The Genealogical Adam as Israel

@jongarvey wrote a very significant series of articles on The Hump about Seth Postell’s study on Genesis 1 and 2. Postell was student of Salihammer, and this article from Dallas Theological Seminary provides some helpful context on understanding the first five books of the Bible as end product of an intentional “compositional strategy.”

This article is probably the most important if you only have time to read one: Finding humans origins from biblical theology #2 | The Hump of the Camel.

The following quotes are from @jongarvey, to give a sense of how the conversation unfolds on his blog.

I’ve just finished Seth D Postell’s 2011 book, Adam as Israel: Genesis 1-3 as the Introduction to the Torah and Tanakh, which although perhaps a little scholarly (ie interactive with the “academic literature”) for the average reader is a great eye opener in considering the whole question of understanding the first chapters of Genesis.

In this case, the realisation is that Genesis 1-3 (in particular) do not stand alone either as disparate fragments of lost traditional myths, nor as educational treatises on how the world or humanity began, but as the introduction to a specific book, Genesis, which is itself the introduction to a larger work, the Torah (or Pentateuch to us) which is the foundation-text of the Hebrew Bible, traditionally ultimately from Moses’s hand on the border of the promised land.

I also raised, but didn’t fully answer, one potential problem with the view that Adam is the archetype of his descendant, Israel: that it doesn’t appear to explain how the gospel applies beyond Israel, and in particular how Adam relates to the rest of mankind, in Scripture (and also, of course, by extension, in the actual history of the world). Paul’s treatment of Adam shows this to be an essential step.

But for reasons I sketched here, and will now try to develop, I think the creation account has in mind a wider context than the land of Canaan alone. And it’s the overview of the text that leads me to that conclusion (and thus demands rather more work in matching it to the world!). For in that overview, underlying the failure of Israel, and its most profound consequence in God’s purpose, is its failure to minister to the nations as priests – and so I would expect those non-Israelite nations to be represented in the typology of the first chapters of Genesis.

At this point in the series, let’s move on to consider the world outside Eden, and perhaps before Eden, by summarising what I’ve already concluded from adopting the “compositional strategy” of the Pentateuch or Torah proposed by John Sailhamer, and applied to the beginning of Genesis by Seth Postell. I put this overview in list form in the previous post, so please refresh your memory there if you need to.

I’ve suggested that we should distinguish the whole race of mankind, created in Genesis 1, from Adam as one member of that race, chosen to become the forerunner of a new kind of relationship with God as Yahweh, analogous to the calling from the generality of humanity of Abraham, or of Israel the nation, or of those born again into Christ. But someone may ask if this does this not imply two separate creation acts for man – the first in Genesis 1, and the second that of Adam “from the dust of the ground” in ch.2.

Of course, Genealogical Adam fits this perfectly well. It allows for there to be the kind of world described by non-biblical sources in history, archaeology, geology, biology, and so on, and even allows evolution to be part, at least, of the story, without jeopardising the possibility of special creation. When I look at Robert Shaw’s acceptance of the somewhat crude and undeveloped Gap Theory, which was clearly typical of a large number of conservative Reformed theologians and ministers then, it is hard to believe he would not have been willing to recognise temple inauguration imagery and genealogical science as a better option, had the knowledge been available. After all, one motto of Reformed theology is Semper reformans, and adjusting to new light on Scripture is the very least threatening kind of reformation.

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@jongarvey and @J.E.S I did have a question about the “orthodoxy” of the compositional approach. As this article states regarding Salihammer…

At the same time Sailhamer ventures into areas of compositional and canonical strategy that will leave some evangelicals uneasy, since he seems to push the boundaries of Pentateuchal redaction a little too far, eviscerating the ancient Judeo-Christian tradition of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, except for the account of Moses’ death (Deut. 34:5–12), the anachronistic occurrence of the name Dan (Gen. 14:14), and the allegedly premature reference to Israel’s kings (Gen. 36:31).

However, as I read it, it seems that a compositional approach affirms Mosaic authorship, right? It is taking a both and approach, saying that Moses may have written it, but someone else came later and arranged it in a new (and inspired) way. Is that the right way to look at it?

Sailhamer and Postell are both mainly concerned with the final text as the inspired Scripture, the sources and origins being subordinate issues.

Sailhamer’s working hypothesis is of a Mosaic core, with some later reworking, the latter’s most important component being the “final author”, who shapes the Mosaic material to emphasize the message inherent, as he sees it, in the original. But by that he would mean, as far as I can remember, that the five books of the Torah were written by Moses, and finalised by a prophetci, authoritative hand - perhaps around the time of the Exile.

Somewhere in there is the concept that the true prophet is the true interpreter of prophecy, much as the apostolic New Testament authors are able to interpret the Old Testament christologically.

I think only the most conservative scholars nowadays would say Moses wrote the whole Torah as we have it, apart from his own death.

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Yes, I see that.

I see that too. And this is, of course, totally at odds with the Documentary Hypothesis, which was never convincing to me.

What is remarkable about the compositional view is that it seems to affirm Mosaic authorship (and thereby affirming tradition) but also take seriously the inspiration of the later composition. This also undercuts all the arguments against Mosaic authorship too, by acknowledging upfront that Moses did not produce the final document. It was really encouraging also the pedigree here. Postell is an adjunct professor at Biola, and at DTS we see Eugene H. Merrill, former president of ETS, embracing this view. Seems very much like a well thought out middle ground position.

I am curious, also, what some of the more conservative participants think too.

It also seems to bring real insight to the text. The theory that Israel fail by making Moses the mediator also seems to echo strange episode where they choose Saul instead of letting God be their King. Do you ever get into that repetition in the later history and prophets?

What about Israel’s representatives choosing Barabbas over Jesus?

Stephen’s recapitulation of Israel’s history in Acts 7 is all about their rejecting God’s word through the prophets, and ends with a contrast between the tabernacle and temple they had, and the fact that “God does not dwell in houses made by men”.

Though he majors on the golden calf rather than their failure to go up to God when talking about Mt Sinai, that contrast between intimate relatioinship to God and the separation of temple worship seems to interpret the Old Testament along those lines.

The fact that they stoned him says that the Sanhedrin didn’t like that interpretation, so they’d not have liked Postell or Sailhamer, I suspect!

Perhaps you ought to look into Toledot theory. Google Damien Mackey’s article on “Tracing the Hand of Moses.”

Pretty simple and straightforward theory-- Moses as compiler and editor of pre-existing, ancient materials.

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A modified version of the tablet theory makes more sense than anything I have heard so far, though I need to dive in those links and see how what they are proposing is different in principle from the fundamentalist view that Moses got it all by inspiration and wrote it in his tent.

Modified tablet theory- matching toledoth with passages with proposed common-sense explanations for the parts where it doesn’t fit well…

Again, there’s no reason to suppose an either/or scenario between those two. To wit:

Moses, having access to the finest official archives in the ancient world as an Egyptian prince with a interest in his “secret” Hebrew heritage, searches for and finds the Genesis chapter one , and then the chapter two (and then forward) accounts, which introduces him to YHWH.

Turns out these accounts are more ancient than the Sumerian or other pagan accounts, which later turn the original story’s features into an account of how “the gods” fought amongst each other to forge the earth as an abode, enslave humanity to serve, feed and worship them in their temples – which invested the literary caste of priests of these new “mysteries” with the power to command respect, as the only keepers of the knowledge of how to keep these gods placated.

Moses discovered the original which blew all the “contemporary” pagan deconstructions away. It reduced the “fear factor” of paganism, by presenting one single Sovereign LORD, Who needs nothing from mankind, but instead created the earth to provide for mankind, investing humanity with “His image.” And thus, significance.

This is also what Abraham had discovered, when he obediently left the pagan environment in Ur.

No wonder God chose Moses as an instrument-- a book-wormish Egyptian prince became a valiant leader, while stumbling along the way, by the hand of God.

Moses assembled these ancient tablets to fashion into Genesis 1-11 and forward, with the toledot marking the various documents original boundaries, making the discernment of their original authors possible.

He made the occasional editorial comment (“Raamses”) or poetic link (the chiasm in Genesis 2:4, linking two independent, and sequentially related stories, as an editor).

Moses carefully used the toledot division to mark out Genesis 2:5 and forward, the Adam and Eve story, as not merely an expansion on “day six” of the first story, but a much later account of God’s dealings with the particular human being, named Adam, at a crucial moment in humanity’s history, in a second story. Genesis two begins in neolithic times; Genesis 1:26-27ff is the story of the first humans, long before Adam, in paleolithic times.

Thus, the source theories which describe early Genesis as “borrowing” the ANE ideas in these myths, and serving as a mere polemic to the supposedly more ancient stories from Sumer and elsewhere have things exactly backwards --Genesis was far more ancient still!

Later, when Moses is well underway with this literary work of finding, compiling, and strategically editing these ancient tablet sources, he gets the chance, not to write privately in his tent, but to meet with the Shekinah glory in the tent of meeting; i.e., ongoing face-to-face meetings with the theophanic Presence of The Angel of the LORD Himself (the pre-incarnate Jesus), the ultimate literary coach, for writing the very word of God.

This begs the question on an almost completely-overlooked literary necessity: who was the original source of the material details of the entirety of Genesis chapter one? It couldn’t have been Moses. Whoever it was had to be, at least, a panchronic Personal Being Who could serve as the witness to relay such information --an angel, at least. No human was around to witness the narrated events.

Whoever recorded these details from this Source had to also have had a face-to-face, ear-to-ear, relationship with this same panchronic Personal Being.

Whether the accounts began as oral or written makes no difference; they are mnemonically succinct enough in the Hebrew to be easily memorized.

The account in Genesis, interpreted in this fashion, accords completely with the record of earth’s natural history… an uncanny, to say the least, correspondence, given the ancient vantage point available then, to the latest and greatest findings of modern science.

The “Emperor” behind the Bible, demonstrably, has His clothes on, despite the naysayers among the rabble crowd.

This is Tablet theory’s privileged vantage point!

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That is an intriguing twist on the tablet theory. I had assumed that the tablets were among the heirlooms of Abraham’s descendants- like the bones of Joseph. They sound like ANE because that is where Abraham was from! And yes it was the Sumerian accounts and others that were later, and twisted, because they were from “official government sources” and those types of sources almost invariably put a spin on things- even 4,000 years ago.

If you take the toledoth at face value, the narrator is Creation itself. Perhaps with different voices for the Heavens and the Earth. To those of us with modernist thinking the idea that creation itself, an inanimate thing, could be communicating with someone seems outlandish. At least it did to me before GPS came along.

I would suggest that the recorder of the account is supposed to be Adam, because chapter 5:1 speaks of the “book” of Adam. As if the first two accounts went together. Adam is on more intimate terms with God than creation, and this explains switching to the family name of God. If you were an attorney interviewing a witness to something if they did not know your client personally they may describe your client in functional terms and you would record it as such. When you are adding a summary and making your own account you would use the name of your client.

Where is the evidence for this fantastical story?

How does this theory address these facts?

They hardly need to be addressed. How many books from Israel do we have that were written before the Kings of Israel? From such a small sample size we might expect to be able to pick out a word here or there from early Genesis which is not used elsewhere. Particularly if some of them are from ancient words which the Israelites do not become re-acquainted with until they have more interactions with the folks from “back home” in Mesopotamia.

The rest of the list amounts to the updating of place names. Dr. Bryant G Wood demonstrated that it was the practice of scribes to update place names. He did this in the context of arguing for an earlier date for the Exodus than is generally accepted. Thus he argued that "the city of Rama sees " being mentioned as a place for departure did not force the Exodus to a date after that city was constructed. But the principle completely applies. If we were translating or transcribing an old document which had “Persia” in it we might change the name to “Iran.” Since he has documented the practice the newer place names don’t pose an obstacle- unless one is determined to make them so.

There’s plenty to address. How can Genesis 1-11 have used vocabulary and literary typologies from texts which your theory claims weren’t written until long after Genesis 1-11?

It is not a small sample size. It includes most of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, plus Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, and 1&2 Kings, not to mention a host of wisdom literature including most of the psalms, and some of the prophets. That is a very large sample size.

But you need to provide evidence that the place names were updated.

But we need to establish that it’s an old document first.

Identifying the fact that place name updates happened does not establish that they happened everywhere that you claim they happened. There’s no dispute over the fact that places names were updated; that has been a standard feature of the Documentary Hypothesis for decades, and it is only comparatively recently that fundamentalists have grudgingly accepted it. But in order to argue that a text was updated, you must first provide evidence for the dating of the original text, before it was updated.

All of which together probably contain fewer words than the largest book I have written. I don’t care to take the time to prove it but if you compared the vocabulary of that book to the vocabulary in my smallest book I feel very confident that you would find at least a dozen words used in the smallest book which are not used in the largest.

This is sort of the other side of where I was drawn into an argument on BioLogos about the differences in human genomes vs. chimp genomes. Eventually I was forced to concede that I was using old rate data and using more recent data made the differences unremarkable- with one or two caveats that I had no way to confirm. I believe you took the other side of that argument Jonathan.

Well, Dr. Wood provided evidence for that as regards to the city of Ramses and some other instances, but I don’t see why or how evidence could be provided for every single change on your list. Once it is established that the practice was commonly done your argument of more modern place names indicating more modern authorship is undermined. That even without proof of each instance.

The use of the towledahs is evidence for that, and we didn’t even know about them until 1900 or so! There is other evidence too, but I come at it from a different angle. I not only argue that the text is ancient, but that it is Divinely inspired. The latter should be harder to prove than the former. Basically my argument is that you either need to believe it was all written a couple of centuries after Christ by a some unknown geniuses who found ways to fit the text together that we are only now understanding or it was Divinely inspired.

The key is that when you look through the same material through a Christ-centered lens the material makes sense. The same material that seems so impossible when taken according to the traditional view fits together perfectly and is not contradicted by evidence from the natural universe- such as Dr. Swamidass’ studies on the date for when a MCRA can be restricted to a single couple/Y-chromosome. This should not be the case if the text was a creation of priests after the exile. They could not “have seen Christ coming”, yet properly understood the text “sees Christ coming.”

So I don’t not want you to think that I am “blowing you off”. Your points are worthy of consideration for someone whose primary interest is evidence for the antiquity of the documents and I want to correct the record that any cavalier phrasing that I might have used earlier might have implied. But this is not a concern of mine because I see that the text is, when properly viewed, too perfect to be solely the product of a handful of post-exhile priests perpetrating a fraud, or even a bunch of neolithic ancestors recording their stories on tablets of clay. I am soaring past your arguments, which is not the same thing as addressing them I admit. But it is more a case of us talking past each other. It may be that neither of us is troubled by what the other sees as the central point at issue to address either of our arguments.

One postscript, your link said " Nowhere in the entire Law of Moses are Adam and Eve or the events of Eden ever referred to, despite the significant emphasis on sin, death, and sacrifice. Since the Law deals in considerable detail with the consequences of sin, the complete absence from Exodus to Deuteronomy of any reference to these people and events is extraordinary"

That actually fits in well with my view of the mechanism by which sin passed to all men- it was not inheritance from Adam. That is a chapter in my book but one I need to expand.

I also noticed that your link claimed that there were no references to Eden until after the exile. I don’t think that is correct unless one means just the garden of Eden. Amos has a reference to the “house of Eden” of which inscriptions have been found in the Syrian foothills of the northern mountains.

Later redaction is one possibility; even Moses did that with “Raamses” as a city name.

That other ANE texts are so similar is what I’m addressing.

Odd that this proposal would be called “fantastical” in light of the fantastical whims of holding to JEDP theory, while advocating that it still holds even the slightest integrity in the esdential message of the text. It’s the difference between an historical accounting for all the data, versus the abandonment of that effort in favor of a merely human fictionalization view of the text.

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But you need to show that such redaction has taken place in each case. You can’t just say “Well it happened in this passage so I can assume it happened in all these other passages”.

I haven’t seen you address the lexical details of these texts. Why do Genesis 1-10 take the same literary forms as texts in the Babylonian era? Why do they use some of the same vocabulary? As I asked previously “Where is the evidence for this fantastical story?”.

But your own view borrows directly from what you call “JEDP theory”. You acknowledge Genesis has been edited by later scribes. In fact you appeal to this directly. The fact is there’s plenty of evidence for this.

How is this relevant? The point being made is that none of the pre-exilic texts show any knowledge of Adam and Eve, Eden, the fall, Cain, Noah and the flood, or the events at the tower of Babel until 1 Chronicles 1, written after the Babylonian exile. These events are completely absent from the entire pre-exilic corpus. This is not a case of two books between written at different times and one of them not using some words which were used in the earlier book. This is a case of a long list of books written over more than 1,000 years, which show no knowledge at all of events which you claim the writers knew about. Where is the evidence that these writers knew of the people and events of Genesis 1-11, but just chose not to mention them?

As is well known, Genesis 1-11 show a knowledge of the Law of Moses; there is reference to the sabbath, reference to burnt offerings, and reference to clean and unclean animals. These references make no sense outside the context of the Law. The break between Genesis 11 and 12 is actually extreme. In Genesis 11:31 we are told Terah set out his family (including Abram and Sarai), to travel from Ur to Canaan, but we are given no explanation for this whatsoever. In contrast, Genesis 12:1 opens with the divine call issued to Abram, providing details of the promises and the trip to Canaan; Genesis 11:31 presupposes the reader’s knowledge of why Abram is traveling to Canaan, indicating it was written after Genesis 12.

On the contrary, just proving that it happened in a few passages, does not grant you license to claim it happened in all passages. You must present the evidence for each passage. How is it going to help you in the following cases?


Certain vocabulary in Genesis 1-3 is used elsewhere only in books written during the monarchy or later, such as ʾēd (source of water, Genesis 2:6), neḥmād (pleasant, Genesis 2:9; 3:6), tāpar (sew, Genesis 3:7), ʾēbāh (enmity, Genesis 3:15), šûp (bruise/wound, Genesis 3:15) ʿeṣeb (labor, Genesis 3:16), tĕšûqāh (longing, Genesis 3:16). The word Shinar (Genesis 10:10; 11:2), was used by nations outside Mesopotamia “to designate the Kassite kingdom of Babylon (ca. 1595-1160 B.C.E)”; consequently its use here indicates Genesis 11 was written no earlier than the date of that kingdom. The Hebrew phrase for “breath of life” used in Genesis 2:7; 6:17; 7:15, 22, is not found anywhere else in Scripture. However, it is found in the Eridu Genesis, a Sumerian text which was copied and read by the Babylonians. How does your “updating” theory explain all this?

How does your “updating” theory account for all this? If this vocabulary was all “updated”, what were the original words? What language were these toledoth even written in?


Certain names appear only in Genesis 1-11 and books written during or after the Babylonian exile; typically they appear later in 1 Chronicles 5 or later books as personal names, and in Isaiah and Ezekiel as place names. Some names appear as personal names before the exile, but as place names only during or after the exile. A few names appear only in Genesis 10.

  • Gomer (Genesis 10:2-3, 1 Chronicles 1:5-6, Ezekiel 38:6, Hosea 1:3).
  • Magog (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5, Ezekiel 38:2; 39:6).
  • Madai (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5).
  • Javan (Genesis 10:2, 4, 1 Chronicles 1:5, 7, Isaiah 66:19, Ezekiel 27:13).
  • Tubal (Genesis 4;22; 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5, Isaiah 66:19, Ezekiel 27:13; 32:26; 38:2-3; 39:1).
  • Meshech (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5, Psalm 120:5, Ezekiel 27:13; 32:26; 38:2-3; 39:1).
  • Tiras (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chronicles 1:5).
  • Togarmah (Genesis 10:3, 1 Chronicles 1:6, Ezekiel 27:14; 38:6).
  • Dodanim (Genesis 10:4).
  • Dedan (Genesis 10:7; 25:3, 1 Chronicles 1:9, 32, Jeremiah 25:23; 49:8, Ezekiel 25:13; 27:20; 38:13).
  • Akkad (Genesis 10:10).
  • Erech (Genesis 10:10).
  • Calah (Genesis 10:11-12).
  • Resen Genesis 10:12).

How does your “updating” theory account for all this? If these names were “updated”, what were they before?


Some verses in Genesis 1-11 use place names which help date the text. In particular, several verses in Genesis 10 indicate the chapter could not have been written until after the reign of Solomon.

  • Genesis 2:14; 10:11. These verses refers to Assyria, which did not exist until the reign of Assuruballit I (1363-1328 BCE). The city of Assur was built earlier (around 2,500 BCE), but was ruled over by Akkadians, Amorites, and Babylonians in succession. Assyria did not become an independent state with Assur as its capital reign of Assuruballit I.

  • Genesis 10:11. This verse refers to Nineveh as part of Assyria, but it was not until the reign of Assuruballit I (1363-1328 BCE), that Nineveh became part of Assyrian territory. Note that Nineveh is mentioned in Genesis 10:11-12, but not mentioned again until 2 Kings, written during the exile; this supports the conclusion that Genesis 11 was not written before the exile.

  • Genesis 10:11-12. This refers to the city of Calah as “that great city”. Calah did not exist until 1750 BCE, and was a mere village until the ninth century BCE, when it became “that great city” during the reign of Assurnasirpal II, who made it the capital of Assyria. It could not have been called “that great city” until after the reign of Solomon.

  • Genesis 10:19. The boundaries of Canaan described here did not exist until 1280 BCE by a peace treaty between Ramses II and Hattusilis III in 1280 BCE; it is therefore unsurprising that the borders of Canaan described here do not match the description of Canaan in Genesis 15:18 or Numbers 34:2-12, or any text of Moses’ time. This verse could not have been written earlier than 1280 BCE.

  • Genesis 10:19. This verse refers to Gaza, but this location was first called “Gaza” during the reign of Thutmose III (1481-1425 BCE); it was not called “Gaza” before this time. It would have been known as “Gaza” by the time of Moses, but not in the time of Abraham.

  • Genesis 11:28, 31. These verses refers to “Ur of the Chaldeans”. The Chaldeans did not occupy Ur until around the tenth century (1000 BCE). The only pre-exilic use of the phrase “Ur of the Chaldeans” in the Old Testament is in Genesis 15:7, which was clearly written at least as early as the eleventh century (possibly by Samuel), by which time the term “Ur of the Chaldeans” was already the common term for the area. The only other use of “Ur of the Chaldeans” is in Nehemiah 9:7, a post-exilic book.

How does your “updating” theory account for all this? If all this geography was “updated”, what were these places originally called? Some of them don’t even exist until the time of Moses or the time of Solomon. They could not have been referred to earlier than those times, under any name, because they did not exist.

This is circular reasoning, until you provide evidence that these toledoths existed, and that they contained the texts you claim.

I likewise argue it is divinely inspired.

This is a false dichotomy. Why would anyone believe Genesis 1-11 were written after Christ? That makes no sense at all.

Show me how this “Christ-centered lens” explains the textual data I have cited. Show me how this “Christ-centered lens” explains the reference to “the great city Calah”, and the reference to Nineveh, for example.

I don’t believe in either of those views. I don’t see any evidence for either of them.


No, it’s a case of me addressing your arguments and you not addressing mine.

This doesn’t address my point. I don’t believe death originated with Adam either; I don’t believe in “Original Sin”. But the fact is that the Law of Moses deals extensively with sin, death, and sacrifice, and when the New Testament deals with sin, death, and sacrifice, Adam and Eve are repeatedly used as models. Why does the Law of Moses show no knowledge whatsoever of Genesis 3 in particular, especially given Genesis 3 shows knowledge of the Law?

Of course I was referring to the garden of Eden. Amos is not referring to the garden of Eden at all, he’s referring to a location in Syria. So my point stands.

You made (at least) two arguments. One was the argument you repeated here, that certain early Genesis themes were not referenced in the pre-exile corpus. The second was that certain key terms were only found in the post-exile corpus. I was addressing your second argument with what I said there.

You are protesting that what I said is irrelevant to your first argument. Of course it is irrelevant to that argument. That was not the argument I was addressing with my point about the vocabulary of just the books I have written. Why should a point made to address your second argument be relevant to your first argument?

Only if the law sprang out of nowhere instead of being a formalization of things practiced or known about long before hand. There is a parallel to what you are saying with the arguments of those who say that the bible was created by men at some church council. That claim is in error because what the councils actually did was formalize, recognize and bound that which was already in use. It is not a valid argument against the legitimacy of the books of the New Testament, and the same principle applies to what you are saying.

Since it is all family history they would know both. The modified tablet theory makes this a non-issue. I don’t see it as much of an issue anyway. 11:31 is just very diplomatic in saying that Terah did not go all the way in assisting his son Abram in his call to go to Canaan. That Abram (who I believe wrote this account) did not come right out and say in what was supposed to be the life-story of his father “dad started off helping me in the call that God put on me but he didn’t follow through- he stopped in Haran” is not the kind of thing that a son from that time and place would say when writing the account of his father. You are making this out to be a much bigger “problem” than I think that it is.

Annnnnd…we are right back to your asking me about something I already addressed, without your ever acknowledging that I addressed it, and further taking the place where I did address it and demanding to know how it was relevant to another point of yours even though I never intended it to be relevant to that point. Intended it to be relevant to this point, which you don’t seem to acknowledge I have addressed. Can you see how a person could get tired of this?

I am glad. But you still think it was compiled after the captivity by unknown priests, do I understand you right there?

I am curious as to what you do believe about the text. All I get so far is that you don’t care for anyone else’s ideas here. Please share

Only those determined to avoid a high view of scripture would take the position I gave as an example, but once certain doctrines from the text are understood that is what is going to have to be claimed in order to dismiss the textual evidence that scripture fits together too perfectly once it is seen through the lens of Christ. The only two reasonable positions will be either that it is divinely inspired or that a genius put it together after the date of the Crucifixion. This statement will make more sense further down…

I don’t think the text is saying Calah was the great city, but Resen. See

I tried to address some, but you have not seemed to recognize that I have done so, further discouraging me from attempting to do something that I am not passionate about to begin with. You cannot have addressed my arguments here, or to have been expected to, because I have not given you examples of why I say I am soaring past this debate, Below is a link which will give you an idea of what I am saying. If you wish to address it then do so. This link will also help you understand what I was saying earlier…

Well that is the way you interpret it but how do you know that the references in the law to the terms used in early Genesis are not indications that they did have knowledge of early Genesis? It is assumed that they know, unlike the letters written to Greeks many centuries later.

“A location” that is associated with the Garden of EDEN. To them Eden was an actual place. But that you might know that the pre-Exile Jews were familiar with the contents of early Genesis, see Numbers 13:33 where one of the most obscure and mysterious references in early Genesis is referred to in a casual yet detailed way as if such things were common knowledge.

Thank you for clarifying. That was unclear before. So you have not actually addressed my first argument. Additionally, your answer to my second argument (the vocabulary), does not make any sense. This is a case of there being no evidence that these words even existed before the exile. Earlier books not only do not use the, but use different words instead of them. Nor have you addressed the fact that some of these words have cognates in Akkadian or Ugarit.

So you have not addressed the absence of events, or names, or vocabulary, or geography.

There is no evidence at all for it being a formalization of things practiced or known about long beforehand. On the contrary, the Law is presented as having been revealed to Moses de novo. You are not addressing the complete absence of the Law from Genesis 12 to its revelation in Exodus.

This is a false analogy, because we have clear historical evidence dating long before those councils, that the books of the Bible were known earlier, and that canon lists were drawn up. In the case of the Law of Moses, you have failed to present any evidence that it was known and practiced (even partially), before Moses.

But this is simply assuming your conclusion. You have not provided evidence for this. It’s ad hoc reasoning.

No. I believe it was written by Daniel. He is fairly well known in the Bible; Ezekiel knew of him, and you’ll find him mentioned again in the New Testament.

Certainly. See here, here, and here.

No sorry, it still doesn’t make sense. It’s still a false dichotomy, and you’re assuming your conclusion.

For three reasons. Firstly because the Law is presented as revealed to Moses de novo. Secondly because there’s absolutely no evidence for the Law in Genesis 12 to the revelation of the Law in Exodus. Thirdly because of the overwhelming evidence for an exilic dating of Genesis 1-11.

No it is not a location that is associated with the garden of Eden. It’s a place in Syria, and the Hebrew word used to describe it is a transliteration of the Syrian word. They are homophones, they are not referring to the same place. By the way, to me Eden was an actual place as well.

No. This is just telling us the Anakim were descended from the Nephilim. More importantly, it says nothing at all about the flood and the fact that the Nephilim survived the flood.

I think I have but you have not accepted it as such and I am becoming weary of trying to get you to see things that you seem very resistant to seeing. I will give examples from below before moving on to more profitable uses of my time.

The law did come later. It should be missing. But the elements which appear in the law are shown, both before and after Genesis 12. For example Abraham knew about animal sacrifice, and the picture of his being willing to sacrifice his son of promise (the NT informs us it was in faith that God could raise him up again) points beautifully to Christ.

After the flood, Yahweh did take several steps back from mankind. The tower of Babel is about them trying to start their own man-created religion. Compare the familiarity with which Cain speaks to Him vs. how is comes off to Isaac - the Fear and Dread of Isaac. When God re-introduces Himself to Moses in Exodus 3 and the first part of Exodus 6 the account has the feel of re-introducing lost knowledge.

So in your view Gen. 1-3 mentions these things because they were written after the law was given. In my view they have these elements of the law which were less present later because there was lost knowledge- which the text also indicates. You demand that I “prove” my belief but you can’t prove yours. You can’t find any claim from Daniel or from the text, or from contemporaries, that he forged these passages.

Incorrect. You simply refuse to accept that what is in the text of scripture is evidence. The text has clean and unclean animals, the Sabbath Day, and animal sacrifice, all before the law of Moses. You simply attribute this to the passages being a later forgery. I accept what the text is saying about lost knowledge- not that it was ever formally laid out as “law”, but more like the flood account- Yahweh commands that an extra clean animal be taken and hopes that Noah gets the hint and gives a sacrifice.

No moreso that your assuming what you do about elements later showing up in the law are a result of Daniel writing the account much later rather than lost knowledge as the text indicates happened. Actually much less so. There is evidence for the tablet theory, that is why some scholars give it weight, and that theory makes even more sense than the original version with the few modifications I have suggested based on findings made since it was proposed.

I’d prefer your writing to be more accessible. I don’t want to give permission for them to view all of my contacts in order to read your work.

To be clear, I said the mountains to the north of there is associated with Eden, the land. The garden was somewhere within that land. The Tigris and the Euphrates come near to one another up there, so depending on one’s view of the text that has always been one of the candidates for the location of the land of Eden, in which the garden of Eden was located.

I am aware that the location of the “House of Eden” inscriptions were found south of those mountains. I am saying that the “House of Eden” was referring to people who came from Eden to that place in Syria, not that the place in Syria was the original land of Eden. They came down out of the mountains.

Now you say that it is a homophone, but given your earlier difficulty in discerning whether the text was speaking of Calah or Resen as the ‘great city’ I think I will stick to my original judgment on that one. The text in Amos is referring to people who at least at one time lived in the land (but not the Garden) of Eden. Thus this element from Genesis 1-3, a place name, was known in pre-exile times.

Which totally misses my point and redirects into irrelevant points that I was not claiming. Not the first time this has happened in my attempts to dialogue with you. The very fact that they mention “Nephilim” indicates that they were aware of one of the most obscure details in the text from early Genesis. And that wasn’t just the term they used for all big people either. They had other categories they used for giants such as “Rapha”. You asked me for textual evidence that the Israelites knew anything about what was in early Genesis prior to the captivity and I gave it.