Midwest Book Review October 2022
Willis Buhle’s Bookshelf
Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists
9781737308812, $36.95, HC, 428pp
Synopsis: Continuing his astonishing study of Egyptian influences on the Book of Genesis, Gary Greenberg moves from Egypt’s historical chronology to its mythological chronology, with the publication of “Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists: The Egyptian Origins of Genesis History, Volume II: Egypt’s Mythological Period”.
In this latest volume Greenberg meticulously uncovers the biblical book’s deep dependence on Egyptian sources for some of its most famous stories, including the seven days of creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the family of nations descended from Ham, Shem, and Japheth.
Despite the biblical narrative showing that Israel’s formative period as a nation took place in Egypt, almost all biblical scholars and Egyptologists refuse to take such claims seriously, rarely looking at anything more than an occasional peripheral link. Greenberg’s thorough scholarly examination of the biblical and Egyptological sources tears through this “papyrus curtain” and presents clear and convincing evidence that the original authors of Genesis worked from a solid knowledge of Egypt’s literary and historical sources and used them as the basis of the Bible’s primeval history.
It was only long after, when Genesis source documents were significantly re-edited and heavily redacted during the Second Temple period, did the Hebrews lose touch with their Egyptian roots. Greenberg sets the record straight and the results are impressive.
Some of the stunning discoveries in “Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists: The Egyptian Origins of Genesis History, Volume II Egypt’s Mythical Period” include:
How did the Genesis author determine in what year the first Patriarchs, from Adam to Jared, fathered their first son? Egypt’s mythical chronology holds the answers. That the story of Noah and the flood was the original Genesis creation story and it was based on Egypt’s most famous creation myths.
Who was the mysterious light that appeared on the first day of creation? (Yes, who, not what; No, it wasn’t Jesus.) – Who were the biblical generations of Heaven and Earth and who were these children? – Egyptian deities in the Garden of Eden? What is the hidden Egyptian secret behind the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life? – How long did the flood last and what does that have to do with the Egyptian calendar? – Were there seven days of creation or eight?
Critique: A work of impressively detailed analytical scholarship, “Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists: The Egyptian Origins of Genesis History, Volume II: Egypt’s Mythological Period” is an informative, thought-provoking, iconoclastic, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Egyptology, Judaic, Old Testament, and Christian Biblical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, Judaic/Christian theologians, Egyptologists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that “Genesis Chronology and Egyptian King-Lists: The Egyptian Origins of Genesis History, Volume II: Egypt’s Mythological Period” is also available in a paperback edition (9781737308805, $26.95).
Editorial Note: President of the Biblical Archaeology Society of New York and a Fellow of the Jesus Project, an organization of biblical scholars concerned with issues related to the “historical” Jesus, Gary Greenberg is the author of several highly-praised books on biblical history, including the popular biblical classic “101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History.” His works have been translated into many languages. He also has a dedicated website at http://biblemythhistory.com
Willis M. Buhle