Formation of the Pentateuch

The students read a list of scriptures, some which implied Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch (2 Chron 23:18; Joshua 23:6, 2 Kings 14:6; Ezra 6:18) and others that would cast doubt on Mosaic authorship as the sole source of the text. I think there was benefit in having the students work with primary texts and familiarizing themselves with their Bible.

At the end of class, I played a video of Carly Simon’s performance of the “Winnie the Pooh” song. I asked them if anything bothered them about the video. Other than “Why in the world did you show this?,” no one had a problem. I then pointed out the “clumsy editing” (animation and live action together) and logical impossibilities (one instrument shown, but multiple heard). They weren’t bothered by the music video because they know how music videos word. The edits work in service of an overall song. Likewise, the biblical editors weren’t troubled by the edits we see (Gen 1 & 2) because the knew how ancient story telling worked. The edits work in service of an overall story.

They read the texts and answered the questions fine, however, they did seem to have a hard time drawing the conclusion from the texts. At the end of class, I did have to walk them through the implications of texts like Gen 14:14 or Gen 12:6. There is probably a better exercise.

The video, however, was a tremendous success which aided in understanding.


Robert Wallace

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