Monday, July 19, 2010


No scholar was more knowledgeable in the latter part of the nineteenth century on the ancient world than Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, the Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities in the British Museum. He realized the distinctions between Genesis and the stories of Egypt and Babylon found in the first book of our Bible. He also knew that Genesis had to be inspired because of all it said that was so true in the world of ancient history.

   What Budge wrote in his classic "Babylonian Life and History" has yet to be equaled. If his work can still be purchased, you need to get it! (It was last published by Barnes & Noble, 1993, New York)

   Below are a few of his entries that give us lasting knowledge about the biblical account of creation, the fall of man, and the Flood story:

   The Bible clearly makes mention of ancient Babylon, known as "the land of the Chaldeans" (Isa. 33:13), and also what is known as "the Land of Shinar" (Gen. 10:10). Moses, the author of Genesis, knew what he was talking about when he refers to the ancient world between the two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.

   Liberals try to tell us that the Babylonian Version of the Flood story and the Genesis account come from the same source, but Budge blasts this idea. (Though there are some similarities because the overall source is the same.) Budge writes: "The Account of the Flood given in the Book of Genesis is not borrowed from the Babylonian Version, as has so often been stated. While there are some likenesses the variations in them show that their writers, or editors, were dealing with a very ancient account which had found its way among all the Sumerian peoples. How old the accounts are cannot be substantiated."

   The truth would be found in the biblical account—the mythological account is found in the Babylonian. The Genesis account makes sense but the Babylonian is full of myth and silly arguments.

   The biblical account of the fall is not about a "talking snake" but about a fallen creature, Lucifer, who embodied a serpent and used it for his purposes of communicating with Eve. That the ancient people of the Bible knew this is verified in such passages as Revelation 12:9. There the tempter is called "the dragon, the serpent, the devil, and Satan." Not only did he deceive Eve but "the whole world." His fall at some time in the ancient past is referred to: "He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (v. 9b). Thus, Satan used a serpent in the garden but we do not simply have a "talking" snake as mythology might imply!

   In the ancient mythological versions the truth of the Flood story is seen but the actual fact is recorded in the Genesis Account. And, there are some interesting parallels. For example in the Babylonian account Noah is called Uta-Napishtim. The ark is mentioned, and its size as well. And the fact of an offering made after the ark landed on a mountain. But then mythology takes over and the story gets ridiculous. But not so in the Genesis Account.

   The ark had one window, was coated with bitumen; the rains flooded the earth and took away all the people. And at the end of the Flood the rainbow was seen. These facts tell us that there was common ground in the Flood story. But the biblical account is preserved with accuracy and void of myth.

   The Babylonian account of creation goes to mush! The story is full of gods. Heaven is divided into parts, and it rests upon posts. Each day, the sun rises and enters one door and goes out another door. Heaven is divided between the gods Bel, Anu, and Ea. The underworld is ruled by the goddess Allatu.

   The Genesis account of creation is pure and even scientific. The laws of physics are preserved in accuracy though the Bible is not meant to be a book of scientific study.

   Evangelicals need not flinch when studying the Genesis Account of creation and the Flood story. They are accurate though not exhaustive. And they are written in abbreviated form and can be trusted for truthfulness. 

   One error continues to be argued for and that is that there are two accounts of creation: Genesis 1:1-31 and 2:1-25. These are not two different accounts thrown together in Genesis as the liberal likes to argue. The full account is in chapter 1. But in chapter 2, the account closes in and looks at the details of the creation of man, because this is what Moses, the author, is going to focus on.

   The story of creation, and specifically the creation of mankind, reinforces for us the specific role of the sexes. This defies the idea of homosexuality. The sexual differences are made by God. That man can have sex with man is ludicrous. The Lord is the one who made the biological distinctions. To go against that is to question the Lord's creative genius! –Dr. Mal Couch (7/10)