Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Changed Old Testament essay topic

Last night an email was sent to the OT lecturer Maggie to request to change my essay topic. I picked the topic discussing the theories on the origin of ancient Israelites, but on further consideration, I have decided to change to this other one: 'Primeval History - 6 Days of Creation: Literal or Figurative?' Here are the 3 reasons listed in the email:

1) Previously I have chosen to write on the 'Origin of Israel: Invasion, Infiltration, or Insurrection?' because the other three topics were already filled up when the form reached me. Hence I signed-up the third topic to leverage the imbalance. Therefore my name appears at the first under the topic. Since now the distribution is quite even, I hope this request would be considered.

2) Personally question one (Creation account in Genesis) resonates more to what I am looking forward to do: to clarify the relation between natural sciences and Christianity. I do want to take this opportunity to learn on a topic which I have not really seriously look into before.

3) I hope that this email would not imply that I am changing the topic for convenience's sake. In fact, the 'Origin of Israel' is easier for me compared to the question on creation account. Reason is that I have done some studies on this topic on my own by surveying through the findings from biblical scholarship and archeology in May 2008. I had come to conclude that we cannot ascertain with any solid affirmation on any particular mode of emergence of the ancient Israelites on one hand, yet to our current archaeological findings, we have provisional evidents that contradict some of the events recorded in the book of Joshua. In the study, I have also compared different dating method of the Exodus (besides William Dever, Niels P. Lemche, Kenneth Kitchen, Israel Finkelstein, and others, the comparison also includes evaluating the exchanges between Bryant Wood and James K. Hoffmeier in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, June 2007), study the different interpretations of the archaeological data pertaining to Joshua's conquest, and evaluated Norman K. Gottwald's "less dramatic" data attesting to Joshua's conquest. Attached is an informal bibliography that I used in this study for your reference.

I'm glad that Maggie granted the request this morning during the lecture's break. She also remarked that the Genesis essay is an easier one compared to others. In šāʾ Allāh.

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