Re: The Origins Solution

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 13:15:12 EDT

  • Next message: D. F. Siemens, Jr.: "Re: The Origins Solution"

    (I hate a war on two fronts.)

    I wrote:

    ><< For example, the whole "earth" was not of one "language," there was one
    > prevalent topic of conversation. >>

    Paul Seeley replied:

    >I do not know of any scholars past or present who have thought this is what
    >Gen 11:1 means. The Hebrew literally says they had one "lip" and one "words."

    "Language" is a translation out of ignorance. And "land" is a perfectly
    acceptable translation of the Hebrew erets as in the "land" (erets) of
    Shinar. The ziggurats of southern Mesopotamia, of which the tower of Babel
    was one, began as mud brick platforms dating to no earlier than 3000
    BC. They began as a means of surviving future floods.

    I believe this was at least part of what God found to be particularly
    offensive. God promised Noah there would be no future floods of such
    proportions brought against his people, but here they were building a
    survival platform higher and higher as if they did not take God at His
    word. We should understand also that the promise was to Noah's
    descendants. Floods in China, India, Bangledesh, and in other parts of the
    world have spared Semites still living in the promise of the Lord.

    As to language, the Sumerians who occupied the southeastern part of
    Mesopotamia before and after the flood spoke Sumerian, a language unrelated
    to Hebrew. In Susa (ancient Persia) clay tablets have been recovered
    dating to 3000 BC. They have never been translated, the language is
    totally unknown. On a broader scope, the Americas have been occupied since
    at least 11,000 years ago from remains discovered in New Mexico. They did
    not speak Hebrew as far as we can tell. Hebrew as a spoken language has no
    roots in Africa until the migration of the sons of Noah after the flood.

    So you have choices. If you prefer to believe the Bible teaches that the
    entire planet spoke only Hebrew after the flood at 2900 BC, but before
    Abraham at 2000 BC, then you have assigned the mistake to the Bible writer,
    not the translators. How you deal with an untrue statement in the middle
    of God's Word is up to you. If you choose to believe the word "lip" could
    have a variety of meanings as many Hebrew words have, then reconciliation
    between Bible and history is possible. And you can be part of it.

    Let me just point out that the dispersion of the sons of Noah occurs in
    Genesis 10, the Babel incident is reported in Genesis 11. The variety of
    languages found all over the world could not have commenced at Babel by the
    Bible's own order of presentation. And when we look at the world at that
    time we see a globe populated by different races and cultures speaking
    diverse languages. So the problem has to be in the translation.

    ><<The "mountains" were not covered by water during the flood, only the
    >"hills." (The word is the same in Hebrew.)>>
    >"Hills" and "mountains" are the same word in Hebrew, but "under _all_ the
    >heavens" in Gen 7:19 refers to the entire then known earth.

    Even the word for "heaven" and "sky" is the same in Hebrew. All the
    "hills" under the "sky" covered with water.

    >The context of Gen 7:19 is Gen 8:4 which mentions the mountains
    >in the country of Ararat, ancient Urartu, which centered around Lake Van.

    The United States centers around Kansas City, but a flood in Florida won't
    wet the grass in my mother's back yard.

    >The Flood is thus clearly greater in extent than merely covering Mesopotamia.

    No traces of a such a flood have ever been found in Egypt, Persia, or
    Syria. No flood legends can be traced to these regions. Even Ninevah has
    no flood remains dated at that time, although there was an earlier
    flood. The flood appears to be universal to the descendants of Adam living
    in the Mesopotamian region. Everyone else survived. Even the nearby
    Sumerians survived the flood. So did the Egyptians. There is no break in
    Egyptian culture as there is in southern Mesopotamia. The early dynastic
    period of Mesopotamian history commences with the post flood rulers at
    Kish, dated conveniently at 2900 BC.

    >I appreciate your taking the Mesopotamian data into consideration, and I
    >agree with you and Carol Hill that the biblical Flood is to be identified
    >with the Mesopotamian Flood of c. 2900 BC.

    Couldn't we just stop here and smell the daisies a bit?

    > But, I am not willing to deny that the Bible is describing that Flood as
    > being
    >much larger in extent--albeit reading in a global flood,

    So you believe the flood was local, but the writer of Genesis in his
    ignorance thought it was global, and his intent was to describe it that way
    in Genesis? Is that your point?

    >Forcing the Bible to speak about either a merely Mesopotamian Flood or of a
    >global Flood as the global earth is understood today does violence to the
    >biblical account.

    "Violence"? I believe both you and Vernon are mistaken on this issue. But
    I don't think either of you purpose to do "violence" to the biblical
    text. Couldn't you guys extend to me the same courtesy?

    Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution -
    "The answer we should have known about 150 years ago"

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