Response Babylonian Exile/Post Exilic Dating for the Hebrew Bible

 

“and learned that this was written in the period of the Babylonian exile.”

I could firmly disagree with that. You could assume that it came together in it’s canonical form then, but not the above quotation.To argue that the idea of the Creation narrative was written after (or during) the Babylonian exile should be dismissed. Why? First, it would sound as if an assumption is made that 1. Revelation does not exist (God would reveal to Moses the stages of Creation, 2. An oral tradition of the event does not exist. The assumption would mean that Moses didn’t write the Torah, and instead it was redacted (or edited) out of the blue after the exile (for whatever political reasons liberal scholars which to propose).

I ask that you please consider the evidence below, as you will not get it at FIU. I put the time into it with the hopes you could read it in full, and consider it justly. I know it is lengthy, but that is my prayer:

There are two central areas of evidence that can show how invalid a claim that Genesis was written after the Babylonian exile.

  1. Inner-Biblical Evidence

    1. First and foremost, the Bible is the revelation of God in an inspired Text. Not simply a collection of books written over time or written out of whim (this latter one easily rejected by all serious scholars). Instead, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God [theopneustos, or God-breathed]” (2 Tim 3:16). If you dismiss the supernatural, as liberal scholars do in their approach to scripture, you will have difficulties not only with Creation, but the Bible as a whole. Within itself, it claims to be inspired revelation, and it is no stretch to assume an All-Powerful Creator, who created the very universe, can reveal how Earth was created to Moses. In addition, there is an appropriate warning in scripture to any idea that man simply wrote it at whim; “The prophecy [the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures] came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” (2 Peter 1:21).
    2. Second, the Bible all the way through affirms Moses’ authorship, and the literal creation of man and woman.

      1. The Torah testifies to Moses as having composed it (Ex. 17:14, 24:4, 7, 34:27, Num 33:1-2, Deut 31:9, 11,
      2. Other Old Testament books reference Moses: Josh 1:8, Josh 8:31, 32, 2 Kings 14:6, etc. The authorship of the Torah is ALWAYS attributed to the personal man of Moses. Ezra 6:18, Neh 13:1, Dan 9:11-13, Mal 4:4
    3. Most sobering as well, is that the New Testament affirms Mosaic authorship. If it was simply all fabricated after the Babylonian Exile, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would be wrong, and hardly the Perfect Son of God, but a liar. See Matt 19:8, John 5:46-47, John 7:19, Acts 3:22, Romans 10:5, etc. Mark 12:26 states that God uttered to the historical Moses Ex 3:6. Jesus himself said: “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you doeth the law?” (John 7:19)

        • Also to note: The New Testament affirms the literal historical existence of Adam and Eve, not some myth. The book of Genesis, in it’s Hebrew style, is relating an ACTUAL HISTORICAL, not fabricated, event. The book of Romans states: “By one man sin entered into the world…By one man’s offense death reigned by one…By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” Romans 5 continued to relate Adam with Jesus. If Jesus was a historical figure (absolutely no doubt), then such a comparison would logically assume Adam was as well. The apostle Paul, takes Gen 2 and 3 as literal history, NOT allegory.
  2. Extra-biblical Evidence also affirms the antiquity of the dating and authorship of the Torah (first five books)

    1. Archaeology

      • In the words of the most prominent biblical archaeologist in the 20th century, W.F. Albright: “Archaeological and inscriptual data have established the historicity of innumerable passages and statements of the Old Testament; the number of such cases is many times greater than those where the reverse has been proved or has been made probably.
      • I could go ON and ON and ON and ON regarding how the archaeological record, not available to Wellhausen and others (the authors of what you learned in high school), have affirmed the historicity of scriptures narrative. From the city of Ur as literal, to the name of Abram, etc. I’ll provide some of the many that affirm the historicity:

        1. Hittite Legal Code (dated 1300 BC). Affirms patriarchal purchase of the cave in Gen 23. Affirms the very procedure they used.
        2. Code of Hammurabi: Affirms many ancient customs written in scripture and not understand to those living in the post-exilic period. From How orchids are to be collected (Lev 19, CoH 60), to various punishments, the legal codes match the historical period.
        3. House of David Inscriptions: Earliest mentioning of David, who liberals assumed to be fictitious.
        4. Ras Shamra Tablets (1400 BC): Affirms the poetry styles and early sacrificial terms. The stuff you studied argued that these complex sacrificial systems were edits made by post-exilic priestly group trying to strengthen the priest system.That’s how they explained these complexities, let low-and-behold, we have matching sacrificial ter,s during the time-frame of conservative dating estimates..
        5. Merneptah Stela (1220 BC): Earliest mentioning of the name “Israel
    2. Biblical Narrative

      1. You cannot make sense of the Bible without reading it within its context. Essential to the context is the beginning. The Torah puts the ENTIRE bible in perspective. You will not understand the need of a 2nd Adam (Jesus), if you do not understand the first. You will not understand what is sin, why we’re here, what’s our purpose, and why Jesus came.
      2. In addition, you will miss out on the wonderful cohesiveness of the structure. The post-exilic writings ALL ASSUME THE VALIDITY of the Old Testament works. You cannot make sense to the God of Abraham-Isaac-Jacob without their historical accounts.
    3. Hebrew Poetic Style and Writing

      1. It has been proved that the poetic style of the Psalms is very very ancient. The earlier mentions of the Ugaritic texts have affirmed 1) Alphabet & Complex Writing systems were well developed, 2) The poetic styles used in the Psalms match the antiquity of the Ugaritics.
      2. Why is this so important? If these ancient writings and styles were written after the Babylonian Exile, for some fabricated reason for political unity through a priestly group, it is illogical to assume they had access to these buried writings. We’re talking about 1000+ years without google! It is inconceivable to think post-exilic writers could have researched and copied the ancient poetic styles (this simply was not done, and an impossibility). They would have instead used their own poetic styles.
      3. The same is similar to the accounts of Abraham and Moses. Only Moses best matches the authorship of the Pentateuch. Besides him being witnessed to in the text, there are a host of internal writing evidences that would make no sense in a Post-exilic environment.

        1. The Exodus lists eyewitness details.
        2. Author of Exodus shows a vast acquaintance of Egypt (using Egyptian names, words, and local geographic references that are not used in the later Old Testament).
        3. Shows a consistently foreign or ‘extra-Palestinian perspective, instead of imposing a perspective matching the penmanship of post-exilic writers.
        4. References to Archaic customs in Genesis that are demonstrable for the 2nd millennium BC, but not the first.

CONCLUSION: These are only a splash the vast array of evidences. You can draw the various conclusions:

1) If you assume it was all simply fabricated after the Babylonian Exile, you would go against the internal biblical evidences. If Jesus is God, and he is, and He is perfect, why would he get the creation of the world and the authorship of the books wrong? You would make him out to be a liar. In addition, the Torah itself testifies to Mosaic authorship, not that of post-exilic. You cannot separate these first five books either, as they are a single work.

2) The vast array of internal evidences found in narrative, poetic style, archaeology, etc. attest to the antiquity of the Scriptures. You cannot assume post-exilics and others knew the complex ancient poetic styles used within the Psalms. It would simply be a fabricated.

What then is the best explanation? That the texts are inspired, and they are historical accounts. The rest of the scriptures rely on them.The scripture is not just about some ‘higher love’. It is about God, and his plan to bring humanity to him. It is about God, and we can only learn love by learning him.

Why do I make such an effort to share this to you Paul? After all, you’re a stranger. I share this to you because I had to study the secular perspective. I had to endure with such an empty biased secular study of the Bible. How much I missed out!

YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS OF YOUR ASSUMPTIONS: If you believe it was all fabricated after the exile, you are now the Judge over scripture, and Scripture is not the judge over you (2 Tim 3:16). If you begin to assume that scripture is not historical where it assumes it is, and place yourself as judge over what did and did not happen, where does it stop? Just Adam and Eve? What about the resurrection? Could it not then be brushed aside with a natural explanation?

The moment you cast aside the inerrancy of scripture, and the validity and supernatural nature of it’s revealed accounts, it turns into simply a work of writings. No longer can it stand in judgment of Man, and reveal to him God’s redemptive plan to save humanity through Jesus. It is not just some account where man stands in Lordship.

Oddly enough, this is exactly why Jesus came! So that man would not be his own Lord! That is why we sin! We place ourselves as God’s over our lives. We believe we can say what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. What is ‘love’ and what is ‘hate’. What is ‘true’ and what is ‘false’. Liberal scholars, like the stuff you studied, work in this pattern, on the assumption of man’s goodness, naturalism, Hegelian Darwinist evolutionism, etc.

However Scripture has a sobering reminder. Within Gen 1, God mentions ‘good’ in reference to his creation seven times. The first time ‘good’ is used by humans is here, with Eve responding to the serpent: “Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at,” (Gen 3:6). Genesis opens with God telling us what is good, because as God he would know. However, what happened after Eve placed herself in the position of God to determine what was good? The Fall! Sin! What is this telling us?

We sin when we subjectively assume what is good and what is bad. This is why seeing scripture as inerrant and revelation is so important! With this, God is telling us what is Good and Truth. He would only know because he is perfect, and we can know because he reveals it to us. The other is the subjective assumption by man of what is good and evil. If we impose this upon scripture, meaning if we begin to say what did and didn’t happen, or what does and does it not say, in scripture, we now place ourselves in the very same position of Eve! What then, do you think would be the consequences?

God’s Blessings!

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