Pentateuch
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PENTATEUCH. Historical Background of the First Five Books of the Old Testament. Historical Background to Pentateuch. What is the Pentateuch? First five books of the Old Testament Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy

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PENTATEUCH

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Pentateuch

PENTATEUCH

Historical Background of the First Five Books of the Old Testament


Historical background to pentateuch

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • What is the Pentateuch?

    • First five books of the Old Testament

      • Genesis

      • Exodus

      • Leviticus

      • Numbers

      • Deuteronomy

    • Pentateuch: "pente" means five, "teuchos" means implement (scrolls)

      • Called the Torah

      • Written in Hebrew


Historical background to pentateuch1

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • What is the Pentateuch?

    • Torah is translated “law” in the OT, meaning to instruct, direct, or guide.

      • It probably has a wider meaning, by OT usage, which includes all directives that come from God. In the NT torah, Greek nomos, can refer to either the Mosaic legislation (Rom 7:14) or a broad behavioral principle (9:31)


Historical background to pentateuch2

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • Content of the Pentateuch

  • Creation - God

  • Flood - God with Noah

  • Babel - God separates people

  • God's promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - Chosen people through whom God will bless all nations

  • Joseph and Egyptian captivity

  • Exodus to the Promised Land

    • Law given to Moses

    • Wilderness wandering to Promised Land


Historical background to pentateuch3

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • Context of the Events of the Pentateuch

    • Record’s God’s relationship to humanity in their historical context

    • Describes God’s desire for humanity and various responses from humanity

    • Reveals the nature of God

    • Records God’s laws to the Israelites

    • Historical events in the Pentateuch occur in the ancient Near East


Historical background to pentateuch4

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • Manuscripts for the Pentateuch

    • Dead Sea Scroll are some of the oldest manuscripts of the Old Testament (2nd century B.C. to 1st century A.D.)

    • Old Testament was later translated in Greek called the Septuagint (LXX) – 3rd century B.C.

Isaiah Dead Sea Scroll 100 B.C. 1QIsaa


Historical background to pentateuch5

Historical Background to Pentateuch

  • In what language was the Pentateuch written?

    • Written in Hebrew and Aramaic

      • Nash Papyrus (2nd Century B.C.)

      • Records Ten Commandments

  • 1 1 בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃

  • Nash Papyrus

    Ten Commandments


    Historical background to pentateuch6

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Who wrote the Pentateuch?

      • Old Testament witness:

        • Moses was writing history of God's deliverance of Israel (Ex. 17:14; Num. 33:2)

        • Wrote down the commandments (Ex. 24:4, 34:27; Deut. 31:9, 24-26)

    Nash Papyrus

    Ten Commandments


    Historical background to pentateuch7

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Who wrote the Pentateuch?

      • New Testament witness:

        • Written by Moses (Jn. 7:19; Lk. 16:31; *Jn. 5:46)

        • Moses capable of writing it due to being educated in Egypt (Acts 7:22)

        • O.T. inspired as well as Moses (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)

        • Jesus recognized Moses authorship (Matt. 8:4; Mk. 12:26; Lk. 24:24-27; Jn. 5:46)

        • New Testament writers recognized Moses as the author (Acts 3:22; 15:21; Rom. 9:15; 10:19; Heb. 9:19)


    Historical background to pentateuch8

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Who wrote the Pentateuch?

      • Early criticisms of the writing of the Old Testament thought that Moses could not have written it because writing had not been invented

        • We now know writing was present before Moses’ time (~1525 – 1405 B.C.)

          • Hammarabi Law Code 18th century B.C.


    Historical background to pentateuch9

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Who wrote the Pentateuch?

      • The Sumerian civilization went into decline after its conquest by the Akkadians (2300 b.c.). In the 21st century B.C., however, there occurred a revival of Sumerian culture that produced a number of important literary works, including the first known written codified system of law. Today a rich collection of Sumerian material exists.

    ~2000 B.C. Sumerian

    ~1500 B.C. Akkadian

    ~3200 B.C. Sumerian


    Historical background to pentateuch10

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Why study the Pentateuch?

      • Reveals earliest history of the ancient near eastern world

      • Reveals God’s creative work and mission to humanity

      • Describes God’s relationship to humanity and his desire for humanity’s reconciliation to Him

      • Indicates the historical background in which God initiated his mission

      • Begins tracing God’s promise to Abraham that is fulfilled with the coming of Jesus, the Christ

      • Provides the foundation for a Christian worldview


    Historical background to pentateuch11

    Historical Background to Pentateuch

    • Beginning and ending points of the Pentateuch?

    • Begins with the creation of the world and ends with Moses' death (Deut. 34:7).

      • Joshua becomes the leader of the Israelites. Joshua is filled with the spirit of wisdom after Moses laid his hands on him.


    Pentateuch

    Timeline from Abraham to Promised Land


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