Babel : Beginning My Answer to Middleton, up to 13:16 on the video · Continuing with Middleton to 22:33 · Continuing with J. Richard Middleton up to 31:14 · Richard Middleton Bungles OT "adumbrations" of the Trinity - part 1, "let us" passages 31 min to 41:35 min
Tower of Babel Re-examined || Genesis 11 ft. J. Richard Middleton
19th Aug. 2022 | What Your Pastor Didn’t Tell You
4:23 As to the scholarship of translation, I disagree only on "few words" - there definitely was a single language between Noah arriving in the Mountains of Armenia (Urartu / Ararat being an older name for that region) and when Peleg was born 401 years later. So, "eadem sermo" is not few words, whatever the Hebrew was.
Greek actually keeps "to brick bricks" and I was informed about "burn with burning" ... made for one interpretation on whether what is found at Göbekli Tepe already could fit the bill.
5:05 Every single human person living in the same place all year round is not required for the text to be true.
And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.
Who is "they" here? All of mankind? Or some élite doing "international" or rather global (but pre-national) meetings?
In Postilla in Libros Geneseos (often disattributed to St. Thomas, I attribute it to his youth with Benedictines in South Italy before he came to Dominicans in Paris and became better at Latin), the latter interpretation is proposed.
6:31 Your objection presupposes that Genesis 10 and 11 are two sequential parts in chronological sequence.
What if Genesis 11 are two texts, one giving more detail on Nimrod's empire beginning in Babel, and one giving more detail on one of the lines of Shem already started out in Genesis 10?
What if indeed Genesis 10 itself got detail accumulating in retrospect, like the Empire of Nimrod being named after his place in the genealogy and after the time when the close genealogy of Noah's descendants branching out was described?
AND then Moses assembled all the three texts, as they stood, without attempting to smooth out the transition.
6:35 I would say all of the Cities are in Assyria.
Nimrod's Babel was Göbekli Tepe (Turkey just north of Syria = Assyrian part of Mesopotamia, definitely not mid-Iraq Babylonian part), with a very good fit for the geography : GT really is due West of at least one candidate for the landing place (Mt Judi in Turkish Province Ermeni, again, "Ararat" means all of Armenia) and just south of GT you do not have Mesopotamia found as a section of a plain surrounding the rivers on both sides, you have a plain found as a section of Mesopotamia, surrounded by the two rivers. The rivers are here just coming out of the Zagros mountains, so, not all in between them is plain, GT is when the hills begin just north of it.
As Babylon is nearly due SE of GT, it was arguably some attempt to rebuild it, probably there is some landmark in between, and instead of rebuilding it so far NW of it, they rebuilt another city named for it so far SE of that landmark.
Stupid me, I haven't tried to figure out what that landmark could be.
In times when Göbekli Tepe was a thing, you find a first attempt at Niniveh in a Neolithic village called Qerez Derme or sth. (The Great City doesn't necessarily mean it was great in Nimrod's time, only it's identical to the later and greater Niniveh, as to community).
7:11 "one of the many places where humans lived with many languages" - the many languages part is retrospect and even the cities part would have been added in retrospect. Before Abraham and Moses inherited these texts.
In oral transmission - a Jamaican should know sth of that - diverse texts may involve doublet references to exact same thing or event, and expand as events evolve independently of each other.
From Moses, perhaps already from Abraham (I find it very probable) we have written transmission, but Moses or (more probably) Abraham copied the start of that from the oral stories he had heard from Sarug.
7:31 It doesn't say they actually built the tower.
It says they projected one.
I think the dispersion of tongues happened before they could try a take-off, and the tower they planned was finally completed by US and Soviets in the decades after 1950.
In AD 1969, something really did look exactly as a big tower just before take-off, and only the top of it, not the discarded first and second step (is the "third step" also below the capsule?) landed on the Moon.
7:40 No, the ziggurats may have been an interpretation of what Nimrod had tried to make at GT, but it was not what he had planned.
Every user of a ziggurat knew very well, he was not storming heaven. Once on top, heaven was still as high above as it had been - arguably even higher, in proportion as the horizon widened. Ziggurats are later than Babel. Not by 4000 years, as the raw carbon dates would make you suspect, but by the time between Babel and Abraham.
8:02 And this approach means, the builders of the ziggurats were much more religious than how Josephus describes Nimrod ... another indication that "Babel" is in Genesis 11 very much not a ziggurat.
9:18 sapah ehat = one language
u-debarim ahadim = wa = and, debarim = words, and ahadim - all other occurrences translated few, but the logical meaning will be "few" in the other places even if you translate it as "same"
There are in fact only three other occurrences of ahadim Genesis 27:44, Genesis 29:20, Daniel 11:20.
Let's insert "the same" instead of a few.
And thou shalt dwell with him same days, till the wrath of thy brother be assuaged, - "same" and "few" are interchangeable, since "different days" would imply a longer stay than needed for the purpose.
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel: and they seemed but same days, because of the greatness of his love. - dito, since "different days" would imply his sentiments had changed and the mood had changed.
And there shall stand up in his place, one most vile, and unworthy of kingly honour: and in same days he shall be destroyed, not in rage nor in battle. - dito, "same days" = before things have changed much.
Plus English has, in sentences where the intended overall meaning is few in some cases "same few" ... "he repeated the same few words over and over" - "same" is used despite being implied both in "repeated" and in "few" ...
But same in and of itself does not need to imply few, so it can stand without meaning that.
If you want an argument for your side, German for "few" is "einige" - derived from "ein" = "one".
On the other hand, the Greek for "one" is the Germanic and Slavic and a few more for "same" and also related to the Greek for same.
Hen < hem differs by Ablaut and by no ending from hom-os.
11:18 It actually does matter, if it was dictated (perhaps written down only later) within living memory from events or not.
In other words, Genesis is a cumulative work of texts written prior to Moses on which he set the final stamp.
And the other proposals, the ones that your commentary uses to prove "we really don't know" - they are by people who really don't know, because they do not want to know it is historical fact.
- What Your Pastor Didn’t Tell You
- There are plenty of Christian scholars who want the Bible to be historical and still accept Dr. Middleton’s view. Regarding dictation, the text doesn’t show any sign or even says that it was dictated but I guess it’s not impossible.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- @What Your Pastor Didn’t Tell You I am not speaking of "divine dictation" I am speaking of how someone (human) not holding a pen says the text to someone memorising.
I think all the chapters 2 - 11 show sign of oral transmission : the texts are short, to the point, therefore easy to memorise.
I mean things like Adam and Eve dictating a text to memorise, to Cain, to Abel, to Seth - about the matter of Genesis 2, as well as of Genesis 3.
In literary theory, when you formulate a text and transmit it orally, not writing yourself, it's dictation, even when the other is not holding a pen.
Sorry for confusion, I know that "divine dictation" is one solution, very correct for the passages referred to in John 9:29, but I agree totally it's incorrect for most if not all passages of Genesis. The six day account was, according to a tradition, given to Moses. But "divine dictation" was not what I meant with dictation.
I mean that people like Heber formulated this orally. Moses collected writings from Genesis 12 on, but also oral texts from Genesis 2:5 to Genesis 11, probably already put to "paper" (or whatever) by Abraham.
I am (whether I qualify as a scholar or not) in fact acting as a Christian scholar, entering into polemics with Middleton. That plenty of scholars agree with him does not change that. I am proposing full historicity for Genesis 11 with the traditional interpretations : Nimrod and co. wanted to get up, not allow gods to get down, the language on the Ark was still the one and only language, probably not even splitting in regional accents, prior to God changing this. But God didn't do so to prevent the project, just to differ it to when it became realisable (recent decades). So, when they are trying to fly back to the moon - Nimrod's back.
11:47 Moses founded Israel as a nation, opposed to a previous beduin tribe and population in Goshen descending from one.
Or, God did so through Moses.
But if Genesis 11 is historic - not saying it's "modern historiography" quite another question and not the only genre to be historic - it should be some centuries before Abraham founds even his beduin tribe, and from times when organic things from then are now dated to - 9600 to 8600 BC (also known as forty years between 350 and 401 after the Flood 2607 to 2556 BC).
13:16 What you say about Babylonian power greed is very true.
But it would have been even more true of Nimrod dominating people around the globe from the meeting place (the NYC or Paris back then) at what is now Göbekli Tepe, especially if he wanted to build a rocket.
And before you ask "why is it called a tower and not a rocket" - space rockets are named after firework rockets, since sharing a similar function. Firework rockets are named for an Italian word meaning something else - I think a bobbin, but have also seen distaff.
What would you have named a space rocket if you had no firework rocket to name it from? A "tower, the top of which shall get into heaven" is at least one option.
Latin Vulgate with English Douay Rheims, and Hebrew, none of them explicitly say they "ceased to build the tower" (it may not even have been very well begun) but that they "ceased to build the city" (and by carbon dated 8600 BC, it was definitive).
The argument against me would be verse 5 - was the tower an ongoing process as English and Latin suggest (were building, aedificabant) or a completed process (if we take the use of perfect banu in Hebrew as "completed previous action" rather than as "previously commenced" - not sure the latter is an option)?
[unfinished html - updated and with title added, but still need to add a link to the video, and can't access youtube from Georges Pompidou Library - that is fixed too]