Re: Exegesis or Eisegesis?

Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 03:48:06 EST

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    Dick wrote,

    << My point is there exists too much extra-biblical information that doesn't
     prove the existence of Adam conclusively, but certainly suggests it. Why
     were those pyramids carved in Egypt that names "Adam" (Atum) and "Seth,"
     hundreds of years before Moses or even Abraham was born? What would
     motivate them to make it up?
     Plus, if we assign Adam to fictional status, what about Noah or
     Abraham? Phasing in the historical characters is an impossible
     task. Fictional fathers don't have flesh and blood sons.

    As with Enoch, so with Atum and Seth in Egyptian writings. There is no
    genuine linguistic connection between Atum, who was an Egyptian Creator god
    and Adam who was created by God. The concepts are contrary to each other in
    addition to being linguistically unconnected. Same with the Egyptian god
    Seth, who killed his brother and the human biblical Seth who replaced the
    brother who was killed. The concepts are not even the same, much less the
    linguistic basis. In fact, the biblical Seth is a mistransliteration of the
    Hebrew, which is Sheth and is proven to be Sheth by the play on the word
    shath (appointed) in Gen 4:25. In addition, the Egyptian Seth was a great or
    great great grandson of Atum, not a direct son as was the biblical Sheth. I
    do hope you will refrain from using any more arguments like these, as they
    are completely baseless.

    Adam is not so much fictional as telescoped. Genealogies which go back to the
    primordial beginnings and even good histories, such as Livy's can begin with
    fictional characters like Romulus and Remus. The sources for more accurate
    information simply do not exist at the time of the writer. But, that does not
    mean that later characters where the historical sources are better are not
    genuinely historical. The sources of Gen 1-11 antedate the writer by a good
    1500 years and more. Of course they are not very accurate. Further, they
    obviously come from Mesopotamian traditions imported probably via Abraham who
    was a heathen from Babylonia before God saved him. Abraham is half that
    distance to the writer and comes from at least oral sources which were
    treasured within the Israelite tradition. Luke gives the most accurate
    history in the Bible not because he was inspired but because he was the best
    trained mind (the Hippocratic tradition is closer to modern critical thinking
    than anything else in the ancient world) and he gathered his information from
    eye-witnesses. It is all a matter of sources. No biblical historian claims to
    get his information by divine revelation. Nearly all of them mention their
    human sources. The revelation is in the theology, the faith and morals---and
    even there Jesus said some of it (Deut 24:1-4) was a concession to ancient
    ways of thinking. It is not the Bible that is ultimate, but the Lord. We walk
    by faith in God, not in philosophical idealism.

    By grace we do proceed (Wayne's great phrase),


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