Manual Are the Bibles in Our Possession Inspired? (IBRI Research Reports Book 5)

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This would be, according to the dates calculated from the Bible itself, too late for Joseph. There is, however, nothing strange about the Egyptians having a few chariots for high officials to use in the Middle Kingdom period when Joseph lived. In this passage of Scripture we are not looking at war chariots lined up for battle in some anachronistic way. In fact, the implication of the Biblical text is that there- were not many chariots in Egypt at this time.

Joseph's chariot is called "the second chariot," implying that the only person who outranked him, Pharaoh himself, had the other. What of Joseph's new name? Unfortunately, scholars are uncertain about the Egyptian original for the Hebrew version Zaphnath-paaneah Kitchen ; Redford, Identification of the Egyptian name of Joseph would be of great interest, since some of the viziers of the Middle Kingdom period are known to us. Our small sample of names, though, probably does not include Joseph's.

The woman's name was Asenath, which is a good Egyptian female name of the period. We know little of her, other than her name and the name of her father. Knowing Joseph, however, we must assume that he taught her to have faith in the true God of Heaven, despite her pagan background. But who was her father? The Bible gives us several tantalizing facts about the man. He is called Potiphera. This is a variant of the name Potiphar, the only other male named in the Joseph Story.

As we all recall, Potiphar was Joseph's former master. In both cases it is likely that we are not dealing with a personal name at all. Such a grammatical construction of a name, meaning "the [graphic] Pharaoh had Joseph "ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, "Make way! Golden state chariot from the tomb of Tutankhamun, ca. It would also be strange to have two men named who have virtually the same name, while none of the kings is named.

It seems most likely that the two men involved are not actually being referred to by name, but that we are being told that they were native Egyptians. We are also told that the father of Asenath was a priest. This in itself is not terribly significant, other than to show that Joseph was being highly favored since priests were at the pinnacle of Egyptian society. What is important is the further information we are given in Genesis Asenath's father was Priest of the city of On.

On was known to the Greeks as Heliopolis, and was the center of worship of the sun god Re. It was also the educational center of ancient Egypt. The High Priest of the god Re at that city was a key figure in Egyptian religion and politics. That Joseph married the daughter of a priest of Re at Heliopolis is important as confirmation of our date for Joseph in the Middle Kingdom and not in the Hyksos period as so many scholars wish to do.

His marriage must be regarded as a high honor, as it is part of the rewards given him for what he has done. It thus stands to reason that the priest of On and his god Re were highly favored by the Pharaoh at that time. Under the Hyksos, the god Re, while not being persecuted as was once thought by some scholars, was certainly not the main god: For the Hyksos the god Set, a Nile delta deity often equated with the Canaanite god Baal, was number one.

If Joseph dates to the Hyksos period, we would not expect to find Re being so important. That Joseph marries a daughter of the Priest of Re is evidence for his belonging to a period of history when native Egyptian kings ruled in Egypt, not Hyksos foreigners. In our next article, we will examine the titles Joseph held in the Egyptian government. Bibliography Aling, Charles F. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.

Kitchen, Kenneth A. Redford, Donald B. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.

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Joseph's father-in-law was a priest at this temple and Joseph's marriage to his daughter no doubt had political ramifications. The key verse is Genesis , which mentions three titles held by Joseph. The Hebrew text of course does not give the Egyptian form of these three titles. Hence, years of scholarly debate have arisen over the exact Egyptian renditions of the Hebrew words or phrases. Of the three titles that Joseph held, let us begin with the one obvious title, and then move on to the two more complex and problematical titles.

This title has an exact Egyptian counterpart, which is normally translated into English as "Chief Steward of the King. This fits well with Joseph's advice regarding the coming years of plenty and the following years of famine. As Chief Steward, Joseph would be well placed to prepare for the coming famine during the years of more abundant production.

It is interesting to observe that another specific responsibility of the Chief Steward was to take charge of the royal granaries, where the agricultural wealth of the nation was stored. As the person in charge of these great storehouses, Joseph was ideally placed for carrying out his suggestion to store food during the good years for the bad. On the practical side, two things can be learned from Joseph's post as Chief Steward.

First, note how God had prepared him for his task. No one starts out in life at the top of the ladder. We all must learn the ropes, so to speak, from the ground floor up. Joseph had been steward of the estates of Potiphar. This job was very much like that of Chief Steward of the King, but on a much smaller scale. Joseph without doubt received 58 30 Aling: Joseph in Egypt: Pt 5 58b on-the-job training as Potiphar's steward, which stood him in good stead when he later was promoted to the same job in the King's household. As Potiphar's steward, Joseph did his job faithfully.

We are told that all that Potiphar owned prospered under the stewardship of Joseph. Joseph evidently learned well. He was therefore 31 59 Bible and Spade A second point is also worth mentioning. As Genesis tells us, God put Joseph into this position in order to save the Patriarchal family.

It is almost certain that Joseph did not know this at the time of his appointment, but God had plans for him. And, in the same way, wherever God places us, He may have a major task for us to do later. Like Joseph, we should do the best we can at whatever task He gives us, so that we will be ready when called upon later.

There was no blood connection between the two men. Pharaoh was an Egyptian; Joseph was a Hebrew. Even if we assume, as many scholars do, that the Pharaoh in the Joseph story was a Hyksos king, there is no reason to suspect any blood relation between the two men. Dismissing that possibility, what then does the phrase "Father of Pharaoh" mean? Father of Pharaoh, or more literally "father of the God" the Egyptians believed their kings to be divine , had a variety of meanings in ancient Egypt. One was as a term for the tutor of the King during the ruler's childhood.

In Joseph's case this is not likely. He had never met the King until called out of prison to interpret the royal dream. Nor does the Bible ever suggest that Joseph held such a post. Another way the title was used was as a designation for an individual whose daughter became a wife of the reigning king. In other words, "Father of the God" meant "father-in-law.

The Bible says nothing about Joseph having any daughters, let alone daughters who married the King of Egypt.


Yet another usage of the title was as a designation for minor priests in Egypt's complex state religion. Again, this does not seem even a remote possibility for Joseph. He was never a priest in ancient Egypt, and as a servant of the true God, he would not have such an office. The Egyptians used this title as a special honor given to officials who had served long and well, or who had done the King some special favor. Joseph would easily qualify for the title Father of the God when used in this way; in fact, this is the only usage that makes sense.

Joseph would have been named Father of the God for interpreting the dream of the King, and for suggesting a plan for Egypt to get through seven terrible years of famine. Ruler Throughout all the Land of Egypt Joseph's third possible title is more controversial, and merits a more extended treatment. Genesis , by calling Joseph "Ruler of all Egypt," seems to suggest that he became the Vizier of Egypt. And, when Pharaoh promoted and rewarded Joseph, he said that only as King would he be greater than Joseph. Ward states that Hebrew phrases such as those mentioned above are not specific equivalents of the Egyptian title of Vizier, but are rather only renditions of vague Egyptian epithets given to other, lesser, officials.

However, Joseph obviously held only one of the vague epithets discussed by Ward and that epithet was "Chief of the Entire Land. And, for the phrase in Genesis , "Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you," no exact Egyptian parallel exists. The Hebrew text strongly suggests that Joseph became the Vizier of Egypt. Assuming that Joseph was indeed Vizier, what were his duties? There are Egyptian inscriptions that describe the duties of the Vizier of Egypt. Although such inscriptions are much later than Joseph's time they date from the New Kingdom , several texts exist which describe in great detail the duties and powers of the office of Vizier.

More pertinent to Joseph, the Vizier also 34 Aling: Joseph in Egypt: Pt 5 61 was in charge of agricultural production, just what he needed to care for God's people in the time of famine. Also, another power held by the Vizier has great interest in regard to the Joseph story. Only the Vizier welcomed foreign embassies coming into Egypt. So, when Joseph's brothers came to Egypt for food, they would normally meet with the Vizier. And, Joseph is the man they met Gil It is also interesting that in referring to Joseph, the brothers normally call him "the man. The positions of Vizier and Chief Steward of the King were both very high posts in the government of Ancient Egypt, even as far back as the Middle Kingdom.

It is reasonable to ask if there are any known officials with these titles that could have been Joseph. The answer is no, at least at the present time. Also, another major obstacle is that we do not know the Egyptian form of Joseph's name, only the Hebrew. There is, however, one fact of interest that we know about Middle Kingdom Viziers.

It is rare in the early part of the Middle Kingdom period to find one person holding both the title of Vizier and the title of Chief Steward of the King.

The Interpretation of History

It is possible that Joseph broke new ground in this regard, being the first person to hold both positions at the same time. The Seven Years of Famine As for the seven years of famine, no contemporary Egyptian record of this famine exists. But from a later time, when Greek kings ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt, there is an Egyptian text which mentions a seven-year famine, but dates it to the reign of King Djoser of the Old Kingdom. One wonders if this is a garbled memory of the famine in Joseph's day, simply re-dated to the reign of a more famous king.

Confirmation of such a theory is nearly impossible, but it is interesting to speculate about. In our next article in this series we will consider some final aspects of the Joseph story. It is very interesting that he evidently held two key titles, Vizier and Chief Steward of the King. This is relatively unusual in Egyptian history. Significantly, the best known examples come from the Middle Kingdom, exactly the period of Joseph's career.

While none of officials holding these two posts can be identified with Joseph, it is probable that he was the first to do so and set a precedent. Both men were embalmed, or mummified. Today, the popular view is that this was a mysterious process about which we know little or nothing.

Such is not the case. With the large number of mummies preserved in museums, we would be poor scientists indeed if we could not reconstruct this procedure. What then were the basics of mummification? First, the body was dried. A great deal was accomplished in this regard by the naturally dry climate of Egypt. I remember seeing a photograph of a Roman soldier who had died in Egypt and who had been buried in the sand without any kind of embalming treatment at all. His hair was well preserved, as were his teeth, and there was a good deal of skin remaining, too.

The Egyptians aided this natural drying process, however. They packed the body with a powdery substance called natron basically sodium carbonate and sodium bi-carbonates. This chemical is found naturally in several locations in Egypt Lucas ff. It is important to realize that a liquid solution was not used, but rather that the body was packed in this dry powder for a period of many days.

The exact length of time in the natron varied according to which period of Egyptian history the mummy belonged and according to the amount being spent on the process. Presumably, a rich family would spend more on preserving their family members. A second thing necessary for mummification was the removal of the vital organs of the body.

If these are left inside the person, they will speed decay. Thus, the Egyptian embalmers removed all of the abdominal organs except the heart, and also removed the brain. This last procedure created a problem, however. The Egyptians were concerned about the body retaining its identity, and they did not want to harm the head or face in any way.

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They resolved this problem by unraveling and removing the brain through the nose with a sharp hook of some kind. Gruesome as this may sound, it worked rather well. After their removal, some of the organs were wrapped and placed inside containers in the tomb with the mummy. It was expected that they would be needed for a happy life in the next world! Joseph, I am sure, would not have wanted any of these done for him, and, if he had any say in the matter, they were not done. But, after all this was accomplished, the body would be skillfully wrapped in spiced linen and placed in a coffin.

Next, the mummy would be entombed. In Joseph's case, instructions had been left to remove him from Egypt when his family went out of that land. It is, therefore, useless to look for the grave of Joseph in Egypt, since his body left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. A final observation on Joseph's life and career: According to Genesis , Joseph was years old at the time of his death. This age is interesting, since in ancient Egypt was considered the perfect age at which to die Aling 51, note What happened to the Jewish people after.

At first nothing happened. In the early verses of Exodus chapter 1, however, we see that a king rose up who knew nothing of Joseph. This personage was, I believe, a Hyksos Pharaoh. The Hyksos were a foreign people from Syria-Palestine who ruled the northern portions of Egypt in the so-called Second Intermediate Period, ca. That this king was a Hyksos is shown by a number of things. The Hebrew of Exodus indicates a negative kind of rulership. Also, Exodus states that the king had a fear that the Hebrews would outnumber his people.

It is not realistic to believe that the Jews would ever become more numerous that the native population of Egypt; but they certainly could outnumber a ruling minority like the Hyksos. Finally, in Exodus we are told that the Hebrews, as slaves, labored at two cities: Pithom and Ramses.

Pithom is not located yet with certainty, and is in any case not important for our discussion here. In Dynasty 18, ca. The bondage of God's people lasted for many years. Joseph's accomplishments were forgotten for the time being, but were remembered and recorded in Jewish records, were to be written of by Moses, and were also to be rehearsed by uncounted generations to come. It is hoped that these brief articles have helped to make him a real person, set against the background of Egyptian history and civilization.

Bibliography Adams, Barbara Egyptian Mummies. Aling, Charles F. Davis, John J. Lucas, A. London: Edward Arnold. One such literary discovery is the Adapa myth. Its early discoverers and investigators claimed it as a true Babylonian parallel to the biblical story of Adam. Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis, 2d ed. Chicago, , p. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Classe di scienze, etc. He was created by Ea Sumerian Enki , the god of the great deep and of the world of man, and served the city of Eridu and its temple with great devotion by, among other things, providing fish.

Once a sailing mishap on a fishing expedition made him curse the south wind, thereby breaking its wing, whereupon the land was deprived of its cooling and moist breezes. For this offense he was summoned to the high god Anu Sumerian An to give account of his deed. First, however, he received this advice from his god Ea: 1 to appear in mourning garb at the gate of Anu so as to receive sympathetic assistance from the two heavenly gate keepers, Tammuz and Gizzida vegetation gods ; 2 to refuse the bread and water of death offered to him, but to accept oil for anointing himself and new garments.

With this advice, which he followed carefully, Adapa succeeded admirably in his heavenly audience to Anu's surprise , whereupon he was returned to earth for he was but a man with forgiveness for himself, release from feudal obligations for his city Eridu , and healing for the illness which his offense had brought upon mankind. Now we can turn to the so-called "parallels" between this story and the biblical story of Adam, notably Adam's fall Gen. Sandmel, "Parallelomania," JBL 81 : , warned against it. See now also W. Speiser in ANET, Of the four extant fragments, three A, C, D derive from the Ashurbanipal library 7th cent.

Ebeling to occur o in a syllabary text with the meaning "man. Reiner, 13 who on the basis of the epithets apkallu and especially ummanu has 7 See Shea, pp. The name adamu syllabically spelled is now reported to have been found on the Ebla tablets as the name of a governor of that city see M. From the same city a calendar with the month name d a-dam-ma-um has appeared see G. Shea, who kindly drew my attention to this item, has presented a discussion of the calendar in question in AUSS 18 : , and 19 : , Also the Sumerian a-dam pasture may offer an opportunity to speculate upon the etymology of Adam see W.

Taken at face value, the Genesis account would appear to tie Adam to 'adama ground , from which the man was taken and to which he will return. Lambert, however, has argued on the basis of another text that the epithet of Adapa should be read m umanna, and that its determinative produces a double name, Umanna- Adapa, 15 which was transferred into Greek as the Oannes of Berossos. At any rate, some etymo- logical relationship between Adam and Adapa now seems likely, although any original meaning behind them both is not thereby elucidated. The functional meaning of Adam, namely "man" homo sapiens , may take us as closely as we can get to the names of our characters.

But whether Adapa in fact failed is a moot question. It would mean that he failed unwittingly by completely obeying his god Ea in refusing the bread and water of death, which actually turned out to be emblems of life. Ea, in turn, would have to be understood as deceiving Adapa by keeping divinity from him making him refuse the heavenly food for a selfish reason, namely that he wanted to retain the service of Adapa in Eridu. See also W. Burrows, "Note on Adapa," Or, no. Noth and D. Winton Thomas Leiden, : ; Foster, p. This would imply that Ea underestimated the willing- ness of Anu to receive and pardon Adapa and hence unfortunately, unnecessarily, and perhaps unwittingly warned his protege about the presumed dangerous bread and water of heaven.

Shea rightly points out, is weakened by the fact that Ea everywhere appears as the god of wisdom, cleverness, and cunning, and that indeed at the very moment of giving his advice Ea is introduced as "he who knows what pertains to heaven. Bohl Festschrift Leiden, , p. Welskopf Berlin, , p. Kramer Garden City, N. He restored Inanna from the underworld, reviving her with the water and grass of life see T. Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness, p.

He averted a rebellion among the lower gods by proposing and arranging the creation of man W. Lambert and A. Millard, Atra-Hasis [Oxford, ], p. He solved the crisis caused by Apsu's rage by cleverly placing a spell over him and having him killed ANET, p. Also cf. Kienast, pp. If this interpretation is at all correct, the heavenly food may at one and the same time be food of life and food of death, depending upon the one who eats it.

A similar duality may be reflected in the biblical picture of the two trees: one of life, leading to eternal life Gen ; the other of knowledge, presumed to offer godlikeness, no but actually leading to mortality Gen. A case in point is Anu's reaction to Adapa's offense: "'Mercy! Also, the Atra-Hasis myth finds him unable to propose a solution to Enlil's problem, namely, a rebellion among the lower gods Lambert and Millard, Atra-Hasis, pp. In general, Anu appears less resourceful and predictable than Ea, like a weak and insecure chairman of the board! The idea is that Anu, impressed with Adapa's power and skill, decided to include him among the gods-an old illustration of the maxim: If you can't beat them, join them or make them join you.

Gen locates the forbidden tree in the midst of the garden, but does not otherwise name it, whereas Gen speaks of the tree of life from which man must now be kept. Concerning the two trees, located at the same place, man is forbidden to eat from one, never commanded to eat from the other, but subsequently hindered from reaching it.

The tree of life plant of life occurs relatively frequently in ancient Near Eastern literature B.

The Bible Dictionary

It is tempting to suppose that this "double tree" in the midst of the garden indicates two postures that man can take: 1 He can eat of one presuming to be a god and die, or 2 he can refuse to do so remaining human , but staying alive with access to the other tree. He cannot eat from both. Ea does not deceive Adapa to keep him mortal and in his service in Eridu. He saves his life from what ordinarily would mean certain death through a presumption to be a god.

If this is correct, the alleged parallel between Adapa and Adam over failing a test involving food falls away, but another emerges: Both were subject to a test involving food and both received two sets of advice; namely, "do not eat" God and Ea and "eat" serpent and Anu. One, Adapa, obeyed and passed his test; the other, Adam, disobeyed and failed.

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Instead, it may indicate Anu's amused satisfaction over Adapa's wisdom and loyal obedience, which enables him to refuse that heavenly food, the acceptance of which would be an act of hybris. Hence he is rewarded with life on earth, rather than with punishment by death. Yet even the gods are not unalterably immortal, for they too depend upon eating and upon care and are vulnerable before a variety of adverse circumstances.

Bohl, p. For the relationship between this fragment and the main fragment B from the Amarna archives see Bohl, pp.

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  4. However, once Adam has lost his immortality, he too must be kept from seeking it anew Gen f. Adam's offense is clearly that he broke the prohibition regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, with the implication that in grasping for this knowledge he aspired for divinity. On the basis of the presumed parallel with Gen 3, the answer has often been that like Adam so Adapa offended unwittingly in the matter of eating and drinking , except that Adapa declined to eat where Adam declined to avoid eating.

    Three things may be observed concerning this act. First, Adapa broke the wind with a word.

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    He clearly was in no possession of magic power, something which may explain the incantation in fragment D employed to dispel illness. Second, 34 Foster, p. See J. But see also B. Foster, p. His anger over capsizing is directed not against his god Ea, who sent him out to sea, but against the wind that blew over his boat.

    In other words, he broke the wind in his eager devotion to Ea, possibly not counting the consequences vis-a-vis the land. By maiming the south wind, Adapa halted the cooling life-giving breezes from the sea, leaving the land exposed to the scorching sun. Roux found in this condition an explanation of the presence of Tammuz and Gizzida both fertility gods at Anu's door. It would also explain Ea's advice to Adapa that he approach the gate where the fertility gods were waiting, in mourning over their miserable condition so as to express his contrition and gain their sympathy and help.

    In that, Ea and Adapa were eminently successful. This success is indicated by Adapa's recognition before Anu, his acceptance of the signs of hospitality, 41 which, very much to Anu's astonishment, 42 he knew how to receive while discreetly refusing that to which he was not entitled the heavenly bread and water. At this point a clear contrast with the story of Adam emerges, for excuses and a self- defense, not contrition and obedience, characterize Adam's con- frontation with God.

    Roux, "Adapa, le vent et l'eau," RA 55 : That only seven days are involved does not speak against this conclusion thus Foster, p. Adapa is not being invested as a heavenly being only to lose it all by refusing his meal. Rather he is being accepted and forgiven of his offense, thanks to his contrition, caution, and the good offices of Tammuz and Gizzida. According to frag- ment A, line 6, he is a "model of men," a human archetype; and as B. Foster suggests, this particular aspect of Adapa's character iden- tifies him as a wise man whose abilities extend in several directions.

    He bakes, cooks, prepares the offering, steers the ship, and catches the fish for the city A, lines Second, he is a vizier to the first antediluvian king, Alulim. Although unlike Adam, he is not the first man, still he is a sort of prototype, so that the matters pertaining to all mankind are explicable in reference to him as, for instance, is apparently the case with regard to mortality, as portrayed in this myth.

    What Adapa does, or what he is, has consequences for subsequent generations of mankind, not because he passed on to them some form of original sin, but because through his wisdom offered this added explanation by attributing the following words to Anu: "Of the gods of heaven and earth, as many as there be, who ever gave such a command, so as to make his own command exceed the command of Anu? Anu is surprised that his ruling in the matter had been anticipated and met with such a wise response-perhaps a little annoyed, as well, at being found out!

    Here a parallel as well as a contrast between Adapa and Adam emerges. Both are primal men, but the heritage which each one passes on to subsequent genera- tions varies considerably. Contrasts Between Adapa and Adam From considerations such as the foregoing, it can only be concluded, so it would seem, that although the stories of Adapa and Adam exhibit some parallels notably in regard to the name and primal position of the two chief characters , they also reveal important contrasts.

    Therefore, those interpreters who insist upon reading the Adapa myth without assistance from the familiar categories of Gen 3 do make an important and necessary point. The story of Adapa is a myth or legend set in the earliest time antediluvian of southern Mesopotamia, and it intends perhaps in a somewhat whimsical way to give expression to certain distressing situations.

    The most immediate of these concerns is human mortality. The response of the myth is that man cannot gain immortality, for that is the exclusive prerogative of the gods. Even Adapa, the foremost among men, after whom all mankind is patterned—with all his wisdom, skill, and power— cannot achieve it. Immortality, therefore, cannot be had by humans; it belongs exclusively to the gods, who alone are the ultimate rulers of the universe.

    To this life Adapa is returned, a wiser man who is aware of the distance between heaven and earth. But more importantly, the myth concerns itself with human authority, even arrogance, before the gods. Here the myth is ambivalent. Obviously, Adapa's authority is being curtailed, for he 49 Foster, p. He obtains a reception, life, and some trophies. This is possible because the gods, though immortal, are themselves vulnerable.

    They depend upon Adapa's provisions for the temple and are subject to his rash breaking of the south wind, thereby throwing the whole land into disarray. The liberation given to Eridu D, line 10 may be a recognition of the fact that there are limits to the gods' dependence and reliance upon mankind. The myth ends with a reference to illness which could permanently terminate even the limited and temporal existence of mankind. The healing promised through an appeal to the goddess Ninkarrak D, lines is appropriately attached to the myth of Adapa's successful confrontation with the gods. Just as the wing of the south wind, and hence life in land and city, can be healed, so also can human illness, through a proper relationship with the gods, who are both the rulers of the world and its providers of life.

    In short, the myth of Adapa is an attempt to come to terms with the vicissitudes of human life, as it exists, by insisting that so it is ordained. It suggests that by wisdom, cunning, humility, and 50 This appears to be an issue in the Atra-Hasis flood story. The high gods set mankind to work in order to appease the low gods; subsequently mankind rebels and by its size frightens the high gods into sending a flood, whereupon they suffer from the lack of mankind's service.

    See Lambert and Millard, Atra-Hasis. The suggestion that the flood represents a disruption identifiable as an overpopulation problem only underscores the fact that the gods are vulnerable before their creatures and unable to control their own solution to their problem see T. For this suggestion see Bohl, p. Gen , on the other hand, seeks to explain why existing conditions are what they clearly ought not to be.

    Therefore, Adam, unlike Adapa, is not struggling with distressing human problems such as immortality, nor is he strapped down with duties of providing for city and temple, nor is he caught up in the tension between his obligations to his God and hindrances to such obliga- tions arising from an evil world 54 or from inner wickedness. The only other potential difficulty in this harmonious existence lies in his capacity to disobey his God. Moreover, not only in his existence before God, but also in his confrontation with God does Adam differ from Adapa. That con- frontation arises from an experience of weakness in yielding to temptation, not from blind devotion, as in the case of Adapa.

    Also, Adam fails to manifest contrition similar to that of Adapa. And finally, again unlike Adapa, Adam refuses to take responsibility for his deed; he hides from it and subsequently blames his wife. Adam's fall is therefore much more serious than Adapa's offense, perhaps because of the considerable height from which Adam tumbled. Even the nature of the relationship between man and God is different in Gen God is not vulnerable before Adam, yet he 54 For a discussion of these common human tensions, see W.

    Pedersen "Wisdom and Immortality," p. To be sure, both Adam and Adapa made approaches towards divinity by means of wisdom, but Adapa did so from the position of human inadequacy. Adam, on the other hand, suf- fered no such lack. He enjoyed a relationship with his God through filial obedience and was in possession of all wisdom cf.

    Gordis, "The Knowledge of Good and Evil," p. Gen Adam, on the other hand, is dependent upon God, but appears to ignore that fact cf. In short, then, we conclude that parallels do indeed exist between Adam and Adapa, but they are seriously blunted by the entirely different contexts in which they occur. Analysis of the "Seesaw" Parallelism How, then, shall we explain this "seesaw" parallelism? Does Adapa represent a parallel to the biblical Adam, or should Adam and Adapa rather be contrasted?

    The suggestion of this essay is that in Adam and Adapa we have the representation of two different anthropological characters, perhaps capable of being illustrated by an actor who plays two distinct roles, but who is clearly recogniz- able in each. The Adapa character assigned to this actor is suitable for its cultural milieu. It is that of a wise man. The epithet apkallu supports it, and his identification with Berossos' Oannes confirms it. His wisdom is ordained by his god Ea, and it comes to expression in the devotion and obedience with which he conducts his affairs.

    Adapa is not a "sinner," but a "perfect man. He is a human archetype who compares best to such biblical personalities as Noah, Joseph, Moses, Job, and Daniel, who are also models of wisdom, devotion, and obedience, and who represent ideals to be imitated. These are not unlike the conflicting interests with which biblical man is confronted, except that the perpetrators in the latter case are humans. For man to survive in such a world takes wisdom, integrity, reliability, devotion, and humility before the unalterable superiority of the divine powers.

    But the ideal human character can succeed in this. He may not achieve all that 57 Cf. According to Buccellati, p. The notion of faith emerges in Adapa's total commitment to his god's counsel. See also Xella, p. Here is a clear parallel between Adapa and certain OT ideals, particularly in the wisdom literature. The Adam role, however, is that of the first man, who is sinless and destined to immortality—of one who, even though a created being, is in the image of God and who enjoys his presence continually.

    We very much suspect that the same actor is indeed playing, because of the similarity of the names of our characters, because of their primary position among the antediluvians, and because of certain distinct experiences they had in common e. But the precise role which Adam plays is foreign to the Mesopotamian literature.

    Unlike Adapa, Adam, though made of clay, originally has the potential for immortality and is totally free before God. Further, Adam serves the earth, rather than temple. Moreover, although he possesses enormous wisdom so as to name the animals, Gen , he is not portrayed as a teacher of civilization to mankind. Rather, he exists above and before civilization, in a pristine state of purity, nobility, and complete harmony. Further- more, his confrontation with God is not in sorrow or mourning, comparable to the experience of Adapa; he is subsequently brought low while blaming his misadventures upon a woman.

    In this, Adam is clearly not an ideal to be followed, but a warning to all— a failing individual, rather than a noble, heroic one. Here a clear contrast emerges between our two characters. According to an old proposal, 58 recently resurrected, 59 the actor who played these two characters— the noble Adapa and the ignoble Adam— was brought to the ancient Near East by west Semitic peoples. On the scene staged by the Mesopotamian artists he characterized man as the noble, wise, reliable, and devoted, but humble, hero who is resigned to live responsibly before his god. However, in the biblical tradition, the characterization came through in quite a different way, which has put its lasting mark 58 By A.

    This portrayal, to be sure, is not meant to reduce the spirit of man to pessimism and despair, but to remind him that despite all the wisdom, cunning, reliability, and devotion of which he is capable and is duty-bound to exercise, he is also always a sinner whose unpredictability, untrustworthiness, and irresponsi- bility can never be totally ignored nor denied. The best answer to this question may well be that Adam and Adapa represent two distinct charac- terizations of human nature.

    The parallels we have noted in the accounts may suggest that the two characterizations have a common origin, whereas the contrasts between them may indicate that two branches of Near Eastern civilization took clearly distinguish- able sides in the dialogue over human nature. Yet these lines are not so different that the resulting two characterizations of man are unable to dialogue. He correctly observes that the purpose of the fall narrative is not "to dwell upon failure," but to affirm and reaffirm God's trust in man.

    But he further states, "The miracle grows larger, for Yahweh is willing to trust what is not trustworthy. The gospel out of the tenth century is not that David or Adam is trustworthy, but that he has been trusted" ibid. This is surely good theology, but it hardly succeeds in refurbishing man, as Brueggemann would have us do. The story of Adam's fall, it seems to me, insists that even at its best, mankind is not as good as it ought to be or as we might wish it to be.

    Armerding Regent College Vancouver 8, B. Professor Kenneth Hare of the University of Toronto recently answered the question 1 by dividing people and publications into 3 categories. First, and perhaps most vocal today, are the alarmists, many of whom are prof- iting immensely by writing and speaking on a kind of apocalyptic level, who see the technological society as having created a monster which, if unchecked, will swallow up both man and nature within a few short years. Hare suggests that much of this group's concern is with what he calls "nuisance pollution", i.

    A second group consists of those who attempt to de- bunk the whole pollution effort. There is still land for more people, there are still many resources for develop- ment, and we have always been able to develop new methods and resources when the old were exhausted. After all, when coal supplies ran short, we hardly noticed the loss. In a third group the golden mean Hare places himself. In such a category he would include the population explosion, the problem of non-renewable resources, and the problem of atmospheric and water pollutants now present in the world-wide system of the earth's surface.

    It is not my purpose to referee this debate. Rather, I should like to suggest that, whatever our view of the seriousness of the problem, there is an area in which we must develop a response. Even the most optimistic 'de-bunker' of the ecology crisis is functioning on the basis of a philosophy—usually a philosophy built on an unlimited confidence in man and his ability to control his own destiny. And, because our response inevitably involves values, and values in our Judeo-Christian society have always related to Biblical religion, I feel we can and should begin our search for a value-structure at that point.

    Especially for us, as evangelicals, there is a mandate for a fresh look at our sources, partially be- cause they are under attack in ecological circles, but more basically because we purport to find in them "all things necessary for life and godliness". What then does the Bible say to guide our response to the problems of ecology?

    Does it speak with a clear voice in favor of concern or does it, perchance, leave us in the embarrassing position of 'drop-out' from the company of the concerned, or worse yet, does it provide us with a mandate for exploitation of the worst sort? To these questions my paper will attempt an answer.

    Approach to the Crisis: Ecological or Theological? Richard Wright in a recent article. Wright suggests that an "ecological strategy" i. The theological approach must be, therefore, merely a supplement to the more prag- matic, realistic appeal to self-preservation which secular man can understand.

    I question whether one can separate the two, even to the limited extent proposed by Dr. If ecological decisions are to be made at all they must be made in the context of a human value system. Who is to say that self-preservation is a strong enough motive for action, especially when, for those in affluent parts of the world, it usually is a problem of assuring the next generation's survival not our own? What will convince the consumer of wood and paper, the traveler in his fume-spewing automobile, or the land-speculator pro- tecting his investment that to modify his behavior severely is necessary?

    I suggest that a theological con- viction, though traditionally limited in its appeal, may make more sense in the context of an increasingly apocalyptic debate than even the appeal to an en- lightened self-interest. Though we may never convert the world, we may, as Christians, better set our own response and activity in the context of a Biblical world- view, and thus convince contemporary leaders to follow after what we believe is good. It was not, after all, through the conversion of all England that Granville Sharpe, William Wilberforce and John Newton brought about the end of child labor and the slave trade.

    Thus, I opt for a theological approach. But, which theology shall we espouse? At least three options are available and I shall discuss them in turn. Theological Approaches 1. Attack the Judeo-Christian tradition. Attacks on the Judeo-Christian tradition and its view of nature are by now familiar to most of us. Wright and others quotes Ian McHarg's Design with Nature in which man's "bulldozer mentality" is traced to Genesis 1 and its alleged "sanction and injunction to conquer nature— the enemy, the threat to Jehovah".

    We shall have more to say presently about this kind of reasoning; suffice it to note for the moment that such a charge is certainly open to question, Biblically if not also historically. Modify the Judeo-Christian tradition. Not all at- tacks on Biblical theology have come from outside the Christian church. It is significant that Lynn White, in some ways the father of modern discussion of the sub- ject, recognized that the roots of the problem were religious and himself claims to be a faithful church- man. A United Church minister in Vancouver recently called for a rejection of Genesis 1 as the basis of a new theology.

    On a more academic level, Frederick Elder, a Presbyterian minister, in his book Crisis in Eden 6 , has zeroed in on the so-called "J" account of creation, as contained in Genesis b ff. Elder sees some hope for redemption in the "P" document from Ch. Man is at least chronologically last in the "P" version, in opposition to the "J" document wherein Adam is first to appear and he then names the animals a very significant function in light of Hebrew psychology surrounding the name.

    Elder goes on to divide mankind, and especially theological mankind, into two groups. The "exclusion- ists", represented by such "traditional" Christians as Harvey Cox, Herbert Richardson, and Teilhard de Chardin, advocate the kind of anthropocentrism of Genesis 2. To them man is king, his technology repre- sents the height of redemption from the old "sacred grove" concept, wherein God and nature were never distinguished, and his dominance of the physical world is but a step in the direction of the ultimate kingdom of 61 CARL E.

    Of course, there are major differences among such thinkers as I have mentioned, and Elder would be the first to acknowledge such, but all have in common a view that God has somehow ordained that man shall be the master of nature and, as its despot whether benevolent or otherwise is debated does the work of God in subduction of what is basically a godless and hostile entity. His second group, styled the "inclusionists", represents Elder himself, along with such Christian and marginally Christian thinkers as George H.

    Theologically he finds roots of the position in Calvin and H. Niebuhr, in each of whom there is present that holy regard for Mother Earth that Rudolf Otto has called a "sense of the numinous". Elder is suggesting that Christian theology must rid itself of its anthropocentrism and begin to see the earth as a self-contained biosphere in which man is little more than a plant parasite to use McHarg's terminology.

    He must see himself no longer as custodian of but rather a "part" of the environment. Along with this de- throning, or more properly abdication, of the king of the earth, will come a fresh sense of man's worth as an individual, unique in his ability to perceive eternity in various forms of natural history, and set over against a view of man as the collective, the mechanical, the technical master of the world's fate.

    In short, there must remain in man that mysterious sense of wonder as he stands before the burning bush, though that bush be the heart of a simple seed. Turning to the second point first, I would contend that Otto's "sense of the numinous" is by no means restricted to persons with a so-called "biocentric" world view, nor 62 CARL E. Certainly Calvin, for one, quoted by Elder as having an "inclusionist's" sense of wonder at creation, was firmly in the anthropocentic camp when he wrote "as it was chiefly for the sake of mankind that the world was made, we must look to this as the end which God has in view in the government of it.

    Elder's view has many other problems, but rather than offer a critique of Elder I will suggest a Biblical alternative. Let me say at the start that I am convinced that all talk of man's abdication, of a biospheric world- view, and of a sense of mere equality with the animal and plant world is not Biblical, Christian, or practical. In the appeal to St. Francis of Assisi, in the blur created between man and nature and in the almost personaliza- tion of the natural world one senses more than a hint of a pantheistic response.

    I suggest that, in a Biblical view, nature has a derived dignity as the separate and sub- ordinate creation of a transcendent God. Man has his God-given role as under-Lord, as manager and keeper, and is possessed of a cultural mandate which includes submission of any hostile forces and just as importantly, dominion over friendly forces. In this he is a partner with God who created him and, were it not for the Fall into sin which Elder and most theological writers on the subject seem to ignore , he might have brought about the kingdom of God on earth and found out the deepest secrets of his biosphere en route.

    In this sense, a Biblical world view is really theocentric rather than either anthropo- centric or biocentric. Significantly, Genesis 1 begins this point and I argue that any value system or truth structure without such a starting point must quickly reduce to subjectivity. The very extent to which nature is meaningful, whether in a pantheistic, animistic, or Christian sense, is a derivative of the view of God espoused. The God of the Bible is a God who is there prior to any and all creation.

    Though He can stoop to converse with his creatures witness the anthropomorph- isms of Genesis 2, to say nothing of the incarnation of Jesus Christ he is still consistently presented as above and beyond any and all of his works. In a masterful summary delivered on the Areopagus in Athens, St. Paul said of this God that He made the world and every- thing in it Acts He is the source of life, breath and everything else and He is the determining force in created history, but never can be reduced to any spatial context that man can identify and enshrine.

    Thus, our love of nature must be in the context of it as the handi- work of the Almighty and not as some part of God i. Such a view is important because it has not always been universally held, and we are in position to examine the results of alternate views. It should be self-evident that such a view of a Creator-God endows nature as well as man with a real dignity, but dignity for nature, at least, can also be derived from pantheism. But what are the implications if we lower God to the level of nature or raise nature to the level of God?

    We have a model for this in the Babylonian view of the universe. ARMERDING 6d has the usual pagan pantheon, but the notable fact is that the world was created out of certain gods and each element in the universe furthermore represented the personality and will of a particular deity. Thus, deriving from its view of god, the society came to view nature not as an "it" but a "Thou".

    Such language, reproduced on a more sophisticated plane, and overlaid with a residual Judeo-Christian world-view, is seen again in many of Elder's favorite "inclusionists", and even Lynn White himself seems to long for the good old days when the groves were sacred.

    For the Christian, however, God must be the God of creation. The grove may be perceived as a wonder of order and beauty, but it must never be given the robe of divine dignity. Its meaning to man must be derived from the fact of its createdness rather than its essence. For the Babylonians no such confidence in the grove existed. It was feared, not ap- preciated. It was irregular and capricious in its person- ality, not in any sense the ordered subject of scientific investigation we know today.

    It possessed a sense of authority, but even that authority was no guarantee against the sudden return of chaos. All of this, which we call cosmology, is clearly dependent on one's view of God, and I can hardly emphasize sufficiently the force and majesty of the Hebrew concept of a depend- able and transcendent Creator as presented in Genesis chapter 1. Nor is the transcendence of God absent in the so-called 2nd account of creation. In Genesis we find God again completely in control of His work, creating lit: "making"; Hebrew 'asah the earth and the heavens. No primitive mythology is here; rather there is a God who can be close to his creation and even direct its affairs personally, but who Himself is above it, beyond it and outside it.

    Again the view of the world is theocentric rather than anthropocentric or biocentric. It is this God who tells Adam to till and keep the garden. Nature The inclusionists" tell us we must rid ourselves of Biblical views of nature and return to a kind of neo- pantheism, a resurrection of the sacred grove, which has to mean some kind of independent element of deity within the natural order.

    But what is the Biblical view? Is nature a worthless mass of material to be exploited and left to rot as man sates himself in luxury, while trampling underfoot his environment? Some would have us believe that this is the implication in Genesis Elder attempts to convince us that the Biblical picture degrades nature at the expense of exalting man, but does the Genesis account actually reflect such a state of affairs? Up to the sixth day, with its creation of man, each natural element brought into being finds its meaning in ful- filling a role cast for it in the benevolent order of things.

    Light dispels darkness and we have day. The firmament keeps the waters separated. The dry land provides a platform for vegetation which in turn feeds all the living creatures. The seas become in their turn an environment for the fish and swarming creatures. The two great lights rule or give order to the principle parts of the cycle: day and night.

    And finally man, as the highest of the created order, serves to keep all of the rest in order, functioning smoothly. In fact, it is in Genesis 1 with its penchant for order and its transcendent and over-arching concept of a purposeful universe, that a truly balanced cosmological system can be found—and this in the very document that is supposed to down- grade nature by its command for man to subdue and have dominion.

    In this document creation is seen as orderly note the structure in the chapter , it is re- peatedly stated to be good, and it is throughout seen to be serving a great and noble purpose. Genesis 2 has relatively little to add, as it is, funda- mentally, a treatise on the nature of man and his mean- ing in the structure. However, contrary again to what we might expect in an "anthropocentric" account 10 Genesis 2 also argues for a healthy respect for environ- ment.

    Indeed for most ecologists who concern them- selves with the Bible at all, Genesis 2 is more palatable than Gen. Here the garden is full of "every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food" v. Here man's mandate is even expressed in more ecologically desirable terms. No longer is he to conquer and subdue, but rather to "till lit: work and guard Hebr: shamar, keep " the treasure entrusted to him. Note however, that Harvey Cox and Herbert Richardson, with their anthropocentric universe, are really closer to the mark here than is Elder and his so-called "biocentrists", though neither has grasped the full fact that theocentrism must precede either second option.

    Cox and Richardson sometimes lose sight of the fact that it is the garden of God, not Adam, no matter how central Adam may appear in the story. Further testimony to the value and wonder of nature is not wanting in other parts of scripture. There is the familiar and majestic Psalm 19, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handi- work.

    The springs in the valleys give drink to the beasts of the field and the earth is satisfied with the fruit of God's creative works. But all is ultimately for the service of man v. If you have previously obtained access with your personal account, Please log in. If you previously purchased this article, Log in to Readcube. Log out of Readcube. Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. Abstract Centuries of both theologians and astronomers have wondered what the Star of Bethlehem Matt , 9 actually was, from miracle to planetary conjunction. Here a history of this search is presented, along with the difficulties the various proposals have had.

    Wayside Gospel Chapel

    The natural theories of the Star are found to be a recent innovation, and now almost exclusively maintained by scientists rather than theologians. Current problems with various theories are recognized, as well as general problems with the approach. The interactions between the sciences and religion are categorized and explored. Volume 47 , Issue 1. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.

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