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  • Genesis

    Recently Ive turned my attention to the first books of the old testament. As I was reading them something struck me as very peculiar and that most theologians agree that Genesis was probably written by Moses who as I understand it was around the time of 1200-1300BC. Well something I just realized was that written languages didnt develope until 500-600BC. Now I know the egyptians had the heiroglyphs but it would have taken a 1000 years to write all of Moses stories down as heiroglyphs. So was Genesis and the other five books orally past on through time until they could be written ?

  • #2
    Apparently at least Moses could read.

    Exo 24:12
    (12) And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

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    • #3
      Ge'ez is the original language of mankind. Genesis 11/1 as "Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.

      According to the beliefs of The Church of Ethiopia, it was the era of Henos (Enos) the third generation of Adam that had witnessed the inception of the alphabet. Hence was a faithful and righteous servant of God. He was rewarded for his honest work through a divine gift of the alphabet so that this would serve him as an instrument for codifying the laws. That is, the heavens opened their gates to him and the scriptures were revealed to him. From then onwards, he had used the alphabet as a medium of literature. The script was named 'Fidel', meaning writing.

      The First Book of the bible written by Enoch before the flood. Did you know that The Book of Enoch still part of our Bible?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rationalist View Post
        Recently Ive turned my attention to the first books of the old testament. As I was reading them something struck me as very peculiar and that most theologians agree that Genesis was probably written by Moses who as I understand it was around the time of 1200-1300BC. Well something I just realized was that written languages didnt develope until 500-600BC. Now I know the egyptians had the heiroglyphs but it would have taken a 1000 years to write all of Moses stories down as heiroglyphs. So was Genesis and the other five books orally past on through time until they could be written ?
        Nomadic peoples like the original Israelites are big on oral traditions. Who wants to lug all those tablets around, you know? It would certainly make sense that the books would be put into writing around the time you specified (when Israel/Judah settled as a more agricultural people). In contrast, the peoples east of the Jordan i.e. Gileadites and those of Havvoth Jair retained their nomadic character due to the land there being more "wide open." As a result, its region called Trachonitis (correct me if I'm wrong here anyone) under the Romans still was an undefined mix of roving tribes as late as NT times.

        R. Pfeiffer in History of New Testament Times gives the dating for the Deuteronomic Code as 621 B.C. (you were very close!).

        This pattern repeated itself in later Jewish culture. Jesus refers at times to the "tradition of the elders" or "ancient traditions." These were orally circulated and well known in the time of Christ (at least by the educated), but not codified until 200 A.D. in the Mishnah and 500 A.D. in the Talmud.
        "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
        And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
        Isaiah 6:8

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        • #5
          "Well something I just realized was that written languages didn't develop until 500-600BC."

          From a linguistics website:

          Oldest Written Form
          Some people base their answer on which language got written down first. If you're counting absolute oldest, probably Sumerian or Egyptian wins because they developed a writing system first (both start appearing in about 3200 BC). If you're counting surviving languages, Chinese is often cited (first written in 1500 BC), but Greek is a possible tie because it was written in Linear B beginning ca. 1500 BC.*

          From ibs.org:

          In what language was the Bible first written?
          The first human author to write down the biblical record was Moses. He was commanded by God to take on this task, for Exodus 34:27 records God's words to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." And what language did he use? He wrote in his native language, called Hebrew.

          Hebrew is one of a group of languages known as the Semitic languages which were spoken throughout that part of the world, then called Mesopotamia, located today mainly in Iraq. Their alphabet consisted of 22 letters, all consonants. (Imagine having an alphabet with no vowels! Much later they did add vowels.)

          Almost the entire Old Testament was written in Hebrew during the thousand years of its composition. But a few chapters in the prophecies of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah were written in a language called Aramaic. This language became very popular in the ancient world and actually displaced many other languages. Aramaic even became the common language spoken in Israel in Jesus' time, and it was likely the language He spoke day by day. Some Aramaic words were even used by the Gospel writers in the New Testament.
          Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Biastai View Post
            Nomadic peoples like the original Israelites are big on oral traditions. Who wants to lug all those tablets around, you know?
            But that's exactly what they did. The tablets with the Commandments on them, were put into the ark of the covenant, and they took it with them where ever they went.

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            • #7
              Actually, given recent language study, it is believed that written language was actually in existence around 4000 BCE. There is then absolutely no problem in claiming Moses wrote around 1300 BCE.

              Originally posted by Enoch365 View Post
              The First Book of the bible written by Enoch before the flood. Did you know that The Book of Enoch still part of our Bible?
              Sorry, but we (protestants) do not believe that the book of Enoch is cannonical. Roman Catholics asserted at the Council of Trent that this book is part of their canon.

              This book was written, along with all other apocryphal literature, during the intertestamental period, approximately 400 BCE-CE 60. The book of Enoch was written by a Jew who affixed Enoch's name to the book. No branch of Protestantism holds this book to be in the canon.

              The first book of the Bible written down was one of the books of the Pentatuech (we don't know exactly what order Moses wrote the initial forms in).

              With Regards,
              Levin
              “The Bible is essentially an open, artistic, imaginative narrative of God’s staggering care for the world, a narrative that will feed and nurture into obedience that builds community precisely by respect for the liberty of the Christian man or woman.”

              -Walter Brueggemann

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              • #8
                Originally posted by livingword26 View Post
                But that's exactly what they did. The tablets with the Commandments on them, were put into the ark of the covenant, and they took it with them where ever they went.
                Sure, I don't doubt they had them on stone. I was referring to the whole Pentateuch. This ark was only a cubic cubit wasn't it?

                400 B.C. is a date I've come across a lot for complete codification of the Pentateuch. Some codification was most likely catalyzed by the rediscovery of the Law under Josiah's reign seeing that the Chronicler describes that time as one of intensely repentant recovery of something almost as good as lost. Much of its contents appear to have been largely unknown to the peoples of the time. They tore their robes in sorrow after reading the Law realizing how much they've been disobeying the Lord.
                "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
                And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
                Isaiah 6:8

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Biastai View Post
                  Sure, I don't doubt they had them on stone. I was referring to the whole Pentateuch. This ark was only a cubic cubit wasn't it?

                  400 B.C. is a date I've come across a lot for complete codification of the Pentateuch. Some codification was most likely catalyzed by the rediscovery of the Law under Josiah's reign seeing that the Chronicler describes that time as one of intensely repentant recovery of something almost as good as lost. Much of its contents appear to have been largely unknown to the peoples of the time. They tore their robes in sorrow after reading the Law realizing how much they've been disobeying the Lord.
                  The Ten Commandments were written on stone (and also on our stony hearts ) by God Himself, and placed in the ark. But the word "book" appears 188 times in Scripture, and refers to scrolls. Moses wrote on scrolls--and camels can carry a whole lot of scrolls.

                  Jews are sometimes referred to as "People of the Book"--not "people of the tablets." That would be pharmacists.
                  Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SIG View Post
                    The Ten Commandments were written on stone (and also on our stony hearts ) by God Himself, and placed in the ark. But the word "book" appears 188 times in Scripture, and refers to scrolls. Moses wrote on scrolls--and camels can carry a whole lot of scrolls.

                    Jews are sometimes referred to as "People of the Book"--not "people of the tablets." That would be pharmacists.
                    Authors writing the "book" would naturally use the word "book," wouldn't they? But let's just agree to disagree (whatever that actually means). Information I've come across has convinced me for the time being that the Pentateuch is a codification by the Jews in the time of Ezra. The Jews have shown this same pattern afterwards by orally circulating the "tradition of the elders" and codifying them centuries later (my first post in this thread). You believe Moses penned all 5 books (related question: do you think Joshua wrote about Moses' death?).

                    That's totally alright with me. I apologize if I sounded as though I wanted to push this opinion on others.
                    "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
                    And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
                    Isaiah 6:8

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SIG View Post
                      Jews are sometimes referred to as "People of the Book"--not "people of the tablets." That would be pharmacists.

                      That is what you call a "zinger"

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                      • #12
                        I believe Moses wrote the first 5 books of the OT between 1450 and 1400 BC
                        Therefore we have the accurate understanding of the creation account
                        since other civilizations wrote theirs after many years of oral tradition, Moses
                        wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I think the Babylonians wrote theirs in
                        2200 BC if not older.

                        But wasn't the oldest book of the Bible Job and it would have been written
                        by Job in 2,000 BC since he is dated to come from the time of the
                        patriarchs?

                        RJ

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                        • #13
                          Thanks very much for everyone's reply. So am I to understand that there was a writing system that allowed Moses to write all the books in his life span?

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                          • #14
                            Yes. There was writing around in the time of Moses.

                            Where did you get your initial date from, out of interest?
                            Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

                            My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rationalist View Post
                              Recently Ive turned my attention to the first books of the old testament. As I was reading them something struck me as very peculiar and that most theologians agree that Genesis was probably written by Moses who as I understand it was around the time of 1200-1300BC. Well something I just realized was that written languages didnt develope until 500-600BC. Now I know the egyptians had the heiroglyphs but it would have taken a 1000 years to write all of Moses stories down as heiroglyphs. So was Genesis and the other five books orally past on through time until they could be written ?
                              The people in scripture were people of the Word (they listened to Moses before Moses wrote anything) before they were people of the book.

                              Fact: Hebrew is a Semitic language. Abraham was from Ur which was a literate culture associated with Babylon. We have archeological proof of the existence of written language in stone, such as the "code of Hammurabi/Khummarabi", which is written laws of the land of the time, and which parallel the Israelite laws in many respects. Job refers to writing, on what to write with (iron pen) and on (stone). (Lead is a soft stone that can easily be written on with an iron pen)
                              I could give more archeological evidence if needed.

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