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Thread: Did Moses write about his own death?

  1. #1
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    Did Moses write about his own death?

    Deuteronomy 34:5-7
    And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to his day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
    Would it be wrong to believe that Moses could not have possibly written this part of Deuteronomy?
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  2. #2
    No, it wouldn't be wrongful to believe that. I also believe that someone other than Moses wrote about Moses' death. There are many indications within the text of Genesis-Deuteronomy that notations or editions were made at a point long after Moses' death.

    Deuteronomy 1.5 and 4.41, for example, are written from the perspective of someone who remembers from history that Moses was on the other side of the Jordan River. Moses never crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, but this writer clearly was living on the side of the Jordan River that Moses never reached... which inherently means that the author was making either an edition to the text after Moses' death, or that the book as a whole was written after Moses' death. In some parts of Genesis (e.g. 12.6; 13.7) the writer indicates that "at that time the Canaanites were in the Land". The grammar inherently implies that, at the time of the writer, the Canaanites were no longer in the Land of Israel, which was only true long after the death of Moses.

    Personally, I have no problem with the idea that Genesis-Deuteronomy were edited or written after Moses' death, if that happens to be the case. It doesn't make the history recorded within the books untrue, and it doesn't mean they aren't the "books of Moses" since, after all, 4/5 of the books are about Moses.

  3. #3
    Interestingly, the book of Joshua is anonymous, or the author unknown, while Joshua would have certainly been a witness to the events surrounding Moses' death.

    Key portions of Joshua, or events recorded n the book, happened after his death.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Christ Warrior View Post
    Deuteronomy 34:5-7 Would it be wrong to believe that Moses could not have possibly written this part of Deuteronomy?
    No, it would not be wrong to believe that Moses could not have possibly written that part of Deuteronomy. The first five books of the Old Testament include many quotations attributed to Moses, but the books themselves were written and edited over a period of centuries by at least several different writers.

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    Ok, I see. Thanks for the answers.
    Jesus Lives
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    Iesu wa ikite iru

    PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD! (Eph 6:11)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christ Warrior View Post
    Deuteronomy 34:5-7 Would it be wrong to believe that Moses could not have possibly written this part of Deuteronomy?
    I've always believed Joshua wrote that part. As Moses had died.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemand View Post
    No, it would not be wrong to believe that Moses could not have possibly written that part of Deuteronomy. The first five books of the Old Testament include many quotations attributed to Moses, but the books themselves were written and edited over a period of centuries by at least several different writers.
    In believe the first five books were written by Moses. I don't think there was a lot of editing going on. Through the centuries the language may have changed. And so the words may have been updated a little. But most if not all of the books were written by who tradition says they were written by.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    (2 Peter 1:20-21)

  8. #8
    1. Tradition does not trump Scripture itself. Just because tradition says Moses wrote those books, doesn't mean it's true.

    2. Where does Scripture (the authority on the matter) say that Moses himself wrote the first five books of the Bible? They're called the "books of Moses", or the "Law of Moses", but that doesn't mean that Moses actually wrote the books that we have... it simply means they're about him, and the revelation given in them was first revealed to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nzyr View Post
    In believe the first five books were written by Moses. I don't think there was a lot of editing going on. Through the centuries the language may have changed. And so the words may have been updated a little. But most if not all of the books were written by who tradition says they were written by.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    (2 Peter 1:20-21)
    Have you read the commentary on Deuteronomy by S. R. Driver? In § 4 of his lengthy Introduction, Driver discusses in great detail (43 pages) the “Authorship, Date, and Structure” of the Book of Deuteronomy.

    The Late S. R. Driver was Regius Professor of Hebrew, and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Hebrew language. Additionally, he was also one of the three original editors of the International Critical Commentary series and one of the three compilers of what is commonly known as the Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon.

    The technical literature on the Book of Deuteronomy is massive. In his commentary, Driver painstakingly examines and analyzes the huge amount of data available to him in the latter part of the 19th century. Driver’s commentary on Deuteronomy was a milestone in the study of Deuteronomy and was first published in 1895. In the following 115 years, hundreds upon hundreds of studies have been published on Deuteronomy, and the evidence against the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy is overwhelming.

    Driver’s Commentary has continuously been in print for 115 years and is currently available new for $209.48.

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