[b-hebrew] Author of the Torah
Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu
Fri Jul 29 22:59:13 EDT 2005
On Jul 29, 2005, at 7:12 PM, Read, James C wrote:
I am interested in hearing your model that would explain how the nation
of isreal was duped into believing the scroll was authored by Moshe'.
I don't think anybody was "duped." I think that the fact that the Torah
itself says that Moses wrote *some* law books, combined with the fact
that both Torah and tradition depict Moses as Israel's great lawgiver
(well, mediator of laws from YHWH), were over the course of many years
of tradition "generalized" in popular thinking so that Moses came to be
regarded as the author of the entire Torah, even though the Torah itself
makes that claim for only parts of it.
A very similar thing happens even today to my students. Many of them
come into class with the presupposition that because David was
remembered in the Bible as a harpist, and because David's name appears
at the top of some of the psalms, therefore King David wrote the book of
Psalms. Yet that is not what the text attests. My students are taking
part of the data and generalizing it beyond what is warranted. I think
the same thing happened in the traditional reception of the Torah.
R. Christopher Heard
Assistant Professor of Religion
Malibu, California 90263-4352
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