In what script did Moses write the Pentateuch?

Asked May, 14,2018 by  Unregistered
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In this undated photo provided by Alma mater Studiorum Universita’ di Bologna, a document that an Italian expert says to be the oldest known complete Torah scroll. An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts says he has found the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the library of the University of Bologna, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century. Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the university’s cultural heritage department, was updating the library’s Hebrew manuscript catalogue when he stumbled upon the scroll in February. In an interview Wednesday, May 29, 2013 Perani said he immediately recognized that it had been wrongly dated given its script and other graphic notations. Two separate carbon-14 dating tests confirmed the revised dating. (AP Photo/Alma Mater Studiorum Universita’ di Bologna)

Hello E,

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Skeptics mocked the idea that Moses could have written the Pentateuch in Hebrew during the second millennium B.C., convinced that Hebrew writing didn’t exist at that time. Those who admitted that Moses might have written part of the Pentateuch, or certain experiences such as this one, thought that he must have used either Egyptian hieroglyphic script or Babylonian cuneiform.

According to the evidence the first alphabetic form of writing was invented—if not in Phoenicia or southern Palestine—in the very region of Sinai where Moses received the command to write the story of Amalek’s defeat in a book (Exodus 17:14). In 1916 Dr. Alan Gardiner published his first attempt to decipher inscriptions found some ten years earlier by Sir Flinders Petrie which the Egyptian copper mines of the Wadi Magâra on Sinai. Later expeditions have increased the number of inscriptions from that place, and the combined labor of a number of outstanding linguists has succeeded in deciphering this previously unknown script. These inscriptions show the amazing fact that they constitute the earliest attempts at composing a Semitic script, which consisted of about 25 characters.

The makers of this alphabet were probably Canaanites who worked for the Egyptians in mines in Sinai. These used certain Egyptian hieroglyphs to express abstract phonetic sounds instead of concrete objects. This was a great invention. We still use a modified form of the alphabetic script invented probably on the Sinai Peninsula before the Exodus. For example, the letter b, is a direct descendant of the first character used at Sinai for that sound.

The invention of alphabetic writing shortly before the Exodus was a gift from God as the invention of printing by movable type shortly before the Reformation. The Bible could never have become the “book of the people” if it had been necessary to write it in the complicated hieroglyphic or cuneiform systems which preceded the invention of alphabetic script. With this new script, it was easy for Moses to write the story of God’s dealings with His.

In His service,

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