About thirty years ago in a series of lectures a certain German professor, himself a higher critic, announced his belief in the Divine inspiration of the first chapters of Genesis; his regret at the attacks being made upon their authenticity by other professors; and his conviction that if a certain discovery could be made it would largely help to counteract those attacks. He apparently did not expect that such a discovery would be made; but I hope to show that when the cuneiform inscriptions found in Babylonia and now available for anyone’s inspection are studied from a new point of view, that discovery is ours.
In support of this new point of view, extracts from works leading Assyriologists are quoted in the following pages, and their translations of the inscriptions are given. It can scarcely be thought presumptuous on my part if I suggest a new application of those inscriptions considering that the deductions already drawn from them are indeterminate and unconvincing. While taking advantage of them I make bold to suggest that their decipherers, like others before them, may sometimes have “failed to see the wood for the trees.”
That the writers, from whose works I quote, hold different views from my own naturally makes any of their evidence that supports my views the more convincing because it is involuntary. Since the history which they have deduced from Babylonian inscriptions is admittedly conjectural, and rests upon a certain hypothesis described by one of them as almost incredible, it is well that some other hypothesis should be tested, and I claim that my new version of Babylonian history rests upon a much more reasonable one.
That a new interpretation should be welcome is suggested by Professor Sayce’s words: