The Pentateuch

While there is some disagreement between scholars over the authorship of the first five books of the Old Testament (The Pentateuch) it seems fairly obvious from internal sources that Moses was indeed the writer. Growing up in Pharaoh’s house and being educated by the finest teachers in Egypt, Moses was well able to write (Acts 7:22). Throughout Scripture we come across confirmation to this end.

Evidence within the Pentateuch

The first five books continually refer to the fact that Moses wrote what God commanded him to so that he could read these words to the people, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua …” (Exodus ~7:4), “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and all the judgements …” (Exodus 24:4), “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words …” (Exodus 34:27), “And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD” (Numbers 33:2), “Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:22). These references prove that Moses wrote down exactly what God commanded him to write, but he also recorded details of the Israelites journeyings around the wilderness. He continued to write up until they entered into the Promised Land. The Pentateuch contains many more evidences that Moses was the author.

Evidence from other Old Testament Books

God spoke to Joshua and said, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee …” (Joshua 1:7). Joshua not only remembered the words of Moses but he was able also to copy a record of the Law upon stone, “He wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel” (Joshua 8:32). For Joshua to do this he must have had a written record of the law, also he ascribed the authorship of the law to Moses.

David charged his son Solomon to “Keep the law of the LORD thy God, to walk in His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgements, and His testimonies, as is written in the law of Moses …” (1 Kings 2:3).

In His prayer Daniel prayed over the failings of the people of Israel, saying, “Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him” (Daniel 9:11).

Ezra spoke about the burnt offerings that were commanded in “the law of Moses, the man of God” (Ezra 3:2), and later in 6:18 he refers to “the book of Moses” .Nehemiah, who worked alongside Ezra in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, also remarks about “the book of the law of Moses” (Nehemiah 8:2)

The last book of the Old Testament also fittingly makes reference to the Pentateuch. In it Malachi calls it “the law of Moses.”

Again, there is overwhelming proof inside the Old Testament for ascribing its first five books to Moses and that Moses actually put down in writing what we read there.

Evidence from the Lord Jesus Christ

There can be a no greater source for proving the authorship of the Pentateuch than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself If He believed and taught that Moses wrote these books then we do not really need further persuasion. Throughout His ministry Christ had ample opportunity to quash the idea that Moses actually wrote the law, but instead He reaffirms this belief. In fact He makes reference to all five books as being the work of Moses.

Genesis: In Matthew 19:1-9 Jesus makes reference to Adam and Eve being joined together as husband and wife exactly as Moses described.

Exodus: Jesus said, “Now that the dead are raised, even as Moses showeth at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Luke 20:27 with Exodus 3:6).

In Mark 7:10 we find Jesus stating, “For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and whoso curseth his father or mother let him die the death” (see Exodus 20:12 & 21:17).

 Leviticus: “See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priests, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony unto them” (Matthew 8:4 with Leviticus 14:34, 10).

 Numbers: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14 with Numbers 21:9).

 Deuteronomy: Mark 7:10 (as above) with Deuteronomy 5:16.

 One of the strongest statements of the Lord concerning the Mosaic authorship is found in John 5:4547, where He says, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” There are a number of things that Moses wrote in reference to the Lord:

 1: Genesis 3:15 – The coming of the one who would destroy the serpent.

2: Genesis 49:10 – The Coming of Shiloh, the Lawgiver, of Judah.

3: Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 – The coming of the Prophet.

 After His resurrection Jesus also speaks of the law as being of Moses, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44).

Evidence from other New Testament Sources

The Sadducees: “Master, Moses wrote unto us …” (Mark 12:19).

The apostle John: “For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The Apostle Paul: “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them” (Romans 10:5 with Leviticus 18:5); “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of an ox that treadeth out the corn” (1 Corinthian 9:9 with Deuteronomy 25:4).

Philip: “We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).

Luke: “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished …” (Luke 2:22).

There can be little doubt that the Bible writers themselves believed that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. It would be safer to stand on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples and prophets than to accept the teachings and scepticism of men.