Pete Enns is the Friday “guest voice” again at Science and the Sacred (the BioLogos blog).
This week he is discussing the cognate literature (such as Enuma Elish, Atrahasis, and Gilgamesh) of the Hebrew Bible. Why is this helpful?
Placing Israel in its broader cultural and religious context has been referred to as the “comparative approach.” This is a sometimes-maligned term, as it is unfortunately understood by some to imply that Israel was simply copying or “borrowing” what was around them. This is not the case. Rather, the literature of Israel and that of her predecessors and neighbors reflect a common way of looking at the world. The value of these ancient texts is not in telling us from where Israel got her ideas. Instead, they help us understand what kind of a text Genesis is. I like to refer to this as “genre calibration.”
Read the entire post here.
Peter Enns says that based upon other ancient documents “Genesis 1-11 is not prepared to answer the kinds of questions that occupy modern scientific or historical studies.”
Unfortunately for Peter, as near as I can see, he disagrees with Christ on this issue, since Christ assumed the historicity of Noah and the flood (as did Peter) (Matt 24.37-39). It seems to me that whatever “calibration” he does with Genesis stands on pretty shaky ground theologically not to mention historically.