Sunday Sermon…What DID Moses Write?

Sunday Sermon…What Did Moses Write?

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists insist that the first five book of the Old Testament, called the Pentateuch, were written by one person; Moses. They thoroughly renounce any other view.

There is a theory among biblical scholars however that these five books were written by as many as four different people.

The theory is generally called the Documentary Hypothesis, and the four different strands of authorship are called J, E, D, and P. According to this view, the letter “J” stands for the Yahwist (“J” from the German Jahweh) narrative, that comes from the period of the early Jewish monarchy, about 950 B.C. “E” stands for the Elohist narrative from the region of the Northern Kingdom dating from about 750 B.C. “D” is represented by the book of Deuteronomy and is said to have originated in the Southern Kingdom about 650 B.C. or later. Finally, “P” is the priestly document that comes from the period after the fall of Israel in 587 B.C. According to the theory, the Pentateuch reached its current form around the time of Ezra, or about 400 B.C.

If one were to believe the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists version of single authorship (Moses) of the Pentateuch, one would be in trouble with historical dating.

Depending on which dating source you use, Moses was born anywhere from 1593 BCE to 1150 BCE. He lived for 120 years, which would put his death somewhere between 1473 BCE and 1030 BCE. So at the latest he would be writing at 1030 BCE.

Now in Genesis 11:26, Moses first writes of Abram, later to become to become Abraham, the father of the Jewish Nation: 26And Terah lived on for seventy years, after which he became father to Abram, Nahor and Heran.

Genesis 11:31 31And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.

Now Abram (Abraham) was born anywhere from 1991 BCE to 2018 BCE and lived 175 years, so he died from 1843 BCE to 1816 BCE.

We can safely say that Abraham lived well before Moses. We can safely say that Moses died well before 1000 BCE.

Again Genesis 11:31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.

Ur of the Chaldeans did not exist…then. The city of Ur would not be known as Ur of the Chaldees, or Ur of the Chaldeans until…at the earliest….732 BCE. It would not be known by this name before the 10th. Dynasty of Ur; dated from 732 BCE to about 620 BCE.

Moses was using a term that did not exist for up to 700 years later. But, if a writer later than Moses (Such as in the Documentary Hypothesis) produced or changed that part of Genesis, perhaps the term “Ur of the Chaldees/Chaldeans” would be a no brainer.

Check your bibles…Google “Ur” or “Ur of the Chaldees / Chaldeans”. Doesn’t jibe, does it?

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