Moses is the author of the Pentateuch.


By Nick Bibile


These are only short notes. Did Moses write the Pentateuch? Most conservative Christians believe he did. See the following scriptures.


Exod 17:14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

Exod 24:And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 

Deut 31:Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deut 31:24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.


New Testament Evidence by Jesus


Mat 19:7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”

John 1;17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 5: 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.

(There are many other scriptures in the N.T referring to Moses writing)


Problems that Moses did not write the Pentateuch.


Numbers 12:Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.  (Who would write about himself especially when it comes to his good character)

Pentateuch records of his death.  How can he write of his death? Could be that God told him ahead of time? May be.

Deut 34:So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.


Geographical problems


Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. (The name Chaldeans came later)


Gen 14:14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. (Also name Dan came later)


However archeology in the future may prove these towns existed during the time of the Pentateuch.


How to solve these problem issues?


In Deuteronomy 31 we see that Moses gave the documents to the priests, as they were responsible for these documents. Then the responsibility of protecting the documents from the priests went to the scribes.  Many Biblical scholars believe that Scribes added Numbers 12:3, the death of Moses and the problematic geographical towns. One good example would be Burma.  Today Burma is called Myanmar. In about 100 years time no one will even remember Burma.


Also see Ezra 8


Moses was the primary author of the Pentateuch. Moses may have not written every single word but Priests and Scribes too are responsible for the Pentateuch. Yet, God is the ultimate author.