This posts is part 3 of the ‘Did Moses Write the Torah?’ series. It too has been excerpted from my writing.
Nineteenth century scholarship: post-Mosaic by centuries
The observable textual data collected over the centuries leading up to and including the nineteenth century no longer supported the long-standing traditional and pre-critical claim that the Pentateuch was written by Moses—a traditional view, moreover, that the text never claimed to begin with and which only came into existence through culturally conditioned theological and ideological interpretive agendas of late antiquity and the Middle Ages. By the nineteenth century the large majority of biblical scholars realized that the Pentateuch was composed out of a variety of sources, all of which postdate Moses by centuries. It was the work of Wilhelm de Wette (1780-1849) that ushered in this new paradigm.
Previously commentators had claimed that the textual data suggested that much of the Pentateuch’s narrative … Read more