Authorship of the Pentateuch

By James M. Rochford

Why do modern critics deny that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, when the book claims to be written by Moses himself and the rest of the Bible assumes Mosaic authorship?

Let’s back up: The Pentateuch (e.g. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) claims to have been written by Moses. Indeed, the text states that Moses wrote “all the words of the Lord” (Ex. 24:4). Moreover, the rest of the Pentateuch is claimed to have been written by Moses, as well (Ex. 17:14; 34:27; Num. 33:2; Deut. 31:9). Throughout the OT, various authors believed Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Josh. 1:7; 8:31-32; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; Dan. 9:11; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 13:1; Mal. 4:4).

In the New Testament, we discover the same claim. Jesus believed Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch (Lk. 24:44; Jn. 5:45-47). Specifically, Jesus affirmed that Moses wrote Genesis (Jn. 7:22), Exodus (Mk. 7:10; 12:26; Lk. 20:37; Jn. 7:19), Leviticus (Mt. 8:4), Numbers (Mt. 5:33; Jn. 3:14), and Deuteronomy (Mt. 19:8). The apostles also assume that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Acts 3:22; 15:21; 21:21; 26:22; 28:23; Rom. 10:5, 19; 1 Cor. 9:9; 2 Cor. 3:15). Because Moses was trained in the Egyptian court, he is the most likely candidate to write the book (Ex. 2:10; Acts 7:22). The other Jews were uneducated slaves in Egypt, and they were most likely illiterate.

What do critics argue about the authorship?

The JEDP theory (sometimes called the Graf-Wellhausen or Documentary Hypothesis) was developed in the 18th and 19th century by critical scholars of the Bible. Under this view, the Pentateuch was not written by Moses. Instead, it was the result of a later author/editor, who pieced multiple sources together from multiple different groups of Jewish people. Among these sources were:

J: From the German “Jahweh” or Yahwist source (dated ~850 BC).

E: From the Elohist source. Northern kingdom (~750 BC).

D: From the Deuteronomistic source. Southern kingdom (~621 BC).

P: From the Priestly source. Post-exilic (~450 BC).

This view is still the dominant view in modern universities today—though it has undergone various revisions. From this perspective, the entire Pentateuch wasn’t written in the 1400’s BC by Moses; rather, the book wasn’t finished until around 400 BC—over a millennium after it claims to have been written.

Why is this important?

The Pentateuch claims to have been written by Moses in the 15th century BC. But this critical view holds that the book was stitched together by various religious communities for centuries, and it wasn’t completed until around 400 BC. Moreover, the OT and NT authors affirm that the Pentateuch was written by Moses. These statements would include the affirmations given by Jesus himself that Moses was the author. If the JEDP theory is true, then much is at stake regarding the truthfulness of Scripture and the reliability of Jesus and the apostles.

Internal Evidence

OT authors affirm the history of the Pentateuch. If the Pentateuch was written late, then why do the later prophets reconstruct the key events? It seems that the Pentateuch had been ingrained into the Hebrew culture for centuries before the rest of the OT, and these later authors viewed the Pentateuch as well-established and well-known. The prophets mention:

  • The Garden of Eden (Isa. 51:3)
  • Noah (Isa. 54:9)
  • Abraham (Ezek. 33:24; Isa. 29:22)
  • Sodom (Ezek. 16:46ff; Zeph. 2:9; Hos. 11:8)
  • Jacob buying land (Josh. 24:32)
  • The Exodus (Hos. 11:1; Mic. 6:4; Ezek. 20:5-7; Amos 2:10)
  • Israel’s history (Ps. 78, 105, 106, 135, 136)
  • The plagues in Egypt (Amos 4:10)
  • The Ark of the Covenant (1 Chron. 15:15).

Many, many other aspects of the Pentateuch’s history could be listed. Does it make sense that the prophets were stringing together various parts of the Pentateuch—even though this writing wasn’t solidified? Or does it make more sense to hold that the Pentateuch had been well-established and well-known for a very long time before the prophets wrote? All of these throwaway allusions to the Pentateuch seem to affirm that these books preceded the prophets by a very long time.

The Criterion of Embarrassment. Moses isn’t portrayed as a particularly powerful or charismatic leader. He is portrayed as an old, cowardly, and unbelieving murderer with a speech impediment. Moses killed an Egyptian and buried him in the sand (Ex. 2:12), and he pled with God to “please send someone else” (Ex. 4:13 NIV). He was “slow of speech and tongue” (Ex. 4:10 NIV). Is this really the type of person you would claim was the leader of the Hebrews and the author of the book?

Additionally, the actions of the Patriarchs are greatly opposed to the Law. Abraham marries his half-sister, which was forbidden by the Law of Moses (Lev. 18:9; 20:17; Deut. 27:22). If a later author/editor compiled all of this together, why would he paint Abraham in such a poor light? This would have the founder of the Israelites breaking the legal system. This would a political and legal embarrassment.

Egyptian Evidence

If the author of Exodus had truly lived in Egypt (as the text claims), then we should expect him to be familiar with Egyptian culture and language. A later author would not have these influences or know this ancient culture. Remarkably, this is exactly what we do find when we read through the Pentateuch.

Egyptian Names

Various names fill the pages of the Pentateuch. Yet, many of these names are Egyptian—not Hebrew. For instance, the name Pithom (“the house of Atum”), Potipher (“the gift of Ra”), Asenath (“the favorite of Neith”), and Joseph’s title Zaphenath-pa’neah (Gen. 41:45 “Nourisher of the land of the living one”) are all Egyptian in origin.[1] In fact, even Moses’ name “is generally considered to be Egyptian in origin.”[2]

Egyptian Terms

Potiphar made Joseph the “overseer of his house” (Gen. 39:4), and this title was Egyptian in origin—not Hebrew.[3] Moreover, when Moses describes Pharaoh gathering his “magicians” together, he uses the Egyptian term—not the Hebrew term (Gen. 41:8).[4] Egyptologist James Hoffmeier writes, “The Moses episode clearly is set in Egypt and six of the key terms used in Exodus 2:3 are of Egyptian origin, not Babylonian. The words basket, bulrush, pitch, reed, river and (river) banks all have Egyptian cognates. This factor strongly reflects the Egyptian setting and origin of the biblical story.”[5]

Scholars observe that the Pentateuch “uses a greater percentage of Egyptian words than elsewhere in the Old Testament.”[6] In the Exodus and narratives of the Wilderness Wandering, we find 27 Egyptian loanwords borrowed from the period of 1550-1200 BC (i.e. words borrowed from the Egyptian language). Meanwhile, the entire Old Testament only contains 51 Egyptian loanwords. Why the high percentage in this rather short section of Scripture? This fits with the idea that the author was highly influenced by Egypt.[7]

Egyptian Environment

Egyptian plants and animals. The author of the Pentateuch describes plants and animals that exist in Egypt. These include the acacia tree, tahash skins (Ex. 25:5; 36:19), antelope (Deut. 14:5), and the rock badger (Lev. 11:5).[8]

Egyptian topography. When Lot sees the Jordan Valley, the author describes this well-known location by comparing it to “the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar” (Gen. 13:10). The “exact location of Zoar is not known,” but it is likely “south or southeast of the Dead Sea.”[9] How odd that the author would describe a well-known place like the Jordan Valley by comparing it to an Egyptian route on the way to an obscure region south of the Dead Sea! Why would the author use Egyptian details to describe Israel—that is, unless he actually grew up in Egypt (not Israel!) as the Pentateuch claims?

Egyptian cities. The author compares well-known Hebrew cities like “Hebron” by comparing them to Egyptian cities like “Zoan” (Num. 13:22). Elsewhere, the author feels the need to tell his audience that Shechem is a city in the land of Canaan (Gen. 33:18). Again, this is utterly bizarre for a later author writing from within Israel. This would be like a modern American telling you that New York City is in the United States of America. Details like this would be obvious realities to Jewish people who had occupied Canaan for centuries.

Egyptian Culture

Joseph dies at an age that was considered a blessing to the Egyptians. Joseph lived for 110 years (Gen. 50:22). Incidentally, this was the ideal life span for an Egyptian, and it was symbolic for living a life of wisdom or blessing. Dozens of references record Egyptian kings living to 110 years old, which was considered a “blessed” age to die.[10] This demonstrated to the surrounding Egyptian culture that God had dealt favorably with Joseph.

Joseph’s brothers sold him for an accurate price of a slave during this time (~1800 BC). Joseph was sold for twenty shekels of silver (Gen. 37:28), which was the “average price of a slave during the first half of the second millennium BC. In the second half of that millennium, the cost went up to thirty shekels, and in the early first millennium it shot up to fifty shekels.”[11]

Moses was raised in the Egyptian court nursery. Raising foreign children in the court nursery is spoken of in the 18th Dynasty.[12] One Semitic child even became a vizier to the king, and he was called a “child of the nursery.”[13] This was such a common practice that Moses would’ve been “one among many” others.[14]

Archaeological Evidence

The term for “covenant” (bĕrit) is used throughout the second millennium BC—not the first.[15] Hoffmeier writes, “Interestingly, those from the second half of the second millennium BC are closest in style to the covenant structure of Exodus 20-24 and Deuteronomy.”[16]

Deuteronomy uses a recognizable Suzerainty treaty, which was only used in second millennium BC—not the first.[17]

The name Abraham has been found as early as the 16th and 15th centuries BC.[18] Moreover, the names Jacob, Isaac, Ishmael, and Joseph are all attested in the correct time period.[19]

The Nuzi texts support many features of the account in Genesis. First, Abraham’s practice of having the adopted son Eliezer being “son of his house” (Gen. 15:2) was considered to be a common practice. Second, it was also customary to set this aside in light of a biological son (as Abraham did, when Isaac was born).[20] Third, a man could sell his birthright, as we read about in the case of Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25:33).[21] Fourth, possessing the family teraphim (or idols) was a legal issue at the time (Gen. 31).[22]

The cities of Ur and Haran were thought to be mythical, until Leonard Woolley discovered these cities in southern Sumeria in 1922.[23]

The Hittites were thought to be mythical when the Bible recorded them (Gen. 23:10). Then in 1906, the Hittite capital and library were discovered in Turkey, along with more than 10,000 clay tablets that contained the Hittite’s law system.[24]

Questions for the JEDP Theorist

Does it bother you that this theory was developed before the advent of modern archaeology? Over the last two hundred years, the science of archaeology has confirmed, rather than denied Mosaic authorship. Even JEDP supporter William F. Albright writes, “Wellhausen still ranks in our eyes as the greatest biblical scholar of the nineteenth century. But his standpoint is antiquated and his picture of the early evolution of Israel is sadly distorted.”[25]

Does it bother you that this theory is not supported by any empirical evidence? The JEDP theory is a purely literary theory—not an empirical one. When scholars excavated the Qumran Caves, they did not discover pieces and parts of books. Our oldest manuscripts (the Dead Sea Scrolls) have entire books—not pieces and parts split into different schools or sources. That is, we have never discovered the “J” or “E” sources; these are only theorized.

Does it bother you that this theory begins with the assumption that the text is guilty until proven innocent? When doing history, we should approach the text (whether secular or sacred) based on the claims it makes about itself—unless we are given good reasons to deny these claims. These JEDP theorists begin by assuming these claims are wrong, rather than proving these claims are wrong. In this way, these theorists assume that they know more about the authorship of these books than the ancient men themselves.[26]

Does it bother you that this theory is not scientific but subjective? Scholar Gleason Archer documents the muddled subjectivity accompanying the JEDP theory in chapters 6 and 7 of A Survey of the Old Testament Introduction.[27] Critics have revised and rewritten the JEDP theory so many times that it becomes difficult to see if it should continue to be considered a scientific investigation, or whether it is really subjective speculation.

Does it bother you that this theory is unfalsifiable? Whenever a passage doesn’t align with the JEDP theory, a “redactor” or “interpolator” is theorized to keep the theory afloat. This makes the theory unfalsifiable. For example, the author of Genesis focuses on Shechem, while a post-exilic author would surely focus on Jerusalem. When evidence like this doesn’t fit the JEDP theory, the critics usually claim, “This must be the result of a later redactor changing the text, but it still must have been post-exilic.”[28]

Appendix: Arguments Against Mosaic Authorship Considered

Let’s consider a number of objections to Mosaic authorship held by JEDP theorists:

OBJECTION #1: Why are there multiple names for God, if a single author composed the Pentateuch?

CLAIM: The Pentateuch contains multiple names for God. For instance, in Genesis 1:1-2:3, the author uses the term “Elohim” for God, while Genesis 2:4 introduces the term “Yahweh.” Critics argue that a later author/editor came across two creation stories, and he spliced them together. One is from the Elohist (or “E”) source, and the other is from the Yahwist (or “J”) source.

RESPONSE: The term Elohim describes God as the Creator, while the term Yahweh refers to him as the Covenant-Maker (see this usage in Ex. 6:3). In our estimation, Genesis 1 focuses on the big panoramic picture of creation, while Genesis 2 zooms in on the pinnacle of God’s creation: humans. When dealing with the cosmos, God has one name, but when dealing with humans, he has another. These are not contradictory accounts; they are complementary accounts.

Moreover, this objection assumes that one author cannot use two different words to describe God. And yet, we would never place this arbitrary criterion on any other kind of literature. Consider C. S. Lewis as an example. He wrote juvenile books for kids, educational books in philosophy, devotional Christian literature, and poetry. If we applied this criterion to Lewis’ works, we might divide his writing into four separate writing communities!—the Juvenile Source, the Educational Source, the Devotional Source, and the Poetry Source (or JEDP). While this is clearly nonsense, this methodology is similar to the subjective nature of the JEDP theory.

The use of two different names does not prove two separate authors; it could just as easily prove that one author had two separate purposes. Consider the film Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). In the archaeology classroom, students probably called their professor “Dr. Jones,” but on the field, they might call him “Indiana” or “Indy” or another nickname. Different contexts require different names.

OBJECTION #2: How could Moses record his own death in Deuteronomy 34?

CLAIM: Critics point out that Moses could not have written all of the Pentateuch, because the end of Deuteronomy (ch. 34) records his death.

RESPONSE: This is not a new objection. Obviously, readers of the Bible have observed this for millennia. Proponents of Mosaic authorship have always assumed that a later author added this final chapter after Moses died. Because the book of Joshua is a clear continuation of the story, it is argued that Joshua probably wrote Moses’ obituary. Likewise, the prophet after Joshua probably wrote his obituary. Admitting that the last chapter was a later addition is different than saying that all the chapters were later additions or redactions. This objection really throws the baby out with the bathwater. We cannot judge the theory of Mosaic authorship based on the last chapter of the Pentateuch. Instead, we need to base our judgment on all of the collective chapters combined.

OBJECTION #3: Why are later names used, if Mosaic authorship is true?

CLAIM: In certain parts of the Pentateuch, names from later in history are used in the text. For instance, the city of Dan (Gen. 14:14), the city of Bethel (Gen. 28:19), and the names of Israelite kings (Gen. 36:31) are all anachronistic titles; that is, these titles did not exist at the alleged time. Critics argue that this proves post-exilic authorship.

RESPONSE: It is perfectly appropriate for a later author to update the name of a land or people. This would be similar to a historian using a modern name for a city, rather than using its ancient name. For instance, a tour guide might say that two Native American tribes fought over the territory of Kentucky, rather than giving the Iroquois name Kentake (which was used three hundred years ago). Put another way, why would later generations still refer to these territories with their ancient names, rather than update them with their current names? Using antiquated names would be intentionally difficult for the contemporary audience to understand.

Moreover, it makes more sense that later authors would update the names of a few cities, rather than hold the view that later authors knew ancient elements of history, culture, and archaeology (as the critics claim). A later author might change a name retrospectively, but how could he know history retrospectively—sometimes hundreds or thousands of years after the events in question?

OBJECTION #4: How could Moses refer to “kings” before the monarchy existed?

CLAIM: This passage refers to a time “before any king ruled over the Israelites” (Gen. 36:31). He also outlines directions for future kings (Deut. 17). Since Moses lived 500 years before Israel became a monarchy, how could he have known about the future kingship in Israel?

RESPONSE: This is a case of an antisupernatural bias. If God exists, then he can know and impart the future to finite human beings through supernatural revelation. Indeed, God had made promises to Abraham (Gen. 17:16) and Jacob (Gen. 25:23; 35:11) about kings being among their descendants. Since Moses knew these promises, he was aware that a king would come in Israel’s future. This is why God gave Moses laws for the future king (Deut. 17:14-15). Clearly, God had promised the Jews land and a nation.

Moreover, it didn’t take a genius lawmaker to know that a kingship was coming. In Genesis 36, Moses was comparing and contrasting Israel’s future kingdom with Edom’s, and he was demonstrating that Israel would overcome Edom.

OBJECTION #5: How could camels exist at this time?

CLAIM: Critics claim that camels were not domesticated during the time of Abraham and the patriarchs (Gen. 12:14-17; 24:63; 30:43). In fact, they claim that they were not domesticated until 1,000 BC.

RESPONSE: A number of observations can be made:

First, this is an argument from silence. Even if we had no record of domesticated camels, we would not necessarily expect to find this in any records, because our knowledge of 4,000 years ago is fragmentary.

Second, the book of Genesis doesn’t depict a large-scale use of camels. They only appear with Abraham (Gen. 12:16), Isaac’s bride (Gen. 24:10ff), Jacob (Gen. 30:43; 32:7, 15; 31:17, 34), and the Midianites (Gen. 37:25). Then, we see camels again after the Exodus with Pharaoh (Ex. 9:3) and in the dietary laws (Lev. 11:4; Deut. 14:7). While these animals are certainly mentioned, they are hardly emphasized.

Third, much to the chagrin of the critics, we do have records of camels during this period of history. Egyptologist K.A. Kitchen gives numerous examples:[29]

  • Camel skull in Egypt (2000-1400 BC).
  • Figurine of a camel in Egypt (1900-1800 BC). It is kneeling which implies domestication.
  • Camel jaw from Canaan (1900-1550 BC).
  • Cylinder seal of gods riding camels (1700s BC).

Kitchen goes on to list findings of camels in the late 2nd millennium BC, but his conclusion is clear: “The examples just given should suffice to indicate the true situation: the camel was for long a marginal beast in most of the historic ancient Near East (including Egypt), but it was not wholly unknown or anachronistic before or during 2000-1100. And there the matter should, on the tangible evidence, rest.”[30]

OBJECTION #6: Were the Philistines around at this time or not (Gen. 21:32-34; 26:1-18)?

CLAIM: Critics note that the Philistine nation did not exist until the 12th century BC. This, they charge, is an anachronism on behalf of the author.

RESPONSE: The author of Genesis does not claim that the Philistine nation was large (as it was in the 12th century or later). Instead, the Philistines were most likely a small tribe at this time. We detect this from the text in Genesis 21:25, when the Philistine king (Abimelech) is intimidated by Abraham and his tribe of a couple hundred men! Moreover, these passages only mention Gerar, which was the smallest of the Philistine city-states. The bigger city-states are not mentioned (e.g. Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza—Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). Moreover, Kitchen[31] considers the references to the “land of the Philistines” to be updated terms for the contemporary audience. He compares it to speaking about the land of “New York,” rather than the colonial title of “New Amsterdam” (e.g. a later scribe updated the original name of Laish with Dan, see Gen. 14:14).

[1] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 119.

[2] Walter C. Kaiser Jr., “Exodus,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), 309.

[3] James Hoffmeier writes, “The type of work they did is also included. Several are labeled as hry-pr, literally ‘over the house.’ When Joseph enters Potiphar’s service, he is said to be ‘over his house’ (Genesis 39:4), this is, a household servant.” James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 46.

[4] Bromiley writes, “The Hebrew word for ‘magician’ used in Gen. 41:8, hartummim, is from Egypt (hry-hbt) hry-tp.” Geoffrey William Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1982), 1128.

[5] James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 53.

[6] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 119.

[7] Benjamin Noonan, “Egyptian Loanwords as Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus and Wilderness Traditions,” in “Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?”: Biblical, Archaeological, and Egyptological Perspectives on the Exodus Narratives (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2016), 66-67.

[8] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 122.

[9] Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 393.

[10] Hoffmeier writes, “More than thirty references are known from Egyptian texts in which a 110-year life span is mentioned. It was a symbolic figure for a distinguished sagely man. One such example is Ptahhotep, who left to posterity a wisdom text from c. 2320 BC. Another individual was Amenhotep, son of Hapu, who served Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC). Often references to 110 years appear in prayers or wishes such as, ‘May I reach 110 years on earth such as every righteous man,’ and ‘May he [the god Amun] give me the 110 years as to every living righteous man.’ Could it be that Joseph’s age at death reflects the use of this Egyptian honorific number that represented the ideal life?” Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 48.

[11] James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 46.

[12] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), 247. James Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1997), 142.

[13] James Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1997), 143.

[14] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), 297.

[15] James Hoffmeier writes, “The same word is found in texts spanning from Mesopotamia to Egypt during the second millennium BC indicating that berith was a term used in international diplomacy at that time.” James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 61-62.

[16] James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 62.

[17] Archer writes, “As contrasted with the sec­ond millennium treaties, those of the first millennium tend to vary in the order of the sections above specified, and they generally lacked sec­tion 2 (the historical prologue), or the blessings for covenant-faithfulness in section.” Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 274.

[18] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 177.

[19] Hoffmeier writes, “A comprehensive study of more than 6,000 recorded West Semitic names shows that this type of name occurs most frequently during the first half of the second millennium BC, and usage drops by 55 per cent in the second half of that thousand year period. The name-type of Abraham is also attested.” James Hoffmeier, The Archaeology of the Bible (Oxford: Lion, 2008), 42.

[20] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 179.

[21] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 179.

[22] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 179.

[23] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 176.

[24] Archer writes, “Archaeological discovery has con­firmed the use of alphabetic writing in the Canaanite-speaking cultures before 1500 b.c., and has contributed large numbers of documents to demonstrate the existence and major importance of both the Hittites and Horites (or Hurrians, as they are more commonly known), and also cuneiform tablets containing the name of Belshazzar.” Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 173.

[25] American Scholar Magazine, X (1941), 183. Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 174.

[26] Archer observes, “They have also assumed that scholars living more than 3,400 years after the event can (largely on the basis of philosophical theories) more reliably reconstruct the way things really happened than could the an­cient authors themselves (who were removed from the events in ques­tion by no more than 600 or 1000 years, even by the critic’s own dating).” Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 116.

[27] Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Third Edition. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1998), 88-112.

[28] Other examples of this kind would include the fact that the author mentions the details of the tabernacle in the age after the Temple. This would make more sense to a nomadic people—not a Temple-focused culture. Also, consider the creation account of Genesis. It seems to be an apologetic against other ancient Near Eastern creation and flood accounts (e.g. Sumerian, Akkadian, Ugaritic). This would not fit with a post-exilic author. Why would an author use Pagan sources from over a thousand years earlier, if they were no threat anymore? A creation account written in the post-exilic period would not focus on these ancient Pagan sources, rather than contemporary ones.

[29] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), 397.

[30] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), 398.

[31] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), 398-399.