[b-hebrew] Who wrote the books of the Bible

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Oct 30 01:58:24 EDT 2007


The list of bibilcal writers according to the Rabbis (Hazal) is recorded in
a braitha from hundreds of years after the completion of the latest of these
books, and is largely based on the Rabbis' need for the authors to have been
recognized prophets (since the books are "the word of God"). This tradition
and the methodology which it is based upon is not accepted by the majority
of modern scholars, for the same reasons that I have already stated in
previous posts. Most of the books themselves do NOT claim to have been
written by those people. In any case, even if a book like Samuel is based
upon an earlier written source dating back to the days of David (which is
possible, but in no way proven), it was definately "redacted" by a
late-monarchic and then by an exilic editor. Which means that the book AS WE
HAVE IT is a product of a much later period, and we can only guess about its
actual sources.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint and quite a few other sources,
including rabbinic quotes, show that during the Second Temple period there
were more than one (or even two) "versions" or "editions" of the various
books in circulation, and that the "canonical status" of many of the books
was not agreed on by all authorities. The more-or-less final "canonization"
of the Hebrew Bible only took place after the destruction of the Second

There are lots of books you can read on the subject.

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 5:06 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] RUTH Re: Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic

> But the notes from this Table - I can't quote them all - I quoted
> some of them in parentheses - use the word 'redacted' as a synonym
> for 'wrote' and/or 'transcribed'
> Here is my (partial) list:
> Pentateuch redacted by Moshe  (the last 8 verses of the Torah, which
> refer to Moshe's death, were either written by Moshe be'dima - with
> tears - or by Joshua)
> Joshua redacted by Joshua - the notes say, "The book of Joshua was
> written by Joshua, through Joshua 24:29 (which refers to Joshua's
> death), and was completed by Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon HaCohen
> )Bava Basra  15a)
> Judges redacted by Samuel (Samuel wrote Judges and Samuel I, until I
> Samuel 28:3, which refers to Samuel's death.  The remainder was
> completed by Gad haChozeh and Natan HaNavi0
> Kings redacted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah wrote Jeremiah, Kings and Eichah)
> Isaiah redacted by Anshei Chizkiah (the scholars of King Chizkiah's
> generation, who survived Chizkiah by a number of years, transcribed
> Isaiah's prophecies after he was slain by Menashe (Yevamos 49b)
> Jeremiah redacted by Jeremiah
> Yechezkiel redacted by Anshei Knesset HaGedolah
> Trei Asar redacted by Anshei Knesset HaGedolah
> Psalms redacted by King David and Ten Elders (the notes name these ten 
> Elders)
> Song of Songs redacted by Anshei Chizkiah (Song of Songs,
> Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs were written by King Solomon, and were
> transcribed by Anshei Chizkiah (see Proverbs, 25:1)
> OK, I'm not going to finish - you get the picture...
> Shoshanna Walker
>> QUESTION:  What does "Redacted" mean?
>> Shoshanna
> Edited.
> Karl W. Randolph.
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