture (tradition is not wrong, but it still is tradition). It seems that Moses is the only candidate given to us by Scripture and this is supported by Jesus himself. I think the other popular options, namely JEDP, is both irrational and with absolutely no evidence. Such a theory is unChristian. There is evidence to support Moses Authorship. Tradition is not always wrong, and this tradition is supported by Jesus himself, the Pentateuch, and God's Holy Word throughout the Old and New Testaments.

    2. Yes, Moses is the author of the Septuagint but no one doubts an amanuensis did assist and is a part of both tradition and the Bible.

    First, let's show that Jesus believed Moses wrote the Pentateuch, and as God we must take his belief as true for God cannot lie.

    Jesus himself attributes authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses (Matthew 8:4, Matthew 19:7, Matthew 22:24, Mark 7:10, Mark 12:26). The last reference is significance because Jesus calls this the "book of Moses." Why is this significant? The Pentateuch is seen as one book divided into five sections. Traditionally, and supported by Jesus himself in this passage, this was a one volume book by one author. Thus, the entirety of the Pentateuch is seen by God himself as being authored by Moses. The other passages relate to other parts of the Pentateuch.

    Dueteronomy is a series of speeches delivered by Moses and other portions were explicitly said to be written down by Moses (Deut 31:9). To deny his authorship is to deny the clearness of the text which begins, "These are the words of Moses." No one doubts someone finished the book nor that an amanuensis was involved (who also must have been inspired by God, but he is clearly the author.)

    Leviticus's indicates the authorship is of Moses, but also many of the verses by Jesus attributes Mosaic authorship to Moses. First, the Bible says that the law was given to Moses and Jesus cited passages in Leviticus saying that Moses told you (see previous references).... Some may be able to claim God authored it and Moses delivered it or God dictated it and Moses acted as the amanuensis, and that is within the realm of attributing it to Moses. Since the law was given to Moses on the Mountain and no one was present on the mountain and the Bible clearly states the law was given to Moses, we must attribute this to Moses. In Leviticus, the Lord is described as speaking to Moses (Leviticus 1:1-2; 4:1; 6:8-9) and there seems to be no one else present. Deuteronomy 31:9, 24 also says that Moses wrote down this law. Moses is not only the most likely candidate, but the only candidate who could have written this book.

    Exodus explicitly references Moses as either writing the record (Exodus 24:4, 34:28) or being commanded to write (Exodus 17:4).

    Genesis is a part of the "Book of Moses" and it is clear that Genesis is the introduction to the rest of this book. Since Jesus attributed the book of Moses to Moses himself, we should not doubt God's pronouncement.

    While not all of the Pentateuch was written by him or dictated by him, like when he dies in Deuteronomy, it clearly appears that even Jesus himself believed Moses wrote these books

    3. The tradition began when the books began. The books say they were written by Moses, thus begins the tradition, which is true and should be believed.

    4. Jesus says, "If you do not believe his (Moses) writings, how will you believe my words?" John 5:47. In other words, we must believe in Mosaic authorship to believe God. Moses is said to have written these words in many places and God, who cannot lie, attributes to Moses. To deny Mosaic authorship is to call God a liar and to deny the clear teaching of the Bible, which calls into question whether you are a Christian, for if you do not believe there ever was a Moses or that he didn't write these words down, how will you ever believe Jesus?
     
    #2 Ruiz, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2011
  3. kyredneck

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    Thanks, good info; I always appreciate your posts.
     
  4. JesusFan

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    Most evangelicals would say that Moses wrote the 5 books, with Joshua perhaps adding in his death and end of the last book...

    Those who would deny his authorship would so so because of their need to have the OT to be seen as being NOT inspired by God directly, but re edited/compliled/added on etc

    They wish to deny the prophetic element, the supernatural, basically want to have the Bible in OT seen as being "just" another religious book, little different from other religious books of the time/culture!
     
  5. stilllearning

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    Good morning Ruiz

    You said..........
    The Bible says Moses wrote every word.......
    Deuteronomy 31:24-26
    V.24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
    V.25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
    V.26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
     
  6. Ruiz

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    I am thinking you are not doubting the use of an amanuensis, but that you hold he prophetically wrote of his death. I think they are talking about what occurred before, not what occurred afterwards, and the context seems to indicate such as the latter part is not law, but history. The speeches of Deuteronomy is often considered law. While I am not opposed to a prophetic utterance of the final few verses in Deuteronomy, I do not see such indicated in Scripture nor would I say it was law, but history.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    MANY evangelicals would hold that Joshua 'filled in" the end of the story concerning Moses and his death!
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    BTW, JesusFan started a similar thread in the Baptist Theology and Bible Study section.

    I didn't realize this one was here until I had posted in the other one. I recommend going there to see other opinions
    Must a Christian believe That Moses Wrote the First 5 bible Books?

    I don't know if it's possible for the Moderator to combine these threads. Both have good comments.
     
  9. tinytim

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    I don't believe Moses wrote the first five books, or all of the first five books.. There are many things within the first five books that point to it being a redactor putting them together either during the exile, or shortly afterward.
     
  10. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Well I consider myself pretty evangelical, but I do not believe Moses wrote all of the Pentateuch. None of the verses quoted say that clearly. Certainly Moses wrote part of it, probably the biggest part. In Deuteronomy 31:24-26 Moses was finished, but was more added later? Why not? When Jesus said, “Moses Commanded” (Matt 8:4) or “Moses Said" (Matt 22:24, which is not really Jesus talking but the Sadducees) does He imply that Moses wrote the entire book or just that part? Calling it the “Book of Moses” also fails, imho, to indicate he wrote every word, just that he was a primary author. I think we all would agree that God was the author and dictated it through the inspiration of gifted men.

    My belief comes from John Phillips and his great book “Exploring Genesis.” If you want to study Genesis I would recommend starting there. Its on Amazon for less than $20.

    Phillips’ theory, that I believe holds, is that there were as many as 10 authors who contributed to the book of Genesis with the creation account itself being written down by Adam as dictated by God. There is a phrase that appears many times in the book of Genesis and again in Numbers that I think can help us. That phrase is “These are the generations of” It appears eleven times as quoted here:

    I have no idea why it split my quote in half, but I can't seem to fix it. Anyway,

    Phillips and I believe that each time we see that phrase it is a division between authors and that parts of Genesis were written by Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob. If you read the end of Genesis chapters 49 and 50 I actually believe that Joseph added the last chapter even though there is not a specific “generations of” tagline.

    A couple key things to this theory:
    1. You have to believe that Adam and those before the flood had a written language. Their contributions would have been written, probably on clay tablets, and taken by Noah on the ark. If you have a problem with that then this theory is not for you.
    2. That collection of clay tablets would have been passed down from father to son and includes some people like Ishmael and Terah who were not known to follow God.
    3. Moses would have received the tablets in Egypt and compiled them together. That means that Moses would have had to have been able to read them. It could be that Hebrew was the original written language going back before the tower of Babel, or it could be that God gave Moses the ability to read the old language. Either way works.

    The big plus to this theory, as I see it, is that each part was written by eye witnesses. Of course no one but God could have told us about the first days of creation, so he told Adam about that part, but after Adam each man wrote what he saw and what God told him. The bible is not a collection of oral history and hand me down stories, but eyewitness accounts recorded by the men and women who saw the events take place.

    That is what I believe anyway. For what its worth.

    No I don’t think “who wrote it” is really that important, as long as you recognize God as the ultimate author.
     
  11. Aaron

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    If the histories recorded in Scripture are not reliable, then neither are the prophecies. Casting doubt on the theology and morality of traditional Christianity is the real aim of the so-called "higher criticisms." Not only does the Penteteuch itself reveal that it came through Moses, it is an underlying premise of the New Testament as well. No doubt the books of Moses did not come through Moses in their final form, but the substance came through Moses, and their final form is much more ancient than the debunked hypotheses that have seduced tiny want to allow.

    Concerning Adam: the first written communication of God to man was the Decalogue given through Moses. It is completely antithetical to the Scriptural accounts, God's purposes according to election and the whole tenor of Scripture to even consider Adam a biblical author.
     
  12. mandym

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    Without doubt:thumbs:
     
  13. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Wow, that is a very strong position. Any evidence to back it up? Why couldn't Adam have written part or even recorded what God told him about the creation? I am open to discuss it.
     
    #13 North Carolina Tentmaker, Oct 8, 2011
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  14. stilllearning

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    Hi North Carolina Tentmaker

    You asked..........
    He could have.
    Just as any of the people in Genesis could have written a record of their life.

    But....Moses didn’t use any of these records, because his writings were “inspired”!
    (That means that they had to have come out of God’s mouth into Moses’ Spiritual ear!)

    Just as Luke didn’t use any of the “eye witness accounts” that he may have heard in writing Acts, because Acts is inspired!
    (And Acts came out of God’s mouth, into Luke’s Spiritual ear!)
     
  15. Aaron

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    First, present your best evidence that he did.
     
  16. Jim1999

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    Must remember that oral tradition played a huge role in later recording scripture.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. 12strings

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    What???!!! Would you say this about the Gospel of Luke as well?

    Luke 1:3 - 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
     
  18. stilllearning

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    Hi 12strings

    Your interpretation of Luke 1:1-4 is flawed.

    Here are notes from a message I preached on this passage back in 2005, that will explain your mistake.



    ===============
    IF YOU HAVE YOUR BIBLES Luke 1:1-4
    ===============
    This morning my message.....is going to be taking us.....back to the basics:
    -Back to.......the one truth........that our faith is built upon:-
    The validity of the Bible!
    ===============
    LETS READ THE TEXT Luke 1:1-4
    ===============
    Note: Here......Luke tells us how he came about......to give us God’s Word!
    ===============
    V.1 “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order”
    “a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,”

    -THE ATTITUDE WE SHOULD HAVE......ABOUT THE BIBLE-
    (This “Attitude”.......is at the heart........of our faith:)

    ”Those things which are most surely believed among us”
    ------------------------
    Note: If you Don’t “surely believe” the Bible......than YOU ARE NOT SAVED!
    Qt. John 5:46,47 “For had ye believed Moses”
    --------------------------------------------------
    -THE KINDS OF THINGS.........THAT YOU MUST “SURELY” BELIEVE-
    ➀(The Biblical account of Creation:)
    ➁(Israel crossing of the Red sea, on dry ground)
    ➂(The Virgin Birth:) etc.
    ===============
    V.1,2 V.1A “As many have taken in hand....”
    V.2 “Even as they delivered them unto us,
    which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;"

    -THE UNINSPIRED WRITINGS.......OF MEN-
    (Because men have always written about Jesus:)
    ---------------
    But they can only give you....eyewitness accounts:
    Which is just......a “head knowledge” of the LORD:)
    ------------------------
    -Therefore........they aren’t worth very much!-
    --------------------------------------------------
    -ONE “WORD” FROM GOD........IS BETTER THAN EVERY EYEWITNESS-
    See 2Peter 1:16-19
    V.16 ¶ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known
    unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
    V.17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice
    to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    V.18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
    V.19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,
    as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

    ------------------------
    Peter trusted the Bible....more than a booming voice from Heaven!
    ===============
    V.3A “It seemed good to me also”
    -THE LORD’S 1ST STEP.....IN CHOOSING A WRITER-
    (Giving him a hearts desire........to be God’s instrument:)
    ------------------------
    -Here we see.........that Luke had a desire to be used by God!-
    --------------------------------------------------
    Note: Now the LORD is ready........to start giving Luke His Word!
    ===============
    V.3B “Having had perfect understanding”
    -THE QUALITY........OF INSPIRED WRITINGS-
    (They are........a perfect record:)
    --------------------------------------------------
    The Lord gave Luke..........perfect understanding of every word to write:
    So that he would never....have gone off on his own!
    ===============
    V.3C “Of all things”
    -THE COMPLETENESS.........OF INSPIRED WRITINGS-
    (They are a complete record........of God’s word to man:)
    ------------------------
    Note: God’s Word doesn’t need to be......added to or taken away from:
    --------------------------------------------------
    Also........there will never be.......any other revelation added to it!
    ===============
    V.3D "From the very first"
    -THE TRUE SOURCE.........OF INSPIRED WRITINGS-
    (They are.........”from above”:)
    --------------------------------------------------
    -WHAT THESE 4 WORDS MEAN-
    Note: The Same Greek Word translated..........."From the very first"
    (Was also translated........."From Above"........in other parts of the Bible:)
    ------------------------
    See John 3:3 “Born again” & John 3:31 “From above”
    John 3:3
    “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    John 3:31
    “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly,
    and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.”

    ===============
    -THE TRUE SOURCE.........OF LUKE’S INFORMATION-
    (From the LORD Himself:)
    ------------------------
    Note: It had “nothing” to do with........interviewing eyewitnesses!
    --------------------------------------------------
    -SATAN’S 2 MOST POPULAR LIES.........ABOUT “THIS PROCESS”-
    In Satan’s attack upon the Bible...he wants to cast doubt about it’s authorship:
    ------------------------
    ➀ THE LIE ABOUT MOSES (That he just re-told stories that he had heard:)
    ➁ THE LIE ABOUT THE GOSPELS (The lie of calling them “synoptic”:)
    (Saying that Matthew & Luke.....simply copied from Mark!)
    ------------------------
    Note: And Millions of professing believers.......believe these lies!
    --------------------------------------------------
    -THE GREAT HARM......THAT THESE LIES CAUSE-
    Causing people.........to disregard the Bible completely!
    ------------------------
    Note: I know....that if I thought that man had written it...I would never study it!
    ===============
    -THE WAY...........WE REALLY GOT OUR BIBLE-
    (Something.....that we must “constantly”......be reminding ourselves of:)
    ------------------------
    -God wrote the Bible.......by telling men the “Words” to write:-
    -“Verbal inspiration”-
    --------------------------------------------------
    Note: This is what makes the Bible.........different from every other book!
    ===============
    V.3E “To write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus”
    -THE TARGET.......OF THESE INSPIRED WRITINGS-
    (Those who have an ear.........and that wants to here:)
    --------------------------------------------------
    Note: -Theophilus........was simply a Christian friend of Luke’s!-
    ===============
    V.4 “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things,”
    wherein thou hast been instructed.”
    -THE TRUE PURPOSE........OF INSPIRED WRITINGS-
    (To give us.........something solid to stand upon:)
    --------------------------------------------------
    Note: Since we know....that God gave us the Word....than we can trust it!
    ===============
     
  19. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I don't know that it qualifies as evidence. As I pointed out earlier, it is just an idea based on the phrase "the book of the generations of Adam" in Genesis 5:1 and the repetition of that phrase "generations" throughout the book of Genesis.

    I don't see a verse that says for certain Adam wrote that part, but neither do I see any verse that says Moses wrote it.
     
  20. tinytim

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    false gospel ALERT!!!! You just added to the gospel..
    Shame on you!..

    No where have i ever read you must believe israel crossed on dry ground to be saved....


    Repent of your false teaching.
     

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