Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 8

Pentateuch Authorship and Date

Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 8
Watching Now
Pentateuch Authorship and Date

I. Two sections

II. Debate About Authorship

A. Moses

B. Documentary hypothesis

C. Evidence for Mosaic authorship

1. Old Testament

2. New Testament:

III. Date

A. Traditional date

B. Late date

  • Dr. Miles Van Pelt is offering an opportunity to study the Old Testament and understand its overall message in more detail. The Old Testament consists of 2/3 of the Bible, and serves as a foundation for many teachings found in the New Testament. Its main purpose is to point towards Jesus who makes possible a new covenant with God's people. The structure of both Testaments follows a covenantal pattern that compels humans to make choices regarding their relationship with God, while demonstrating His patience and perseverance in doing so.
  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Survey of the Old Testament


Pentateuch Authorship and Date

I. Two Sections (00:14):

We've already completed our lectures, that overview the whole of the Old Testament. Even a little bit of the New Testament today. We're going to begin walking through each of the main sections of the Old Testament. We're going to do the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, not all today, but the rest of our time together. I'm going to break that up into four sections. We're going to do the Law, the Former Prophets, the Latter Prophets, and the Writings. I have a brief introduction before we get into each section, book by book, to remind us of what we did previously, and to reorient to what we're about to do.

Before we get into Genesis, I just have an introduction to the Pentateuch, the Torah, the Law, or the five books of Moses. They're all called that. If you hear me say Pentateuch (books of Moses), Torah or Law, it's all reference to the five books of Moses. Now, the Mosaic collection has two primary sections, as we've already discussed, in the covenant arrangement. There's Roman numeral one, the Law, the Pentateuch, or the books of Moses. There's A. Genesis, covenant prologue, then B. Exodus through Deuteronomy, which are the covenant books that span the birth to the death of the covenant mediator, cover His life and teachings. He's the covenant mediator.

II. Debate About Authorship (01:29):

In terms of authorship, we're going to cover two things in this particular lecture that are debated, but they're also important to understand so you know how to engage them in a culture that is going to know about it and want to hear your thoughts about it. It's the issue of authorship and date. Who wrote the Pentateuch? When was it written? The answer to one really affects the other. So, we've got them together.

A. Moses (01:55):

We're going to begin with authorship. Traditionally, Moses is understood to be the author of the Pentateuch. They bear his name. He's the main player in it. However, the authorship with the Pentateuch has been one of the most hotly debated topics in modern, Old Testament scholarship. This material is presented in the spirit of Matthew 10:16. I'm not advocating this particular position that I'm going to present to you, but I'm using it like this, “behold”, Jesus said, "I'm sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, to be wise as serpents and as innocent as doves." I'm going to tell you what the wolves are saying out there, so that we can know what's going on and be as innocent as doves. We want to be wise as serpents, but innocent as doves.

Some argue that Moses took no part in the Pentateuch, but rather the Pentateuch is the result of a long history of composition that may have begun as early as the time of the United Monarchy. At the very earliest, this was being written, let's say in the time of David and Solomon, but it did not end until the post-exilic period. It took several hundred years to compose this material. There are many variations to this school of thought, but I'm going to give you the standard sequencing and spiel on what they're saying. Just recognize that what scholars like to do is take the standard critical model, then they like to tweak it. I'm going to give you the standard.

B. Documentary Hypothesis (03:27):

What we're about to talk about is something called the documentary hypothesis. The documentary hypothesis is the classic critical viewpoint, still held by the vast majority of Old Testament scholars today, around the world. This hypothesis argues that the Pentateuch came into being over time, and was the product of a number of authors and editors using different sources. Sources is where we get this word documentary. Hypothesis, is because it's never been proved. We're going to follow up on that. The first person to suggest the sources was a guy named Jean Astruc. He lived from 1684 to 1766, so think about the 18th century when he was doing this. He was the first one to proposed sources used for the Pentateuch. He attempted to defend mosaic authorship, which is good, by suggesting that Moses himself used sources that could be distinguished by the use of the divine name.

The use of the divine name, the divine name is Yahweh, but there's also God's title Elohim. For example, in Genesis 1, it's all Elohim, but in Genesis 2, it's Yahweh Elohim. So, they're saying, "Oh. He used an Elohim source, a Yahweh source, and put him together. It's interesting because he lived in the desert for 40 years. Where did he get these sources? I want to know. That’s always been intriguing to me, it’s like he went to the Sinai Library and checked him out. But, I guess they were thinking later.

Next, the classic presentation of this was in the 1800s by a guy named Julius Wellhausen. He formulated the classic source critical analysis of the Pentateuch that we know as a documentary hypothesis. He used four basic criteria to distinguish one source from another. We'll write them down. Number one, the use of the divine name, Yahweh Elohim. Number two, double stories or stories that kind of repeat themselves. For instance, the two accounts of creation. Number three, double namings. For instance, when Joseph was taken to Egypt. Sometimes they're called Ishmaelites and sometimes Midianites. So which one is it? We've got double stories, double namings. Finally number four, different theology. For instance, monotheism versus henotheism, or central alter versus multiple alter alters.

1. Four Sources of the Pentateuch (J,E,D,P) (06:10):

You have one God only, or you just have one God that you worship out of all the other ones that you know about. That's henotheism. Or you only worship at one place, or can you worship anywhere. There's times when they're worshiping everywhere, and times when they're worshiping at one place. Let's just say theology, and that's what he was doing it with. Wellhausen postulated that there were four sources that came together over time to produce the Pentateuch. These, he labeled in chronological order: J, E, D, and P.

2. J is the Yahweh Source (06:49):

J is going to stand for the Yahweh source. Or they're called the Yahwist. E, is the Elohim source, or they call it the Elohist. D is Deuteronomy or the Deuteronomic source. Then P is priestly. Let me explain briefly each of those. In the classic presentation of the documentary hypothesis, the Yahweh, or the J, because Y is J in German. Like Jehovah, you can get that it's really Jehovah. The J source is dated to the 10th century BC. You're thinking 900s, and considered a Southern source, so Judah, right? J was a great storyteller describing God in larger than life terms. A good example of J style and theology is in Genesis 2 and 3. Here, the second creation account and the story of Adam and Eve's rebellion. That's the J style. You're going to be using the divine name, Yahweh here.

3. E is the Elohim Source (07:52):

The E source comes a little bit later. So the ninth century. J source is 10th, eSource is ninth century. It's considered a Northern source, not a Southern source. Is more fragmentary than J, distinguished by its use of Elohim, rather than Yahweh, to refer to God. Genesis 1 is an example. We've got a Southern source in the 10th century. A Northern source in the eighth century, where we've got a divided kingdom. Here, we've got a united kingdom. Here, we've got a divided kingdom, so that's going to impact the theology a little bit. It's going to be a pro-north, anti-Judah, anti-Jerusalem kind of thing.

4. D is the Deuteronomic Source (08:36):

D is dated to a specific time, in the late seventh century. It's associated with the discovery of the Book of the Law by Josiah. Remember Josiah was cleaning up around in temple. Not he, but his guys, and they discovered this book. It looks like it was Deuteronomy. There was a great reform. Well, really the story goes like this for them. They didn't discover it, they wrote it. They used that to substantiate Jerusalem's worship and Jerusalem's kingship. So the central altar. What they wanted to do is,if this is a Northern source they can worship anywhere and there are multiple authors. But once you get to D, it's one place. It's Judah and Jerusalem, and that's why we want to do it there. If you want to see where Josiah discovered that and the Book of the Law, it's 2 Kings 22-23.

5. P is the Priestly Source (09:29):

Then there's the P source, which is the priestly source. It was named that because much of its contents would be of interest to the priestly class. You've got genealogies, sacrifices, sacred festivals, purity laws. All those things. It can look like Leviticus, some stuff in numbers, some stuff in Exodus. It's often dated to the exilic or post-exilic period, because now they're coming back and they're trying to reinstitute the temple.They're trying to figure out how to do stuff. They're accordingly making stuff up. This is how it was in the old day.

6. Additional Proposed Sources (10:04):

You should know about this. In addition to these four primary sources, scholars have also proposed other sources, as well as L, the lay source. For some of the more common things, mundane things. They have also proposed the nomadic source, for when they were wandering. They have all kinds of things, too. They could have J one and J two, who redacted it and then E one and E two got redacted. Let's say redaction one then, and redaction two. So there's as many of these that you want to postulate. If you want a PhD, you want to get promoted by being published, then that's what you do. You tinker with a documentary hypothesis. So what do we do with all this? That's a quick scenario. That's what we've got. Then, it's over and over and over. In addition to the clear testimony of scripture, which we'll talk about in a second, the biggest argument against this theory is the lack of any concrete evidence. Not one of the so-called sources has ever been discovered, has ever been identified, or agreed upon by the critical Guild.

Additionally, the documentary hypothesis suffers from attempting to apply modern Western literary conventions, to ancient Middle Eastern literary documents. John Grisham is not writing like Solomon. They've got different worldviews and mindsets. Today, thankfully, scholars are returning to the beauty of the final form of the text and the recognition of the artistry in the text. This is a great and healthy thing.

Since about the mid-20th century, with a guy named Brevard Childs at Yale University, who would agree with all this began saying, "Hey. This is all fine and dandy. But at the end of the day, here's what we have, an Old Testament. The question is, what is it doing in its final form for us? What is the whole of it now?" He made it acceptable because he was a big time Old Testament scholar at a secular university. He made it acceptable now, for people to go back and look at the whole. We've had people doing that and making very positive advances and saying, "Oh, hey. Some of the uses of the divine name, the double stories, the double namings, and the theology, they're all working together as a large whole. You just have to see the Hebrew mindset at work to figure it out. Different times, different places, different regions."

I'll mention two really good books about this. The first is one by Robert Alter. He teaches at UC Berkeley. He is a literature professor. He also grew up in a Jewish household and loves Hebrew. He also does Jewish literature stuff, on the side. He wrote a book called The Art Of Biblical Narrative. He really does a wonderful job showing you how Hebrew narrative works. Remember, I told you in the previous lectures about poetic intrusion and a type scene where things get repeated? He is really into that, can show you how that works, and where these things happen. A good example of that is when a man encounters a woman at a well. What's always the product of that? Why is that man looking for a woman at a well? Every time that happens in the Old Testament, someone's getting married.

That's where the young single girls go, right? Every time you see that, there's going to be marriage on the docket. That's why the disciples are freaked out in the New Testament when Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well.

Now, you begin to see these patterns playing out.

Another one is a more recent one. Robert Alter, by the way, also wrote The Art of Biblical Poetry. He's just recently translated the Old Testament in three volumes, with a commentary. That's interesting.

The second one's more recent, it's a little bit more recent. It's by Joshua Berman. Whose also a Jewish scholar, called Inconsistency in the Torah. He goes through and shows how the inconsistencies in Torah, "Are actually literary designs to support unity." I really like that book. I'm about halfway through it right now. It's another one worth picking up if you're interested in that topic.

The vast majority of the Old Testament scholarship... Every year I go to the Society of Biblical Literature, in the U.S.. There are maybe 10,000 people there. Maybe 8,000 of them would hold this. 2000 wouldn't, something like that. I would say the vast majority. It's a guess, but it's a good guess.

C. Evidence for Mosaic Authorship (14:35):

Now there are those, the 2000 in minority, who defend mosaic authorship. There's both internal and external evidence for this. Let's look a little bit at the internal evidence. First, we do recognize that no one is ever technically named as the author of the Pentateuch within the Pentateuch itself. However, the Pentateuch does describe Moses writing down stuff. For example, Exodus 17:14, "The Lord said to Moses, "Write this as memorial in the book, or scroll and recite it in the years of Joshua." What? If he's telling him to write it down in the book, there's already a book. He's already begun his literary career.

1. Old Testament (15:16):

Exodus 24:4, "And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord." He's writing something down. In Exodus 34:27 it states, "The Lord said to Moses, write these words for an accordance. With these words, I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." The covenant document of Exodus 20-24. In Exodus 34:28 it states, "He was with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights. He neither ate bread or drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant."

Deuteronomy 29:20-21, "The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will smoke against that man who disobeys the law, and the curses written in this book settle on him." We're looking at the curses in Deuteronomy, 27 and 28, "And the Lord will blot out his name from heaven." Then it says, "In accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law." In Deuteronomy 29, "Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priest, the sons of Levi, who carried the arc of the covenant Lord, and all the elders of Israel." Deuteronomy 31, "When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end." So he finished it.

Interestingly, Joshua 8:31-32, also recounts some of this, "Just as Moses the sermon of the Lord had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses." Joshua now is in charge. Moses is dead and he's testifying that he has the Book of the Law of Moses. Then, he writes a whole copy of the book on uncut stones, okay? We also have in later biblical literature, other guys saying, recognizing those books is from Moses. So for example, in Ezra 6:18, " And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses." But of course, they're going to argue that's the priestly source. In Nehemiah 13:1 it states, "On that day they read from the Book of the Law of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever in the assembly of God."

In 2 Chronicles 25:4 it says, "But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the Law, in the Book of Moses, where he could commanded." It is also seen in 2 Chronicles 35. We have a whole host of references to Moses writing this down, to the end. Joshua has the book. All the way down at the end with Ezra, he's got the Book of the Law of Moses, and he's reading it out loud to people and copying it. What about some more external evidence? That's all internal evidence. Well, that's external evidence, the Ezra and Chronicle stuff.

2. New Testament (17:59)

More external evidence from the New Testament. We have many references to the mosaic covenant books in the New Testament, attributed to Moses. For example, I'm in Mark 12:26, "And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'"

What we know now from this, is that the Book of the Law of Moses contained Exodus, because it references the burning bush. In Luke 20:28 it states, "And they asked him a question, saying, 'Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.'" The love right marriage. Deuteronomy 25. Now, we have Deuteronomy in there. We've gone from Exodus to Deuteronomy.

John 1:17, For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

John 1:45, "We have found him of whom the law of Moses, and the prophets also wrote." Then, this one is a killer. We read this yesterday, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believe Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me."

Then one more. Romans 10:5, "For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them." Romans 10:5 is talking about what Moses writes about in Exodus and Deuteronomy. It's important to note, though, those who support mosaic authorship. Let's say myself, recognizes that there are certain texts in there that Moses could not have written. For example, the account of his death in Deuteronomy 34. We know that's a post script. It could have been added by Joshua, or perhaps someone as late as Ezra.

Additionally, no matter the identification or non-identification for an anonymous book, it was the spirit of Christ, who at work in these prophetic figures, as they wrote, taught, and preserved these covenant books. We have assurance that what's in them is accurate.

The question really is, do you believe the testimony of scripture, about the source and the author of the law? Or do you not? The reason people have trouble believing it, is because of how programmatic, for example, Deuteronomy is for understanding all of the former and latter Prophets. They felt like no human being, if you're taking a worldview under the sun. No human being would have the capacity to foresee and structure that. But what we know, the prophetic testimony is from Isaiah. For example, that God declares the end from the beginning. His purpose can always stand and no one can thwart his plan. God is setting forth what he's going to do, before he does it. This is actually what sets the Lord apart from all of the idols in the book of Isaiah. If you have time to read the kind of ideal theology that runs between Isaiah 40 and 54. The one thing He always says, "Before I do it, I tell you, then I do it. And after I do it, I explain what I did." That's the patterns called word, event, word.

In Amos, "I never do anything without telling you first, through my Prophets." Look at this pattern. For example, in Exodus 14 and 15, the Lord says, "Stand back, I'm going to deliver you." He tells him he's going to do it to Moses. Then they stand back, He delivers him. We see the event. That's the event. Then in Exodus 15, they sing about it and explain what it is. This Exodus event just became a saving event. A paradigm for all future redemptions. Word, event, word.

You can even see it, for example, in creation, where it says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. This foremost voiding darkness is over the face of the deep and the spirit of Gods having over the waters." That's the introduction that says, "And the Lord said, 'Let there be light.'" That's the word. What's the next line? "And there was light." And then it says, "And the Lord saw the light and He named it and He called it good." Word, event, word. That's the difference between the Lord and all the so-called idols. They can't do that. Only the Lord can do that. He's the only master of history.

This view right here, is an under the sun view. You could say it denies the supernatural or divine origin of the material. Now it doesn't mean there are things for us to be challenged with, to overcome, and to argue for. These are just the basics. That's the first thing, authorship.

III. Date (22:49):

If Moses was not the author of these books, then dating them is impossible. We don't have any sources, but they're just guessing. For example, here, Wellhausen. 10th century, ninth century, sixth century, exilic time.... seventh century, exilic time. They're doing it because of what they think, how Israel's religion developed. They weren't really monotheists until the exile. If however, Moses was the primary author of the Pentateuch, then there are two possible dates for this. These dates correspond to Israel's Exodus from Egypt, and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

A. Traditional date (23:24)

The traditional view, or the traditional date for the Exodus is 1446 BC. They call this the early date. A 15th century date, 1446 BC. How do we get this early date? We get it from 1 Kings 6:1. It indicates that the Exodus occurred 480 years prior to the fourth year of Solomon's reign. The fourth year of Solomon's reign, we know, was 966. He started in the year 970, which places the Exodus at 1446 BC. So 1446 BC, they crossed the Red Sea. 1406 BC, they enter into the promised land. The Pentateuch was written right in the middle of that, during the journeys. It would've taken a long time to write.He might have written it, added to it, revised it, and shaped it.

Another number that's important is, that in Judges 11:26, Israel had occupied Canaan for approximately 300 years, before he served his judge in a speech he gives to the enemy, which is dated to around 1100 BC. This dates Joshua's conquest at about 1400 BC. Then, you add the 40 years of wilderness wandering you're right at 1440 BC. You're going to write in there.

We also know that Moses lived in exile. He lived in Midian for 40 years after he had killed that Egyptian. He skipped town. While the Pharaoh of the oppression was still alive. Who looked after him? There were only two pharaohs who lived or ruled 40 or more years. One was the Thutmose III, 1504 to 1450, fits right in that timeframe. The other was Ramesses' II, 1290 to 1224 BC. Let's look at the so-called late date. The late date, which would be roughly 1250.We've got the 1446 and the 1250 date. BC or BCE, however you want it.

B. Late date (25:17)

Here's the argument for those positions. They're trying to do it because of how they're trying to correlate references to Israel in the land, by other nations at that time, to the Egyptian kings and pharaohs.

This group begins by saying the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1, is symbolic for 12 generations. A generation is about 25 years. The actual figure should be 300 years, placing the Exodus around 1266. Secondly, the 300 year figure cited by Jefta, is merely an exaggerated generalization since he has no access to historical records. Except he gives the most stunning review of Israeli history. He had to have read it somewhere, or heard it, or had been trained by on it. Also, the 40 years Moses spent with the Midianites is not a chronological figure. Again, strictly chronological. But a symbolic figure indicating a long period of time, because his life is 40 years in Egypt, 40 years alone in Midianites, and then 40 years leading Israel.

The [inaudible 00:26:34] dating about 1220 BC, cites, Israel as in the land at that time. No other historical record documents Israel before that. This would be unlikely, had Israel begun occupation of the land 200 years earlier, because some people would've documented it. That's the argument from, "We don't have the evidence yet." They also argue that if you take the judgeships in the Book of Judges and make them all overlapping rather than kind of contiguous, that you don't have to have so many years. That is true, those judgeships are overlapping, but that doesn't play into this as much.

One side, the 1446 side, argues that there's plenty of archeological evidence in Jericho to support this. This side says there's of archeological evidence to support their view. They're both using all the evidence saying, "No. It supports us. It supports us." Okay? The big difference between these two, is whether you take Solomon's numbers and Jefta's numbers seriously as well as the numbers about Moses. Or if you take them as symbolically or figuratively. There're evangelicals who would argue for either one of these. I think the stronger argument is perhaps this one right here. The 1446, rather than the 1250.

Now, you know about the documentary hypothesis. You know about the issues here. Two of the biggest issues, in Pentateuch studies, I will mention to you, if you're interested in this. Zondervan has a new book coming out. It's called, Five Views on the Exodus. It's coming out in April next month. Five guys are writing each of this. These are the two main views, but then there's like, it never happened, it's just a myth. It actually was not an invasion. They just went in there, infiltrated the people, intermarried, and became Israel. That kind of business. There are some other ways to try to explain this. The Five Views book's coming out. Zondervan's the publisher, coming out April of 2021.

If 80% of the people believe that in the documentary hypothesis and the main reason is that they want a human explanation for this.

Do those people also not believe in the authority of scripture?

It probably exists on a continuum. It's hard for me to know exactly. I don't want to impugn anyone-or especially on video. Some people could still say, "I hold this view. But still, these are my scriptures. I still submit to them as authoritative because I grew up in this tradition." That'd be a very Jewish response to this particular thing. I would say the vast majority of Old Testament scholars, I wouldn't call evangelicals. They study Egyptian history or they would study a Syrian history, Sumerian history. It's one of those humanities, that's very intriguing. It's had a substantial impact on culture. To study this stuff, gives you an insight into cultures, especially Western culture, and how it shaped that. There's lots of reasons to study this. What this really does, is it undermines the divine authority behind it, so you don't have to obey it.

Does that make sense? Or believe in it? You can just study it as detached from yourself. For me, studying as an act of worship. For others, it wouldn't be that. It's a job or science they engage in. I'm sure there's lots of different reasons for that. To be honest, a lot of evangelicals have bowed down to this, so that they might seem reputable in the eyes of the bigger, larger guild. I think we're healthily coming out of that now.

I listen to some podcasts. One of the things they frequently do in podcasts at the end is, especially when it's related to the Old Testament is, what's one thing you want to see die in Old Testament scholarship in the next 50 years? In the last year, I've heard two encouraging reports that they say, "The one thing that just really needs to die and go away, is the documentary hypothesis." It hasn't done us any good. We don't have the documents. We don't know how they're put together. We've never seen them. For 250 years, you've been looking and no one can agree on it.

I think... But some things have really come out of it. I'll give you this illustration. I know how a car works. I can operate a car. I can open the door. I can drive it, reverse it, do all this stuff. But I can't repair it. To do that, I'd have to take it all apart. Learn how all the parts work together, put it back together. Then, I would fix it.

Well, what we've done in higher criticism for the last 250 years, is we've taken it all apart and studied all the little bits and pieces. That's been helpful, to some degree. Now, I know what a carburetor is. Now, I know what a valve is, filters, or whatever. But no one has put it back together. No one's describing what it's like in the final form. No one is seeing if anyone has any integrity? When you look at a car and all these different pieces. You look at it and say that there're different eras of technology at work in that vehicle. You're just lost in it. We're coming back to a healthy, big picture thing where we're seeing the beauty of the 1965 Ford Mustang. It's elegance and grace. We don't have to take it all apart and not know what to do.

VI. Conclusion (32:42):

It's like the Legos. We've done a great job examining all the pieces and noting the structures. There are Legos with six round dots on top. There are Legos with four round dots on top. There are square Legos. There are arched Legos. A question at the end of the day is, what is it? Is it true? Do you submit to that truth? If you undermine divine authority, you undermine divine agency and divine authority, by treating it as a completely human document. Then you don't have to obey it or believe it. This has some shocking things.