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BIBLICAL ERRANCY DENNIS MCKINSEY EDITOR $9/year for 12 issues 3158 SHERWOOD PARK DRIVE Payable to: DENNIS MCKINSEY SPRINGFIELD, OHIO 45505 The only national periodical focusing on Biblical errors, contradictions, and fallacies, while providing a hearing for apologists ----------------------------------------------------------------------- MOSES AND THE PENTATEUCH (from issues 19 and 20, JUL/AUG 1984) --Many defenders of the Bible vehemently contend that Moses wrote the first five books of the OT (Genesis, Exoduc, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), commonly known as the Pentateuch. They base their belief not only upon historical information but statements by Jesus to the effect that Moses authored the Law, i.e., the Pentateuch, "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law (John 7:19)" and "For the law was given by Moses,...(John 1:17)." Moses could not have been the author, however, because of the large number of verses demonstrating the contrary. The following are prime examples: (a) "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem,...and the Canaanite was THEN in the land (Gen. 12:6)," "...and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled THEN in the land (Gen. 13:7)." Both verses state that the Canaanites were THEN in the land. The work of expelling the Canaanites did not begin until the days of Joshua, after Moses, and did not end until the days of David. Since Gen. 12:6 and 13:7 could not have been written until after they had left the land, which was 450 years after Moses, Moses could not have been the author; (b) "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel (Gen. 36:31)." This passage could only have been written after the first king, Saul (See: 1Sam. 10:24-25), began to reign over the Israelites. It had to have been written after Saul began to rule and thus could not have been written by Moses; (c) "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come (Gen. 49:10)." These words could not have been written before Judah received the sceptre, which was not until David ascended the throne nearly 400 years after the death of Moses; (d) "Moreover, according to Joshua 5:12 they were still eating manna after they had crossed the Jordan River and were encamped in Gilgal; (f) "The first of the first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God (Ex. 23:19)." This could not have been written before the time of Solomon, for God had no house prior to the erection of the temple 447 years after Moses. When David proposed to build God a house, God forbade it and said that he had never lived in a house since they left Egypt ("Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle"--2 Sam. 7:6; (g) "That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you (Lev. 18:28)." How could Moses have written this since he never saw the promised land and the other nations were not driven out until David's time?; (h) And while the children of Israel WERE in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day (Num. 15:32)." How could Moses have written this since it presupposes the Israelites were no longer in the wilderness? This verse says they WERE in the wilderness. The author of this wrote after they had left the wilderness and, thus, could not have been Moses who died in the wilderness; (i) "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what shall be done to him (Num. 15:32- 34)." This says they did not know what to do with a man who gathered sticks on the sabbath because it had not been declared what to do. Yet, in truth, Ex. 31:15 ("Whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death") declared what should be done and Moses, himself, received this law. Thus, Moses could not have written Numbers 15; (j) The following verses appear to have been written by someone other than Moses: "And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that the Lord hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses,....(Num. 15:22-23)," " the Lord commanded Moses (Ex. 39:57, 40:19, 27, 29, 32);" (k) Moses is often referred to in the third person which shows the Pentateuch is a biography not an autobiography. "And the Lord spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai,....(Num. 1:1)," "And the Lord spoke unto Moses....(Num. 2:1, 5:1, 31:1)," "and this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death (Deut. 33:1)," (l) "To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, AS IT IS THIS DAY (Deut. 4:38)." This verse must have been written after Moses died since they did not possess the land as an inheritance until after his demise; (m) "Thou shalt eat it within thy gates....(Deut. 15:22)." The phrase "within thy gates" occurs in the Pentateuch about 25 times. It refers to the gates of the cities of the Israelites, which they did not inhabit until after the death of Moses; (n) "And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee....(Deut. 28:68)." How could Moses have written this when he said earlier in Deut. 17:16 that "You shall never return that way (toward Egypt--Ed.) again." If Moses wrote all of Deuteronomy then he contradicted himself; (o) "And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death (Deut. 33:1)." In this verse Moses is not only spoken of in the third person but in laudatory terms. Moreover, his death is referred to as an event already accomplished; (p) "This they shall give,...half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary....(Ex. 30:13, 24)." Ingersoll noted that Moses could not have written these verses since there was no such thing as a "shekel of the sanctuary" until long after Moses lived. MOSES AND THE PENTATEUCH (Part Two of a Two-Part Series)--Last month's commentary noted a couple of verses (John 1:17 & 7:19) which are often used to prove Moses wrote the Pentateuch, i.e., the Law or Torah. Additional prominent examples are Joshua 8:32 ("And Joshua wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel"), Mark 12:19 ("Master Moses wrote unto us,...."), Rom. 10:5 ("Moses writes...."), John 1:45 ("...of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write...."), and John 5:46-47 ("For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me (Jesus--Ed.): for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"). But just as these verses and many others are cited to prove Moses was the author, substantial evidence exists to prove he was not. Sixteen reasons were given last month and the following are offered in conclusion: (q) "THE BOOK of the law of Moses" (Josh. 8:31, Neh. 8:1). This verse shows that Moses wrote ONE BOOK, if any, not five; (r) "And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgements, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses,...." (1 Kings 2:3). This verse refers to the laws and commandments of Moses but doesn't say he wrote the entire Torah. Moreover, "written in the law of Moses" does not mean Moses did the writing himself; (s) "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son,...nor thy stranger that is within THY GATES" (Ex. 20:10). How could Moses have written this when it implies the author was in Palestine? "Gates" are not applicable to prior wanderings in the wilderness when Moses lived; (t) "The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; AS ISRAEL DID UNTO THE LAND OF HIS POSSESSION, which the Lord gave unto them" (Deut. 2:12). How could Moses have written this when the words presuppose a time when the Israelites were already in possession of Canaan, having expelled its former inhabitants?; (u) "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands" (Gen. 10:5). There were no gentiles until after the Jews became a nation when Israel split off from Judah and became an independent kingdom under Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. The Jews had no distinctive religion until after the days of Soloman; (v) "And Rachel died and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day" (Gen. 35:19-20). Moses never saw Rachel's tomb and there is little likelihood he knew it was standing. Until his dying day he never could look over from the mountain and see the country in which Rachel was buried; (w) "And Sarah did in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan" (Gen. 23:2). Moses couldn't have written this because the city was not called Hebron (a modern name) till Caleb received it after the division of the land and named it Hebron after one of his sons. As Josh. 14:13-15 says, "And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb...Hebron for an inheritance....And the name Hebron before was Kirjath-arba..."; (x) "And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua" (Ex. 24:13). These don't sound like words Moses would have written; (y) "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants...and pursued them unto DAN" (Gen. 14:14) and "the Lord shewed him (Moses--Ed.) all the land of Gilead, unto DAN" (Deut. 34:1). There was no place called Dan until many years after Moses lived. Dan was built after the death of Samson who died 350 years after Moses. The city was originally called Laish. "And 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" (Judges 18:29); (z) "For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews" (Gen. 40:15). Moses could not have written this verse since there were no "Hebrews" in the days of Joseph or of Moses. "Hebrews" could not be applied until they possessed Canaan late in Joshua's time; (aa) "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (Num. 12:3). If Moses wrote this then he couldn't have been very meek. Moreover, Num. 31:17 ("Now therefore kill every male among the little ones and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him") hardly sounds like the command of a meek person; (bb) "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" (Deut. 34:10). This verse not only demonstrates an amazing lack of meekness on the part of Moses in clear violation of Num. 12:3, but appears to have been written after Moses died. In addition, it's difficult to see how Moses could truthfully say he saw God face to face and also write Ex. 33:20 ("Thou canst not see my (God's--Ed.) face: for there shall no man see me and live"); (cc) Probably the most compelling argument that Moses did not author the Torah is found at the end of the last book. "So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab....And he buried him in a valley...but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" (Deut. 34:5-6). How could Moses have described his own death and burial? Some scholars attempt to escape from this dilemma by alleging Joshua wrote the final verses of Deuteronomy. Unfortunately for them this would include Deut. 34:9 which says, "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of Wisdom." It's difficult to see how Joshua could have authored this in light of the fact that if he was full of the spirit of wisdom he certainly did not have the spirit of modesty. Just as important is the fact that by attributing the final verses of Deuteronomy to Joshua, apologists are admitting Moses did not write the entire Torah. Other evidence of an even more technical nature could be presented but isn't necessary. Instead, some general observations are in order. First, Moses nowhere claims to have written the Pentateuch nor does the Bible impute the Torah to him. Only the "law" is attributed to Moses. Secondly, the books are written in the 3rd person. Moses never says, "I did," except when making a speech. Thirdly, the books of the Pentateuch are never ascribed to Moses in the inscriptions of Hebrew manuscripts or in printed copies of the Hebrew Bible; nor are they styled the "Books of Moses" in the Septuagint or the Vulgate. This only occurs in modern translations. Fourthly, the great amount of repetition in the Penta- teuch tends to prove there was more than one author. Things are often introduced as if they had not been referred to before and show differ- ent peculiarities of language. And lastly, there is no important dif- ference between the language of the Pentateuch and that of books written shortly before the return from Babylonian Captivity. If there was an interval of 1,000 years between these writings, it would present an un- paralleled event in the history of languages. No change in 1,000 years.


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