Did Moses Exist?

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor
of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

Jewish scholars are divided over the issue of whether Moses was a real person.

Rabbi Norman J. Cohen believes that Moses was a real person and that he “changed the course of human history all by himself.”

Rabbi S. David Sperling from the Reform Judaism Seminary in New York City is not certain that Moses even existed or, if he did, whether the Bible provides much reliable information about him.


The link below, where the story was published, is no longer active. Since this is a subject of much interest, I will write a post in the near future and I will provide an answer to this question.

Read the controversy by clicking here.

NOTE: For a complete list of studies on Moses, read my post Studies on Moses.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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This entry was posted in Book of Exodus, Moses and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Did Moses Exist?

  1. >If we are convinced by ‘lack of evidence’ simply by what we observe, maybe 1) We haven’t looked hard enough; 2) Are looking in the wrong places; or 3) Are looking for the wrong things. …I am refering to Rabbi Sperling’s comments questioning if Moses even existed.To me, the average Joe, if you simply read the story about Moses in Exodus, you find that this is one guy who really blew it alot. Now who would write a book about himself that was so self-incriminating? Very, very few people. Unless they truly had the humility Moses had as a leader. Moses tells us up front about his murder of an Egyptian, outcast from royalty, shepherding for 40 years, difficulty in marriage, hesitation in ‘stepping up’ when called to leadership, having to appoint a sidekick–his brother, outbursts of anger, failure to keep control of the people, having to go to his father-in-law for advice, rejected by God from going into the promised land, and on and on. To me, these are strong evidences of Moses’ life at one period of time in the past and the Bible’s authenticity. Real people, with real problems… wrestling with and relating to a loving and just God. If a bunch of ‘religious’ people would have written this book (the Bible) we have definitely cleaned it up and made ourselves look ALOT better. Wouldn’t have we?


  2. fencekicker says:

    >Mike,Some things to think about: Perhaps ‘religious’ people would have made themselves look better, but those who honor their god as the most high who is merciful and just (and their sole benefactor) would certainly debase themselves before suggesting that God has failed his people in anyway. Also, when the king has your life in his hands, you certainly wouldn’t try to make yourself look good when doing so would dishonor the king. If you were to see a non-biblical ancient text which portrayed a human in a similar manner as Moses, would you readily accept it as truth?This post, the article and your comment has inspired me to write about the topic of Bible accuracy and faith on my blog. If you are interested, you can read it here: http://journalofheresies.blogspot.com/2007/01/bible-truth-lies-and-faith.html fencekicker


  3. Olatunji says:

    >First of all, there are several books that have been plagerized from the more ancient " Egyptian Book of The Dead ", There are also, at least two contradictions in the Bible Genesis 22:14 & Exodus 6:2&3. In addition, there are several books the Bible mentions that are not contained in the Bible, why aren't they there and who decided we should see or read them? See Numbers 21:14, Joshua 10:13, 2nd Samuel 1:17&18, 1st Chronicles 29:29, 2nd Chronicles 9:29 2nd Chronicles 12:15 and 2nd Chronicles 20:34. The Bible is not the truth but it has truths in it. Even its history is skewed. They can't find anything to substantiate the exitence of most of the so-called famous perosanges in the Bible. These are the facts. If you can, please present your facts, and not your beliefs to refute what I'm saying.


  4. >Dear Olatunji,It is clear from your comment that you do not understand how the Bible was formed. If you study a little of the history of the Ancient Near East and if you look at the archaeological record you will discover that there are several synchronisms between secular history and biblical history.You have also to understand that the purpose of the Bible is not to provide a historical account of events. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal what God has done in Christ.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


  5. Anonymous says:

    >Dear Dr. Claude,I think that the biblical history is Bull Sh.. The people are confused with this nonsense because IT'S WRITTEN in the way you can not interpret it right. There are or contradictions or wrong translations.And every one who clams WITH facts that biblical history and Bible stories are MITH, to those persons would be told… "you do not understand … "Right!


  6. >Dear Anonymous,Your disparaging remarks about the Bible does not take away the fact that the Bible has made an impact in our society because of its teaching. When properly understood and interpreted the Bible has much to teach our society.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


  7. Anonymous says:

    >Dr. Mariottini,I agree the bible has much to teach humanity. However, proper understanding and interpretation of the bible are very subjective concepts. Many people think they understand the bible, when, in fact, they only parrot non-sense that others have said.


  8. >Dear Anonymous,This repeating of non-sense of what other people have said is what I call "popular theology." Many people's knowledge of the Bible is based on "popular theology."Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


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