Who wrote it?

I was reading though parts of the Mangano commentary today and getting really frustrated at so-called scholars. They spent an excessively long time approaching the different books of the Old Testament (not just the Pentateuch) with way to much critical skepticism. I know that studying the word of God is important and that understanding the historical background and the different interpretations as to how it was written and put together are important, but if it ultimately distracts you and ends up leading you away from God and divine inspiration then there is a problem.

I personally am of the opinion that Moses wrote the majority of the Pentateuch, however I know full well and even lean this way myself with the idea that he had help. What is to say that Moses did not use a scribe like Jeremiah? What is to say that Moses’ family did not help him? What is to say that some of this is recorded from the very first priests? No can truly say for sure because they were not there. (Currently God is still mum on the issue…something about him divinely inspiring all of it kind of trumps everything else.)

The documentary hypothesis is an interesting one to say the least. Interesting in that God could have inspired four writings to take place and ultimately come together to form what we know today as the Pentateuch. To think that these sections came from different view points on the history of Israel i.e. the Northern Kingdom (E), the Southern Kingdom (J), the writings during the time of Josiah from Deuteronomy-II Kings (D), and finally the writings that occurred either during or immediately after the exile period that focused mainly on the priestly duties and responsibilities (P), is neat and also a little crazy. I mean do not get me wrong, God very well could have divinely inspired these writings, but why can’t the simplistic work? Why does it have to be made difficult in order to  be right?  Authorship wise I keep coming back to Moses writing the majority of it. I am also fully aware that there are sections, like his death, that would be pretty hard for him to write and that Joshua may have very well wrote them but I do not think that, that detracts from the meaning or the importance of what is being told to us in scripture.

Ultimately, it comes down to the simple fact that the Bible as a whole, including the Pentateuch, is the divinely inspired word of God, and that it has a very important message and life application for us today. The Old Testament is just as relevant regardless of how many people wrote it, added to it, and amended it along the way. All of it is God’s word to us and for us and that is what should matter in the end.


3 Responses

  1. On the left under “Pages” see, under #4, the one on “Authorship Issues.” It doesn’t answer any of your questions, just raises more questions. But I think it does raise some important issues we should think about in connection with discussions about authorship

  2. I get what you are saying. I think your closing idea is well worth a comment. God did inspire the text, I for one believe that what we have preserved for us is that which God intended. Though there is immense importance academically for understanding authorship and the like, the “miracle” of the bible is that one can be unaware of such studies and still be transformed by the word.

  3. I am so with you, Katherine. To some point authorship issues are completely legitimate and helpful, but there comes a point where it is simply distraction from the text and from God himself. It becomes about how smart we are in figuring out the puzzle rather than how awesome He is in bringing us the words of life.

    Considering that Moses probably had help is one thing, but i have seen excerpts of the EJDP text and sentences are all chopped up and nonsensical if taken by themselves. Nothing makes sense the way it broken up. I do not see how that conclusion is either smart or helpful.

    There is a balance to be had. We cannot ignore authorship issues; that would be to ignore many things we could learn. But neither can we pull apart the text to find the next new puzzle solution; that is not the point–God is.

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