When was Genesis written, I think I have norrowed it down, maybe.

by Crazyguy 4 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Crazyguy

    I was doing some research on the Sumerians kings lists. For those that don't know this list has a list of antediluvian kings that ruled before the flood. This list translates to the same as the patriarchs before the flood in Genesis, from Adam down to Noah. Except I discovered one glaring difference! When archaeologists found the stone tablets with the lists on them they seem to all have just 8 names except a list compiled by an ancient historian and astronomer named Berossus. Berossus lived in the late 3rd century and wrote his writings around 290-278 BC. Berossus Kings list had a total of ten names for this period the same amount as the book of Genesis. Could it be that the book of Genesis wasn't written until sometime after 278 BC?

    Another clue is the story of Noah's Ark built before the flood. In other stories found in Sumeria, older stories the boat is just a make shift vessel and the measurements are nothing definite more hap hazard. In one story the builder is told to just make it as long as it is wide roof it over and use pitch. In Berossus version the measurements are again not defined as to how the Ark is to be built but are pretty much the exact measurements as that of the Ark in the bible if one is to break them down in to more then one level. much the way the Ark ended up being in the Genesis story.

    Could it be that the book of Genesis wasn't written until after Berossus writings, maybe sometime in the 2nd century BC?

  • Phizzy

    The earliest it could have been written is probably after the time of King Saul,as averse in the later Chapters says something along the lines of " before there was a king in Israel".

    It appears in the Qumran MS, but only parts of it, and of course this is 2nd Century.

    I would hazard a guess that a Book of Genesis first appeared around the 6th Century B C, in the period when the Priestly Class were trying to forge a united nation with an agreed law Code etc.

    I would also say that there would be little doubt the Text was redacted and added to after that, so Berossus' writings may well have influenced a later editor.

  • Crazyguy

    The earliest found genesis fragments like you stated were 2 century and there's no evidence beyond the Bible that Saul ever existed and again no evidence of a kings list with ten names except that of Berossus. I think I could be on to something here.

  • Finkelstein

    Wiki ......


    For much of the 20th century most scholars agreed that the five books of the Pentateuch—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—came from four sources, the Yahwist, the Elohist, the Deuteronomist and the Priestly source, each telling the same basic story, and joined together by various editors.[13] Since the 1970s there has been a revolution in scholarship: the Elohist source is now widely regarded as no more than a variation on the Yahwist, while the Priestly source is increasingly seen not as a document but as a body of revisions and expansions to the Yahwist (or "non-Priestly") material. (The Deuteronomistic source does not appear in Genesis).[14]

    Examples of repeated and duplicate stories are used to identify the separate sources. In Genesis these include three different accounts of a Patriarch claiming that his wife was his sister, the two creation stories, and the two versions of Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael into the desert.[15]

    This leaves the question of when these works were created. Scholars in the first half of the 20th century came to the conclusion that the Yahwist was produced in the monarchic period, specifically at the court of Solomon, 10th century BC, and the Priestly work in the middle of the 5th century BC (the author was even identified as Ezra), but more recent thinking is that the Yahwist was written either just before or during the Babylonian exile of the 6th century BC, and the Priestly final edition was made late in the Exilic period or soon after.[5]

    As for why the book was created, a theory which has gained considerable interest, although still controversial is "Persian imperial authorisation". This proposes that the Persians of the Achaemenid Empire, after their conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, agreed to grant Jerusalem a large measure of local autonomy within the empire, but required the local authorities to produce a single law code accepted by the entire community. The two powerful groups making up the community—the priestly families who controlled the Temple and who traced their origin to Moses and the wilderness wanderings, and the major landowning families who made up the "elders" and who traced their own origins to Abraham, who had "given" them the land—were in conflict over many issues, and each had its own "history of origins", but the Persian promise of greatly increased local autonomy for all provided a powerful incentive to cooperate in producing a single text.[16]


    Genesis is perhaps best seen as an example of "antiquarian history", a type of literature telling of the first appearance of humans, the stories of ancestors and heroes, and the origins of culture, cities and so forth.[17] The most notable examples are found in the work of Greek historians of the 6th century BC: their intention was to connect notable families of their own day to a distant and heroic past, and in doing so they did not distinguish between myth, legend, and facts.[18] Professor Jean-Louis Ska of the Pontifical Biblical Institute calls the basic rule of the antiquarian historian the "law of conservation": everything old is valuable, nothing is eliminated.[19] Ska also points out the purpose behind such antiquarian histories: antiquity is needed to prove the worth of Israel's traditions to the nations (the neighbours of the Jews in early Persian Palestine), and to reconcile and unite the various factions within Israel itself.[19]

  • Crazyguy

    Wiki doesn't say much different than the standard line. It even mentions Solomon which most experts believe didn't exist. We have to move past the standard line because it's all old BS.

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