Skeptics of the Mosaic authorship of the Torah are quick to point out a few apparent problems with the belief. The first of these involves the ability to write in antiquity…
Critics claim that the ability to do so only goes back as far as 1000 BC amongst the Jews, and that no written Scripture could have predated this. What bears mentioning however is the fact that -known since the 1930s – there is a written language from the same region which was in use as early as 3500 BC. ¹ This writing system is known as cuneiform.
Cuneiform is a beautiful method of writing in which soft clay is inscribed with a series of wedge-shaped markings, and later preserved by baking. Excavations from Syria demonstrate that cuneiform writing was very common as far back as 2700 BC, and additional archaeological finds have confirmed that Syria was not alone in the cuneiform culture. That striking script was also routinely used in Babylonia, Persia, and other locales.
In his book “Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils,”² author Marvin L. Lubenow noted that there is a good chance that the early patriarchs of the Torah would have utilized cuneiform in some fashion. Furthermore, Moses, who no doubt received a world-class education while living as royalty in Egypt, would have almost certainly been familiar with it. Moses’s education was even mentioned within the Scriptures:
“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” – Acts 7:22
Arguments dismissing the authenticity of early Old Testament Scripture on the basis of writing ability, or rather the lack thereof, are thus tenuous and contrived at best.
- To be sure there are also relics which could push this back evidence an additional two millennia, yet the dating of these relics is questionable
- Lubenow, Marvin L., “Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils” Revised Edition, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan: 2004, pg 316-325
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