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Archaeological Evidence For Moses


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#256    cormac mac airt

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:03 PM

View PostRiaan, on 19 February 2010 - 09:30 PM, said:

'Childless' may have confused with 'without a son', but nevertheless you may have a point.

Would you care to comment on why Ankhesenamun would have considered making a Hittite prince king of Egypt, effectively placing Egypt under foreign rule? Nefertiti is certainly speculated to have been of foreign origins, in which context it would make sense that she may have desired to have a non-Egyptian husband.

IIRC, Horemheb was the presumed heir-apparent of Tutankhamun, but was out maneuvered by Ay, whom once again was a commoner by birth. Therefore Ay had no legitimate claim to the throne. Horemheb, himself, upon acquiring the throne (from Ay's presumed heir-apparent Nakhtmin) erased much concerning the entire Amarna Period and those involved. Regardless of Ankhesenamun's opinion of Horemheb, she wouldn't have wanted a commoner (Ay) upon the throne, and as Suppiluliuma was known as a very strong king in his own right, might have tried to enlist his aid (by way of a son) to curtail if not prevent the situation from degrading any further.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#257    cormac mac airt

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:07 PM

Deleted double post.

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt, 19 February 2010 - 10:08 PM.

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#258    kmt_sesh

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:57 PM

View PostRiaan, on 18 February 2010 - 06:57 PM, said:

I finally received my copies of Cyril Aldred's Akhenaten, King of Egypt, and Aidan Dodson's Amarna Sunset.

I hope you're enjoying Aldred's book on Akhenaten, Riaan. I haven't read it in years but I remember that besides being a bit dry, it was very informative and worthwhile. This one is still considered to be one of the most definitive books on Akhenaten's reign. I still haven't gotten around to reading Dodson's Amarna Sunset, which is an embarrassment on my part, but sooner or later I'll get there.

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“Calcite shawabti of Nefertiti restored from two fragments... Like the king’s examples it carries the sceptres and emblems of regal power...” [Aldred, Figure 23, p. 230]

He then states that "The inscription on her shawabti also makes it clear that despite holding of kingly sceptres, the crook and the flail, the shawabti represented her as queen regnant and not as a co-regent in male attire".

To me as a novice this statement is highly confusing, if not non-sensical. The use of the words "heiress" and "high and mighty in the palace" in the inscription certainly seems to suggest that someone (her husband the king) had died, and the mention of Akhenaten, (who was) great in his lifetime also suggests that he was no longer alive, i.e. she had outlived him.

Furthermore, the kingly sceptres would indeed suggest that she was the true ruler of Egypt. Aldred's explanation that she was nevertheless no more than a queen seems to be forced and it hardly constitutes unequivocal proof that she was not a ruler of kingly status.

This shawabti can be misleading if you're not familiar with the iconography and language. For instance, the crook and flail alone are not enough to demonstrate that Nefertiti was a monarch in her own right. Nefertiti was accorded honors and status few Egyptian queens ever possessed, up to and including her own large chapel or shrine at the Gempaaten temple complex at Karnak. A shrine for a queen wasn't that unusual, of course, but the fact that it was located at Karnak, the religious capital prior to Akhenaten's move to Amarna, is significant. Karnak was where kings honored the god Amun and, by extension, themselves. In the Gempaaten it wasn't Amun but the Aten, naturally. Nefertiti's chapel there was called the Hwt-bnbn ("Mansion of the Benben").

Also significant is the relief on talatats found at Hermopolis in which Nefertiti is shown on a boat smiting an enemy captive. I believe this is the one and only relief in which a queen is shown doing this, which was ordinarily reserved for kings and goes back to late prehistory (think of the Narmer Palette). You can view the reassembled relief on this page, from the website of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where it is on display. You can click the photo, zoom in, and move around the image.

Another thing to consider. The term "heiress" comes from the ancient Egyptian rpat, the feminine form of rpa, which Faulkner translates as "hereditary noble" or "heir" (2002: 148). My own personal belief is that this term derives from the very ancient courtly title iri-pat, which is first attested in the middle of Dynasty 1 and indicated membership in the ruling elite; the term pat probably designated royal kinsmen (Wilkinson 1999: 135-136). The point is, rpa or rpat did not indicate a sovereign or even a direct line to sovereignty, so we can't take it to mean king or even heir to the throne. It's not exclusively a royal title. It was often used in conjunction with other titles to indicate one's high status, such as with the title rpa HAty-a, "hereditary prince and count." In other words, rpa or rpat was an honorific title (Russman 2001: 91). There is no clean or precise translation for rpa, which is the case with many titles in ancient Egypt, so the choice of "heir" merely indicates high status.

Moreover, "high and mighty in the palace" does not indicate sovereignty, either. It simply means someone of great prominence, which Nefertiti clearly was. I did some searching and cannot find evidence for another queen bearing this title (stated as Aat m Hwt, literally "great in the palace," on the shawabti), but there are a number of titles and epithets unique to Akhenaten's reign.

I'll end with something else that needs emphasis. This shawabti clearly shows Nefertiti as subserviant to her husband, Akhenaten. She is described in the glyphs as Hsyt n nswt bity, "favored one of the King of the Two Lands" (followed by Akhenaten's cartouches), which puts her as second in importance to the king. Her cartouche comes last, also indicating a secondary status. She is specifically described in the glyphs as nswt Hmt wrt, "Great Wife of the king" (i.e., the principal wife), but nowhere is she specifically stated to be a monarch. The crook and flail aside, were this shawabti specifically meant to portray Nefertiti as a monarch, her name would be in the dominant position, it's more than possible that her husband's name would not be mentioned at all, and she would be clearly titled as the king. We see this very clearly on the monuments of Hatshepsut but nowhere on the monuments of Nefertiti. I have no problem accepting her as a regent and in fact that much seems clear, but I've never seen evidence to suggest that Nefertiti reigned as a monarch on her own.

If you are a subscriber to or have access to KMT magazine, Riaan, I'd recommend perusing the Fall 2009 issue. You might find Aidan Dodson's article beginning on page 41 to be quite interesting. It's called "Were Nefertiti & Tutankhaten Coregents?" This really has nothing to do with our debate here, but it's an argument that I don't believe anyone has suggested before, and Dodson provides pretty compelling evidence for it. ;)

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#259    kmt_sesh

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:30 AM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 19 February 2010 - 10:03 PM, said:

IIRC, Horemheb was the presumed heir-apparent of Tutankhamun, but was out maneuvered by Ay, whom once again was a commoner by birth. Therefore Ay had no legitimate claim to the throne. Horemheb, himself, upon acquiring the throne (from Ay's presumed heir-apparent Nakhtmin) erased much concerning the entire Amarna Period and those involved. Regardless of Ankhesenamun's opinion of Horemheb, she wouldn't have wanted a commoner (Ay) upon the throne, and as Suppiluliuma was known as a very strong king in his own right, might have tried to enlist his aid (by way of a son) to curtail if not prevent the situation from degrading any further.

cormac

I've never personally considered Nefertiti the likely candidate for the letter to Suppiluliuma because even the most basic facts do not fit. Now, as far as we can tell, neither Nefertiti nor Ankhesenamun had sons, and nothing in the recent genetic tests of Tut's line would change that understanding as far as I'm aware, but when Akhenaten died Nefertiti was not alone. There were two heirs to the throne if we consider the possibility that Smenkhkare were still alive, and even if he wasn't, there was still Tutankhamun. It would not have been possible for Nefertiti to upset the ascension of a legitimate crown prince, which describes both Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun.

However, when Tutankhamun died, there were no remaining heirs, period. Ankhesenamun was left widowed and in a nasty spot, with the prospect of having to marry either Ay or Horemheb, commoners both.

That said, have you ever read something from years ago but for the life of you cannot remember where? It's in one of my books but there's an old theory I find interesting and plausible, although it must be stressed that there is no proof to corroborate its veracity. The theory goes that Ay came to the widowed Ankhesenamun and suggested she write a letter to the king of Hatti and ask for a prince to become the new Egyptian king. Yes, it was Ay's idea (cue sinister music). Ankhesenamun warmed to the idea and sent a messenger with the letter to  Suppiluliuma, who we know at that time was besieging the Syrian city of Karkamis. After the ensuing letter-writing back and forth between Suppiluliuma and Ankhesenamun which resulted in Suppiluliuma's acquiescence, the Hittite king sent off his son Zannanza to become the new king of Egypt. Suppiluliuma was no doubt drooling at the prospect of having such access to the formidable and wealthy Egyptian state.

Now, as you intimated, by all rights Horemheb should've become the next king. He was commander of the powerful Egyptian army and was a redoubtable presence in the court, probably more so than the elderly Ay. But Ay was no fool and his ambitions guided him. He had set it all up by encouraging Ankhesenamun to write that letter to the king of Hatti. Now with Zannanza and his retinue on their way to Egypt, Ay went to Horemheb and told him Ankhesenamun was trying to "recruit" a Hittite prince to be the new Egyptian king (conveniently neglecting to mention to Horemheb that he, Ay, was the inspiration for the idea). Acting mortified, Ay convinced Horemheb to assemble a detachment to go off and intercept Zannanza before he arrived. You can almost hear Ay: "See to this matter yourself. Get rid of Zannanza, Horemheb--at all costs!" So off Horemheb goes, and he is of course ultimately successful in rubbing out the Hittite prince and his entire retinue.

Meanwhile, Ay took advantage of Horemheb's absence. He oversaw the proper burial of the deceased Tutankhamun, portrayed himself on the wall of the burial chamber as the rightful new king (cartouche and all), forced the hapless Ankhesenamun into marriage to cement his ascension, and made it all a fait accompli. It was a done deal by the time Horemheb got back. You can imagine Horemheb finding this out when he returned. "Aw, shucks!"

This is of course mere speculation. No one can even be certain that Zannanza was murdered, although that appears to have been likely. Still, it's kind of a fun scenario to play with. :D

View Postcormac mac airt, on 19 February 2010 - 10:07 PM, said:

Deleted double post.

cormac

Darn, I was hoping to read it again. :hmm:

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#260    cormac mac airt

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 04:36 AM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 21 February 2010 - 12:30 AM, said:

I've never personally considered Nefertiti the likely candidate for the letter to Suppiluliuma because even the most basic facts do not fit. Now, as far as we can tell, neither Nefertiti nor Ankhesenamun had sons, and nothing in the recent genetic tests of Tut's line would change that understanding as far as I'm aware, but when Akhenaten died Nefertiti was not alone. There were two heirs to the throne if we consider the possibility that Smenkhkare were still alive, and even if he wasn't, there was still Tutankhamun. It would not have been possible for Nefertiti to upset the ascension of a legitimate crown prince, which describes both Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun.

However, when Tutankhamun died, there were no remaining heirs, period. Ankhesenamun was left widowed and in a nasty spot, with the prospect of having to marry either Ay or Horemheb, commoners both.

That said, have you ever read something from years ago but for the life of you cannot remember where? It's in one of my books but there's an old theory I find interesting and plausible, although it must be stressed that there is no proof to corroborate its veracity. The theory goes that Ay came to the widowed Ankhesenamun and suggested she write a letter to the king of Hatti and ask for a prince to become the new Egyptian king. Yes, it was Ay's idea (cue sinister music). Ankhesenamun warmed to the idea and sent a messenger with the letter to  Suppiluliuma, who we know at that time was besieging the Syrian city of Karkamis. After the ensuing letter-writing back and forth between Suppiluliuma and Ankhesenamun which resulted in Suppiluliuma's acquiescence, the Hittite king sent off his son Zannanza to become the new king of Egypt. Suppiluliuma was no doubt drooling at the prospect of having such access to the formidable and wealthy Egyptian state.

Now, as you intimated, by all rights Horemheb should've become the next king. He was commander of the powerful Egyptian army and was a redoubtable presence in the court, probably more so than the elderly Ay. But Ay was no fool and his ambitions guided him. He had set it all up by encouraging Ankhesenamun to write that letter to the king of Hatti. Now with Zannanza and his retinue on their way to Egypt, Ay went to Horemheb and told him Ankhesenamun was trying to "recruit" a Hittite prince to be the new Egyptian king (conveniently neglecting to mention to Horemheb that he, Ay, was the inspiration for the idea). Acting mortified, Ay convinced Horemheb to assemble a detachment to go off and intercept Zannanza before he arrived. You can almost hear Ay: "See to this matter yourself. Get rid of Zannanza, Horemheb--at all costs!" So off Horemheb goes, and he is of course ultimately successful in rubbing out the Hittite prince and his entire retinue.

Meanwhile, Ay took advantage of Horemheb's absence. He oversaw the proper burial of the deceased Tutankhamun, portrayed himself on the wall of the burial chamber as the rightful new king (cartouche and all), forced the hapless Ankhesenamun into marriage to cement his ascension, and made it all a fait accompli. It was a done deal by the time Horemheb got back. You can imagine Horemheb finding this out when he returned. "Aw, shucks!"

This is of course mere speculation. No one can even be certain that Zannanza was murdered, although that appears to have been likely. Still, it's kind of a fun scenario to play with. :D


I have to wonder why Horemheb didn't force the issue of becoming Pharaoh? As commander of the Egyptian army, he should have had more than enough backing IMO to put Ay in his place. In the least, it had the potential of setting off a civil war of some degree.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#261    kmt_sesh

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:43 AM

We'll probably never know what really happened, but we can be certain Ay was no slouch. As a chancellor and high steward, he was probably better situated within the court than was Horemheb, and had more direct access to the king and queen. Some speculate that Ay was also a prime minister, and I believe while the evidence for this is shaky, if it's true that would have made him only more powerful.

There's also the possibility, as yet not definitively proven, that he was in fact part of this particular royal line, and as such had another way in. For instance, it's possible he was Ankhesenamun's grandfather. While it's icky even to think about, marrying his granddaughter, the widowed queen, would have assured his place on the throne. And let's not forget that by this time he was a very old man, perhaps in his late 60s, and saw that his time was running out. This was his last chance at ultimate power. However it happened, it happened.

And he died around four years later. Egypt was much better situated under Horemheb, who set in line the powerful Ramesside line of Dynasty 19. I've always liked Horemheb. A military man, you know. :D

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#262    Riaan

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:43 PM

Hi Kmt, as always a well formulated response! I am not nearly as knowledgeable as you on Egyptian history and have to concede that what you say does make sense. Much of my case rests on evidence provided by Manetho (Achenchres reigned for 12 years, meaning that she would have been Nefertiti and not Ankhesenamun), Rohl (David and Solomon were Amarna contemporaries, imlying that Solomon's Queen of Sheba = The Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia [Josephus]= the Queen of the South, i.e Egypt = Nefertiti) and the Koran [XXVII, 22-24]:

“I found a woman ruling over them, and she hath been given (abundance) of all things, and hers is a mighty throne [i.e. she was the sole ruler]. I found her and her people worshipping the sun [i.e. worshipping the Aten] instead of Allah.”

The woman described by these texts could not have been anyone but Nefertiti. My theory, that Nefertiti was a daughter of Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite, would explain why Nefertiti would have asked for a Hittite prince as husband. Better so, I would imagine, than the Horemheb plot!

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#263    Pythagoro

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:01 AM

View Postsinewave, on 12 January 2010 - 08:54 PM, said:

I mean no disrespect to Jewish tradition or those who believe in it and I hope this does not become a brawl but is there any archaeological evidence that Moses was a real person?  Do any details of his life correspond with established facts?  There have been some posts here recently that directly challenge his existence.  I have never had a reason to question the stories and always assumed there was real person or persons behind them.  It is clear though that the issue is far from settled.
We know Moses existed because we have physical evidence of his writing -- the Torah.

...

#264    ShadowSot

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:01 PM

View PostPythagoro, on 20 March 2011 - 05:01 AM, said:

We know Moses existed because we have physical evidence of his writing -- the Torah.
No, it's a book that sometimes claims he was writing it, but the writing style changes, ti switches tenses, speaks about Moses in the third person, and ultimately existed much longer as spoken myths and legends than written word.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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#265    questionmark

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:20 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 20 March 2011 - 01:01 PM, said:

No, it's a book that sometimes claims he was writing it, but the writing style changes, ti switches tenses, speaks about Moses in the third person, and ultimately existed much longer as spoken myths and legends than written word.

In fact the oldest evidence of being written dates around 500 BC... about 1000 years after the "myth".

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#266    Pythagoro

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:46 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 20 March 2011 - 01:01 PM, said:

No, it's a book that sometimes claims he was writing it
On the Origin of Species is a book that sometimes claims Darwin wrote it.  What's your point?

Quote

but the writing style changes, ti switches tenses, speaks about Moses in the third person, and ultimately existed much longer as spoken myths and legends than written word.
Same is true of the Origin of Species.

Edited by Pythagoro, 20 March 2011 - 09:47 PM.

...

#267    questionmark

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:51 PM

View PostPythagoro, on 20 March 2011 - 09:46 PM, said:

On the Origin of Species is a book that sometimes claims Darwin wrote it.  What's your point?


Same is true of the Origin of Species.

Hmmm... so I must conclude that you have never read it?

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#268    ShadowSot

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:13 PM

View PostPythagoro, on 20 March 2011 - 09:46 PM, said:

On the Origin of Species is a book that sometimes claims Darwin wrote it.  What's your point?


Same is true of the Origin of Species.

Eh... no.

Lets look at what evidence we have for Darwin:

Birth Record.
School Records.
Housing records.
Writings of concurrent people about him.
Writings of concurrent people about his theory.
Information about the voyage of the Beagle.
First hand accounts written by him.
His tomb, his family's graves.
And more, if I could think of it.

None of that exists for Moses, excepting the story told in the Bible. On such evidence, we must also conclude the likely existence of Sherlock Holmes.

As for the book itself, it's primarily written in the first person, dealing with his theory of Natural selection.

Now here's the important part:
Let's say  Darwin didn't exist, but we still have the book or theory.

  Evolutionary theory does not depend on Darwin, if he hadn't come across it, someone else would have.  Darwin is respected as the discoverer of the theory, much like Newton and the laws of Motion, Einstein and relativity, or Feynman and QED.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#269    questionmark

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:27 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 20 March 2011 - 10:13 PM, said:

Eh... no.

Lets look at what evidence we have for Darwin:

Birth Record.
School Records.
Housing records.
Writings of concurrent people about him.
Writings of concurrent people about his theory.
Information about the voyage of the Beagle.
First hand accounts written by him.
His tomb, his family's graves.
And more, if I could think of it.

None of that exists for Moses, excepting the story told in the Bible. On such evidence, we must also conclude the likely existence of Sherlock Holmes.

As for the book itself, it's primarily written in the first person, dealing with his theory of Natural selection.
Now here's the important part:
Let's say  Darwin didn't exist, but we still have the book or theory.

  Evolutionary theory does not depend on Darwin, if he hadn't come across it, someone else would have.  Darwin is respected as the discoverer of the theory, much like Newton and the laws of Motion, Einstein and relativity, or Feynman and QED.

.... additionally to the little fact that Darwin did not come to the conclusions all by himself as ill-informed creationists always pretend, his work was well founded on previous works by John Stevens Henslow, Richard Owen among others and if Darwin would not have published his book Joseph Dalton Hooker would have published the same theory a few month later. Which demonstrates again: There is nothing more powerful than a idea whose time has come...and nothing weaker and more instigating of fanaticism than a idea whose time has past.

Edited by questionmark, 20 March 2011 - 10:29 PM.

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#270    TheSearcher

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:18 AM

View PostPythagoro, on 20 March 2011 - 05:01 AM, said:

We know Moses existed because we have physical evidence of his writing -- the Torah.

There are about two dozen verses in the Hebrew Scriptures which state or strongly imply that Moses was the author. Consider the following passages :

    * Passages in the Pentateuch itself:
         o Exodus 24:4 "Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord's instructions."
         o Leviticus 1:1 "The Lord called to Moses from the Tabernacle and said to him, 'Give the following instructions to the Israelites...'"
         o Deuteronomy 31:9 "So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests."
         o Deuteronomy 31:24-26 "When Moses had finished writing down this entire body of law in a book..."
    * Passages elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures:
         o Joshua 8:31-34 "He followed the instructions that Moses the Lord's servant had written in the Book of the Law..."

But nowhere in the Torah is it specifically stated that Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch. Even if one believes in the inerrancy of religious scriptures, a case can be made that he authored only parts of the Torah, and that other writers added sections of their own and/or edited the resultant text.

And for info, this has nothing to do with Darwin or his writings, so please refrain from trolling. Thank you.

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