Originally it was written by Moses. However, we do not know how many
iterations it has gone through since then. How often was it translated
and retranslated by Jewish scribes. Which version was found by Josiah's
people in the temple?
There were different versions of ancient writings, depending on whether a
person was from Judah or Israel, for example. We have what are now
considered the written traditions of J and E (Jehovah and Elohim). Some
LDS scholars suggest that the Brass Plates of Laban may have been the "E"
source, as it would have come from the land of Israel and speaks of
prophets that were concentrated there. Instead of pushing the law of
Moses and the Yahwist/Jehovah-ist belief system, it tends toward the
Elohim belief system: high places and altars for worship, personal
revelations to individuals rather than a societal religion that imposes
revelation on the individuals, etc.
Both Hezekiah and Josiah tried changing the Yahwist religion into one of
centralized temple worship, removing all other places of worship.
Meanwhile, the nation of Israel/Ephraim stayed loyal to the ancient
tradition of high places and altars (like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob used),
and building two specific altars with gold calves. I have surmised
through my studies that these calves may have been representative of
Elohim, who like Baal, was represented by a bull anciently (power,
reproductive ability, etc).
While much of ancient Israel believed Jehovah and Elohim had a consort
(female wife), later Yahwists rejected this idea.
So there were many ideas floating around. All of these beliefs found
their way into the Bible, with only the Yahwist belief, modified by a
later Priestly form, strongly surviving into the post-Babylonian exile
period. After 500 BC, the prophets were based on a temple-centric
religion and taught from that form. Christ and his apostles actually
broke somewhat from the Yahwist format, returning to the ancient form
(Christ praying in the wilderness, infrequent visits to the temple except
for Passover, Mount of Transfiguration, etc).
So, it is as complicated as Marc puts it. Interestingly, the BoM supports
the idea of it being complicated. The Brass Plates show another version
of the scriptures, with additional prophets (Zenos, Zenoc, etc) and a
different viewpoint (Joseph vs Judah). Lehi and Jeremiah also preach
against the Yahwist religion of the day. Jeremiah praises the Rekhabites,
a tribe of Israelites that lived in the wilderness and worshiped as the
ancients did, and condemns the way temple worship turned out.
We see this same thing occur with the Dead Sea Scrolls, as their Teacher
of Righteousness condemns the False/Wicked Priest for usurping the
priesthood and temple authority. They go to the wilderness to worship in
purity. I see a trend....that continues today.
Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Deuteronomy was written by Moses, just as the rest of the Pentateuch
was. It was not part of a "strange and complex historical soup." --JWR
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