The Noah lesson, for instance, raises but does not attempt to answer the physical difficulties of a literal universal flood and the housing of the animals. The old lesson asks class members to consider what his ancient neighbors thought of Noah, and where he found the strength to walk with God in the midst of an ungodly society. The lesson on the Tower of Babel approaches the Old Testament as a text with its own ancient audience and purpose; it teaches in simplified style that out of all the materials available to him, Moses selected the items that were of most use to his people at the time, to mold them into a separate nation apart from the other peoples of the world and to hold themselves aloof from the world in order to live a godly life.
Our current manual covers Noah, the flood, and the Tower of Babel in a single lesson, with the stated purpose that “class members [will] desire to live worthily [interpreted, according to the illustrative material, as obeying God through the medium of a modern prophet] and avoid the evils of the world [interpreted as avoiding punishment for sin].” The 1930 manual, while drawing the same basic morals, is a little less black and white, a little more thought provoking.
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