Question: My son is reading The Five Books of Moses... |

Question: My son is reading The Five Books of Moses...

TBC Staff

Question: My son is reading The Five Books of Moses. Its author promotes the idea that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). What is your opinion and why?

Response: According to the Lord Jesus, Moses wrote the Pentateuch: "For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me" (Jn:5:46). The idea that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible is based upon the "Documentary Hypothesis" theory of Julius Wellhausen (a German "higher critic"), though it was not his invention. Its premise is summed up by the acronym JEDP. The J stands for "Jahwist," the E, "Elohist," D for "Deuteronomist," and P for "Priestly." Each is supposed to identify different authors who lived and wrote from 950 BC to 500 BC.

The "evidence" consists of the "change of divine names" in the "two creation accounts" of Genesis 1-3. Elohim, the Hebrew word for "God," is used in chapter 1, while in chapter 2 the name used is "Yahweh/Jehovah Elohim." The alleged differences in the "creation accounts" are said to be proof of two different sources compiled later.

The theory hasn't aged well. It is recognized that Genesis demonstrates "an incredible linguistic unity and artistry of the composer of all of Genesis [The J and E sections share an extremely high number of theme-words and linking-words, puns, etc.!] becomes simply incredulous that J wrote 12:1-4a, 12:6-9 about the start of Abraham's spiritual odyssey...E wrote 22:1-19 about the climax of his spiritual odyssey, and...two authors living approximately 100 years apart and in different parts of ancient Israel time and again chose the same lexical terms. Surely this is too improbable, especially when such examples can be and have been multiplied over and over" (Rendsburg, The Redaction of Genesis, 1986, p. 104-5).

Most important, however, is the judgment of the Lord Jesus. Here is another example: "Have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" (Mk 12:26, see also Mt 19:7-8, Mt 22:24, Mk 7:10, Mk 12:24, Lk 24:44, etc.). That is the bottom line.