[b-hebrew] Ark of the Covenant

MarianneLuban at aol.com MarianneLuban at aol.com
Fri Aug 20 16:42:46 EDT 2004

In a message dated 8/20/2004 11:57:36 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
hholmyard at ont.com writes:

> Dear Marianne,
> >That the BOG was written a thousand years before the Septuagint is a huge
> >assumption--based on what?
> HH: It's true that it is harder to find evidence that Moses wrote 
> Genesis than it is to support that he wrote the rest of the 
> Pentateuch, but Genesis is somewhat needed in order to understand the 
> rest of the Torah. Exodus takes up where Genesis left off. Since the 
> synagogue reading system goes back to New Testament times, it is 
> interesting that Acts says the following about what was read:
> Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach 
> him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
> HH: To Moses is attributed the authorship of the Torah.
> Here is a statement about Jesus Christ's understanding of Mosaic 
> authorship (slightly adapted):
> ENUINE.pdf+Mosaic+authorship+of+genesis&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
> He acknowledged that the set of books containing
> Exodus 3:2-6 was written by Moses (Mark 12:26). He also testified to the 
> Mosaic
> authorship of the Pentateuch by saying that the contents of Moses' 
> and the prophets'
> writings were more authoritative than a message to the world from a 
> person who was
> raised from the dead (Luke 16:29-31). Following His resurrection He 
> confirmed the three
> divisions of the Old Testament as they stood in the Hebrew text. He 
> said, "These are the
> words which I spoke to 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" (Luke 24:44). Without a doubt the "law of Moses" here 
> refers to the
> Pentateuch; "the prophets" to the former and latter prophets; and 
> "the Psalms" to the
> Hagiographa or Holy Writings. Aside from His calling the Pentateuch 
> "the law of Moses,"
> Christ also called it "the law" (Matt. 5:17; 22:40), "the book of 
> Moses" (Mark 12:26),
> and even "Moses" (Luke 16:29,31; John 7:19).
> HH: Other ancient authorities attributed the authorship of Genesis to Moses:
> http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_tora.htm
> Ancient Jewish and Christian writers, such as Ecclesiasticus, 
> Josephus, Philo, and Origen were essentially in full agreement that 
> the Pentateuch was written solely by Moses. The Mishnah and the 
> Talmud also confirm this. Tradition during the first millennium of 
> Christian history agrees with this belief. 

Okay--but all these people lived--and the NT was written after CE.  What 
means did they have of knowing if Moses wrote the Torah?  Did they even have a way 
of detecting the anachronisms in it?  There was no Egyptology or Biblical 
archaeology then.  They had a tradition--but sometimes tradition can be wrong.

> >   To recap--I said earlier that I found it strange that
> >the name of the pharaoh Joseph served was forgotten--but that the names of 
> a
> >captain of his guard and the priest of On (Heliopolis) were not.  Why 
> should
> >these have even been recalled at all?  A midrash even assigns a name to the
> >lady who attempted to seduce Joseph--Zuleika!  I can't even think of 
> >a reason why
> >it should even have been recalled that the seduction attempt was made on
> >Joseph.
> HH: It is important in showing the character of Joseph. I appreciated 
> the rest that you wrote but cannot respond to it. R. K. Harrison 
> found no other real parallels between the "Tale of Two Brothers" and 
> the Joseph story apart from this one incident of the attempted 
> seduction. By the dating of Eugene H. Merrill in his book Kingdom of 
> Priests (Baker, 1987, p. 31), the birthdate of Joseph was 1916 B.C. 
> By that dating he would have been contemporaneous with Sinuhe, if the 
> latter existed. Harrison says that Sinuhe supposedly comes from the 
> time of c. 1900 B.C.

I don't know how anybody pinpoints the birthdate of Joseph as 1916.  I would 
certainly like to see the rationale.  The dating of Sinuhe is correct.


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