Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Pentateuch, the name given - possibly by the Greek translators - to the first five books of the Old Testament - i.e. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus. Numbers, and Deuteronomy. They trace the his, tory of the human race, from a Hebrew point of view, from the creation of the world to the death of Moses, the latter part of Deuteronomy being supposed to have been added by Joshua. It ns formerly thought that the books were written by Moses, but modern criticism has questioned this, since, say some critics, there are two distinct elements - the Elohistic and the Jehovistic - contained in the writings. Others have held that the Pentateuch is of many ages; and others that it was chiefly written by Moses, with a possible revision by Ezra, and interpolations by others. The controversy is, however, by no means settled.