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Old 01-09-2001, 12:20 PM   #1
ohwilleke
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Post Gen. Ch 1-11 --- What if they'd skipped it?

A great deal of controversy concerning the Old Testament -- especially on scientific grounds, concerns the "primeval history" part of the Bible, Genesis Chapters 1-11 which includes all pre-Abrahamic stories, were written by the Yawehist (in the opinion of most scholars) and contains the stories of the Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. I believe that it even includes the story of Lot. (The more expansive could also include 100% Yawehist Chapters of Genesis 12-19).

This early portion of the Bible is virtually never referred to in the rest of the Bible. It is, apparently, largely borrowed from Mestopotanian myth (Epic of Gilgamesh, etc.). It contains the most clearly scientifically contradicted portions of the Bible, and unlike most of the Bible which reads as a combination of narrative, law and letters, reads like pure mythology.

The Yawehist wasn't big on consistency (Cain's wife, e.g.), and portrayed a significantly different kind of God than prevails in the rest of the text.

Suppose that a group of Jews (or Christians) were to rejct this part of the Bible of apocryphal, given modern evidence, while honoring the remainder of the NT?

This would give them a story much harder to definitively disprove with scientific evidence (e.g. they could accept evolution, dismiss the idea that giants walked the earth and that people lived for 900+ years, admit that there was no flood and that rainbows are simply scientific phenomena that have always been, could accept modern theory of the development of languages, etc.) and would give them a more inscruitable, less falliable seeming God.

Certainly, this would not clear up all of the moral ambiguities of the Bible or wipe away all of the miracles it recounts, but it would leave a much easier road to hoe for its defenders. Moreover, a Christian who took the view that the New Covenant of the NT supercedes the OT, or that the Old Covenent of the OT applied only to God's chosen people, the Jews, but not to Gentiles who followed in the tradition of Christ, would also be free of a great deal of baggage such as Kosher laws, ritual sacrifice, etc.

You could call this picking and choosing, but isn't this what the formation of the canon was supposed to be about in the first place -- distinguishing the authentic from the inauthentic. You might call them New Canonical Christians.
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Old 01-09-2001, 12:39 PM   #2
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Interesting idea but it is a bit late for the die-hard fundies since they've spent so much time insisting it is all 100% inerreant WoG and so on. It would blow their whole deal.

For the rest of the Christians, half of them don't care what is in there (or see it as a fable), they have already thrown it out without throwing it out physically.

The other half don't even know what is in there.
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Old 01-10-2001, 04:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Suppose that a group of Jews (or Christians) were to rejct this part of the Bible of apocryphal, given modern evidence, while honoring the remainder of the NT?
[/B]</font>
It's too late now though. They could change it around as much as they liked, but we all know what it originally said, so the whole basis of it being the word of god is out of the window either way.

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