Re: Another thing people can throw rocks at

From: Dawsonzhu@aol.com
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 14:13:59 EDT

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    John Burgeson wrote:

    > I suggest that George did not so much disparage concordism as point out
    > that, in the case of a reconciliation of Gen 1-11 that it was a failed
    > project. At least to date. Glenn has come closest (IMHO) to putting forth an
    > intellectually respectable support of it, and in so doing has provided us
    > with a wealth of data. Data that says to me that the particular view I hold,
    > that Gen 1-11 are "family stories," or "myth," and any apparent coincidences
    > with what "modern science" at any particular time may say is just that --
    > coincidence.
    >
    > Glenn, I see you have left YEC but you have not yet left the YEC mindset.
    >

    I understand your point in the rest that followed and
    in many respects, seeing Genesis 1-11 as campfire tales
    (or Aesop's fables) is a handy way of looking at it.

    Nonetheless, fables sometimes do have their origins at
    some level in history. To search for some common
    connection is quite reasonable and it is nice to see
    that some of these may have a deeper foundation. The
    extreme of insisting they _must_ be true for the Bible
    to be true may be going too far however.

    Others here are far more deeply read on OT work, but
    I quote what I have on the matter.

    "The clearest connection to Mesopotamia is the account of
    the Tower of Babel (11:1-9), for it is set in Babylon (v. 2).
    True to this locale, the building material is mud brick.
    This setting explains the scornful comment made about the
    building material (v.3). The tower is most likely a
    reference to a ziggurat, a temple constructed as a stepped
    mountain and made out of clay (v. 4). The name of the city,
    Babel, reflects the Babylonian name Bab-ili "the Gate of God"
    (v. 9).

    These resemblances prove nothing beyond a genetic relationship
    between the biblical and Mesopotamian accounts. The Genesis
    stories in their present form do not go back to the Babylonian
    traditions. The evidence, even that of the close ties between
    the Flood stories, merely suggest a diffuse influence of a common
    cultural heritage. The inspired authors of the primeval account
    drew on the manner of speaking about origins that was part of a
    common literary tradition.

    Implications for Gen. 1-11. Identifying the genre of Gen. 1-11 is
    difficult because of its uniqueness. None of these accounts
    belongs to the genre "myth". Nor is any of them "history"
    in the modern sense of eyewitness, objective reporting. Rather,
    they convey theological truths about event, portrayed in a largely
    symbolic, pictorial literary style. This is not to say that Gen. 1-11
    conveys historical falsehood. That conclusion would follow only if
    the material claimed to contain objective descriptions. From the above
    discussion [in the book: wd] it is certain that such was not the
    intent. On the other hand, the view that the truths taught in
    these chapters have no objective bases is mistaken. Fundamental
    truths are declared: creation of all by God, special divine
    intervention in the origin of the first man and woman, the unity
    of the human race, the pristine goodness of the created world,
    including humanity, the entrance of sin through the disobedience
    of the first pair, the rampant spread of sin after this initial
    act of disobedience. These truths are all based on facts. Their
    certainty implies the reality of the facts." (LaSor, Hubbard and
    Bush. Old Testament Survey, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans 1996.)

    This does largely agree with what you are saying about the
    _purpose_ and intent, but it also points to some factual basis
    from which these stories emerge.

    Sarna points out that "The Bible is strangely silent on the
    phenomenon of language itself. It has no myths to explain
    its origins. It his no observations to make on the universality
    of human speech. It assumes, very simply, that mankind once
    possessed an original common language. The Hebrew author was
    attracted only by the incredible diversity of tongues that
    characterizes the human race." (Nahum Sarna. Understanding
    Genesis. New York: Schocken 1966).

    I would say it is rather grey, but there is some sense that
    intuition was also at work here. As Sarna goes on to say,
    it may have been in the culture at large, but then again,
    it could have been more original.

    So the Tower of Babel may have been written to explain to
    children why there are so many different languages. Then
    again, maybe there is some historical foundation in it.
    At any rate, I would not pin my faith (or delusion as
    it may be) on whether the Tower of Babel existed or
    not. At the same time, I find it interesting (perhaps
    amusing) when there is some basis of on which to
    substantiate these works of antiquity.

    Is that throwing stones or not?

    By Grace alone we proceed,
    Wayne

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    <HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=2 FAMILY="SERIF"
    FACE="lr " LANG="11">John Burgeson wrote:
    <BR>
    <BR></FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="FIXED" FACE="lr
    SVbN" LANG="11">
    <BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid;
    MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">I suggest
    that George did not so much disparage concordism as point out
    <BR>that, in the case of a reconciliation of Gen 1-11 that it was a failed
    <BR>project. At least to date. Glenn has come closest (IMHO) to
    putting forth an
    <BR>intellectually respectable support of it, and in so doing has provided us
    <BR>with a wealth of data. Data that says to me that the particular
    view I hold,
    <BR>that Gen 1-11 are "family stories," or "myth," and any apparent
    coincidences
    <BR>with what "modern science" at any particular time may say is just that --
    <BR>coincidence.
    <BR>
    <BR>Glenn, I see you have left YEC but you have not yet left the YEC mindset.
    <BR></FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="FIXED" FACE="lr
    SVbN" LANG="11"></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BR></FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SERIF" FACE="lr
    " LANG="11">
    <BR>I understand your point in the rest that followed and
    <BR>in many respects, seeing Genesis 1-11 as campfire tales
    <BR>(or Aesop's fables) is a handy way of looking at it.
    <BR>
    <BR>Nonetheless, fables sometimes do have their origins at
    <BR>some level in history. &nbsp;To search for some common
    <BR>connection is quite reasonable and it is nice to see
    <BR>that some of these may have a deeper foundation. &nbsp;The
    <BR>extreme of insisting they _must_ be true for the Bible
    <BR>to be true may be going too far however.
    <BR>
    <BR>Others here are far more deeply read on OT work, but
    <BR>I quote what I have on the matter.
    <BR>
    <BR>"The clearest connection to Mesopotamia is the account of
    <BR>the Tower of Babel (11:1-9), for it is set in Babylon (v. 2). &nbsp;
    <BR>True to this locale, the building material is mud brick. &nbsp;
    <BR>This setting explains the scornful comment made about the
    <BR>building material (v.3). &nbsp;The tower is most likely a
    <BR>reference to a ziggurat, a temple constructed as a stepped
    <BR>mountain and made out of clay (v. 4). &nbsp;The name of the city,
    <BR>Babel, reflects the Babylonian name Bab-ili "the Gate of God"
    <BR>(v. 9).
    <BR>
    <BR>These resemblances prove nothing beyond a genetic relationship
    <BR>between the biblical and Mesopotamian accounts. &nbsp;The Genesis
    <BR>stories in their present form do not go back to the Babylonian
    <BR>traditions. &nbsp;The evidence, even that of the close ties between
    <BR>the Flood stories, merely suggest a diffuse influence of a common
    <BR>cultural heritage. &nbsp;The inspired authors of the primeval account
    <BR>drew on the manner of speaking about origins that was part of a
    <BR>common literary tradition.
    <BR>
    <BR>Implications for Gen. 1-11. Identifying the genre of Gen. 1-11 is
    <BR>difficult because of its uniqueness. &nbsp;None of these accounts
    <BR>belongs to the genre "myth". Nor is any of them "history"
    <BR>in the modern sense of eyewitness, objective reporting. &nbsp;Rather,
    <BR>they convey theological truths about event, portrayed in a largely
    <BR>symbolic, pictorial literary style. &nbsp;This is not to say that Gen. 1-11
    <BR>conveys historical falsehood. &nbsp;That conclusion would follow only if
    <BR>the material claimed to contain objective descriptions.
    &nbsp;From the above
    <BR>discussion [in the book: wd] it is certain that such was not the
    <BR>intent. &nbsp;On the other hand, the view that the truths taught in
    <BR>these chapters have no objective bases is mistaken. &nbsp;Fundamental
    <BR>truths are declared: creation of all by God, special divine
    <BR>intervention in the origin of the first man and woman, the unity
    <BR>of the human race, the pristine goodness of the created world,
    <BR>including humanity, the entrance of sin through the disobedience
    <BR>of the first pair, the rampant spread of sin after this initial
    <BR>act of disobedience. These truths are all based on facts. &nbsp;Their
    <BR>certainty implies the reality of the facts." (LaSor, Hubbard and
    <BR>Bush. Old Testament Survey, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans 1996.)
    <BR>
    <BR>This does largely agree with what you are saying about the
    <BR>_purpose_ and intent, but it also points to some factual basis
    <BR>from which these stories emerge. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
    <BR>
    <BR>Sarna points out that "The Bible is strangely silent on the
    <BR>phenomenon of language itself. &nbsp;It has no myths to explain
    <BR>its origins. &nbsp;It his no observations to make on the universality
    <BR>of human speech. &nbsp;It assumes, very simply, that mankind once
    <BR>possessed an original common language. &nbsp;The Hebrew author was
    <BR>attracted only by the incredible diversity of tongues that
    <BR>characterizes the human race." (Nahum Sarna. &nbsp;Understanding
    <BR>Genesis. &nbsp;New York: Schocken 1966).
    <BR>
    <BR>I would say it is rather grey, but there is some sense that
    <BR>intuition was also at work here. &nbsp;As Sarna goes on to say,
    <BR>it may have been in the culture at large, but then again,
    <BR>it could have been more original. &nbsp;
    <BR>
    <BR>So the Tower of Babel may have been written to explain to
    <BR>children why there are so many different languages. Then
    <BR>again, maybe there is some historical foundation in it.
    <BR>At any rate, I would not pin my faith (or delusion as
    <BR>it may be) on whether the Tower of Babel existed or
    <BR>not. &nbsp;At the same time, I find it interesting (perhaps
    <BR>amusing) when there is some basis of on which to
    <BR>substantiate these works of antiquity.
    <BR>
    <BR>Is that throwing stones or not?
    <BR>
    <BR>By Grace alone we proceed,
    <BR>Wayne
    <BR>
    <BR></FONT></HTML>

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