The Old Testament and Other Ancient Religious Literature by Rick Wade

This 2,200-word post by Rick Wade describes how the Old Testament is both similar to and different from other literature of its time and place.  Ancient Israel was part of an age and location often referred to as the Ancient Near East (ANE).  For this reason you will often see references to “ANE literature” or “ANE culture.”  This usually refers to ancient Israel and the surrounding nations.

Here’s how Rick begins:

In the 1870s a scholar named George Smith revealed the discovery of both creation and flood stories in ancient Babylonian literature.{1} Bible scholars were soon claiming that the writer of Genesis was merely borrowing from Babylonian mythology. Although competent scholars have since shown that the similarities between these accounts are largely superficial, the idea remains today in certain areas of academia and pop culture that the Bible is just another work of ancient mythology.

The article continues at Greg West at The Poached Egg (Ratio Christi)

The point I would add to this article is that Israel’s perception of God was true while the surrounding nations would have corruptions of the truth.  That is, Adam (and later Noah) knew the truth and his descendants either kept to it or wandered from it.  Israel (through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) adhered to His truth and therefore received more of it.  (“To him who has shall more be given, and he will have an abundance; but to him who does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” – Matthew 13:12 and elsewhere.)

The lesson for us is to cling to what God has shown us of Himself that He might show us more.  Otherwise, we will lapse back into our blindness and deafness to Him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.