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Rameumptom Ruminations: 012: Did Moses Write That?

Did Moses write that? When was the Bible written? How much time passed between its writing and the events of the Bible? In this episode, Scott discusses two interpretations of the dating for the Pentateuch. The Documentary Hypothesis and the Supplementary Hypothesis. This discussion is a primer on the subject of biblical scholarship.

There are other ways of interpreting the dating of the Pentateuch, but the consensus among scholars is that it was written between the 8th and 5th centuries BCE.


Baden, Joel (2012). The Composition of the Pentateuch: Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis. Yale University Press.

Friedman, Richard (2005). The Bible with Sources Revealed. Harper San Francisco. Schmid, Konrad (2010).

Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel’s Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible. Penn State Press.

Useful Charts YouTube Channel by Matt Baker


2 thoughts on “Rameumptom Ruminations: 012: Did Moses Write That?”

  1. A great overview of OT scholarship. However, Judaism wasn’t homogenous at any step of its evolution. Competing mythologies, beliefs and cult practices fought for predominance. The sacred texts were redacted in retrospect to justify the outcome: “We always believed that way.”

    Ritual at designated “high places” vs ritual at the Jerusalem Temple vs ritual at the Temples on Mount Gerizim, Dan and Bethel, etc. The Elohim diad vs The Jehovah monad (purging of Asherah from the Jerusalem Temple). Suppression of Kohanim.

    In each case, the motive appears to be political: to increase the power of the central government. Selective redaction of the texts ultimately constitutes a propaganda campaign for the king and high priest at Jerusalem. As such, the OT may be a flawed tool for learning the relationship between Elohim and man.

    1. Excellent comment. I tried to cover a lot of ground in a thirty-minute episode. Many of the writings were politically motivated. I agree with your final assessment, I think the book is more telling about human nature than the nature of God.

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