I will start taking Hebrew with Professor Mark Futato on Monday. In order to engage our small Hebrew class, there is a discussion board where we can have some “coffee house” conversations. I am raising the first question in regards to the authorship of Genesis. Here is a brief background before I launch into my question. I have been an advocate of an Old-Earth model for many years now (about 6 to be precise). This position comes from reading Hugh Ross and friend of mine Dr. David Snoke (PCA member). Both have written defending an old earth position. However, after many years I have become a bit more skeptical about this position. Why? Well, many of my heroes in the faith deny an old earth theory and I have always wondered why. As John Frame once noted: “If this issue is to be settled, it will be through exegesis.” Since then I have stopped focusing my attention to the scientific data and spent a little more time on the language of Genesis. (Hebrew here I come!) Perhaps one of the most creative minds in American Protestantism today is James Jordan. (I have a feeling Futato would agree-though they disagree on this matter) I have heard of Jim Jordan for several years, but only now have I started reading his books. (The first book I read from him was one he edited entitled: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture–controversial indeed – click here for a free on-line copy)
Jordan argues among many things in his book entitled: Creation in Six Day, that we have assumed for to long that Moses wrote Genesis, when the reality is that there is no such internal evidence. So, who is the author? According to James Jordan, Joseph is the author of Genesis. He reasons (pg.37):
I submit the most likely composer of Genesis was Joseph or one of his contemporaries. Joseph could have compounded the book of Genesis out of the earlier inspired books, all but the last verse (just as Moses did not write the last chapter of Deuteronomy). I suggest that this book of Genesis was the Bible of the Hebrews in captivity. It was the light to their feet and provided them the hope of a deliverance to come.
The issue here is that Waltke and others believe that Genesis did not exist before Moses. However, if the thought-world of Genesis 1 belonged to the patriarchs, we may find that Genesis had a different intent than being “an apologetic contra ancient-near eastern gods.” Any thoughts?