Re: Seely's Views 2

From: <>
Date: Fri Aug 20 2004 - 18:38:41 EDT

Glenn wrote,

> PHS In order to talk about
> >accommodation, there has to be something culturally
> >pre-ingrained before the prophet gets there. In the case of
> >history, about the only place I see such a circumstance is in
> >the stories of Gen 1-11, which match closely earlier
> >Babylonian stories and motifs.
> GRM I don't think anyone, even the YECs think that last sentence is
> important. Clearly, if Moses was the author, he got the story of
> creation from earlier sources, so the match doesn't make much difference
> to the truth or falsity of the account. What does make a difference is
> if the account is totally unconcordable, then by any rules we would use
> in history today, it is false. If I say that George Washington defeated
> the Nazi's, it would be hopelessly false. It doesn't concord to
> reality. It wouldn't matter if you say that GW represents the American
> people in order to save the truth of the statement. That is merely
> going into fits of ad hocism to save what is clearly false.
PHS I am not trying to save what is false. The history as such in Gen 1-11
is largely false. This raises the question, Why did Moses use unreliable
Mesopotamian stories, traditions, and motifs as his basic source for origin stories?
I think because they came into Israelite culture originally from the
patriarchs whose ancestral home was Mesopotamia. They were told for years before Moses
ever got there, only the theology being changed to reflect the revelation the
patriarchs received. The stories were thus pre-ingrained, which is why they
were accommodated. Moses was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Why
would he adopt and adapt Mesopotamian origin stories unless they were already
imbedded in the Israelite culture?

In the days of Kepler, people believed that God was perfect, that he put the
planets into orbit, and therefore the orbits would be perfect, and therefore
they would be perfect circles because an ellipse is not perfect. It took Kepler
himself awhile to get away from that ingrained idea. Today we have the "God
cannot lie" syllogism which demands that God always reflect the absolute truth
in anything he inspires. He cannot use pre-ingrained false stories to teach
theological lessons. The result of this assumption is that we now have two camps
trying to save the false assumption by offering either a world of imaginary
science or a world of imaginary Bible (day-age, pre-Adamites, local Flood,
local tower of Babel). I understand the motivation and I am not judging anyone,
but ultimately Christians have no business distorting either science or the
Bible. Allowing for divine accommodation which fits the fact that the stories in
Gen 1-11 reflect Mesopotamian orginals is a biblical option (Matt 19:8).

When you cross from Gen 11 to 12, you can no longer find Mesopotamian stories
that match the stories told. and when you get to the kings, you begin to get
royal scribes who kept records which have been shown in part to match
archaeology. And when you get to the NT, you get eyewitnesses; and that is as good as
ancient history gets. So, the significance of the Mesopotamian sources behind
Gen 1-11 is that it explains why Gen 1-11 is lousy history; and at the same
time sets Gen 1-11 off from the rest of the Bible as far as historical
reliability is concerned. There will still be questions here and there, but the divine
accommodation in Gen 1-11 sets that section apart from the rest of the Bible
and does not in itself provide an objective basis for the kind of wild rampant
skepticism which atheists think is the only alternative to an historically
inerrant Bible. No one would practice that kind of skepticism in everyday life,
so why use it on the Bible?


Received on Fri Aug 20 18:59:20 2004

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