SPECIAL TOPIC: LATER EDITORIAL ADDITIONS TO DEUTERONOMY

Deuteronomy 10:6-9 is seen by many modern scholars to be one of several later editorial additions to the writings of Moses. Although it cannot be proven that this summary is not from the Mosaic period, it is clear that there are several editorial inserts. Israel was in Egypt for centuries and Egyptian scribes, unlike Mesopotamian scribes, were trained to update texts at will. For those of us who believe in the inspiration and protection of divine revelation assert the Spirit's guidance in the OT related to these editorial additions. They do not affect major doctrines or call into question the historicity of the surrounding texts. It must be admitted by moderns that we simply do not know:

1. the time 

2. the author(s) 

3. the method of compilation

of the OT in its earliest stages. We presuppositionally accept the Masoretic Hebrew Text (MT) as preserving the words of God!  See John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture (2013).

A new theory for some of the supposed editorial additions has been suggested by R. H. Polzin, "Deuteronomy" in The Literary Guide to the Bible. It posits the added comments are from a narrator, not an editor. He suggests that this narrator's comments can be seen in Deut. 1:1-5; 2:10-12, 20-23; 3:9, 11, 13b-14; 4:4-5:1a; 10:6-7, 9; 27:1a, 9a, 11; 28:69; 29:1; 31:1, 7a, 9-10a, 14a, 14c-16a, 22-23a, 24-25, 30; 32:44-45, 48; 33:1; 34:1-4a, 5-12. Polzin asserts that this supposed narrator is claiming an authority as reliable as Moses, which sets the stage for the "Deuteronomic history" of Joshua – Kings. This theory would explain the similarities between the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets.

In my  "OT Survey" online, I list several editorial additions.

1.  Genesis 12:6; 13:7; 14:14; 21:34; 32:32; 36:31; 47:11

2.  Exodux 11:3; 16:36

3.  Numbers 12:1,3; 13:22; 15:22-23; 21:14-15; 32:33ff

4.  Deuteronomy 3:14; 27:3,8; 28:58; 29:21,29; 30:10,19; 31:24; 34:6

 

For a complete discussion of the authorship of the Pentateuch, see Genesis Introduction, IV. Authorship, online at www.freebiblecommentary.org.

 

 

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