Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch

Dake was very conservative in his approach to Scripture, often defending against various liberal attacks. The following notes, from pp. 82 and 51 of The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, express Dake's view of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy).

Two Objections to Mosaic Authorship (Ex. 17:14)
1. That the arts of writing and literary composition weren't sufficiently advanced to produce the Pentateuch in Moses' day. This objection is unreasonable in view of the facts. There is abundant testimony from the monuments of written records at the time of Moses. The Tel el-Amarna of Egypt and the Babylonian tablets of the reign of Hammurabi (Amraphel of Gen. 14) prove there was writing in the days of Abraham, over 500 years before Moses wrote. The well-known code of Hammurabi contains 282 sections and about 8,000 words; its laws regulated all phases of human life in Abraham's time. Writing was well developed in Moses' day.
2. That the Pentateuch implies a state of religious culture unknown in Moses' day. On the contrary, accounts of times long before Moses show the same religious culture as at the time of Moses. This is proven by the record of Genesis beginning with Abel (Gen. 4), Noah (Gen. 8), Abraham (Gen. 12), and others (Heb. 11).
 
Sixteen Proofs Moses Wrote the Pentateuch
(from the Summary of Genesis)
1. God commanded Moses to write a book (Ex. 17:14; 34:27).
2. Moses did write a book (Ex. 24:4-7; Num. 33:2; Dt. 31:9).
3. He called his book "the book of the covenant" (Ex. 24:7), "the book of this law" (Dt. 28:58, 61); and "this book of the law" (Dt. 29:20-27; 30:10; 31:24-26). It included the whole Pentateuch which was considered by Jews as one book in five sections.
4. Copies of Moses' book of the law were to be made for kings (Dt. 17:18-20).
5. God recognized the book of the law as being written by Moses and commanded it to be the rule of conduct for Joshua (Josh. 1:8; 8:30-35).
6. Joshua accepted the book of the law as being written by Moses and copied it upon two mountains (Dt. 11:26-32; Josh. 8:30-35). He added to the book, perhaps writing the last chapter (Dt. 34) about the death of Moses (Josh. 24:26).
7. Joshua commanded all Israel to obey "the book of the law of Moses" (Josh. 23:6).
8. During the kings it was the law:
• David recognized it (1 Chr. 16:40).
• Solomon was charged by David to keep it (1 Ki. 2:3).
• It was found and obeyed by Josiah and Israel (2 Ki. 22:8 - 23:25; 2 Chr. 34:14 - 35:18).
• Jehosaphat had it taught to all Israel (2 Chr. 17:1-9).
• Joash obeyed it (2 Ki. 12:2; 2 Chr. 23:11, 18).
• Amaziah obeyed it (2 Ki. 14:3-6; 2 Chr. 25:4).
• Hezekiah obeyed it (2 Chr. 30:1-18).
9. Prophets refer to it as God's law written by Moses (Dan. 9:11; Mal. 4:4).
10. Ezra and Nehemiah both ascribe the book of the law to Moses (Ezra 3:2; 6:18; 7:6; Neh. 1:7-9; 8:1, 14, 18; 9:14; 10:28-29; 13:1).
11. Christ ascribed the whole law, all five books of the Pentateuch, to Moses (Lk. 24:27, 44 with Gen. 3:15; 12:1-3; Mk. 12:26 with Ex. 3; and Mk. 7:10 with Ex. 20:12; 21:17. See also Jn. 1:17; 5:46; 7:19, 23).
12. The apostles ascribed the law to Moses (Acts 13:39; 15:1, 5, 21; 28:23).
13. For more than 3,500 years it has been the unified belief of all Jewish scholars and the common people that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Jews from their earliest history never questioned it.
14. Heathen writers-Ticitus, Juvenal, Strabo, Longinus, Prophyry, Julian and others-agree without question that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.
15. Religious leaders among the heathen-Mohammed and others-ascribe it to Moses.
16. Internal evidences prove one author:
• The Pentateuch was written by a Hebrew speaking the Hebrew language and cherishing the sentiments of his nation. Moses fulfilled this requirement.
• It was written by a Hebrew acquainted with Egypt and Arabia, their customs and learning. Since Egyptian learning was carefully concealed from foreigners, and was for priests and the royal family only, Moses was the only known Hebrew who could have fulfilled this requirement (Acts 7:22; Heb. 11:23-29).
• There is an exact correspondence between the narratives and the institutions, showing they both had the same author.
• The agreement in style of the five books proves a single author.
• Moses himself plainly declared that he wrote this law. See Ex. 24:4; Num. 33:2; Dt. 31:9, 22.

To establish proof of authorship for Genesis is to do so for the entire Pentateuch-the first five books of the Bible, called "The Law" by the Jews. These books formed the basis of the Hebrew theocracy. The word Pentateuch means five; the present books were originally one writing in five sections. The separation into five books is thought due to the Alexandrian translators of the Septuagint, from which came the present names of the books as well as the word Pentateuch.

Of all the writings of antiquity, the Pentateuch is the most remarkable. The various subjects it embraces makes it a necessity in the understanding of God's plan for man. It is the foundation of divine revelation to man. Its explanation of the origin of all things, its code of laws, geography, chronology, history, and religion prove it to be a divine work worthy of careful study and acceptance by the whole human race.

The Pentateuch is generally called "the law of Moses," but it is really the law of God. For Moses to be the sole author and originator of this civil and religious system (not to mention the many revelations regarding God's creative and redemptive work), he would have to be immortal: a mere human could not have invented such a work. For comparison, consider the following religious documents:
1. Zend-Avesta, by Zoroaster, about 1200 b.c., the sacred book of the Medes and Persians to revive the ancient Magain religion
2. The Four Vedas, the four sacred books of the Hindus, or the Institutes of Menu, written by Menu, son of Brahma, and containing the code of civil and religious laws of the Indians, written about 1100 b.c.
3. Five Kings, the sacred book of the Chinese, written by Confucious about 1100 b.c.
4. The Pitikes of the Buddhists, written by Gotama, founder of Buddhism about 600 b.c.
5. The Koran, written by Mohammed about a.d. 600
6. The Eddas of Scandinavia, two religious codes containing mythology and traditions, written about a.d. 1100 or 1200.

All these were written about 500 to 2,400 years after Moses, and some are made up partly of quotations from the Old and New Testaments, the Talmud (a Jewish commentary of the O.T.), and the Gospel of Barnabas. Others contain the best sayings of the wise men of the people producing the work; certain ethical, political, and moral aspirations of those people; as well as old traditions, mythological and fantastic tales of gods, their wars, etc.

The sacred books of pagans reveal many erroneous and superstitious ideas which could only be the product of the human mind. While their profitable sayings may have helped in the social life of some in the past, there is little in them that inspires one to righteousness, and nothing that brings a correct understanding of the true and living God. How different are the Pentateuch and the other portions of Scripture which radiate truth like the sun, compared to the candle of these other works!

In the Pentateuch God is the supreme and only King. The priest is His servant, prevented by the law from having earthly inheritance or secular power. The ruler of Israel is God's vice-regent, obliged to rule according to His laws which are not to be changed, added to, or taken from. Despotism and priestcraft revealed in other so-called sacred writings would be impossible where the laws of the Pentateuch were obeyed. Its rites and ceremonies are dignified and impressive, free from the mysteries, divination, witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, omens, and cruel and licentious practices which make pagan rites an abomination to God. The ceremonies of the Pentateuch point to the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the necessity of atonement, and the moral state to which the Creator has promised to raise fallen man. The punishments of the five books are just, and their rewards inspire grateful obedience--evidence of those who love God with all their heart, soul, and might (Dt. 6:5).


Biblical Types
Iniquity of the Fathers
Blessings and Cursings are Conditional
Backsliding