Charles Halton has some helpful tips on how to use ancient Near East material in biblical scholarship.
He mentioned that he might put together a short ANE bibliography “that can serve as an entry point for biblical scholars.” I would really like to see this.
One significant take-away from the post: the Context of Scripture is an inadequate source for serious study of ANE “creation accounts” or “flood narratives.” COS is merely an ANE reader, an introduction to these texts.
This certainly doesn’t mean that COS is worthless. In another post, Charles links to a “COS in 1 Year” reading plan, which he created.
Now a research argument is not like the heated exchanges we hear every day. Those arguments usually involve a dispute: children argue over a toy; roommates over the stereo; drivers about who had the right-of-way. Such arguments can be polite or nasty, but most involve conflict, with winners and losers. To be sure, researchers sometimes wrangle over each other’s reasoning and evidence and occasionally erupt into charges of carelessness, incompetence, and even fraud. But that’s not the kind of argument that made them researchers in the first place.
Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research, 105.
A researcher offers level-headed, constructive arguments. Even when they “tear down,” they don’t use a sledgehammer. Research is not a UFC fight.
This is a good reminder to those writing in the field of biblical studies, but their point is certainly relevant to those who are married, as well. That is, if this idea is true for researchers, it is true for spouses. Surely we won’t treat scholars we have never met with more respect and level-headedness than we will our spouses.