The Confounding of the Critics

The Scripture says that Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in his words and his deeds (Acts 7). But the "higher critics" discovered 1800 years after that testimony was borne to the learning of Moses that he did not know even how to read or write. They arrived at this conclusion from their own discovery that writing was not invented until long after his day. How they made that discovery we are not told, but it was necessary to their theories to discover it, and so they did. It would have been almost fatal to their theories to have admitted that Moses could write, for had he been able to do so there was a possibility that after all he might have written the books of the Bible that the Bible itself says he did, and the next question of importance that would naturally have presented itself would have been, May not what he wrote have been true? And if true, man must be after all what the New Testament says he is — a fallen creature, a rebel against his Creator, having brought death and judgment upon himself by his own act, and needing, if he is ever to be delivered from his terrible condition and doom, an Almighty Saviour, which Saviour is Jesus.

But the higher critics do not admit any of these things; they believe, or profess to believe, that man is developing from a state of barbarity and ignorance, that he is leaving behind him the weaknesses and errors of the days of his childhood and hasting with rapid steps to the goal of his desire — a creature of full growth and of godlike intelligence and dignity. And as their opinions are almost, if not altogether, infallible in their view, Genesis must go, for it strikes at the very root of this conceit of theirs. The unveracity of his five books must be established, their utter unreliability must be demonstrated, and the easiest, quickest, and most daring way in which this could be done was to prove that Moses did not write them. How could he have done so, for was he not an ignoramus? In spite of all the wisdom of Egypt, he could neither read not write.

In the year 1887 some wandering Arabs found a number of tablets at Tel el Amarna, on the banks of the Nile, 180 miles south of Cairo. And this find of theirs has proved to be a most valuable one, and, incidentally, a most disconcerting one to the higher critics. Kyle says of these tablets, which number 320, "The widest diffusion of letters is indicated. All sorts of people are found writing letters: governors and court officials, petty officers, private citizens, ladies and servants . . . and preceding, as they do, the conquest of Canaan by Joshua, show the wonderful literary culture of the period. They were found in a crumbling wooden box, and relate to a time 1400 B.C. After being buried in the sand 3000 years, they were found 27 years ago. They relate to a period previous to the victory over the Canaanites by Joshua; and perhaps more correctly to a time midway between Abraham and Moses."

Colonel Conder says, "These letters are the most important historical records ever found in connection with the Bible."

So that the wisdom of the Egyptians in which Moses was learned included writing after all, for even the servants of that day could write. And the discovery of those wandering Arabs discomfited the critics and gave confirmation to the words of the Lord Jesus, if those words needed confirmation. They do not, for He who spoke them is "The Truth." He said, and because He said it we believe it, even if no tablets had been found to prove its possibility. "If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for HE WROTE of Me. Yes OF ME" (John 5). How gladly would the devil obliterate all testimony to Jesus, and what easy dupes and ready tools of his were the higher critics who discovered that Moses could not write.