Who is correct NAB Personal Study Edition vs Agape Bible Study

Hi

I have the New American Bible Personal Study Edition. In it, it explains that the first five books of the Old Testament are the interweaving of several different sources.

In the Agape Bible Study that I just started reading, it is saying that this is wrong, and they are saying that it was written by Moses. They point to many scriptures saying The Lord said to Moses, Write this down.

Here is a clip from the bible study. agapebiblestudy.com/SalvationHistory/_L02_CREATION%20AND%20HISTORY%20OF%20THE%20EARLY%20WORLD%20PT%20I.htm

Today, however, most Biblical scholars ascribe to the “documentary theory” for formation of the Book of Moses. This theory was at first rejected by both Protestant and Catholic scholars but gained popularity in the 19th century when it was reformatted and presented by the German Protestant scholars Graf and Wellhausen. These scholars theorized that the Pentateuch was an amalgam of different documents composed and developed from different places and at different times, long after Moses may have lived, perhaps as late as the return from the Babylonian exile in the late 6th century BC. Today this theory, know as the Documentary Hypothesis, theorizes that four documents came together: the Yahwistic source, the Elohistic source, the Priestly source and the Deuteronomic source, which were eventually edited, centuries after they were composed, into one book. A major weakness of this theory is that no two scholars seem to be able to agree as to which passages should be assigned to which of the four document sources. The other major problem is that not a shred of physical evidence exists to support this theory. An ancient document has never been discovered that even hints that any author other than God’s inspired writer, the prophet Moses, wrote the Book of the Law of Moses, nor has any partial text been discovered that would correspond to any separate supposed separate strand, nor does sacred Tradition speak of any orally transmitted separate strand that refers to God by only one name [a basis of the documentary theory based on each separated strand being keyed to different names used for God]. In addition, there is no archeological evidence to support the Documentary Hypothesis. There are no written or oral traditions in existence today that contain less than all of the supposed “four document sources.” If the Book of Moses was not composed by Moses but instead was a clever interweaving of four different oral traditions, the question begs to be asked why none of the four individual strands have survived independently in oral or written form. Instead, source written copies and oral traditions pertaining to the writings of Moses exist in a complete form similar to that of our Bible today, not in fragmented strands. For example, if Genesis chapter I and Genesis chapter II offer two separate creation stories that originate from two separate sources, then why is there no written or oral Jewish tradition of two creation accounts that mention the content of one chapter without mentioning the content of the other? The unification of these two elements in ancient sources supports that they were not separate in origin.

Which one do I trust as the true Catholic belief?

Thank you
Kitten

We are unsure whether or not they were all written by Moses, but it is believed he did.

If you closely read the way the entries are worded, what it’s trying to say is that although the idea that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible is the strongly favored Catholic position, that there are scholars that disagree and that the point is at least up for debate. The article you posted presents the opposing theory, as well as the arguments against it. At least until the church rules on this further, it would probably be classified as one of those “small t” traditions of the church, as opposed to an utterly unchangeable teaching. Further evidence discovered in the future could still sway this argument one way or the other.

I don’t take much from the NAB but they are correct-sort of.That Moses really wrote the Torah- their are only a tiny bit of scholars who believe that.As far as the Documentary Hypothesis-their many scholars who have doubts about it. The thing is they don’t doubt the theory of the DH.They just think that some scholars take it way to far and the JEPD is just an arbitrary designation. The consensus of scholars is that they believe that strands of different sources were woven into the Torah how much or who they were they’re not sure.I
In some books the different materials fairly jumps off the pages at you -incidents that happen out of sequence can be written off as the attitude of the israelites toward a solid chronology.That wasn’t important to them… But when you go to incidents that are repeated in Exodus then in DT and that they differ then you have to think another source.I never really thought and still don’t think it’s a big deal to have multiple source materials for very ancient texts.Especially one with such an impact on the religion and ethnicity as the Bible.Every detail would be precious ,every bit of information would seem vital enough to include even from varied sources.Actually most events are based on multiple sources.

Kristani & Kitannen:

Orthodox Jewish Rabbis and most Fundamentalist Christians of various persuasions (along with some Evangelicals) accept Moses as the Author of the Torah or first 5 Books of the Old Testament, even going to the point of referring to them as “The first 5 Books of Moses”.

I think this article might be a reasonable rebuttal of “The Documentary Hypothesis”:
bible.org/article/introduction-pentateuch

The section on the Pentateuch (or the Torah) in the New American Bible has been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - It’s not official Church Doctrine, but the Bishops state that to teach the following is not error:
usccb.org/nab/bible/pentateuch.htm

Official “Catholic Doctrine” is that God is the final Author of all of Sacred Scripture - That as St. Paul the Apostle says:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
[FONT=Times New Roman]2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV[/FONT]
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 ESV
“The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.”
St. Augustine of Hippo
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]Here are some links which I think might help with your study of Sacred Scripture:
[/FONT]home.inreach.com/bstanley/bibbasic.htm
home.inreach.com/bstanley/symbol.htm
thecatholictreasurechest.com/cathot.htm
bible.org/article/introduction-pentateuch

[FONT=Trebuchet MS]The Church only asks that we submit to her Authority and accept that ALL that is written in the Scriptures is true in “the senses intended” and is written “…for our instruction…”.
[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman]
[FONT=Trebuchet MS]As I general rule, I prefer not to get involved in these controversies, unless someone uses a theory such as the “Documentary Hypothesis” to question the Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, the Prophecies relating to the Coming of our Lord Jesus or an article of Faith such as the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ or the Divinity of Jesus Christ. There’s enough to learn from the Torah (lit. “The Instruction”) without having to worry about who G-d chose to write it.

Although studying the Scriptures is important, for most of us Praying Them so you can hear the Lord speaking to you through the Scriptures is even more important. Try some of the following links:
[/FONT][/FONT]osb.org/lectio/
valyermo.com/ld-art.html

[FONT=Trebuchet MS]I hope this helps.

Your Brother in Christ, Michael[/FONT]

Thank you so much for your responses. They have been very helpful. I have a very strong desire to learn more about Scripture and I just do not want to be mislead. I guess for now I will accept that there is more than one opinion on this matter, and neither one can be proved or disproved at this point.

Again thank you everyone for your responses. I really appreciate them.

Kitten

The other major problem is that not a shred of physical evidence exists to support this theory. An ancient document has never been discovered that even hints that any author other than God’s inspired writer, the prophet Moses, wrote the Book of the Law of Moses, nor has any partial text been discovered that would correspond to any separate supposed separate strand, nor does sacred Tradition speak of any orally transmitted separate strand that refers to God by only one name [a basis of the documentary theory based on each separated strand being keyed to different names used for God]. In addition, there is no archeological evidence to support the Documentary Hypothesis. There are no written or oral traditions in existence today that contain less than all of the supposed “four document sources.” If the Book of Moses was not composed by Moses but instead was a clever interweaving of four different oral traditions, the question begs to be asked why none of the four individual strands have survived independently in oral or written form. Instead, source written copies and oral traditions pertaining to the writings of Moses exist in a complete form similar to that of our Bible today, not in fragmented strands. For example, if Genesis chapter I and Genesis chapter II offer two separate creation stories that originate from two separate sources, then why is there no written or oral Jewish tradition of two creation accounts that mention the content of one chapter without mentioning the content of the other? The unification of these two elements in ancient sources supports that they were not separate in origin.

The reason for all this is that most of our earliest Hebrew manuscripts date from about the 11th century AD, a millennium and a half after the Pentateuch was written. Even the very fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls, our earliest Greek OT manuscripts, and the witness of the Christian tradition postdate the writing and redaction of the Pentateuch by at least four centuries.

So there wouldn’t be any manuscript evidence for the separate traditions, even if the document/oral traditions hypothesis is right, would there?

In short, the above paragraph is one giant example of the logical fallacy “affirming the consequent.” Its syllogism follows the pattern “If P, then Q; Q, therefore P,” which is not valid logic. “If the document hypothesis is wrong, then there would be no manuscript or archaeological or Traditional evidence for it. And there is no manuscript or archaeological or Traditional evidence for it, so the document hypothesis is wrong.” But there could just as easily be no manuscript or archaeological or Traditional evidence for the document hypothesis even if it were true; indeed, that is what we would expect, considering how late our manuscripts are.

The evidence that Moses did not write all of the Pentateuch word for word is textual, and that textual evidence is very strong. The books vary widely in style, emphasis, vocabulary. There are factual contradictions in the details of stories. Different sections assume different levels of development in the Law.

Moses did not write the Pentateuch except in the analogous sense of being an important transmitter of oral (and perhaps a bit of written) tradition.

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