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Genesis and the Story of Noah

            A common explanatory framework for understanding the story of Noah's flood is skepticism toward the narrative's Hebraic origin. In his Anchor Bible commentary on Genesis, E.A. Speiser states, "It is clear that Hebrew tradition must have received its material [flood story] from some intermediate, and evidently northwesterly, source, and that it proceeded to adjust the data to its own needs and concepts" (Speiser). Speiser is basically saying that the Hebrew author must have adopted the bulk of the flood story from nearby, influential culture and simply added elements of Hebrew theology, making the Noah story kosher. The argument calls the origin of the flood story into question, inquiring whether or not the Hebrew tradition current to the author of the text provides for the appearance of sacrificial oblations. However, Speiser overlooks key Biblical instances of sacrifice that precede the Noah's sacrifice. Though proving that story originates from Hebrew tradition wouldn't answer any questions concerning the appearance of Hebrew tradition in the story, arguing that the laws and statutes of later Hebrew practice are original to the Noah story works to counter Speiser's criticisms. The text and context of the Noah story, in light of the appearance of sacrificial law in previous narratives, consistency of God's character, and the sequencing of Noah's own sacrifice, prove Noah's sacrificial account to be original to Hebrew tradition. .
             Every reiteration of law, or dispensation of grace, throughout scripture is only an extended effort of God to convey His character to man. The law, like God's character, is self-consistent. For example, the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel never make declarations that contradict the original law. The prophets, rather, conceptually apply the law to their current events and culture to enlighten Israel to God's will. Likewise, it is only scripturally consistent to assume that what is is what was: a reiteration of previously established precepts and values.

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