Wheaton College biblical scholar John Walton offers an interesting alternative to traditional evangelical views of ancient cosmology. Instead of insisting that God does not err or tell lies and thus allow bad ancient cosmology or twist the text to reflect current views, he asks us to consider the text as the ancient Israelites did. “It is not written to us (21).” Its message transcends the culture in which it was written, but the form in which it was imbedded was fully permeated by the ancient culture…God has chosen the agenda of the text, and we must be content with the wisdom of those choices (21).” “In this book I propose that the people in the ancient world would believe that something existed not by virtue of its material properties, but by virtue of its having a function in an ordered system (26).” He works out this proposition along the lines of 18 propositions which include consideration of some issues that bedevil evangelicals today.
John H. Walton is Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College IL. His recent research has focused on comparative studies between the Old Testament and the ancient Near East. “In biblical studies my particular interest is in Genesis. I am currently serving as the general editor for a five volume series, The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and General Editor of a 20 vol. Baker Commentary Series, Teach the Text.– College Catalog