Hermeneutical principle number eight, historical criticism. Please turn to page 39 in the class handouts. In previous hermeneutical principles, we defined the term historical criticism. To freshen your memory, this type of analysis involves the use of ancient near-Eastern literature, for example, from Egypt and Mesopotamia. In order to understand the Bible within its historical context. Let's look at two examples that are related to ancient science. First, ancient reproductive biology. The philosopher Aeschylus, in the fifth century BC BCE wrote, "The Mother of what is called her child is no parent of it, but the nurse only of the young life that is sewn in her. The parent is the male and she, but a stranger, a friend who if fate spares his plant, preserves it till it puts forth." The agricultural language in this passage clearly indicates that Aeschylus accepts the one seed theory or pre-formitism, which was the science of the day. Only the male contributes reproductive seed and the female is only a nurturer of the plant that was sewn in her. Similar agricultural language appears in the Bible with human reproduction. For example, "Mary, blessing is the fruit of your womb," which of course is referring to Jesus. Therefore, thanks to historical criticism, it is quite obvious that the reproductive biology in the Bible is consistent with the science of that time, which was the one seed theory. Please turn to page 40 in the handouts for second example of historical criticism. This is an excerpt from an ancient Mesopotamian creation account called creation of the world by Marduk, and it is dated from about 3,000-2,000 BC BCE. Before you read this account, please read the biblical creation accounts in Genesis one and two. In this way, I want you to experience the similarities between the biblical creation accounts and this mesopotamian creation story. Similar to the opening scene in Genesis 1, 2, with water covering the earth. This Mesopotamian creation accounts states all the lands was sea, and then Marduk, who is the main creator, constructed a raft on the waters. He created dirt and piled it on the raft. Continuing, in order to settle the gods in a dwelling pleasing to them, he, that is Marduk, created mankind. Aruru, this is the goddess of childbirth. Aruru created the seed of mankind within him. He, that is Marduk, created the wild animals and all the animals of the steppe. He created the Tigris and the Euphrates, and he set them in place, giving them a favorable name. To situate you geographically, here are the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia. Notably, these two rivers are mentioned in Genesis two, verse 14. Finally, Marduk created a variety of plants and animals. He created the grass, the rush of the marsh, the reed and the woods. He created the green herb of the field, the lands, marshes and came breaks. The cow and her young, the calf, the ewe and her lamb, the sheep of the fold, the orchids and forests. This Mesopotamian creation account sheds light on the biblical creation accounts. First and foremost, Marduk created the earth and the living organisms DE NOVO. This is the same type of divine creative action used in Genesis one and Genesis two. Second, Marduk created a flat earth and placed it on a rough, with this being the case. The Earth is surrounded by water. Please turn back to the Mesopotamian world map on page 32 in the handouts. With Marduk placing Earth on a rough. This creation account aligns with the ancient geography of this map, because there is a circumferential sea surrounding the earth. A couple more comments about this Mesopotamian creation account. It mentions that the goddess Aruru, created the seed of mankind in them. This implies the one seed theory or pre-formitism. Finally, humans are created to serve the gods in order to settle the gods in a dwelling place pleasing to them. In most ancient near-Eastern creation accounts, humans are merely slaves of the gods. But in sharp contrast, the Bible in Genesis one views humans as special and being created in the image of God. One of the best aphorisms to summarize the idea behind historical criticism comes from GE Ladd. He writes, "The Bible is the word of God given in the words of men and women in history." In this way, the bible has an ancient historical element that reflects the words of ancient people in the past. GE Ladd's aphorism and historical criticism can be viewed through the message-incident principle. The message and spiritual truths in the Bible are the word of God. The incident and ancient science are the words of men and women in history. In ending this hermeneutical principle on historical criticism, I have only one main question for you regarding Genesis 1-3. After you read the creation of the world by Marduk, did you think that the creation accounts in Genesis one and Genesis two are the word of God given in the words of men and women in history? Do these biblical creation accounts feature, inherent messages and an incidental ancient science of origins? Or to be more specific, does historical criticism assist us to identify the ancient science of the DE NOVO creation of the universe, plants and animals? End of episode.