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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 10, Chapter 7

Genesis
Absolutely Reliable Historically

Chapter Illustration

Page 1 of Pages 2, 3, 4, 5

The first five books of the Old Testament, Genesis through Deuteronomy, also called the Five Books of Moses, are known as the Pentateuch, deriving from the Greek word pentateuchos meaning "five-volumed [books]."32/957 The collection of these five books was first called the Pentateuch by Origen in the third century A.D. in his commentary on the Gospel of John.362/495 Jewish tradition has called these five books the Torah, deriving from the Hebrew word hr;/T (torah),221 meaning "instruction"; also the Book of the Law, the Law of Moses or simply the Law.

Jesus said concerning the Torah, recorded in the Gospel of John 5:46-47, "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" In this statement Jesus clearly states that Moses and Moses alone is the Author of the Torah. Not only does Jesus affirm Moses’ authorship but makes it plain that if we do not take what Moses wrote in these five books as absolute truth that we will not accept what He taught or His claims about Himself as absolute truth either.

Unfortunately in our day this is exactly what has come about. In the Church as well as outside the Church, Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch is no longer accepted and the majority of the sayings of Jesus even in the New Testament are no longer accepted as His sayings. This has also led to a denial of Jesus’ deity as well. Deny the literal historical account of Genesis and you no longer accept the literal historical account of Jesus in the New Testament. Deny this and we lose any possibility of salvation. This is because Salvation comes through believing what Jesus said about Himself: that He died on the cross for our sins (1 Cor 15:3-4) and that the Father gave us absolute proof that He accepts His death for our sins through bringing Jesus back from the dead (Romans 1:2, 4:25, 10:9-10). Deny these truths and we have no means of salvation. Therefore our faith in the Bible as the Word of God is critical if we are to be saved.

How did this all come about and what is this centered in? It started with Darwin’s theory of Evolution which was then followed on this premise with the teaching of a man by the name of Julius Welhausen in 1895 known as the Documentary Hypothesis. By the use of literary criticism, this hypothesis sets forth the idea that the Torah is not written by Moses, as the Bible claims, nor did the events or miracles in the Torah happen as they are stated, but rather they are a made up record of the evolutionary development of the Jewish faith recorded hundreds of years after the death of Moses. One of the main reasons why Welhausen and his associates came to this conclusion was because throughout the book of Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch several different names for God are used. There are reasons for Moses’ different use of these names in the Old Testament which we will explain later. Understand, however, that Welhausen and his associates did not set forth this hypothesis based on any outside evidence of earlier manuscripts or through findings in archaeology, which in fact do support the Old Testament as it stands, but as a result of a previous belief in evolution and unbelief in God, miracles and His supernatural intervention in the affairs and lives of men. Because of there previous disposition toward the Bible they therefore had to come up with naturalistic explanations for the supernatural accounts given to us in the Torah and the Old Testament. As a result the Documentary Hypothesis was born.

In the hundred years that have passed since the putting forth of this hypothesis, not one fact of history or discovery through the science of Archaeology has ever given any support to this hypothesis. Despite this fact, it is still taught as fact in all of our higher educational institutions as well as in most of our Christian higher educational institutions today. The Documentary Hypothesis is taught as fact because it gives governments, sciences, higher institutions of learning and the individual a false reason for stripping away and rejecting the restricting moral laws of God recorded in the Bible.

The Documentary Hypothesis teaches the following: first, that Moses could not have written the Torah because there was no written language in his time and social morals were not highly developed enough to reflect what was recorded in the Torah. Therefore, the Torah had to have been written up to a 1,000 years after Moses’ death by primarily four editors known by the initials J, E, P, and D. As has already been explained, their supposed strongest evidence for this is the different divine names used and because of the seeming literary variations in the text. J stands for an author who used primarily the name Yehovah for God. E stands for an Author who used primarily Elohim for the name God. D stands for Deuteronomy supposedly written around 621 BC instead of 1450 BC during the life of Moses. Finally P stands for Priestly.

According to the Documentary Hypo-thesis, J, or Yehovah, was the first writer who supposedly put together Hebrew teachings on legends, myths, poems and well known stories. He supposedly lived about the time of David or Solomon, years after Moses died. He is called the Yahwest author because of his use of the name Yehovah for God. I say supposedly because again there are no historical documents in existence which give any support or confirmation to this interpretation of how the Torah came about.

E, or Elohim, a second author supposedly gathered all the traditions into one history. Without any external evidence archaeologically or otherwise to back it up, it is postulated that he wrote this material about 750 BC (Moses wrote it in 1450 BC), possibly during when the Northern Kingdom, Israel, was threatened by enemies. They give some credit to Moses because they use the name Elohim before the time of Moses because they did believe that the name Yehovah was first revealed to Moses. Because this is true they gave special emphasis to Moses. One might ask how they know this since according to them Moses couldn’t write. After Jerusalem was destroyed, another unknown editor combined J and E’s works around 700 BC

P, Priestly writings were supposedly put together by a group of priests who worked out a code of holiness for the people as to how they were to worship and the laws they were to keep. They included in this work practices of worship, sacrifices, laws and genealogies. Again, supposedly, this collection of writings was done during Israel’s exile to Babylon and eventually worked into the JE documents around 400 BC Welhausen believed that they over emphasized the intervention of God and made some actions almost magical. This is because Welhausen and his associates did not believe in the supernatural and is why they had to come up with this hypothesis which was to explain away the supernatural and give a natural evolutionary development of the Jewish religion. Again there are no historical documents or archaeological facts in existence to support this postulation.

Finally, the D, or Deuteromic document, which supposedly had as its purpose reform in religious practices. Supposedly J, E and P were not yet united into a single work when D was composed around the dark days of Manasseh or during the brighter years of Josiah. Again, this assumption was made without any historical or archaeological evidence to back it up. The supposed purpose of this work was a spiritual rallying point around which the disorganized forces of the national religion could bring unity among themselves. It reaffirmed the fundamental principles which Moses had long ago insisted on which was loyalty to Yehovah and the removal and rejection of all false gods. It was an effort to realize in practice the ideals of the prophets, especially of Hosea and Isaiah, to transform demoralized Judah by Manasseh into the "holy nation" pictured in Isaiah’s vision, and to renew and awaken in Israel devotion to Yehovah and love for man which Hosea had taught was man’s first priorities.35/29-32

What are these assumptions and this hypothesis based on? Nothing. There where no JEPD documents in existence that Welhausen and his associates based this on and in the hundred years that have passed no archaeologist has ever found one document to support the Documentary Hypothesis. As we will reveal in this Chapter, there are however many historical documents and archaeological discoveries that give complete support to the Torah having been written in the second millennium BC and through Moses’ authorship. There are also many historical documents and archeological facts which support the Old Testament’s historical accounts as they stand as well, which is the discussion of this and the following Chapters.

WHO IS GOD?

Who is God according to the Judeo-Christian Bible? Moses, who wrote the Torah, gives us several names for God which describe different aspects of His character. Some of them are the following:

  1. Elohim, !yhila>, the general term for God first used in Genesis 1:1 meaning: These-are-God when used with Yehovah and gods when referring to false god’s.67
  2. El, lae, the singular of Elohim first used in Genesis 14:18.222
  3. El-Shaddai, yD;v'-la,, meaning: God Almighty first used in Genesis 17:1.223
  4. Yehovah, h/;hy], a form of the Hebrew verb to be repeated twice meaning: I Am that I Am The name God gave to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15.224

The name of God , Elohim, a singular plural meaning These-are-God, thus indicating the triune nature of God in the first verse of the Bible, is used throughout the first Chapter of the Book of Genesis. Moses writes, "In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth." This is the universal generic name for God found in other ancient cultures whenever talking about God in a universal sense. The shortened form is simply El, which occurs some 200 times in the Old Testament and comes from a root that means "Strength," "might," or "power."225 Moses uses Elohim exclusively in the first Chapter of Genesis because what He has to say about the creation of the earth, man and the universe relates to all men in general, thus he uses the general name for God recognized by all men.

In Genesis 2:2 Moses writes: "This is the birth of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Yehovah Elohim made the earth and the heavens" (Genesis 2:4). Now Moses reveals to us which Elohim he is referring to, not the els of the Egyptians or the other surrounding nations, but Yehovah Elohim. He reveals this to us now to emphasize and reveal the character of Yehovah involved in creating man of which he goes into great detail in this Chapter and of which I expound on in detail in Chapter 6 of Section 1 of this Textbook.

The book of Exodus in the Bible is the story of God delivering the Israelites out of bondage to Egypt. When God called Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask him to release the Israelites out of slavery, Moses asked God what His name was so he could tell the Israelites who the God was that sent him for their deliverance. God says to Moses in response,

"Then Moses said to Elohim, Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The Elohim of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them? And Elohim said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM;’ and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘Yehovah has sent me to you.’" (Exodus 3:13-14)

The name of God, Yehovah, is the personal name of the Hebrew God describing his person and character. It is a form of the Hebrew verb to be and means I Am that I Am and describes His eternal self sustaining existence. While man previously knew God by the name Yehovah, God tells Moses in Exodus 6:3 that He had not revealed Himself to man by this name until He delivered the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt.

"Elohim spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am Yehovah; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as El-Shaddai, but by My name, Yehovah, I did not make Myself known to them.’" (Exodus 6:2-3)

Continued on Pages 2, 3, 4, 5
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