[b-hebrew] Author of the Torah

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Jul 29 22:10:45 EDT 2005

I completely agree with the multiple semantic usage of the word Torah 
but gave a short answer for the sake of brevity. However, one thing 
you have conceded is that at one point it had the usage of being a 
proper name for the scroll of Moshe'.

What date do you give for the general acceptance of such a usage?

Your reasoning of a date for the SP has been duely taken on board and is 
by no means conclusive and does not adequately demonstrate that each kingdom
did not have its own Torah. Deuteronomy 17:14-15 shows that the future kings 
were to make their own copies of the law. While the two kingdoms enjoyed 
relative periods of freedom to the point where they were able to share 
resources in military campaigns, only at a far stretch of the imagination 
can you imagine one king saying to the other 'Let's get together to make 
our copies of the law. We can add some old legends around this small law book 
and get the people to accept it all by saying that Moshe' wrote it. If we 
are both in on it then it will be difficult for people to refiute it.'
It is highly evident that each king would have made his own copy and 
furthermore such copies would have had to have measured up to the tests of 
the sopherim who employed methods of counting to ensure the authenticity of 
copied texts.

I have taken on board your examples of Egyptian literature and in fact Moshe' 
'was instructed in all the wisdom'. However, one thing you neglect to take 
into consideration is that he had to spend 40 years as a lowly shepherd before 
Yahowah would accept him as the deliver of his people. In fact, after 40 years
of training Moshe's outlook on life had changed so drastically from the 'I've 
just killed an Egyptian guard. Now's the time to strike!' to the meek and humble 
'I can't speak to Pharaoh! My tongue gets tied!'. Hence, Egyptian patterns of prose 
are hardly the standard to go by for the normal way of Yah's prophets. In fact, 
the standard is Moshe' himself who out of respect for and desire to glorify his 
god rather than himself, chose to write in the 3rd person in order to detract 
attention from himself. This is a pattern we see copied in many other prose books. 
This pattern of humility reached its apex with the gospel of John who even refuses 
to make mention of his own name on many occasion. While in the *prophecy* of revelation 
he immediately identifies himself and makes heavy usage of the first person, as does 
also the prophecy of Jeremiah and of Ezekiel.

Another mistake we often make is to speak of the Torah as five books. This idea was 
only ever first introduced in the LXX and is an abstract separation, placed at convenient
points that made the gigantic scroll more easily manageable. Instead of asking why there is 
a first person direct discourse amid a third person narrative in the book of Deuteronomy 
we would do better to ask ourselves why is there a first person direct discourse amid 
a third person narrative at the end of the Torah.
I,personally,do not find this a difficult concept to handle and have used this style on 
many occasion myself. As, I am sure, have many other authors.

Your claims that tradition does not unanimously confer authorship to Moshe' are based 
on very relatively new ideas, which were highly contravertial viewpoints and so this 
argument cannot possibly be taken seriously. If you had evidence that such was the case 
before the exile then I would happily consider your arguments here but for the moment 
I see them as worthless for the discussion at hand.

Anyway, back to the original question. Soon what basis do you retain that Moshe was 
not the original author apart from the difficulties we are having with attestation?
-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Heard, Christopher
Sent: Sat 7/30/2005 2:06 AM
To: b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Author of the Torah

First, thank you for your kind consideration my comments re the "Torah
of Moses" in Joshua 8.

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