Many of the oldest civilizations on earth have a Flood Story; it is not unique to the Bible. This has made its way into public education in the West: “Many ancient civilizations preserved a story of a Great Deluge among their myths; and no one takes these old stories as anything but mythology. The Hebrew people were participants in this milieu; it is not particularly surprising that they have a version of the Flood Story. But, their version is worthy of no more credit than any of the others.”
But is there not something more that might be said about this? Euhemerus, a fourth century BC mythographer, argued that the ancient myths have historical roots in actual events, the accounts of which have been corrupted and/or exaggerated over time. As Christianity began to spread through the Greco-Roman world, a school of Christian Euhemerism began developing almost immediately, and continued in some strength into the early modern era. Could it be that the ancient myths are perversions of the Biblical history?
In the late-seventeenth century, the Puritan divine and Biblical scholar, Matthew Poole, compiled his massive and masterly Synopsis Criticorum (Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters), a verse-by-verse history of interpretation, drawing together the exegetical wealth of the Jewish Rabbis, early Church Fathers, Medieval Schoolmen, and Reformation-era exegetes (Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed). His thought: To set the most important interpreters and interpretive positions side-by-side, for the help of the student of God’s Word. His achievement: The ascended Christ promised to provide faithful teachers for His Church in all ages (Ephesians 4:11-13); the Synopsis is a record of their testimony concerning the right reading of Holy Scripture.
These Exegetical Studies in Poole’s Synopsis are intended to capture some of the sweetest, most informative and edifying sections in a readily accessible format. Filled with content rare and wonderful, it is hoped that these booklets will whet the appetite of the people of God for the Word of God, rousing them to ever greater exertions in Biblical studies.