[b-hebrew] logograms--an ode to Hebrew

FPutnam at biblical.edu FPutnam at biblical.edu
Thu Dec 23 14:58:15 EST 2004

There is no direct biblical basis for the claim that Moses wrote Genesis. 
Nor can Christians appeal to the New Testament, since Moses is never 
referred to as the source or author of Genesis, although he is associated 
with the rest of the Torah (Ex - Dt) by Jesus, the Evangelists, and Paul.

We cannot infer Mosaic authorship from such passages as the people's 
request to hear the "document of the teaching of Moses" (Ne 8.1; later 
called "the teaching of God" (Ne 8.8)), since the response of the Levites 
and people suggests that they were reading Lv 23, and since it is unlikely 
that they would have had or used scrolls as large as the entire Torah 
(*if* modern Torah-scrolls are any guide to size).

It seems that Genesis, like Joshua - 2 Kings and other works, is thus 
anonymous, connected to Moses due (at least in part) to the rabbinic 
requirement that biblical books be written by prophets, an ascription that 
was then accepted by the early Church.



Frederic Clarke Putnam, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament
Biblical Theological Seminary
Hatfield, Pennsylvania

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