Magazine Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSP 1:2 (Spring 1988) p. 31
“Name of Deuteronomy’s Author Found on Seal Ring” is the title of an article in Biblical Archaeology Review for September/October 1987. Of course, the name is “Moses” - right? Wrong!
The name on the ring is “Hanan.” He was a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem about 610–600 BC. The palaeography (age determined by the shape of the letters] is similar to the Siloam Inscription found in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, thus placing it at this time.
The inscription on the ring says “(Belonging} to Hanan, son of Hilqiyahu the priest.” This is exciting, for it was a priest by the name of “Hilkiah” who found a scroll of the Torah in the Temple (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:14). This ring very well could have been the property of Hilkiah’s own son (“Hilkiah” and “Hilqiyahu” are perhaps the same name).
When the newly discovered scroll was read to Josiah, he was so moved he began a great reformation and renewed the covenant between the people and Yahweh. Most scholars would agree that the scroll he found was Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy explicitly speaks of a king’s responsibility to keep the Law and Covenant (Deuteronomy 17:14–20; 29).
Unfortunately, however, many Bible scholars deny that Moses wrote Deuterenomy, thus the tire of this article (above). They would say, as the article does, that “Hilkiah ‘found’...” or “discovered” the scroll in the sense that he actually wrote it himself or had it written under his supervision and ascribed it to Moses to give it authenticity.
A recently published example of this approach was reported in U.S. News and World Report (8/24/87). Richard Friedman Just published Who Wrote the Bible?, concluding, among other things, that Jeremiah or his scribe, Baruch, wrote Deuteronomy. But, NOT Moses. In fact, it was not until Ezra’s time that a “cut and paste” Job on the first five books was completed, according to this author.
Where does Friedman get his basic ideas? For him “the Bible is a blend of history and fiction...” This, because he holds, to the “Documentary Hypothesis,” or JEDP theory, outmoded and disproven decades ago in books and articles simply ignored. Although even most liberal scholars claim they reject German Wellhausenism (first propounded in the mid-1600’s), the basic tenents still control their writing and teaching. Carl Henry, of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, says of the theory in the U.S. News article that it is “more tangled than spaghetti.” Herbert Livingston says elsewhere,
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