• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Authorship Of The Torah

Extracts from this document...


Emma Tingey Homework - 2nd October 2007 Explain why some Jews question the authority of the Torah. (10) The question of Jewish authorship of the Torah is one that divides the Jewish community. Throughout the generations, Jews have treated the Torah as a whole, as a revelation of God to Moses on Mount Sinai, delivered to the Israelites. Traditionally the Torah was thought to be literally dictated to Moses from God so every word true. All Jews followed the 613 mitzvot because God had instructed them to. The Torah is God's instruction on how those who place their trust in him are to live, so that 'all will be well with them.' (Deuteronomy 4.40). However since the nineteenth century many scholars have claimed that the Torah is a collection of traditions composed at different times, which is why the authority of the Torah is questioned. There are three main areas that highlight why Jews may question the authorship of the Torah. They are Biblical Criticism, textual studies of ancient Manu scriptures and the influences of other cultures. ...read more.


The source is though to have originated from the tribe of Judah in the South. It has many anthropomorphic characteristics to God, and refers to him as YHWH or 'Lord'. The source believes that Seth was the first person to call the 'Lord' by his name and wrote that Judah saved Joseph. The source is said to belong to the 9th Century BCE. 'The lord (YHWH) said to Moses' (Exodus). Source E's attributes have fewer references to anthropomorphic attributes to God. This source originated from the tribe of Reuben in the North. Unlike Source J, God is different, when referring to God the source uses the divine name of Elohim or God, and believes that Moses was the first to call the Lord by name and wrote that Reuben saved Joseph. This source is said to belong to the 8th Century BCE. 'God (Elohim) did not lead them' Exodus. Source J and E were combined together in 721 BCE, after the fall of Simaria, and was added to the original material, which means the Torah isn't just the original Torah. ...read more.


Therefore, the Pentateuch is made up of original material, the sources J, E, D and P, which means it may not be the true word of God. This is why Liberal Jews feel they don't have to follow the Pentateuch, word for word and can adapt it to modern life. The view of the Orthodox Jews is that the torah used today in the Synagogues is the same that was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. However within Liberal Jews it is widely accepted that the Hebrew Language today isn't the same as it was in the time of Moses, and translations into other languages from Hebrew may contain errors. Therefore, this has led much of the Jewish community to believe that the Torah today isn't a perfect representation and revelation given to Moses. The traditional belief held by Orthodox Jews is the Torah was created from nothing 'exnihilo', however, there are strong beliefs and parallels between the Torah and stories from the Near East. It was almost as if people knew the stories God was giving to them. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Judaism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Judaism essays

  1. Describe in detail the way in which a fully observant Orthodox Jewish family would ...

    The men of the family refrain from wearing their Tefillin whilst praying because Rabbis say that Shabbat is a sign of God's relationship with the Jews and no other sign is required. Every Shabbat one, or maybe two, scrolls are taken out of the Ark and as it is opened

  2. Orthodox Judaism is Kantian Whereas Progressive Judaism is Relative, Discuss

    good, eternal and spiritual from the Torah, a work written by human beings and thus inevitably fallible. The fact that the Torah seems to contain certain principles of an absolute value, is expressed in documents like the statement of principles for Reform Judaism adopted at the 1999 Pittsburgh Convention Central Conference of American Rabbis, which affirms certain tenets in Judaism.

  1. The Bar Mitzvah or "Son of the Commandments" is an important ceremony which Under ...

    life and not commit adultery or incest to contribute to society and not to commit murder to be honest and not steal to respect God and not blaspheme to have law courts and practise justice to be kind to animals and not cruel (Noachide laws).

  2. Search for the Jewish Messiah

    and not physically, therefore to them their will not be an gathering of all the Jews in Israel, one reason is because of the idea of Diaspora, which is the idea of small counties scattered around the world. As well the non orthodox Jews hold the idea that there is

  1. Explain the origins, practice and observance of Succot, include the particular significance of the ...

    The experience of living in a Succot should remind Jewish people of their historical identity. The overall message is that outside the Succot it looks weak, but inside it is strong. One shared ritual is the mitzvah of holding the four plants also known as the four species or Arba minimum.

  2. Describe the origins of two modern Jewish groups and explain the ways in which ...

    because only large town could afford the costs of maintaining such a place. This meant that thousands of Jews could not be educated and it left them feelings if they were 'second-rate' Jews and that god didn't value them. Reform Judaism came about during the time of the French revolution,

  1. The Laws of Kashrut

    It is forbidden to cook (even without eating), eat (even without cooking) or derive any benefit (e.g. feeding pets) from mixtures of milk (and its by-products), and meat (and most of its by-products). It is also forbidden to cook or eat dairy products together with poultry.

  2. Discuss at least four key Biblical events and their significance to Jewish Scriptures

    Secondly, the Sinaitic/Mosaic covenant, the giving of the Torah, is another key Biblical event that is significant to Jewish Scriptures today. G-d remembered the covenant he had with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and he brought their descendants out of slavery in Egypt.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work