Didn’t Jesus always seem to have exactly what he needed for the occasion when people laid traps for him? In Luke 20:20-26, the people marveled as His answer to those who desired to trap Him in His answer to a question that was loaded with trouble. “Why is it that I can’t be as effective as Jesus!” we express ourselves in frustration. A couple of things to remember that might help us. First, Jesus was God and God is never flat-footed. Second, with regard to us, it is by experience that we learn what and how to say what needs to be spoken. Perhaps there is a third point to add to this: just as it is with us, it was with the Lord also—people did not always accept the answer given (Luke 11:53-54).
For a good while, about the last 200-250 years, there has been a battle raging between those who look at the Bible as a book composed by mere man and those who believe the Scriptures are authored by the Lord. The first group attributes many sources to the composition of the Bible. One such theory of sources is associated with what is known as the documentary hypothesis (DH). The DH is a wishful guess regarding material coming into existence and then arranged into what we have currently.
The J,E,P,D hypothesis (DH) is a prevalent view among academics in biblical matters. What is the JEPD hypothesis? It is a theory fabricated that asserts the view that Moses was not author of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible); rather, there was some varied authors who wrote and are now classified under each letter. In other words, there is a “J” writer, a “P” writer, etc. The “J” writer is one who wrote with an emphasis relative to the word “Jehovah,” the “P” writer wrote with an emphasis upon “priestly” things, the “E” writer with an emphasis upon “Elohim” matters, and the “D” writer with an emphasis on matters associated with “law”.
What is the evidence of such? Note what James Burton Coffman said: “There is absolutely no evidence whatever that any such document as ‘J,’ ‘E,’ or ‘P’ ever existed anywhere on this earth. Not even one little half-word from any such ‘document’ has ever been discovered on any ancient monument, or upon any clay tablet excavated from the Middle East graveyard of ancient civilizations” (Genesis, 1985, p. 8).
This is still the case today. That does not stop, however, current scholarship from asserting contrary opinions (without documentary evidence). In the latest issue of Restoration Quarterly (Volume 55, Number 4) one reads “[t]he current scholarly consensus is that the Pentateuch is a composite work” (p. 195). This means, though there is no evidence of the JEPD series of documents, the so-called scholars still believe that Moses did not author the first five books of the Bible.
This is a serious matter, and not one to be lightly dismissed. The History Channel is replete with such references in discussion concerning the Bible (cf. Matthew 15:14). When one considers and compares the “opinion” (or absolute truth) of Jesus, that which “scholarly consensus” expressed needs to be summarily dismissed. Jesus in a number of places attributed authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses (Matthew 8:4; 19:7-8; 22:24; 23:2; John 1:17; 3:14, etc.).
Thus, we have a couple of options to consider. First, the JEPD set of documents are in hand and evidence not to be dismissed. Second, Jesus spoke the truth when He attributed authorship to Moses. These are your only two options. If you have chosen the first you have, consequently, called Jesus a liar. Since option 1 is false (Titus 1:2), then option 2 is the only one a Christian can hold and be considered faithful to that which Jesus said. How can holding option 1 be considered a faithful reliance upon what the Lord said? It can’t!
An imaginary conversation: “Jesus, who wrote Genesis through Deuteronomy?” “Moses did; why do you ask?” “Because some who are called scholars say Moses didn’t, but that it’s a composite of a number of writers.” “Well, you can believe them, or you can believe me!” RT
Political turmoil was a norm in the days of the Lord; there might have been some stability, but when a political leader like Herod is able to kill who he wants and when he wants to, to say there in NOT turmoil is to be mistaken. Can you imagine living (always) in fear of someone behind you? This is how Herod lived, and when he heard of the Scriptures attesting to a new born king, that was enough to get him into action! R.C. Foster said that Herod died in March of 4 B.C., and if he saw to it that the males were killed at two years of age and younger, we get a time frame in which our Lord was born (D.A. Carson notes that some have attempted to take the years of our Lord’s birth to 2 B.C.). However, with that, we still don’t know exactly when it was – so how in the world can anyone assert that is was December 25th?! It may have been, but not a single one of knows this to be the case.
If the Lord was 33 years of age when He was crucified, at what year would His passing have been?
In 2:6 we read that in Bethlehem the Messiah would be born; this is how the religious leaders interpreted the Scripture in their day and this is what they told the king as well. “As shown by the rendering of the Targum Jonathan, the prediction of Micah v.2 was at that time universally understood as pointing to Bethlehem, as the birthplace of the Messiah” (Edersheim, Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 8, p. 206, 1904 edition). The significance of this remark by Edersheim will be seen when we take note how Orthodox Judaism now looks at the passage. This passage does not place the birth of the Messiah in the city (town, village) of Bethlehem, but only from the house of David who, himself, was born in Bethlehem. “… it is from this family that the Messianic king will emerge … Scripture does not mean that the Messiah’s birthplace will be the city of Bethlehem [as Christian writers propose] but that the Messianic king will be a descendent of the House of David which originated in Bethlehem” (Commentary on Micah 5:1, ArtScroll Tanach Series, Volume 2, p. 37).