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Who Wrote the Book of Deuteronomy?

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by lismore, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    Hello:wave:

    Was taught that Moses wrote the first five books of the bible, however I read Deuteronomy last night and it goes on for a while after he's dead. If Moses did write it, someone came along later and edited.

    So who wrote it? And when?

    :)
     
  2. cyberlizard

    cyberlizard the electric lizard returns

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    tradition ascribes the ending to Joshua.

    see link here


    Steve

    p.s. unless you believe in a multiplicity of redacteurs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  3. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Economist

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    Modern scholarship generally says that Deuteronomy as we now know it was composed/put together during the reign of Josiah. This mainly comes from something curious in 2 Kings 22:

    This finding of the book of the Law led King Josiah to institute many reforms. The thinking is that the book of the Law that was found in the Temple was none other than Deuteronomy itself. Reason being, because the reasons for the reforms and the reforms which were carried out by Josiah were exactly what was perscribed by Deuteronomy. So the natural conclusion is that the book that was found by the High Priest during the reign of Josiah was Deuteronomy as we now know it.

    This leads to the interesting question of who actually composed the document? What happened that it was lost for so long? If those were the writings of Moses or Joshua, why was it forgotten? Some think that Deuteronomy itself was a product written entirely by Hilkiah and some of the priests and presented to Josiah as an ancient document written by Moses in order for the priests to get the reforms they wanted. There may be some truth to this. But, I don't think it's simply because Hilkiah and some priests just made stuff up out of thin air.

    My thinking is that Deuteronomy as we now have it was probably compiled by a minority of priests during the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah, but they based it on a much older theology and tradition that went back to the days when there was no monarchy in Israel (and so, I think, likely even back to the days in the wilderness at Kadesh or the plains of Moab).

    The reason for their needing to compose Deuteronomy as we now have it and present it to Josiah was due to the fact that the views of Deuteronomy were probably a minority stance taken among many Israelites and a minority of the priests. Recall that Josiah followed up to the finding of the book of the Law by instituiting massive reforms in Judah such as tearing down idols and altars scattered throughout Judah (and archeology has confirmed this). This indicates to me that the views presented in the book of the Law were not held by most Judahites. Many Judahites, including MOST of their kings, were worshiping celestial bodies (2 Kings 17:16; 21:3-5; 23:4-5, 12; Jer 8:2; Zeph 1:5; ) and imagining Yahweh as having a female consort named Asherah (1 Kings 15:13; 16:33; 2 Kings 13:6; 17:16; 18:4; 21:3-7; 23:4-15; Jer 7:18; 44:17-25). It appears from some places that there was a practice of child sacrifice present as well (2 Kings 16:3, 17:17, 21:6, 23:10; Eze 20:31). For Hilkiah, a minority of the priests, and prophets such as Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, such practices were not in accordance with the correct theology and practices for the people of God. They held to a theology and tradition that went back to the days when there was no monarchy; a theology that held that one sole God of Israel had made a covenant with this particular people, required their devotion to Him only, and had instituted certain laws for them to follow.

    The book of Deuteronomy as we now have it though, probably was compiled during the reigns of Hezekiah and/or Josiah. The theology and much of the content in the book was much much older.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  4. Simon_Templar

    Simon_Templar Not all who wander are lost

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    I subscribe to the traditional view that the first five books were written by Moses and the portion after he died was added by Joshua later.

    Moses himself was probably working off of earlier traditions that he compiled in the case of Genesis.

    Before Moses died he passed on the books to Joshua who continued where Moses left off. Joshua then also added his own book, which in turn was finished by others after Joshua died.
     
  5. gratefulgrace

    gratefulgrace Contributor

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    I have always believed Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Is there another author suggested by the OP? Joshua?
     
  6. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

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    Moses wrote the torah.









    Modern scholarship on the matter is based upon unbelief. The scriptures were given by G-d. They were not the effort of people who were making legends and fables about their culture.


    The Torah in Modern Scholarship
     
  7. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Economist

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    The problem with the verses you posted is that the intent of the author's and speakers is not to comment on authorship of the Penteteuch. They take for granted a view that was common in the first century; a view built on tradition. I don't think authorship of the Old Testament was ever an issue in the first century, which means they aren't really going to comment on it.


    Some of it perhaps, but not all. Nor are all modern scholars unbelievers.

    I, for one, don't doubt the inspiration of scripture, nor do I think that if the DH is true that that means it's just a bunch of made up legends and fables. Those conclusions are unwarranted from the truth of the DH.

    That site is woefully inadequate to actually deal with the issue.
     
  8. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    Hello:wave:

    I was just wondering how Moses could have written this last chapter:


    The Death of Moses


    1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, [a] 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it."
    5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him [b] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit [c] of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses. 10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11 who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
     
  9. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

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    There is no complicated answer. How did Moses write about Abraham who lived hundreds of years before he was born ? How did he write about creation when he obviously was not there ? How did the prophets prophesy about the coming of Jesus centuries before it happened ?

    This is not a small or side issue either. The Torah was committed to the jewish people to hand down generation to generation. Our canon of scripture is based upon the faithfulness of this process.


    Why stumble over this point ? The scripture is full of supernatural events.
     
  10. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    Well thanks to everyone who replied. Lots of food for thought there.

    :)
     
  11. gratefulgrace

    gratefulgrace Contributor

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    I always figured Joshua did it as he suceeded Moses as the leader but I don't have any proof or anything. gg
     
  12. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    I was looking at the book of Joshua, e.g here where it says:

    Joshua 4:9
    Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

    'And they are there to this day' seems to suggest that the account was being written after Joshua's time.

    God Bless You:)
     
  13. gratefulgrace

    gratefulgrace Contributor

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