Monday, July 25, 2016

Cain's Banishment

Alice C. Linsley

For the past 2 years I have been purchasing books on art history and exploring the paintings based on Biblical stories. Recently, I was stuck by this image of the banishment of Cain and his clan. Do you see what the painter has done?

What aligns with the data of Scripture and what does not?

Is the landscape realistic for the place and time Cain lived? Or has the painter portrayed these refugees as belonging to a period to which they do not belong; rendering an anachronism?

What are your thoughts on the title given to the painting?

What are your thoughts about the different hair colors and skin tones?

Cain flying before Jehovah's Curse (1880)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

For Anglican Readers

Bridget Mary Meehan fashions herself a Roman Catholic priest.  

This 2013 photo was taken by the Italian photographer Giulia Bianchi and appeared in this issue of National Geographic which shows women shamans. The article fails to make an important anthropological distinction between the offices of priest and shaman and their contrary worldviews. 

The question of women priests should be considered in the larger context of the Received Tradition. I have spent many years investigating that Tradition from the perspective of cultural anthropology. The priesthood of Jesus Christ is not a metaphor. His mother was the daughter of a shepherd-priest Yoachin. Jesus belonged to the most archaic priesthood known. The Bible reveals that the priestly lines intermarried, were attached to great kingdom builders, and dispersed throughout the ancient world. They were known for their devotion to the Creator, and for their pure and sober lives. Messianic expectation began with them at least as early at 4000 BC. So when we speak of Received Tradition we are speaking of something older than all the world religions; long before the religions that emerged in the Axial Age. That is why I find it ironic that those who favor the ordination of women often attempt to justify this using the argument of antiquity. The simple fact is this: in the Received Tradition of the Church, women never served as priests.

Other related articles include:

The Mushy Thinking of Neo-Anglicans

C.S. Lewis on Women Priests

Alice C. Linsley's address on Creation and the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ

Alice C. Linsley's address to the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans

The Anglican Priesthood in Anthropological Perspective

Women Priests and the Anglican Church of North America

Women's Ordination Must be Addressed

Impressions of North American Anglicanism

The Feminization of Anglican Orders

Males as Spiritual Leaders: Two Patterns

Blood and Gender Distinctions

Shamanic Practice and the Priesthood

Female Shamans, Not Women Priests

Why Women Were Never Priests

What is Lost When Women Serve as Priests?

What is a Priest?

Priests and Shamans Hold Different Worldviews

The Modernist-Traditionalist Divide in Anglicanism

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Was Abraham a Black Man?

Alice C. Linsley

"Was Abraham a black man?" People often ask that question once they recognize that Abraham's ancestors came out of Africa. The question reveals some misconceptions that should be addressed.

Misconception: Black and white populations are genetically unrelated.

Molecular genetics has demonstrated that all humans living today have common ancestry and the point of origin of our first ancestors is Africa.

Misconception: Africa is populated by "black" people.

Human populations in Africa always have had a great range of physical appearance. Even today Africa has the greatest genetic diversity of anywhere on Earth. For example, in antiquity there were both red and black Nubians. They preserved their distinctive color by marrying within their own type, but the red and black Nubians were one people, a moiety. A moiety refers to each of two social or ritual groups into which a people is divided, especially among Australian Aborigines, some American Indians, and the ancient Nubians.

Red and black Nubians
Detail from a Champollion drawing

Even among the red and black Nubians there was a range of skin tone. These red Nubian warriors are an example. Their wavy black hair and feathers resemble the Nabatean warriors of Edom. The Edomites were known to have a reddish skin tone.

Image: Dr. Arthur Brack

Since Abraham was a ruler in Edom, it is likely that he had a red skin tone. That is how one of Abraham's great grandsons is described. Esau is listed in the Edomite ruling line in Genesis 36. Edom was called "Idumea" by the ancient Greeks and the word means "land of red people."

Note that Hebron (where Sarah lived) and Beersheba (where Keturah lived) are in Idumea/Edom. Abraham's territory extended between the settlements of his two wives and was entirely in that region.

This answer to the question "Was Abraham a black man?" is based on the evidence of Biblical anthropology and genetic studies. Were we able to test Abraham's DNA, we probably would find that he was in Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA).

Haplogroup R1b, also known as haplogroup R-M343, is the most frequently occurring Y chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe, some parts of Russia (the Bashkir minority), Central Asia (e.g. Turkmenistan) and in the region of Lake Chad and along the Upper Nile. This is the haplogroup of Abraham's Proto-Saharan ancestors who dispersed widely and are known by many names in ancient history: Kushites, Kushan, Ainu, Saka, Hittites, etc. Among them was a caste of priests known in ancient texts as 'Apiru, Hapiru, Habiru or Hebrew. The skin color of these rulers and priests would have varied greatly. Siblings, even twins, could in fact have been born with quite different skin color.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Where I'm Going With JUST GENESIS

Alice C. Linsley

From a reader:
“I have a few questions about your blog. I'm a little confused about where you are going with Genesis. I see Cultural Anthropology 101, kinship stuff, the Afro-centric emphasis and literary criticism, deconstruction style, and a lot about priests and shamans (more cultural anthropology). I'm having trouble getting a coherent thread I can follow, but honestly, it's probably just me. Can you give me some hint of where you are going and the purpose of all of this?”

My Response

My concern is that Genesis be understood at the deepest possible level since the material there is foundational to the whole canon. Genesis should not be forced into a modern mold. We should make the effort to understand what this material meant to the archaic peoples for whom this divine revelation was sacred. One of the best ways to do this is to apply the tools of cultural anthropology.

At JUST GENESIS I apply standard tools and methodologies to the Biblical text to lift up anthropologically significant data. This is an investigation into the prehistoric roots of Biblical peoples using kinship analysis, comparative linguistics, climate and migration studies, molecular genetics, and archaeology. Kinship analysis of the Genesis king lists has confirmed that these are authentic lists pertaining to historical people. The marriage and ascendancy pattern of these archaic rulers is important because it points to the ascendancy of Jesus Christ. The first place we find the pattern is among the rulers listed in Genesis 4 and 5.

This is a scientific approach to Genesis, having little to do with the more speculative approach of theology in which the term "anthropology" has a different meaning. Christian anthropology is the study of humanity through the lens of Christianity and primarily focuses on the nature of humanity in reference to the Creator and to creation. In a sense, this approach places a template over the material. A scientific approach removes the template and allows us to note details and nuances that we might not see with the template.

A scientific approach lifts up the data and allows it to speak for itself without forcing a given interpretation, be it Young-Earth Creationism, Theistic Evolution, ID, literalism, or the speculation of the Biblically illiterate. Allow me to give just two examples.

Example One

The writers of Scripture refer to Adam as the first created human. Of the surface it would appear that all humans are Adam's descendants. However, the material refers to the experience of a specific group of humans from whom Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus descended. If one insists that Adam and Eve are the original first parents of humanity, then one must reconcile this with the millions of years of human existence on Earth.

While the Bible certainly speaks of Adam as the symbolic first father, there is an alternative view of Adam as the founding father of the "red" people who anthropologists today would recognize as belonging to the L and R1 haplogroups. Redness was a sign of royal blood, and this is noted in reference to rulers of this ancestry, including Esau and David. The Genesis text suggests that this is the meaning of the name Adam. Adam was a red man.

When we place the emphasis on Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all humans, we distract from the evidence that verifies what Genesis tells us about Abraham's Proto-Saharan (sometimes called "Kushite") ancestors. Noah was one of the Proto-Saharan rulers who would have been in the R1b haplogroup. On this map his homeland is marked by the deep red mark in central Africa.

The R1b Haplogroup is often presented as a European haplogroup and it has been shown that 70% of men in Britain are in this group. However, the dispersion of peoples in this haplogroup is extremely broad and among the archaic rulers there are many cultural commonalities. These include solar symbolism for the High God, shrine cities at high elevations, control of the major water systems, similar cone shaped structures, knob sticks carried by the clan chiefs, circles of standing stones, stone tombs, and burial in red ocher.

Consider also the assertion in Genesis 11:1 that the people who dispersed out of Africa in this group had common linguistic roots. That has been demonstrated in recent phoneme studies. This is what Genesis 11:1 means:“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.” This "whole world" is like the whole world that appeared to Noah to be flooded. The whole world is what was known to the people or the testimony that was received by them from their ancestors. Common sense tells us that we are not required to take this literally.

The was the understanding of the peoples who are mentioned in Genesis 10 (the "Table of Nations") and it is from them that we receive this information. Comparative linguistics has demonstrated a connection between the languages of the peoples named in the Table of Nations. To avoid abusing the Table, the best science should be used to investigate this material.

Consider the recent research connecting the Luwian hieroglyphs, Hittite hieroglyphs and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Luwian scripts took two forms: (1) Akkadian cuneiform, as with the Hittite scripts found at Hattusa, and (2) Egyptian hieroglyphic. Both writings systems are connected to the Proto-Saharan rulers who dispersed out of Africa into the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. The spoken language had properties typical of Chadic, Nilotic and ancient Sumerian languages, which like spoken Luwian, are ergative-agglutinative languages. The Luwian writing system is known from quotations in Hittite documents and from ancient scripts from Crete and Cyprus.

If in Genesis 10 a modern language or a people of recent history appeared, we would have reason to suspect that someone had tampered with the text. Instead we have reliable data that aligns with the findings of anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, and DNA studies.

Example 2 

Genesis 25:1 tells us that Abraham’s second wife was Keturah. The placement of this information after the death of Sarah creates the impression that Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died. However, Abraham, like his father and his grandfather, had two wives simultaneously. The wives maintained separate households. Sarah resided in Hebron (Kiriath-Arba) and Keturah resided in Beersheba, to the south. This means that Abraham's entire territory was in the region of Edom (Edom or Idumea means "land of red people") and suggests that he was a great Horite ruler, along with those listed in Genesis 36.

Many of the archaic rulers who were mummified and buried had red hair and red beards. The males of the Tarim Basin mummies are an example. Their DNA classifies them in Haplogroup R1a1a. Likely, this is the same Haplogroup of the redheaded man in Burial no. 79 at the ancient Horite shrine city of Nekhen along the Nile. The wavy red hair and full beard of the man in Burial no. 79 had been trimmed with a sharp blade.

In Genesis 25:5 we read, “Abraham left everything to his son Isaac. While he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.” The practice of sending away sons did not begin with Abraham. Sent-away sons were kingdom builders who spread the faith of their ancestors, the Horite Habiru/Hebrew, across the ancient world.

Isaac inherited Abraham’s territory, as he was the proper heir, being the first born son of Abraham's half-sister wife. He would have relied on help from his brothers who were men with resources living in their own territories. We know that Isaac was close to his Beersheba/Negev brothers because he was living among them when Abraham’s servant returned with Rebekah (Gen. 24:62). Beersheba is also where Abraham lived out his last years.

Mummy mask of a bull
Genesis 25:5 gives priority to the line of Isaac, and in so doing, discriminates against Abraham’s other sons and their descendants. Abraham had at least eight sons: Ishmael (Yismael), Isaac (Yitzak), Zimran, Jokshan (Yaqtan), Medan, Midian, Ishbak (Yishbak) and Shuah. Likely, he also had a son by his concubine Masek, Eliezer. These were chiefs of their clans and their divine appointment was indicated by the initial Y, the long horns cradling the Sun. This was a sign that the High God had overshadowed them. Among their European kinsmen the appointed chief wore the antler headdress of the red stag. This is analogous to the circlet of bull horns worn with the Atek crown of the Pharaohs, and the Apis bull images in which the horns cradle the Sun. The Y sign is evident in the names of New Testament persons also. Yeshua (Jesus/Joshua) and Yaḥyá (John) are examples.

Anthropological investigation into the familial relations of the archaic rulers and chiefs contributes to a better understanding of the ancestry of Abraham and his ruler-priest caste. Though Abraham is often credited with introducing monotheism, it is closer to the truth that he received a tradition concerning "the Good God" and he came to trust that God with his full being. Therefore Abraham is called the "father of faith" (Genesis 17:3-6; Genesis 18:18; Exodus 3:6; Isaiah 51:2; Romans 4:11,16; Galatians 3:7; John 8:33-41).


My research involves tracing antecedents, looking for the older pattern from which Judaism emerged in the Axial Age. I want to know about the religion of the archaic rulers who believed in a supreme Creator, about the origin of Messianic expectation among those rulers, and how they dispersed widely, establishing kingdoms from Africa to Asia and from Southern Europe to Ireland. I am always asking the questions: Where did this culture trait comes from? When did this religious practice first appear? How does the pattern of sons ascending relate to the Son's ascension?

Related reading: Something Older; Support Research in Biblical Anthropology; Genesis in Anthropological Perspective; Abraham's Complaint; The Edomites and the Color Red; The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of the Horite Habiru; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Some Marks of Prehistoric Religion; Why Biblical Anthropology?; A Scientific Timeline of Genesis; Between Biblical Literalism and Biblical Illiteracy; The Sun and Celestial Horses; Boats and Cows of the Proto-Saharans

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Support Research in Biblical Anthropology

Alice C. Linsley

Every day I receive emails from people telling me that they have found the approach of Biblical Anthropology helpful in gaining a clearer understanding of the Bible's content. Often they have questions that I attempt to answer, and sometimes they provide me with extremely important data that advances this research. This is enormously rewarding!

I would like to say THANK YOU to those who help make this research possible. Now I ask you to consider being a patron of this work. It's an opportunity to support what you believe in and to be part of a worldwide community of supporters for only $3.00 a month. 

If you're reading this and have not joined the Biblical Anthropology crowdfunding campaign, please consider doing so. Your support makes it possible for me to focus on this ground-breaking research.

Click here to "Support this Research / Patreon. This link takes you to my Patreon account.

Thank you for supporting this effort to build a significant database in this emerging field.

Alice C. Linsley