Thursday, November 21, 2013

No atheists

To begin, it is important to understand that the cognitive environment of the Near East was “thoroughly transcendent.” That is, deity and a desire to make sense of the divine realm were central to almost all thought and writing in the ancient world. This of course directly applies to ancient history writing in that most accounts were concerned in some way with the divine role in history. “History,” to the Near Eastern mind, was considered “the doings of the deity revealing the will of the deity.” [Walton] If this is true, history, and the task of writing history, was important not because it recounted events of the past with any accuracy (though it may have to varying degrees), but because it assigned meaning and purpose to the present by orienting author and audience properly to deity.—Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1-11, page 40

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