[asa] water above the solid dome in Genesis

From: <philtill@aol.com>
Date: Sat Apr 12 2008 - 16:04:15 EDT

Dick made a great point on another thread that there coudn't have been "one"?ANE view for 3000 years.? I think that the discussion over accommodation in the Bible is hampered by the assumption that the OT itself represents just one ANE view.? But since the text is a redaction of a number of older texts, and since some of them were probably _much_ older than others, we shouldn't expect to see just one ANE view represented.?

For example, in Genesis 1 we see waters above the heavens, but in Genesis?2 we see a mist rising from the surface of the earth to become the rain (I'm following Mark Futato's reading, which I find?very compelling).? Indeed, it's hard to believe that the Hebrews by the time of the Exodus wouldn't have figured that rain comes?out of clouds, yet.? It's hard to believe that the Babylonians wouldn't have figured it out by then, either.??In the Flood account, which might be based on a very ancient tradition, we see the?classic ANE description of rain?coming out of windows from the solid dome.?

In order to figure out where?God?was accommodating an ANE view, we?would have to know where the authors actually held that view, or where they were referring to it via idiom or tradition, or where they referred to it for literary or other purposes.? Accommodation would only be important in the first case.? This?may be difficult to sort out?since we don't know the details of?the?history of?compilation and editing differnet parts of the text.? In the flood account, I think it's safe to say that we see accommodation.? In Genesis 2, I don't think the author held an ANE view at all regarding rain.? What of Genesis 1?? Was the author "modern" and only using ANE language for the literary value in the construction of the two triads using "classical" language, or did he himself really hold that view?? I think it depends partly on when he was writing and what he thought his audience would understand.? I think these considerations make the discussion?about accommodation more complicated
  but more interesting and satisfying.


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Received on Sat Apr 12 16:05:30 2008

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