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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 7

A proper evaluation of the facts enumerated above leads definitely to the conclusion that Genesis gives a sober, accurate, historical account of the events that led to the separation of Israel from among the nations and to her establishment as a new nation with a divinely given destiny. If the other nations of this period are known to have had no records that for accuracy and sound historical pragmatism can begin to compare with the Biblical accounts, that cannot in any wise impugn the singular merit of the latter. Criticism has shown itself singularly weak in the direction of evaluating comparatively the merit of Biblical history. Attempts to cut everything of superior merit found in Israel's Sacred Writings down to the level of contemporary literature is still the bane of scholarship in the Old Testament field.

We may at this point take issue with the claim commonly raised in our day that Genesis, as to its contents, as well as other older Biblical books falls in the category of poetry rather than history. Apparently, they who take this position are reluctant about claiming that such books are legendary in character. That would seem derogatory to their distinctive character. Yet they would prefer not to be bound to accept the Creation account, the record of the Fall, and the like as literal history. Then these ancient tales would be a grand poetic conception, involving a deeper view of truth yet allowing for a great variety of interpretations such as may be suited to the fancy of the individual. We are utterly out of sympathy with such an attitude; for it does not conform to the facts of the

11 comments:

Peter said...

What is your view on Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish. It seems to predate the Biblical one and it is so similar. Babylonians also had the "the Tower of Babel" and flood story including the tree of life. Do you think these are independent witnesses or was Genesis copied from Babylonian stories?

Ktisophilos said...

It's the other way round. Genesis is the original, while Enuma Elish" and Gilgamesh are distortions.

Peter said...

Ktisophilos said...
It's the other way round. Genesis is the original, while Enuma Elish" and Gilgamesh are distortions.

Wrong. Thanks anyway to acknowledging the dependencies of the stories. Please provide evidence for your assertion. Please tell us how far back both stories go and don't forget the 2nd millennium BC archeological evidence that supports only one of the stories.

Ktisophilos said...

Wrong yourself. Dr Noel Weeks, an expert in "Ancient Near East with particular interest in Mesopotamia and Israel; Akkadian Language" http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/departs/cah/staff/associates.shtml#weeks points out that the similarities are exaggerated because much of the Enuma Elish is lost from the tablets, and has been interpolated from Genesis 1!

It was quite often that historical events were transmitted with legendary accretions. The reverse, where a legend became transmitted as sober history, did not happen. See also the above-linked articles.

Warwick said...

Ktiso, I am back from the mountains, physically destroyed but mentally refreshed.

I spent some time solo, wandering around in God's creation, and it certainly clears the mind. However even before my mind was refreshed by my mountain-high experiences I could not imagine how any clear thinker would believe the sober creation account of Genesis was drawn from the Babbleonian fantasy!

John said...

Ahh, so the rumour about your whereabouts wasn't true?

Warwick said...

John what rumour was that?

John said...

Oh, that you went off to Iraq or some other renegade country to take up a temporary position in a private company as a shapeshooter.

Warwick said...

John a 'shapeshooter'? Is that something like a Star Trex Shapeshifter?

No it was Afghanistan.

John said...

Sharpshooter becomes shapeshooter when you've had 1 glass of red too much.

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