Looking at the Book (2015) Genesis: History, Fiction or Neither? (Part 37 of 38)

0131 The book concludes with a short chapter titled, “We Disagree. Now What?

0132 What is the nature of Gen 1-11?

In this examination, I suggest that genres may correspond to cycles of history.

For example, the last four hundred years of the Latin Age discusses the world in the genre of Aristotle (and Aquinas).  The four hundred years of the Age of Ideas works in the genre of empirio-schematics.  The upcoming Age of Triadic Relationswill discourse using diagrams of triadic relations, such as signs, category-based nested forms, judgments and so on.

Roughly, a genre and a cycle lasts for four hundred years, consisting in four turnings of four generations.

0133 Nine cycles pass between the start of the Ubaid (associated with Adam) and the end of Ur III (associated to Abraham).

Gen 1-11 does not neatly designate nine genres.  But, it offers an image of spiraling developments, culminating in two great disasters: Noah’s flood and the confounding of the language with the Tower of Babel.   The first associates to the Uruk period.  The latter associates to the end of Ur III, when Sumerian becomes a dead language.

0134 Professor James Hoffmeier sees Gen 1-11 as history and theology.

Gordon Wenham views Gen 1-11 as protohistory.

Kenton Sparks envisions Gen 1-11 as ancient historiography, which electrically jumps to a humorous sound-alike, histriography.

0135 All these conclusions are drawn without awareness of a scientific hypothesis that changes the grounds of inquiry: the first singularity.