Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Leviticus: Author

Author: Moses (1543 - 1423 BC)

Moses’ authorship is well documented for the five-fold book called the Torah or Pentateuch (See discussion in Genesis or Exodus.) The location of Leviticus in the center of the Torah itself, claims Mosaic authorship. Both Jewish and Christian tradition attests to Moses as author. In Leviticus also, we find extensive documentation of Mosaic authorship. In twenty-seven chapters, there are fifty-six references to his authorship (e.g., Leviticus 1:1; 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 38; 8:1, 4-6; 9:1, 5-7; 10:3-7; 11:1; 13:1; 16:1; 27:34). The NT references Moses’ authorship of Leviticus (Matthew 8:4; Luke 2:22; Hebrews 8:5).

Many critical scholars of the last two centuries have said that Leviticus was written in Israel after the Exile (c. 450 BC). These claims are without objective proof. Scholars are now coming to the traditional view that the system of worship in Leviticus began during Moses’ time. The Ras Shamra tablets (c. 1500-1300 BC) found on the Syrian coast refer to the Levitical trespass offering, indicating its antiquity to the time of Moses.