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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 8

It is rather a straightforward, strictly historical account, rising, indeed, to heights of poetic beauty of expression in the Creation account, in the Flood story, in the record of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, in Judah's plea before Joseph, and the like. But the writer uses no more of figurative language than any gifted historian might, who merely adorns a strictly literal account with the ordinary run of current figures of speech, grammatical and rhetorical.

The various other types of construction put particularly upon the patriarchal stories, like the tribal or ethnological theory; the astral myth theory; the purely mythical theory, and the like are evaluated at the beginning of the patriarchal record (Gen. 12).

Rather closely tied up with the question of history is that of chronology. The prevailing attitude on questions of chronology is to discard the Biblical data and to accept as authoritative the far more difficult and uncertain Babylonian and Egyptian systems of reckoning, as they are computed in our day. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, (Philadelphia, 1937), p. 56-61, gives the beginner a good idea how these computations are made and how far back they reach with a fair measure of accuracy. But it must be said with emphasis that the Biblical chronology excels all others in completeness, simplicity and accuracy; and, though, indeed, there are unsolved chronological problems, the Biblical chronology deserves our fullest confidence also for the pre-Mosaic age and for the earliest history of mankind. Michell, The Historical Truth of the Bible, (London, 1926) shows excellently how Babylonian and Egyptian chronology, rightly construed, agrees with the Biblical system of chronology.