Moses and His Writings

I’ve written of this subject before, but no one seems to know the answer to it. If some Christian scholar out there in the ‘ether’ reads this and has a response. I would appreciate hearing from you.

Genesis 11:31. This verse describes Abraham as living in the city of Ur, and associates that location with the Chaldean’s. However archaeological evidence indicates that the Chaldean’s did not exist as a tribe at the time of Abraham, or Moses, for that matter; they rose to power as much as 1000 years later.

“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.”

Genesis 14:14: This verse refers to Abram pursuing some surviving kings of Sodom and Gomorrah to the city of Dan. However the archaeology says that place name did not exist until at least 300 years later

“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants,
born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.”

So is there any evangelical fundamentalist theist out there that can explain how Moses can be writing about these things long before they existed. Sure seems to be proof that Moses was redacted, revised or otherwise rewritten. So, that would mean that the Pentateuch was not clearly written by Moses, and is likely not the ‘Inspired Word of God.’ It was tampered with probably sometime after the Jews return from exile, as by then ‘Ur of the Chaldee’s’ was properly used and the original city of Laish…was renamed Dan.

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Moses is Not Writer of Genesis

So, we all know that Moses wrote of Abraham as coming out from “Ur of the Chaldeans” in Genesis 11:31

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.”

We also know that Moses wrote of Abraham coming to the rescue of his nephew Lot, in the city of Dan, in Genesis 14: 14-15

“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.”

So what we end up with in the timeline is this: Dates are ‘roughly’ and may vary slightly from sect to sect.

Abraham Born 2020 BCE-Died 1845 BCE
Moses Born 1595 BCE-Died 1475
City of Laish–renamed Dan 1200-1100 BCE
Chaldean tribe comes into existence 1000-900 BCE
Chaldeans take over the city of Ur c.627-625 BCE. Ur then became known as “Ur of the Chaldeans”
Moses died a few hundred years before the city of ‘Dan’ existed.
Moses died about 800 years before “Ur of the Chaldean” existed. Not the city, but the Phrase.

How did he write about it? He didn’t. The Pentateuch was rewritten and redacted well after Moses died. From this evidence, there is no real doubt about the Documentary Hypothesis.

The Catholic Encyclopedia pretty much admits this. Look up the whole thing here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01051a.htm

“Quite a different view on the section of Genesis treating of Abraham, and indeed of the whole of Genesis, is taken by modern critical scholars. They almost unanimously hold that the narrative of the patriarch’s life is composed practically in its entirety of three writings or writers called respectively the Jahvist, the Elohist, and the priestly writer, and denoted by the letters J, E, and P. J and E consisted of collections of stories relating to the patriarch, some of older, some of later, origin.”…

…”Finally, the moral to be drawn from the various events narrated is more clearly set forth in this third writing and, according to the critics the moral standpoint is that of the fifth century B.C. Lastly, after the time of Ezra, this last history, P was worked up into one with the already combined narrative J.E. by a second redactor R. JEP, the result being the present history of Abraham, and indeed the present book of Genesis; though in all probability insertions were made at even a later date.”

So, what all of this is saying, is that Moses couldn’t have written the parts that are ascribed to him, and whoever did write it, had to be from a time much later than Moses. Therefore parts of the Bible are false.

If someone can prove parts of your religious belief are wrong; why should anyone believe your religion is true? What else could they be wrong about?

For later: Do Christians believe that God made us immortal, and Adam & Eve caused us to die because of their sin?

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Pentateuch Not Written by Moses

At least not all of it

Thomas Paine wrote this 200+ years ago:

IT has often been said that any thing may be proved from the Bible; but before any thing can be admitted as proved by Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it be doubtful, it ceases to have authority, and cannot be admitted as proof of any thing.

It has been the practice of all Christian commentators on the Bible, and of all Christian priests and preachers, to impose the Bible on the world as a mass of truth, and as the word of God; they have disputed and wrangled, and have anathematized each other about the supposeable meaning of particular parts and passages therein; one has said and insisted that such a passage meant such a thing, another that it meant directly the contrary, and a third, that it meant neither one nor the other, but something different from both; and this they have called undffstanding the Bible

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Having premised these things, I proceed to examine the authenticity of the Bible; and I begin with what are called the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. My intention is to shew that those books are spurious, and that Moses is not the author of them; and still further, that they were not written in the time of Moses nor till several hundred years afterwards; that they are no other than an attempted history of the life of Moses, and of the times in which he is said to have lived, and also of the times prior thereto, written by some very ignorant and stupid pretenders to authorship, several hundred years after the death of Moses; as men now write histories of things that happened, or are supposed to have happened, several hundred or several thousand years ago.

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I begin with the book of Genesis.–In Genesis xiv., the writer gives an account of Lot being taken prisoner in a battle between the four kings against five, and carried off; and that when the account of Lot being taken came to Abraham, that he armed all his household and marched to rescue Lot from the captors; and that he pursued them unto Dan. (ver. 14.)

To shew in what manner this expression of Pursuing them unto Dan applies to the case in question, I will refer to two circumstances, the one in America, the other in France. The city now called New York, in America, was originally New Amsterdam; and the town in France, lately called Havre Marat, was before called Havre-de-Grace. New Amsterdam was changed to New York in the year 1664; Havre-de-Grace to Havre Marat in the year 1793. Should, therefore, any writing be found, though without date, in which the name of New-York should be mentioned, it would be certain evidence that such a writing could not have been written before, and must have been written after New Amsterdam was changed to New York, and consequently not till after the year 1664, or at least during the course of that year. And in like manner, any dateless writing, with the name of Havre Marat, would be certain evidence that such a writing must have been written after Havre-de-Grace became Havre Marat, and consequently not till after the year 1793, or at least during the course of that year.

I now come to the application of those cases, and to show that there was no such place as Dan till many years after the death of Moses; and consequently, that Moses could not be the writer of the book of Genesis, where this account of pursuing them unto Dan is given.

The place that is called Dan in the Bible was originally a town of the Gentiles, called Laish; and when the tribe of Dan* seized upon this town, they changed its name to Dan, in commemoration of Dan, who was the father of that tribe, and the great grandson of Abraham. (*Now thought to be the ‘Sea People.’)

To establish this in proof, it is necessary to refer from Genesis to chapter xviii. of the book called the Book of judges. It is there said (ver. 27) that “they (the Danites) came unto Laish to a people that were quiet and secure, and they smote them with the edge of the sword [the Bible is filled with murder] and burned the city with fire; and they built a city, (ver. 28,) and dwelt therein, and [ver. 29,] they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan, their father; howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.”

This account of the Danites taking possession of Laish and changing it to Dan, is placed in the book of Judges immediately after the death of Samson. The death of Samson is said to have happened B.C. 1120 and that of Moses B.C. 1451; and, therefore, according to the historical arrangement, the place was not called Dan till 331 years after the death of Moses.

There is a striking confusion between the historical and the chronological arrangement in the book of judges. The last five chapters, as they stand in the book, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, are put chronologically before all the preceding chapters; they are made to be 28 years before the 16th chapter, 266 before the 15th, 245 before the 13th, 195 before the 9th, go before the 4th, and 15 years before the 1st chapter. This shews the uncertain and fabulous state of the Bible. According to the chronological arrangement, the taking of Laish, and giving it the name of Dan, is made to be twenty years after the death of Joshua, who was the successor of Moses; and by the historical order, as it stands in the book, it is made to be 306 years after the death of Joshua, and 331 after that of Moses; but they both exclude Moses from being the writer of Genesis, because, according to either of the statements, no such a place as Dan existed in the time of Moses; and therefore the writer of Genesis must have been some person who lived after the town of Laish had the name of Dan; and who that person was nobody knows, and consequently the book of Genesis is anonymous, and without authority. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason-Part II, 1795ish. Several different parts (separated by asterisks) were put together here in the interest of brevity Google above to find original on net.

The above example written by one of the founding fathers of The United States, Thomas Paine, in 1795 is just a small example of how wrong the Bible is. I have already written earlier on this blog (Here) that Genesis refers to ‘Ur of the Chaldees,’ loongg before the Chaldeans controlled the city. These two arguments alone are enough to throw serious doubt on the historicity of Genesis. Actually I think they disprove Genesis and the Pentatuech altogether, in the sense that they prove Moses did not write all of it. And that pretty much does in “Bible inerrancy” as espoused by some Christian sects.

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