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Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis: A Case for Literary Unity Hardcover – December 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers (December 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0840775024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0840775023
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,840,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Zeolla on June 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The "Gilgamesh Epic" records a story of a world-wide flood and pre-dates Genesis. So some claim that this invalidates the Genesis record. But P.J. Wiseman presents an interesting theory in this regard in this book.
He believes that Moses did not WRITE Genesis but rather TRANSLATED it from ancient stone tablets written in Cuneiform script. The tablets each would have been originally written by eye-witnesses of the particular events, or those who received their information from eye-witnesses.
He breaks Genesis into parts according to the phrase "These are the generations" (KJV; "This is the history" - NKJV; "This the account" - NASB; NIV; Gen 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12,9; 36:1,9; 37:2).
He compares the use of this phrase and the structure of each section to the stone tablets written in cuneiform script. Many of these tablets have been discovered and they date to the third millenium BC.
Wiseman's theory is that Genesis is translated from individual tablets which would have contained the material before each occurrence of the above phrase. So the narratives of the creation of the universe (Gen 1) and of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2) would have been written on one tablet by Adam as these events were revealed to him by the only Eye-witness of the events, God Himself.
The narratives of the Fall and subsequent events would have been written on another tablet by Adam as an eye-witness of the events. Adam then passed each of these tablets on to his descendant Seth. Seth then recorded the events of Gen 5 and passed the tablets to his descendant Noah. Noah then recorded the events of Gen 6-9 and passed the tablets to his descendant Shem, and so one until Joseph.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By enorrste@ix.netcom.com on August 31, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Although not given the attention it is due by the more traditional scholarly press, this small book proves conclusively that Genesis was written originally on clay tablets in cuneiform by the patriarchs themselves.
The author, who visited archaelogical sites early in this century and studied the methods of creation and transmission of texts from one tablet to another has been able to show conclusively that the book of Genesis has the section ending "markers" that were used in the very earliest writings of man dating from 3000 B.C.
His theory is both intriguing and convincing, and deserves greater attention than it received when it was published. If he is vindicated the traditional JEPD methodology for describing the collation and transmission of the Genesis stories will be thrown on its ear completely. For this reason the more liberal school of biblical criticism has ignored the findings of Wiseman.

Conservative Christians will find in this book the sort of evidence that "demands a verdict." I highly recommend it for all students of the Bible who have an open mind for the truth, and especially for those who are interested in seeing, once again, that the Bible is exactly what it has always claimed to be.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The most important and overlooked work on the first page of the Bible. Wiseman offers a simple, and I believe accurate explanation of the structure of Genesis 1. It is amazing that both the scientific and theological communities have missed this. It resolves once and for all the conflict between the Creationists and Evolutionists. Wiseman says, "If you're looking to this 'creation account' to learn the origin of life on earth, you're looking in the wrong place. The account doesn't address the mechanics of how things came to be." Wiseman has also published these ideas under the title "Creation Revealed in Six Days" - also out of print.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By no name on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a while I suspected that there were written records passed down from patriarch to patriarch, carried on Noah's Ark, and continued to be passed down from patriarch to patriarch, till they got to Moses, the author of the book of Genesis. I shared my thoughts with my pastor, and he then went to his library and pulled out Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis!

I took it home that night, and read the entire thing in one day!

We are often told that the most ancient people of Genesis didn't know how to write, that Moses was probably the first one who could write (because he learned how to write in the palace of Egypt). Isn't this the same thing we always hear -- that God's people aren't as smart or as capable as everyone else?

After reading Mr. Wiseman's book, in which he presents a very solid case, I came away believing that the ancient Patriarchs were indeed very intelligent people, and, in fact, they may have been the ones who developed writing and passed those skills on to their children, many of whom didn't stay faithful to God, but did go on to make a name for themselves in the world. So the backslidden kids got the credit for knowing how to write; but the Patriarchs faded from view (except for in the Bible narrative), because they weren't trying to make a name for themselves in the world, but rather stay true to God.

I HIGHLY recommend this book.
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