What Did Christ Really Say About Moses?

Christ is often used to substantiate the belief that Moses wrote the first five books of the bible – although historically, he is believed to have written only the first four.

“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised– haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.” (Mar 12:26-27 NLT)

Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luk 24:27 NLT)

If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (Joh 5:46-47 NLT)

Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” (Joh 7:19 NLT)

It is clear that Christ consider the Law as written by Moses as well as at least Exodus.

Why is this important? Because many will assume that Christ vouched for a literal reading of Genesis – of course, we could spend time exploring what authorship and authority meant in those days, but we will not – yet.

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. (Mat 24:37-39 NLT)

Here, it is clear that Christ gives a license to a literal interpretation of the Deluge but even then, He left room for a theological and eschatological understanding.

But, does Christ ever give a literal reading of Genesis 1? What of Mark 10.6?

What exactly does Christ say?

But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (Mark 10:6-9 NLT)

This mimics the language found in Genesis 1.27:

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27 NLT)

As we note, either Christ is speaking literally, in which case, He placed the creation of male and female at the beginning while Moses clearly as this at the end, or He is making a theological point. The beginning of the second creation story, Genesis 2-3 actually has Adam and Eve created first (although everything else was already in existence). Christ takes the point of the male/female creation to expound the theological allegory behind it. Does he affirm a scientifically literal creation account? No. Does He affirm that in the very beginning of creation, God created male and female? Why, yes, yes He does, and then takes that point to push for a theological view of marriage, rather divorce.

I would hope that instead of using Christ to prove our point, we make ourselves ready to be used by Him.

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16 Replies to “What Did Christ Really Say About Moses?”

  1. Well Said! – I reached college before I found out there was a debate between “creationism” and “evolution” In my house my dad taught, and I thought everyone did, that Genesis taught us about mankind and God, and Discover magazine taught us about mankind and the cosmos… Two paradigms that looked at their surroundings for two differing reasons.

    Aristotelian logic reminds us that if we start we a differing premise we will end with a differing conclusion. Ah, the beauty of syllogism.

  2. From a documentary perspective, Christ’s words in these examples should be taken literally and historically, and there is no Biblical reason not to.

    Genesis 1 and 2 is a typical Hebrew construction, to provide an overview first and follow it with focused details about events of greatest interest, in this case more information about the first man and woman recorded by Adam, which would be his natural focus and perspective.

    Read more at http://theologica.ning.com/forum/topics/young-and-old-earth-creation

  3. Oh my goodness, no serious scholar believes Moses wrote any of the biblical books. You might disagree with the documentary hypothesis (why doesn’t that surprise me?), but the idea that those books even come close to being a one man show is quite troubling (oh, a one-man + one-god show of course, sorry for the slip up).

  4. Oh my goodness, our academic institutions generally teach false and disproven information about the Bible to unwitting and trusting students. The idea that Bible authors and historical events are not as internally stated and that the Old Testament is inconsistent with the New are common claims among skeptics, and widely taught and accepted in higher academia as fact.

    However, so-called ‘higher criticisms’ of the Bible still generally taught in our universities have been completely discredited by the last 50 years of archeology and rock solid manuscript evidence. These ideas are obsolete, so much so that no leading historian today would dare challenge the historicity of the Biblical text (all of it) and destroy their own professional reputation, regardless of theological beliefs. Many professors still teach outdated and unfounded hypotheses and are aware they are obsolete, but don’t want to change their course material for obvious personal reasons, and some have gone on record saying it would simply be too much work to change their curriculum.

    1. It must be so great to have a better understanding of biblical texts than all those scholars who are trained to meticulously study every piece of evidence related to the biblical texts. If only those scholars who spend a lifetime studying the texts with rigorous methods had your particular brand of “religious faith” they would understand what the bible is really about.

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