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Did Moses write the book of Genesis? (part 2)

My last post on the authorship on Genesis was originally a response to a question posed by another blogger I read often, Uri Brito of Ad Majorum Dei Glorium. He was originally concerned with James Jordan’s argument against the Mosaic authorship of Genesis. I am going in an entirely different direction with this. I am not so much concerned with Jordan as I am with the idea of a book in the Biblical canon lacking a pedigree. Moses had to be the author of the five books of Moses.

Uri then comments:

Concerning point 3, remember that the death of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy. Jordan does not believe Joseph had anything to do with the authorship of Deuteronomy. As for your question, who wrote about Moses’ death-your guess is as good as mine. To me, however, it is obvious that it was not Moses and I think church history bears that skepticism as well.

I respond:

I use that passage about Joseph’s bones as an example of the skepticism that Moses was the author of the “five books of Moses.” It is possible that Moses composed the five books as we know them today. However, it would not do violence to inerrancy to say that a later prophet, such as Joshua, redacted the Pentateuch.

It is also possible that Ezra or one of the prophets after Moses edited some of the books of the Old Testament. As a prophet, he would have had the authority to do so.

If Jesus and the Apostles taught the five books were the books of Moses, then they were the books of Moses. It is useless to conjecture what that meant. We can speculate as to whether Moses received it from an earlier source. For instance, I can hypothesize that Moses compared the story of Joseph in the Egyptian libraries with the story of Jethro in the wilderness. But this is a thesis that can never be proven — however likely it may sound. The problem is that this is the type of wild fancy that Higher Critics engage in. Conservative evangelicals follow their lead and reject almost every established tradition about authorship.

For instance, virtually every Christian has been taught that Mark was the first Gospel written and the ancient tradition that Matthew was very early (37 to 40 A.D.) is now thought to be a mistake. All the church fathers who wrote on the topic of priority believed that the order is exactly as we have in now in the canon.

The idea that the other Gospels followed Mark is based on the attempt of liberals to date the writing of the synoptic Gospels in the late first or even the second century. They posit the “Q” source or a “two sources” theory and reason that pseudonymous writers — not the Apostles — wrote the Gospels later on. Evangelicals swallow their conclusions hook, line and sinker when they reject the Markan priority, which has no basis in evidence unless we accept the late writing of the four Gospels and an earlier fifth Gospel that has been lost to us.

The bottom line is that the New Testament authors quoted from Genesis thinking that Moses was the author. We should too.

Comments

Your comments are welcome!

Hey Jay,

I actually don't work for CCM Magazine anymore. I write books for a living. So thanks for the encouragement; I won't give up my day job! And yeah, you should start that blog.

Matthew

Posted by Matthew Paul Turner on 10/25/2014 10:56 PM #

For an update on my 'Toledoth' articles, re Mosaic authorship, visit my House of Gold blog.
http://houseofgold.blog.com

There you will find also the correct location for the era of Moses.

Damien F. Mackey
22 Nov 07

Posted by Damien F. Mackey on 10/25/2014 10:56 PM #

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

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Running Time: 195 minutes

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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