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The other day, I came across something brilliant in Alter's Five Books of Moses. Over the course of Beginnings (or Genesis as we call it in English) Alter points out that in many parts of the text the author is trying to reconcile polytheistic myths and legends with the monotheism of the Jewish Heritage. Because many of the stories in Genesis seem to be laden with poetic inference to other ancient texts, it's concluded by Alter and other historians that the original author was writing these origin stories with the understanding that his readers were familiar with the other legends and origin stories of the gods.
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And this brings us to Noah.
1/21/2009 01:18:53 am
That's an interesting take on an account that has always puzzled me. However, weren't Cronos and Zeus Greek gods? I could be mistaken, but I think the Exodus predates the rise of Greek civilization by several hundred years. So there may be a "time disconnect" in Alter's theory.
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Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.