The Divine Names In The Book Of Genesis, In The Light Of Recent Discoveries -- By: Thomas Stoughton Potwin
BSac 50:198 (April 1893) p. 348
The Divine Names In The Book Of Genesis, In The Light Of Recent Discoveries
Mr. Sayce says, in his “Hibbert Lectures,” 1887: “The day of the destructive critic has passed, and it is time for the archaeologist to begin to rebuild.” He says this in view of the wonderful evidence brought to light, in the East, of a culture and literary commerce of which the modern world has hitherto been in entire ignorance. Since that date, the progress in the same line of discovery has revealed still more astonishing facts, so that scholars have been reading epistolary compositions written in Palestine before the date of the Exodus, and we are at once landed in the indisputable conclusion that the Hebrews migrated from among a writing people into the midst of those who were also writers.
But the wonder does not cease here. The script employed by those who have left us this legacy was Babylonian, and the language akin to the Hebrew.
Another discovery which warrants the reconsideration of the date and sources of the earliest biblical literature, is that of a new Chaldean Genesis parallel, to some extent, with what we have in our Genesis.
These facts have been brought out and duly emphasized in the recent Congress of Orientalists in London. Max Müller, in his opening address before this body, said: “We possess in the tablets found in Tel-el-Amarna in Egypt a kind of diplomatic correspondence, carried on at that early time, more than a thousand years before the invasion of Greece by Persia, between the kings of Egypt and their friends and vassals in Babylon, Syria, and Palestine. To us this correspondence is of the greatest importance, as showing the existence of a literary and intellectual intercourse between Western Asia and Egypt of which historians had formerly no suspicion. The spelling is chiefly syllabic; the language, an Assyrian dialect. Doubtful Accadian words are often followed and explained by glosses in what may be called a Canaanite dialect, which comes very near to Hebrew.”1
Mr. Sayce had already said:2 “The revelations which may be expected from this extraordinary discovery need not be described. It shows that Western Asia was a scene of literary activity in the sixteenth century before our era, and that Babylonian at that time occupied the place afterward taken by Aramaic as the language of diplomacy and science in the civilized East.”
In respect to the newly discovered version of the Chaldean Genesis, Mr. Pinches, of the British Museum, said in his paper before the Congress: “A short time ago I had the good...
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