Sunday, July 18, 2010

Alice C. Linsley's Research on Genesis

Just Genesis is "an interesting blog dedicated to anthropological sleuthing of pre-Abrahamic origins."-- Madison Gentsch

"Alice C. Linsley is an original and originals are few."-- Dr. Catherine Acholonu

"If only Christian discourse in this country were filled with such enlightened, such profound insights into the origins of human thought and life! You do us all a great service in writing things like this."-- Arturo Vasquez

"She has an excellent blog. I am amazed at the sources she analyzes and presents in her blog." -- Dr. Clyde Winters

"As much as Alice and I disagree, I have read her web site, and I appreciate her scholarship concerning Genesis. I will not attempt to summarize another’s scholarship, but it appears to be quite interesting." --Caleb Powers

"Alice, thank you so much for your research and blog. I am in my senior year at an evangelical university and taking a course in Genesis, but cannot reconcile with what's being taught. Your work has encouraged my faith in a way that words fail right now." -- Adam

"Alice, you are doing awesome work." -- Father Rick Lobs

"You are an excellent researcher. Your insights have the effect of exploding fluorescence. You have made me feel like the eons gone past are just within our reach; we don't need to look very far."--John Ogutu (Luo language consultant)

"Alice, I am thoroughly taken with your blog - - what a wonderful gift! Keep up the great work." --Dr. William G. Brown

"In terms of tertiary studies, I learned Old Testament from 'extreme liberals' as well as 'moderate conservatives.' Then for years I felt satisfied that, although by no means a specialist, I had worked out a sensible approach to the Old Testament that was authentically Christian while avoiding the pitfalls of fundamentalism, marcionism and liberalism . . . especially with regard to the Book of Genesis. 

That was until I found Alice Linsley's work. 

One of my favourite blogs is JUST GENESIS which combines her biblical, historical, theological, cultural, historical, anthropological and archeological research, and takes the reader into fascinating areas which really do make sense (and have caused me to change quite a number of my previously held views!)." -- Bishop David Chislett SSC  (Read more here.)

"Alice, you are an amazing scholar! I have been searching for toponymic evidence for Enoch in Africa for a long time. You are a brave pioneer. Your blog is a box of jewels. I wish I could examine each gem more closely."-- Susan Burns, Biblical Anthropologist

"I have been immersed, (baptized) in your remarkable scholarship and compelling style. Thank you for sharing your gift and what can only be described as a passion." -- Father David W. Cardona

"The significance of my research is that I have identified the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's Horite caste and have demonstrated that this marriage structure drove Kushite expansion and the diffusion of the proto-Gospel.  Using the tools of kinship analysis, I have traced the Horite ancestry of Jesus Christ from his earliest named ancestors in Genesis 4 and 5. I present Genesis from an anthropological perspective here." --Alice C. Linsley

Read other reactions to Alice's research here.

Unique among all the blogs on creation and evolution, Just Genesis
  • takes an anthropological approach to the study of Genesis
  • acknowledges the great age of the earth and of human existence
  • refutes Young Earth Creationist dogma, showing that it is not Biblical
  • rejects unsubstantiated aspects of Darwinian/Neo-Darwinian theory
  • asserts that Genesis interprets itself on questions of origins
  • shows that the first verifiably historical persons in Genesis are kings listed in Genesis 4 and 5
  • examines the text's original cultural context, that of ancient Nilotic and Proto-Saharan peoples
  • argues that Genesis is not about human origins ultimately. It is about the origin of Messianic expectation among Abraham's ancestors
About one-quarter of Genesis is the story of God’s dealings with Abraham and his ancestors (chapter 1-12). The other chapters deal with Abraham's descendants before the establishment of Israel. Because this is so, we must recognize that the promise concerning the coming of the Seed of God by the Woman (Gen. 3:15) does not originate with the Jews. It is much older. The expectation was preserved by Abraham's ancestors to whom the promise was first made in Eden, a well-watered region that extended from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.

The bulk of my research focuses on the first quarter of the book, material that is often dismissed as non-historical or simply ignored. Using the tools of cultural anthropology, I'm working to uncover antecedents of the religious life of Abraham's people.  This involves looking for patterns and analysis of the genealogical data. The oldest culture traits or patterns are those that are the most widely diffused geographically.

All the articles at Just Genesis are listed by topic and alphabetically arranged in the INDEX. Articles on Biblical Anthropology can be found at my other blog by that name.

Looking for Patterns through the Lens of Anthropology
To understand the Bible we must look for patterns that first appear in Genesis. In this sense, Genesis is foundational to a proper understanding of the whole Bible. Often the patterns are more evident when we focus on the women because blood lines were traced through the mothers, as is true today in Judaism. In the ancient Afro-Asiatic world, one's social status (caste) came from one's father, but one's ethnicity came from one's mother.  So it is peculiar that Abraham's mother is not mentioned in the Bible. When we exlpore her identity, we find the suggestion that Abraham was the son of a hign-ranking woman whose father was a Horite priest. According to the Babylonian Talmud, Abraham's maternal grandfather's name was Karnevo, a name associated with the Horus temple at Karnak.

The Genesis genealogies are important because they help us to understand the Bible's purpose. From beginning to end, the Bible is about the royal ancestry of Jesus Christ. It is possible to trace His ancestry because of the cousin bride's naming prerogative, whereby the cousin or niece bride named her first-born son after her father.  This is why there are multiple rulers with the same name.  There is Lamech the Elder, who bragged to his two wives, and there is his grandson, Lamech the Younger, the first-born of Methuselah by Lamech's daughter, Naamah. There is Esau the Elder and his grandson, Esau, the brother of Jacob. Esau the Elder was a contemporary of Seir the Horite and their lines intermarried. Esau the Younger, Jacob's brother, married Seir's great-great granddaughter, Oholibamah.

The cousin-bride's naming prerogative is found from Genesis 4 to Numbers and beyond, so it is not coincidental, but characteristic of the unique marriage pattern of the rulers of Abraham's people. Scholars like Noth, Albright, Speiser, etc. concluded that Genesis 4 and Genesis 5 represent different oral or textual traditions of the same ruling line. This is NOT what the Bible claims, however, and I take the Bible's claims very seriously. Genesis claims that the rulers listed in Genesis 4 are the descendants of Cain and those listed in Genesis 5 are the descendants of Seth. The correspondence of names (Enoch/Enosh, Kain/Kenan, Irad/Jared, Lamech/Lamech, etc) between the two lists has to do with the cousin-bride's naming prerogative, something that I discovered after about 20 years of research.

All of the men listed in Genesis 4 and 5 are rulers who had two wives.  One wife was a half-sister (as Sarah was to Abraham) and the other was either a patrilineal cousin or a niece (As Keturah was to Abraham).  The cousin bride named her first-born son after her father because this son would ascend to the thorne of his maternal grandfather. So Lamech's daughter, Naamah married Methuselah, her patrilineal cousin or uncle and named their first born son Lamech, because this son of Methuselah would rule over Lamech the elder's territory, not over Methuselah's territory.  This is what Claude Lévi-Strauss discovered in his studies of primitive peoples (1949). He noted that in a patrilineal system, mother and son do not belong to the same clan.

The cultural patterns of the ancient Afro-Asiatics in general, and the Horite priest caste in particular, are reflected in Genesis, one of their many lasting contributions to the world. In my 33+ years of research on Genesis, I've discovered many traits of the ancient Afro-Asiatic worldview, established the binary nature of their cosmology, clarified the relationship between the Horites, the Jebusites, and the Dedanites, demonstrated the historical accuracy of the Kushite migration and kingdom-building, and identified the kinship pattern of Abraham and his ancestors, a pattern that continued until the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

How I became interested in Anthropology

At a young age I was exposed to different cultures. This marks the beginning of my fascination with customs, artifacts and beliefs, a fascination that would later take me into the study of Anthropology. Much of my Genesis research draws on the disciplines of Anthropology, especially kinship analysis.

I have experienced societies in the Philippines, Spain, India, Thailand, Iran, Greece and many parts of the USA. At age 8 I visited the headhunters in the mountains of Luzon and even have a photo of my 6-foot tall father standing next to the 4-foot spear-carrying chief of the village. I attended Catholic Mass in a pew-less village church with a hard-packed dirt floor with chickens scurrying about our feet. As an adult, I studied two tribal groups while living in Iran and attended Divine Liturgy at the Armenian cathedral in Jolfa (Isfahan). I explored Orthodoxy again in Greece where I observed the Divine Liturgy and visited the Icon Museum in Athens.

Essentially what I am doing is pioneering Biblical Anthropology. What I have found is that the Bible is as reliable for anthropological study as it is for biblical archaeology.  How can this be?  Because of the Afro-Asiatics respected their received tradition and honored the celestial pattern.  In a 5,000 year old text, the Egyptian scribe, Ptah Hotep, states: "Don’t modify anything from your father’s (ancestor’s) teachings/instructions—not even a single word. And let this principle be the cornerstone for teachings to future generations."

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) was a Romanian historian of religion who observed that for archaic man “real” objects and events are those that imitate, repeat or are patterned upon a celestial archetype. He believed that “the man who has made his choice in favor of a profane life never succeeds in completely doing away with religious behavior.” (The Sacred and the Profane)  He is right.  Even the most devout atheist enjoys liberties that are wrought by religious men.

Eliade wrote, "On Mount Sinai Jehovah shows Moses the 'form' of the sanctuary that he is to build for him: 'According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments therefor, even so shall ye make it.... And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount' (Exodus 25:9, 40). And when David gives his son Solomon the plan for the temple buildings, for the tabernacle, and for all their utensils, he assures him that 'All this... the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern" (I Chronicles 28:19). Hence he had seen the celestial model." (The Myth of the Eternal Return, p. 7)

The tabernacle and the temple on Zion were built according to the pattern of the Horite shrines, with pillars, water sources, and 3 chambers. This should not surprise us since Moses was the son of a Horite priest and David was the son of shepherd-priest who lived in the Horite settlement of Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 4:4), and both are descendants of earlier Horite ruler-priests. They were responsible for protecting and upholding the pattern which they received.  Their central myth reveals the pattern by which the Apostles and subsequent generations of Christians recognize that Jesus is indeed the Son of God who came into the world to save sinners, such as me.

Related reading:  In Defense of Biblical AnthropologyAbout Alice C. LinsleyReactions to My Genesis ResearchThe Genesis King Lists, Samuel's Horite Family; The Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ; Jesus Fulfills the Horus Myth; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; The Nubian Context of YHWH


Lydia said...

Alice, I am still following your blog posts with great excitement and interest. However, it is hard for me to believe that the cousin bride's naming perogative is all that unique. When I first read of it in your writings, all I could think of was,"Gee, I didn't know I was a Horite." I have traced a number of my ancestral lines and almost all of the families have a son named for the mother's father. I can't really see anything Horite about it. Most of my ancesters are of Scots-Irish lineage. This pattern goes back many generations. I have also read that this naming custom was common. The naming custom also holds true in the lineages of my friends (I belong to several genealogical societies.) I would love to hear what you think of this.

We have also been Christians for many generations, with many ministers of the gospel in each line.

I continue to enjoy your blog and eagerly await each post.


Alice C. Linsley said...

The naming of sons after the mother's father isn't unique to the Afro-Asiatic chiefs. Identifying this pattern in the Bible helps us to trace the line of descent from Kain and Seth to Jesus. That's why this information is important.

Anonymous said...

I hear the terms "Hebrew", Jew, Israelite", "anti Semitic" thrown around a lot. Exactly what do those terms mean?
Thank you.

Alice Linsley said...


You will find the answer here:

Anonymous said...

What? How is it that you are the only one who gets the scoop on the "Who's Who" of the Genesis lineages? :) No matter how many searches I do trying to figure out stuff like Keturah's relationship to Abraham before their nuptials, I'll start reading, and glance up the url line and it's invariably jandygenesis! Don't get me wrong - I think it's great! I have cognitive, mostly neurological learning disorders and there is NO one that could get me even on the right track of things like the patrilineal-half-sister-1st cousin deal. Thank you so much for that. I'm an acataleptic, as in the philosophy that nothing can be proven (or note) to a degree of 100% certainly. We, as mere mortals, are just not qualified or even perhaps worthy of knowing such high secrets of the universe. I am agnostic, but a true believer, mostly in Nature's God and Nature's Laws, of Jeffersonian fame. A Jeffersonian Christian, if there is such a thing. He wrote his own Bible, so.... :)I kind of would like add to his philosophy that, given that we can only speak to God in our heads - and that's our voice that's talking - and considering that our brains can't just leave our cranium and go for a walk by itself to find stuff out, it seems to me that it's all about the way we humans perceive things through our own, very fallible, man-made 'lenses'. We can only try to learn, but only a higher power can know. That's just my humble opinion of course.
But, from Horites, to Mt. Seir, to Mt. Horeb, to the Horus road to Horus the god, etc., you are the first person who ever made logical sense to me that there can be a priestly class, independent of any kind of ethnic or tribal ties. That makes sense! I'm so locked in to following a gazillion groups of people around and kind of get bogged down in minutiae along the way. Ugarites, Hamites, Amurru, Ameleks, Midianites, etc. - it's exhausting.
Anyways, thanks for what you do. You have rekindled my love of biblical 'historicity'. My personal fascination has long been on the Hyksos conquerors of MizRaim and their relationship to Joseph, Jacob's family and Moses, etc. Here's a question: Preface: I believe that the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt to Midian took place perhaps 200 years earlier than other writings have it pegged. It would explain how the protectors of the Hebrews, the by-then-expelled Hyksos, got to Gaza to make a last stand, while (somewhere around there) the Hebrews slipped away across the Red Sea to Midian, to the Wilderness of Sin (mistakenly called the "Reed Sea" and "Sinai", respectively, by the Masoretes.) So - given, that Moses and the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba (while the Egyptians went to Gaza to destroy the remnants of the Hyksos), how did Moses cross the Red Sea to/from Midian the first two times (one his flight from Egypt to avoid a murder rap, and second, back to Egypt with his family to "bring his people" out?). Or, Q. #2 - why couldn't he have just gone north of and then down the Eastern side of the Gulf of Aqaba, mabye 1, 2, or all three times? It should be noted, that the massive volcanic eruption of Thera took place at that time, and would explain at least nine of the ten plagues of Moses and Aaron, PLUS explains why a (frequent in the Gulf of Aqaba - last time in 1997) tsunami would have cleared the water away, and then, wash it back in with a vengeance.
Have you ever examined the Jordan Rift Valley? It was volcanically and slip-fault super-active in the 15th century BC, and could explain a lot of what happened.
But - figuring out who Keturah was? You blazed that trail for me. :)Ken

Alice Linsley said...

Ken, Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I hope that others will benefit from this research also. You wrote, "you are the first person who ever made logical sense to me that there can be a priestly class, independent of any kind of ethnic or tribal ties. That makes sense!'

I agree. From the earliest times (millions of years ago) humans have had a need for an intercessor between the Creator and the individual, and the Creator and the community. This is either a priest or a shaman. These are the two oldest religious offices, but they have very different worldviews.

There were women shamans, but no women served as priests. This is because the priesthood is connected to animal sacrifice and that is the blood work of males, not females. The blood work of females is to bring forth life, not take life.

See these articles: