Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reactions to My Genesis Research


Alice C. Linsley


After more than thirty years of presenting aspects of my Genesis research and engaging various viewpoints, I can accurately anticipate the reaction of different groups.


Racists of All Colors

It has not been welcomed by white supremacists because in their worldview nothing good comes out of Africa. White supremists recently took note of this blog and apparently have a bone to pick with me. They seem to think that only white people have contributed to the early development of organized religion. There is no arguing from facts with those who are dedicated to apartheid in America.

Sadly, there is evidence of this racism in the writings of Young Earth creationists. Most of their books contain the Twelve Affirmations and Denials of this movement. Let us consider Affirmation XII.

We affirm that all people living and dead are descended from Adam and Eve...and that the various people groups (with their various languages, cultures, and distinctive physical characteristics, including skin color) arose as a result of God's supernatural judgment at the Tower of Babel..."

The Tower of Babel story explains the division of related dialects into Afro-Arabian and Afro-Asiatic languages. This happened over a period of time, which does not exclude the possibility of divine intervention. The linguistic division occurred before Abraham's time. There are seventeen language families in the world. Each breaks down into hundreds of languages, dialects and sub-dialects. All the people groups mentioned in Genesis Chapter 10 belong to the Afro-Asiatic language group which originated in the Nile region and spread across Arabia, the Levant and Mesopotamia. Genesis tells us that Abraham's ancestors were Kushites, people of dark skin color, so it is ignorant and racist to say that skin color is the result of God's judgment.

Neither has my research been greeted charitably by black supremacists who insist that everything of value comes out of Africa. They would rather ignore the evidence that Asiatics played a large role in the spread of Horite religion. These people tend to argue that all peoples and languages have a common point of origin in Africa.

Black supremists are not to be confused with Afrocentrist scholars such as W.E.B. Dubois, Carter G. Woodson and Clyde A. Winters, all scholars who are concerned with archaeological, linguistic and genetic discoveries related to African peoples, their migration and their contributions.


Biblical Literalists

These Biblical literalists or "Fundamentalists" distort what the Bible reveals by imposing an ideology that makes the Bible acceptable to them. It is clear, however, that even these reductionists don’t agree. Some filter the Bible through Calvinism, with its emphasis on divine sovereignty, covenant theology and predestination. Others filter the material through the bestsellers of famous Protestant pastors. Many reductionists filter the Bible through the dispensational framework articulated in the Scofield Bible. This last approach breaks the single strand from Genesis to Revelation into numerous independent strands or “dispensations” in which the unchanging God changes. This would have been both foreign and anathema to Abraham’s Horite people.

Biblical literalists feel threatened when their assumptions about Genesis are questioned. In my view, their Young Earth position presents the greatest obstacles to understanding Genesis and the entire Bible. Their false assumptions are, without doubt, the most pervasive cause of confusion. The righteous tone with which they assert their version of Genesis fools some into believing that Young Earth Creationism is Biblical. In fact, their doctrines are quite contrary to what Genesis reveals.

Perusal of their books and websites causes the educated and scientifically-minded to scratch their heads in wonder. The Earth is only 6000 years old? Humans and dinosaurs co-existed? God created the Grand Canyon with the appearance of great age? These far-fetched conclusions contribute to prejudice against a scientific approach to Genesis, making my work as a Biblical Anthropologist more difficult. Many in the scientific and academic communities assume that all Christians think like Young Earth literalists and are unaware of the remarkable correspondence between the Biblical timeline and scientific studies.

Young Earth Creationists are building a Noah's Ark theme park in Kentucky. It will be a fun place for families and will perpetuate their ideology. Evangelicals who have bought into Darwinian evolutionary theory probably won't visit the park, but Biblical literalists will flock there in droves, as they do to Ken Ham's other attraction, the Creation Museum in Cincinnati.

Young Earth Creationism is declining in popularity among Evangelicals, especially those influenced by the BioLogos crowd which tends to think that Darwinian evolution is the only alternative to literalism, and that is not true. An anthropological approach to Genesis acknowledges Earth's great age and the milleniums of human existence without accepting the unproven tenets of evolution concerning human origins. Biblical Anthropology, as scientific study of the text, requires setting aside both ideological templates in order to determine the meaning in cultural context. This is a labor to which I am fully committed.


East Indians

Another group that attempts to refute my research are East Indians who insist that India is the cradle of the ancient religions and civilizations. I receive emails from them fairly regularly. Contrary to the evidence, they insist that the ancient practice of sacrifice at falcon-shaped altars and metal working came to the Nile and ancient Kush from India. This ignores the evidence of molecular genetics, linguistics, climate studies, anthropology and archaeology which reveal several movements out of Africa into Southern Pakistan and India.

There is also the evidence of place names such as Orisha/Orissa, Borno/Borneo, Karnak/Karnataka, and words such as sarki (priest caste) which is found from Nigeria to Nepal. Many Dravidian settlements and monuments are now submerged under the sea, but originally they were on a land bridge between the Arabian Peninsula and Southern Pakistan. This is sometimes referred to as the "Harappa" civilization. Har-appa means "Horus is Father" in the Dravidian language.

The origin of Dravidian religion was the Nile and ancient Kush. The Indian historian and anthropologist Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has written: "We have to begin with the Negroid or Negrito people of prehistoric India who were the first human inhabitants. Originally they would appear to have come from Africa through Arabia and the coastlands of Iran and Baluchistan."

According to the Matsya, an ancient book from India, the world belonged to the Kushites (Saka) for 7000 years.

Vedic references to Kusha, Rama, Hori, Krishna and the Ancient One are all found in older Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Indeed, a study of Hindu religious motifs demonstrates that all were found among the Nilotics peoples, many of whom dispersed across Arabia, the Indian Sub-continent and into Indonesia and Japan. The Nile-Japan Ainu connection has been well demonstrated. There is also a connection between the Kushites and the Kushan (Kuşāņa) of Bactria and China.

For more on the expansion out of Africa see The Afro-Asiatic Dominion.


Jews

Most rabbis have ignored the research, secure in their often esoteric interpretations of the Bible. Rabbinic myth weaving has penetrated many commentaries on Genesis, especially commentaries written from an Evangelical perspective. Evangelicals, especially the American brand, tend to think that everything written by Jews has special authority. Yet these myths distort what Genesis and the Bible present about Abraham and his people. All of the Bible is about the fulfillment of God's promise to send the Divine Seed into the world to conquer death. This is what Abraham's ancestors expected and Jesus is the fulfillment of that ancient (pre-Israel) expectation.

Messianic passages of the Bible have parallels in the more ancient Horite texts. Consider how Horus, the archetype of Christ, describes himself in the Coffin texts (passage 148):

“I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’.” (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Note the similarity to Psalm 110:1, a messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

Shaye Cohen, Professor at Harvard, is the author of The Beginnings of Jewishness in which he portrays of Abraham as the first Jew. Reading Cohen, it becomes evident that he does not personally believe this myth. During a November 2008 NOVA interview, Cohen admits that this view of Abraham as a Jew is of a “mythic kind.” He states, "So in a mythic kind of way we can say that Abraham recognizes God and that Abraham launches the process—biological and social and cultural—that will culminate in the people of Israel, who in turn will become Jews and the purveyors of Judaism.”

Cohen gets one thing right: Abraham recognized God. The rest is nonsense! Abraham's nine sons are the progenitors of many peoples, some of whom are identified today as Egyptians, Ethiopians, Jews and Arabs. Cohen is attempting to sell the myth of Jewish purity. However, the only lines which maintained blood purity through exclusive intermarried were the Horite priestly lines and there are Coptic, Jewish and Arab descendants of those lines.

Cohen notes that "the rabbis of old imagined that Abraham observed the whole Torah, that Abraham observed all the commandments: He observed the Sabbath, he observed the festivals, he observed the laws of culture and food. He observed everything, not just circumcision, which is attributed to him explicitly in Genesis, but everything else as well. Because how can you imagine our forefather Abraham, the founder of Judaism, not observing the Jewish rules, not observing the Jewish laws? This is a wonderful anachronism, a charming conceit. But historically speaking, how could it be?"

Dr. Cohen recognizes that the myth of Abraham as a Jew is not historically accurate, but he refuses to accept that Abraham and his caste were Horites. This would mean recognizing that they worshiped Horus and expected the myth of Horus to be fulfilled as promised in Genesis 3:15. There's the rub!  Jews always start their history after Genesis 3:15. Cohen says, “The biblical narrative gets going with Abraham in Genesis chapter 12. Abraham in turn Isaac, in turn Jacob, in turn Joseph and the twelve tribes, this brings us directly to the people of Israel and the covenant at Sinai. So Abraham is thought of as the first Jew, the archetype.”

While Genesis does trace a line from Abraham to Isaac and to Jacob (Yacob), it also traces the Horite lines of Seir and Esau, the lines of Ishmael the Egyptian, and the lines of Joktan the Arabian. Given that these ruler-priest lines intermarried exclusively, it is evident that some Jews, Arabs and Egyptians share common Horite blood. This becomes apparent when one digs deeper into the genealogical information.

The Genesis genealogical data makes it possible to trace Abraham’s ancestors as well as his descendants. This is the genealogical information that Dr. Cohen seeks to avoid by beginning the biblical narrative at Chapter 12.

It is impossible to speak of only one direct line from Abraham to the Israelites because Abraham’s descendants by his nine sons intermarried. The genealogical data strongly suggests that Abraham's first-born son was Joktan, the forefather of the Joktanite tribes of Arabia. This being the case, Abraham could as easily be described the “first Arab” or the “archetype” of the Arab, since Arabs are descended from him through his sons Joktan (Yaqtan) and Ishmael (Yismael).

Myth makers come in all stripes, including by angry bigots such as Herbert Schweigers and vicious killers such as Anders Breiviks. These days the Bible is used to promote all sorts of agendas. One of the benefits of Biblical Anthropology is that it exposes such lies.


4 comments:

Susan Burns said...

I agree with this post. Especially the Rabinical attitude.

Alice C. Linsley said...

I appreciate that, Susan. Especially coming from someone who I know understands the challenges of unpacking the biblical worldview.

Anonymous said...

I agree so completely with your article, especially the part that says" "Evangelicals, especially the American brand, tend to think that everything written by Jews has special authority. Yet these myths make it difficult to discover what Genesis actually says about Abraham and his people."

A good example of this is a comment made by Glen Beck, who by the way should read your page before speaking. Glenn Beck says "he has no doubt that Israel is right in the struggle against the Arab world and cannot understand hesitant Israelis." Hesitant Israeli's as he puts it, well perhaps the Israeli's know some truth when it comes to genetics, Perhaps it is what he and so many Americans dearly need to learn is:

Human genetics does not support British Israelism's notion of a close lineal link between Jews and Western Europeans. Genetic research on the Y-chromosomes of Jews has found that Jews are closely related to other populations originating in the Middle East, such as Kurds, Turks, Armenians and Arabs, and concluded that:

Middle Eastern populations...are closely related and...their Y chromosome pool is distinct from that of Europeans. (Nebel, 2001.

Anonymous said...

Ms Alice,

I am so very much looking forward to you writing a book that I can give as gifts to friends and family. In the meantime, know that others will be looking forward to you being published as I've been posting links to your blog on my Facebook "wall". (LOL)

"I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished..."

Please don't stop.

Bless,

Gordon Beckles