Friday, December 02, 2011

Not borrowed

“To claim that both the Bible and the ancient Near Eastern texts draw on a similar cognitive environment and describe the processes of “origins” in similar ways in no way suggests that Genesis “borrowed” from Gudea or any other piece of ancient Near Eastern literature. To insist that these similarities could only be the result of borrowing is a gross misunderstanding of appropriate methodology, something that I have attempted to make clear from the beginning of this book. Instead, the Israelites shared with the rest of the cultures of the ancient world certain basic concepts about temples, rest, and cosmos that are naturally reflected in an account such as Genesis 1. The claim is not that Genesis 1 borrows the literary form of temple-inauguration accounts but that it is informed by the same cognitive environment that can be observed in contemporary (in the broad sense of that term) temple-inauguration accounts. The fact that so much in common can be observed is evidence of the broad range of the cognitive environment.”— Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, pages 183-184

No comments: