Pentateuch

(Greek: pente, five; teuchos, book)

The first five Books of the Bible taken collectively, viz.: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, written c.1400 B.C. The name may be traced back to Origen (254); the Jews designated the Books by their opening words. A constant tradition, both Jewish and Christian, has always asserted the Mosaic authorship of those five Books, and the Biblical Commission has reasserted it (June 27 1906) in the sense that Moses is their principal ahd inspired author and that they were finally published under his name. But it is perfectly lawful to admit that Moses made use of previously existing documents which he inserted in his work.

New Catholic Dictionary

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