Assuming Genesis is inspired by God:
Was Creation revealed to Moses?
Was Creation revealed to someone earlier than Moses and kept alive through oral tradition?
I would be interested to what scholarly articles exist or the opinions of this team.
Assuming Genesis is inspired by God:
We don’t know if Moses was a historical character. From what I have read up to now, we have no evidence at all about him. Maybe Moses DID exist, but, judging from what we have now, we can’t say anything.
Maybe, but who knows? Keep in mind that written language is relatively new (it is about 5000 years old) compared to other things.
There’s no team. This is just a forum where people unaffiliated with BioLogos come and chat about origins issues. Some folks are Christians, of various stripes, some aren’t. But if you’re looking for official BioLogos positions, don’t come to the Forum!
But fwiw, I think most Biblical scholars agree that the Pentateuch is based on oral traditions that predate its final codification. This does not at all mean it’s not divinely inspired or inerrant; those are different questions.
Inspiring and revealing seem to be two different things. Given the strong influence of Babylonian traditions in the Genesis creation story it would seem that Moses et al. were inspired to describe the relationship between God and his people through traditions that were already well known. As one example, the Tower of Babel is a pretty blatant reference to Babylonian ziggurats and seemed to be an attempt to show that the Hebrew God was the true God. Think of it something akin to the Chronicles of Narnia where CS Lewis attempted to convey Christian ideas through modern fantasy tropes.
I really appreciate this forum, this is a great place to share thoughts and resources in a supportive environment which is an internet forum rarity!
I would agree that Scripture is inspired. I also believe that any great literature or art is inspired J.S. Bach said that God wrote the music, and that he (Bach) merely wrote it down.
I have never heard where the bible went from being divinely inspired to having been dictated by God word for word, probably in King James’ English. If that were the case, BioLogos could shut down, and we all could do something else with the time we spend participating in this forum.
Where does Bach say that?
I remember hearing it somewhere, but the closest I could find on a Google search for Bach quotes was "I play the notes as written, but God makes the music."
The actual quote seems to be about performance rather than composition, but the quote that I posted would be a logical misinterpretation.
Bach was known in his lifetime as the finest organist in Europe, and for being the father of C.P.E. Bach. His response to complements on his playing was “You just have to press the right keys at the right time, and the instrument plays itself.”
Your new quotes are even more difficult to believe than the first one, especially given what we know about Baroque performance practice. Let’s take the part about “the notes as written.” The notes weren’t all written down. The performer had to “realize” the figured bass, set a tempo (you don’t get metronome indications until the time of Beethoven) , interpret the ornamentation, etc. Do you have any credible references for any of your quotes?
I have heard the quote about the instrument playing itself all over the place, from performers at organ recitals to radio announcers introducing Bach organ works. My online research for this post included brainyquote.com, goodreads.com, and quora.com, all brought up on a Google search for Bach quotes. Each quote appears in several forms, so they all may be paraphrases of the German original. None of the quote sites cite an original source.
As for playing the notes “as written,” if any music were played exactly “as written,’” a player piano roll would give the best performance of any composition. A figured bass gives a shorthand notation for the accompaniment to other instruments in an ensemble, so there would be no major difference in the overall sound of a piece played by different performers, assuming equally talented performers realizing the figured bass.
Don’t you think this is a problem? A big problem? What sane organist giving a recital would claim this? Of all the books I’ve read, lessons, classes, and lectures and concerts I’ve been a part of I never heard this. And I’ve been to dozens of performances at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Saint Thomas Church on 5th Avenue and other venues. Perhaps you should enlighten them all.
Speaking of quotes that are known far and wide…everybody has heard the famous P.T. Barnum quote that goes something like, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Right? Trouble is, his biographer could find no evidence that he actually said this!
But…but…I did my own research! I googled vaccines, and now know more about vaccines and the harm they do than any doctor.
Writing is 5000 years old by all reports. Moses for internal consistency needs to have been alive about BC 1300 give or take a century. So writing is far older than either Moses or Abraham. Moses is commanded to write down God’s commands, Jacob writes a bilingual treaty with his father in law Laban on a stone. So oral tradition from Moses on is not required
A lot of Scholars also believe there were multiple authors of the Torah (Pentateuch). The dating of each author vary. But most would say the authors (at least 4+) surround the Babylonian exile. Some before, during, and right after the exile. Then a redactor came and compiled them into the 5 books we have now. In fact, you can see some evidence for this in the Flood story.
Does this mean the Torah isn’t inspired? No! Does this mean that there are contradictions in there? Only because it was compiled by different sources. They had different views on God. Yahweh was seen as more personal, and had human traits; while Elohim was more of a supreme, powerful, maybe less personal god. Many also believe these differing views come from the split in Israel and Judah.
The key word in the question is revealed!
It is regardless of Time , place or person.
It is a documented record of action ,existence in time allows the opportunity to observe.
Taking into consideration late Bronze Age representatives available, what is the significance of the chronological order of life stated in Genesis 1 in relation to Scientifically observed chronological order of classes .
Plants and all their kind/Phototrophic Bacteria 3.5 billion years ago. Swarms in the Ocean/Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event 485 million years ago. Birds and all their kind/Reptilian Age 252 million years ago. Beasts according to their kind/Mammal 66 million years ago. Man in God’s image/Man (Homo Sapien) 300,000 years ago.
In addition to other correlations, including Genesis 1:9, Waters were gathered in one place in order for dry land to appear, resulting in a supercontinent. Genesis 1 states the presence of water on Proto-Earth, which researchers unexpectedly found in 2017. (Genesis 1 also places sound energy as the first energy to permeate through the Universe and as good a description of Dark Matter that I can imagine).
If these two distinct sources of knowledge correlate, and man received this confirmable knowledge concerning events prior to the existence of man. This evidence of knowledge itself would be living Archeological evidence of Given Knowledge.
Moses had help from a series of tablets compiled by the earlier patriarchs of the Bible, which he EDITED into the first 36 chapters of Genesis. This is the “Tablet Theory”. The original version of the Tablet Theory has some weaknesses but a modified tablet theory elegantly resolves a lot of would-be issues with the text.
Interesting how the word “theory” is so loosely used. In science, a theory has to have a great deal of supporting evidence and is written to explain the evidence. I think this would not even meet the requirements of a hypothesis, and would just be a “tablet idea” if in the realm of science. Like with many other words, those differences in definitions are part of problem in the conflict we see played out between science and faith.
In Wiseman’s day it was a hypothesis. It was called “The Wiseman Hypothesis”. Since then so much evidence has come in to support it that it is easy to understand why it is now a theory. For example very similar stories to the accounts in Genesis have been discovered which were thought to have been lost even in the time of Jewish exile. If so, how did they get such similar stories? The Tablet Theory is much more reasonable than the Documentary Hypothesis to explain such a finding. They had their own versions of the accounts back from when their ancestors lived in the same region. And of course we find that writing was in use in some places far earlier than we previously believed. Some of it was also mentioned in the video, where subsequent to Wiseman tablets were discovered with a format far more amenable to making sense of the text in Genesis.