Evidencing Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch takes filmmaker Timothy Mahoney on a journey connecting God’s creation of the alphabet to His design to spread His Word.
In making “Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy,” in theaters March 14, 16 and 19 only, Mahoney goes beyond his intended premise of discovering Moses’ authorship of the first five books of the Bible.
Unexpected in his research, Mahoney told Baptist Press (BP), was unearthing the importance of the alphabet to God’s relationship with humanity. He referenced John 1, where God describes Himself as the Word.
“I think that in order for us to understand who God is, we have to know His Word, and God is saying that ‘I am My Word,’” Mahoney said. “And words are made up of letters. And then what does it say (in John 1)? The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Mahoney discovered “overwhelming evidence that the world’s first alphabet,” which he believes was given by God to the early Israelites, was used by Moses to author the first books of the Bible.
Non-evangelical scholars question Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch or Torah, purporting that he didn’t have the ability to write the books in Hebrew, that the events predate by centuries alphabetic writing, and that the Pentateuch was written years later by multiple authors, Mahoney said. The film seeks evidence such mainstream scholars are missing, and seeks to dispel growing assertions that would reduce the books to folklore.
“We’re basically showing that the connection between Moses’ authorship [and the Pentateuch] is the ability for Moses to have written,” Mahoney told BP. “This film connects this first writing system of these Proto-Sinaitic letters that were found. It builds a case that the history of the Israelites matches the history of this alphabet.
“The form of writing that became eventually Hebrew, I believe, points back to the Israelites and their ability to write.”
Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch is foundational to the gospel, the filmmaker said, referenced by Jesus and New Testament authors including Peter and Paul.
“If we get right down to it, for Christians, Jesus says ‘for if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of Me, but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My Words?’” Mahoney said, referencing John 5:46-47. “If Moses didn’t write this, then what we’re dealing with now is – we’re dealing with Jesus. … And then Jesus says, ‘Has not Moses given you the law?’ (John 7:19).”
The film is the second in Mahoney’s historical “Patterns of Evidence” series of documentaries that debuted in 2014 with “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” a 12-year project that garnered 13 “best documentary” awards. In prepping for the upcoming installments, “The Red Sea Miracle” and “Journey to Mt. Sinai,” Mahoney encountered scholars who questioned the historicity of the Pentateuch. The questions birthed the current documentary, strengthened by interviews with 15 leading experts in Egyptology, ancient Hebrew, religion and archeology. The film examines the earliest forms of text, including hieroglyphics and cave inscriptions found in the Sinai region.
“In my own research for the evidence, I had to ask myself if I believe the Bible because it’s true, or because it’s just what I believed because of my upbringing,” Mahoney said in a press release. “Since the rest of the Bible is based on the writings of Moses, the credibility of the exodus and the rest of the Bible is directly connected to the question of Moses’ authorship.”
Mahoney sees the alphabet as a divine gift central to God’s desire to communicate with humanity. In Deuteronomy, Mahoney points out, the Israelites are instructed to write the Commandments on their doorposts and to their children.
“It’s basically saying there was literacy with the Israelites,” Mahoney said. “It looks like common people were learning to write, and they could have been slaves that were the early Israelites. I believe literacy was a part of how God communicates Who He is.
The Moses Controversy is presented by Fathom Events and Thinking Man Films, and supported by partners including Answers in Genesis and Ratio Christi. Tickets for the G-rated documentary are available at FathomEvents.com. Additional documentary information is available at patternsofevidence.com.