Have We Noah’s Log-Book? -- By: S. E. Bishop

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 063:251 (Jul 1906)
Article: Have We Noah’s Log-Book?
Author: S. E. Bishop

Have We Noah’s Log-Book?

S. E. Bishop

As the heading above indicates, this article will endeavor to present substantial reasons for believing that in the Genesis narrative of the Deluge we have clear internal evidence that it incorporates an actual transcription from the record kept during his momentous voyage by the Commander of the Ark. Of course, at first thought, this idea is likely to strike readers as fanciful. Perhaps it has never occurred to any other person than the present writer, who presented it in 1878 while lecturing on Genesis to a class of Hawaiian theological students in Honolulu.

Since then the thought has hibernated, being now stirred to public expression by a notice in the Literary Digest of the championship, upon scientific grounds, by Dr. G. F. Wright, of the historical verity of the Noachian story of the flood.

In propounding this theory for whatever it may be worth, or as possibly the creation of a misguided fancy, it must stand wholly upon its own merits, as being in accord with the actual text of the Deluge-story as we possess it in Genesis. All of the modern critics, as I understand, concur in regarding that account as a comparatively late compilation, made by Jewish writers out of Chaldean traditions of the Deluge, which, according to the more advanced critics, had been derived from Babylonian sources during the captivity; or which, according to the more moderate critics, may have filtered down, through the family of Abraham, from earlier and less corrupted Chaldean sources, during the earlier Hebrew residence in Chaldea.

But, if the theory herein advocated is sustained by the internal evidence of the text, then both of those diverse conclusions of Higher Criticism must be set aside, and it will appear that the Genesis text of the Deluge-story contains a real transcript from the actual record of the voyage of Noah in the Ark, as made by himself at the time. It will also be a probable conclusion that, through the sacred Semitic family of Eber and Abraham, there had been preserved and transmitted with reverent care an independent and careful history of that primeval event, which finally became embodied in the book of Genesis, probably by Moses, who, through his intimacy with the devout priest of Midian, more than any other man, possessed the opportunity to secure that tradition, besides having the disposition to renew it in permanent form.

My contention then is, that the Genesis history of the flood evidently embodies a literal transcript from an original form of record which the commander of the Ark had made from time to time of the leading incidents of his memorable voyage. In other words, we therein possess an actual copy of pa...

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