Torah into joshua

my understanding is that the torah is the first 5 books of the OT or the law which stand as a seperate or unifying work together. But the 6th book Joshua seems like it continues right where the torah left of like it was edited together or a sequel continuation of the torah. The book of Deuteronomy also doesnt have much of a closing statement or ending in that book.

Historian Martin Noth even suggested that Joshua is part of another series called the Deuteronomistic history, stretching from Deuteronomy to Kings. Scholars also generaly agree that the OT was written composed and edited during the exile and post exile period.

Guess what im trying to ask is the flow of the OT and how the torah was written and composed.

Judaism refers to the first six books of the Bible as the Hexateuch, for the thematic reasons you mention.

The Pentateuch certainly ends in an unsettled way (no pun intended) because the Israelites have not made it to the promised land, God’s promise to Abraham is unfulfilled in the Torah.

And, in fact, Deut 34 concludes in a very ironic way, by stating that since Moses’ death, there had not arisen in Israel another prophet like him. So, the first problem is the meaning of “like him.” How do you classify Moses, to begin with?

The second problem is that back in Deut 8 or 10, Moses foretells that there* would be * a later prophet “like him.” And, in that same chapter, it says if what a prophet foretells does not come to pass, then you should not “fear” him. So, why do Jews regard the Torah so highly, if Moses’ prophecy has not come to pass? Since the Torah itself says that this prophet has not come, then why doesn’t the Torah collapse on itself, so to speak?

this would be similar to a cult leader today who has predicted the end of the world today. Maybe things haven’t gone so well, the usual 250,000 people die every day for all sorts of causes, but the world did not actually end, so this cult leader is discredited. Why wasn’t Moses discredited?

I suppose there’s two schools of thought: 1) the Jews are still waiting for this prophet, so there’s no problem (recall the Samaritan woman at the well asks Jesus if he is the long-awaited prophet, to which Jesus replies that he is). 2) Now, from a Christological point of view, Jesus is the prophet, so – whew! – Moses is safe.

so Judaism BELIEVES that Moses will be vindicated, but they have not proof of it, even in Joshua. In his series of books (Jesus of Nazareth), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says that Jesus is the new Moses – amongst other things, he is a law-giver as Moses was.

The question of how the torah was written has many viewpoints.

Jewish mysticism asserts that the Torah was composed by God thousands of years before creation. then God “later” set creation into motion according to this plan.

since the Enlightenment, the documentary “hypothesis” has been proposed, that there were many authors and a “redactor” who fit the pieces of tradition together and in a more systematic way. Jewish commentaries demonstrate more complexity in the Torah and Hexateuch than immediately hits the eye in the English translation.

(An example of this is in the first creation account in Genesis. Not only does it explicitly emphasize the number seven by the delineation of six days of creation and a following day of rest, but, in Hebrew, the verses are composed of seven Hebrew words or a multiple of seven Hebrew words. You wonder why one day God does not say “and it was good” – but it would have messed up the word count. The word translated “God” in the first creation account is a word that conjures up the notion that God is a judge; hence, when God “sees” that his creation is “good,” it is not just an observation of God, it is a* judgment* of God. We don’t pick up all the nuances in an English translation, even with footnotes.)

Jewish commentaries have, for convenience, accepted the demarcation of the torah into chapters and verses, although this is not done in the original documents. And, Genesis, rather than having 50 sections (chapters) as we see it in any English translation of the Bible, actually shows literary evidence (more so in Hebrew) that it is divided into 12 sections, 12 corresponding to the number of tribes of Israel.

Jewish translation sometimes revise the demarcation into verses, because the customary delimitation of the verses and chapters sometimes suggests a change in meaning that was not present in the original. In fact, both the Old and New Testaments were not written with verse and chapter numbers. we have to remember not to make any significance to those chapter and verse numbers except convenience in referring to the text.

It is believed that the OT was written and composed somewhere after the exile to Babylon. Before that it was an oral history and since it was basically composed all at the same time period then the flow would naturally be smooth from one text to the next, depending upon the order of the Canon. I believe that Catholicism does a beautiful job in the organization of the texts. I read the bible from beginning to end, continually; and there seems to be a smooth flow from one book to the next (in the order of historical account).

Deuteronomy literally means “Second Law.”

It is a re-statement of the Law laid out in Leviticus in the form of three messages or speeches given by Moses. It also contains an introduction and epilogue.

Introduction (1:1-5)
First Message (1:6-4:49)
Second Message (chs. 5-26)
Third Message (chs. 27-30)
Epilogue (chs. 31-34)

that’s what I think too that there was an oral and somewhat written history dating to the time of Moses, that’s why he’s credited as the author. I also think other people added to the law and expanded it as Israel grew as a nation. Example from Joshua:

Joshua 24:26
And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.

Kind of how catholic teaching has evolved over time when new problems arise

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit