My Whacko Theory: Part One

Background:
ONE of the reasons I so enjoy studying the history, art and myths of ancient civilizations is because I see the outworking of Rom.1:20-32. Mankind once KNEW the Truth. The people who stepped off the ark KNEW God as Creator and worshipped Him as such. As time progressed, much of mankind chose NOT to know God and worshipped the creation rather than the Creator. When I study the myths and art of ancient civilizations, I am always looking for the “pieces” of truth they retained…and embellished upon. You see this in the oldest mythic literature of Egypt, the Near East and Greece. Though I don’t know it as well (yet…;), I’ve also found pieces of Truth in the myths of the Americas, particularly those of the Mayans. I’m also interested in the interconnection of myths and how local gods became absorbed into more universal gods/goddesses and how they morphed from one civilization to another. For example, Mesopotamian Inanna became the Semitic Ishtar, “Queen of Heaven”(found in Scripture), who became the Greek Aphrodite, then the Roman Venus. The early Mesopotamian god Enlil, “lord of the air”, became the later Babylonian god, Marduk, featured in Scripture. Also in Scripture: Satan is called “lord of the air”. [No whacko theory yet…]

You find universalities in many of the creation myths & Flood myths containing pieces of Truth in them. Almost all have the idea of an original “Golden Age”, which man longs to return to. (Eden?) For example, according to Greek myth, “corn appeared without labor” during this Golden Age. And there’s the myth of the “Five Races”…could that have started from the 3 races that developed from Noah’s sons? Now, if you’ve ever actually READ those myths AND read Genesis (I’m convinced people who propound the theory that the Jews used these stories to write Genesis from have either never done this OR they are so intent on disproving the Bible that they make themselves look ridiculous), it is like reading the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and an agricultural manual on how to grow green beans. There is just NO comparison in literary style!! It is ridiculous to even suggest it!! The God of the Bible is soooo far removed from the gods of pagan literature, who don’t care about men except to use them, who are incredibly immoral and unreliable, who are NOT omnipotent, omniscient or any of those other “omnis”. Nor do any mythic gods create matter ex nihilo. [No whacko theory yet…]

OK…here comes the set-up for the “whacko theory” part. Our major paper in Greek 2 involved the exegesis of 1Pet.3:18-22. Unlike us, 1st Century readers had no problem understanding exactly what Peter was talking about, which is [probably why he didn’t have to elaborate. [Just like the frustration of reading Classical and Alexandrian Greek myths that presuppose the hearer has a clear understanding of the background behind the story, and so they don’t have to elaborate on the background details. But modern day readers are left in a quandary, not understanding all the allusions.] I certainly didn’t come up with “the definitive” interpretation of 1Peter 3, but I did make a valiant attempt at being consistent with the language and with the rest of the Bible. [Which, btw, I discovered many Commentators do NOT…eg. Wayne Grudem. He makes a “logical” interpretation that looks pretty good, but totally ignores basic rules of Greek! Actually, I was quite surprised to find how few Commentaries were careful with the language! I strongly recommend having a set of Wuest’s NT Word Studies, Dr. Zodhiates’ NT Word Study and a set of Robertson’s “Word Pictures in the NT” in your library.]

Stay tuned for Part Two…the actual “whacko” part. [Always keep ’em coming back for more, I say. ;)]

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