About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Who Wrote Genesis?


The Old Testament is a collection of Jewish Scriptures.  It is also part of the Christian Bible.  It is generally accepted by conservative Bible scholars that Moses wrote Genesis, as well as Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  The first five books of the Bible are called the Torah in Judaism.  The Hebrew word "Torah" means "to teach or instruct". Thus the reason for these books. 


The Torah has also been called, "the Law", the "Book of Moses", and sometimes, just "Moses".  Jews have always understood the Torah, which includes Genesis, to have been written by Moses.  As a matter of fact, throughout the Bible the first five books of the Bible are often called "the Book of Moses".  Examples of this are found in 2 Chronicles 24:4, Nehemiah 13:1, and Mark 12:26,  This fact is important because when Jesus was on earth, He and others called the first five books of the Bible the "Book of Moses", or, simply "Moses", thus attributing Moses as the author.   


After Jesus rose from the dead, He talked with two men as seen in Luke 24:13 to 35.  In verses 26 and 27 Jesus said, "did not the Christ have to suffer … and beginning with Moses and all the prophets He explained to them what was said in the Scriptures concerning Himself".  When Jesus used the word "Moses" in this passage, He was referring to the Book of Moses, or the Torah.  Therefore, Jesus infers that the Torah, including Genesis, was authored by Moses.


Jesus often used the book of Moses to back up a point, as He did in Mark 12:18 to 27 concerning the resurrection of the dead.  In Mark 12:26 and 27 He said, "about the dead rising – have you not read in the Book of Moses … He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…"  The specific Old Testament passage Jesus was referring to is found in Exodus 3, where Moses stood before the burning bush.  The mere fact that Jesus agreed with the prevailing thinking of Judaism in His day by calling the Torah the "Book of Moses" tells us that He understood that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, and you can't argue with Jesus.   


However, it is clear that there are a few passages in the Torah that Moses didn't write.  For example, Deuteronomy 34 describes the circumstances surrounding Moses' death.  Obviously Moses could not have written about his death.  Both Jewish and Christian scholars believe that the Torah was edited by someone else other than Moses.  That person would have inserted the details of Moses' death.  Many believe Ezra edited the Torah since he was a Jewish editor, author, and priest.  He wrote the Old Testament book of Ezra.


Scripture is clear.  Even though edited by others, Moses, under the inspiration of the Lord wrote Genesis.     


Home Page