Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Who wrote the first five books of the Bible

Question: Who wrote the first five books of the Bible?

The Bible teaches that its first five books were written by Moses, based on the following numerous observations.

The Pentateuch itself (or “the Law”) testifies to Moses as its author.[i]
  • Exodus 17:14, And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
  • Exodus 24:4, And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel .
  • Exodus 34:27, And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
  • Numbers 33:1-2, These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.
  • Deuteronomy 17:16-18, But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
  • Deuteronomy 31:9, And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel.
  • Deuteronomy 31:24-26, And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
The rest of the Old Testament testifies to Moses as the author of the Pentateuch.
  • Joshua 1:8, This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
  • Joshua 8:31, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. (Cf. Exodus 20:25 for the specifications for this altar).
  • Joshua 8:32, And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
  • Joshua 8:34-35, And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
  • Joshua 23:6, Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;
  • 1 Kings 2:3, and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
  • 2 Kings 14:5-6, And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father. But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
  • 2 Kings 18:6, For he clave to the Lordand departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.
  • 2 Kings 18:12, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
  • 2 Chronicles 25:4, But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
  • 2 Chronicles 34:14, And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses.
  • Ezra 6:18, And they set the priests in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses.
  • Nehemiah 13:1, On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
  • Daniel 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
  • Malachi 4:4, Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
The New Testament testifies to Moses as the author of the Pentateuch.
  • Matthew 8:4, And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
  • Matthew 19:8, He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  • Mark 7:10, For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
  • Mark 10:3, And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
  • Luke 16:29-31, Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
  • Luke 24:27, And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
  • Luke 24:44, And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
  • John 1:17, For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
  • John 1:45,  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
  • John 5:46-47, For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
  • Acts 3:22, For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
  • Acts 26:22, Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
  • Romans 10:5, For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (Cf. Leviticus 18:5.)
  • 2 Corinthians 3:15, But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
Jesus Christ himself, the criterion by which the Bible is interpreted, provides us the following testimony.
  • Jesus credits Moses with the commandment concerning a bill of divorce. Matthew 19:7-8; Mark 10:3.
  • Jesus refers to Exodus as the book of Moses. Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37.
  • Jesus speaks of Moses's writing as Scripture. Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44.
  • Jesus says that Moses wrote of him. John 5:46.
  • Jesus asserts that Moses gave the law to Israel. John 7:19.
  • Jesus states that Moses gave the law of circumcision. John 7:22-23.
  • Jesus often references Moses saying or commanding. Matthew 8:4; Mark 1:44; Mark 7:10; Luke 5:14.

[i] “Pentateuch” (Greek: πεντάτευχος, five books/scrolls) is the name often used by Christians to refer to the first five books of the Old Testament. They also simply refer to it as “the Law” (Cf. John 1:17; John 8:5; Hebrews 9:19). The first five books are called Torah by the Jews, although they use the term for broader references as well.

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