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's analysis of the kinship pattern of the biblical Hebrew "opened my eyes to understand not just Genesis and not just the Pentateuch, but the whole diacronic layers in all of the Old Testament."--Shalom Rutgaizer, Israeli archaeologist (Tel Aviv University)

"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

"I read the material she has gratuitously given me in response to my questions. I read it and make my own assessment. I am not an anthropologist, but I do have a pretty good BS detector. Her material and artifacts and explanations make sense to me and are both fascinating and enlightening. Could she be in error? Sure. Is she knowledgeable? Definitely. The main thing I noticed about @Alice_Linsley is that when I give her new data, new genomic studies, she is able to mesh it up with her previous work. If it matches up she will tell you, if it contradicts, she will also tell you. She does follow the data where it goes, so she is doing real science. Does her Christian beliefs help or hinder her scientific work? I say it helps, as her faith inspires her. Because she will honestly report and mesh the new findings and these new findings or changes to her understanding through science have NO IMPACT on her faith."-- Patrick Trischitta

"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 (Provost Midway University, Kentucky)

"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, anthropological and archaeological 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 Hebrew caste and have demonstrated that this marriage structure drove Kushite expansion out of Africa and the diffusion of the Proto-Gospel. Using the tools of kinship analysis, I have traced the Horite Hebrew ancestry of Jesus from his earliest named ancestors in Genesis 4 and 5 to the New Testament. I investigate Genesis from an anthropological perspective. Read more 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 (empirical) 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 religion and social structure of Abraham and his ancestors. This involves looking for anthropologically significant data and analysis of the Genesis king lists. The oldest culture traits  are those that are the most widely diffused geographically among the rulers in Haplogroup R1. Among this dispersed peoples we find the same artifacts and religious practices that suggest a common ancestry.

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 the foundation 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 well as through the fathers. So it is peculiar that the mothers of some of the most important male figures are not named in the Bible: Abraham's mother, David's mother, etc.

The Genesis king lists in 4, 5, 10, 11 25 and 36 are important because they help us to understand the Bible's purpose. From beginning to end, the Bible is about the royal-priest ancestry of Jesus, who Christians believe to be Messiah, the Son of God. It is possible to trace His ancestry because of the cousin bride's naming prerogative, whereby the cousin wife 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 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 (Gen. 36) 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 and ascendancy 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. However, this is NOT what the Bible claims, and I take the Bible's claims seriously. The rulers listed in Genesis 4 are the descendants of Cain and those listed in Genesis 5 are the descendants of Seth. These lines intermarried As shown in the diagram below). The connecting link is Naamah, the only woman named in the kings lists of Genesis 4 and 5.

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 became a high ranking official (vizier) in the territory of his maternal grandfather. Lamech's daughter, Naamah married Methuselah, her patrilineal cousin and named their first born son Lamech, because this son 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 patriarchal system, mother and son do not belong to the same clan. However, the social structure of the biblical Hebrew is not entirely patriarchal. (For more on this, see the 7-part series, beginning here.)

The cultural patterns of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Semites and the Horite Hebrew caste are presented in Genesis more explicitly than in any other text. Reading the text through the lens of anthropology help us to identify significant data and to interpret it empirically, removing a great deal of speculation. This is where my theology is rooted.

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 eight, 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.

I studied solar symbolism, and traced the 6-prong sun symbol (shown above) among the R1b populations from the Lake Chad area to Israel, Anatolia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and the British Isles.

Essentially, I am pioneering a new field: Biblical Anthropology. I have found that the Bible is as reliable for anthropological study as it is for biblical archaeology. It has preserved information that is critical to understanding the antecedents of the Messianic Faith. This is because the Afro-Asiatic Semites preserved the received tradition and honored the celestial pattern that we might call the "Proto-Gospel." 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 Hebrew shrines, with east-facing entrances, pillars, water sources, and three central chambers. This should not surprise us since Moses was the son of a Horite Hebrew priest, and David was the son of shepherd-priest who lived in the Horite Hebrew settlement of Bethlehem (1 Chron. 4:4). Both are descendants of earlier Horite Hebrew ruler-priests. They were responsible for protecting and upholding the pattern that they received from their righteous ancestors. Those ancestors knew God as the Father by the names Ra and Ani. The Father's Son was known by the names Horus or Enki. The Spirit or breath of God was called Enlil. The central myth reveals the Messianic pattern by which the Apostles and subsequent generations of Christians recognize Jesus to be the Son of God, the Messiah, who came into the world to save sinners, such as me. It also reveals a very early belief in a divine Trinity.

Finally, I apologize for any inaccuracies found at JUST GENESIS. This is a work in progress. I believe it to be an important work. Please pray for me.

Related reading: The Substance of Abraham's FaithIn Defense of Biblical AnthropologyReactions to My Genesis ResearchThe Genesis King Lists, Samuel's Horite Hebrew Family; The Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ; Jesus Fulfills the Horus MythHorite Mounds; Early Resurrection TextsThe Ra-Horus-Hathor Narrative


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 C. 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 C. 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: