I think when biblical passages are corroborated by historical data
that flies in the face of our presumptive biases it is time to
rethink what may have been standing in the way of our reaching the
truth. I have seen a genuine reluctance in this forum to turn loose
of the theological paradigm that Adam of Genesis just has to be
the first mammalian biped ever to walk the earth, and therefore,
the ultimate progenitor of the human race.
Let me sight just two examples of biblical passages squaring with
the history of Southern Mesopotamia. It says in Gen. 2:5,6:
"...for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and
there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist
from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground."
We know that the Hebrew word for earth and land are the same, also
the word "'adam" can mean either man or Adam. The Septuagint OT uses
the word "fountain," not "mist."
Using the alternatives then: "...for the Lord God had not caused it
to rain upon the (land) and (Adam or man) was not there to till the
ground. But there went up a (fountain) from the (land) and watered
the whole face of the ground."
In Accadian and Sumerian writings the word "fountain" always refers
to irrigation canals and paraphernalia. Also, Southern Mesopotamia,
present-day Iraq, is a desert where it does not rain. Remember, all
the cities named in the first eleven chapters of Genesis are in
that region. Now with irrigation in mind, ponder this passage:
Gen. 2:10: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden ..."
Ezekiel 1:1 mentions the river Chebar in Babylon. The only
river in Babylon is the Euphrates. The "river" Chebar is an
irrigation canal, they named them in those days. Now we know that
the word "river" can mean "canal." And "edin" means desert in
Accadian and Sumerian. So: "And a (canal) went out of (the desert)
to water the garden ..." The garden of Eden was irrigated.
The oldest city in that region is Eridu which was watered by canal
from the Euphrates (Gen.2:14). The Sumerian king list says, "When
kingship came down from on high it was in Eridu, In Eridu Alulim
became king." Alulim could be Sumerian for Adam. But whether it
is or not, Eridu still persists today as our English word "arid"
which pertains to a desert.
With irrigation still in mind we see that "fountains of the deep"
broke up in the flood. The same expression appears in the
Atrahasis epic four times and can only mean irrigation canals.
Now there is a short collection of data that points toward Adam's
position in the stream of humanity at a point far downstream
from the Australopithicines, or H. habilis, or H. erectus, or
even the anatomically modern Cro Magnon. Where is there even a
shred of evidence that would put Adam back millions of years
just so he can start the human race?
The historical evidence is entirely one-sided. The question is:
Can we be comfortable with Adam as the first man to have a
covenant with God and to be accountable, but not at the apex of
humanity. In short, can we live with the realization that the
Old Testament, written entirely by the Jews, is the history of
their people, and not the history of mankind.
Dick Fischer, The Origins Solution - http://www.orisol.com
"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."