Friday, March 10, 2017

Welcome to New Readers of JUST GENESIS

Join the new Facebook group, The Bible and Anthropology.

This month Just Genesis celebrates 10 years! Over the years there have been many readers, some regular, and some who have come and gone. I hope those who have gone were not offended by what they read here. To those who have stayed, I say a hearty "Thank you!"

To the newer readers, this background would be helpful.

The science of archaeology in the Bible lands is called "Biblical Archaeology" and the science of anthropology pertaining to Biblical populations is Biblical Anthropology. The 66 canonical books of the Bible are the primary resource used by Biblical anthropologists, but we also look at other books of importance such as Baruch, Esdras, and the Wisdom of Ben Sira (Sirach). These contain significant anthropological information.

David Noel Freedman has said: “The Hebrew Bible is the one artifact from antiquity that not only maintained its integrity but continues to have a vital, powerful effect thousands of years later.” Both anthropologists and archaeologists turn to the Bible for clues and data. Very often this has led to wonderful discoveries!

Anthropologists are interested in material culture. We want to know what people made, what materials they used, and how they produced the things they used in daily life. What tools did they use? How did they bury their dead? What did they believe about the creation of the world? How did they organize for war? Where did the rulers derive their authority?

A central task of Biblical Anthropology is to uncover cultural antecedents, such as the origin of messianic expectation. Culture traits, ceremonies, rituals, and religious beliefs do not spring suddenly into existence. They develop organically over time from traditions received from the ancestors. Biblical anthropology provides tested methods and tools to push back the veil of time, to uncover anthropologically significant data that clarifies precedents, etiology, and context. The discoveries made in Biblical Anthropology prove helpful to students, pastors and academics.

The Bible is the primary source of information about the Horite Hebrew, especially the book of Genesis. Scholars have written about the Horites based on extra-Biblical information and often they have reached dubious conclusions. Had they considered the Biblical data they would have gained a more accurate picture of this very ancient caste of ruler-priests. Much of the research at JUST GENESIS focuses on the Horite Hebrew (Habiru) because they are the ones to whom the Creator first revealed the plan of salvation, and they are the kinsmen of Messiah.

The so-called "genealogies" are actually lists of Horite Hebrew rulers. Their lines intermarried. They had a distinctive marriage and ascendancy pattern which can be traced from Genesis 4 to the genealogical information in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke.

People often say “I read the Bible, but I don’t understand it.” It is important to pray for wisdom before reading the Bible, seeking the Spirit’s guidance to understand and not misrepresent Scripture. People who insist on using Bible verses as ammunition in disagreements are not under the Spirit’s guidance.  They are attempting to co-opt Scripture to serve their agenda.

Understanding the Bible requires looking at the material with fresh eyes. If you are attempting to force the material into a pre-conceived idea, you will never see the big picture. Outdated and erroneous interpretations are set aside when fresh eyes investigate the Scriptures. Biblical Anthropology is simply another tool to help us better understand God's plan for humanity as it is revealed in the Bible. Biblical Anthropology does not rely on a single discipline, but rather seeks to understand by looking at how Biblical data aligns with findings in multiple sciences, including linguistics, DNA studies, anthropology, archaeology, and climate studies.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Linsley, congratulations on your blog's 10th anniversary. In a world filled with ephemera, ten years counts as "ancient". This is a wonderful resource for me and I occasionally "marathon" related posts; one topic folds into another, yes? Keep up the great work. Best, Brent

Wading Across said...

I still peruse your page! Ten years. Power on!

Anonymous said...


Alice Linsley said...

Thank you for reading. Please pray that this research will be used to the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom of Messiah.