Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Context is king

This is the first of series of excerpts from John Walton's new book from Eisenbrauns, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology:

“Reconstructing literary relationships often becomes an elaborate connect-the-dots game in which the results resemble more the apparent randomness of a Rorschach inkblot test than the clear literary links that are claimed. Our efforts should focus on using all the literature at our disposal to reconstruct the ancient cognitive environment, which can then serve as the backdrop for understanding each literary work. Rather than employing comparative methodology as an apologetic serving our own ideologies, promoting theological or antitheological agendas, we must as careful scholars allow the text, as a product of its cognitive environment, to be interpreted within the context of this cognitive environment.”—Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 2

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