Genesis 1:1 - 31
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
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Moses is credited with writing not only Genesis, but the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy. (I should add that the last few verses of Deuteronomy 34 are thought to have been written by someone else [possibly -- even *probably* -- Joshua, who was Moses' "right hand man.])
That's a good question because the Bible isn't specific in saying the answer, but a lot of people believe that it was most-likely Moses. (:
It is recognized by most conservatives that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch. However, there is a peculiar thing about Genesis. There is evidence that Moses had resources, pre-existing records, that he used to write the book. It is the only book of the Pentateuch that when it is quoted, the words are never linked to Moses. This and the following has been pointed out by P. J. Wiseman, a British officer who served in the Middle East in the 1930s and who authored the book, ‘New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis.’ In several places, Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, 11:27, 25:19, and 37:2 are closing statements with the formula, “This is the history/genealogy…” The Hebrew word is ‘toledoth’ meaning ‘annals’ or ‘records.’ This was the very pattern Wiseman noted on clay tablets he had found. Each had an ending format, a ‘colophon’ (Greek for ‘finishing touch’), with a statement of publication details of what it was, the name of the person who wrote it or owned it, and the occasion if it was a memorable event. This means the Genesis records could have been on clay tablets. A characteristic of the clay tablets is the repetition of phrases from tablet to tablet. The tablets often begin with repeated words from the end of the previous record to keep continuity. This is also seen in the early chapters of Genesis as a couple of examples show: Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 2:4 “LORD God made the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 2:4 “When they were created.” Genesis 5:2 “When they were created.” Genesis 10:1 “After the Flood.” Genesis 11:10 “After the Flood.” Evidences that Genesis was edited are explanatory notes interspersed in Genesis especially after chapter 10. For example, the boundaries for Canaanites are given before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 10:19. Other editorial comments are given about the coastland peoples spreading Genesis 10:5, and the origin of the Philistines, Genesis 10:14. Many places are identified such as Genesis 14:2, 8 which explain that Bela and Zoar are the same. Bethel was once Luz, Genesis 28:19. Many other explanations throughout Genesis, editorial remarks of small details, had to be by Moses and could not be later than the time of Moses. In all of this Moses kept the original ancient records intact. Genesis 26:5 states that Abraham kept God’s charge, commandments, statutes and laws. If these were written records it is possible he had the tablets making up the early record of Genesis. Genesis 25:5 says Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, which may suggest passing down the records to him and subsequently they went with Jacob into Egypt. Acts 7:22 states, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians...” If so, with his education and skills, he likely wrote Genesis using the records passed down.
Moses under inspiration combined together prior documents to write Genesis. Our current version comes from Ezra who shortened and essensified the original Genesis of Moses.
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