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Introduction to Joshua

Author and Title The book of Joshua is named for its leading character. (For more on Joshua, see note on 1:1.) The book’s author, however, is not explicitly mentioned. The Talmud—a collection of ancient writings by rabbis on Jewish law and tradition—ascribes the book, with the exception of the account of Joshua’s death, to Joshua himself […]

Introduction to Deuteronomy

Author and Title The name “Deuteronomy” derives from the Greek for “second law,” an early mistranslation of “copy of this law” in 17:18. In fact, Deuteronomy emphasizes that its laws are not a new law but rather the preaching of the original law given to Israel at Sinai. Deuteronomy 31:9 records that Moses wrote down “this law,” […]

Introduction to Numbers

Author, Date, and Title The composition of Numbers cannot be discussed just on its own, as it is an integral part of the Pentateuch, so for a fuller review see Introduction to the Pentateuch. The evidence for the authorship of Numbers itself fits in easily with the position suggested there. Moses himself is said to have […]

Introduction to Leviticus

Author, Date, and Title The authorship of Leviticus is closely related to the larger question of who wrote the Pentateuch. As discussed in Introduction to the Pentateuch: Composition, the Pentateuch itself clearly presents Moses as the mediator between the Lord and Israel at this point in Israel’s history (e.g., 1:1). Moreover, it also states explicitly that Moses […]

Introduction to Exodus

Title Exodus is the second of the first five books of the OT, which are referred to collectively as either “Torah” (“law,” “instruction” in Hb.) or “Pentateuch” (“five-volumed” in Gk.). The English title “Exodus” is taken from the Septuagint and the Greek noun exodos, “a going out” or “departure,” the major event of the first half […]

Introduction to Genesis

Author, Title, and Date The English title “Genesis” comes from the Greek translation of the Pentateuch and means “origin,” a very apt title because Genesis is all about origins—of the world, of the human race, of sin, and of the Jewish people. The Hebrew title is translated “In the Beginning,” using the first phrase in […]