Monday, October 17, 2011


“...understanding the Hebrew Bible requires its interpreters to recognize the pervasive connection that ancient Israel had with the legacy of ancient Near Eastern literature and thought. This relationship, however, is not merely a matter of literary adoption at some point in time; that is, we cannot simply consider what we may think Israel has derived from contemporary literature. The relationship is more complex, because Israelite literature reflects the broad ancient stream of culture from which it was watered in the course of centuries or even millennia. As a result, the issue is not whether Israel borrowed or adopted another culture’s ideas. The stream was so pervasive and persistent that some of the ideas we are considering had become a “native” way of thinking; they had long been a part of the conceptual framework of the ancient world and had much earlier taken root in whatever context(s) the Israelite cognitive environment took shape.”—Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 13

<idle musing>
Indeed. The idea of "borrowing" that was so pervasive a generation or two ago is overly simplistic. After all, does a fish know it's wet?
</idle musing>

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