Authorship of the Pentateuch

By Anton Williams, Founder

Authorship and Date of Composition of the Pentateuch

Traditional view and internal evidence supports Moses as the writer of the Pentateuch about 1400 BCE

Liberal view asserts that editors wrote these texts between about 900 BCE-400 BCE

Which view does objective/external and independent data support?

It's objective (not conjecture or subjective) to assert that if one lines up the view of Moses writing the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) to the critics theory of later authors writing centuries (JEDP) later and then evaluate on the basis of objective evidence, the JEDP theory loses 70+ to 0. The implications demonstrates that the JEDP theory of composition of the Pentateuch never occurred. The evidence (which by essence is superior to theory as theory tries to offer explanation of evidence) confirms that Moses wrote the Pentateuch by about 1400 BCE.

  • Not a shred of objective evidence in any ancient writing to JEDP theory's claim. This is sufficient to disprove the JEDP theory as nothing more than what it is demonstrated to be which is subjective conjecture.

Moses writing the Pentateuch is not only stated internally, verified by contemporary eyewitnesses, successor generation authors, rabbinic literature, and other ancient writings through the centuries. For those who wish to refute this, it isn't sufficient to merely claim this isn't true, objective/external evidence to the contrary must be presented

The Pentateuch as a whole existed in the time of Moses and Joshua. Proof is demonstrated on objective evidences by the fact that Joshua 6:25 refers to Rahab as still living at the time of the writing. From the beginning of that book of Joshua until the 6:25 mark, the law of Moses was quoted and referred to as a whole completed work of composition. Furthermore, the individual parts of the Pentateuch are referenced and quoted throughout the first six chapters of Joshua.

  • The whole and part of the Pentateuch are thus demonstrated to have been in existence and attributed to Moses in the generation that Moses lived!

  • Later generations of whom the JEDP supporters claim (with no objective/external evidence) wrote the Law of Moses didn't even claim or assert this. All sources written within 900 BCE - 400 BCE attribute the Pentateuch to Moses around the time of the Exodus (i.e. 1400 BCE)

The objective/external and independent data (over 70 references from various sources in antiquity) makes it clear that Moses wrote the Pentateuch by about 1400 BCE.

The Pentateuch (Law of Moses): In whole and in part

As Joshua 1-6 was written while Rahab was still living (1400BCE-1350BCE) there are several implications that flow from this:

  • Book of the Law existed as a whole at this time- (Joshua 1:8)

  • The Book of the Law existed in the individual parts at this time- (i.e. Joshua 3:10, 4:12-14, Joshua 5:6, Joshua 4:10 which quotes/reference books of Book of the Law)

  • Law existed and completed by 1400 BCE (Joshua 6:25)

  • Moses is the writer of the text (Joshua 1:7)

Passages that demonstrate existence and content of the Pentateuch being written by the 14th century BCE (in accords to Joshua 6:25)

  • Joshua 5:6 quotes from Exodus 3:8

  • Joshua 4:10 references Leviticus 2:4

  • Joshua 4:12-14 quotes Numbers 32:20,25,32-33

  • Joshua 3:10-11 quotes Deuteronomy 7:1

There are also references to the events themselves such as the exodus (Joshua 4:23) and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness (Joshua 5:6) which are recorded in the Pentateuch.