Re: another heresy?

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Dec 08 2005 - 18:59:07 EST

Although the theological and practical import of the Pentateuch for us
is not particularly affected by who wrote it, the Bible does assert
that most of it has its origins with Moses. On the one hand, it seems
rather silly to attribute every word to Moses when there are comments
such as "to this day" that indicate a comment from a later time. On
the other hand, there are serious problems with the attempt to date
large portions to the late monarchy or later, including the veneration
of the Pentateuch by the Samaritans and the constant appeal to the
standards and history of the Pentateuch by the prophets and
chroniclers of pre-exilic Israel and Judah. Furthermore, I know of no
good reason to deny a significant portion of the Pentateuch to Moses
(allowing for such possibilities as someone else doing most of the
writing, later collection and editing, etc.).

The historical veracity of the Bible with regard to Jesus' life,
death, and resurrection is essential to Christianity. Although it is
true that a minor historical mistake in Numbers does not disprove the
resurrection, the basic historicity of the Pentateuch underlies much
of the rest of Scripture. Ironically, the attacks on the integrity
and historicity of Biblical books often resemble young earth or
Intelligent Design attacks on historical sciences in the general
pattern of throwing out evidence based on a particular model one wants
to support.
(Not all YEC nor ID claims involve attacks on historical science as a
category, but some of both do.)

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Thu Dec 8 19:01:03 2005

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