The first five books of the Bible were written by the great prophet and lawgiver of Israel: Moses.
They are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are known as: the
Pentateuch (meaning five scrolls or five books), the Five Books of Moses, the Law or the Torah
(Hebrew meaning law).
The J,E,P,D theory of authorship
Critical “scholarship” denies the authorship of Moses for the Pentateuch. These modernists
claim that they are the compilation of various authors and editors. These editors are called “J”
for Jehovah, “E” for Elohim, “P” for priestly, and “D” for Deuteronomy.
J’s work, according to their theory, is found where the word Jehovah (or the Tetragrammaton)
is found, for it is assumed that no one else would use the word.
E’s work, according to these critics, is to be seen where the word Elohim is found, for it is
assumed that no one else would use the word.
P’s work, also according to their “scholarship,” is seen wherever a priestly order or duty is
seen or implied, for it is assumed no other editor or author would mention priestly duties or a
D’s work, accordingly, is seen in the book of Deuteronomy and any similarity to its language,
for no one else would use similar language.
The arbitrary assumptions of trying to impose the editorship of J,E,P and D upon the Torah are
ridiculous, to say the least. The same reasoning could be applied to any work, ancient or
modern, and show the existence of the same type of “editorship.” The works of Shakespeare,
Milton, Bacon, Franklin, Twain, London, Hemingway, etc. could be reduced to the
amalgamation of an editorial board by the same reasoning. Yet, if someone would attempt to
question their works, their sanity would be questioned. There is every bit as much reason, and
even more, to question the sanity of those who throw aspersion upon the word of God in these
five books, or any other portion. To say that only one author, or one editor, or even one group of
editors only use one certain word or speak in a certain manner, or speak on a certain subject,
and one author could not use a multiplicity of words, phrases and speak on diverse subjects
is the height of absurdity. Especially is this true when there is no reason other than to destroy
the Mosaic authorship.
And why destroy Moses’ authorship? It destroys inspiration.
The subject of the Pentateuch
The Law shows the divine beginning of the nation of Israel. In the approximately 2,540 years
covered by these books, Moses chronicles the development of Israel from the Creation to
Abraham to Egypt to the Deliverance to the Promised Land. The connection and separation of
Israel from other peoples is shown. The hand of God is seen in the providential keeping of His
promise to the Serpent, to the Seed of the woman, and of His promise of Seed to Abraham
and his descendants. Everything comes together to show Israel’s special relationship to God
and the Messianic hope.
It begins with the book of beginnings, for that is what Genesis means. From the beginning it
shows the relationship of man to God, and the relationship and development of Israel and how
she came to be in Egypt by the providential care of God.
Beginning with the bondage in Egypt, the book chronicles the life of Moses, the exodus from
Egypt, and the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai.
The book sets apart Israel with the rules for the priests and the holy days which Israel will
The people are numbered as they leave Mt. Sinai, and again before they enter the promised
land. In between, they are made to wander in the wilderness for their unbelief that they could
conquer the promised land.
The last book of Moses contains three speeches addresses to the nation of Israel reminding
them of their responsibilities toward God, and the death of Moses.