Thursday, April 1, 2010

Documents, Sources, and the Bible's Purpose

Alice C. Linsley

The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit always points us to Jesus Messiah. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that the main purpose of the Bible is to help us understand who Jesus is and how His mission radically transforms all of life.

Twentieth century scholarship has failed to account for the purpose of the Bible. It has explored the texts from different disciples: text criticism, the documentary hypothesis, Near Eastern studies, and fundamentalist interpretations with their tendency to read Genesis as a literal account of the creation.

The Documentary Hypothesis proved to be of limited use, but it failed, as has most modern scholarship, to demonstrate the purpose of the Bible. Until we can answer that question we miss the larger picture.

The Documentary Hypothesis was the dominant approach in critical scholarship for most of the 20th century.  Its detractors were largely ignored, but some were too persuasive to dismiss, such an Hermann Gunkel. In his three commentaries on Genesis, Gunkel posed serious doubts about Wellhausen's hypothesis. Wellhausen regarded Genesis as a compilation of narratives projected back into pre-Mosiac times at the time of the Monarchy. He argued that the material reflects the life and times of the Monarchy and presents an erroneous picture of the earlier time of the Patriarchs. Gunkel, on the other hand, insisted that the Patriarchal sagas are a reliable oral transmission from before the time of Moses.

Wellhausen wasn't interested in the archaeological discoveries that shed light on the Afro-Asiatics living in Canaan, but Gunkel recognized that the finds of biblical archaeology revealed that Canaanite culture was not an anomaly. Rather it was consistent with the larger ethnological and linguistic heritage of the Afro-Asiatics who had been around for centuries before the time of Moses.

Both men failed to account for the purpose of the Bible, and especially for the uniqueness of Genesis, the account of Ha'biru (Hebrew) ruler-priests who preserved their bloodlines through endogamy. The intermarriage between fraternal priestly lines existed long before the emergence of the Jewish people. The pattern is consistent throughout the Bible and can be traced from Genesis to Jesus' mother, the Virgin Mary, the daughter of Joachim, a Hebrew priest. I have been unable to find the pattern muchbeyond Jesus' time, probably because the temple priests were either killed to forced to flee with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It is also possible that the pattern ended because with the incarnation of the Son of God, the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Hebrew priest casts fulfilled its purpose, and that purpose is explained in the Bible.

The historical-critical method of Gunkel, R. H. Pfeiffer and Julian Morgenstern is helpful in identifying older sources. Pfeiffer identified the Seir Source (S) which brings forth the people of Edom whose history is linked to Abraham and his Horite ancestors. Morgenstern identified a Kenite Source (K) and explores the Kenite link to Moses through his bride, Zipporah. In both sources, we uncover important information about Jesus' ruler-priest ancestors. Pfeiffer and Morgenstern were scratching the more ancient level of the biblical material.

Having completed lengthy research on Genesis, I'm persuaded that the genealogical data provided is accurate, verifiable, and the account of historical people. This is the single conclusion that one could reach based on analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the rulers listed in Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36. The analysis authenticates the data and proves that the rulers are historical persons.

The distinctive kinship pattern of the Horite Hebrew remains unchanged from Genesis to the New Testament. Some might assert that this pattern was written back into the text by a later editor. That would be impossible, given that the Bible consists of sixty-six books written by many different authors over a period of around 1300 years.

So how do we explain the consistent pattern of intermarriage between priestly lines from Genesis to the New Testament? There is only one explanation. The Bible is the account of the people whose story it claims to be: the ancestors of Jesus Christ our God. This provides a clue as to how the Bible came to be. Only God could have authored a book over 1300 years! Granted He used human agents, but they were agents who understood God’s purpose and who were attached to the ruler-priest lines from which Jesus would come.

Twentieth century scholarship has failed to account for the purpose of the Bible and for the uniqueness of Genesis. In part, this is due to the blind eye European scholars have turned to the African context of much of the earliest material.

Today it is impossible to ignore the African substrate, since the haplogroup of the biblical peoples has been identified and it includes peoples of Lake Chad and the Upper Nile. Genesis 10:8 tells us that Nimrod, the great kingdom builder, was a Kushite. Abraham is one of his descendants.

There were Habiru in Nimrod's kingdom. These ruler-priests married the daughters of other ruler-priests and thereby preserved their priestly bloodlines. Study of the Akkadian lexicon of Nimrod's kingdom tells us a great deal about these priests. They believed in a supreme Creator called Anu. Anu was said to have a son. The son of God was called En-Ki, which means "Lord over the Earth."

The endogamous marriage pattern of the Hebrew ruler-priests is consistent throughout the Bible and can be traced from Genesis to Jesus, the Son of God. The pattern ends with Jesus’ appearance, having fulfilled its purpose. The purpose of the Bible is to refresh the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our minds.

I wish all the readers of JUST GENESIS a blessed Holy Week. May you have joy in knowing that the Son of God has destroyed death and opened for us the way to Paradise.

Related reading: The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 1); Abraham's Ancestral Faith; The Virgin Mary's Ancestry; Marrying that Christ May be Born

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