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Did Moses Write the Pentateuch?

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Did Moses Write the Pentateuch?

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  • August 5, 2012
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Did Moses Write the Pentateuch?
by
Niambi Bulluck Tillman

There is a widely held position amongst conservative Christians that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. This work is the inspired Word of God, given to Moses as a form of record and instruction. These books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are referred to at the Pentateuch. In opposition to the conservative Christian is a more liberal mindset that believes Moses did not write these books. The liberal view often maintains that these books are a work compiled by numerous writers over an extended period of time. The conservative Christian view holds to Mosaic authorship and treats the Pentateuch as a unit. This doesn’t mean Moses didn’t use other documents as references to write his books. He obviously did. But since other Old Testament authors affirm Mosaic authorship, as do numerous New Testament authors, the Bible as a whole crumbles if Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch. There is overwhelming evidence confirming Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch including: Moses’ qualifications by way of his up-bringing and education, Old Testament references to Mosaic authorship, and the testimony of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

From a human perspective, Moses seemingly lived a charmed life filled with much Godly favor. He was after all rescued from the river as a baby and brought up in Pharoah’s house, and was “learned in all wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Growing up in this environment, Moses would have been exposed to and educated in language and literature. That also means he would have learned how to write. He would have learned Egyptian language and the languages of the other nations that associated with Egypt. Moses also would have been exposed to the natural world and medicine, and most importantly to rhetoric and warfare. These skills would account for his abilities in the art of speaking and persuasion, also, his military commander...