Chapter 3 Encountering the Old Testament
What is the Pentateuch?
The term Pentateuch refers to the first five books of the Bible.
The word comes from the Greek pente, meaning five and teuchos meaning scroll.
What is the Pentateuch?
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy belong together as one literary unit.
Old Testament references refer to the Pentateuch when it uses phrases like “Book of the Law of Moses” (2 Kings 14:6) and “The Book of the Law” (Josh 1:8)
Kings 14:6 Yet he did not put the sons of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the LORD commanded …
Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
“Law” in the expression, “The Law and the Prophets” Luke 16:16
16"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
We can view the first five books of the Bible as one book. Perhaps the size of the scrolls made the books have to be broken up into 5 divisions.
The Pentateuch spans from the beginning of historical life on earth up to but not beyond Israel’s conquest of the promised land.
The Hebrew version of the word referring to these five books is “Torah.” Torah – usually translated Law, but it comes from the word teach or instruction .
Summary of the books: Genesis – Book of Origins Exodus – Traces the salvation of God’s people who are helpless to save themselves.
Leviticus – Call for holiness as the only natural lifestyle for Israel and the only response to God’s grace.
– A book of wonderings in which God’s people suffer the consequences of their
– The story’s ending on a positive note presenting a program for
Themes of the Pentateuch •Sovereignty of God History Fallen Condition of Humanity Salvation Holiness
There are two clear references to Moses as the author of Exodus chapters 20-23 which is known as “Book of the Covenants.” Ex. 24:4-7
The text also claims Moses wrote the Ten Commandments under the Lord’s direction. Ex 34:27
Other References to Moses: Exodus 17:14 Numbers 33:2 Clear references to parts of Deuteronomy Deuteronomy 31:9, 19,22,24 “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying” Lv 4:1
Both Jewish and Christian tradition accepts Mosaic authorship or his being the originator of the writings of the Pentateuch.