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The view that Moses had personally written down the first five books of the Bible was virtually unchallenged until the 17th century. For example, the very end of the last book of the Torah, the Book of Deuteronomy, describes the death and burial of Moses.

In Jewish tradition it came to be considered so sacred that it was never to be pronounced.Biblical scholars since the 17th century have pointed to evidence that human writers, and in fact a number of different writers, composed the Bible.Mainstream Jewish and Christian organizations, including seminaries and rabbinical schools, generally embrace such scholarship—seeing the voice of God in a text compiled by human hands. The earliest texts in the Bible likely date to before 1000 B. So it is an anthology of the literature of ancient Israel and early Judaism, and for Christians, of earliest Christianity, as well. There were many other texts that the ancient Israelites and early Christians produced that we no longer have.Contracts like that are known throughout the ancient world.The biblical writers used this legal metaphor to describe the relationship between God and Israel, and God and various individuals within the ancient Israelite community. No other ancient people used that metaphor to describe their relationship with their god or gods.

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