The prevailing consensus among modern scholars of the Bible and Semitic philology (the study of structure and history of languages) is that the Torah—or Pentateuch, if Greek is your cuppa—was largely composed or compiled in its present form during the first millennium BCE. This would place it compiled some centuries after the latest period depicted in it. Yet certain advocates of an orthodox or fundagelical bent cling to the tradition that Moses himself wrote the first five books of the Bible, ca. 1450-1250 BCE. On occasion, some of these apologists resort to a peculiarly persistent textual argument along these lines:

  • Critical scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Torah because there was no adequate writing system then.
  • Alphabetic writing did, in fact, exist during the time period associated with Moses.
  • Therefore, these scholars are wrong.

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