- REVIEW -
A. Ancient Literature.
For one, I do not think he made a compelling argument from his Near East ancient literature references. I looked at his examples, and I did not draw the same conclusions. Could he be guilty of eisegesis in his interpretations? I think so, and the conclusions he draws from these texts provide the foundational support for his propositions. Were the Bereans commended for such methods in Acts 17? Do the Scriptures themselves teach us anywhere that we must use Walton's techniques to really understand what the Scriptures appears to make plain? "Every word of God proves true..." (Prov. 30:5).
He also claims his view is new because others simply have never considered the text of Genesis 1 in light of ancient cultural beliefs deduced (fallibly) from these new literary discoveries, but I doubt that is factually accurate. For example, Louis Berkhoff references some of the same Babylonian texts in his Systematic Theology published in 1958! His conclusions are also much different than Walton's. And to use Walton's own words, "It is far too easy to let our own ideas creep in and subtly (or at times not so subtly) bend or twist the material to fit our own context" (Introduction, p.8). I would propose, considering his associations (mentioned later in this review), that Walton is guilty of this very thing when "translating" this foreign culture.