Well, I guess some of you may have caught last night’s Fantasy Channel (what I used to refer to as the History Channel) special promoting the ancient astronaut idea. I didn’t watch it since there’s nothing new here except better special effects and CGI to help shovel this crap into the minds of viewers. Anyone who thinks the Fantasy Channel had objectivity in mind is naive, or perhaps hasn’t read my own encounter with the channel for an earlier “aliens in the Bible” special. You can read about my interview for that and my subsequent censorship here. You can also read what their editors did to some other people who didn’t take the ancient alien party line here. But alas, only one of us was smart enough (or suspicious enough) to audio-record our own interview so we could compare it to what would actually appear. I got off easy since I was edited out completely. Others weren’t so lucky and had their views raped and pillaged by Fantasy Channel anti-objectivity thugs.
Though I didn’t watch it (I think I spent the time more usefully, watching my daughters color their toenails), I have thoughts. Today I got an email from someone who seems a sincere Sitchin follower. Anyway, the questions seemed sincere and I have no reason to think otherwise. Here is part of my response (familiar territory, but summarized):
No one denies the language in Gen 1:26 is plural, but few on the web of Sitchin’s ilk do much thinking about it (or so it seems), since they try to use that to make the creator of humankind a plural. Nothing could have less merit as an idea. There is a singular speaker (the singular God of Israel) speaking to a crowd as it were. How do we know the speaker is singular here? Because the corresponding verb forms that take elohim as subject are grammatically singular AND the suffix pronoun (“his” image) in 1:27 is also singular. In point of fact in EVERY passage in the Hebrew Bible where humans are created, the verbs are singular in agreement with a singular deity. You can speculate as to why Sitchin doesn’t give that information to his readers. In my view, he either doesn’t know, in which case his competence is in question, or he just hides it, in which case his ethics and intentions are in question.
Further, in regard to the crowd, my view, and the view of all semitists I’ve ever read, is that the crowd is the divine council / heavenly host. This is standard fare in the field. Many Christians wrongly try to tie this language to the trinity, but I assume you’ve come across that and know that.
I hope you can tell by my answers that I’m not given to speculation. I like to stick with what’s in the texts and then come up with ways to parse that. My objection to Sitchin is that his system is entirely opinion and imagination based. That isn’t a sin, of course. But what is either unethical or incompetent about it is when he (or someone who uses him) pits his ideas AGAINST what the Mesopotamian scribes actually do tell us quite clearly. They’re dead so they can’t defend themselves. I’ll be happy to do that. What exactly am I speaking of? Here’s a short list:
1. We have Sumerian and Akkadian bilingual texts that give us the meaning of terms like “me” and “shem” – and they are not even close to what Sitchin says. I’d rather believe the people who created the texts than Sitchin. Seems reasonable to me. These texts and their vocabulary can be correlated (and have been) with other texts and bilinguals. This is how dictionaries of ancient languages are built – from primary sources where a dead scribe tells us “this word in my language meant the same thing as that word in another language.” These tools aren’t built by modern scholars who just invent the material.
2. We have many texts that mention the Anunnaki and nibiru. NONE of them have nibiru as a planet beyond Pluto. NONE of them have the Anunnaki living on nibiru or “flying in” nibiru. These are direct contradictions of Sitchin’s ideas not from me, but from the Mesopotamian knowledge-keepers, the scribes. Several texts have nibiru being sighted EVERY YEAR (the MUL.APIN astrolabe), in direct contradiction with Sitchin’s 3600 year cycle idea. Again, I’ll take sides with the scribes.
3. We have a great deal of Mesopotamian astronomical texts. The material has all been published and collated and is easily obtained (but it’s expensive) in scholarly monographs on the subject. NONE of the material has any planets beyond Saturn. Another point-blank contradiction to Sitchin.
For those who have read such things before here, thanks for indulging me. I have to post things like this since you won’t get it on the Fantasy Channel.