Over the next few weeks, we will be serialising a paper by Bro B.Burt (Cov West) for those who did not see it when it was first published.

We will reproduce this in short ‘snippets’ to make it easier to digest and comment upon should you wish to do so


The evidence within the book of Genesis points to the fact that the so called Higher Critics were right in their conclusion that Genesis consists of a series of manuscripts, written by different authors, brought together & completed by an editor.  The writer remembers bro Edward Whittaker saying “The Higher Critics have done the hack work for us – but don’t follow their conclusions!”

There are clear evidences of ‘editorship’ within the text of Genesis.  Gen.14v3 has already been commented upon above.  It is one of several verses within the chapter where additional geographical details have been added, viz.:


Ref Addition
v.2 Which is Zoar
v.3 Which is the salt sea
v.6 Which is by the wilderness
v.7 Which is Kedesh
v.8 The same is Zoar


Bela was renamed Zoar by Lot in Gen.19v22 after he had fled there from Sodom.  The Vale of Siddim became the Salt Sea after the overthrow of Sodom – Gen.19.  En-mishpat was presumably named Kadesh (holy) by the Children of Israel when they camped there – Num.13.  Yet in all of these additions, there is no hint of who might have made them.  However in Gen.50 there are two more geographical additions which are more revealing.  “And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan…wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan” (Gen.50v10-11).   Atad was on the direct route from Egypt to Hebron (see Ex.13v17).  It is believed to have been on the border between Egypt and Canaan and therefore was an appropriate place for the party to stop and mourn.  But it is described in the verses cited above as being “beyond Jordan” – this is the viewpoint of the compiler of the book of Genesis, dwelling at that time in a tent “in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho” (Num.35v1) where Moses finished writing the words of the Law and formally delivered them to the Levites (Dt.31v24-26).

Thus, there is a sense in which the traditional view that ‘Moses wrote Genesis’ is correct but the fullness of the matter is that Moses took the Scriptures (Ga.3v8 & Jas.2v23) which the children of Israel had brought out of Egypt (the “Testimony” of Ex.16v34!) and bought them together into the book of Genesis which we have today, adding by the Spirit such details as he was directed to do[1].

[1] There is one detail in Genesis which the author is aware of which does not fit with the concept of Moses being the final ‘editor’ of the Genesis manuscript – Gen.14v14 refers to Abram reaching “Dan”.  This must have been an even later inspired geographical update – possibly by Samuel?

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