The Pentateuch (Torah) included in the Old Testament is claimed to be the collection of the revelations of the Prophet Moses. We firmly claim that the books of Pentateuch do not possess any authority or support to prove that they were in fact revealed to Moses and that they were written by him or through him. We possess sound arguments to support our claim.
THE FIRST ARGUMENT:
The existence of the Torah, Pentateuch, is not historically known before King Josiah, the son of Amon. The script of the Pentateuch which was found by a priest called Hilkiah 18 years after Josiah`s ascension to throne is not believable solely on the grounds that it was found by a priest Apart from this obvious fact, this book had again disappeared before the invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchdnezzar
Not only the Pentateuch, but also all the books of the Old Testament were destroyed in this historical calamity. History does not evince any evidence of the existence of these books after this invasion
According to the Christians the Pentateuch was rewritten by the Prophet Ezra.
This book along with its copies were again destroyed and burnt by Antiochus at the time of his invasion of Jerusalem.
THE SECOND ARGUMENT:
It is an accepted notion of all Jewish and Christian scholars that the First and Second books of Chronicles were rewritten by Ezra with help of the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, but we note that the seventh and eighth chapters of this book consist of descriptions of the descendants of Benjamin which are mutually contradictory. These descriptions also contradict statements in the Pentateuch, firstly in the names, and secondly in counting the number of the descendants. In chapter 7 we read that Benjamin had three sons and in chapter 8 we find that he had five sons while the Pentateuch claims that he had ten sons
Both the Christian and the Jewish scholars are unanimous on the point that the statement made by the First Book of Chronicles is erroneous, and they have justified this error by saying that the Prophet Ezra could not distinguish and separate the sons from the grandsons, because the genealogical tables from which he had quoted were defective and incomplete.
It is true that three prophets (who wrote the Pentateuch) were necessarily sincere followers of the Pentateuch . Now if we assume that the Pentateuch of Moses was the same one written by these Prophets, it seems quite illogical that they should deviate and or make mistakes in the divine book, neither was it possible that Ezra would have wrongly trusted an incomplete and defective table of genealogy in a matter of such importance.
Had the Pentateuch written by Ezra been the same famous Pentateuch, they would have not deviated from it. These evidences lead us to believe that the present Pentateuch was neither the one revealed to Moses and written down by him nor the one written by Ezra by inspiration. In fact, it is a collection of stories and traditions which were current among the Jews, and written down by their scholars without a critical view to their authorities.
Their claim that three prophets committed mistakes in copying the names and number of the sons of Benjamin leads us to another obvious conclusion that, according to the Christians, the prophets are not protected from wrong action and can be involved in committing major sins, similarly they can make mistakes in writing or preaching the holy books.
THE THIRD ARGUMENT:
Any reader of the Bible making a comparison between chapters 45 and 46 of the book of Ezekiel, and chapters 28 and 29 of the Book of Numbers, will find that they contradict each other in religious doctrine. It is obvious that the prophet Ezekiel was the follower of the doctrines of the Pentateuch. If we presume that Ezekiel had the present Pentateuch how could he have acted upon those doctrines without deviating from it.
Similarly we find in various books of the Pentateuch the statement that the sons will be accountable for the sins committed by their fathers up until three generations. Contrary to this, the Book of Ezekiel (18 : 20) says, “Son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him”.
This verse implies that no-one will be punished for the sin of others. And this is the Truth. The Holy Qur`an has confirmed it. It says:
“No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another.”
THE FOURTH ARGUMENT:
The study of the books of Psalms, Nehemiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel testifies to the fact that the style of writing in that age was similar to the present style of Muslim authors; that is to say, readers can easily distinguish between the personal observations of the author and his quotations from other writers.
The Pentateuch in particular, is very different in style, and we do not find even a single place to indicate that the author of this book was Moses. On the contrary it leads us to believe that the author of the books of the Pentateuch is someone else who was making a collection of current stories and customs of the Jews. However, in order to separate the statements which he thought were the statements of God and Moses, he prefixed them with the phrases, “God says”or “Moses said”. The third person has been used for Moses in every place. Had it been the book of Moses, he would have used the first person for himself. At least there would have been one place where we could find Moses speaking in the first person. It would certainly have made the book more respectable and trustworthy to its followers. It must be agreed that a statement made in the first person by the author carries more weight and value than his statement made by someone else in the third person. Statements in the first person cannot be refuted without powerful arguments, while statements in the third person require to be proved true by the one who wishes to attribute those statements to the author.
THE FIFTH ARGUMENT:
The present Pentateuch includes within its chapters some statements which are historically impossible to attribute to Moses. Some verses explicitly denote that the author of this book cannot have existed prior to the Prophet David but must either be a contemporary of David of later than him.
The Christian scholars have tried to justify the opinion that these sentences were added later on by certain prophets. But this is merely a false assumption which is not supported by any argument. Moreover, no prophet of the Bible has ever mentioned that he has added a sentence to a certain chapter of a certain book. Now unless these chapters and sentences are not proved through infallible arguments to have been added by a prophet they remain the writings of someone other than the Prophet Moses.
THE SIXTH ARGUMENT:
The author of Khulasa Saiful-Muslimeen has quoted from volume 10 of Penny Encyclopaedia (which we reproduce here from Urdu) that Dr Alexander Gides, an acknowledged Chritstian writer, has said in his introduction to the New Bible:
“I have come to know three things beyond doubt through some convincing arguments:
1 The present Pentateuch in not the book of Moses.
2 This book was written either in Cana`an or Jerusalem. That is to say, it was not written during the period when the Israelites were living in the wilderness of the desert.
3 Most probably this book was written in the period of the Prophet Solomon, that is, around one thousand years before Christ, the period of the poet Homer. In short, its composition can be proved to be about five hundred years after the death of Moses.
THE SEVENTH ARGUMENT:
Norton, a learned Christian scholar has said, (we reproduce here an abridgement translated from Urdu).
“There appears no appreciable difference between the node of expression of the Pentateuch and the idiom of the other books of the Old Testment which were written after the release of the Israelites from the captivity of Babylon, while they are separated by not less than nine hundred years from each other. Human experience testifies to the fact that languages are influenced and change rapidly with the passing of time. For example, if we compare current English language with the language of four hundred years ago we notice a considerable difference in style, expression and idiom between the two languages. By the absence of this difference in the language of these books Luselen, a learned scholar, who had great command over Hebrew language assumed that all these books were written in one and the same period.
THE EIGHTH ARGUMENT:
We read in the book of Deuteronomy (27: 5) “And there shalt thou build an altar unto the Lord, thy God, an altar of stones. Thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. And thou shall write upon the stones all the work of this law very plainly.”
This verse appears in Persian translation published in 1835 in these words:
“And write all the words of the Pentateuch (Torah) on the stones very clearly.” In the Persian translation of 1845, it appears like this:
“Write the words of this Torah (Pentateuch) on the stones in bright letters.”
And the book of Joshua says:
“Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal, as Moses, the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel.” (8 : 30, 31)
And verse 32 of the same chapter contains:
“And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.”
(Josh. 8 : 32).
All these extracts sufficiently show that the laws of Moses or the Pentateuch was just as much as could be written on the stones of an altar.
Now if we presume that it is the present Pentateuch that is referred to in the above verses this would be impossible.
THE NINTH ARGUMENT:
Norton, a missionary, said, “Writing was not in vogue in the time of Moses, “indicating that if writing was not in use in the period of Moses, he could not be the author of the Pentateuch. If the authentic books of history confirm his statement this can be a powerful argument in this connection. This statement is also supported by the book “English History” printed by Charles Dallin Press, London in 1850. It says “The people of the past ages used to scribble on plates of copper, wood and wax, with needles of iron and brass of pointed bones. After this the Egyptians made use of the leaves of the papyrus reed. It was not until the 8th century that paper was mace from cloth. The pen was invented in the seventh century AD.”
If this historian is acceptable to Christians, the claim made by Norton is sufficiently confirmed.
THE TENTH ARGUMENT:
The present Pentateuch contains a large number of errors while the words of the Prophet Moses must have been free of this defect. Genesis 46:15 says:
“These be the sons of Leah which she bore unto Jacob in Padanaram with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his cons and daughters were thirty and three”
The figure 33 is wrong. The correct number is 34. The famous commentator Horsely also admitted this mistake. He said :
“If you count the names, including Diana, the total comes to 34 and Dianah must be included as is evident form the number of the sons of Zilpha, because Sarah was one of the sixteen.
Similarly the Book of Deuteronomy 23 : 2 contains this statement:
“A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord, even to his tenth generation shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”
This statement is also not correct. On the basis of this statement the Prophet David and all his ancestors up to Perez would be excluded from the congregation of the Lord because Perez was an illegitimate son of Judah. This is quite evident form the description in chapter 38 of the Book of Genesis. And the Prophet David happens to be in his tenth
Generation according to the genealogical descriptions of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Needless to say that the Prophet David was the leader of the congregation of the Lord, and according to the Psalms of David he was the first born of God.
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