This is an apology for anything I have published at Just Genesis that is misleading, improperly presented, or of a juvenile nature. I beg that people not use the former immature articles to harshly judge the later work. I acknowledge and claim the earlier work, and hope that none will attempt to triumph over the truth of the later findings by bashing the earlier: "a practice very contrary to those rules of candour and fair-dealing, and a strong instance of those polemical artifices, which a bigotted zeal thinks itself authorized to employ." (From an Advertisement for Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
Alice C. Linsley
It has been close to 35 years since I first began to research the book of Genesis, beginning with analysis of the kinship pattern of Abraham's ancestors. I realize that this is not a typical hobby, especially for women. I no longer try to explain my obsession. I've come to accept that there is a reason for it and I pray that my research might be helpful.
There is a good deal of misundertanding about what I write. An anthropological approach to the Bible often renders an unfamiliar picture and people are suspicious of the unfamiliar. Some accuse me of fabricating lies. Today I received two hateful missives in which I was threatened for perpetuating "the lie" that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I considered allowing the comments to appear, but this blog is intended to edify and such anti-Christ venom is not edifying.
If I have offended, I ask your forgiveness. Better not to read what I write than to become disturbed in your spirit or shaken in your faith. Better to do as C.S. Lewis advises, "Remember this is only one more picture. Do not mistake it for the real thing itself; and if it does not help you, drop it." (last line of "The Perfect Penitent")
I've never earned a cent for this on-going research so it is amusing that some claim that I am writing for financial gain. I've sought venues where I might share what I've learned, but Asbury Seminary, Asbury University, The Lexington Theological Seminary, Georgetown College, Midway College and others have remained closed doors.
My work on Genesis may even cost me the job I have.
On Friday the principal of the school where I teach asked me to respond to allegations made by a parent that I don't measure up to the school's statement of faith. I'm not sure what this parent meant, but I suspect she was refering to this: "We acknowledge absolute truth, as revealed in God's Word, and its relevance to our lives. Our teachers and staff are committed to helping students discover the truth, to think critically in the classroom and in real life." I am committed to the absolute truth revealed in God's Word.
That said, I am not committed to inaccurate interpretations of the Bible. I am not committed to dogmatic ideologies that don't align with the whole of the Bible. I am against shoving apparent discrepancies under the carpet when they may exist for the very purpose of provoking us to investigate a mystery. I am not committed to the preservation of interpretations that have been passed along in commentaries on Genesis, many of which were taken uncritically from rabbis who rejected Jesus as the Son of God.
The themes and patterns found throughout the Bible first appear in Genesis. The foundational nature of the book of Genesis makes it essential that this material be understood in its proper cultural context. Cultural Anthropology assists in this endeavor, particularly in the application of kinship analysis and the identification of anthropologically significant data in the text.
I am more of a literalist than people realize because I believe that Genesis is about real people who really lived. Genesis, indeed the whole Bible, is about a real promise that God made to Abraham's ancestors concerning the Son of God who would come into the world to save repentant sinners. He is called the "Seed" in Genesis 3:15 and Jesus identified Himself as that Seed when he told his disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to die. He said, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)
I want to share this research in spite of criticisms from anthropologists who are offended that I use Biblical data. My working hypothesis has been that the data in Genesis 4-11 is reliable and truthful and that it can be used to investigate human origins. The remarkable outcomes of that working hypothesis are shown in this article Solving the Ainu Mystery.
If this research is of God, it will bear fruit one day. I am confident of that. If it isn't of God, there is nothing to fear. It will be forgotten.
Related reading: Reactions to my Research; Alice C. Linsley's Research on Genesis: Genesis in Anthropological Perspective; INDEX of Topics at Just Genesis