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Got into an interesting discussion with a priest recently on the Mosaic authorship of the Torah/Pentateuch. This was in response to a powerpoint presentation for elementary school children which included that Moses was the author of the Torah.

I questioned this, particularly after reading the introduction to the Catholic Study Bible, as well as the book, Who Wrote the Bible.

While I realize that this isn't a Catholic source and may need to be taken with a grain of salt, it doesn't seem to be saying much that is different than what I found in the introduction to the Pentateuch in my Catholic Study Bible (NAB, page RG 38).

The priest pointed to New Advent Catholic Encylclopedia,

(start with the section on Ecclesiastical Decisions)

and also with the St. Jerome Biblical Guild:

which are essentially the same decision/source.

Yet, I have reservations. This decision is dated 1906. There's a HUGE amount of archaeology and study that has happened since then, in fact, probably the bulk of it. So I wonder if there are any more recent decisions which address the Mosaic authorship of the Torah?

Does the Catholic Church still teach that Moses authored the Torah/Pentateuch or is the teaching now more nuanced, e.g., that Moses began the Torah, but that other authors in his school completed it, in order to take into account that some of the laws are from a later time period, Moses can't write about his own death, etc.

P.S. I realize that this is probably a bit more nuanced than an elementary school child might be able to absorb, but I'm nevertheless curious for myself...

P.P.S. FYI, just completed my training to become a Basic Catechist for my diocese. :)


Hopefully, Norm will still be reading this board...
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