More Questions than Answers in Mosaic Authorship of Genesis

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Peter Enns has written an essay, and points to the questions which we must ask if we are to ponder the authorship of Genesis,

  • Why are there two such clearly different creation stories at the very beginning of the Bible? (Genesis 1-2:4a and 2:4b-25)
  • Why is sacrifice mentioned so casually at the dawn of time, and why does it play such a big role with Cain and Abel? (Genesis 4)
  • If Adam and Eve were the first humans, from where did Cain get his wife and how can he be afraid of other people retaliating for murdering his brother? (Genesis 4)
  • Why is the flood story so choppy and repetitive? (Genesis 6-9)
    Why are there two stories of the dispersing of the nations? (Genesis 10 and 11:1-9)
  • Who is Melchizedek and how can he be a priest of Israel’s God as far back as Abraham’s day? (Genesis 14:18)
  • Why are there two covenant making stories with Abraham? (Genesis 15 and 17)
  • How is it that Abraham is described as a law keeper long before the law was given? (Genesis 26:5)
  • How is it that the concept of Israelite kingship can be mentioned long before Israel existed as a nation? (Genesis 36:31)

In my estimation, for those of us concerning with the authority of Scripture, one doesn’t have to have written the books for them to contain the words of said person.

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One Reply to “More Questions than Answers in Mosaic Authorship of Genesis”

  1. “… one doesn’t have to have written the books for them to contain the words of said person.”

    But why does it have to contain his words in order to be authoritative? Who said Genesis originated with Moses, anyway? Sorry – I just feel it’s a sterile argument. I do have a very high view of the authority of scripture, but that doesn’t mean I have to go with assertions of authorship which seem to go against the evidence.

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