The Books of Moses

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, May 23, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Did Moses actually write all of the first five books of the Bible? Or was he more of an editor?

    As an example of those who believe in multiple authors: Some who maintain that the Pentateuch is mainly the writing of Moses ...As an example ... Numbers 12:3, "(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)" (NIV), for a humble man would not be expected to claim that superlative of himself.

    Llink to this is found here

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    I've always thought that Moses was more of an editor or supervisor of the work of collecting the various writings that already existed and then supervising the writing of the exodus, wilderness wanderings and the giving of the Law.

    It is clear he didn't write the account of his own death in Deuteronomy - that was likely completed under the authority of Joshua.

    The assembling of the writings collected and created by Moses and passed down was probably done by unknown scribes/editors who assembled the texts in an orderly fashion at a later time for preservation. They made copies of the scrolls for distribution to the synagogues that developed during the Babylonian captivity and the teaching from the scrolls helped sustain the Jewish people's faith in YHWH until they were released from captivity.

    Much of this is speculation since we don't really have an account of how everything happened, but it seems reasonable to me.
     
  3. Greektim

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    I believe the Pentateuch went through a formal redaction and editorial process. I like Sailhamer's Pentateuch 1.0 and 2.0 approach.
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    Why would that need to happen though? SAME inspiration by HS as in the NT texts, so would be a verbal inerrant text Moses compiled down, correct?
     
  5. HeirofSalvation

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    The best explanation I have heard is that he wrote all of them except for Genesis of which he was the compiler/editor. There are roughly nine places in Genesis called "Toledoths" which read "these are the generations of..." Those are likely places where one particular author, i.e. Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem etc...were "signing-on" or more accurately "signing-off". Thus, Genesis would have had numerous authors, all essentially acting as first-hand witnesses of what they saw.

    Interestingly, although all five books are called the "Books of Moses", all of the Pentateuch books are quoted with a statement such as "Moses said". That is.....except for Genesis.

    Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are all quoted with a "Moses said" statement, Genesis NEVER is. Although quoted more than any other book in the OT. Genesis is always quoted with a phrase like "what sayeth the Book of Moses" or some derivative.

    That's the best explanation that I know of. And it makes the most sense to me.

    Ex. Lev. Numb. and Deut. Written by Moses, Genesis compiled and edited by Moses. Hope that helps!:wavey:
     
  6. Gabriel Elijah

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    I’ve been contemplating this theory over the last year while teaching on Genesis & I have to admit—I find it very appealing! But how biblically provable do you think it really is? And I’m only asking b/c no matter how much John Walton & k Mathews I read—I still just want to make sure its right
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    This is pretty much where I'm at on this. Moses likely wrote most of the text and oral tradition added inspired editorial content at a later date.

    When one works in the Hebrew there are too many differences, too many words from different eras, etc to say Moses wrote it all. Including that it is sure hard for Moses to authentically write about his own death.
     
  8. canadyjd

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    I have come to the conclusion that Moses wrote it and/or dictated to Joshua. I doubt there were scrolls to be found as sources (Moses lived in the wilderness 40 years prior to Egypt. The rest of the Hebrews were slaves), though I don't rule it out completely.

    More likely, IMHO, Moses wrote down an oral history of Genesis known to the Hebrews with God providing direct revelation of some events. I believe He received direct revelation from God concerning much/all of the ceremonial and moral Laws found in Deut./Lev., and He and/or Joshua recorded the narrative accounts of their travels in Egypt and the wilderness found in Exodus and Numbers with Joshua recording the events of Moses death.
     
  9. Greektim

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    I think it is foolish to think that the OT was written in the same way as the NT. Psalms is a good example. It was compiled over years and years to be theologically arranged. Some would say (myself included) that inspiration happened not when David wrote the Psalm but when it was compiled into its final form.
     
  10. HeirofSalvation

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    I don't think it's Biblically "provable" at all. I do think that the Scriptures are decidedly consistent with it, and moreover....given the way Genesis is quoted so extensively in other books......there was MORE than ample opportunity to merely say "Moses said". However, it doesn't. I think that if that theory is true, than it is at least implied by the Scriptures, by I don't think it's "provable" at all.

    If studied...I think the explanation we are proposing is by far the most probable, and also least fancifull and fits nicely with what we DO know. It maintains a high view of Scriptural innerancy. Some theories extant do more to deny Genesis' legitimacy than support it and they must be made aware of.
    From my perspective, this explanation answers the most questions while posing the fewest problems, and it also seems very consistent with Scripture while also appealing to Divine Revelation without forcing us to appeal to rather fanciful forms of inspiration (like God spoke every word of it to Moses at Sinai or something)....Granted, that's possible of course, but why appeal to MORE DIRECT Divine influence than is necessary? God's Providence in "preserving" the accounts is perfectly sufficient than to suggest that God would have had to practically hand the book to him or dictate it word-for-word 2000-years later (in many cases). No problem believing God preserved some first-hand accounts from Adam, Seth, Enoch etc...and Noah was savvy enough to take them on the ark with him.

    BTW: Kudos for teaching through Genesis!! I am a "Genesis-o-phile" for my part. I found Henry Morris' book (although I disagree with him on some points) to be INCREDIBLE!

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801072824/?tag=baptis04-20

    Even the points of contention one might disagree with him on such as
    1.) Identity of the "Nephilim" and the "Sons of God" etc....in Genesis 5
    or
    2.) The identity of Melchizedek
    He does a remarkable job of explaining the arguments from all sides quite fairly

    It's VERY worth the read....I use it extensively, and have read through it about three times. I consult it often if teaching Genesis.
    He also goes in good depth as to the Theory of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch vs. the compilation/editting of Genesis that I am proposing. He is a proponent of the Theory as well.
     
    #10 HeirofSalvation, May 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2013
  11. Gabriel Elijah

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    Very well said! And yes I like Morris as well (although I haven’t read his commentary in a while). Ironically, it was my overzealous addiction to the angelic interpretation of Gen 6 that God used to lead me to study the rest of Genesis in detail. So it should be of no surprise that I wholeheartedly agree with Morris on that topic—lol. But I truly find the book of Genesis to be fascinating & the study as a whole has led me to have a new appreciation for God’s sovereignty & His providence. It has even opened the door to the study of ANE history, which has allowed me to add a new level of depth to my teaching. It has even caused me to go back & restudy my Hebrew so I could understand technical commentaries better. Overall, I can safely say that the Lord has used this experience to remind me that He is always in control & that no circumstance in this life is to difficult to overcome with His strength! If you ever want to talk about anything your studying in Genesis feel free to contact me, b/c I always love discussing theology with other believers like yourself who take the time to study the Scripture in detail--even if it means we have to agree to disagree on certain issues like Gen 6--:smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    Jesus seemed clear on it....

    27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

    Luke 16:29
    Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

    Luke 5:14
    And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

    John 5:45
    Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

    John 5:46
    For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

    John 9:29
    We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    So it was not inspired text when penned by Moses, when he did his won editing/compiling of the texts, but became such when there was larter readactive editing done to what he wrote, at THAT time became inspired?
     

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